Tennessee student wins Gunk and SkillsUSA Serious Solutions Challenge

Winner Sean Murphy competed with five other finalists in the game-show style trivia contest, last week at SEMA.


GUNK brand, the industry leader in engine cleaning and degreasing products, through its partnership with SkillsUSA, a nonprofit partnership of industry, students, and teachers working to ensure America has a skilled workforce, has announced that Sean Murphy, a student at Tennessee Technology Center at Athens is the grand prize winner of  the 2011 GUNK Serious Solutions Challenge. 

The 2011 Gunk Serious Solutions Challenge took place at the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show in Las Vegas on November 2, where five finalists competed in the game-show style trivia contest. As a finalist and grand prize winner of the 2011 Gunk Serious Solutions Challenge, Murphy will receive a $3,500 scholarship and the grand prize of $5,000 to support the automotive department at Tennessee Technology Center at Athens.

“I can’t believe I won the Gunk Serious Solutions Challenge,” said Sean Murphy. “I studied really hard and wanted to win, but I didn’t know who I was up against or how hard the questions would be. I'm happy that I was prepared, and grateful that my instructor, Lewis Turpin, was able to help me study for the challenge.”

The five finalists were chosen based on their video entries, demonstrating their “auto-motivation,” or what drives them to pursue a career in the automotive industry, and each will receive a $3,500 scholarship toward their automotive technical education. The five finalists and their automotive teachers also received all-expense paid trips to the SEMA Show in Las Vegas to compete in the Gunk Serious Solutions Challenge.

The five finalists who competed in the Challenge were:

  • Robert Hollingsworth, Tennessee Technology Automotive Program (Nashville, TN)
  • Keith Rose, Brigham Young University Idaho (Rexburg, ID)
  • Sean Murphy, Tennessee Technology Center Athens (Athens, TN)
  • Jonah Castillo, Pueblo Community College (Pueblo, CO)
  • James Watson, Okefenokee Technical College (Waycross, GA)

“We were so proud and excited to bring these students and their instructors to SEMA to compete in the Gunk Serious Solutions Challenge,” said Marshal Livingstone, Gunk brand category manager at RSC Chemical Solutions. “They are all deserving students who worked hard to get here, but Sean really fought for the win. He’s a perfect example of a bright, young student who is willing to do whatever it takes to become a professional in the automotive industry.” 

Video entries, which the students submitted throughout the summer, were judged by representatives of RSC and SkillsUSA.  Video entries can be viewed on the Gunk Serious Solutions Challenge YouTube Channel: www.youtube.com/GunkSSC2011.

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