Pat Flynn

Jim Current Year: 

2007

Over the past eight years, Pat Flynn's efforts to encourage utility workers to earn their degrees have helped nearly 100 Southeast Kansas students earn more education than they probably ever thought they would.

Because of that work, Flynn, a safety instructor in Pittsburg State University's College of Technology, has been awarded a statewide honor. 

Fort Scott Community College recently presented Flynn with the James L. Current Award for Professional Excellence at the Kansas Department of Health and Environment’s Annual School at the University of Kansas in Lawrence. The award, which honors the life and work of James Current, the first training officer of the KDHE, recognizes leaders who have provided or promoted education to those who work for Kansas utilities in water and wastewater. 

Flynn has been an integral part of the effort to get students enrolled in the two-year Associate of Applied Science in Environmental Technology program at Fort Scott Community College. The program prepares students to finish their bachelor's degrees in technology management at PSU. So far, about 70 students have completed their degrees at FSCC, and several are enrolled to complete their four-year degrees. Flynn says the program helps these workers primarily improve their supervisory skills. 

Once a student of Current's, Flynn said their friendship has made the award all the more special. 

"He was around back in the days when there was zero education for a utilities profession, and I learned from him and got to know the quality of individual he was," he said. "To be associated with his name, I couldn't be any prouder."