Polymers Program Changed His Life
Colin Doolittle, a 1996 Stow-Munroe Falls graduate, says, “I’ve been working in plastics since I was 16 years old—all based on my experiences in the Compact’s polymers program with teachers Ed Borsuk and Melanie Stewart.” The polymers program at Stow-Munroe Falls High School preceded today’s Engineering Academy, which includes a 9-week polymer rotation.
Now a professor of Engineering at Northwest State Community College in Archbold, OH, Colin heads the Plastics Engineering Technology associate’s degree program. He teaches five classes a semester. “I like helping people and molding lives,” he explains. “Our graduates can earn $45,000 a year with a two-year degree.”
Last fall, Colin and a team of six students built a customized, mechanical hand for a three-year-old boy from Toledo. In just a month, the students used a 3D printing machine and a model of a technical hand they found on the Internet to create three prototypes and built the hand. “It was one of the coolest things I have been involved in,” Colin explains, “and an amazing opportunity for the engineering students.”
Colin started his career pathway while in high school when he worked in a chemical lab at a small company in Hudson, which produced roof coatings and sealants. After graduation, he joined the Army Reserve and then started working at Ferro Corp. in Cleveland as a lab technician. After moving to Northwest Ohio, Colin was a Technical Engineer for Ferro troubleshooting with customers around the U.S. He earned his associate’s degree at Northwest State and his bachelor’s at Bowling Green State University.
According to Borsuk, “As a Polymer student, Colin was always willing to learn more. He wasn’t just satisfied with completing assignments but would inquire about the results and how the results related to products in the real world.”
“I would not be where I am today without the polymers program,” Colin explains. “That one decision changed the course of my life.”