Author Archives: Nathan Hardin

Designing the future of Durham Tech

Kevin G. Montgomery (left) and Carmen Williams (right)

Kevin G. Montgomery peered down at a miniature model of the Durham Tech main campus and pointed to a number of places where future buildings and a plaza are slated to go.

Montgomery, the President and Chief Operating Officer at O’Brien Atkins Associates, has been involved in nearly 30 years of renovation and reinvigoration projects for Durham Tech. His architecture firm has redesigned several buildings on the main campus off Lawson Street and in recent years has taken on the master strategic plans for future capital growth on all three Durham Tech campuses.

Following a 2016 voter-approved county bond, O’Brien Atkins was awarded a bid for the renovation of the George W. Newton Industrial & Engineering Technologies Center and the creation of a new Applied Heath Technologies building between Cooper and Lawson streets.

The long-term vision and layout for projected growth are part of Durham Tech President Bill Ingram’s dream for the future of the College. The expansions are geared toward high-demand industries and essential programs for coming years.

That’s a key difference for the future, Montgomery said.

“We’re looking to create a campus,” he said, “not just an individual collection of buildings. We’re also looking to build with purpose, specifically for the needs, instead of adapting existing buildings to fit programs. That’s a different attitude.”

Along with more space, President Ingram is looking to outfit buildings with more collaborative working environments and cutting edge technology to make sure Durham Tech students are industry ready.

“Durham and Orange counties are growing and we’re positioning Durham Tech to be not just a part of that growth – but a leader in it,” Ingram said. “Our students and graduates are the foundation of our communities and by forging great futures for them, we’re only bettering the future for ourselves.”

Montgomery, who first stepped on the Lawson Street campus for an evening computer class in the early 1990s, said the College has changed significantly over the years.

In addition to providing continuing education courses and personal interest classes, Durham Tech offers a host of opportunities for students looking for university transfer opportunities, health care careers, or industrial trade jobs.

Inside an O’Brien Atkins boardroom on a July Monday, Montgomery invites in one of his new employees, Durham Tech Architectural Technology graduate Carmen Williams.

“If all graduates are like Carmen, then employers in the area can expected talented, dedicated Durham Tech students who want to learn and grow,” he said.

The long relationship with Durham Tech has become personal over his three decades in Durham.

As a former student, a former Durham Tech Foundation board member, and a long-time advocate of Durham, he pays special attention to the impact O’Brien Atkins has on future growth at Durham Tech.

“The faculty and staff at Durham Tech care for the students. They’re committed to education. They are people I see every day,” Montgomery said. “I believe in this community. I believe in Durham Tech.”

Durham Tech receives $400,000 grant for Advanced Manufacturing program

The Golden LEAF Foundation recently awarded Durham Technical Community College $400,000 to expand the College’s Advanced Manufacturing career pathway.

The grant will build upon existing curriculum to develop a full Advanced Manufacturing pathway. This expansion will include industry-recognized credentials and allow students to earn both two- and four-year degrees. Students will be able to start with the Fundamentals of Manufacturing program, which will offer them the opportunity to earn six industry-recognized credentials within the FESTO 4.0 industry certifications.

“Local industry has indicated a high demand for workers with advanced manufacturing skills for existing and future good-paying jobs in a former tobacco manufacturing community,” said Dan Gerlach, Golden LEAF President. “Golden LEAF is pleased to support the expansion of the private sector by growing the talent, knowledge and skill of our workforce.”

The expansion of the Advanced Manufacturing pathway at Durham Tech will place workers on the path to training, learning, and earning the certifications they need to apply for open, regional job opportunities and, in turn, begin their career paths towards high-demand occupations in Durham and Orange counties.

It also leverages partnerships with several local agencies including: Merck, Bell and Howell, Purdue Pharma, AW, Biogen, KBI, and Morinaga America, Inc.

Program participants may enter one of six possible short-term credential courses. By following the pathway participants may gain certification and continue on to higher levels of education and training or exit into skilled, high-demand occupations in advance manufacturing.

“This grant will allow us to expand training and provide students a more comprehensive understanding of, and experience with, automated manufacturing processes and procedures,” said Dr. Peter Wooldridge, Vice President of Corporate and Continuing Education at Durham Tech. “This project will create a necessary and unique training center to meet regional employment needs while providing students with in-demand skills and education.”

The college applied through Golden LEAF’s Community-Based Grantsmaking Initiative, a regional competitive grant program that has now reached every region in the state.

The Golden LEAF Foundation is a nonprofit organization established in 1999 to receive a portion of North Carolina’s funding received from the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement with cigarette manufacturers. For almost 20 years, Golden LEAF has worked to increase economic opportunity in North Carolina’s rural and tobacco-dependent communities through leadership in grantsmaking, collaboration, innovation, and stewardship as an independent and perpetual foundation.

The Foundation has provided lasting impact by helping create more than 63,000 jobs, incent half a billion dollars in new annual payroll and train or retrain 68,000 workers trained for higher wages. The Foundation has awarded 1,581 grants worth over $813 million since its inception.

To learn more about the Golden LEAF Foundation, visit or call 888.684.8404.

For more information about Durham Technical Community College and the programs available, visit The Durham Tech Foundation is a charitable organization that promotes the current and long-term success of Durham Tech by inspiring charitable investment in its students, faculty, and staff.

Dr. Ingram recognized for community impact

Dr. Bill Ingram stands with Elon University President Leo Lambert at the award presentation at North Carolina A&T State University on Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2017.

Dr. Bill Ingram stands with Elon University President Leo Lambert at the award presentation at North Carolina A&T State University on Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2017.

Durham Technical Community College President William Ingram was recognized during an award ceremony Wednesday for his outstanding community impact and passion for student engagement.

The 2017 Leo M. Lambert Engaged Leader Award was presented to Ingram during a North Carolina Campus Compact (NCCC) Presidents Forum award ceremony at North Carolina A&T State University. Ingram become the first community college president to receive the award since its inception in 2012.

More than 35 college presidents and chancellors attended the ceremony, which honored the more than 30 years Ingram has served Durham Tech and the Durham community. The award recipient was nominated and selected by fellow presidents and chancellors whose institutions are members of the Campus Compact.

“Dr. Ingram has used his experience to support those who need it the most,” Dr. Nido Qubein, president of High Point University and executive board chair of NCCC, told the audience during the award presentation Wednesday.

Ingram first came to Durham Tech in 1983 as director of the Continuing Education department, and later succeeded in a variety of administrative posts, including as the college’s chief instructional officer. In 2008, Ingram became the college’s fourth president where he has worked to support student success and strengthen community connections. To celebrate the college’s 50th anniversary in 2011, Ingram declared a “Year of Service,” which tripled student volunteerism at the college and exponentially grew service-learning course offerings.

In 2011, Ingram worked with local officials to pass a quarter-cent increase in the county sales tax, with proceeds going to improve public education in Durham. His efforts resulted in Durham Tech receiving $1 million annually, which is allocated for the college’s ConnectFunds, a need-based financial aid program that assists recent graduates of Durham Public Schools and county residents, including those enrolled in Durham Tech’s Adult High School Diploma program. ConnectFunds have helped hundreds of residents meet their education and career goals.

In 2015, Ingram created the Center for College and Community Service to unite service learning, co-curricular service and volunteerism, and the Campus Harvest Food Pantry. The pantry distributed more than 30,000 pounds of food to 500 students in 2016 alone. The Center also hosts the Retired Senior Volunteer Program of Durham, which places community members aged 55 and up at non-profit agencies to help meet critical community needs.

Beyond Durham Tech, Ingram serves on the boards of directors for the Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce, the Durham Convention and Visitors Bureau, and Made in Durham, a cross-sector community partnership that aims to create educational and job opportunities for disconnected youth. He is past president of the Durham Rotary Club, a former trustee of the Durham County Public Library, and former chair of the Durham Public Education Network.

President Ingram is a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University and holds master’s and doctorate degrees from North Carolina State University. He is a graduate of Leadership Durham, Leadership Triangle, Leadership Chapel Hill-Carrboro, and the Advanced Future Leaders Institute of the American Association of Community Colleges.

The 2016 Durham Tech Holiday Party

The college hosted its 2016 Holiday Party on Tuesday, Dec. 13, with a delightful evening at The Cotton Room at Golden Belt. With scrumptious hors d’oeuvres, a festive atmosphere, and some impressive moves on the dance floor, the evening also celebrated the college’s talented faculty, staff, and administration. Here are some of the wonderful views from the night:

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Durham Tech builds partnerships at National Night Out

Durham Tech Campus Police and Public Safety officers were all smiles at National Night Out on Wednesday.

The college was well-represented with several members of the department, as well as representatives from the Center for College and Community Service, College and Career Readiness, and Student Development and Support. National Night Out is an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make neighborhoods safer.



Durham had at least three National Night Out sites on Wednesday, one of which was McDougald Terrace. Streets in the area were filled with residents, officers, patrol and emergency vehicles, and the smell of sizzling burgers.

Durham Tech Police Chief Dawn Tevepaugh said the community asked that a National Night Out event be held at McDougald Terrace as a way to deter crime and build relationships between officers and community members.

Durham Tech Police Chief Dawn Tevepaugh

Durham Tech Police Chief Dawn Tevepaugh


“For us, it’s important because we have students who live in this community and who drive through this community,” Tevepaugh said. “The community asked us to come here this year and we wanted to show them our support and our unity.”

Durham Tech students brave heat for community service

Durham Tech’s Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) students are always on the move with service-learning projects and supporting community organizations in need. They didn’t let the nearly 100 degree temperatures slow them down on Thursday, July 7, as the students worked to build raised garden beds for the residents of Charles House-Winmore.

Students installed two raised garden beds, one of which is wheelchair-accessible. The OTA students raised more than $600 through fundraising activities, of which approximately $200 was used for the bed installation project. The ground was leveled with topsoil and finished with mulch, and the beds were strategically placed and loaded with a topsoil and compost blend donated by Mellott Construction Company in Chapel Hill.

Before 2

The beds were then carefully lined with squash, green and jalapeño peppers, cucumber plants, and various herbs that were donated by Garden Supply Company in Cary. Two large pots were filled with tomato plants. Charles House staff and residents will tend the plants and enjoy the vegetables they harvest.

Kristine Nguyen, OTA student service learning project chairperson, said the garden beds have already yielded enjoyment, connecting student volunteers and residents of the home.

“We are really proud of the way the project turned out and pleased that our contributions to Charles House-Winmore are long-lasting and will be enjoyed for years to come by the residents,” Nguyen said.

After picture

The students will host an ice cream social on July 16th for the residents and their families and the staff of Charles House-Winmore to dedicate the new raised garden beds, along with an activity binder and associated activities and games the OTA students created and selected for the residents. The project is designed to give older residents living at Charles House-Winmore engaging and therapeutic activities.

The Charles House Association operates the Charles House Center for Eldercare, providing quality, personalized care to elders and respite for their caregiving families. Six residents inhabit the Charles House-Winmore home, which opened in September 2014 in northwestern Chapel Hill. According to the organization’s website, the program aims to provide “high levels of social and physical engagement for residents.” Durham Tech is committed to supporting great initiatives that give back to the community.

For more information, contact Communications and Social Media Manager Nathan Hardin at 919-536-7246, ext. 5206 or

Durham Tech student awarded William L. Rodgers Educational Scholarship

A Durham Technical Community College student was awarded the North Carolina Dental Laboratory Association – William L. Rodgers Educational Scholarship in May.

Krystal Spivey, a student in the Dental Laboratory Technology program at Durham Tech, said the scholarship will allow her to focus on her studies without the financial worries.

“I’ve always been a hard worker and I want to help prepare for my future. This scholarship really helps me financially. I don’t have to worry as much and I can focus on my studies and stay late after class if I need to.”

The NCDLA – William L. Rodgers Educational Scholarship was named in honor of Bill Rodgers who served as the director of the Dental Laboratory Technology program at Durham Tech for more than 26 years. The scholarship is awarded annually to a rising second-year student enrolled in the Dental Laboratory Technology program at Durham Technical Community College.

Spivey has always had an eye on the medical field, she said, and has developed passion for dental lab work since entering the program last year.

“I really like it. It’s interesting and there is always something in this career field that you can learn more about.”

Three Durham Tech students also were recently awarded North Carolina Dental Laboratory Association Excellence Awards.

Those recipients included Emily Holt, Liyu An, and Noah Urlaub. All three were students in the Dental Laboratory Technology program and graduated in May.

Congratulations to Erin Popov, who passed her Certified Dental Technician exam in Complete Dentures this spring! Erin, the clinical coordinator and instructor of Dental Laboratory Technology, also was one of the recipients of the Foundation for Dental Laboratory Technology Spring Pillar Scholarship.

Congrats to our LPN-ADN graduates!

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Congrats to our Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) to Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) graduates who celebrated their accomplishments during a ceremony on May 12.

The following students were honored:

Karen Amrine

Shakieda Andrews

Denise Barnes

Sharon Battle

Jessica Blackemore

Amanda Cockerham

Chervae Garner

Deniqua Grant

Keisha Greene

Kendra Lawrence

Juanita McCargo

Yasheka McNeil

Tina Mills

Meena Naz

Le’nisha Parker

Ayesha Peppers

Caitlin Smith

Holly Smith

Michele Stretz

Naiomi Tweneboa-Kodua

J’Mi Walker

Charselle Wall

Fabain Williams

Brandi Wilson

Kimberly Young

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Riverside senior completes Eagle Scout project, BLET exercise platform

A team of volunteers help Riverside High School senior Marcus Willoughby complete his Eagle Scout project May 14, 2016, at the Northern Durham Center.

A team of volunteers help Riverside High School senior Marcus Willoughby complete his Eagle Scout project May 14, 2016, at the Northern Durham Center.

A Riverside High School senior has designed and constructed an exercise platform for Basic Law Enforcement Training students at the Northern Durham Center.

Marcus Willoughby completed the project as a part of his Eagle Scout designation. Willoughby is a scout in Troop 405. The 8-foot by 8-foot platform will be used in leading exercises for BLET students.

On Saturday, May 14, the high school senior was joined on the construction site by a number of volunteers, scouts, classmates, and family members, including: Mark Clancy, David Clifton, Ian and Edward Casker, Leydon Evans, José Gomez, Devon Gregory, Donovan Herndon, Matthew and Thomas Jenks, Stephen Mihaich, Mya Pinnex, Gavin Pennuto, Makenzie and Toriana Poole, Kenyon Ray, Faye Stanley, Lori Thomas, and Makayla Torain.

Fellow scouts, classmates, and family members came out to help Marcus Willoughby complete his Eagle Scout project.

Fellow scouts, classmates, and family members came out to help Marcus Willoughby complete his Eagle Scout project.

Willoughby, who graduates from Riverside on June 8, had to finish the project by the end of May before reporting to Elon University in June to begin training with the football team there. Willoughby was an all-conference performer as both a junior and senior season for the Riverside Pirates, and was named the squad’s defensive player of the year for the 2015 season. Willoughby has also lettered in lacrosse and basketball. He has achieved the rank of Life Scout in his troop and is an engineering pathway student, planning to study business management at Elon. Willoughby is the son of former North Carolina A&T State University football player Marvin Willoughby and his wife, Jacquline, a former Winston-Salem State University basketball player.

Sergeant Mark Clancy of the Durham Police Department gave Willoughby and the volunteer crew Durham Police baseball caps and water bottles as souvenirs. Doug Thomas, Durham Tech director of BLET, awarded the Scout with a plaque commemorating his service to the BLET program at the college.

“Marcus is a very mannerly and mature young man,” Thomas said. “Achieving his goal of becoming an Eagle Scout is a very important step in his life.”

New Faculty Mentor Program returns with success

The Teaching-Learning Center (TLC) revived and refreshed the New Faculty Mentor Program this year with overwhelming success. Nine seasoned full-time faculty mentored 12 new full-time faculty during the 2015-2016 academic year. Mentoring partnerships were made to encourage one-on-one communication and collaboration among diverse faculty across campus. Therefore, mentor and mentee matches often came from different departments and programs.

The New Faculty Mentor Program returned in 2015 with overwhelming success.

The New Faculty Mentor Program returned in 2015 with overwhelming success.


The mentors consisted of: Kerry Cantwell, Svetlana Yokum, Johnnie Bratton, Jason Moldoff, Marina DelVecchio, Jessica Vaughan, Scott Stauble, Sue Cheng, and Jonathan Cook. Faculty mentees who participated included the following: Adam Foster, Olga Hogrefe, Deidre Yancey, Yasmeen Haque, Dawn Roberson, Tisha Phillips, Denise Walz, Erin Popov, Eric Crump, Dawn Stanley, Justin Long, and Kris Weberg. Mentors and mentees met regularly throughout the academic year and plan to continue their mentoring partnerships informally in future years. The program wrapped up with an end-of-semester celebration in the TLC, pictured above. For additional information regarding the New Faculty Mentor Program, visit the TLC website.

Johnnie Bratton, an Associate Degree in Nursing instructor, shares a laugh with the New Faculty Mentor Program group in the Teaching-Learning Center on May 12, 2016.

Johnnie Bratton, an Associate Degree in Nursing instructor, shares a laugh with the New Faculty Mentor Program group in the Teaching-Learning Center on May 12, 2016.