Monthly Archives: September 2014

Faculty-Staff Meeting

Durham Tech employees gathered in the ERC Auditorium on Friday, September 26, for a Faculty-Staff Meeting (video). After a welcome by Judy Hunter, program assistant/receptionist for College and Career Readiness, Dr. Bill Ingram presented his report, first beginning with a moment of silence to remember Sandra Covington. He then outlined upcoming activities and initiatives affecting Durham Tech: continuing to improve internal communications to encourage dialog and feedback, including accepting the recommendations of the Internal Infrastructure task force, regularly scheduling conversations with the president (the next one will be Thursday, Oct 2, 5 p.m., Wynn 1114), and providing new ways for employees to provide input.

Recognizing that tuition has risen 70 percent since 2008, Ingram outlined some ways that Durham Tech is helping students pay for their education: greatly increasing work-study opportunities, providing ConnectFunds scholarships, awarding scholarships through the Durham Tech Foundation, and creating financial literacy programs so students have a better understanding of financial aid options. Ingram also announced the addition of high school liaisons to help recruit more recent high school graduates from Durham Public Schools. Lastly, Ingram pledged to expand professional development opportunities so that instructors and staff can expand their knowledge and skills to better serve our students.

Tom Jaynes, vice president of Institutional Advancement and Support, announced the emerging themes as work on revising the strategic plan progresses. He asked the attendees to discuss the themes and offer feedback on them. There will be three Strategic Planning Discussions October 1-3 so that employees and students can provide feedback on these themes and brainstorm goals and activities associated with them. The completed plan will be presented to the Board of Trustees at the November meeting.

Dr. Karen Jackson, director of the Center for Academic Excellence, demonstrated the new tutoring service, Upswing, which provides free, 24/7 online tutorial support for students in a wide variety of subjects.

Carver Weaver, director of Marketing, premiered a new recruiting video that will air on WRAL in October. Melissa Chappell, executive director of the Durham Tech Foundation, and Dr. K. Leigh Forell, Colleague systems analyst, announced the Campus Fund Drive, which will begin in October and has a goal of $40,000. Chappell also announced that applications for mini-grants are due by October 15.

Director of Human Resources Kathy McKinley announced that open enrollment for benefits will run October 1-31. She also announced the flu shot clinic on October 22 and the Health and Wellness Fair on October 29.

Jaynes closed the meeting by recognizing employees celebrating their 10- and 15-year anniversaries with Durham Tech. He announced that the Holiday Party will be December 18 at The Cotton Room.

A summer of service

After three semesters of classwork, Carol Marcus’ students in Durham Tech’s Occupational Therapy Assistant program turned theory into action with summer service-learning projects. The close-knit class of 10 students broke into smaller groups to devise, plan, fund, and implement three different projects to benefit the populations they hope to work with upon graduation. The projects were completed as part of the course, Professional Skills II.

According to Marcus, “These service-learning projects give students the opportunity to work under the supervision of an occupational therapist and to practice positive workplace behaviors: showing initiative, using time management and organizational skills, and functioning as a member of a health care team. The projects required students to use effective verbal and written communication skills, while promoting occupational therapy in the community. They practiced giving and receiving feedback so they could develop conflict resolution skills within their work groups. These projects gave students the chance to demonstrate and use so many different skills required in the workplace; it was a very good fit for the curriculum of the Professional Skills course.”

A garden to see…and smell…and touch
Three of the students worked with the PACE (Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly) Program to design and install a sensory garden for the program’s participants. PACE delivers all needed medical and supportive services to seniors with chronic-care needs. The students – Jessica Ridenhour, Chastity Whittington, and Marjorie Martell – wanted to create an indoor garden for the program participants that was not only pretty to look at, but could also be enjoyed with the other senses. They held yard sales to raise funds and solicited donations for supplies from area businesses to build two raised planter beds, filling them with plants to see, smell (lavender and mint), and touch (lamb’s ears). Enlisting the help of the PACE participants, the students made signs out of popsicle sticks and puff paint to identify the plants used in the beds. “We used annual and perennial plants, and we created an instruction manual so they could keep the garden blooming every summer,” explained Ridenhour. Seniors at the PACE facility were also involved on the day of the project, crushing recycled cans and bottles to provide a drainage layer in the bottom of each planter, filling the planters with soil, and planting the various plants.


OTA student Chastity Whittington helps a PACE participant create signs for the planters.

Carnival with a cause

Another group turned its attention and considerable energy to stage an event to benefit the Gateway Clubhouse in Raleigh. Gateway is a rehabilitation day program for traumatic brain injury survivors. Students Donna Godwin, Tabatha Baber, Pat Karrigan, and Dee Wood put together a carnival to raise money for program scholarships for individuals with acquired brain injuries and to give its participants a Saturday of fun — yet accessible — activities. Karrigan said, “We funded the carnival with community begging, getting donations of raffle prizes and supplies to create carnival games that were appropriate for Gateway clients.” The activities ranged from a wheelchair cake walk, face painting, and crafts, to a raffle and a caramel apple station. One very popular game at the carnival was a clever modification on corn hole using recycling bins, toilet seats, and rolls of toilet paper. The four organizers enlisted classmates and family members to help on the day of the carnival. According to Godwin, “We raised $1,000 to support scholarships for Gateway. We hope that the carnival becomes an annual event!”


Carnival goers try their luck at toilet-seat corn hole.


Upping the ante at Rose Manor
The third group – Adam Luther, Shana Byrd, and Terry Breedlove – wanted to help the residents of Rose Manor, a facility in Durham offering short-term rehabilitative services and long-term care to its patients and residents. After completing a clinical experience at Rose Manor over the summer, the students recognized that there were few program options tailored to the male residents. “We created a list of potential activities and then surveyed the men in the facility to see which one had the most interest. A regular poker game was the clear winner,” said Luther. The students organized a biweekly poker game on Monday and Wednesday afternoons, providing the cards and snacks. Some residents needed a little more help to participate, so they were given partners or allowed to simply watch the game. According to Byrd, “It was fun to see the camaraderie increase each time the group met.” One participant’s daughter was so impressed with the game’s success that she agreed to coordinate it after the students’ involvement ended.

“The thread that connected these different service learning projects was the students’ ability to directly benefit the agencies and their clients in tangible and long-lasting ways. As the students developed new skills themselves, they were also able to do great things in the larger community that Durham Tech serves,” concluded Marcus.

Call for nominations: Excellence in Teaching award

Now is the time to think about nominating candidates for the 2014-15 Excellence in Teaching award. The recipient of this award will be announced at Convocation in May and will receive a $1,000 cash award, a designated parking spot, a plaque, as well as much adoration and worship. Contact Lyndsay Al-Shibli (x8073) for the nomination form. All nominations must be received by 5 p.m. on Dec. 19. All nominees will be invited to submit a teaching portfolio in April. Portfolio submissions are mandatory to be considered for the award.

Shout out from a recent grad

Instructors Michele Parrish, Harry Bulbrook, Scott Neal, Greg Mimmack, Sedrick White, and Ryland Page received the following thank-you note from 2014 grad Paul Pacheco:

I want to thank all of you for your support, encouragement, opportunities offered, and for a wonderful academic experience. While it was only two years ago, it feels like a lifetime ago that I was in my first college class in 25 years. That summer course (NOS110) with Michele Parrish was my testing ground. I felt that if I could get through that one class to get a feel for the return to academia, I could actually retrain myself for the 21st century and pursue a degree (or two!). Two years later, as you all know, I finished with two AAS degrees and five certificates.

The day after commencement, I interviewed for and was chosen to be part of a two-year program for EMC Corporation here in RTP. The first eight weeks is referred to as Bootcamp; the name is an understatement, I assure you. I finished the equivalent of two college semesters in eight weeks – one class, 40 hours every week plus a final exam each week for eight weeks. I gained a few certifications in that time as well.

In those eight weeks, there were terminology, theories, concepts, and practical applications from every class I took with each of you. This trend still continues during my training. I really feel that Durham Tech provided me with a solid foundation to enter the IT field.

While I have so much more to learn, I could not have done it without each of you and your classes. Thank you.

September anniversaries

25 – Kathy Zarilla
23 – Peter Wooldridge
22 – Carolyn Henderson
21 – Betty Lyons
19 – Douglas Scott
13 – Tammy Nelson, Liz Filipowski
9 – LaShon Harley
7 – Daniel Specter, O’Keishe Wright
6 – Carrie Griffin, Jennifer Meade
5 – Willie Hockaday, Joseph Fleming
4 – Jesse Urban, Judy Hunter, Rebecca McClain, William Schuck
2 – Shaunecey Johnson
1 – Rex Horton

September birthdays

Paula D’Onofrio, Susan Sutton, Yolanda Moore-Jones, Donnetta Miller, Nebraska Edwards, Glen Fisher, Nan Dernar, Jo Ann Molnar, John Lee, Marianne Williams, Stephanie Wiggins, Kathy Florence, O’Dell Hill, Michele Alexandre, Marye Vance, Karen Jackson, Wanda Sutton, Christine Dove, LaTonya Steele, Glenda Morris, Dorene Parker, Claudio Camacho, Robbi Badgett, Angela Fipps, Dean Blackwelder, Christina Bowers, Susan Heintzelman, Penny Gluck, Linda Crawford, Brenda Wasson, Linda Miles, Deborah Maloney