Forsyth Tech President, Dr. Gary M. Green, To Retire In December

Winston-Salem, NC, February 22, 2018 – At a news conference this afternoon, Alan Proctor, Chair of the Board of Trustees for Forsyth Technical Community College in Winston-Salem, NC, announced that the college’s President, Gary M. Green, will retire December 31, 2018.  Green is the longest serving president at Forsyth Tech.

A search committee, co-chaired by Ann Bennett-Phillips of Capital Development Services and Edwin L. Welch Jr., of I.L. Long Construction, will follow State Board of Community Colleges procedures to identify a new president.  They expect to have a new president in place in January 2019.

“Dr. Gary Green has well-served Forsyth Tech as its President, leading some of the school’s most sweeping changes in its history,” Proctor said. “During his tenure, he tremendously evolved the educational experience for our students, adding an array of new curricula, leading more than $100 million in facilities expansions, raising more than $33 million over two significant capital campaigns, and turning the school into a national educational model for biotechnology, cybersecurity, and motorsports technology.”

Gary GreenGreen began his tenure as President at Forsyth Tech on July 1, 2001. His goal was to align the College’s programs with the changing economy, with a focus on achieving high student success and completion rates.

“The impact of Dr. Green’s work is immeasurable,” said Welch.  “Countless individuals have been given phenomenal educational opportunities that have greatly enhanced their quality of life. Employers in the area, as well as industries across the region, have been assured of a skilled work force due to the excellent training programs available at Forsyth Technical Community College.  Dr. Green is singularly focused on our students’ futures, he had a vision and he made it happen.”

Green’s work attracted the attention of President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama, both of whom visited the campus, and the U.S. Department of Labor. These visits brought attention to new curricula in areas like biotechnology and nanotechnology and opened doors for the College to become a regional, state, and national leader in biotechnology that included development of the National Center for the Biotechnology Workforce.

“Dr. Green’s service has been an asset not just to Forsyth Tech, but to the entire Community College System,” said Jennifer Haygood, acting president of the North Carolina Community College System. “He has provided great leadership as chair of the Legislative Committee of the North Carolina Association of Community College Presidents, strongly advocating for the collective priorities of all 58 community colleges. In addition, he has volunteered his service on numerous task forces addressing issues of system-wide importance. I will miss his thoughtful approach to tackling challenges and finding solutions.”

The College is known as a leader in cybersecurity and was designated as a Center of Academic Excellence-Cyber Defense Education and was named the East Central Regional Resource Center by the National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security.

Forsyth Tech partnered with Northern Virginia Community College and Goodwill International to establish national models for Community College/Goodwill collaborations, once again bringing national attention to the College.

The Race Car Technology Program was renamed for the legendary Richard Childress, and with his support and other automotive partnerships, the program is now one of the state leaders in Motorsports Technology.

Academic excellence led Forsyth Tech to be selected as one of four community colleges in the U.S. to pilot the National Association of Manufacturers Endorsed Skills Certification. Green is a member of the Manufacturing Institute’s Education Council.

Green’s knowledge and passion for the potential that community colleges offer individuals, companies, governments and other entities is evident through speeches and presentations for the U.S. Department of Labor. He also has had national roles on the Executive Committee of the 2006-2009 American Association of Community College Board of Directors and as the Chair of the organization’s Public Policy and Government Relations Committee.

Green is a frequent speaker, panelist and contributor to organizations and events such as with The Aspen Institute, Higher Education Research and Development Institute, President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, and White House Conference on the Economy.  He has been a spokesperson and commentator on community college and workforce development issues with CNN, C-SPAN, NPR, and the Huffington Post.

Green led the Momentum (2005-2010) and Pathways to Possibilities (2015-2018) capital campaigns that raised more than $33 million. He also led the physical expansion of the College with $100 million in new and renovated facilities.

Forsyth Tech is a comprehensive community college with 7,500 credit and 20,000 non-credit students, 550 full-time and 1,100 part-time employees, and a budget of $100 million.

Green currently serves as the Legislative Chair for the North Carolina Association of Community College President and has held this role for multiple terms. He also serves on the NC Department of Information Technology Cybersecurity Work Group, Piedmont Triad Talent Alignment Steering Committee, The Manufacturing Institute Education Council, Winston-Salem Alliance Board, Wake Forest Innovation Quarter Advisory Board, Winston-Salem Chamber of Commerce Board and Executive Committee, Winston-Salem Business Inc. Board of Directors, Winston-Salem Foundation Board of Directors, Center for Design Innovation Board of Directors, Hospice and Palliative Care Center Board of Directors, and Winston-Salem Rotary Club.

Holding a B.A. and M.A. in English and Ed.D. in Higher Education, all from the University of Kentucky, Dr. Green’s career prior to Forsyth Tech included leadership positions at Calhoun Community College, Decatur/Huntsville, AL, where he received the Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding Administrator of the Year from the Alabama College System; Owensboro Community College, Owensboro, KY; and Elizabethtown Community College, Elizabethtown, KY.

Regarding his retirement, Green said “being President of Forsyth Tech has been the highlight of my professional life.  I will always be grateful to the Board of Trustees for this opportunity.  I have been fortunate to work with faculty and staff who are exceptionally committed and passionate about student success.”

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A Special Presentation to the NC Conference of English Instructors

Vetrone and Dr. Redfield

Finding uncommon ways to help students succeed is one of the commitments Dr. Kristin Redfield, Writing Program Coordinator at Forsyth Tech, makes to her students. In keeping with her teaching philosophy, when she submitted her proposal for a presentation at the NC Conference of English Instructors this past October, she had an idea for a unique presentation – bring a student who had been through the experience.

“The topic ‘But I Don’t Like Reading Stuff from Dead People!’ seemed to require a student’s perspective, plus I wanted to give a student a real-life presentation experience,” said Redfield. “I called the conference coordinator and asked if a Forsyth Tech student could present at the conference with me. She agreed.”

“It’s not often that arts and humanities students get to present to a group outside of their peers; it’s usually science, math and technology students who have those presentation opportunities,” said Redfield.

She thought about who would be a good candidate to discuss this unusual topic and then remembered Nick Vetrone from her American Literature class. Redfield knew he had critical thinking skills and enjoyed reading a variety of literature from both living and non-living authors.

Vetrone is currently a second-year College Transfer student, planning to graduate in the fall of 2018 and transfer to a four-year university.

“I thought I wanted to go into teaching, and having this real-life experience confirmed it for me. Having the chance to see first-hand if this is what I want to do with my career was inspiring,” said Vetrone. “I enjoyed the opportunity to explain our ideas and connect with educators outside of the college.”

Vetrone said he enjoyed working with Dr. Redfield to develop the presentation. He reports that she has a great teaching style, is student-driven, and likes to moderate a student-generated discussion.

Redfield said they composed the presentation together. “I was impressed that Nick was not afraid to share his ideas on the presentation and kept asking about rehearsals,” she chuckled.

In addition to the presentation, Dr. Redfield shared the participation guidelines that students use in the course to assess each other.

“Getting students to read and participate focuses on the innovative ways to make early American literature engaging, exciting, and relevant to today’s students,” said Anu Williams, Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences Division.  “Opportunities like this one are just one more way that Forsyth Tech is preparing students of today for the workplace of tomorrow.”

Photo Caption: Dr. Kristin Redfield and Nick Vetrone sharing their presentation.

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Forsyth Technical Community College Announces Winners of The Small Business Launch Challenge

Forsyth Technical Community College announces the winners of the Small Business Launch Challenge held at Wake Downtown, Innovation Quarter on Monday, December 18, 2017. Six finalists presented their proposals for new businesses, and three winners were chosen. The first place winner was Stacey Mitchell, co-owner of Smoke and Skillet Food and Beverage Catering; second place winner was Faith McKnight, owner of The Sweet Truth Bakery and Catering; and third place winner was Calissa Hooper, owner of 5 Sistah’s Delight, Food Truck Catering.
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North Carolina Work-Based Learning Association Announces Outstanding Employer

The award recipient being given the award

Forsyth Technical Community College Nominates Research Information Systems at Wake Forest Baptist Health for Collaboration on Work-Based Learning 

Getting work experience while still in school is an invaluable experience for students preparing for a career. At Forsyth Tech, the Work-Based Learning Department comprised of Beth Agnello, director and Danielle Rose, manager works with local businesses to offer real-world, on-the-job internship experiences to students. Businesses also benefit by identifying students who may become employees. One of the business partners who has worked closely with Work-Based Learning is Scott Rushing, director of Research Information Systems at Wake Forest Baptist Health.
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From the President

Dr. Gary Green

Progressive manufacturing technology education was one of the essential foundations of Forsyth Technical Community College at its inception in 1960. It remains true today as we are in the era of advanced or digital manufacturing—manufacturing driven by science and technology—which will continue to progress or evolve to meet the standards for the industry.
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In Memoriam

Gordon Pfefferkorn; April 13, 1921—May 27, 2017

Mr. Pfefferkorn made education a reality for dozens of Forsyth Tech students, and even after his passing, continues to create opportunities for generations to come. He established The L. Gordon, Jr. and June D. Pfefferkorn Scholarship through the Winston-Salem Foundation for students attending or enrolling at Forsyth Tech. Following an initial grant for scholarships for two students, the Pfefferkorns extended their generosity in 2014 by providing nine full two-year scholarships to Forsyth Tech students. Mr. Pfefferkorn was the president of the Pfefferkorn Company, a community-oriented mortgage banking firm. We extend our deepest sympathies to his family.
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Inaugural Recipient Chosen for Mazie S. Woodruff Scholarship

Scholarship recipients

This September, Vernell Springs was chosen as the first recipient of the Mazie S. Woodruff Scholarship. Forsyth Tech announced the establishment of this scholarship at the Mazie Woodruff Center’s Black History Month Celebration on February 23.

The new scholarship honors the life and legacy of Mazie Spencer Woodruff, the first African American elected to the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners. Woodruff was a devoted public servant and community activist, and was responsible for gaining support to build the Carver School Road Library, where the Mazie S. Woodruff Center, a satellite campus of Forsyth Tech, is also located. She received awards such as the Winston-Salem Chronicle Woman of the Year in 1998, the Sara Lee Service Award in 1990, and Outstanding County Commissioner by the National Association of Black County Officials in 1996.

The scholarship is awarded to a second-year student at the Mazie S. Woodruff Center enrolled in at least one course who maintains a 3.0 GPA. Like Woodruff herself, the scholarship’s recipient must exemplify a commitment to academics as well as his or her community.
Ms. Springs
The inaugural recipient, Ms. Springs, is a strong student who is committed to volunteering in the Winston-Salem community through the North Carolina Mission of Mercy Free Dental Clinic and Experiment in Self Reliance, and has received numerous awards for her service such as the Winston-Salem Symphony Volunteer of the Month in 2016 and the Vivian Burke We Care Award in 2015. Ms. Springs currently takes four classes at Forsyth Tech in addition to caring for her disabled husband and serving as an intern at Crisis Control Ministries.

The Mazie S. Woodruff Center began with an initial goal of $2,500 to establish the scholarship. Since February, $5,000 has been raised. Currently the recipient is awarded $500 per school year, but the ultimate goal is to secure enough funds to endow the scholarship to ensure its longevity, which at Forsyth Tech requires raising $25,000. Forsyth Tech, together with the Mazie S. Woodruff Center, believes that the creation of this scholarship will continue to eliminate barriers and increase literacy for minority students in Forsyth County. “I am glad that we decided to establish this scholarship because there are literacy gaps in Forsyth County and our hope and aim is to help close those gaps,” said Director of the Mazie S. Woodruff Center, TerCraig Edwards.

Gifts towards the Mazie S. Woodruff Center Scholarship can be received online at

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Medical Assisting Program Reaches Ultimate Achievement in Student Pass Rate

medical students

Forsyth Tech’s Medical Assisting program is one example of how the college is preparing students to enter the workforce as productive members of the community. This year, all of the program’s graduates passed the Certified Medical Assistant examination of the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In addition to the 100 percent pass rate, program graduates measured at the 93rd percentile, far ahead of the national benchmark of 65 percent.
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