Dr. Gary M. Green
We are more than halfway through another academic year, and as I reflect on where Forsyth Tech has been in the past few months and where the college is heading as we move into spring, I am gratified by what I see.
I want to begin by thanking the voters in our county for their overwhelming support of our Forsyth County Community College Bonds in November’s general election. The success of this $65 million bond package will allow us to provide new and much-needed ways to upgrade our facilities over the next six to eight years to train our students with skills for local, better-paying, in-demand jobs. We are already moving forward with some of the bond’s priority projects, including creation of an aviation center at Smith Reynolds Airport and the renovation of the Learning Commons on Main Campus.
This past fall, we celebrated the opening of our new 20,000-squarefoot Stokes County Center in Walnut Cove, our first permanent building in that county. It is now home to Stokes Early College and a variety of educational programs for adults that we will expand this year and beyond. We are also building on some of the significant accolades we’ve received recently, a testament to the innovative instruction taking place here every single day. Some highlights include:
- The National Security Administration (NSA) designated Forsyth Tech a Cybersecurity Resource Center, one of only six community colleges in the country to receive this distinction. The college also received $156,000 from the NSA to fund two initiatives designed to expand training in the cybersecurity industry.
- A team of nanotechnology students took top national honors in a National Science Foundation competition for its innovative approach to using solar energy to maximize the efficiency of greenhouses. A new team of students from the nanotechnology, bioscience and engineering programs, is entering the 2017 competition with another innovative idea.
- One of our Diesel and Heavy Equipment Technology students placed second nationally for the technical skill he demonstrated in a competition sponsored by the American Trucking Association.
- A class of 20 first-semester Automotive Systems Technology students achieved a pass rate of 80 percent on the national Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) Toyota T-TEN certification test, compared to the national average for first-time test-takers of 30 percent.
We are proud of how our students benefit from the education they receive at Forsyth Tech, but we cannot do this alone. Through the Forsyth Tech Foundation, we engage with our community and strategic partners to give our students the best possible education available. In this issue, Pillars of Support tells the story of how this important fundraising arm of the college is opening doors and changing the lives of our students every day.
The Student Government Association (SGA) went all out this fall to help keep our students healthy by eating the right foods. In August, the SGA sponsored a Welcome Week Farmers’ Market, where students could get a bag full of free fruits and vegetables fresh from local farms. This was followed up in September by a Healthy Eating event called “Life Beyond A Salad.” Students who attended were given the opportunity to try a variety of different foods that were both healthy and delicious. But these and other SGA events aren’t just about eating better – they also give students a chance to engage with their peers outside the classroom and enhance the Forsyth Tech experience.
In July, Forsyth Tech became the first community college in North America to join WheelTime Connection, a program for students in programs like Automotive Systems Technology and Diesel and Heavy Equipment Technology. The goal of the program is to better prepare these students to get jobs in the truck and coach repair industry. Students apply to join and must meet a list of requirements, including attendance and overall grade point average. In return, WheelTime Connection provides pre-graduation job placement, continued education to ensure they stay current on changing technologies and hands-on learning from experienced technicians. According to Allen Doub, program coordinator for Diesel and Heavy Equipment Technology, “WheelTime will play a crucial role in orienting students to what’s available as well as supplying the training students need before entering the field. When students get a glimpse of what their futures could look like, they come to class every day with purpose and passion.”
A primary role of Forsyth Tech’s Economic & Workforce Development (EWD) division is helping people get the education and training they need to find a new or better job. To help facilitate that, the college held an Open House & Career Expo on West Campus in October that showcased 30 of EWD’s short-term training, job skills and personal enrichment programs. Attendees were given the opportunity to explore these programs, find those that could enhance their careers and register for upcoming courses. More than 30 local employers were also on hand to conduct job screenings for open positions. Herbalife Nutrition was the sponsor of the event, and Reynolds American Inc. was the co-sponsor. Other contributors included Lowes Hardware, Sheetz, Wal-Mart and Pepsi Bottling Ventures. Attendance at the event was substantial, and the college plans more such events in 2017.
Forsyth Tech is honored to have Dana Caudill Jones of Kernersville join our Board of Trustees. Named one of the Triad’s 40 Leaders under 40 in 2006 and Kernersville’s Citizen of the Year in 2012, Ms. Jones is owner of Caudill’s Commercial Electric Company. She is also a longtime community activist who has served on numerous boards and held public office. She is currently chairman of the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Board of Education, served five terms on the Kernersville Board of Aldermen and was the town’s mayor pro tem from 2011 to 2013. In addition to our Board of Trustees, Ms. Jones currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Arts Council of Winston-Salem, the Kernersville Medical Center and Kernersville Cares for Kids. A graduate of High Point University, she is also a member of the HPU Alumni Board. We are delighted to have someone of her experience and long history of community service join our Board of Trustees.
On September 10 more than 25 people associated with Forsyth Tech participated in Athena’s Run for Gynecological Cancers at Tanglewood Park under the team name Bonnie’s Band, honoring Dr. Bonnie Pope. Pope, the college’s former dean of Health Technologies, passed away from ovarian cancer in May. In a testament to her legacy, generous contributions from her friends, family and the community helped the college raise nearly $5,000 for Bonnie’s Band, surpassing the donation goal of $2,000.
In December, after 17 weeks of grueling training, 2,540 pushups and 36 written tests, seven cadets graduated from Forsyth Tech’s Basic Law Enforcement Training (BLET) program to begin a career dedicated to protecting their local communities.
In September, the National Security Agency (NSA) named Forsyth Tech a Cybersecurity Regional Resource Center (CRRC) as one of only six community colleges in the country designated a Center of Academic Excellence (CAE) in cybersecurity. “The CAE in Cyber Defense Education award is highly sought after,” says Dr. Deanne Wesley, department chair, Davis iTEC Center/Cybersecurity Center and department coordinator, Information Systems Security. “This designation, issued jointly by the NSA and Department of Homeland Security, is one of the ways we hope to build a pipeline of students to help fill the anticipated 1.5 million open jobs in the cybersecurity profession by the year 2020.”
Dr. Corey Miller, Executive Director of Development and the Forsyth Tech Foundation
“The Forsyth Tech Foundation exists to add value to the college by building on its strengths.”
Forsyth Tech Foundation Board Of Directors
Martha Logemann, Chair
Certified Public Accountant, Owner
Logemann & Co., PA