Monthly Archives: September 2017

Durham Tech Foundation 2017 Scholarship Breakfast

Enjoy these highlights from the Durham Tech Foundation 2017 Scholarship Breakfast this morning at The Cotton Room. Donors, students, and community members gathered to celebrate Durham Tech scholarship recipients.

Student Speaker: Carmen Williams, former O’Brien Atkins Associates, PA Architectural Drafting Scholarship Recipient

Keynote Speaker: Lois Deloatch, Philanthropy Director at Center for Responsible Lending

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

For more information about student scholarships available through the Durham Tech Foundation, please visit the Foundation’s website.

Durham Tech EMS presents research at national symposium

Leah Tilden, an Emergency Medical Services Extension Coordinator at Durham Tech, served as a principal investigator on a research project on flipping EMS classrooms, which she was invited to present at the 22nd Annual National Association of EMS Educators Symposium in Washington D.C. last month.

Tilden’s poster was one of only 10 chosen nationwide to be presented and was chosen as Best Poster Presentation by the National Association of EMS Educators.

Entitled The Big Flipping Question, Tilden conducted research throughout a semester to find out if students who participate in a flipped classroom model perform better on cognitive exams than those in a traditional lecture-style model.

The flipped classroom model is based on learning the core content outside of the classroom, followed by in-class, application-level activities to reinforce the materials learned. After Tilden collected the data, she partnered with eight other EMS professionals around the country to analyze the data and construct abstracts.

Durham Tech students reflect, celebrate International Day of Peace

Amanda Blanchard picked up a thick, red bar of sidewalk chalk and carefully scrawled “Peace” in Arabic along the main campus plaza.

It was the International Day of Peace on Thursday and Blanchard worked together with her Associate in Fine Arts classmates to participate in Chalk4Peace.

“It’s important for Durham Tech to participate in a day like this to show awareness to others,” Blanchard said. “We need peace right now and to be reminded that there is actually good in the world.”

Just yards away, the Durham Tech International Students Club donated and installed a Peace Pole as a gift to the College.

Across campus, students in Project TALK, International Students Club, and International Student Socials came together to celebrate with various activities including decorating coffee mugs with flags and having a discussion about what peace means to them.

Marvin Umana, a Durham Tech student from Honduras, said peace means not caring about color, nationality, and gender “because we’re all human beings.”

“In my short stay here, I’ve noticed that Durham Tech has a lot of multicultural students,” Umana continued. “So peace is considered very important here among fellow students.”

Issa and Mussa Tuli, fraternal twins from Saudi Arabia, said peace is a global initiative.

“Peace is when all countries are unified – global unity,” Issa Tuli said. “It’s important to know different cultures and to speak to different people.”

His brother, Mussa, agreed.

“Peace is when you accept other people’s differences no matter what country they’re in,” Tuli said. “I’ve met so many new people from different countries by participating in international student activities like this one.”

International Day of Peace activities continue Friday in the main campus Durham Tech library. Students, faculty, and staff are invited to attend Crafternoon to make peace flags to hang on campus.

For more information about campus events, view our Facebook events page.

Son’s life-threatening condition leads Fahey to Durham Tech

Two tubes ran from Seamus’ neck and other lines coiled around his tiny infant limbs, circulating blood through an artificial lung and returning it into the 96-hour-old’s bloodstream.

It was 2011 and Molly Fahey and her husband watched their youngest son from the pediatric intensive care unit at Duke Hospital as the newborn battled heart failure.

Fahey, now a respiratory therapy student at Durham Tech, described the time as a whirlwind.

“I never thought something like this would happen,” Fahey said. “But it could happen to anyone. You’re not exempt from it. Having him taught me so much about life, you truly don’t control anything.”

When Seamus was born, he didn’t turn pink like most babies, she said, which meant he wasn’t properly oxygenating.

“The doctors did a quick assessment and immediately bused him from Durham Regional to Duke Hospital without me,” Fahey said. “I didn’t know what was happening.”

Seamus spent four days on a heart and lung bypass machine that oxygenates blood outside of the body when a patient’s heart cannot do it on its own.

“Two days later, his heart function miraculously turned around,” Fahey said. “Which also happened to be on my birthday. It was the best birthday present ever. We don’t know why it happened in the first place or why it turned around. It just did.”

Seamus’ heart transplant packet was prepared, but never filed as his parents breathed a sigh of relief. A respiratory therapist trained to care for babies born with life-threatening cardiac failure sat by Seamus in the ICU.

“I had never heard of a respiratory therapist until my son was born with these complications,” Fahey said. “Before I got pregnant, I was taking preliminary courses at Durham Tech to get into nursing, but after my experience with him, I wanted to narrow my scope and respiratory was a natural path.”

Fahey stayed home with Seamus for a few years, who experienced some stormy after-effects of his condition.

“His first 3-4 years were rough,” Fahey said. “My head didn’t even really come up out of water.”

When Seamus turned 5 years old and entered kindergarten, Fahey returned to school to pursue a Respiratory Therapy degree at Durham Tech.

“I’m kind of glad I didn’t have the respiratory therapy knowledge to begin with because then I would have known how serious it was,” Fahey said. “In a way, ignorance is bliss when your kid is that sick. So now I can look back on it from a more objective viewpoint.”

Last month, Fahey started the pediatrics unit of the program and went to her first clinical rotation where she worked alongside the same team of physicians at Duke Hospital that helped her son years ago.

“You want to maintain professionalism while you’re in a space like that,” Fahey said. “But I couldn’t help but tell the nurse, ‘You helped us when my baby was here.’ It wasn’t about recognition to see if she remembered my baby, I just wanted to be able to tell her, ‘I remember you when you were amazing.’ ”

After Fahey graduates from Durham Tech in May 2018, she wants to gain a few years of experience working with adults. Her ultimate goal is to work in the same pediatric ICU at Duke Hospital where her son was cared for, she said.

“The Respiratory Therapy program has given me a career path,” Fahey said. “It’s interesting that it took this long, but I’m glad I came to it now because when you get older you have a deeper appreciation for finding something meaningful in your life. This will give me an opportunity to help people and do my best to make a difference somewhere.”

Seamus just started the first grade and is a healthy 6-year-old.

“I feel so lucky,” Fahey said. “I get to look at him and think he’s amazing. He has no residual effects — and he gave me my career path.”

Molly Fahey practices on the Drager VN500, a ventilator used in the Neonatal and Pediatric Respiratory Care Class at Durham Tech.

Grant funding expands Durham Tech library collections

Located on the lower level of Durham Tech’s main campus library.

The Durham Tech library has been awarded $3,000 in grant funding from the Duke-UNC Consortium for Middle East Studies to expand its collections of Middle East-related materials; made possible by the Consortium’s Title VI funding.


The grant, locally administered by Shannon Hahn, enabled the library to add more than 100 new titles to its collections, including Arabic-English dictionaries like Oxford Essential Arabic Dictionary, classic novels like Salman Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses and contemporary fiction like The Last Days of Café Leila by Donia Bijan. The collection also includes nonfiction works ranging from art and current issues to history and personal memoirs.


Additionally, grant funding was allocated to purchase 28 DVDs, including five documentaries, 23 feature films, and graphic novels including The Arab of the Future: A Childhood in the Middle East and The Arab of the Future 2. Travel and cookbooks also compliment the collection. All of these titles and more are available at the Durham Tech library. For more news and updates, follow the Durham Tech Library Blog.

Located on the lower level of Durham Tech’s main campus library.


Durham Tech employees take on new roles

Durham Tech congratulates the following employees on their new roles:

Linda Hall – Career Coach
Melissa Chappell – Executive Director, Foundation/Director Institutional Advancement
Tom Jaynes – Executive Vice President/Chief of Staff
Janet Alspaugh – Clinical Coordinator/Instructor, Opticianry
Tracy Bennett – Director, Opticianry Program

Let’s celebrate September anniversaries and birthdays!

September Anniversaries (Years)

Kathy Zarilla (28); Peter Wooldridge (26); Carolyn Henderson (25); Betty Lyons (24); Tammy Nelson (16); Liz Filipowski (16); LaShon Harley (12); O’Keishe Wright (10); Judy Hunter (7); Rebecca McClain (7); William Schuck (7); Shaunecey Johnson (5); Rex Horton (4); Kimberly Boyce (1); Annie Gill (1)

September Birthdays (Day)

Susan Sutton (3); Yolanda Moore-Jones (3); Mary-Elizabeth Medlin (4); Donnetta Miller (4); Glen Fisher (5); John Lee (8); O’Dell Hill (10); Michele Alexandre (10); Christy Walker (11); Marye Vance (12); Wanda Sutton (13); Christine Dove (13); LaTonya Steele (14); Glenda Morris (14); Dorene MacKinnon (15); Megan Elizabeth Shipman (15); Angela Boone (19); Dean Blackwelder (19); Michael Bellardini (21); Dawne Roberson (22); Penny Gluck (24); Brenda Wasson (25); Amy Netzel (26); Larry Carter (28); Tayonda Saunders (29); Deborah Maloney (30)