Ferris professor receives top honor

Professor scores high on national ASE exam

Associate professor Ben Upham will be among over 30 technicians honored at the Cottonwoods Resort in Scottsdale, Az.

Upham has been recently named the National Institute for Automotive Services Excellence/ National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation Instructor of the Year.

Upham said he was honored to learn he was named the ASE/NATEF instructor of the year.

“After I was informed of the award, I was surprised and unbelieving at first,” said Upham.

Educated at Ferris State, Upham earned an associate degree in automotive technology in 1988, as well as a bachelor’s degree in technical education in 1992 and a master’s degree in career and technical education in 2004.

“I chose to go into education to satisfy my need to know how things work,” said Upham. “As a technician repairing vehicles, I always found myself disassembling failed parts to figure out how they worked and why they failed.”

Director of the School of Automotive and Heavy Equipment Greg Key said professor Upham’s dedication to learning continues to benefit the students in Ferris’ automotive programs.

“Mr. Upham scored the highest in the nation on all eight ASE national exams,” said Key. “This proves his dedication to the program area, as well as the university.”

Key said Upham’s technical and professional developments have also led to his promotion to associate professor.

“As to his unique approach, Mr. Upham brings good old-fashioned hard work, dedication and persistence which are starting to bring dividends which are well deserved,” said Key.

Upham said an important part of his success is also based on the hard work of his colleagues.

“I really owe a lot of my colleagues because without all the hard work that they put into getting our program accredited by ASE/NATEF, this award would not have been possible,” said Upham. “I feel this is as much an award for our program as it is for me individually.”

NATEF is a non-profit organization that evaluates technician training programs against standards developed by the automotive industry and to the recommendation of qualifying programs for certification by ASE.

“Be willing to invest a lot of personal time and energy because it will pay off in the long run,” said Upham.

The honorary dinner will take place Nov. 17. n