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Printing Industries of America announces Education Awards of Excellence recipients

Monday, August 17, 2009

Press release from the issuing company

Pittsburgh, PA, -- Printing Industries of America has named the 2009 Education Awards of Excellence academic and industry recipients, Cheryl Licklider and Charlie Benjamin respectively. The awards are presented annually to an academic representative and an industry representative in recognition of outstanding contributions to education and training in the graphic arts.
Academic Recipient

Ms. Licklider is a Graphic Arts Instructor for Autry Technology Center in Enid, Oklahoma, where she has worked since 1993. She also had sixteen years of experience in the printing industry prior to becoming a Graphic Arts educator.
During her time at Autry Technology Center, thousands of students have experienced the graphic communication industry with Licklider as their teacher. Since 1994, she has maintained 100% positive placement of students completing the Graphic Arts program and has an 85% retention rate of first-year students.
The Graphic Arts program at Autry Technology Center is one of the first printing programs to receive both national and state accreditation. It is a two-year, 1,050-hour program encompassing both high school and post-secondary students.
Not only does Ms. Licklider instruct the Graphic Arts program at Autry, but she also teaches adult training, business, and industry courses. To encourage safety in the pressroom, Ms. Licklider has developed an online safety course for graphic arts students. The course concentrates on safety training in prepress, bindery, and the pressroom.
For six years, Ms. Licklider was a member of the Graphic Arts Duty and Task List Revision Committee for the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education. Since 1999, she has written and revised printing curricula for the Multistate Academic and Curriculum Consortium (MAVCC). In May 2000, Ms. Licklider was one of only two educators to ever receive the Oklahoma Graphic Arts Education Council Award of Excellence. In addition, she has dozens of significant accomplishments at the national, state, and local levels.
Industry Recipient

Charlie Benjamin's career started in 1972 working for local printers while still in high school. In 1975 he earned a Vocational Certificate from Hennepin Technical College in Minnesota before moving to California. Once in California, he received a Bachelors Degree in Industrial Studies and his teaching credentials from California State University.
From 1994 to 2001, Mr. Benjamin taught Print Communication at the Western School of Technology and Environmental Science in Baltimore County, Maryland. During this time, he continued to work for local printing companies in order to keep up with printing technology.
It was not until 2001, when he was hired to teach at the Occupational Skills Training Center, in Baltimore, Maryland, that he found his true passion. Mr. B, as his students affectionally called him, went from teaching high school students to teaching inmates. At the Occupational Training Center, Mr. B teaches work ethic along with entry-level printing to the inmates during the final months of their sentence. Some of his students say that he is "the first person to treat them as people, real people, real students, rather than inmates."
During his teaching at the Occupational Skills Training Center, Mr. B convinced his industry peers to join a newly formed printing industry advisory board for the Maryland prison system and a partnership was born. The partnership was created to provide ex-offenders with an alternative to "life on the streets" upon their release from prison.
As a result, Mr. B's graduates have gone on to work as bindery employees, press operators, and supervisors. Two previous students of Mr. Benjamin's have been featured in a National Public Radio Morning Edition Broadcast at the recommendation of the Baltimore Mayor's office. Several other students have been highlighted by Maryland Public Television and the Baltimore Sun newspaper. In 2004 Mr. Benjamin's program was featured in the Maryland Gazette.
The Education Awards of Excellence will be presented on September 12 at the 2009 GASC/Printing Industries of Americas Teacher's Conference in Chicago, IL. For more information about the Education Awards of Excellence, please contact Chrystal Senay at 800-910-4283, ext. 736 or csenay@printing.org.




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