Two Southwestern Community College (SWCC) students— Jacob Kinyon, second-year automotive repair technology student, of Corning, and Jamie Young, second-year auto collision repair/refinish student, of Humeston—recently benefitted from the generosity of a former SWCC student.

Nile Cornelison, who attended SWCC (at that time known as Creston Junior College) from 1960-62, in conjunction with Advance Auto Parts and the CARQUEST Technical Institute, recently established the Automotive Career Starter Tool Set Award, through the college’s Education Foundation. Two of these awards, which will include the gifts of two automotive career starter tool sets and tool chests, valued at almost $4,000 each, will be given annually to deserving students.

Kinyon and Young were selected as this year’s recipients due to their success in the classroom, as well as in the lab. During 2017-18, Kinyon was named outstanding student of the year in automotive repair technology. Young is a two-time silver medalist in the automotive refinishing technology category at Iowa SkillsUSA competition.
The student recipients are both extremely appreciative of their awards.

“When I found out I was going to be awarded this tool set, it made my day,” stated Young. “Just a year ago I lost my mom and I’ve had a very hard time since then. This showed me someone still believes in me and proves what we can accomplish with just a little bit of help.”

Kinyon and Young were both impressed with the quality of the tool sets given through this scholarship opportunity.

“This tool set will be a great asset for me as I start my career,” stated Kinyon. “It made my day when I saw it because I know this is a good quality set that will last for a long time.”

Cornelison is well known throughout the United States in the automotive industry. At one time, Cornelison had his own business in Creston, selling automotive parts to car enthusiasts across the Midwest. He has been recognized a number of times by the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA). In 2014, he was elected to the SEMA Hall of Fame for his efforts to integrate vehicle manufacturers and their engine technical training programs into the SEMA Show, as well as other industry contributions.

“Nile has provided tremendous support for the automotive programs at Southwestern through his financial contributions, as well as through the learning opportunities he has provided for our students,” Jeff Magneson, SWCC auto collision repair/refinish instructor, stated. “We appreciate his involvement and interest in our programs.”

For the past few years, Cornelison has also assisted the SWCC automotive technology repair program and the auto collision repair/refinish program by taking students and instructors from the programs to visit Speedway Motor’s Museum of American Speed in Lincoln, NE, to discover how technology invented for racing found its way into production vehicles and visit with industry professionals.

PICTURED ABOVE: Dr. Barb Crittenden, SWCC president; Steve Schmalzried, SWCC automotive repair technology instructor; Jeff Sorensen, SWCC automotive repair technology instructor; Jacob Kinyon; Jamie Young; Jeff Magneson, SWCC collision repair/refinish instructor; and Cait Maitlen, SWCC Education Foundation executive director.