A Distinct Accomplishment

The Forsyth Tech cyber security team receiving an award.

Forsyth Tech students and programs have earned many distinctions over the years. But they aren’t all created equal.

Some, like the Center for Academic Excellence (CAE) in Cyber Defense Education designation, are highly sought after. The CAE designation, awarded jointly by the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), is the most prestigious recognition for cybersecurity excellence a college can receive. And this year Forsyth Tech was selected as one of 44 two- and four-year colleges to receive the honor. “We are so excited about getting it,” says Dr. Deanne Wesley, department chair, Davis iTEC Center. “It puts us among the top programs in the country.”
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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.”