Monthly Archives: May 2017

Spotlight on Durham Tech: Preparing Students for the Global Workforce

Article by UNC World View


Left to right: Latonya Steele, Stephen Brooks, Michele Parrish

Left to right: Latonya Steele, Stephen Brooks, Michele Parrish

Students today need to be prepared for the global workforce. And educators at Durham Technical College are focusing on meeting that need. On May 11, 2017, educators LaTonya Steele, Michele Parrish and Stephen Brooks from one of World View’s partners, Durham Tech, conducted research at UNC-Chapel Hill on preparing global modules entitled “Doing Business in Global Markets” and “Technology in Today’s Global World” for the classes they teach: Introduction to Business and Network and Security Foundation. This research is supported by a grant they received from World View funded by the Center for European Studies as part of the NC Global Distinction Program


LaTonya, Michele and Stephen’s objective is to ensure that students have a better understanding of international organizations and multinational corporations in the dynamic global markets. The Introduction to Business module will emphasize trading with other nations, strategies for reaching global markets, forces that affect trade and the future of global trade; the Network and Security Foundation module will introduce students to how technology impacts organizations in a global environment. Both modules will focus on Europe and the European Union.


When the modules are completed, World View will review them and post them for other community college educators to utilize in their classrooms. They will also form part of the pool of “globally intensive courses” for the NC Global Distinction Program. These modules have been approved to satisfy the Comprehensive Articulation Agreement for transferability as a pre-major and/or elective course requirement.


For more information about research opportunities and World View’s NC Global Distinction Program for community colleges, contact

Durham Tech student lands study abroad scholarships, headed to London

Eptisam 1When Eptisam Ahmed received a call from the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE) on February 28, she thought they just wanted additional information regarding a contest she had recently entered.

CIEE is the country’s largest nonprofit study abroad and intercultural exchange organization. To her surprise, the representative was calling to congratulate her for winning $5,000 in the Best Summer Ever sweepstakes, a scholarship that will be applied to her study abroad trip to London.

“I was like no way! Out of all these people that entered, me?” Ahmed said. “All I did was enter my email and phone number, I can’t believe I won. It’s amazing.”

Originally from Yemen, Ahmed is a first year student and president of the Durham Tech International Club. She will leave the U.S. on May 21 to attend the CIEE Institute for eight weeks with more than 40 other students from around the country. She chose London after hearing rave reviews from other travelers and her desire to experience its diversity.

“Since I can remember, I’ve wanted to explore and see other places than my own culture. I have lived in the U.S. for seven years and I’m ready to meet other people,” Ahmed said. “I hope to get a more open mind. I want to know about daily life in London and why people travel there. Everyone has told me how wonderful it is and I want to see why.”

In addition to winning the sweepstakes, Ahmed worked alongside Heidi White, director of international student services and study abroad at Durham Tech, to apply to two more scholarships. White helped Ahmed through the entire study abroad process.

“Heidi helped me with everything, I want to say a big thank you to her,” Ahmed said. “She helped me prioritize my budget, get organized, and provided feedback on my essays.”

In March, Ahmed was notified that she also won the CIEE Gilman Go Global Grant for $2,500, which will be applied to airfare and program fees.

“I was originally only planning on going for four weeks, which costs about $4,000,” Ahmed said. “But when I was awarded the second scholarship, CIEE said why don’t you extend your trip to eight weeks? And I said, OK!”

In April, Ahmed was notified that she had also won the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship for $3,000 – bringing her total to $10,500 in scholarships.

“I could not believe it – I was so excited for her,” White said. “I have known Eptisam since she started at Durham Tech. She is always positive and full of ideas, which inspire other students. She also is very hard working, conscientious, fun to be around and is the first to volunteer to help with any project.”

Ahmed is enrolled in two classes at the CIEE Institute, the History of British Theatre and Comparative Health Care Systems. She will be earning transfer credit for her studies in London at Durham Tech.

“The Gilman Scholarship requires students to do a service project about their experience,” Ahmed said. “So I’m going to probably film my experience over there so I can motivate other students to study abroad.”

The Durham Tech Center for the Global Learner offers group and individual study abroad opportunities. Students can work with White to identify a program that best fits their needs and get assistance finding funding resources for the program.

“I have seen first-hand how international travel or study abroad transforms lives,” White said. “Students come back from the experiences with new ideas and new perspectives both on the cultures they visited and on their own culture. Students also experience a lot of personal growth from the challenges and personal reflection time from international travel.”

Upon returning to the U.S. on July 17, Ahmed will continue her educational career in the Durham Tech University Transfer program in hopes of attending the University of North Carolina in 2018. She wants to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Clinical Laboratory Science and then a graduate degree at the UNC School of Dentistry.

Durham Tech students who are interested in a group or individual international opportunity are welcome to make an appointment with Heidi White at or 919-536-7200 x4052 for more information.

Durham Tech hosts inaugural work-based learning breakfast

On April 27, the inaugural Work Based Learning Employer Thank You Breakfast was held in the Teaching-Learning Center and hosted by Micara Lewis Sessoms, assistant dean of Business Technologies and Education Programs and coordinator of Work-Based Education Programs at Durham Tech.

Through Work-Based Learning (WBL), students have the opportunity to incorporate the knowledge and skills gained in the classroom into a work environment related to their program of study. The North Carolina Community College System recognizes the importance of students acquiring a variety of skills to be prepared for today’s workforce. Many of these skills are taught through a combination of course work on campus and through industry cooperative learning experiences.

Durham Tech partners with a variety of employers in our service area to provide our students with an opportunity for meaningful and professional work. With hands-on experience, graduates are given the tools they need to successfully obtain and maintain employment.

The following panelists all participated in the WBL program:

  • Lindsay Bradsher – Medical Office Administration
  • Chris Hilliard – Automotive System
  • Justin Bordeaux – Computer Information Technology
  • Shruti Patel – Accounting

Through Work-Based Learning students gain, hands-on work experience, soft skills training, interviewing techniques, resume-building abilities, connections with employers, and a competitive edge to obtain and maintain employment.

Thank you to the following Work-Based Learning employers that attended: North Carolina Central University, Duke University, FJ Associates, Inc., and Durham Tech. Other employer partners include Autosense, Underwriters Laboratories, Inc., UNC Healthcare, SAS, Cisco, University Ford, Toyota of Durham, Gray Matter Group, Ideal Fasteners, and Legal Aid.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Sights and sounds of graduation 2017

In case you missed it, enjoy these video highlights and photos from commencement last week; showcasing our incredible students doing great things! For coverage of future events, don’t forget to follow Durham Tech on FacebookTwitter and Instagram!

To view all commencement photos, please check out the album on our Facebook page!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

2016-17 Employee Excellence Awards

Congratulations to our excellence award winners for the 2016 – 17 Academic Year!

Excellence in Teaching Award

Dr. James DePalma, Instructor, History, Arts, Sciences and University Transfer


Excellence in Support Services Award

Valerie Whitley, Colleague Systems Analyst, Information Technology Services


Excellence in Community Engagement Award

Micara Lewis Sessoms, Assistant Dean, Business Technologies and Education Programs


Excellence in Adjunct Teaching and Part-Time Service Awards

Dianne Affleck, Mathematics Tutor, Center for Academic Excellence

Jacquelyn Brodie, Instructor, Medical Office and Office Administration

Elizabeth McClelland, Instructor, English as a Second Language Program

Heather Remley, Production Manager, Marketing and Communications

Victoria Schoenfeld, Instructor, Psychology

Teresa Turner, Instructor, Nursing Assistant Program

Sedrick White, Instructor, Information Technologies

Left to right: Sedrick White, Victoria Schoenfeld, Elizabeth McClelland, Jacquelyn Brodie

Left to right: Dr. Ingram, Sedrick White, Victoria Schoenfeld, Elizabeth McClelland, Jacquelyn Brodie

Left to right: Dr. Ingram, Heather Remley, Dianne Affleck

Left to right: Dr. Ingram, Heather Remley, Dianne Affleck

Teresa Turner receives Adjunct Faculty award

Teresa Turner receives Adjunct Faculty award

Barrow family leaves a family legacy at Durham Tech

Aaron Barrow, the youngest of six siblings, followed in his family’s footsteps as a Spring 2017 graduate of Durham Tech.

Barrow, graduate of the Career and College Promise (CCP) program, said Durham Tech has always felt like family. The CCP program provides dual enrollment for North Carolina high school students to accelerate completion of college certificates, diplomas, and associate degrees that lead to college transfer at no cost.

“We’re just a super practical family,” Barrow, 17, said. “Mom and dad both graduated college without any debt so that was pretty important and they instilled that in us.”

Ranging in ages from 17 to 32, the Barrows have been a steady presence of success on the campus. All the Barrows were homeschooled, started at Durham Tech in their late teens, transferred to universities, and paid their own way through school.

“If you’re willing to work hard enough, anyone can do it,” Barrow said. “It’s not like we’re special or smarter than the average bear, I think we’re just very driven, work hard, and practical.”

A selling point for Barrow, he said, was being able to take tuition-free classes through the CCP program.

“You only have to pay for books. You’re not paying any tuition,” Barrow said. “My siblings and I got the first two years of college out of the way paying far less than we would at a 4-year institution. It’s not all about the money, of course, but it frees you up to follow your dreams more – without having the heavy weight of debt.”

From waiting tables to babysitting to working for their college newspaper, the Barrows continued to work hard to pay for school while at their universities.

“My mom is very grateful to Durham Tech and regularly sings its praises,” Barrow said. “It’s close, it’s affordable, and it welcomes people like us that are trying to get ahead.”

From oldest to youngest, the Barrows are Phillip, 32; Callie, 29; Olivia, 26; Peter, 23; James, 20; and Aaron, 17. Their accomplishments after leaving Durham Tech are no less impressive.

Phillip, transferred to North Carolina State University for mechanical engineering and now works at Boeing in Washington. Callie transferred to the University of North Carolina to study nursing and now is a traveling nurse based out of Washington.  Olivia transferred to UNC for journalism, worked for prominent business journals, and is now a freelance writer in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Peter received an appointment to the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy and will be graduating this summer with a degree in engineering.  James also transferred to N.C. State for business, he will be graduating this May and already has a job lined up with Deloitte Consulting LLP in Washington, D.C.

At 17-years-old, Aaron graduated from Durham Tech on May 10 with an Associate in Engineering before transferring to N.C. State University this fall for mechanical engineering. He plans to pursue a career as an engineer for a car company.

Though Aaron is the end of the Barrows’ tradition, they have certainly left a legacy; six siblings, six Durham Tech students, all doing great things.34106904276_4220791e7d_o

Student Art Exhibition open until May 10

Enjoy these highlights from the Student Art Exhibition, on display in the main campus library (room 212) until May 10. The exhibition features drawings, paintings, and sculptures from Durham Tech’s art students. Sponsored by Viva the Arts and the Durham Tech Foundation.

Durham Tech student completes rigorous leadership program

Daniel Rivera represented Durham Tech in the 2016-17 Student Leadership Development Program (SLDP), hosted by North Carolina Community Colleges on April 28 in Raleigh. The SLDP enhances leadership quality for community college students and increases their knowledge of soft skills to prepare them for professional and civic responsibilities. Every year, 30 students receive training in skills that will assist them in becoming better campus leaders, community citizens, and provide a smoother and successful transition into tomorrow’s workforce.

To be accepted into the program, students must be enrolled in the NC Community College System and have at least one full year remaining as a student. To be nominated, students must commit for one year and arrange/facilitate two workshops on their campus.

Described as a “mental boot camp” by participants, the SLDP requires students to attend a six day session in the summer and two two-day mini-sessions during the fall and spring. Sessions are comprised of workshops, speakers, and group and individual projects. Each student is required to keep a leadership journal, introduce a speaker/workshop presenter, and a write at least one article for the daily newsletter. The mini-sessions consist of additional workshops and smaller projects.

At the spring mini-session last week, Daniel attended the graduation banquet to celebrate his completion of the program.

Congratulations Daniel!

(Left to right) Daniel Rivera and Dr. Bill Ingram

Daniel Rivera and Dr. Bill Ingram

Two Durham Tech instructors complete leadership program

On April 28, Jason Moldoff (Communications) and Scott Stauble (Biology) both completed the North Carolina Community Colleges Leadership Program, which develops community college leaders who connect, care, and collaborate. They participated in the seven-month program which offers participants organized, face-to-face and computer-based learning experiences to acquaint them with community college issues and help them develop leadership skills. The program is highly experiential in nature and participants work in teams to create an ideal community college. Upon completion, participants develop and enhance essential skills to support their current and future leadership roles in the North Carolina Community College System. 

Great job, Jason and Scott!

(Left to right) Jason Moldoff and Scott Stauble

(Left to right) Jason Moldoff and Scott Stauble



Let’s celebrate May anniversaries and birthdays!

May Anniversaries (Years)

Gregory Mimmack (18); Julie Humphrey (15); David Long (10); Donna Alston (10); Angela Breault (10); Norb Golebiewski (8); Dean Blackwelder (5); Bill Stuart (5); Shana Curl (5); Jennifer Bennett (5); Burnice Parker (5); Theresa McLaurin (4); Abraham Dones (3); Audrey Muhammad (3); Christian Austell (3); Justin Long (2); Nathan Hardin (2); Sasha Afanador (1); Liza Nordstrom (1)

May Birthdays (Day)

Patrick Coin (5); Christian Austell (6); Kurt Laudicina (8); Brenda East (8); Janet Alspaugh (9); Valarie Hines (9); Janice Kerber (10); Gilbert Umberger (11); Andrei George (11); Susan Baker (12); Sandra Grady (12); Tom Jaynes (14); Joseph Derilus (15); Randy Egsegian (15); Gregory Walton (15); Karen McPhaul (18); Cathy Collie-Robinson (19); Cynthia Davis (19); Beth Payne (19); Adam Foster (21); Abraham Dones (22); Patrick Hines (23); Quincy Wright (23); O’Keishe Wright (23); Marcy Wynn (23); Karen Mosley-Lyon (26); Rex Horton (26); Valerie Whitley (27); Gwendolyn Troy-Mckinney (27); Leah Tilden (28); Charles Farrow (30)