Forsyth Tech’s award-winning Digital Effects & Animation (DEA) program has another feather to add to its creative cap. The program has been named a Toon Boom Centre of Excellence, the first U.S. community college to receive this designation.
Toon Boom is a Canadian company specializing in animation and storyboarding software, whose clients include Fox, Disney and the Cartoon Network. It recognizes postsecondary institutions that are “powerful incubators” for preparing graduates for jobs in the animation, film and media arts industries.
“It’s an honor to be recognized as the first community college in America to be a Toon Boom Centre of Excellence,” says Herb Burns, department chair Design Technologies, program coordinator Digital Effects & Animation, and coordinator International Partnerships. “This is a real testament to the great animated works created by our students and the quality of our faculty,” he adds. “It will open many more new job opportunities in the animation industry for our graduates.”
In his role as Chairman of the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Senator Richard Burr visited Forsyth Tech in August to present the college’s cybersecurity program with the designation of Center for Academic Excellence (CAE) in Cyber Defense Education. This national designation is jointly awarded by the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and is the most distinguished honor for cybersecurity excellence a two- or four-year college can receive.
Dr. Gary M. Green
I often say that most people in our community know someone who has been touched by Forsyth Tech in some way, because the college’s impact is so far-reaching.
Our high-quality, customized training program impacted Caterpillar’s decision to open a new manufacturing plant in Winston-Salem. We are creating innovative training models for R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company’s workforce, impacting this manufacturer’s transition to a new type of company.
In the past four years, we have seen a 1300 percent increase in demand for our corporate training programs, allowing us to impact hundreds of clients by meeting their business and workplace needs.
Our outstanding faculty and staff are impacting the quality education we offer. Newsweek recently placed Early College of Forsyth in the top one percent of all high schools in the country. Senator Richard Burr visited the college this summer to acknowledge our Cyber Security program’s national designation by the NSA and Department of Homeland Security as a Center for Academic Excellence. Our Digital Effects & Animation program has been named a Toon Boom Centre of Excellence, the first U.S. community college to receive this international designation from the leading software company.
While these statistics and designations are impressive, the true measure of our success is the impact we have on the lives of our students, their families and, by extension, our community. A recent study shows that our graduates contribute approximately $380 million in income to the local economy.
At a recent Board of Trustees meeting, we heard from a student, originally from El Salvador, of Forsyth Tech’s impact on him. After watching his mother work 16 hours a day to support the family, he decided to do things differently. He enrolled in Forsyth Tech’s nanotechnology program and now has a bright and secure future in this high-tech field that will allow him to give back to his family.
Changing lives: This is what community college is all about.