News & Events


UAA Automotive Students Help Local Motorists Get Vehicles Winter Ready

The automotive industry promotes Fall Car Care Month in October as a way to remind motorists to prepare their vehicles for the upcoming winter driving season. In response, the UAA Auto-Diesel SkillsUSA Chapter hosted a free and comprehensive vehicle inspection event for the UAA campus community and general public.
The chapter’s members, students enrolled in the Community & Technical College's (CTC) Transportation & Power Division, provided each automobile owner with a comprehensive safety inspection of all the vehicle’s systems. Afterward, customers received a complete work order and copy of the inspection form with an explanation of maintenance recommendations specific to their vehicle.

“Service learning is an excellent way to engage students in community service and provides an opportunity to put their new skills into practice,” said Dennis Massingham, Assistant Professor of Automotive & Diesel Technology and chapter advisor.

Students diagnosed a bad battery for one driver, giving her time to replace it before it failed completely. They also conducted a safety inspection that exposed a leaking rear axle seal on a Ford Expedition. The leak was dripping lubricant on a brake assembly, seriously compromising its performance. Students advised the customer about the leak and recommended a repair.

“The event was a huge success and gave us an opportunity to utilize our automotive skills in a way that helped the community, and it was fun,” said chapter delegate Derek Cottle. “The chapter plans to make this an annual community service event.”

The event was made possible by industry partner EZ-Rent Inc. of Big Lake, Alaska. The company donated all of the supplies including shop towels, windshield reservoir fluid, lubricants, and tools. David Bosch, president of EZ-Rent, is a long-time supporter of Alaska SkillsUSA.

About SkillsUSA
SkillsUSA is a national partnership of students, teachers and industry, working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce. SkillsUSA chapters help secondary and postsecondary students who are preparing for careers in technical, skilled and service occupations excel. Nationwide, SkillsUSA serves more than 300,000 students and instructors. Alaska SkillsUSA is growing with 12 active secondary chapters across the state and one postsecondary chapter located at the University of Alaska Anchorage.  


UAA Automotive Instructor Awarded Technical Instructor of the Year by IAGMASEP

Darrin Marshall Awarded Technical Instructor of the Year by IAGMASEPUniversity of Alaska Anchorage Automotive Technology Instructor Darrin Marshall has been recognized by the International Association of General Motors Automotive Service Educational Program (IAGMASEP) schools as the association's Technical Instructor of the Year. The award was presented by Josh Gilbert, IAGMASEP vice-president for the Southeast Region, at the annual conference in Detroit on Oct. 24, 2012.

Mr. Marshall is a graduate of the Automotive Technology Associate of Applied Science and Bachelor of Science in Technology Programs at UAA's Community & Technical College (CTC). He is also recognized by General Motors as a "World Class Technician." He holds National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) master certification, which requires passing a battery of eight tests and recertification every five years.Marshall's commitment to training and teaching excellence was recognized by his colleagues in the IAGMASEP Western Region who nominated him for the award earlier this year. In addition to his achievements in teaching and professional development, Marshall has served on the association's curriculum committee for several years and has been nominated to serve as the committee's chair for the next year.

"It is a great honor, considering over 60 college and university programs are eligible for the award," stated IAGMASEP President Linda Reinke. Marshall was nominated by Scott Main, GM ASEP instructor at Shoreline Community College near Seattle, Washington; Marty Kamimoto, GM ASEP at Fresno City College in Fresno, California; and Chris Branton, GM ASEP Instructor at Cayamaca Community College in El Cajon, California. 

"UAA is honored to have such a talented and respected individual training Alaska's future technicians," said Kelly Smith, director of CTC's Division of Transportation and Power. "We appreciate the nominations and are proud to have Darrin Marshall as our GM ASEP instructor."