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Pittman’s First Job Cut Path to Career of Service to Students

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Jeff PittmanAt the age of 12, Jeff L. Pittman, Ph.D., began mowing yards in his hometown of Bloomfield, Ind. By summer’s end, he was cutting at least 20 yards each week using his father’s 20-inch push mower. 

Looking back on his first job, Pittman, now chancellor of St. Louis Community College, said the experience had a positive impact on his career. 

“While mowing yards kept me busy and it gave me money to boot, it also taught me the importance of setting goals and working hard to achieve them,” he said. “It was rewarding to see the results of my efforts, and it fueled my desire to pursue a career where I could help others.” 

That desire drew him to higher education, where he spent 27 years as a faculty member and academic leader at Ivy Tech Community College. Since he joined STLCC as chancellor in 2015, Pittman has focused his energy on creating pathways for students that lead to high wage jobs. 

“I want STLCC to be seen as a leader and the solution to meeting the workforce needs of the St. Louis region,” he said. “I also want STLCC to be a student's first choice for their higher education journey. We offer high quality and affordable educational experiences that prepare individuals for rewarding careers and further education. I truly believe students are missing a great opportunity if they don’t enroll at STLCC.” 

While the start of a new academic year is always exciting, this fall is sure to be like no other. Pittman understands this, and he offered the following advice to students navigating these challenging times. 

“Strive to persist in all things and be an ambassador who encourages the people around you,” he said. “We’re all in this together, although at a distance. While things are difficult right now, don’t lose sight of your goals. Push yourself to finish your degree or certificate. Tap into STLCC’s online learning technologies because they are here to help you. And most importantly, take care of yourself and your family.” 

When he’s not working, Pittman enjoys being outdoors, fishing, golfing and having fun with his family. He has been married to Shelly for 24 years. Together, they have four children, four grandchildren and two dogs. Their youngest daughter, a high school student, is enrolled in STLCC’s Early College program.

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