SMA Students of the Month
Doug Johnson, SMA President, Marion Manufacturing; TJ Dignan, NVCC AMTC Student; Dan Damiata, NVCC AMTC Student; John Zoldy, SMA Vice President, HDB, Inc.; Anne Strobel, SMA Secretary/Treasurer, Marjan, Inc.
On Monday, March 10, the Smaller Manufacturer’s Association (SMA) honored two Naugatuck Valley Community College Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center (AMTC) students, TJ Dignan and Daniel Damiata, as SMA’s March Students of the Month. Both students entered the AMTC in fall 2013 and are expected to graduate this May with Level II Advanced Manufacturing certificates, which means they have completed all of the education necessary for entry into the workforce.
For TJ, the path to his current success has been paved by focus, hard work and dedication to his schooling. In high school, TJ ranked in the 95th percentile among all high school students across the country and graduated with Honors. Last semester at NVCC, he made the Dean’s list with a GPA of 3.75 and was one of the top ten students in the program.
According to Deirdre Moutinho, student recruitment and retention specialist, TJ is a driven individual who is always willing to take on new projects and new challenges, is interested in figuring out the processes and is eager to get the job done correctly.
“His peers look to him for assistance because he is so committed to succeeding,” she says.
While he is completing his coursework, TJ will intern at Ramdy Corporation in Oakville, where he hopes to secure full-time employment upon graduating. Eventually TJ plans to go back to school to earn a degree in mechanical engineering and CAD design.
“He’s not going to settle for just ‘okay,’ says TJ’s instructor, Anthony DiFederico. “When I first met him, I could see he was very well disciplined and determined. He shows tremendous potential to be running the show, not just playing in it, because he demonstrates leadership. He always wants to do better, so he’s going to continue trying, and that is going to make him a better person every day.”
NVCC’s second honoree, Daniel, is a Bristol Technical High School graduate who came to NVCC on a mission to enroll in Basic Manufacturing Level I in fall 2013. When he place into the requisite math and English, however, he found himself faced himself with a summer of studying.
Because of his determination, Daniel raised his placement test score and landed a spot in the fall manufacturing cohort. In further proof that he belonged there, he also made the Dean’s List with a 3.8 GPA. Like TJ, he was a top ten student in the program, which qualified him to take a special winter intercession course for free and to visit the Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology.
According to Moutinho, Daniel has exemplary attendance and his attention to detail has produced high-quality project work. "Daniel has a great attitude, a good skill set and he communicates well,” added his instructor, Luis Santos. “Daniel will be an asset to the company that employs him.”
Daniel will intern this semester at T.E.T. Manufacturing in Middlefield and is on track to graduate with Honors this May. His immediate goal is to land a full-time job and while continuing at NVCC to pursue an associate degree.