Recently Madison Area Technical College awarded the Exemplary Learner of Human and Protective Services for demonstrating the values of excellence, respect and integrity at Madison College. The recipient of the 2014 award is Fitchburg Firefighter/Intern Kurt Kleven.
Firefighter Kleven is in his second year of his internship with the Fitchburg Fire Department. He attends school during the day while at night and on the weekends he works for the fire department as part of the fill-in program coving shifts as part of the on-duty crews. On average, Firefighter Kleven works 50 hours a week in addition to attending class.
Firefighter Kleven was nominated by Instructor John Spohn.
The nomination came as a complete surprise to Kleven. “I asked if he [Spohn] was serious. I didn’t think that I did anything special. I just did what any other student would do.”
To receive the award, a student must first be nominated by an instructor. The nomination is then reviewed by each program head, and the Deans of the school. The Deans of the respective schools gather and decide as a group who is to receive the award. There is one Exemplary Learner award for each of the 6 schools within Madison College.
Eligibility for the award also includes the following: 1. enrollment in the corresponding Learner Success Schools at Madison College during the current academic year (fall & / or spring semester) and 2. Minimum, cumulative grade point average of 3.0. Kleven was selected to receive this award over all other students enrolled in respective courses related to law enforcement, fire service, emergency medical service, nursing, and education.
Kleven says he didn’t know if he was going to receive the award until his name was called at the banquet and award night. When his name was called, he says, “I was shocked and excited.” He also recalled walking into Madison College the first time and seeing the wall of Exemplary Learners. “I saw the wall and thought about how cool it would be to win that award and be on that wall.”
According to Kleven and others in the program, it is rare that someone from the Fire Protection Technician program receives this award. For that reason, it means even more to him.
When asked about the being part of the fire service, he says “I love doing it. I love being part of the Fire Department.”