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NRTC’s Joshua Pepple Named EPCE Learner of the Year

Randy Sukow

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Joshua Pepple

NRTC is proud that Josh Pepple, who recently joined as director of Smart Grid Technology Planning, has been named the Learner of the Year by the Energy Providers Coalition for Education (EPCE). Pepple, pictured participating in a session at NRECA’s TechAdvantage conference in March, is the first recipient of the award, which EPCE says it will present annually. EPCE presented the award during its Virtual Semi-Annual Coalition Meeting (PDF) on April 5.

“You were selected as the recipient by the EPCE Governance Committee Members because of your personal commitment to learning as evidenced by your hard work and resolve to reach your goals,” said EPCE Director Angie Lucas in a letter to Pepple. “You are also a shining example of characteristics other adult learners can model to be successful: direction, commitment, tenacity, willingness to ask for help when needed and a positive attitude and outlook.”

EPCE, founded in 2000, is an alliance of industry organizations (including NRECA), utilities and educational organizations. It offers accredited online courses to train students for careers at electric utilities. Among the schools participating in the program are Clemson University in South Carolina, Bismarck State College in North Dakota, and Excelsior College, Albany, NY. Pepple completed his undergraduate degree in 2017 and an MBA in 2020, both from Excelsior College.

Excelsior provided a biography of Pepple, sharing his outstanding accomplishments. He served tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan with the Illinois Air National Guard. Soon after his discharge in 2008, he joined Jasper County REMC in Indiana as a groundman. Doctors diagnosed him with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma the following year. “However, that didn’t stop Josh.  He continued through his Journeyman training program while undergoing cancer treatments, including radiation and two stem cell transplants,” Excelsior said.

Pepple chose to continue his education following Journeyman Lineman training and began studying with Excelsior College/EPCE in 2015. “Excelsior College is extremely veteran-friendly and does a phenomenal job guiding you through the process and setting you up for success. I can’t speak highly enough of them,” Pepple said.

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