Allison to be college’s WTCS ambassador

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Allison to be college’s WTCS ambassador

Andrew Allison

Andrew Allison

Andrew Allison

Andrew Allison

Katie Paape, News editor

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Andrew Allison, a student at Madison College, is a man of many talents. He spent seven years in the Navy, he holds a degree in mechanical engineering, he is a Phi Theta Kappa member, and he won first place on his honors project.

He was recently nominated to be Madison College’s WTCS State Ambassador, and somehow he finds time to tutor Madison College students in math, chemistry, and physics. Allison is an asset to Madison College, and his hope of inspiring other students is admirable.

Allison decided to pursue a degree in the Auto Technician program because it would allow him to compliment his background in mechanical engineering with learning the hands-on craft of mechanics.

“As a mechanical engineer, I could calculate the rate at which your brakes would dissipate heat, but you wouldn’t necessarily trust me to fix your car.” Equipped with both theoretical and practical skills, Allison can understand the causation behind a problem and can apply his knowledge directly towards a solution.

“I’ve got a good technical science background, but I don’t have an applied know-how of what to do If you break a rusty bolt. Now I’ve gained those skills, and now I can look at a problem in a car and know how to fix it,” said Allison.

In addition to his successful college career, Allison uses his talents creatively in his Honors projects. He will be presenting his project that won first place last year at UW Stout, and this semester, he has been hard at work on his new project, which involves developing a module to control the application of nitrous for increasing engine power while minimizing the risk of damaging the engine.

“There’s a button that puts a higher concentration of oxygen into your engine for more power, essentially,” notes Allison. “If you have flames coming out of your tailpipe, that’s generally bad, though it looks good for the movies.”

He’s excited about this Honors project, and he hopes it will encourage more students to participate in the future. In addition to earning scholarships, Allison gained funding for racing applications that he is using to pay for nitrous and nitrous application parts.

Allison has a strong knowledge of science and mechanics, but his talents don’t stop there. Allison is an active member of Phi Theta Kappa, and he enjoys writing and keeping up with his English and public speaking skills. “I like being diversified in my talents,” he notes. His hard work and diversification paid off when he won a Phi Theta Kappa scholarship from his proficient writing abilities in the form of essays.

Allison describes his experience in Phi Theta Kappa as a different form of leadership than what he was used to in the military. As a PTK leader, Allison gives presentations and practices public speaking in a much more flexible and relaxed environment. “I’m actually giving a presentation. I’m not just giving orders for a navigation of a ship,” he says. “It’s not me giving an order to a room and having someone report something back to me. I’m talking about something I’m passionate about. I can say, hey, I’m excited about my honors project I did last semester.”

Though his speaking skills are on par now, public speaking didn’t always come easily to him when he was younger. “I didn’t have the ability to speak or be as confident as I am now, and that was something that was developed during my time in the military.”

Allison’s speaking ability is what got him nominated to be a WTCS State Ambassador for Madison College. Each technical school in the 16 Wisconsin districts have a representative ambassador who attends and speaks at a state conference in Wisconsin Dells to advocate for technical education.

After completing his degree at Madison College, he wants to use his background in mechanical engineering and his new auto mechanic skills to solve problems.

“I want to either work on an engine rebuilding and transmission overhauling or installing accessories in cars. I like working with the electrical mindset,” he said. He hopes to continue to think and solve problems in different environments.

“I just want to keep learning. That’s why I came here.”

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