Monthly Archives: October 2018

Durham Tech program receives international accreditation

The English for Academic Purposes program at Durham Technical Community College has been recognized globally with a recent accreditation from the Commission on English Language Program Accreditation.

“We are advertised internationally now, so if someone is looking for a program in North Carolina or just on the East Coast, our name is going to come up for this area and the fact that we are accredited,” said Paula Wilder, the Director of the program and Continuing Education for Non-Native English Speakers.

Durham Tech is the only community college in North Carolina and one of only seven institutions in the state with the accreditation, according to the Commission’s website.

The program is accredited until August 2023.

Wilder said she’s been striving for such an accreditation since she came to Durham Tech in 2014. She also spearheaded the expansion of the English for Academic Purposes curriculum.

“Many universities around the world will not send their students to a language program unless it’s accredited through an internationally recognized organization,” she said.

The English for Academic Purposes program is designed to improve students’ skills in U.S. Academic English, specifically regarding college-level courses like reading, writing, research, grammar, listening, and speaking. The program is just one of the English as a Second Language programs offered at Durham Tech.

two students sitting next to each other in classroom smiling and looking foward

Two students participate in class discussion during EFL Composition II class during summer semester on Durham Tech’s main campus.

Durham Tech Police and Public Safety provide professional development opportunity


Durham Tech Police and Public Safety provided professional development for security officers last month at the Orange County Campus. Several Durham Tech security officers attended the training, including Officer Leslie Scott, Officer Gwendolyn Troy-Mckinney, Officer Virgil Malone, and Officer Craig Smith. Chief Dawn Tevepaugh coordinated delivery of the training.

The goal of the North Carolina Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators (NCACLEA) is to have every non-sworn officer working in a college environment to attend this entry-level training. The topics of instruction included roles and responsibilities of patrol, emergency response, fire safety, communications techniques, incident documentation, traffic direction and control, customer service and professionalism.

The training has been held at 13 campuses thus far and more than 225 officers have attended. Officers that received a passing grade on the exam were awarded a certificate of completion from the NCACLEA.

Durham Tech marketing department receives three awards in regional competition

The Durham Tech Marketing and Communications Department won several awards in the 2018 National Council for Marketing & Public Relations (NCMPR) Medallion Awards competition.

The new Durham Tech Today e-newsletter received a second-place award in the Electronic Newsletter category. The College also took third place in both the Specialty Publication and Folder Design categories. The awards were announced at the annual District 2 conference in Atlanta earlier this month.

The department won first place in 2017 for Best Print Advertisement and third place in Feature Writing in 2016.

The Medallion Awards recognize achievement in design and communication at community and technical colleges in each of seven districts. The regional competition is exclusive to marketing and public relations professionals at two-year colleges.

District 2 of the NCMPR consists of states in the southeastern United States in addition to Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, and the Bahamas.

2018 Durham Tech Foundation Scholarship Breakfast

Enjoy these highlights from the 2018 Scholarship Breakfast this morning at The Cotton Room and a big thanks, as always, to our community of supporters, whose generosity is truly changing lives.

Congratulations to all scholarship recipients listed below!

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Adult High School/ GED Program Outstanding Student Financial Assistance Award                Gunavathi Maniccam
Hailey Neil
Teleshua Platt

Altrusa Club of Chapel Hill Scholarship
Makayla Klenke

Art, Sciences, & University Transfer Scholarship
Luisa Huizar Sanchez

AW North Carolina Industrial & Engineering Scholarship
Saleh Saleh
Wyatt Tormey

Sam and Ethel Ballen Scholarship
Michelle Rivera

Barringer Family Scholarship
Tanaka Eaddy

Bastian Family Foundation Scholarship
Toluwashe Abu
Nicole Sibalo
Wendy Hernandez Diaz
Pedro Lopez Marroquin
Jorge Rivera Lopez

James I. Bolden Scholarship
Melina Genis-Garcia

Dorothy A. Brower Scholarship
Lawrence Alakinde

Campus Fund Drive Scholarship
Sumeya Kiradoh

Luna Carter Nursing Scholarship
Danielle Gifford

Chapel Hill Tire Strive for Excellence Scholarship
Andres Lomeli
Matthew Sebastian

Jenna Clayton Memorial Scholarship
Jamie Glaser
Kenisha Pate

William H. Cogwell, Jr. Memorial Scholarship
Nathaniel Alvarez

CSI Raleigh Durham Chapter Scholarship
Joseph Friedlein

Charlene B. Daye & Terry C. Lowrance Memorial Scholarship
Anastasia Kapitan
Rita Korvie

DeLoatche/Crane Single Parent Scholarship
Melina Genis-Garcia
Leslie Hitchcock
Tarlecia Mitchiner
Adam Sadda

Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Scholarship
Martina Brown

Antonio M. Dixon Memorial Scholarship Fund
Shehla Alam

East Durham Children’s Initiative (EDCI) Scholarship
Marcos Tlahuel Nunez

Eisai, Inc. Scholarship
Sakoyra Bullock
Anisa Cooprider

Ray W. Fuller Memorial Scholarship
David Adler

General Consulate of Mexico Scholarship
Melina Genis-Garcia
Belkys Hernandez
Styvalitz Hernandez
Jorge Rivera Lopez
Alba Moron Diaz
Rafaela Navarro
Ana Deysi Uriostegui-Arreola

R. Wensell and Marion Norris Grabarek Scholarship
James Watson

Dr. William Kimball Griffin Memorial Scholarship
Rachel Smoot

Virgil D. Hager & Nancy Hager Rand Memorial Scholarship
Anjili Gomes

Dr. Roberta R. Havner Memorial Scholarship
Tamatha Crews
Johnsie Morgan

James G. Huckabee, Jr. Memorial Scholarship
Jada Owens

John A. Irick Education Award
Romesa Ibnaouf

Land Tradition Scholarship
Andrea Hernandez Guzman

Light the Future Scholarship
Nicoleta Lazar
McKenna West

Robert L. and Elizabeth R. Lyon Memorial Scholarship
Alicia Albright
Gabriela Castro-Pineda
Rose Okeyo
Ebrahim Omar
Mary Onisarotu
Brianna Trout

Larry T. McComb Scholarship
Andrea Wong

Carolyn K. Murray Scholarship
Sonal Nagar
Nicolas Posada

NCATS-ALSCO Scholarship
Kaitlin Jennings

George W. & Mary H. Newton Scholarship
Linda Chen
Irina Conc
Jamie Conroy
Desiree Dean
Monica Enriquez-Cano
Jenai Johnson
Dina Jones
Joshua Lachmann
Julie Long
Aaron Lovely
Christopher McDuff
Cing Nuam
Kendra Powell
Maria Rivera
Ednah Sangaka

O’Brien/Atkins Associates, PA Architectural Drafting Scholarship
Alicea Fields
Ian Johnson

Occupational Therapy Assistant Scholarship
Kevin Houston

Odyssey Scholarship
Alba Moron Diaz

Opportunity Scholarship
Marleny Ordonez Gonzalez
Monica Enriquez-Cano

Pay It Forward Scholarship
Aarynn Marshall

Edward L. Phillips Memorial Scholarship
Ronai Pottinger

Piedmont Electrical Helping Hand Scholarship
Betiel Amanuel
Watcharee Jones

Dr. John M. & Mary Lou Schwartz Memorial Scholarship
Hadi Bitar
Halima Bori
Tammara Cherry
Novel Fonebi
Jailyn Gales
Charmaine Grafton
Redouane Hafidi
Uniqua Harris
Styvalitz Hernandez
Crystal Holley
Rajesh Kumar
Noelle Lyon
Anna McKellar
Belkys Munoz Hernandez
Takisha Street-Ten
Anthony Torres
My Tran
Ana Uriostegui-Arreola
Natthanan Wajamathura

St. Matthew’s Scholarship
Alizarina Rojas Luna

State Employees’ Credit Union Foundation Scholarship
Joyce Gresock

Barry Sickles Memorial Scholarship
Brandi Crosson

David Skulnik Memorial Scholarship
George Martinez

Richard M. Sloan Memorial Scholarship
Gavare Gentry

Bonnie Vick Stone Memorial Scholarship
Becky Etongwe
Kalyn Livernois

Edmund S. & Doris S. Swindell Scholarship
Katie Baldridge

Helen Diane Thornton Scholarship
Candace Kester

UNC Health Care Volunteer Association Scholarship
Mwaba Barcelos
Tonia Fuller
Tatiana MacHicote
Karsheana Norman
Jamileth Sibrian

Harold & Eunice Webbink Scholarship
Margaret Burch

Lynne N. West Memorial Scholarship
Heather Cureton

Anna M. White Memorial Scholarship
Tiara Davis

Nathaniel B. White, Sr. Scholarship
Kiyuana Raglin

Chuck & Jean Wilson Scholarship
Unique Hayes

Dr. Phail Wynn, Jr. Scholarship
Mfonobog Utin

Let’s celebrate October anniversaries and birthdays!

October Anniversaries (Years)

Charlene West (29); Karin Abell (18); Rebekah Roehrs (17); Darlene Covington-Brown (15); Dwight Williams (13); Jesse Greenhill (12); Annette Phillips (11); Craig Smith (9); Patricia Gould (8); Douglas Aitkin (7); Stesha Little (6); Janette Montalvo (6); Candace Rashada (5); Yasmeen Haque (4); Janet Alspaugh (3); Patricia Pendergrass (3); Tyesha Arnold (3); Horace Holloway (3); Susan Paris (3); Michelle Everest-Lamb (3); Kathryn Rexrode (2); Gwendolyn Troy-Mckinney (2); Traci Moore (1)

October Birthdays (Day)

Micara Sessoms (1); Earl Stenlund (2); Jerry Oxendine (3); Justin Gray (3); Annette Phillips (7); Courtney Bippley (8); Linda Hall (8); Oliver Just (9); Jamaal Walker (10); Annie Gill (10); Marguerita Best (11); Kerry Cantwell (12); Michelle Everest-Lamb (12); Angela Davis (13); Rebecca McClain (13); Cecil Outlaw (15); Anne. Harris (16); Edwin Smith (17); Gregory Mimmack (17); Janette Montalvo (21); Santosh Shonek (21); Nathan Hardin (21); Steve Leadon (22); Norb Golebiewski (23); Harriett Wagstaff (23); Andrea Parrish (24); Lisa Inman (25); Willie Mae Johnson (25); Kris Weberg (26); Andrew Teears (27); Chris Mansfield (27); Julie Humphrey (27); Yasmeen Haque (28); Erica Taylor (31); Jennifer Bennett (31)

Global Distinction program students visit Washington think tank

During the student activities trip to Washington, DC last week, several students participating in the Global Distinction Program took an afternoon to learn about policy making with a special visit to the Migration Policy Institute (MPI). MPI is a non-partisan, non-profit think tank dedicated to researching issues of migration around the world. Five students and their advisor, Shannon Hahn, met with Jessica Bolter, a research assistant in the Washington office, to discuss the work of MPI in general and the work she does specializing in US immigration policy. The students were interested to learn about the research process, how fieldwork is conducted, and how MPI’s reports can affect policies that are made. This visit gave students a unique opportunity to learn how research affects policy outcomes and also introduced them to some of the people and careers behind that research. This visit was made possible with the help of the Carolina Asia Center.

L to R: Kenmina Devine, Rita Kibicho, Jessica Uba, Jessica Bolter (MPI), Henry Cruz Reyes, Jenny Uba

Q&A with UNC Health Care’s Jeff Strickler

Q: How is Durham Tech impacting health care in Orange County?

A: It’s a key provider of trained health care technicians such as EMTs and Surgical Techs as well as associate degree Registered Nurses. These roles enable the region’s health facilities to deliver the exceptional care which our communities are known for providing.

Q: Durham Tech is expanding its programs and adding a new Anesthesia Technology program in partnership with UNC Health Care this fall. How do you see Durham Tech impacting our health care institutions in coming years?

A: Perioperative services are a vital part of any hospital as the focus lessens on inpatient care and instead is focused on outpatient and procedural areas. The Anesthesia Technology program will support Anesthesiologists and CRNAs in providing safe and effective care. This partnership is a good example of where hospitals and community colleges can collaborate.

Q: Community colleges have a unique ability to respond to changing industry trends and needs. How do you see that dynamism benefiting health care?

A: Community colleges by their nature are nimble in responding to change. In fact, I’m a product of a community college education. A community college is a place where many of us start our careers.

Q: What is your impression of Durham Tech’s role in training health professionals?

A: The training students receive [at Durham Tech] enables local health organizations to provide better care by tapping into a pipeline of outstanding employees.

Q: How are Durham Tech and UNC partnering to provide clinical training?

A: UNC Hospitals Hillsborough Campus currently serves as a clinical site for a number of programs. For example, nursing students have clinical rotations on our inpatient units while our operating rooms provide opportunities for students in the surgical technology program, and EMTs do clinical rotations in our Emergency Department. UNC Hillsborough Campus is across the street from Durham Tech’s Orange County Campus, which is also convenient.


Jeff Strickler

Vice President at UNC Hospitals
Head Administrator of Hillsborough Hospital

Durham Tech director transforms lives in Triangle’s automotive industry

Nate Smith (right) instructs students on oil changing basics.

On a Wednesday morning in early June, Nate Smith hopped in his Ford truck, flipped the A/C on full blast, and set out for Holloway Street. He’s meeting with the owner of AutoSense Service Center to discuss an opening for a mechanic.

He has a student in mind.

It’s a routine visit for Smith, a Durham native, who goes out of his way to help his students secure jobs.

AutoSense is almost 100 percent employed by Durham Tech graduates, much, in part, because of Smith’s unwavering support for his students. According to Smith, most dealerships, garages, or automotive retailers in the area have vehicle bays chocked full of Durham Tech alumni.

“I can look my students in the eye and promise them a job,” Smith said. “It’s such a guarantee, that if you came through the program, got ASE Certified, and threw a dart at a map of the U.S. from across the room, you could get a job wherever it landed. I can’t say that for any other career other than nursing because everywhere you go, you’ve got broke down cars and broke down bodies.”

Smith has seen the fruit of his labor since he started teaching in 2001.

“There are some dealerships in this town where more than 60 percent of their mechanics came out of Durham Tech,” Smith said. “When you teach a student how to fix a car and then you walk through a dealership two years later and they call out your name. There they are. They’re making $40,000 to $60,000 per year. They’re feeding their families. They’re doing well – and to know you had a little part to play in that – it feels good to know you made a difference in those folk’s lives.”

‘You light up when you teach’

Once the owner of AutoSmith Garage, Smith transitioned to teaching after a conversation in the fall of 2000. A student at Durham Tech, who worked under Smith, told him he had a knack for it.

“When he graduated from Durham Tech and got ready to go to NC State, he looked at me and said, ‘You really need to consider closing your garage and start teaching full-time at Durham Tech. I came here knowing nothing and I’ve watched you take two hours to show me how to fix something and I knew you weren’t getting paid for it. You have lost money to teach me and you love it. You light up when you teach.’ ”

Smith thought about that conversation for the next several months.

“I was driving home from dropping my kids off at church camp that following summer and kept running his words through my head,” Smith said. “You lost money to teach me, you light up when you teach. I wondered if it was true. I think he’s crazy, but what if he’s right?”

Nate Smith (right) meets with Xun Qian (left), owner of Autosense Garage, to talk about employing one of his students after graduation.

His next stop was Durham Tech.

“I knew Durham Tech was off of Highway 147 somewhere so I thought, I’ll just find Durham Tech, I’ll roll up in there and I’ll let them know I have my Bachelor’s degree in education, another Bachelor’s degree in theology, I’m Master ASE Certified, and I run a shop,” Smith said. “I talked to someone in the automotive program and got a call from the director the next day. He said, ‘We’ve been looking for someone. You’d be perfect. We want you, we need you.’ ”

Robert Ballard, automotive instructor at Chapel Hill High School, was 17 when he enrolled in Smith’s program. He was an AutoSmith Scholarship recipient and originally just wanted a certificate or diploma, but Smith pushed him to get a degree.

Afterward, Smith helped him get a job as a continuing education instructor at the College.

“I don’t think he loves anything more than teaching and he loves impacting people’s lives. I wouldn’t be where I’m at right now if it wasn’t for Nate,” Ballard said. “He got me my start in automotive, a career, and now teaching so he’s really led the path for me to have financial security. I don’t have to worry or rely on anyone else. He helped me establish my life.”

Walking in father’s footsteps

Smith is a family man. It’s a legacy in his family.

“Dad was very gracious, benevolent, and driven. He didn’t know any enemies,” Smith said. “He was just a great guy and I wish I could be more like him.”

The late Glen Loy Smith, Sr. was a business man, minister, and former adjunct instructor at Durham Tech that placed high value on equality and helping others.

“He was a big believer in Durham Rescue Mission. He liked changing people’s lives,” Smith said.

In 2006, Smith started the AutoSmith Scholarship with the Durham Tech Foundation, which offsets the cost of one introductory automotive course, to serve as a starting point for a college career.

“I wanted to do something big, something that counted for something,” Smith said. “I saw the need of giving a percentage of your paycheck back to help students. It’s my way of honoring my dad, honoring Durham Tech, and helping automotive students who wouldn’t have the funds otherwise.”

When his dad passed away in 2008, Smith altered the scholarship to give priority to individuals in the homeless community by way of Durham Rescue Mission.

“I wanted to tailor the scholarship to the homeless to honor my dad,” Smith said. “The inspiration for what I do comes from Dad’s commitment. In some ways, he’s still having an effect on this earth.”

The AutoSmith Scholarship has been awarded to 16 students since its inception.

Smith’s dream for the automotive department at Durham Tech grew last year when Marc Pons, owner of Chapel Hill Tire, also started an automotive scholarship at the College.

Pons, who has brought on a number of Durham Tech students for work experience at his business’ locations, said Smith’s passion is an inspiration.

“Nate cares deeply for his students. That’s what makes him a great leader,” Pons said. “Nate takes a keen interest in his students’ well-being and that leaves a lasting impact.”

A family tradition

The Smith family has a rich Durham Tech heritage. All five of his children have attended or will attend Durham Tech.

His three oldest children attended the College before joining the Navy, pursing business, and becoming a nurse, while his fourth child is a current student in the Architectural Technology program. His youngest will start Middle College High School on Durham Tech’s campus this year.

“You could say Durham Tech is a Nathan Smith family tradition,” Smith said. “We believe in Durham Tech.”

Smith said he has no plans on slowing down anytime soon.

“As long as Durham Tech will have me, I’m here,” Smith said. “This is not a job. I love it. There are some aspects, like paperwork, that is not my forte, but I endure the paperwork to watch people learn to do something they didn’t think they could do.”

Nate Smith

Durham Tech students receive Coca-Cola Leaders of Promise Scholarships

Durham Tech President Dr. Bill Ingram poses with Durham Tech students Ednah Sangaka and Brandi Crosson, who received the 2018 Coca-Cola Leaders of Promise Scholarship.

Two students from Durham Technical Community College have been named as
2018 Coca-Cola Leaders of Promise Scholars.

The students, Ednah Sangaka and Brandi Crosson, were among 207 Phi Theta
Kappa members recognized this year. They each received a $1,000 scholarship.

“It has been such a joy to watch these young ladies grow into leadership roles
within our chapter,” said Kimberly Boyce, faculty advisor of Beta Tau Phi, the
Durham Tech chapter of Phi Theta Kappa.

“They both have been wonderful assets to our team and have pushed themselves
beyond their comfort zones in order to get involved with the great things that Beta
Tau Phi is doing and has planned this semester. I can’t wait to watch things unfold
for these two remarkable students.”

The Coca-Cola Leaders of Promise Scholarship Program helps defray educational
expenses for new Phi Theta Kappa members while they are enrolled in associate
degree programs.

More than 1,200 people applied for the scholarship. The winners were selected
based on academic achievement, community service, and leadership potential.

“The Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation has a long history of providing financial
assistance to outstanding students at community colleges,” said Jane Hale
Hopkins, Executive Vice President and President-Elect of the Coca-Cola Scholars
Foundation. “We are proud to partner with Phi Theta Kappa to make it possible for
more deserving students to achieve their educational goals and support
tomorrow’s leaders of the global community.”

Phi Theta Kappa is a premier honor society recognizing the academic
achievement of students at associate degree-granting colleges and helping them
to grow as scholars and leaders. The Society is made up of more than 3.5 million
members and nearly 1,300 chapters in 10 nations. For more information,
visit ptk.org.

For more information about the Durham Tech chapter, visit durhamtech.edu.