Monthly Archives: August 2017

Six things you need to know about the Center for Academic Excellence

Tutor helping student

Kathy Lanio, a professional tutor, helps a student in the Developmental Math Lab

(Hint: Go early and often)

Every semester, hundreds of students take advantage of the free tutoring offered through the Center for Academic Excellence at Durham Tech, a resource designed to improve student success.

“Tutoring is for everybody and shouldn’t be your last resort,” said Patrick Morris, director of the Center for Academic Excellence. “Tutoring is most useful when you come to us early and often. It’s best used as a preventative measure.”

Morris oversees a team of 25 professional and peer tutors who are here to help students overcome academic challenges.

“The center gives students a possible solution to a course that they otherwise would’ve given up on,” Morris said. “I think students find that tutoring allows them to get over a significant barrier when it comes to their preparedness and motivation.”

As the fall semester gets into full swing, here’s what you need to know:

1) Hours of accessibility: Drop-in tutoring hours vary per subject.

Subject Days Hours Location
Biology 168, 169 Wed., Thurs. 1:50 – 2:50 p.m. Collins 168
Chemistry Mon., Tues, Wed. 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. Wynn 308
Computer Courses Tues., Thurs. 10 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. (T)
3:00 – 6:00 p.m. (T)
10 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. (Th)
2:30 – 5:30 p.m. (Th)
Wynn 303
Math Mon. – Sat.
Thurs. (OCC)
10 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. (M-Th)
10 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. (F, S)
10 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. (OCC)
Wynn 308
OCC 107
Physics Tues., Thurs. 10 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Wynn 308
Spanish Tues., Wed., Thurs. 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. (T, Th)
10 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. (W)
Wynn 308
Statistics Mon., Tues., Thurs., Sat. 2:00 – 6:00 p.m. (M, T, Th)
10 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. (T, S)
Wynn 308
Writing & Reading Mon. – Sat.
Thurs. (OCC)
10 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. (M-Th)
10 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. (F, S)
10 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. (OCC)
Wynn 308
OCC 226

2) Expect small student-tutor ratios: Writing and Reading drop-in tutoring will always have 1:1 student-tutor ratio while Math and Chemistry average 3:1 and the Developmental Math Lab ranges between 3:1 and 7:1. Remaining subjects average close to 1:1.

3) Online tutors are available: Upswing is a third-party online tutoring service, originally headquartered in Durham, that provides free, unlimited 24/7 tutoring. Durham Tech students can login and begin tutoring sessions by using the same username and password as Self-Service. According to Upswing, as of October 2016, Durham Tech students use their services more than any other institution. Upswing has a built-in feedback system and the average tutoring session received 4.2 out of 5 stars.

4) Not on main campus? Not a problem. The center is headquartered on main campus, but also has services available at the Orange County Campus. Drop-in tutoring for math, writing, reading, and developmental math are available at OCC. Services are not currently available at the Northern Durham Campus as it primarily teaches continuing education courses, but students are always encouraged to use Upswing.

5) Extended hours in the Developmental Math Lab: Don’t let math be the final graduation barrier. The Developmental Math Lab on main campus is open 7:45 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Fridays, and 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Saturdays. The lab is located in Collins 152 on main campus and room 224 on the Orange County Campus.

6) What others students are saying about CAE tutors:

“Iva: Thank you for all of your help! You are one of the kindest people I have met since attending Durham Tech and doing work study. I appreciate the help that you have given me and other students here. Never change!” – Jodie

“John: I would like to say thank you for all of your help. Though math was my worst subject, you helped me get through it. You made me look at math differently. Thanks to you, I pass my class!” – Keisha

“Dr. Jin: I want to thank you for all of the help you have provided me. You are one of the best teachers I have had. Even though it is hard to understand physics. Thank you very much for everything!”Luis

Left to right: Rasha Dumarieh (Lead Tutor) and Patrick Morris (Director of the Center for Academic Excellence)

Durham Tech Alumni Spotlight

Carmen Williams ’17
Owner, Blueprint and Ink


Carmen Williams adjusted her mortarboard as she stood along the red velvet ropes that separated her from a growing line of regalia-clad faculty members.

It was still hours from the 2017 Durham Technical Community College Commencement, but Williams was ready. Alone in the line, she thought about her inspiration – Williams’ mother.

“I did it for my mom,” she said.

With her walk across the wood-paneled stage of the Durham Performing Arts Center on May 10, Williams, 38, became the first member of her family to graduate from college.

Her mother, who couldn’t attend commencement, watched at home via Facebook.
Williams earned an Associate in Applied Science in Architectural Technology after initially attending North Carolina A&T State University after high school. During her freshman year, Williams dropped out and moved back home to Durham to help take care of her mother who was recovering from spinal surgery.

While home, Williams lived job-to-job before settling as a Global Administrator at IBM. But the position was a job, not a career, she said, and Williams began looking at Durham Tech programs.

“I took a drafting class in high school and fell in love with architecture,” Williams said. “So I was excited to see that Durham Tech offered an architectural technology program. I read over the course description and it sounded great, so I applied.”

Williams’ father, an electrical engineer at IBM, was excited to hear she was starting this career path.

“I always looked up to my dad growing up,” Williams said. “He was happy to hear I was pursuing architectural technology and it was great to be able to have conversations about design issues.”

While working and attending classes full time, Williams said she was overwhelmed, but persevered. Halfway through the program, her mom had a stroke, which gave Williams new perspective on school.

“I wanted to make my mom proud and I wanted her to see me graduate. I had to hurry and finish school because I didn’t know how much time she had,” Williams said. “I had to finish no matter what it took so I would study for hours and draft for hours. I would come to class early and stay late. It was a difficult time for me, but at no point did I feel like giving up.”

In addition to her mom’s illness, Williams faced financial obstacles as she paid her own way through school.

“It took me three years to complete the program because there were times I couldn’t afford to pay for full-time courses,” Williams said. “Sometimes I paid for school before I bought groceries, but the sacrifice was worth it.”

To relieve the financial stress, Williams applied for the O’Brien/Atkins Associates, PA Architectural Drafting Scholarship from the Durham Tech Foundation.

“I told my instructor I didn’t think I was coming to school that semester because I couldn’t afford it,” Williams said. “A couple days later, I received a letter in the mail from the Durham Tech Foundation that I had been awarded the scholarship. It was a huge help. Had it not been for the scholarship, I was not coming to school that semester.

Standing by her side throughout the program, Williams attributes much of her success to Rick Lawrence, an instructor and director of the Architectural Technology program at Durham Tech.

“He’s just a phenomenal person and teacher,” Williams said. “Sometimes I’d tell Mr. Lawrence that I felt behind in class, but he’d say, ‘I’m not worried about you, you’re going to do great things, just keep at it.’ That was one of the most encouraging things, to have a teacher that knew me as a person.”

Giving back to the Architectural Technology department was a priority, Williams said.

Her dream came true last month when she was offered an adjunct instructor position to teach three courses in the Architectural Technology program at Durham Tech during the fall semester.

“I’m most excited about being able to transition from student to teacher,” Williams said. “Having sat in those same seats, I know how valuable the knowledge is that I will be passing on to students.”

In addition to teaching, Williams started her own business, Blueprint and Ink, a consulting firm that specializes in residential construction and renovations.

“I graduated high school 20 years ago, so you can always finish,” Williams said of her advice to future students. “You can always go back and pursue your dreams. It may not be in the timeline you’ve set for yourself, but it’s always attainable.”

Durham Tech Alumni Spotlight

Lauren Shampine ’07
Occupational Therapist, Heritage Healthcare at Person Memorial Hospital


Lauren Shampine said she was like most high school seniors, excited to go to college and start a new chapter in her young life. But at the end of her freshman year at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Shampine felt singled out among her peers who had all chosen majors and career paths. Without one to call her own, she decided to move back home and take classes at Durham Tech.

“Durham Tech changed   everything for me, I fell in love with school again,” Shampine said. “I liked my professors, my classmates, and the campus. I owe this school so much for helping me find my way.”

Shampine pursued an Associate in Arts degree during her two-year tenure and attributed much of her success to the faculty and her academic advisor, Dr. Peter Wooldridge, vice president of Corporate Education and Continuing Education at Durham Tech. She later transferred to the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

“I met with Dr. Wooldridge every semester to talk about what classes would be best for other colleges and the best fit for what I wanted to do,” Shampine said. “If I didn’t have an advisor who took the time to pick out the right classes, I might not have gotten into UNC-Charlotte.

Shampine ultimately decided to pursue a career in occupational therapy, a path that was first rooted in a high school experience. During her junior year, her mother was recovering from major surgery and needed around-the-clock care. Shampine and her family stepped up as caretakers, which sparked an interest in healthcare she didn’t know she had.

Occupational therapy was always in the back of her mind, but it wasn’t until her time at Durham Tech that she decided to pursue it as a career.

“I wouldn’t be in the career that I’m in today without Durham Tech,” Shampine said. “It allowed me to have my own timeline to figure out what I wanted to do instead of being forced into something. It took a lot of the pressure off. Universities make you pick a major in your first year or two, but at Durham Tech everyone had their own path.”

After graduating in 2007, Shampine earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology at UNC-Charlotte and later earned a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy at New York University.

“Give yourself the time to figure out what you want to do,” Shampine said of her advice to future students. “Don’t let societal pressure make you think you need to know immediately after high school.”

Now 31, Shampine is an Occupational Therapist for Heritage Healthcare and currently contracted with Person Memorial Hospital in Roxboro.

“It took me a few more years to figure out my career path than other people,” Shampine said. “But now I’m set up for the rest of my life.”

August Farewells

Durham Tech bids farewell and best wishes to the following employees:

George Allen – Facilities Technician (Facilities Services)
Mark Hand – Assistant Dean Nursing/Program Director ADN (Health Tech)
Linda Vaught – Dispatcher (Campus Police and Public Safety)
Katherine Lanio – Lead Tutor (Student Development and Support)
Vanessa Spence – Instructor, Early Childhood Education (Business Technologies and Education)
Michelle Jordan – Assistant Dean, Career Readiness and Skills Training (Continuing Education)
Jesse Urban – Police Officer (Campus Police and Public Safety)
Brooklynn Smiley – College Liason (Public Schools Program)

Let’s celebrate August anniversaries and birthdays!

August Anniversaries (Years)

Dr. William Ingram (30); John Hurlburt (27); Vernon Bridges (26); Perry Cumbie (24); Ricky Glasgow (22); Patrick Coin (21); Gregory Walton (20); Andrea Parrish (19); Constanza Gomez-Joines (19); Wendy Ramseur (19); Roy Stallings (17); Willie Johnson (17); Joan Brown (17); Robert Wilson (16); Emma Borynski (15); Jamia McIver-Eshiet (14); Brenda East (14); John Crutchfield (14); Julie Hoover (14); Lyndsay Al-Shibli (14); Micara Sessoms (14); Susan Sutton (14); Suzanne Laudadio (14); Thomas Beveridge (14); Danny Francis (13); Dorothy Wood (13); Elecia Brown (13); Gabby McCutchen (13); James Weeks (13); Janel Thompson (13); Kerry Cantwell (13); Robbi Muckenfuss (13); Robert Matthews (13); Svetlana Yokum (13); Erica Taylor (13); Erik Townsend (12); Angela Boone (12); Shannon Hahn (12); Sheryl McCloud (12); Sheza Healey (12); Kara Battle (12); Naomi Feaste (12); Cari Borresen (11); Lesley Chaffin (11); Isaac Thomas (9); Donna Littleton (9); Erin Riney (9); Mary Kennery (9); Marye Vance (9); Jonathan Cook (8); Michele Alexandre (8); Gloria Gay (7); James Luxton (7); Cara Potter (7); Donnie Sommerfeldt (7); Jim DePalma (7); Jason Moldoff (7); John Cain (7); John Lee (7); Larry Haynes (7); Margaret Memory (7); Scott Neal (7); Johnnie Bratton (7); Marisa Sullivan (6); Jemma Superville (6); Dorene MacKinnon (6); Rita Best (6); Marina DelVecchio (6); Tina Bryant-Allen (6); Kim Chandler (5); Amy Kern (5); Christine Dove (5); Sara Juarez (4); Jaclyn Krohn (4); Barbara Jackson (4); Christine Gunnigle (4); Janemarie Baker (4); Jerry Oxendine (4); Scott Stauble (4); LaTonya Steele (4); Marie Fogarty (4); Marjorie Carter-Davis (4); William Creech (4); Joseph Derilus (3); Andrew Teears (3); Meredith Lewis (3); Olga Hogrefe (3); Paula Wilder (3); Steven Kerrigan (3); Larry Carter (2); Maria Steele (2); Rachel Lithman (2); Dawne Roberson (2); Deidre Yancey (2); Timothy Postell (2); Donald McIntyre (2); Erin Popov (2); Angela Davis (1); Brooklynn Smiley (1); Jessica Lombardi (1); Keyma Clark (1); Valarie Hines (1); Ashley Hodges (1); Cathy Collie-Robinson (1); Heather Aloor (1); Lisa Blair (1); Stephanie Dawson (1); Carolyn Beatty (1); Fabiola Ten (1)

August Birthdays (Day) 

Darlene Bullock (3); Kamala Uzzell (3); Janice Stuart (7); Matthew Williams (7); Katherine Lanio (8); Perry Cumbie (8); Jessica Vaughan (8); Robert Matthews (9); Sandra Young (11); Sheryl McCloud (12); Diane Usher (15); Stesha Little (17); Don Wheeler (19); Peter Wooldridge (20); Ricky Glasgow (20); Thomas Murphy (20); Janel Thompson (20); Derek Epps (20); Marisa Sullivan (21); Catina Hill-Wafula (24); Judy Roberts (25); Melissa Ockert (26); Kathy McKinley (26); Robert Leonard (27); Kathryn Rexrode (27); Leroy Pendergraft (29); Emerenciana Alejo (29); Joy Hansen (30); Megan Nicholson (31)