MCTC prof has lifelong commitment to public service
February 5, 2020
By KEITH KAPPES
Robert G. (Rob) Hamm is a man who believes strongly in public service and his life’s journey reflects that sense of responsibility to others.
In addition to being a professor and program coordinator of HVAC technology at the Rowan Campus of Maysville Community and Technical College, the 57-year-old educator also serves in county government as an elected magistrate for District 4 of Rowan Fiscal Court.
As a retired lieutenant colonel with 27 years of military service, he is proud of his year-long tour of duty in Afghanistan as a member of the Kentucky Army National Guard deployed with the U. S. Army.
Hamm was injured in a vehicle rollover accident in Afghanistan but recovered to finish his tour with an agribusiness team trying to help rebuild the Afghan rural economy.
For his service overseas, he received the Bronze Star for meritorious service and the Combat Action Badge for being under enemy fire on several occasions.
Public service is a tradition in the Hamm family. His father, John (Pete) Hamm, is an Air Force retiree who later managed the Rowan County Ambulance Service for 20 years. He also served several terms on the county school board.
“Growing up in a military family obviously influenced my decision to seek an ROTC commission at Morehead State University,” the younger Hamm recalled. “Serving in the National Guard allowed me to also have a civilian career which eventually led me to teaching at the college level.”
He had classes in industrial arts in high school and earned a bachelor’s degree in industrial technology from MSU. From starting work in construction as a plumber’s helper, he later advanced to senior project manager and estimator, as well as becoming a journeyman plumber.
A downturn in construction put him back into the job market in 2004 when he was recruited to teach HVAC courses at MCTC’s Maysville campus by Jamie Brown, former director of Rowan Technical College, now part of MCTC.
His military obligations kept him away from teaching for a few years but he returned in 2012 to resume his classroom career, this time at the Rowan Campus.
“Community and technical colleges like MCTC are of great value to families and employers because we prepare most of our students to go to work immediately after finishing their course of study,” Hamm said. “The hands-on, high-tech learning environment at a very reasonable cost gets them ready for the real world.”
He says his interest in serving as a magistrate in county government grew out of his desire to see local governments and public agencies be more effective and efficient in using tax monies. He was elected to a four-year term in 2018.
“We already are seeing the benefits of more cooperation with each other,” Hamm stated. “I campaigned door-to-door and I try to keep in touch with the people in my district. I know they expect those of us in office to get the most out of what we spend on their behalf.”
Whether as a soldier, a county official or a college professor, Rob Hamm is a good example of the personal satisfaction that comes from public service.
“I am blessed to have opportunities each day to make a difference in the lives of others,” he said.
To find out how MCTC faculty like Rob Hamm can help you change your life, go online to maysville.kctcs.edu