Familiar face to assist automotive program

Don Schultz at the Professional Automotive Center in 2011.

Don Schultz at the Professional Automotive Center in 2011.

Like manufacturers do for their cars, the Professional Automotive Training Center at Shoreline Community College is getting something of a mid-year makeover.

“The instructors, staff and administrators have been working very hard to keep the program moving ahead despite years of thin resources due to state budget cuts,” Interim President Daryl Campbell said. “We’re in a position now to address some of the things we’ve known needed attention.”

On top of the list is finding a permanent head for the program.

Bob Biesiedzinski with a visitor at the Professsional Automotive Training Center.

Bob Biesiedzinski with a visitor at the Professsional Automotive Training Center.

“Bob Biesiedzinski has done a great job as interim director,” Campbell said. “But, he already had a full-time job as the top Honda instructor in the country. He’s been doing both jobs very well, but it’s not a situation that anyone could continue forever.”

To help find the next permanent leader for the center, Campbell is turning to the person who last held that title: Don Schultz.

“Don is legendary in both education and automotive circles,” Campbell said. “I’m very pleased that he has agreed to come back to once again help students and the college.”

This time around, Schultz will have a “Special Assistant to the President” title and report directly to Campbell. Through June 30, 2014, Schultz will work on a variety of projects, including advising on the director search and corporate partnerships as well as working with Toyota Motor Sales USA on its program at Shoreline. Longtime Toyota instructor Matt Spitzer recently left the college and Campbell said this the perfect time for the company and the college to review and recommit to the relationship.

Dean of Science Susan Hoyne (right) with U.S. Rep. Jim McDermott at the Professional Automotive Training Center.

Dean of Science Susan Hoyne (right) with U.S. Rep. Jim McDermott at the Professional Automotive Training Center.

During the search, Biesiedzinski will continue as interim director, but will now report directly to Acting Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs John Backes.  Biesiedzinski had previously reported to Dean of Science Susan Hoyne.

“Susan, like Bob, has done a terrific job but, ‘Dean of Science’ doesn’t do justice to the breadth and importance of programs she oversees,” Campbell said. He noted that Hoyne is responsible for biology, chemistry, mathematics, science (including physics, engineering and geology), biotechnology, manufacturing and clean energy technology.

“There is intense focus on STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) areas right now; the manufacturing program (CNC machinist) leads the state and is training critically needed employees for the aerospace industry and biotechnology is making great strides,” Campbell said. “Giving Susan more time to focus her knowledge and experience in those areas will also help students and the college.”

Campbell said he has been very impressed with the professionalism and dedication of everyone involved with the program and the changes.

“These are the people who previously stepped up when times were pretty tough,” Campbell said. “Now, we’re able address some things – which means more change – and they are once again ready to do what is needed.”

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