Courtney Haldeman

Heroes work here

When you walk into the employee entrance of Novant Health Medical Center, right now, there are several chalk messages on the sidewalk. One reads, “heroes work here.” Never in our lifetime have we seen the need for health care providers as we have now. They are truly heroes as they serve on the front lines in hospitals helping fight the coronavirus COVID-19.

Courtney Haldeman, a nursing graduate from Forsyth Technical Community College, is now a resource nurse in the Intensive Care COVID-19 Unit at Novant Health in Winston-Salem, N.C. She received her bachelor’s degree in nursing from University of North Carolina Greensboro and is back in school at UNCG to be a Nurse Practitioner (NP) in their Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program. In March, like all schools, colleges and universities, all face-to-face classes were moved online.

Haldeman says she was always proud to be a nurse, but now her pride runs much deeper.

“I’ve seen some wonderful things happening in spite of this very stressful time,” Haldeman said. “Nurses have been pulled from other units to fill in on the COVID-19 unit and the teamwork is amazing. Managers who worked in different units are coming together to manage this COVID-19 unit to be sure it is staffed appropriately and that the unit has what it needs to care for the patients and help fight this virus.”

Haldeman explains that since some surgeries have been cancelled due to the pandemic, nurses from other units can serve on the COVID-19 unit. In addition, there are usually fewer hospitalizations during

the spring. Overall, the hospital has more beds available that can be used for COVID-19 patients. Haldeman said it was a total shock with how quickly the pandemic set in.

Treating patients is hard enough but magnify the job with the limitation on visitors. Haldeman said. “As nurses, we care about the patients’ families too, so it’s difficult now that COVID-19 patients cannot have any visitors. In the last moments of life, only one family member may be with the patient.  For us, it is a moral conflict, not having the whole family there. I have tremendous respect for what the patients and families are going through.”

Nurses are also limited on visits with their own families. “I have telephone calls and video chats with my Mom, but I haven’t seen her since the stay-at-home orders began,” Haldeman said. “I miss seeing her, but I want to be extremely careful.” Haldeman said.

Throughout this time, Haldeman said the nurses have been amazed at the community outreach and support. “I guess it was eye-opening for the community to see what we do each day.” Haldeman said, “Not only are the sidewalks filled with chalk messages, we get snacks and meals from churches and families and we appreciate it so much.”

In her own words, Haldeman shared what happened at Novant Health this month:

“On April 3, the Police Department performed an event called the “Circle of Hope” where they drove in front of the hospital with their sirens on to salute the health care team for the upcoming battle. On April 20,  all of the local fire departments performed the “Circle of Fire” where they drove through the front of the hospital with their sirens on, honking their horns in admiration, while waving and saluting the health care team while we are fighting the battle. They then lined up the vehicles, stepped out of the trucks, and cheered for the hospital. Watching these moments were breathtaking and uplifting. For such admirable and respected professions to support and cheer on health care professionals is a moment I will never forget. This is such a difficult time for nurses and to receive support from the community and professionals like the police department and fire department is indescribable. They risk their lives every day, and they made it a priority to show their respect and support for our profession. I have never been prouder to be a nurse!


“Forsyth Tech is proud of all our health technology graduates now serving on the front lines to protect us during COVID-19,” Linda Latham, dean of Health Technologies at Forsyth Tech said. “Courtney is one of many of our nurse alumni who are employed by Novant Health and Wake Forest Baptist Medical Centers and who give selflessly to our community every day.”

Both the Forsyth Tech Community College Associate Degree Nursing and Practical Nursing diploma programs are accredited by the National League for Nursing Commission for Nursing Education Accreditation (NLN CNEA).

Forsyth Tech also partners with Winston-Salem State University in the dual enrollment Regionally Increasing Baccalaureate Nurses (RIBN) Program to encourage beginning students and Licensed Practical Nurses to earn their Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

For more information on career in nursing or health technologies, visit the Forsyth Tech website or complete an interest form.

Perspective | Leadership in a brave new normal: Forsyth Tech takes up the challenge

In January, when I began my second year as president of Forsyth Technical Community College, I never imagined how the coming months would unfold. Obviously, we were all watching the evolving situation with the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, but I don’t think any of us anticipated how quickly and dramatically all our lives would change.

I am reminded of poet Robert Burns’ famous line, “the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.” No matter how much we plan, things we don’t expect and don’t anticipate often change those plans. This was certainly not what we envisioned for our spring semester, but it was, so to speak, the hand we had been dealt, and therefore the hand we would have to play.

MIXXER is using its talent and tools to produce protective equipment for hospitals

A large white board, spanning a few feet across, stood on metal legs. Bold, stenciled lettering spelled out the words “2020 ConnExxpo” across the top of the frame.

Monthly events filled the board’s white space. A March 20 seminar titled “Entrepreneurship” described as “Make Stuff. Get Paid!” in purple was the first of two seminars Alan Shelton canceled since shutting the doors to MIXXER, a nonprofit makerspace just off Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, five days earlier out of growing concern for the coronavirus outbreak. That roughly 8,000-square foot building — equipped with anything from an anvil to circular saws, Singer sewing machines and even 3D printers spanning the concrete floors — was nearly vacant

College and Career Readiness Students: The Next Enrollment Group

Take people where they are and carry them as far as they can go. As a North Carolina community college educator, I have been trained to remember this statement by Dallas Herring as the reason to show up to work every day. With this statement, it’s also important that community colleges not let policies and procedures impede their mission, especially as it relates to student services and enrollment. One often overlooked student group in these discussions is College and Career Readiness (CCR) students who take free classes. If they were recognized as a target group for enrollment and provided with wrap-around services early in their studies, then community colleges are later more likely to enroll these students into advanced level programs and retain them more easily.

Student’s Design Sparks Judges Praise at National Interior Design Competition

Back and white protrait of Kevin

Student’s Design Sparks Judges Praise at National Interior Design Competition

Emberside earned Kevin Gerbrandt third place at the Bienenstock Library in High Point

Kevin Gerbrandt, second year architecture student at Forsyth Technical Community College, won third place and a $1,000 scholarship in the Bienenstock Library national interior design competition in High Point in March. This was the first year the judges awarded a third-place prize as they felt Gerbrandt’s design deserved recognition.

“Throughout his time here at Forsyth Technical Community College, Kevin has shown an advance level of ability within his architectural studies,” said Ja’Maul Redmond, Architecture Technology instructor. “His competition entry demonstrated his ability to thoroughly develop a concept from beginning to end as well as complete a complex set of working drawings and schedules.”

Following the competition’s theme of designing a youth camp, Gerbrandt designed “Emberside” as a unique place for traditional and special needs youth campers.

In his design statement, Gerbrandt described his motivation, “In a world where we — and especially our youth — are more digitally connected than ever, we are experiencing more loneliness and isolation than ever. Responding to the problem of this epidemic lies at the at the heart of my solution: to design a space in which our youth can build more authentic relationships with one another through increased connectivity not through technology, but through the land and the natural environment they inhabit.”

The inspiration for Emberside came from the civilizations and architecture of the indigenous people of North America. Originally from Canada, Gerbrandt explains, “the First Nations were and continue to be close-knit communities that are highly connected to the land they inhabit, aware of the many ways Mother Nature occupies all senses.

“The mission of Emberside is to foster a connection to each other and to the land through multisensory design gestures that are organized around the hearth  as the center of the community. “

For the competition, students are given the envelope or the shell of the building along with the square footage of the required spaces where they design two floors of the interior and the exterior of the building.

As a semester-long project, students create their design individually, and receive feedback from Forsyth Tech instructors and students. Design projects are judged internally (in a blind competition) and five are submitted to the competition.

This is a second-career path for Gerbrandt who has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biblical Studies and Theology from Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. He met his wife in college and they relocated to Winston-Salem. Once here, Gerbrandt said he was interested in becoming bi-vocational, combining ministry with a second career.

“I thought I would try Forsyth Tech and take architectural studies,” said Gerbrandt. “I see the importance of architecture and design related to theology in a holistic way. It’s one of the ways we care for the spiritual and the physical needs of people in our cities and our world.”

“I found the instructors and my experience here have surpassed my expectations. Forsyth Tech is a  hidden jewel in Winston-Salem.”

Gerbrandt plans to graduate in May and hopes to begin working for an architecture firm.

The Architectural Technology Program at Forsyth Tech, 40 years running,  provides the strong foundations required to excel both in a professional setting as well as at the University level.  In order to implement a successful curriculum and approach, it is most important to have a solid and experienced team of faculty. This team must not only share a similar vision but work well together with the common goal of providing the best opportunity for student success.


A recent Forsyth Technical Community College graduate shares her experiences serving on the front lines with COVID-19.

Savannah Hayes Photo

On Good Friday, Savannah Hayes drove into work at a Novant Health COVID-19 screening center in Winston-Salem with a basket of eggs in the seat next to her.

In our pre-pandemic world, Hayes, a newly minted nurse, would have had the day off. Those eggs would have gone to her three children. She wouldn’t have been hiding them for the sole purpose of delighting her (adult) colleagues just a few days before Easter.

But, in this unprecedented time, that’s exactly what Hayes did. She pulled up to the screening center an hour before her shift and placed the eggs around the clinic so that her team members would stumble across them throughout the day.

A recent Forsyth Technical Community College graduate shares her experiences serving on the front lines with COVID-19.

On Good Friday, Savannah Hayes drove into work at a Novant Health COVID-19 screening center in Winston-Salem with a basket of eggs in the seat next to her.

In our pre-pandemic world, Hayes, a newly minted nurse, would have had the day off. Those eggs would have gone to her three children. She wouldn’t have been hiding them for the sole purpose of delighting her (adult) colleagues just a few days before Easter.

Congratulations to our Phi Theta Kappa Chapter on Awards and Recognition

PTK Induction 2019 jt

Forsyth Technical Community College chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, the Alpha Mu Rho chapter, was recognized as a 2020 REACH Rewards Chapter for increasing our membership rates to 15% or above. We reached 23.9% in membership rates for this past year. Thank you to each of you for helping to make this achievement happen.

On Friday, March 13, members of our chapter leadership team and others participated in the first virtual Carolinas Region Awards Ceremony. From that ceremony, we received the following awards and recognitions:

  • 3-Star Chapter (up from 2-Star)
  • Distinguished Community Service Award
  • Paragon Award for New Advisors – Kismet Loftin-Bell
  • Carolinas Region Advisory Board – Kismet Loftin-Bell

On March 20, the international scholarships were announced. We had two members receive an international scholarship:

  • New Century Workforce Pathway Scholar (a $1250 scholarship) – Tamelia Orellana
  • Walgreens Pharmacy Technician Certification Scholarship ($300 scholarship towards testing fees) – My Phan

On April 2, there was a random drawing to win a free registration to the virtual PTK Catalyst this year from PTK members who completed a combination of the EDGE programs (i.e. Competitive Edge, Transfer Edge, etc.).

  • James Coe was selected to win a free registration.

EDGE Program Completes:

  • James Coe, Competitive Edge and Employment Edge
  • Onolunosen “Ono” Abhulimen, Employment Edge and Transfer Edge
  • Tasha Shankle – Research Edge

On April 6, the Carolinas Region announced the results of the Carolinas Region Officer Elections and our very own VP of Scholarship, Paulina Solis Page, was elected as the 2020-2021 NC Regional Vice President.

Lastly, in February, our chapter president, Shirin Alhroob, was hired to join the Forsyth Tech ITS department, opening a pathway from education to career.

Join me in congratulating everyone! I am excited for each of you. Let’s continue to do great work academically, on campus, and within the community.

If you have a celebration announcement that you would like to share with the rest of the PTK family, such as scholarships received or college or program admittance, feel free to email me the details at

Pro wrestler Fulp is feeling the impact of COVID-19

KING — Mickey Fulp, a 2015 South Stokes graduate, has continued his normal daily routine since the stay-at-home order on March 27 due to the COVID-19 virus.

Fulp has been wrestling professional since 2016 with several different independent wrestling companies including Allied Independent Wrestling Federation (AIWF), Real Shoot Wrestling, Firestar Pro Wrestling, and Premier Wrestling Federation (PWF). He was able to complete his last scheduled event on March 7, but April sites have been canceled with hope of returning to the ring by the first weekend of May.

“Wrestling is my only source of income and I’m not making that right now,” Fulp said. “I’m just doing some basic exercises at the house to stay in shape. Hopefully I’ll be back in the ring in May, but realistically I don’t see all of this blowing over until at least June.”