Winner of Ed Kurtz award announced

FLINT — Officials at Baker College of Flint have announced that Paul Iloncai of Mayville has received the 2013 Ed Kurtz Leadership Scholarship.

The $2,500 annual scholarship is awarded to a Baker College of Flint student who has demonstrated academic achievement and either a commitment to community service or a successful balance of work, family and school obligations.

“Paul has impressively balanced work, family obligations and community volunteerism while pursuing his academic goals,” said Julianne T. Princinsky, Ed.D., Baker College of Flint president. “Paul is a wonderful role model for those who want to pursue a more meaningful career later in life.”

Iloncai, a full-time student at the Cass City campus of Baker College of Flint, has earned an associate degree in human service and is working toward a bachelor’s degree. Married with three grown children, he is also employed full time in maintenance by McDonald’s, works 15 hours a week as a tutor in the Baker College library for the federally funded College Work-Study Program, and volunteers at several area hospice programs.

He had worked for a large plastics manufacturer for 18 years. When it closed, he became a truck driver and returned to school part time. In 2012, Iloncai decided to focus full time on school.

“The training I’m getting will enable me to work in an area to which I’ve always been drawn: helping others,” Iloncai said. “At the plastics company, I was the volunteer chaplain for five years and the community service chairperson for seven years. I loved doing those types of things and have found even more satisfaction in volunteering at hospice.”

Iloncai credits the close relationships of fellow students and faculty at the Baker College Cass City campus for his “survival of entering the digital world with no experience working with computers,” he said. “It was a complete shock and fantastic at the same time. Entering the 21st century of technology has helped me grow personally and professionally.”

Iloncai is a U.S. Navy veteran and recipient of the Navy Expeditionary Medal for his involvement in the 1981 Iran hostage crisis. He graduated from Imlay City (Mich.) High School.

Baker College established this scholarship in 2004 in honor of Ed Kurtz, retired president and CEO of Baker College.

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