Drawn Together

Molly Lithgo and students

How An Art Class Became A Little Community

Molly Lithgo taught “Drawing In Color” at Forsyth Tech for twenty years, from 1996 until she retired last May, and Mary Lib McCachern and Shirley McElwee were in virtually every class. Even when the class had three sessions a year – fall, spring and summer – Mary Lib and Shirley would sign up for all of them. “I can count on one hand all the sessions those two have missed,” Molly says. “It’s been pretty amazing.” And they aren’t the only ones who have taken the class over and over. In fact, Molly says most of the members of the class are repeat students, many having taken it for over a decade.
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Building Capital Partnerships

Susan Cameron

Building hope, opening doors, changing lives…that’s Forsyth Tech’s mission. To produce the highly skilled employees the market demands, however, requires financial support above and beyond the support we receive through the state and county.

Forsyth Tech is in the early stages of launching a new capital campaign, Pathways to Possibilities, a fundraising effort focused on updating technology and equipment and providing student support. We will be sharing more about this campaign in the coming months, but, for now, we are excited and honored to introduce three pillars of leadership in our community and champions of Forsyth Tech who have agreed to guide this campaign.

Susan Cameron, president and CEO of Reynolds American Inc., will serve as honorary chair. She believes in the college’s training Ed Welchprograms and believes an investment in Forsyth Tech is an investment in our community.

Ed Welch, president of I. L. Long Construction and current Forsyth Tech Board of Trustees and Foundation Board member, and Heather Robinson, regional operations manager for Caterpillar in Winston-Salem and current Forsyth Tech Foundation Board member, have agreed to co-chair the campaign.

Ed brings a wealth of experience to this role. He is the immediate past chair of the Board of Trustees and will contribute insights and knowledge gained as co-chair of the college’s last capital campaign.

Heather’s strategic thinking, experience in workforce readiness initiatives and passion for the relationship Caterpillar and Forsyth Tech have Heather Robinsonforged since day one will be a major asset to the campaign.

Ed and Heather are currently helping the college define its value story and determine what investments are needed long term to ensure that the infrastructure is in place to support workforce innovation and student success.

“Forsyth Tech is an integral part of our community. This is not just a capital campaign to raise money but an opportunity to build capital partnerships,” says Ed.

“Businesses want to invest in organizations that can help ensure their future,” adds Heather. “That’s why it’s important for us to demonstrate how Forsyth Tech can do just that.”

Teaching Teachers

Teachers talking to each other

Mary Tucker doesn’t remember exactly when her passion for Forsyth Tech was first kindled, but as a one-time teacher of middle school science and the daughter of a mother who taught language, she has always believed in the power of education to change lives. From her first association with Forsyth Tech, she was inspired by how dedicated the college’s instructors were to helping their students learn. To show her support, she started donating to the college, earmarking funds to areas where the need was greatest. Her generosity has helped create a language lab in her mother’s memory and provided support to the welding and interior design programs.
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Overcoming Obstacles, One Student At A Time

Two students at computers

Global Logistics students Calissa Hooper and Stacy Bradley were this close to graduating. They both needed one final course, Math 110, to earn their degree. When Demetria Ledbetter, program coordinator, Global Logistics, Business Administration – Logistics Management, Import/Export Compliance, noticed that months had gone by and neither had taken the class, she contacted them to find out why.
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Cultivating A Sustainable Future

Students working in a garden

Growing up in a small New Hampshire town, Chantal Mullen had one goal – to become an artist. But when she received early admittance to the Art Institute in Boston, she realized that her family could not afford the six-figure tuition. Suddenly, she was at a loss about what to do with her life.

She tried a number of things, but nothing stuck until she relocated to Winston-Salem, where she began asking herself, “What do I enjoy doing?” One of her fondest memories was planting a garden with green beans and other vegetables and watching them grow. “I was amazed that something so small could grow big and that you could eat it,” she says.

So she took a horticulture class at Forsyth Tech, then another, until she decided to pursue an AAS degree in Horticulture Technology. “Staff and faculty were extremely supportive, all the while pushing me to do better,” recalls Chantal. “Thanks to them, I was able to gain a strong foundation in horticulture that better prepared me for jobs and allowed me to build upon that knowledge as I continued my education.”

After graduating, she transferred to North Carolina A&T State University to pursue a BS in Agricultural Education. “You have to understand the history of agriculture and food systems to avoid repeating past mistakes,” she maintains.

Once she’d completed her degree, she moved to Roanoke, Virginia. There, she created an organization called SEED2SEED, teaching local residents to practice Back to Eating gardening, a form of sustainable gardening that requires no watering and very little weeding. “We use a covering of wood chips and fertilize with horse manure. We don’t use chemicals or pesticides, and we disturb the soil as little as possible.”

A recent three-week immersive trip to Vermont introduced her to dairy farming and how farmers turn a commodity like milk into a value-added product, such as cheese or ice cream, to make a better living. She also admired the collaboration among Vermonters.

Now in Kernersville, where she and her husband, a woodworker and blacksmith, have settled, Chantal is pursuing a distance learning master’s program to earn a Master’s in Sustainable Food Systems from Green Mountain College in Vermont. “I looked at other institutions, but I didn’t want to end up in a lab practicing crop science,” she explains. “God has directed me to where I am now and will continue to lay my path ahead of me. Whatever I do, I want to connect with the public and be at the crossroads between food policy and agricultural production.”

Feature: Impacting The Now

A person helping at a food bank

If you were to create an illustration showing Forsyth Tech’s links with the community, you’d probably end up with something like an airline map, with lines going every which way. But even if you managed to create that diagram, it still wouldn’t tell you the impact of those many connections. Forsyth Tech students, teachers, staff and donors are the people who forge those connections. They keep information, communication and collaboration flowing from campus to community and back. The following stories highlight a few examples of the ways the college influences the community.
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Forsyth Tech and WheelTime Work Together to Develop ‘Real-World’ Program in Diesel Maintenance

Now in its second year, WheelTime Network, North America’s largest dedicated service and parts network for quality vehicle care headquartered in Greensboro, hosted the ‘Road to SuperTech’ competition in conjunction with Forsyth Technical Community College in Winston-Salem. WheelTime’s sponsorship of the competition expands upon the Network’s focus on training and education by exposing students to industry opportunities, and showcases Forsyth Tech’s dedication to working hand-in-hand with industry professionals.
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“Destination Forsyth Tech” Focuses on Creativity through Technology and Art

A Summer Enrichment Program for Youth Ages 8–13 New Classes Added, Scholarships Available

Summers are meant to be fun. Forsyth Tech is offering a four week summer enrichment program for youth ages 8-13. From concept to creation, students at Destination Forsyth Tech will turn their ideas into finished products which can include bringing their favorite Minecraft characters to life in a short animated film, designing their own app game or creating one-of-a-kind art.
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