Dr. Janet Spriggs Elected to Leadership Role on AAWCC Board

Picture of Dr. Janet Spriggs

Dr. Janet N. Spriggs, President of Forsyth Technical Community College, has been elected as the Vice President of Membership for the American Association of Women in Community Colleges (AAWCC).

Spriggs brings more than 25 years of experience in higher education to her role on the Board and will serve for a period of four years in the elected position, beginning in July.

Founded in 1973, The American Association for Women in Community Colleges is the leading national organization that champions women and maximizes their potential at community colleges. Founded in 1973, AAWCC provides education, career development, and advancement to women educators and students at community colleges. As a council of the American Association of Community Colleges, AAWCC and its members are committed to equity and education of all women students at community colleges across the nation.

Dr. Monique Umphrey, President of the AAWCC, said, “We appreciate the talent, skills and experiences that Dr. Spriggs will bring to the office of Vice President for Membership.”

“I’m excited to serve and lead this extraordinary group of women educators and difference-makers,” said Dr. Spriggs. “Forsyth Tech is a catalyst for equitable economic mobility, and our mission aligns with the AAWCC’s, as we all work towards a more just and equitable future.”

Forsyth Tech Student Han Nguyen Awarded Prestigious Scholarship

Han Nguyen

Han Nguyen, a student that graduated from Forsyth Tech this spring, has been awarded the prestigious Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship. The highly competitive national scholarship provides students transferring from community colleges to four-year universities up to $55,000 a year to complete their bachelor’s degrees at the college of their choice. The scholarship is awarded by the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation.

Nguyen graduated from Forsyth Tech with an associate in science and will attend Liberty University in the fall to study Biomedical Sciences. Upon earning her bachelor’s degree, she plans to enroll in medical school to pursue an M. D. and eventually join Doctors Without Borders. Nguyen is currently an intern for the Radiological Control Technician Training Program through August.

While at Forsyth Tech, Nguyen was always a stand-out student; she participated in Phi Theta Kappa and was the New Century Transfer Scholarship recipient, she was in Alpha Mu Beta, was a Global Scholar of Distinction, and was named the Academic Excellence Student and the Dallas Herring Nominee.

The Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship had 1,200 applicants this year from 42 states and the District of Columbia. 100 scholarships were awarded, which was the largest cohort of scholars for the Cooke Foundation to date.

“We are thrilled for Han to be recognized and rewarded with a Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship!” said Dr. Janet Spriggs, President of Forsyth Tech. “Of course, it was no surprise, as Han’s academic excellence and commitment to service are unparalleled. She is a wonderful representative of how our Forsyth Tech grads are blazing new trails!”

Forsyth Tech Students Earned 23 medals at the Skills USA NC Leadership and Skills Competition

Students from Skills USA win awards

32 Forsyth Tech Students competed in 10 different skilled competitions at the Skills USA NC Leadership and Skills Competition on Thursday, April 28. Forsyth Tech students won 23 medals: 15 first-place medals, 4 second-place, 2 third-place, 1 fourth-place and 1 fifth-place.

All first-place winners will represent Forsyth Tech at the Skills USA National Leadership and Skills Conference during the last week in June. Forsyth Tech students will compete against other post-secondary students from across the 50 states and the U.S. Territories.

Below are the Forsyth Tech students that placed at the competition:

3D Visualization & Animation
1st place Travis Campbell & Kyle Posadas
2nd place TJ Thacker & Leopolda Amadia
3rd place Bella Adams & Quantavious Jackson

Audio/Radio Production
1st place Alexis Flinchum & David Lytle

Broadcast News Production
1st place Asante Benton Bailey, Jaleel Franks, & David Vargas

Computer Programming
1st place Zachary Fuqua

Diesel Equipment Technology
1st place SJ Boysen
4th place Mario Kjuka
5th place Cole Plaster

Motorcycle Service Technology
1st place Alex Williams
2nd place Luke Dulin

Television (Video) Production
1st Michael Rinaldi & Zack Glass

Welding Fabrication
1st Place Zach Karnes, Thomas Marley & Samuel Person

The SkillsUSA North Carolina Championships, held in Greensboro, NC, took place April 27-29, 2022 at the Greensboro Coliseum and Koury Convention Center. The conference was the largest showcase of Career and Technical Education in North Carolina with more than 1,500 outstanding career and technical education students competing in over 120 hands-on trade, technical and leadership contests.  These contests span more than 95 trade areas from construction, automotive, and welding to drafting, public safety, culinary, cosmetology, and more!

Students worked against the clock and each other, proving their expertise in their chosen occupations. All contests are run with the help of industry, trade associations, and technical experts and test competencies that are set by the industry. In addition, leadership contestants demonstrated their skills, which included extemporaneous speaking and conducting meetings with parliamentary procedure. Over 100 industry partners help support the competitive events and include well-known names like Builders Mutual, Lowe’s, 84 Lumber, ASE and many more.

Top student winners received gold, silver and bronze medallions. Many also received prizes such as tools of their trade and/or scholarships to further their careers and education. The SkillsUSA North Carolina Championships are for middle school, high school and college-level students who are members of SkillsUSA.

SkillsUSA (formerly known as Vocational Industrial Clubs of America or V.I.C.A.) is a national partnership of students, teachers and industry, working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce by providing students with the opportunities to gain personal skills, workplace skills, and technical skills grounded in academics.  SkillsUSA chapters help students who are preparing for careers in technical, skilled and service occupations excel. SkillsUSA has more than 350,000 students and instructors as members at the national level.

For more information, visit SkillsUSAnc.org or SkillsUSA.org.


Welding students win Skills USA awards

Forsyth Tech Receives Funding for Micro-credentials

Forsyth Tech Logo plus BioMade NSF and BCSI

Forsyth Tech Community College has received more than $100,000 in funding from the National Science Foundation Advanced Technical Education (NSF/ATE) to support micro-credentials.

Micro-credentials, often described and issued as digital badges, are a recent development for workforce training and skills building. According to Forbes Magazine, however, they are important to effectively recruit, retain and upskill workers.

Forsyth Tech’s National Center for the Biotechnology Workforce (NCBW), based at the Innovation Quarter, will use the funds to implement a 2023 in-person workshop for instructors, to introduce and pilot new BETA Skills micro-credentials in collaboration with the Bioscience Core Skills Institute of Kansas (BCSI, www.coreskillsinstitute.com). At least one micro-credential in 2023 will derive from “people skills,” such as communication and good documentation practices.

This workshop and new skills are a continuation of BETA work completed in 2021 and ongoing efforts in 2022 to offer in-demand skills that are relevant to biotechnicians and other technical workers.

“We thank the NSF ATE, BioMADE (www.biomade.org), our national partners and BCSI for the opportunity to have supplemental BETA Skills funding which enables the NCBW to pilot this approach micro credential approach.” said Russ Read, Executive Director of the National Center for the Biotechnology Workforce at Forsyth Tech @ Innovation Quarter.

An additional outcome of the funding received is to demonstrate new pathways into the skilled technical workforce, as well as add knowledge about the links among post-secondary credentials, certifications, badges, micro-credentials, and trainings – and how they intersect with and impact jobs and employment.

Forsyth Tech Offers New Degree Program

SMITTEN - Social Media Influencer Technologies, Training and Engineering Neodesign

For Immediate Release 
April 1, 2022
Contact: Devin Purgason
Director of College Relations, Marketing, and Communication

Forsyth Tech Offers New Influencer Degree

Winston-Salem, N.C. — Forsyth Tech Community College has added a degree program to their Design Technologies Division. The two-year program is designed to help students achieve their full potential by becoming social media influencers.

According to a recent survey by The Sun, 75% of Gen Z and Millennials chose becoming a YouTuber as their most desired career. As a community college, our purpose is to assess the workforce needs and create dynamic programs to meet those needs. Hence, the creation of our Social Media Influencer Technology, Training, Engineering and Neodesign degree, also known as SMITTEN.

“This storied method of achieving success has long been critical to the economic lifeblood of the communities we serve, so it made sense for us to add it to the curriculum now,” said Dr. Janet Spriggs, President of Forsyth Tech. “We are eager to support the next generation of YouTube stars within Forsyth and Stokes Counties.”

Students can learn no matter what level of experience they bring to class: this new rigorous program will cover everything, from the basics of how to hold a selfie stick and product placement, to advanced levels of photo and video manipulation, the art of the humble brag, and finding the perfect filter – so that you can still post #nofilter.

Vocal fry was in full effect at Forsyth Tech’s campuses and centers, as students learned of the new program. “Like, I feel like I’ve been waiting for this, like literally, my entire life.” said Suzy Stokes.

“Yes! Ever since my first video hit the For You page, #fyp, I’ve been literally searching for another way to give my TikTok a #glowup,” said Frankie Forsyth.

Coursework begins in Fall 2022, but students are encouraged to apply now by submitting their best ring light selfie and InstaReel. Anyone interested in joining this unique program should visit forsythtech.edu/aprilfools.

About Forsyth Tech
Forsyth Technical Community College is a catalyst for equitable economic mobility, empowering lives, and transforming communities. The college offers associate degrees, diplomas, and certificates in more than 200 programs of study, including programs that promote personal and professional development through non-credit courses and seminars, as well as customized training for business and industry. Forsyth Tech serves more than 21,000 students with approximately 1,500 full and part-time faculty and staff. For additional information, please visit forsythtech.edu and follow Forsyth Tech on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


Forsyth Tech Receives Funds from BioMADE to Help Accelerate Bioindustrial Manufacturing in the United

Forsyth Tech Receives Funds from BioMADE to Help Accelerate Bioindustrial Manufacturing in the United States

Forsyth Tech, along with partners at UNC Greensboro, Genome Insights and the Veteran’s Farm of NC and the NC Farmer Veteran Community are one of sixteen member teams to receive funding to accelerate bioindustrial manufacturing in the United States.

Bioindustrial manufacturing uses living organisms such as bacteria, yeast, and algae, to make new products or replacements for current products that are more sustainable and environmentally friendly than current processes. By propelling new biotechnology products from the lab to the commercial market, BioMADE, the Bioindustrial Manufacturing and Design Ecosystem, and its members strengthen American competitiveness and create a more robust and resilient supply chain. BioMADE is also building a diverse and globally competitive STEM workforce to ensure the workforce is prepared and ready to fill new jobs.

Forsyth Tech’s member team will focus on nanobiotechnology to inspire the next generation of the skilled biomanufacturing workforce. The program will inspire students to learn about leveraging microbes in bioindustrial manufacturing by putting cutting-edge nanobiotechnologies like hand-held DNA sequencers and scanning electron microscopes into classrooms.

“We’re extremely pleased to announce these projects, which represent all areas of our mission,” said Douglas Friedman, BioMADE CEO. “These cutting-edge projects will create new bio-based chemicals, demonstrate the feasibility and benefits of bioindustrial manufacturing, enhance the ability of the biomanufacturing community to work together, and train the workforce of the future.”

Forsyth Tech will see the greatest impact from this funding at our vibrant laboratory facility in Winston-Salem’s Wake Forest Innovation Quarter. “We are honored to be among the member teams selected to receive funding,” said Russ Read, Exec Dir, National Center for the Biotechnology Workforce at Forsyth Tech. “We can’t wait to see the impact this will have on our students as we ensure they are workforce-ready.”

Dr. Janet Spriggs Wins Phi Theta Kappa Paragon Award

2022 Paragon Award Winner - Dr. Janet Spriggs

The Phi Theta Kappa National Honor Society has awarded Dr. Janet Spriggs, President of Forsyth Tech, with the Paragon President Award. The award recognizes college presidents for outstanding support of student success. Only 20 are awarded each year out of 426 eligible candidates.

The award has been granted to Dr. Spriggs for her work to mentor and develop student leaders through the exceptional and unfamiliar circumstances of the last several semesters. From racial and political unrest to a global pandemic, community colleges were and are often at the forefront of working to build equity in a community as well as address immediate needs.

“I am so incredibly honored to have been nominated by our fantastic students for this award. Forsyth Tech is a place of promise for all students, no matter their background. That is what I have centered my presidency on: our student’s success,” said Spriggs.

The nomination also highlighted Dr. Spriggs’ work to support student success initiatives leading to stronger pathways to completion, transfer, and employment. Each of these metrics of success are critical to students at Forsyth Tech when it comes to building a better, more socio-economically balanced future for themselves – and for our community.

“These college presidents have students-first leadership styles and have made it a priority to keep students engaged throughout the pandemic,” says Phi Theta Kappa President and CEO Dr. Lynn Tincher-Ladner. “Their nomination is evidence of the gratitude their PTK students feel for supporting them and students like them—even during the most difficult times.”

Dr. Spriggs will be honored at the Phi Theta Kappa Annual Convention in April in Denver, Colorado, where the guest speaker will be Dr. Moogega Cooper, engineer of the Mars Rover Perseverance.

Forsyth Tech Instructor named North Carolina’s Teacher of the Year

Melissa Smith

Forsyth Tech Community College is proud to announce that Melissa Smith, Program Coordinator for the MRI program, has been named the 2022 NC Faculty Member of the Year.

This prestigious honor was awarded to Smith after competing with the other 57 NC community college nominees throughout the state.

Smith, an alumna of Forsyth Tech, has taught at the college for 11 years and has impacted her students, fellow faculty members, and staff over that time. Throughout her tenure, she has exemplified the highest quality and standards of instruction for her students. She consistently strives to promote learning, equity, program completion and positive post-graduation outcomes.

Smith works to bring the best to her students on all fronts and accounts. Here are quotes from some of her students’ evaluations: “She is awesome!” “Mrs. Smith strives to keep us goal-oriented while understanding other aspects of life take up our time.” And, “Mrs. Smith is great! She is very kind and understandable. You can tell she really cares about her students.” When asked what information they will take from this class that will benefit them in the future, one student simply responded, “Everything.”

State Board member Ann Whitford said, “We interviewed five extraordinary faculty members from across the state for this award, but Melissa’s passion and love for her students was exceptional and so very special to see.”

Smith has been an exemplary professional, working collaboratively to get the best outcomes for her students. She has worked with admissions and examined best practices to increase the diversity of cohorts in the MRI Program, utilized games and creative assignments to keep her students engaged, stayed abreast of new teaching methods, and constantly strives to strike the difficult balance of empathy and professionalism with her students.

Tamara Beck, Associate Dean of Imaging, Health Sciences, said, “It is her genuine ability to connect with students holistically that provides them with the necessary motivation and resources to fulfill their educational goals and transform their lives.”

The success of the MRI Program at Forsyth Tech, which has had 100% pass rates for the post-graduate American Registry of Radiology Technologists MRI Registry three times in the last nine years, is most certainly connected to Smith’s dedication, work ethic and creativity.

The official award, the Excellence in Teaching Award, sponsored by R.J. Reynolds, was established by the State Board of Community Colleges in 1985. This Award provides statewide recognition of faculty members who exemplify the highest quality and standards of instruction throughout the NC Community College System (NCCCS).

As a finalist, Smith was guaranteed to win $500 along with a certificate. The NCCCS Selection Committee interviewed her and she was selected as the winner by the NC Community College System Board of Trustees! Smith will receive $8,000, and the Forsyth Tech Foundation will receive $2,000 and a recognition plaque.

“I could not be more proud of Melissa,” said Dr. Janet Spriggs, President of Forsyth Tech. “She represents all of us with excellence, energy, and excitement – a true Trailblazer and now, an Excellence in Teaching state award winner — we are truly lucky to have Melissa on our team and in our Forsyth Tech family.”

SAS Certification Now Available At Forsyth Tech

Forsyth Tech Community College has added SAS certification to its diverse line-up of IT trainings and degrees. The college recently underwent a rigorous content review and developed a new class to become a SAS Academy, rendering it able to provide the certification.


This means that students will be able to learn how to write and understand SAS programs. The SAS Institute, based out of Cary, N.C., is the largest privately held software company in the world. Their primary area of focus is analytics software which aids businesses in decision-making processes; it can be used for analyzing financial data, store locations, pricing vs. competitor pricing and even pharmaceutical trials. The 2010 Census data was analyzed by the Census Bureau using SAS.


By adding SAS certification, students at Forsyth Tech will be able to study the four languages that are most in-demand in the data field all at once: SQL, SAS, R and Python. Starting in the Fall of 2022, students will be able to learn all four languages in just two semesters and earn a Data Programming Certificate.


“This is an exciting way for Forsyth Tech to equip our students with the specialized training in business, research and artificial intelligence that today’s employers require of IT professionals,” said Joey Bryant, Department Chair of the Davis iTEC/CyberSecurity Center at Forsyth Tech.


SAS and its corresponding programs, such as SAS Enterprise Miner, is used by many Fortune 500 companies, including JPMorgan Chase, General Electric, M&T Bank, Citigroup and Citi. You can learn more about Forsyth Tech’s Information Technology Database Administration degree program here.

Forsyth Tech Chosen for National Initiative Focused on Diversity and Manufacturing Careers

Apprenticeship Student

Forsyth Tech has been chosen as one of thirteen participants in The Century Foundation and the Urban Manufacturing Alliance’s Industry and Inclusion 2.0 cohort.  This national initiative is focused on community colleges delivering impactful credentials and addressing barriers in manufacturing careers.


This is an 18-month, learning-based opportunity for community colleges that works to “leverage a peer network and industry expertise to support community colleges seeking to explicitly center racial equity in credentialing programs, deepen cross-sector collaboration and support services, and increase the diversity of the student body and local manufacturing workforce,” according to the Urban Manufacturing Alliance’s website.


Since their inception a century ago, community colleges have been more representative of the communities that they serve, with larger segments of their student body coming from underserved populations than four-year institutions. This, when coupled with other important aspects of workforce readiness that community colleges provide the places they serve, make them perfectly poised to support the skyrocketing demands for a diverse, skilled workforce in manufacturing over the next decade.


The Industry and Inclusion cohort will help participating colleges expand their networks, learn from experts in the field, received tailored technical assistance, contribute to influential research and demonstrate results for students from diverse backgrounds.


Participation in the program will impact several of Forsyth Tech’s programs, including the wide range of offerings in the Advanced Manufacturing Department, such as computer-integrated machining, mechanical engineering technology and mechatronics. It will also support the business and industry partners that work with Forsyth Tech through the Learn and Earn Apprenticeship Program (LEAP for short), which works with local powerhouses like Siemens Energy, Pepsi Bottling Ventures and Progress Rail.


“This is a great opportunity to leverage our partnerships with local industry to continue to develop equitable opportunities for individuals seeking credentials that lead to family-supporting wages in manufacturing-related careers,” said David Dinkins, Chair of the Advanced Manufacturing Department at Forsyth Tech.


The purpose of the program dovetails perfectly with Forsyth Tech’s vision of being a catalyst for equitable economic mobility, empowering lives and transforming communities.


As always, the faculty and staff at Forsyth Tech are eager to bring what they learn to the community they serve. “We look forward to sharing the valuable information that we glean from being a part of this important and impactful cohort,” said Jennifer Coulombe, Associate Vice President of Business Partnerships & Process Improvement at Forsyth Tech.