2023-2024 Educator of the Year Winner – Joe Karpinski

April 4, 2024
Pictured: Andrew Palcan (Career Development Committee Chair), Joe Karpinski (recipient), and Robert Beck (MCAA President)

The student chapter members at Kent State University proudly nominated Joe Karpinski for the MCAA 2023-2024 Educator of the Year award based on his mentoring, mechanical industry knowledge, participation in chapter activities, and involvement in the creation of student-focused networking opportunities with local mechanical contractors through the MCA/MSCA of Cleveland, Inc. In addition to a trophy, he received a $5,000 award.

“After teaching in the Akron Public Schools for 30 years, in 2005, Joe was approached by Kent State University to create a construction management program. In 2007, Joe founded the CM Major with just 15 students. In 2024, the program has a major, minor, over 30 courses, and 260 students.

2007 also brought the start of the MCAA Chapter at Kent State with the GreatFutures Forum being held just an hour away in Cleveland. Joe brought 13 students to the conference and in the Spring of 2008, Kent State’s MCAA Student Chapter was officially charted. 

The Kent State chapter and program would not be what it is today without Joe Karpinski. After 17 years at Kent State, and a fulfilling career of 47 years teaching, Joe will be retiring at the conclusion of the Spring 2024 semester. On behalf of all the Kent State student members, we can confidently say that Joe has had a tremendous impact on who we are as students, chapter members, and early professionals.

We will miss him dearly and are eternally grateful for the scholarships, internships, jobs, support, and opportunities he has provided for us. Joe has been more than just an advisor to us. His mentorship will never be taken for granted and we are grateful to have been cared for by Joe as if we were a part of his family. We thank Joe for all his efforts over the years and we hope he has a lasting and enjoyable retirement. He has absolutely made his mark on Kent State and all of his students’ lives.

– Morgan Fischer – Kent State University Student

Morgan goes on to describe Joe Karpinski’s approach to several areas:


Joe makes announcements and explains in every class for many weeks about joining the MCAA chapter and encourages participation in the competition. His reach to all the students is a tremendous help. With teaching the internship course, he also assists in bridging communications between the student chapter and getting those students involved with mechanical contractors.

Employment Opportunities

Joe works with the Student Organization Board to organize two career fairs each year, hosting over 70 companies, including many from the MCA/MSCA of Cleveland chapter. This event is heavily encouraged for students to attend, although since some companies and students don’t attend, Joe is able to utilize his connections to follow-up and connect students for internships and full-time positions. Students always know they can come to Joe if they are unable to secure an internship, and he’s had great success in making connections over the years. 


Joe could not be a better role model for the Kent State students. He is positive and an open-handed advisor, allowing his students to explore their ideas, but ready to help when needed. Joe has always only been a text, phone call, or email away and offers endless support for the chapter’s endeavors. Joe is always there to help tackle new ideas and the first in line to help obtain the resources needed by the chapter. 

Congratulations to Kent State’s Joe Karpinski on being awarded the 2023-2024 Educator of the Year! MCAA wishes you a happy and well-deserved retirement!

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