Monthly Archives: June 2018

Durham Tech partners with UNC to launch new Anesthesia Technology program

Durham Technical Community College will launch a new Anesthesia Technology program this fall.

The program will be the only one of its kind in the state. It was designed in partnership with the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, the UNC School of Medicine, and UNC Healthcare. Following final approval, Durham Tech is expected to be one of 11 approved programs in the country.

“We’re very excited about this collaboration. Durham Tech’s new Anesthesia Technology program addresses a critical health care need in our region, prepares our students to meet industry needs, and provides upward economic mobility for our workforce,” said Durham Tech President Bill Ingram.

Each student who successfully completes the program at Durham Tech will earn an Associate in Applied Science degree and be eligible to take the American Society of Anesthesia Technologists and Technicians (ASATT) National Certification Examination. The program will be held at the Durham Tech Orange County Campus.

Dr. Chris Howard, Medical Director for Anesthesia Technology at UNC Healthcare, helped spearhead the program’s creation after conducting a survey of local hospitals and assessing a need for certified anesthesia technologists.

“Currently, we have nearly 70 locations where we provide anesthesia services, often to some of the sickest patients in the state,” Howard said. “We always have had a well-run group of anesthesia technicians and technologists, but the group has struggled to grow with the rest of the department and hospital. We can train inexperienced people to become good anesthesia technicians, but nothing can replicate the training available through an ASATT-certified program.”

Howard added that employers he contacted said they prefer anesthesia technologists and technicians with the ASATT certification because of skills they learn in order to gain certification.

UNC Healthcare will support the program with donations of some essential equipment and supplies, lecturing for Durham Tech students, and valuable input into curriculum development.

“The partnership with UNC Healthcare reflects how, together, we can problem solve to not only address workforce needs but also contribute positively to the health of patients,” said Melissa Oakley Ockert, Dean and Department Head of Health Technologies at Durham Tech.

“Our health programs teach students to become health care workers, and then they impact the patients in our community for the better – that’s huge. We take that responsibility very, very seriously. This is a testament to how a community college and its valuable clinical partners can build vital, healthier communities.”

The program will include 66 credit hours of anesthesia technology, science, and general education coursework. The Durham Tech Orange County Campus is located in Waterstone Development at 525 College Park Road in Hillsborough.

This new program is expected to begin Fall 2018, pending approval from its regional accreditor, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) and the Committee on Accreditation for Anesthesia Technology Education (CoA-ATE).

Durham Tech, NC State partner in dual-admission program

Dr. Louis Hunt, Senior Vice Provost of Enrollment Management Services at NC State, and Dr. Bill Ingram, President of Durham Tech, sign NC State C3 agreement.

A new program between Durham Technical Community College and North Carolina State University will allow eligible students to receive guaranteed admission to the university after completing an associate’s degree.

Durham Tech is one of eight community colleges in the region to join the pilot program for the NC State Community College Collaboration, or C3. The new Durham Tech program agreement was signed Thursday in Durham.

“NC State has been a great educational partner for Durham Tech, and we’re thrilled to sign an agreement that will guarantee admission for a number of outstanding Durham and Orange County students,” said Durham Tech President Bill Ingram.

To qualify for the program at Durham Tech, prospective students must be from a low-to-moderate income background and must want to transfer to NC State after earning an Associate of Arts, Associate of Science, or an Associate of Engineering degree.

In the program’s initial year, those interested can apply during their first year at Durham Tech. In subsequent years, graduating high school students will also be eligible to apply.

Once enrolled in to the C3 program, students are simultaneously admitted into Durham Tech and as a Non-Degree Studies student at NC State. Participants will have an NC State student profile and will be assigned to an NC State academic advisor. They can also take classes at NC State while attending Durham Tech.

Students accepted into the program will have up to three years to complete an Associate in Arts, Associate in Science, or Associate in Engineering degree.

Students who complete their degree and maintain a minimum grade point average (GPA) of a 3.0 will be guaranteed admission to NC State.

Durham Tech helps break language barrier, connects families in deaf community

(l to r) Crystal Honeycutt Willock, Buffi-Lynn Gaskin-Fisher, Claudia Rayno

It was a tough moment for Crystal Honeycutt Willock as she enrolled her daughter away from home at the Eastern North Carolina School for the Deaf.

Her daughter has progressive hearing loss, Willock said, and she felt the Wilson-based school could provide new resources and opportunities.

Her choice was a good one, she said.

“Being in the deaf community took her from being an outsider kid in public school to be completely embraced, accepted, and loved,” Willock said. “I saw her language capacity and comprehension blossom, and I knew at that point that I had made the right decision.”

But after her daughter’s diagnosis, Willock also wanted to find more resources to communicate with her child. She researched American Sign Language in the Triangle – and found Durham Tech.

“I thought it was progressive to find out Durham Tech had ASL classes,” Willock said. “It’s providing me with an opportunity to stay connected with my daughter. Durham Tech is not only serving my educational goals, but most intimately, it is allowing me to communicate with my daughter and keep pace with the way she is growing.”

Durham Tech offers American Sign Language classes as continuing education and curriculum courses, taught by Rebecca Coyne.

“Ms. Coyne makes the class unique by humanizing the deaf community,” Willock said. “Her desire for people to be able to connect on their own terms is really inspiring.”

Willock’s classmates at Durham Tech, Buffi-Lynn Gaskin-Fisher and Claudia Rayno, also have personal connections to the deaf community.

Gaskin-Fisher has a 13-year-old daughter who is completely deaf.

“It’s hard to find interpreters on short notice when I need them to go to appointments with me and my daughter so I decided to take ASL classes to have an opportunity to effectively communicate with her,” Gaskin-Fisher said. “I was relieved to see Durham Tech offered ASL classes. It feels good to be able to communicate with my daughter and I hope Durham Tech expands the ASL program to offer even more classes in the future.”

Rayno wants to be an ASL interpreter in a classroom setting.

“My father immigrated to America in middle school and his father didn’t speak English so he grew up with a lot of language barriers,” Rayno said. “Talking to my dad over the years about the struggles he faced and not being able to communicate with his family or classmates is what drove my interest in ASL.”

Willock said she also hopes to turn her ASL education into a career and aspires to be an ASL interpreter in a medical setting. She said she is thankful Durham Tech has made learning about deaf culture more accessible in the Triangle.

“I think Durham Tech, whether they know it or not, is doing a really beautiful thing by embracing another marginalized community,” Willock said. “It’s frustrating to not be able to know enough about the deaf community and the language to advocate for my daughter in the ways I normally would as a parent, but because of Durham Tech, I have access to learning more about the nuances and subtleties that make up the culture. When I’m able to sign with my daughter, it’s my way of saying ‘I love you no matter who you are and I’m in this with you to the best of my ability.’ ”

Durham Tech receives nearly $200,000 from Duke Energy, Piedmont Natural Gas for new Electrical Line Technician program

Durham Technical Community College has received a $196,902 investment from the Duke Energy Foundation and Piedmont Natural Gas for a new Electrical Line Technician program.

Melissa Chappell, Executive Director of the Durham Tech Foundation, said the program will help Durham Tech meet regional employment demands by preparing students to work as electrical line technicians.

“Duke Energy’s commitment to workforce development initiatives, including higher education and job readiness programs, makes the company an ideal partner for this program,” Chappell said.

The new program will cover elements of electricity, overhead pole and electrical line construction, safety codes and applications, electric power system, transformer/meter installations, and exploration of underground electrical distribution. Classes will be taught at the Northern Durham Center campus starting in Spring 2019.

“Durham Tech is extremely grateful for Duke Energy’s continued support and partnership. This grant will allow the College to provide the curriculum, required certifications, and pre-employment requirements to students as they prepare for careers as electrical line technicians,” said Dr. Peter Wooldridge, Vice President of Corporate, Continuing, and Public Services Education. “Duke Energy has been a partner on everything from program development and energy efficiency to equipment upgrades on campus.”

Duke Energy has been a longtime partner of Durham Tech, including a 2014 grant to create a mechatronics lab at the Northern Durham Center campus. The lab is home to the College’s new Advanced Manufacturing program.

“The job of a lineman is critical to the safe and efficient delivery of power for our customers in North Carolina,” said Indira Everett, Duke Energy district manager. “We’re pleased to partner with Durham Tech to cultivate training and education opportunities for line workers of the future who will continue this legacy and keep our communities safe.”

This grant is part of Duke Energy’s $35 million investment in North Carolina’s Community Colleges’ focus on technical education and support of business and industry. Individual community colleges could apply for funds through the North Carolina Community Foundation and the Foundation for the Carolinas. Applications were reviewed by a committee of representatives from Duke Energy, NC Community College System, and NC Department of Commerce.

About Durham Technical Community College
Durham Technical Community College champions learning and student success, delivers outstanding teaching and service, and develops career skills for the people of Durham. The College aims to be an active community partner in educational, workforce, and economic development.  Durham Tech’s mission and strategic goals clearly commit the institution to engaging with our communities in ways that not only help those served, but also allow members of the college community to learn. Durham Tech extends the walls of our classrooms and the boundaries of the campuses, providing students, faculty, and staff with hands-on, real-world experiences while helping others.

About Duke Energy Foundation
The Duke Energy Foundation provides philanthropic support to address the needs of the communities where its customers live and work. The foundation provides more than $30 million annually in charitable gifts. The foundation’s education focus spans kindergarten to career, particularly science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), early childhood literacy and workforce development. It also supports the environment and community impact initiatives, including arts and culture.

Duke Energy employees and retirees actively contribute to their communities as volunteers and leaders at a wide variety of nonprofit organizations. Duke Energy is committed to building on its legacy of community service. For more information, visit

Follow Duke Energy on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook.

Durham Tech employees take on new roles

Durham Tech congratulates the following employees on their new roles:

Earl Stenlund – Director, Technology Infrastructure, ITS
Megan Nicholson – Colleague Analyst, ITS
Candace Rashada – Director/Instructor Workforce Development (HRD), Continuing Education
Jamaal Walker – Sergeant/Shift Supervisor, Campus Police and Public Safey

June Farewells

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

Tiffani Purdie – Dispatcher, Campus Police and Public Safety
Mary-Elizabeth Medlin – Accounting Technician, Finance and Administrative Services
Jairo McMican – Director, Admission and Advising Services

Let’s celebrate June anniversaries and birthdays!

June Anniversaries (Years)

Dorothy Holman (17); Ingrid Charles (15); Alfreda Gregory (11); Cortissia Johnson (11); Andrei George (11); Timiya McCormick (10); Kevin Hinton (10); Edwin Smith (8); Tiffany Collins (4); John Mathewson (2); Nadine Ford (2); Derek Epps (2)

June Birthdays (Day)

Lyndsay Al-Shibli (1); Ryan Newnam (1); Tisha Phillips (2); Cindy Hardin (3); Betty Lyons (5); Hyacinth Ingram (8); Kathy Zarilla (8); Melissa Chappell (9); Alicia Freeman (9); Donna Littleton (13); Robert Wilson (14); Rhea Deroian (17); Jacquelyn McKeithan-Foster (17); Angela Perry (19); Jaclyn Krohn (20); Denise Walz (22); Tracy Johnson (22); Rebekah Roehrs (23); Judy Hunter (24); William Creech (25); Jordan Fulchiero (29); Suzi Jaikaran (30)