Forsyth Tech alumna starts her own business during COVID-19

Scarlett Howell learned the crafty way to handle change by watching her grandmother Betsy Jane.

“I have learned over the years to embrace what life gives you even if it’s not what you envisioned,” Howell offered.

When the COVID pandemic forced the barbecue restaurant worker to hang up her apron, it opened the doors for Howell to pursue her dream. Last May, the Thomasville resident launched a business named for the grandmother who nurtured her passion for crafting — Betsy Jane Studio.

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Forsyth Technical Community College Recognizes cybersecurity Awareness Week, Nov. 9 – 14 with Virtual Events

While cybersecurity awareness activities continue year-round at Forsyth Tech, the college observed National Cybersecurity Awareness Month in October sponsored by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure and Security Agency, and this week the college will commemorate Cybersecurity Awareness Week sponsored by the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education to help provide education on the growing impact of cybersecurity in our world.

“We are extremely proud of our cybersecurity programs preparing students for valuable cybersecurity careers,” Janet Spriggs, president of Forsyth Tech said. “Forsyth Tech was designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity Regional Resource Defense Education in 2016, and we have received recertification through academic year 2024 for the Information Technology System Security degree.”

Through the Center of Academic Excellence national community, Forsyth Tech is participating and making available to all students, a series virtual events, webinars, Twitter chats, workshops, contests and challenges. Topics range from professional development for K-12 educators, developing the cybersecurity workforce for the future, how to get into non-technical cybersecurity careers and a careers family night. To access the list of events, go to Cybersecurity Awareness Week on the Forsyth Tech website.

As a Cybersecurity Regional Resource Center (CRRC), Forsyth Tech is one of only six Centers for Academic Excellence (CAE) named jointly by the National Security Agency (NSA) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS). With this designation and the commitment to cybersecurity awareness and education, Forsyth Tech and the Davis iTech Center continue to provide Gencyber camps for K-12 students throughout the year.

Forsyth Tech also opened the Security Operations Center student lab in September 2019 to help students understand the impact of global cybersecurity attacks and will provide students an experiential learning opportunity in the security operations center (SOC) environment. Students can use software identical to that in business and government to enhance learning on mitigating attacks from adversaries and detect malicious security threats. Student will begin working with industry partners as they monitoring network activity on a live network.

The college also participates in the Federal CyberCorps Scholarship Program, which provides grants to students continuing their study in the field of cybersecurity, computer sciences, computer programming, or information systems security.

For more information about cybersecurity programs and the Scholarship for Service program at Forsyth Tech, please contact Deanne Wesley, Associate Dean, Davis iTEC Center, at 336.734.7305 or

About Forsyth Technical Community College

Forsyth Technical Community College provides students with guided educational pathways into a competitive workforce for the community and global economy. 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 35,000 students with approximately 1,500 full and part-time faculty and staff. For additional information, visit and follow on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.
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Cybersecurity Awareness Week

National Cybersecurity Career Awareness Week banner

In commemoration of Cybersecurity Awareness Week, Forsyth Tech is offering several events November 9-14.

As a designated Center of Academic Excellence in cybersecurity, Forsyth Tech is participating and making available to all students, a series virtual events, webinars, Twitter chats, workshops, contests and challenges. Topics range from professional development for K-12 Educators, developing the cybersecurity workforce for the future, how to get into non-technical cybersecurity careers and a careers family night.

To access the list of events, go to the National Institute of Standards and Technology webpage.

Visual artist went from showing dogs competitively to painting and teaching

Growing up in the farming area of Baltimore County, Md., Ginnie Conaway was always around critters from dogs to chickens to cows.

She went on to show dogs competitively and started drawing them, as well as the dogs of competitors.

“I showed Dobermanns and Whippets for decades,” Conaway said.

In 2003, after spending her adult life in Wilmington, Del., and getting a divorce, Conaway decided to live elsewhere.

“I bought an RV and I started traveling around the country to figure out where I wanted to live,” Conaway said.

Her traveling companion was her last show dog — Travis, a Dobermann.

After a stint in West Virginia, she turned her attention to a city in a neighboring state.

“Winston-Salem, which was close relatively, had the reputation for being ‘The City of the Arts,’” she said.

Conaway, 71, has lived in Winston-Salem since 2005. It’s where she met her current husband, Bill Forrest.

Also, in 2005, she was hired by Sawtooth School for Visual Art to teach watercolor. She teaches drawing and painting primarily to seniors in the personal enrichment program at Forsyth Technical Community College. She is also an art instructor for Senior Services Inc. and Brookridge, a Baptist retirement homes community, both in Winston-Salem.


North Carolina’s young voters are making their voices heard in the 2020 Election

GREENSBORO, N.C. — One group that traditionally doesn’t show up for elections is turning out for the 2020 presidential race.

Young voters are making themselves heard in early voting, and young volunteers are helping to drive the turnout.

Bill O’Neil talked to college students who have never voted before, but they are volunteering their time to get out the vote through the New Voter Project.

The non-partisan effort includes reaching out to young voters in a number of different ways, working the phones and reminding people to vote and how to make a plan to vote.

NC State University student Brigid Lindley says, “I just feel like it’s something that’s really important. We did not think about did not have that big of a turnout in 2016. We’ve really just been looking at trying to get as many kids out to vote as possible just because we feel like that’s so important this year.”

“There are people that quite literally don’t have the option whether they aren’t able to vote if they’re not old enough, or they aren’t a citizen, for whatever reason,” says Ellie McCutchen, who’s a student at both Early College of Forsyth and Forsyth Technical Community College. “I feel like the people that can be involved need to do their best to be involved because we have to speak for the people who can’t.”

When asked if these students have been surprised by anything in their efforts to get people involved, Lindley says, “It’s just been really incredible having a response from groups of people who you’d generally not expect to answer a phone call. We get people asking questions. I’ve had people that will text me a couple of days after I call them if they have any questions.”

McCutchen says she’s been worried about bothering people with calls. “This is necessary work I’m doing it with a purpose. It’s been really worthwhile when you have a good conversation about voting with someone who’s a complete stranger.”



Expanding community college transfer to include workforce degrees

This is the fourth article in a series on the transfer experiences of North Carolina’s students between community colleges and four-year institutions. Click here to read the rest of the series.

Forsyth Technical Community College expanded Bailey Artz’s expectations for what he was going to get out of a college education. And that changed his life, he said.

Artz will finish his Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree in diesel and heavy equipment this spring. He is going right back to Forsyth Tech this fall for a program where he’ll earn his associate degree in horticulture then transfer to North Carolina A&T State University to get a bachelor’s in agricultural education, which is designed to take two years at each school.

Artz is going to get a job using his diesel degree, he says, and work his way through his associate and bachelor degrees to supplement his Pell Grant and additional loans. The first degree Artz will earn will help him pay for the next two — a positive feedback loop when it comes to the value of education.

By the time he graduates, Artz will have been in school for six years, assuming all goes according to plan. Artz, a high-achieving student with support at school and at home, has a good chance of making it through.

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