Erik and Amy Ramsay were just friends when both attended school together at Snowflake High School. But both got better acquainted while attending NPC where friendship blossomed into love and, eventually, into marriage.
Amy Ramsay (née Bushman) had made a deal with her parents while in junior high: If they allowed her to skip the 8th grade, when it came time for college she would attend NPC.
“As it turned out,” says Amy, “Their reasoning that NPC was close to home and affordable was absolutely right. And the financial aid benefits were a huge incentive.” She graduated high school and enrolled in NPC in the spring of 2004, at the age of 16.
Erik, three years older than Amy, and a Snowflake High School graduate in 2002, took a similar path, but for a different reason. Because he knew he was going to the Philippines on a mission for his church the following year, he wanted to stay close to home until then.
Both Erik and Amy grew close as each worked a variety of jobs at the college’s Silver Creek Campus to supplement the scholarships each had been awarded. (Erik was the recipient of a President’s Scholar Scholarship and a performing arts scholarship; Amy had a performing arts scholarship.)
Erik left NPC in 2003 to complete his two-year mission, returning to the college in 2005. He and Amy married in 2006 and Amy also graduated in December. Erik went on to graduate in spring of 2007. Both students earned Associate of Arts (AA) degrees, in addition to both being “distinguished graduates.” During their years at NPC, both Erik and Amy were inducted into Phi Theta Kappa, the international honor society for two-year colleges. Erik, a talented artist, worked as an editor for the college’s student fine arts and literary magazine, Northern Flight. Amy was a member of the Northland Master Chorale and appeared in a number of NPC play productions, including Radium Girls. Erik also had roles in several NPC productions.
Amy and Erik both were eager to cite NPC instructors who helped and encouraged them while at NPC. These include: “Dr. Mike” (Mike Solomonson), speech & theatre; Cynthia Hutton, biology; Barry Richins, Spanish; Andrew Hazzard, geography, history and anthropology; and Barbara Hockabout, English). “They are all amazing teachers and wonderful people,” say the couple.
Following NPC, the Ramsays headed for BYU-Hawaii, where both earned bachelor’s degrees in 2009. Erik graduated Summa Cum Laude with a B.A. in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESOL) and was a member of Phi Kappa Phi, the oldest and largest collegiate honor society. Amy graduated Magna Cum Laude with a B.A. in History, was also a member of Phi Kappa Phi, and Phi Alpha Theta, the History Honor Society.
Erik joined the Air Force with a six-year enlistment obligation. They are now stationed in California, where he is attending the Defense Language Institute to learn Arabic and become a cryptologic linguist.
Both Erik and Amy are active in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, teaching primary classes on Sundays and Amy does compassionate service for the Church’s Relief Society. She is also enjoying homemaking and being Mom to their 3-year old daughter, Avery. “I know I’m blessed to be able to have this role in my life right now. But in the future I hope to become a teacher. I’ve had some wonderful teachers in my life and I’d like to pass on what I’ve learned from their examples.”
Erik has several options to choose from for the future: continue his military career or re-enter civilian life and also become an educator. In any event this outstanding couple represent a bright future, not only for themselves, but also for the country and communities in which they live.
As Outstanding NPC Alumni, the Ramsays received a plaque, tuition gift certificate and NPC merchandise. The Outstanding Alumnus Award honors former NPC students who support life-long learning through service to their communities.
The Outstanding Alumnus Award is normally presented during the regular monthly meeting of the Navajo County Community College District Governing Board, which had canceled its December meeting. The award was presented to the Ramsays during a recent visit with family during the holidays.
To view articles about previous award recipients, visit www.npc.edu/alumni-award-recipients