Established in 2018, the Rhodes State College Alumni Circle of Excellence recognizes Associate Degree graduates of Rhodes State College and Lima Technical College who are doing exceptional work in their career field, community and for the College.


Joy D. Bischoff, AAS, Nursing – 1995     

President, OhioHealth-Hardin Memorial/Chief Nursing Officer, OhioHealth-Marion General Hospital and Hardin Memorial Hospital

“Joy is an extraordinary example of how, through a lifetime of service and compassion, one person can be a force for positive change.” – Curtis Gingrich, MD, President, Marion General Hospital

In her newly-expanded role as President of OhioHealth – Hardin Memorial Hospital, Joy leads the only hospital in Hardin County; her focus is on bringing emergency and specialty services to the community to ensure residents can receive the appropriate levels of lifesaving care they need closer to home. As a nurse, first, Joy believes nurses are an integral part of every healthcare team and should have a voice in policy and practice. Thanks in part to Joy’s leadership; the hospital recently earned the Pathway to Excellence® designation from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) following a comprehensive, year-long review process.

A familiar face within the community, Joy is deeply embedded in a number of organizations throughout the greater Marion and Kenton area. She is known for, frequently, putting on scrubs and working alongside her teams to connect with frontline workers, be a mentor, provide support, and help problem solve. Joy received an OhioHealth Prism Award for developing an actionable plan to address a recent drug shortage. In addition to her degree from Lima Technical College, Joy also holds a BSN from Ohio Northern University and an MSN from Walden University.

Of her time at Lima Technical College (Rhodes State), Joy said, “Rhodes State prepared for me a lifelong commitment to learning and service. I entered the practice with all the needed skills and knowledge to perform with excellence and with the expectation that I would continue to grow in my career with formal education. I specifically recall instructors Teri Metzger and Winnie Pickering sharing their passion for nursing with me and encouraging me, even when I was doubting myself. This experience gave me the confidence to try new things and begin my journey as a nurse leader in administrative roles. My greatest joy is developing nurse leaders and helping them to achieve their goals.”


Wes R. Barnt, AAS Radiologic Technology – 1985

Vice President of Ancillary Services, Midland Memorial Hospital, Texas

Wes believes his time at Lima Technical College led him to become a lifelong learner, continuing his education with additional clinical certifications and business degrees. Since graduation, he has obtained the Registered Cardiovascular Invasive Specialist (RCIS) certification and then earned a Bachelor of Science in Occupational Education, a Master of Business Administration and a Master of Arts in Management all from Wayland Baptist University.

Wes began his career at Midland Memorial Hospital in 1985 as a Radiology Technologist/Special Procedures Technologist. Today, Wes is the Vice President of Operations at Midland, overseeing 11 divisions and approximately 700 staff members. He has served his community for a number of years as a volunteer with the Buffalo Trail Council of the Boy Scouts of America. He leads by example and has volunteered at the Midland Soup Kitchen, Championship Hearts, and Dress a Live Angel.

Of his time at Lima Technical College, Wes said, “Lima Tech started me on a career path that has exceeding my own expectations for my life. Lima Tech provided me with a foundation that eventually resulted in a bachelor’s degree, two master’s degrees and becoming a Vice President at Midland Memorial Hospital. Likely due to my career in healthcare, my son has decided to become a nurse. My degree from Lima Tech is influencing the next generation in my family. I want you to know I will be forever grateful for my experience at Lima Tech.”


Josette R. Brinkman, AAS, Computer and Media Technology– 1999

Owner, FastSigns of Findlay

“Greatness is an internal quality of a person’s character, which emerges in their actions. True greatness is achieved by making a difference in other people’s lives. There are people from all walks of life who turn their talents, efforts, and energies toward the uplifting of other people. Josette Brinkman is one of them.” – Craig Brown, Business Advisor, Ohio SBDC

Josette has an entrepreneurial spirit, which alongside her education from Lima Technical College, afforded her the opportunity to start her own business, Signed by Josette, with just $350 in her pocket and a loan for a laptop from her mother in 2006. Her drive allowed her to grow this business until 2019, when she became an Owner/Operator of Fastsigns of Finday.

Josette was awarded the Small Woman Business Champion of the Year in 2009, the Notable Networker Award for Flag City BNI Chapter in 2005 and 2009, and Rookie Center of the Year for Fastsigns Conversions in 2021. She has also served as a member of the American Red Cross, the Fremont Toastmasters, the International Sign Association, the Findlay/Hancock and Bowling Green Chambers of Commerce, the Findlay Area Downtown Design Review Board, and the VanBuren Local Schools Athletic Boosters, among many more.  She is also an Ambassador for the Cancer Patient Services Chili Cook-Off, and Secretary of the Flag City BalloonFest.

Of her time at Lima Technical College (Rhodes State) she said, “Lima Tech had a huge impact on me during my time there. The staff and my advisors taught me to never give up and the value of determination and hard work.” She continued, “I was on a waiting list to get into the PT program for almost 2 years. I had to stay a full-time student to be covered under my family's insurance. My advisor suggested taking a second major. Through this, I realized that the medical field was not my true passion. I discovered that I loved computers and designing and quickly found out, this is where I belonged. During my last year there, while in the new major, I answered an ad for employment at a sign shop. I have spent every year since then in a sign shop and the rest is history! I loved my time at Lima Technical College!”



Jennifer J. Truman, AAS, Nursing– 2017

Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, Lima Memorial Health System - Next Chapter Mental Health

Jennifer began her educational journey at age forty, while raising four  children with her husband. Rhodes offered the perfect location and time commitment for her lifestyle. While in school, she was diagnosed with breast cancer, but it never slowed her down from her end goal. At Rhodes State, she as a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, served as Student Class President, and received several scholarships including the Borra Family Foundation Scholarship. From there, she continued to advance her education with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Ohio University where she graduated Magna Cum Laude. Most recently, she graduated from Walden University with a Master of Science in Nursing, specializing as a Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner.

After her time at Rhodes, Jennifer began working in the Heart and Vascular Unit at Lima Memorial Hosptial as a cardiac critical care nurse, where she also served on the Donation Counsel, the Emotional Harm Committee, and as a Care Coach. She currently serves on the Employee Violence Committee. In 2022, Jennifer took a leadership position with Lima Memorial Health Systems NextChapter Mental Health. She will blaze a new path at LMH by initiating a mental health line of care for their facility, and starting an outpatient mental health clinic.

Of her time at Rhodes State, Jennifer said, “While at Rhodes, I must admit that I had no desire to take my career further than an associate's degree, but having accomplished the first feat at age 40 made me realize what was possible. The professors, and many of their colleagues, taught me the technical skills of nursing but more importantly, made me a better person along the way. Their individual attention and continued motivation will never be taken for granted. The Associate's degree that I received from Rhodes State College was the catalyst to my dream career, even before I realized it. I never intended to go further in my education, but once I had started, it was hard not to be a lifetime learner. Rhodes was local, affordable, and the scheduling was practical for this mother of four. Now I am able to provide psychotherapy and medication management for the mentally ill population in my hometown of Lima, Ohio.”

Circle of Excellence Archive

Award Year Alum Degree Graduation Year
2018 Daniel Fultz Technical Studies 1978
2018 Christine Joseph Nursing 1978
2018 J. Kathryn Lukey Nursing 1978
2018 Nancy Rhinock Law Enforcement 1994
2018 Nancy Shuffle Dental Hygiene 1995
2019 Jill Hay Dental Hygiene 1992
2019 Robert A. Shappell Radiographic Imaging 1980
2019 Russell L. Martin Law Enforcement 1978
2019 Benjamin B. Stobbe Nursing 1987
2020 Linda A. Dodge Respiratory Care 1999
2020 Aaron M. McLaurine Electrical Engineering Technology 1995
2020 Katy I. Murphy Human Service 2006
2020 Dr. Lee Anne Sorto Nursing 2008
2020 Tracy K. Smith Respiratory Care 1990
2021 Trina D. Carter Nursing 2013
2021 Robert M. Fischnich Quality Engineering Technology 1999
2021 Nicholas J. Pratt Nursing 2014
2022 Wes R. Barnt Radiologic Technolgoy 1985
2022 Joy D. Bischoff Nursing 1995
2022 Josette R. Brinkman Computer and Media Technology 1999
2022 Jennifer J. Truman Nursing 2017