A Meeting Of The Minds On Cybersecurity

people at a meeting on cyber security

Forsyth Tech is forging a name for itself in the cybersecurity arena as a recipient of the prestigious Center for Academic Excellence (CAE) in Cyber Defense Education designation from the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The college’s Davis iTEC Center, under the leadership of Dr. Deanne Wesley, department chair, held a cybersecurity symposium on Main Campus April 22, 2016. Experts addressed faculty, students and the public about education and research in the field.
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The New Weekend Warriors

a calendar showing weekend dates

Starting in August 2016, Forsyth Tech will offer Weekend College, a program designed for adult students who work full time while studying for their AA degree. “Many adult students are employed full time, and some have to travel during the week,” says Anu Williams, Department Chair, Humanities, Communication and Fine Arts. “To carry a full course load, they may need to take classes three or four evenings a week. That isn’t possible for everyone.”
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Feature: Support For The Future

a very modern looking white hallway

Staying Ahead Of The Innovation Curve: The Future Is Now

Like every community college in North Carolina, Forsyth Tech receives most of its funding from the state and county. But the combined revenue from these sources isn’t sufficient to cover the college’s financial needs. To ensure that students are educated and trained in upgraded facilities, using state-of-the-art technology and equipment, Forsyth Tech requires extra funding.
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Finding The Right Match

Luke Marot

For Luke Marot, a voracious learner with multiple interests (engineering, graphics, composing music), college was one big knowledge buffet. The problem with so much abundance is that it makes narrowing down choices difficult. “I started with mechanical engineering, then switched to business. I changed my major three or four times,” he recalls.

Luke earned his B.A. in 2012 from Cedarville University in Ohio. But after graduation, he wasn’t so sure he’d made the right decision, having settled on electronic media, with an emphasis on videography. The job market for what he planned to do was hard to compete in for someone with no work experience in the field.

He finally decided to return to school to study architecture. From a handful of community colleges, he chose Forsyth Tech’s Architecture program. It didn’t take long before Luke knew he’d found his niche. “I soon realized how highly regarded the program is among people in the field,” he recalls. “Forsyth Tech has beaten four-year schools in state­wide competitions five years in a row. So, as far as preparing students for the real world, what comes out of the little architecture studio in Snyder Hall is on par with what big four-year colleges are doing.”

In May 2015, Luke graduated from Forsyth Tech with an AAS degree in architecture and plans to eventually earn a master’s degree in architecture from UNC Charlotte. In the interim, he’s gaining profes­sional experience. In addition to working as an architecture lab tech two evenings a week, he worked for Winston-Salem architect Joseph Oppenheimer, whose work involves preserving historic buildings.

On February 1, Luke started a new job with SPEVCO, a company in Pfafftown that builds customized marketing vehicles, such as semi-container trailers outfitted as mobile display spaces. As a conceptual designer, he works side by side with engineers, creating 3-D computer models of trucks the company builds specifically for each client.

Summing up why architecture continues to appeal to him, Luke says, “It’s one of the few fields that combines science and art. The sci­ence, math, combines with design and space planning to achieve the desired feel and function of a structure.”

Graduation 2016

a graduate from the class of 2013

Forsyth Tech’s Class of 2016 couldn’t have asked for a better day. May 14, 2016, was the perfect blend of comfortably warm, sunny weather, pomp, circumstance, dignity, sentiment and an inspir­ing commencement speech. But to make sure things didn’t get too serious – this was, after all, a celebration – graduates added just the right amount of hootin’, hollerin’, waving to family and whimsical mortarboards decked out with draw­ings, flowers, slogans and even a miniature laptop. The college’s administrators and faculty, dignified in their black robes, reminded the audience gathered in Winston-Salem’s Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum that it takes a corps of dedicated scholars to fill bright minds with useful knowledge that helps them navigate the world.
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Shifting Gears

Jim Midkiff Graduating

Jim Midkiff, Therapeutic Massage Graduate

A Man On The Move

Jim Midkiff is not a man to just do nothing. “I don’t want to be a couch potato,” he says, “because I think sitting on the couch watching television is a waste of life.” So in 2009, when Jim retired from Roadway Express after 31 years as a truck driver, he immediately took on another task: for the next two years, he and his wife served the Mormon Church, working as welfare services missionaries. And when their service ended in 2011, he already had the next phase of his life planned – to become a massage therapist.
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“It Will Absolutely Help You Find Yourself”

Angelo Herrera

Angelo Herrera, College Transfer Graduate

Big Goals

Angelo Herrera’s dream is to be a cardiologist, and save lives. “Saving someone’s life would be an incredible thing to do,” he says. But amazingly, that’s not his only career goal. At some point he’d also like to get into politics. “I feel like as a politician, I could be involved in many ways to help others. Pretty much both my career choices involve helping others. That’s what I really want to do with my future: help others and make the community better.”

Coming out of North Forsyth High School, Angelo wasn’t nearly so focused. “I needed more time to figure out what career and goals I was going to pursue,” he says. “I realized that going to Forsyth Tech would give me time to soak everything in and have more knowledge when it came to deciding my future. I wanted to find myself, which I did.”

 

Finding The Right Path

At Forsyth Tech Angelo took a variety of different courses, looking for the pathway that would inspire him. “I’ve always been somebody that has several things on their mind,” he recalls, “so once I got to Forsyth Tech I started taking all these classes, and soon I realized the ones I found more compelling and that I was attracted to academically involved biology. So I decided to become a Biology major.”

Angelo graduated from Forsyth Tech in May 2016 with an Associate in Science degree, with a focus in Biology, and has now transferred to Appalachian State University. There he is pursuing a major in Biology and a minor in Political Science. He’s found a pathway to achieving his goals, thanks to Forsyth Tech.

 

Getting Focused

But it wasn’t always easy. When he started at the college, he was both a full-time student and a full-time employee, working at a local bank. Working during the day and taking classes at night was a hard balance, he says, and a little overwhelming. His grades suffered and he lost his financial aid. He made the difficult decision to quit his job and focus entirely on his education.

It made a tremendous difference. Not only did his grades go up, he was also able to get more of the total college experience. He joined the Hispanic Student Association and got involved with Student Government. He found that getting involved outside the classroom was as important as the work he did in the classroom. “The best thing for anybody going to college is to get involved in any way possible,” he says. “That will affect your future and affect the way you develop into a better person, into the better version of yourself. In my case, that meant getting involved with student government. That gave me a different perspective about a lot of things and helped me create a better version of myself.”

 

The Best Reason To Go To Forsyth Tech

He also believes that being at a community college was a big advantage in terms of support and interaction with staff and instructors. “A bigger school is not going to be as involved with you as a community college like Forsyth Tech,” he says. “The staff there is super helpful. And having all these people there who care about you is really rewarding and makes you very comfortable. It makes you feel good every time you go to your classes.”

As he moves on to the next chapter in his education and his life, Angelo considers his choice to attend Forsyth Tech as a key to discovering who he is and what he really wants to do. “The best reason to go to Forsyth Tech? It will absolutely help you find yourself, and by finding yourself you become more successful in life.”

Sharing The Joy

People at Forsyth Tech decorating the "Angel Tree"

Members of Forsyth Tech’s Student Government Association (SGA) and Alpha Mu Beta (AMB) service fraternity understand first-hand the joy that comes with helping those in need. Each December, the SGA and AMB organize the Angel Tree Project, which provides gifts to the children of students identified through Financial Aid records as being challenged by the need to balance academic, financial, work and family issues.
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