Forsyth Technical Community College Hosts Pulitzer Center Speaker Bridget Huber

Bridget Huber

Forsyth Technical Community College is one of 30 national universities and community colleges in the Pulitzer Center Campus Consortium Network

Winston-Salem, N.C. – Forsyth Technical Community College will host a Pulitzer Center grantee journalist, Bridget Huber on Thursday, Sept. 14 at 11 a.m. in the Oak Grove Auditorium, Forsyth Technical Community College Campus, 2100 Silas Creek Parkway, Winston-Salem, N.C.
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Forsyth Tech Offers Employees Paid Time Off Work to Give Back

Giving back is an important part of our mission here at Forsyth Tech. But for many employees, that can be hard to do, as volunteer time is spent after work hours or on the weekends. That’s why college leaders implemented a new community service program this year, giving employees another option to pitch in while on the clock. It allows them to take eight hours of paid time off annually to volunteer in their communities.
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Hacking for Good: Educating the Next Generation on Cutting Edge Cyber Security

cyber security student

Ariana Hernandez Noyola is learning about how to legally hack a computer!

“I’m learning about jobs in technology that help others,” Ariana says. “There are good hackers out there, and they protect people’s information.”

Ariana is a part of a group of rising 7th and 8th grade students, who got a taste of what it’s like to have a career in cyber security at Forsyth Tech’s GenCyber Camp this summer. Designed for both teachers and students, it was made possible by an $80,000 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and National Security Agency (NSA).

Training teachers

The first week of the camp equipped teachers with the training they need to learn how to code, program a computer, and improve cyber security teaching methods they can take back to their schools.

Cyber security teacherTen Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools’ teachers kicked off the week by learning how to program a Raspberry Pi. It’s a low cost, credit-card sized computer that plugs into a computer monitor or TV, and uses a standard keyboard and mouse. For many teachers, it was their first experience with programming.

“It’s great for beginners who are learning how to code,” explains Elerod Morris, who teaches at Carver High School and is also an instructor at Forsyth Tech. “It’s very engaging and user-friendly software. We’ll be able to take this back to our classrooms, and develop lesson plans that are interactive and collaborative.”

“One of the most rewarding experiences of the camp is working hands on,” says Lakeyia Ingram, a career counselor at Carver High School. “To know something this small possesses so much power is pretty amazing.”

Teachers were also able to learn about increasing cyber literacy for millennials.

“This knowledge opens so many career paths for students,” Lakeyia explains. “This is a wonderful opportunity to help them explore their potential talents.”

Coaching students

teachers and students at the GenCyber eventTeachers used the skills and knowledge they’d gained from their first week at camp to guide 30 students during the second week of camp. Students from low-performing schools were given preference during attendance selection.

“We want to give kids a solid foundation and future in cyber security and related fields,” explains Dr. Deanne Wesley, department chair, Davis iTEC Center. “Many of these students don’t have a computer at home, so their access is limited. One of our goals is to increase diversity and interest in cybersecurity.”

Teachers also showed students how to program their own Raspberry Pi.

“I’d never heard of a Raspberry Pi, but I got excited when I learned we were going to be able to program our own computers!” Ariana says. “It will help me in school.”

“When you have to put it together from scratch, it really helps you learn how it works,” says student James Bowman.

Students were also able to learn how to use the handheld computers to legally hack.

“We have to teach the next generation of students how to defend our country against cyber attacks, which are happening more and more frequently,” Dr. Wesley explains. “The camp not only increases interest in cybersecurity careers, but is also a great way to help students understand correct and safe online behavior.”

“It gets me thinking about my future, and what I want to pursue in college,” James says. “I think a job in IT would be rewarding and fun.”

GenCyber event GenCyber event GenCyber event GenCyber event
GenCyber Camp GenCyber Camp GenCyber Camp GenCyber Camp GenCyber Camp

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We Interrupt This Broadcast

Brandi Blanchard

Forsyth Technical Community College’s Broadcasting and Production Technology (BPT) program was born out of a need by a community partner. IMG College, a sports marketing and broadcast services company headquartered in Winston-Salem, came to Forsyth Tech in 2010 with a necessity for developing trained workers in this specialized area. The program began with only a Radio Diploma. It has since added an Associate of Applied Science degree. The program is home to a LPFM radio station, a television station, multimedia production suites, and a full lab of video editing suites. There have been many accomplishments during the past seven years, but faculty and staff say the most gratifying and validating facets of the program have come through their graduates and those that have gone through it.

A mind-blowing experience

Bob Gassett’s story is one that spans full circle at the college. It all began when IMG College accepted him into its internship program while completing his degree. Bob says hands-on instruction from industry professionals through Forsyth Tech’s partnership with IMG was key.

“I was able to learn more of the business side of things, how to handle and thrive in a professional environment, and was allowed to actually begin shadowing and running the board during baseball broadcasts for the University of Southern Mississippi,” Bob says.

After being one of the program’s first graduates in 2013, Bob was the first full-time employee IMG College hired right out of the program. He started in engineering, and worked his way up to Lead Technical Producer. Bob is now responsible for audio streaming on apps, websites, and digital mediums for the company’s more than 50 school broadcast networks.

“It was fantastic to be able to work in the environment in which I learned everything,” Bob says. “The whole thing was mind blowing, and it’s a great honor to be offered a full-time job to work alongside the people that had helped me with my education. I feel fortunate to have been educated, interned, and employed all in the same place.”

The will to never give up

Brandi Blanchard not only wanted to make a better life for her and her daughter, but also show her daughter that it’s never too late to go back to school. In 2012, the single mom—who says she always had an interest in television production—enrolled in the BPT program.

“I knew nothing about the field but immediately found my niche,” Brandi says. “By the end of the year, I was in the top of my class. I fell in love, and knew I was in the right place.”

Brandi completed the program in two years, graduating with an A.A.S. degree – all while working three part-time jobs! However, in order to pursue the career she really wanted, she knew a four-year degree was required. She was accepted into and started the Journalism/Mass Communication program at North Carolina A&T State University in the fall of 2014.

“The hands-on training I received at Forsyth Tech laid the groundwork for my courses at A&T,” Brandi says. “I graduated, with honors, in the spring of 2017.”

Brandi returned to her roots at Forsyth Tech, and is now a New Media and Production Specialist for the college’s Center for Transformative Learning. She’s using her degrees to produce and edit instructional videos for the college. She says pure determination, faith, and the support of family and her instructors at Forsyth Tech are what got her to where she is today.

“There were times I wanted to give up,” Brandi admits. “But the encouragement from BPT Program Coordinator Amy Davis-Moore and instructor Tom Logan helped me succeed.”

Dreams coming true

Fred McKoy’s dream of working in the nation’s #1 radio market is now a reality – thanks to the education he received at Forsyth Tech.

“It all started with Amy Davis-Moore and seeing her commitment to students’ success,” Fred says. “Once she recognizes your strengths, she’s great at nurturing that and advising you on the best path to align your talent with your goals.”

McKoy is now an associate producer in the on-air promotion and music departments at Sirius XM radio in New York City. He says the courses he took in the BPT program gave him the foundation he needed to succeed.

“It gave me access to resources that I would have otherwise not had,” Fred says. “I also received an education about industry history, fundamentals, guidelines and regulations. They’re factors that I feel are continuing to pay dividends for me now as I move further along in my career. Enrolling in this program is one of the best steps I’ve ever taken.”

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Forsyth Tech Receives 1.5 Million Grant from Golden LEAF Foundation

Forsyth Tech is extremely grateful for a $1.5 million grant from the Golden LEAF Foundation. The college will use the money to help create a Skilled Trades Building planned for its Stokes County Center in the Meadows community near Walnut Cove. The building will provide high school students with career training opportunities in welding, plumbing, electrical systems and horticulture.
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Forsyth Technical Community College Partners with Barnes & Noble College to Manage its Campus Bookstores

Retailer Bringing Cost-Saving Options and Expanded Services to Forsyth Tech Students and Faculty

Forsyth Technical Community College has named Barnes & Noble College, a Barnes & Noble Education Company (NYSE:BNED), as the new operator of its on-campus bookstores. The Forsyth Tech Bookstores will transition to new management beginning July 17, 2017.
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