Elizabethtown Community and Technical College is adding a state representative, superintendent, retired U.S. Army officer and others to its Hall of Distinguished Alumni.
The college announced this year’s class of honorees Wednesday. The Distinguished Alumni program is in its 13th year and has honored the academic, professional, and humanitarian endeavors of 112 former students, according to a news release.
The 2018 honorees are Rebecca Farris Allen, State Rep. Jim DuPlessis, Retired Maj. Alejandro Ramirez, Paul Mullins, Carol Withrow, and Patsy Whitehead. They will be recognized Nov. 15 at the college’s Profiles of Excellence celebration. The college released brief bios for each honoree as well.
• Allen currently oversees the Community Health Clinic, a nonprofit that provides free services to clients who cannot afford health insurance or medical care, according to the bio. She’s been executive director since 2011 and has worked in healthcare for 27 years. Allen has led the organization’s move to a new facility, expanded its service area to five counties from two and enhanced its focus on serving the working poor.
• DuPlessis, who was elected to his third term as state representative Tuesday, attended ECTC along with all of his siblings, according to the bio. He’s now an engineer for ChemTreat.
In Frankfort, he advocates for career readiness and sponsored legislation to require financial education to be taught in schools. He’s also involved in the community through the Rotary Club, as a Boy Scout leader, Deacon at Severns Valley Baptist Church, volunteer for mission trips, and as a board member of the Lincoln Trail Area Development District.
• After serving in the U.S. Army for 22 years, Ramirez retired in 2013 and started a contracting and exporting company, earning recognition from Gov. Matt Bevin, according to the bio. The Vine Grove resident attended ECTC at its Fort Knox campus. His company, Universal Spartan, LLC, was named the 2018 Kentucky’s Veteran Owned Small Business of the Year. Universal Spartan works with a variety of federal agencies. Ramirez also founded the Kentucky Veteran Business Alliance and received numerous grants in support of his work.
• Mullins, superintendent of Logan County Schools, has worked to improve academic outcomes in the districts he has worked and led technology, academic, and professional development initiative, according to his bio. He previously served as principal of LaRue County High School and superintendent of Garrard County Schools. Mullins said some of his proudest accomplishments were building a career and technical center for Logan County and receiving a Youth Work Skills Grant to expand career opportunities for students.
• Withrow helped educate future nurses for 27 years at ECTC and worked as a licensed practical nurse before that. She settled in the area with her husband, Lt. Col. Warren Withrow, an Army chaplain, after traveling the world together.
In her time teaching at the college, she touched the lives of hundreds of students, according to her bio. After retiring in 1993, she continued to work at Hardin Memorial Hospital in its education departments until 2006. She’s remained active in her church and has volunteered for nursing mission trips to China, India and other countries.
• Whitehead currently works as communications manager for Nolin RECC, and she is known for her civic involvement, according to her bio. She is chair of the board of directors for CASA of the Heartland, a board member for Hosparus Health of Central Kentucky and a United Way of Central Kentucky volunteer.
She also has mentored students in Hardin County and helped them through co-op programs. This is one of several awards Whitehead has received during her career. She also has been named a Hardin County Schools Distinguished Alumni.