Letter from the President

Dr. Janet N. Spriggs

Forsyth Technical Community College has proudly served the citizens of Forsyth and Stokes Counties for almost 60 years. Being named the seventh President of Forsyth Tech on October 19, 2018 was one of those truly once-in-a-lifetime moments and the professional opportunity of a lifetime.
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Investing in the Future: EdNC, Belk Endowment Visit Campus

McCart and Belk laughing with Dr. Green during the EdNC/Belk Endowment Tour.

With an investment from the John M. Belk Foundation, EducationNC (EdNC) is taking an in-depth look at how they can support community college development in the state. Both organizations are dedicated to the betterment of North Carolina education, as well as students’ access to meaningful employment. In an effort to understand the integral role of community colleges, EdNC and the John M. Belk Foundation are touring campuses across the state. “In partnership with EdNC, we have embarked on a community college listening tour to visit each campus, meet with leaders and students, and better understand the role that community colleges are playing across North Carolina,” said M.C. Belk Pilon, chairman of the Belk Endowment. Pilon, along with EdNC Chief Growth Officer Nation Hahn, toured Forsyth Tech on July 18, 2018, meeting with various departments and their staff members. The group met with faculty members and students, including Sam McCart and John Belk, a married couple who both attended Forsyth Tech to pursue careers in welding. (Read more about the couple’s life-altering career changes in the story to the right.) As part of their ongoing investigation of community colleges, EdNC embarked on Awake 58—a week in which the staff visited all 58 community colleges in the state. One of the visitors was Yasmin Bendaas, EdNC science writer and community engagement specialist. Bendaas visited Forsyth Tech on August 31, 2018 and learned about a variety of programs, from cybersecurity to nursing, broadcast, digital effects and animation, and automotive systems. She also interviewed Dr. Gary Green and Dr. Joel Welch, president and vice president of instructional services, about how Forsyth Tech is committed to individual students, their course completion, and future success. Visitors have been pleased with what they’ve witnessed and learned at community colleges like Forsyth Tech, including Pilon. “We are continually impressed by the diverse role each institution is playing in serving their local community,” Bendaas said. Both EdNC and the Belk Endowment continue to help colleges like Forsyth Tech improve post-secondary education, which strengthens the workforce and, in turn, attracts and creates more jobs in the state. These partnerships are a win-win for everyone involved.

Welding Together: Couple Embarks on New Career

John Belk and Sam McCart, Forsyth Tech alumni and husband and wife

After nine years of working a minimum-wage, fast food job, Sam McCart was looking for a new career. McCart tried her hand at welding and discovered she had a natural talent. Self-taught in the basics, she knew she needed to learn the science and art of welding if she wanted to make it her career. She returned to school at Forsyth Tech and met Dr. Jackie Woods, the department chair of welding technology. “This is the joy of teaching,” Dr. Woods said in regards to McCart and her husband, John Belk, who soon followed in his wife’s footsteps. “We all have to make a final assessment in life, and I think when we make that assessment, the question is, ‘Did I make life better for someone?’” McCart earned her Associate in Applied Science in Welding Technologies in May 2018. She now works as a welding technician at Deere-Hitachi. Her new job allowed husband Belk—who was also hired by Deere-Hitachi—to attend Forsyth Tech to become a certified welding inspector. Belk expressed gratitude for the connections and experience he and his wife gained during their time at Forsyth Tech. “I truly felt lucky having met a staff of experienced educators in a program that went from explaining the basics to helping us compete in the job field and succeed,” Belk said. The couple’s new jobs have helped them enjoy more security and no longer live from paycheck to paycheck. “It’s like we’re real adults now,” McCart said. Laughing, Belk responded, “It’s only taken us 30 years.”

New UNCG Co-Admission Program: Fosters Student Success

Signing the UNCG and Forsyth Tech co-admission agreement are Dr. Joel Welch, vice president of instructional services, Forsyth Tech; Dr. Gary Green, president of Forsyth Tech; and Dr. Dana Dunn, provost and senior vice chancellor, UNCG.

On July 24, the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG) announced a new co-admission agreement with Forsyth Tech. This partnership aims to help students succeed by improving access to undergraduate educational resources, university facilities, and support systems. “We’re excited to collaborate with UNCG through the ‘Spartan Passage’ partnership,” said Gary Green, president of Forsyth Tech. “Having this strategic alliance will offer tremendous benefits to our students and to the community in demonstrating how higher education works together to improve student completion and success.” The UNCG Forsyth Tech “Spartan Passage” partnership allows transfer students to access and complete their baccalaureate degrees in nearly 60 popular majors, including business administration, biology, psychology, and computer science. On-site admissions and advising address each student’s academic, career, and financial needs while easing the transition between both institutions. The application process for “Spartan Passage” includes a waived application fee for UNCG; access to campus facilities, events, activities, and services, including the UNCG University Library (in-house and online); the new Leonard J. Kaplan Center for Health and Wellness; academic advising; and financial aid, among other benefits. Forsyth Tech has similar co-admissions agreements with Gardner-Webb University in Boiling Springs, North Carolina, Bellevue University in Bellevue, Nebraska, and N.C. Agricultural and Technical State University.

Good Energy: Congrats to the 40th Class of Line Workers

Electrical Lineman students

The next time you see linemen restoring power after a storm, they just might be graduates of the Electrical Lineman program at Forsyth Technical Community College. This past August, Forsyth Tech congratulated the 40th class to graduate from the nine-week electrical lineman program at the Northwest Forsyth Center in King. The program was a success; all 22 students enrolled in the program graduated and received job offers. Guest speaker David Fountain, Duke Energy’s North Carolina former president, encouraged the graduates as they prepared to begin their exciting new careers. “We rely on the skills and expertise of line workers to power our daily lives and depend on this vital role in maintaining and growing the state’s energy infrastructure,” Fountain said. “We’re proud to support Forsyth Tech’s program to train the next generation of line workers.” Since 2010, Forsyth Tech has trained nearly 400 workers in the nine-week program. The college was one of the first to start the electrical lineman program and is currently the only nationally certified line worker class in the state.

Big Brother of the Year: Makes a Big Difference

Jolen and Murray at BB&T Field

Having a mentor can make a huge impact in the life of a child, giving them confidence to reach their potential and shape a positive future. That’s what Jolen says about his mentor, Murray Miller. The two were matched by Big Brothers Big Sisters in Winston-Salem six years ago. “After I met Mr. Miller, I wanted to be like him,” Jolen said. “I was excited when they told me that I was matched with a Big Brother. I was even more excited when I discovered the type of person he was.” This year, Miller was selected as Big Brother of the Year and was introduced by his once-reserved little brother, Jolen, who is now 15 and a high school football player. Each year, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America selects one Big Brother and one Big Sister out of thousands of volunteers and recognizes them at their National Conference. Miller, a part-time adjunct instructor in math in the basic skills program at Forsyth Tech and the branch manager at Winston-Salem Federal Credit Union, says the role he values most is being a big brother to Jolen. At the same time, Jolen looks up to Miller and is grateful for their relationship. The two have also developed shared interests, from watching football to visiting art museums and talking about history. Sometimes Jolen’s mom drops him off at Miller’s office at the end of the day on Fridays, so Jolen can see how Miller works. When they spend time together, Jolen and Miller talk about everything from sports to more serious topics, like challenging obstacles and important life decisions. “We enjoy talking with each other, and every conversation is open and on the table—whether we talk about sports, school, or life,” Miller said. “When it’s time for a serious talk, we sometimes take a short hike up Pilot Mountain. I even told him about some of my childhood mistakes, and that made it easy to talk with him about what he’s going to face in school and in life.” Miller can tell that Jolen is optimistic about what lies ahead and is grateful for the opportunity he has had to make a difference in his life. “It’s an honor to impact this young man,” Miller said. “He is full of hope for the future.”

It’s a Win-Win: Student Government Association Enriches Students and Campus Life

Students at the Chinese Moon Festival

Student Government Associations for both Forsyth Tech and Forsyth Tech Stokes County Center offer events and celebrations throughout the year for students to meet others and have fun! Both associations also teach leadership, teamwork, and organizational skills.


Forsyth County SGA

By Ajah Harold, a Forsyth Tech Fine Arts student scheduled to graduate in May 2019

The Student Government Association (SGA) at Forsyth Tech represents the student body, and all members have a say in student-related activities. They help plan events and workshops, attend conferences and seminars, work on student publications, and gain

leadership experience—all while helping to bring campus life to a community college. Special events, such as the Fall Festival, Constitution Day, Spring Fling, Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration, and blood drives are all sponsored by the SGA. And the members themselves benefit, too. “Personally, it has helped me grow more confident in my ability to lead a team and gets me prepared for what situations I could be placed in after graduation,” said Mallory Calfee, SGA president 2018-2019. “Furthermore, the leadership workshops and conferences have given me skills that will put me one step ahead when I go into the workforce.” Calfee said she’s also made lasting friendships since joining the SGA. “Some of the friendships I have made while being involved with the SGA I know will last for many years to come,” Calfee said. “Deciding to join the Student Government Association at Forsyth Tech is one of the best decisions I have made during my time here.”


Stokes County SGA

Each of the eight Forsyth Tech satellite campuses has their own distinct features. One of them—the Forsyth Tech Stokes County Center—has its own Student Government Association (SGA) and is the only other campus besides the main campus to offer the organization. Through the SGA, students develop critical leadership skills by learning everything from parliamentary procedures to public speaking skills. The SGA equips them with the tools they need to lead confidently, communicate effectively, and serve the community. Jack Johnson and Spencer Edwards, both juniors in the Early College program, are co-leads of the Stokes SGA. Johnson is the Stokes Center representative on the Forsyth Tech SGA and is also is running for the state community college SGA board. Both Johnson and Edwards are grateful for the opportunities they’ve been given through their involvement with the SGA. “Working with the SGA is rewarding for me to learn leadership skills and to do my part in bringing students and faculty together,” Johnson said. “It’s a great outlet to get involved with other students and build student morale.” Edwards has been involved with the SGA for two years. His involvement has allowed him to take the lead in meetings and events and gain insight through valuable experiences he may not have had otherwise, including working with other students to plan and execute events like Fall Fest. “I’ve been exposed to opportunities that I don’t believe I would have been able to receive otherwise, such as conducting business meetings, and other various tasks,” Edwards said. “I was tasked with coordinating with the high school for [Fall Fest], which really helped me work on my communication skills.” Satellite campuses like the Stokes County Center are small enough to foster relationships between instructors, students, and their families, and ultimately serve the Stokes County community as a whole. “Being part of the Stokes community, we are small enough to know the students’ families, and they know the instructors,” said Sally Elliott, director of operations at the Forsyth Tech Stokes County Center. “As faculty and staff, we’re here to serve students. And in doing so, we serve the whole community.”

Toyota T-Ten Certification Program Praised

students and alumni of the Toyota T-ten program with Virginia Foxx

On May 31, U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta and U.S. Representative Virginia Foxx visited Forsyth Tech to learn more about the Toyota Technician Training and Education Network (T-TEN) program at the Transportation Technology Center. Representatives from Toyota and Forsyth Tech leaders discussed the partnership, which lets students graduate in two years with Toyota and Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) industry certifications along with job placement opportunities. “We are pleased that U.S. Secretary Alexander Acosta and U.S. Representative Virginia Foxx are placing emphasis on public and private partnerships,” said Rose H. Bauss, general manager of service support for Toyota Motor North America. “We hope our partnership will serve as a model for industry.” Toyota T-TEN Program Coordinator David Allgood provided a tour of the Transportation Technology Center. Allgood also introduced current students, and graduates of the Automotive Systems Technology program who now work at Toyota and Lexus dealerships. Acosta and Foxx commended the students and graduates for their commitment to education, and their decision to employ their skills and talents in a rewarding career. “Students here develop in-demand skills and earn certification through classroom education and paid internships that prepare them for good, family-sustaining jobs,” Acosta said. Forsyth Tech is the only college in the Carolinas and one of only 36 centers across the United States to receive Toyota T-TEN Certification for its Automotive Systems Technology program. With 68 Toyota and Lexus dealers supporting the Toyota T-TEN in North and South Carolina, Forsyth Tech has placed 165 students in Toyota and Lexus dealerships over the past five years.

Treehouse of Dreams: Amos Cottage’s New Addition

Phil McKinney, vice president, Venture Construction and Forsyth Tech Architecture alumus; Debra Allred, Amos Cottage staff psychologist; M. Todd Shoaf, Forsyth Tech Architecture program coordinator; Rachael Due, Furnitureland South/and Forsyth Tech Interior Design graduate; Daniel Turick, Walter Robbs Architecture and Forsyth Tech Architecture graduate and Mary Dame, Program director of the therapeutic day program at Amos Cottage.

Imagine designing a treehouse that would shape the future for children and bring the community together for a good cause. That’s what Forsyth Tech Architecture students Daniel Turick and Rachael Due began in the summer of 2017. Architecture Program Coordinator Todd Shoaf asked Turick and Due to work on the treehouse after Phil McKinney, Forsyth Tech alumnus and vice president of Venture Construction, approached him about the opportunity. Their treehouse is not only fun to explore it’s also designed to encourage therapeutic play, specifically for children at Amos Cottage who are being treated for behavioral or emotional disorders. Amos Cottage, an affiliate of Wake Forest Baptist Health Brenner Children’s Hospital, offers a day program for children ages three to seven and an outpatient program for students up to age 12. When it came to the design work, there was a learning curve for Turick and Due, but their hard work paid off. “They had to ‘learn while designing’ to understand the therapeutic benefits of play,” Shoaf said. “They had to design the treehouse to meet safety codes and not damage the tree structure, while also applying therapeutic challenges for the students. Their design was phenomenal.” It’s clear that Turick and Due’s treehouse project inspired numerous people, from those directly involved in the project to people who heard about it locally. McKinney dedicated much of his time to the project and was also encouraged by volunteer efforts from locals who wanted to help. “The only thing we contracted was the initial structure of the treehouse,” McKinney said. “Whoever we asked wanted to help. It gave me a whole new perspective and faith in our society and in human kindness.” Debra Allred, Amos Cottage staff psychologist, was equally impressed with locals’ interest. “We couldn’t imagine that this sort of project could be done,” Allred said. “Every step of the way, people in the community said, ‘Let us help you!’ So we let them—and they did.”

a tree house

Mazie S. Woodruff’s Legacy Takes Flight

Fleming El-Amin

In celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Mazie S. Woodruff Center on September 20, 2018, Forsyth Tech announced the Woodruff Center will be home to its new aviation program scheduled to open in late 2019. Woodruff ’s family members expressed their excitement and gratitude—sentiments shared by the community at large. “On behalf of my family, we thank you for continuing to keep her legacy alive,” said Michelle Woodruff, Mazie Woodruff ’s granddaughter. “My grandmother valued education and spoke for those who could not speak for themselves. She was a beacon of light in the community.” In 1976, Mazie Woodruff was the first African-American to be elected to the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners and was known as an advocate for the black community. Keynote speaker and Forsyth County Commissioner Fleming El-Amin described Mazie Woodroff as, “a true public servant and an advocate for education. She was a stateswoman who influenced the lives of thousands in the community.” The celebration was a true community event honoring the legacy of one of the city’s most well-known public figures. Following the presentation, the Carver High School band and drill team performed for the guests. Local agencies and vendors set up tables outside the center, and the Forsyth Tech Grill served a free lunch to all guests. Forsyth Tech Student Life and Engagement provided snow cones and popcorn for the festivities, and student ambassadors greeted the guests and provided tours of the center. By housing the aviation program at the Mazie S. Woodruff Center and at Smith Reynolds Airport, Forsyth Tech will continue to carry out her legacy for years to come.