A majority of Ranken students are from Greater St. Louis, but the College’s reach is far wider, with young men and women attending from throughout the Midwest. One such student is Chazzerene ‘Chazz’ Howard, who left her hometown in western Tennessee and enrolled in the Collision Repair Technology degree program. She was one of the very first students to take part in Ranken‘s new Collision Engineering model – alternating 8-weeks of instruction with 8-weeks of paid work experience at a local shop.
Chazz immediately impressed her instructors. Collision Repair Department Chair and faculty member John Helterbrand explains, “I was struck by her self-motivation and the way she was ‘super-focused’ on her education. Anything she did, got her full effort. While building her technical skills, Chazz’s character and work ethic shone through.”
Chazz is equally appreciative of her Ranken experience, telling us the college “had a huge impact on both my life and career path. It has allowed me to reach far beyond my comfort zone.” She graduated in May 2019 with Cum Laude honors.
As a student, Chazz impressed representatives of Caliber Collision, the second-largest Multi-Shop Operator (MSO) nationwide, when they toured Ranken. This led to full-time employment post-graduation with Caliber, where Chazzerene has been employed as a Service Advisor in Hampton, Virginia. Chazz’s branch General Manager, Eric Carr says, “She has been an invaluable addition to his team. Her experience in auto repair is what makes an estimator not just good, but great. As young as she is, with the knowledge she has, she will keep moving forward . . . she’ll probably replace me someday!”
John Helterbrand fully agrees that Chazz’s current position is a stepping stone toward the future. “Chazzerene is a lifelong learner with amazing things in front of her. It’s clear to everyone, her journey is just beginning!”