Monthly Archives: March 2017

From student to teacher, new instructor lands dream job at Durham Tech

Kim BoyceBlack coffee and steam poured from a stainless steel brewer as Kimberly Boyce chatted with a Starbucks patron across the counter.

It was 2007 and Boyce’s dream of getting back into the health information field was fading. Two years earlier, her passion for the field led her to the psychology program at the University of New Orleans. She was enrolled for a week before Hurricane Katrina made landfall. Since then, she had taken refuge in the Triangle and worked in the service industry to make ends meet.

As she spoke with the customer about her past experience, Boyce wasn’t thinking of teaching health information technology – a role she would come to flourish in at Durham Technical Community College – but of just continuing her passion for the career she’d started in New Orleans.

The customer pitched a position at WakeMed in Raleigh, but Boyce was mainly interested in the psychiatric healthcare setting. The next day, he came back for another cup of coffee with a business card scrawled with job opportunities and salary ranges at the hospital.

“It took me an hour and a half, from clock out to application submitted – I was that excited,” Boyce said.

After five years on the job, Boyce said, she wanted promotions and better pay. So, she spoke with her manager and enrolled in the online Health Information Technology program at Durham Tech in 2012. She continued to work fulltime at WakeMed and received her professional credentials in 2014.

“My whole experience at Durham Tech was great,” Boyce said. “My manager said if I got my degree and credentials, it would open doors. She was right. By October 2014, I was offered two promotions at WakeMed.”

Following her time at the hospital, Boyce took a director level position at a hospital where she was responsible for educating nurses and doctors on documentation standards and conducting new hire orientation classes.

“I learned something about myself while I was there,” Boyce says, “My real passion, my one reason for getting up every day was teaching and training. Those were the times I was most happy in that position.”

In 2016, she learned Durham Tech was hiring an instructor in Health Information Technology.

“When I saw Durham Tech was hiring this position, I immediately applied,” Boyce says, “It was the one job I really, really wanted.”

She was offered the position a few weeks later. When Boyce realized she would be teaching at Durham Tech after graduating from the college, she said she was initially in disbelief.

“I was tremendously honored because it spoke a lot to me about where I was in my career and that Durham Tech found me worthy,” Boyce said. “But even more important than that, my current supervisor, Jessica, used to be my teacher and she saw something in me as a student that she felt would be a really good fit for this program.”

This spring, Boyce teaches three Health Information Technology classes online and helps students get internships. Students in the program are learning how to ensure the accuracy and legal standards of medical documentation. Students also are learning how to perform audits, chart analysis, medical coding and billing, medical staff credentialing, which is in-depth background checks of clinical providers.

“It was like all the stars aligned and paved the way for me to come work here,” Boyce said. “I have been so happy working here. I love my students, I love my boss, and that’s something I haven’t always been able to say.”

Boyce pulls from her own professional experiences to teach her students.

“Having the benefit of recently being a student, I’m not a typical instructor. I try to use my experiences throughout my career as examples to teach them bigger concepts,” she said. “I tell them I was where you are three years ago. I did the four 10-hour shifts at the hospital and two 8-hour days at my internship while putting in 14 hours at school. I know it’s hard, but it can be done.”

Boyce is on a mission to make quality patient care her students’ number one objective.

“I’m passionate about the school and the program,” she said. “I tell my students that what they’re doing contributes to saving patients’ lives just as much as what doctors and nurses do.”

Just a few months on the job, Boyce is already receiving rave reviews from her students.

“They love hearing my experiences and how they tie into the course material,” Boyce said. “They’ve told me that they appreciate the fact that I know what they’re going through. It inspires them to know that I went from student to instructor in two and a half years, and that this degree can really lead to big places.”

Boyce now has 16 years of experience in health information and is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Health Information Management at Western Governors University.

Yu Yan: Painting His Story


Written by: Maria Smith, Ph.D. (Transitions Coordinator/Instructor, English as a Second Language)

English as a Second Language courses at Durham Technical Community College serve adult language learners from all over the world. In our classrooms, students and instructors expand their knowledge and understanding of different cultural practices and viewpoints, often through the personal stories that we share with one another. This past week, Yu Yan, who has attended Chapel Hill classes since August 2016, shared with us his extraordinary story in an unconventional way – through the language of painting.

Artist and professor, Yu Yan, from the city of Lanzhou in northwest China, came to the United States in April 2016 for two reasons. He wished to see that which he had heretofore only seen depicted in books: the “real” American landscape. He also wished to visit American museums where he could absorb the master oil paintings of Western culture that he had studied as a boy and student under the tutelage of his father, a well-known painter in China.

“Exploring the Origin, Enlightening the Heart,” is the early fruit of Yu Yan’s American sojourn. The exhibition, held from February 20 – February 25 at the FedEx Global Education Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, featured 17 of 30 paintings that Yan completed while in residence as a visiting scholar with the UNC Art Department and during his travels throughout the U.S. The title of the exhibition encapsulates both the intellectual and emotional aspects of Yan’s endeavors to “explore the origin of Eastern and Western paintings” and to express “in works of art” what the unique vistas of the American landscape and an “enlightened heart” had inspired.

At an exuberant yet intimate reception on Thursday, February 23, Yan presented his paintings to his fellow Durham Tech ESL classmates and instructors. Despite the challenges of expressing sophisticated concepts and nuanced emotions in English, Yan neither hesitated nor watered down his discussion. He demonstrated a favored brush technique, and explained the philosophical messages of two works of calligraphy. Perhaps most meaningful to us, an international audience, were his personal observations. He shared his wonder, for example, “I never saw the sky this beautiful – it really shook me,” of the extraordinary colors of an October sunset in the Smoky Mountains and of the spectacle of Bryce Canyon in Utah, which inspired the first painting of his collection.

With each painting, Yan led us on journeys near and far, from the bucolic countryside of Chapel Hill to the Great Smoky Mountains, north to Niagara Falls, across country to the American west and Pacific Ocean—and beyond to his homeland along the ancient Silk Road in China. For Yan, it is the journey that truly counts.

“My work is more driven by the process of exploration than by the arrival at a destination,” Yan said.

In April, Yan and his wife, Jie Yu (also a Durham Tech ESL student and visiting scholar in the School of Media and Journalism at UNC), will leave their beloved friends and colleagues in the United States. Yan will return to his work as an Associate Professor of Art at Lanzhou University and Jie will return to work as a photographer and journalist for the Gan Su Daily.

We bid them both a warm farewell and swift return to North Carolina.

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Gamma Beta Phi Honorary Society of Durham Tech inducts 60 new members

Spring2017InducteesGamma Beta Phi Honorary Society of Durham Tech inducted 60 new members on Saturday, March 18th. New members were welcomed by advisors Don Sommerfeldt and Kim Boyce, President Nicole Tatum, Vice President Chris McDuff, and members Kim Green and Soncharia Funches.

After welcoming remarks by Don Sommerfeldt, the objectives were read by Chris McDuff. Symbolism of the coat of arms was read by Kim Green and the code of ethics was read by Soncharia Funches. Each member then took a pledge of membership from President Nicole Tatum.

We would like to welcome our new members and wish them to continue to recognize and encourage excellence in education, to promote the development of leadership ability and character in its members, and to foster, disseminate, and improve education through appropriate service projects.

New Gamma Beta Phi members:

Bechtler Addison

Eptisam Ahmed

Lisa Anderson

Charles Anspach

Taylor Balog

Vipavee Bartorillo

Kenneth Blalock

Robert Bozeman

Ellena Brown

Eveling Carbajal

Savannah Casto

Natalie Columbia

Erica Cruz

Daniel Cuevas

Andrea Deans

Zoe Ellis

Roy Equils

Latonya Fuller

Kimberly Gillespie

Shakeia Glover

Sally Hammer

Heather Heffner

Torrelle Heidmann

Cecilia  Hernandez

Raven Herndon

DeCarlos Hickson

Kevin Houston

Ian Jones

Sara Kerley

Jennifer Lawyer

William Lee

Ian McDaniel

Melissa Mcginnis

Timothy McKenzie

Austin Moffitt

Theresa Moore-Butler

Vanessa Mueller

Belkys Munoz-Hernandez

Jason O’Day

Ama Odei-Larbi

Teresa Odera

Cynthia Oliver

Heidi Pehrson

Quiana Pollock-Sunkel

Jessica Powers

Francine Price

Eleanor Richardson

Lucretia Rogers

Johanna Salazar Duran

Danielle Shaw

Ria Shelton

Stephanie Simmons

Nikala St. John

William Stevenson

Takisha Street

Antony Stukes

Ebony Thompson

Leah Thorpe

Evelyn Williams

Albert Wilmer

Durham Tech studies abroad in Ghana

In case you missed the series of stories in the Herald Sun last week, below is a compilation of articles written by Nathan Hardin about Durham Tech’s study abroad travels in Ghana. For future stories like this one, remember to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. ENJOY!

Day 1: Ghana’s independence anniversary rich starting point for Durham Tech trip

Day 2: Two different views of Ghanaian life greet Durham Tech visitors

Day 3: Durham Technical Community College visitors jump into the fabric of Ghanaian life

Day 4: Durham Tech travels: Kumasi, Ghana central market a wonder to behold

Day 5: Durham Tech Ghana visit: Horror of Trans-Atlantic slave comes home to student visitors

Day 6: Durham Tech: Student, faculty group heading home from Ghana

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Let’s celebrate March anniversaries and birthdays!

March Anniversaries (Years)

Tim Woo (30); Marilyn Slaughter (29); Tom Jaynes (25); Herman Taylor (24); Deborah Maloney (23); Angela Perry (21); Karen McPhaul (21); George Allen (17); Linda Meisenbach (17); Emerenciana Alejo (14); Joy Hansen (14); Cynthia Hardin (14); Terra Bikah (13); Danyece Allen (12); Iesha Cleveland (10); Susan Baker (10); Kathy McKinley (5); Eliza Murphy (4); Valerie Whitley (2); Rhea Deroian (1)


March Birthdays (Day)

Scott Neal (1); Alecia Lawrence (1); Horace Holloway (1); Nadine Ford (3); Carolyn Beatty (3); Lisa Blair (5); Mohammad Hossain (5); Tim Woo (5); Sara Juarez (5); Cari Borresen (5); Tammie Davis (6); Vega Swepson (7); Tina Bryant-Allen (9); Judy Graham (10); Michelle Laporte (12); Brittney Vorndick (12); Donna Alston (12); Shaunecey Johnson (12); Joan Brown (17); Kara Battle (17); LaShon Harley (18); Jairo McMican (19); Mark Hand (19); Brooklynn Smiley (20); Donnie Sommerfeldt (22); John Medlin (22); Deidre Yancey (24); Svetlana Yokum (24); Sheza Healey (28); Keitcha Royal (28); Gregory Miller (31)