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Education A-B Tech


Winter/Spring 2014

A-B Tech partners with GE Aviation “No Limits” with WRES 100.7 FM NASA Scholars

Education A-B Tech

A-B Tech Education Journal is published by the Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College Office of Community Relations & Marketing.


Publisher Dennis King, Ed.D. Managing Editor Kerri Glover

Volume 2 | Issue 2 | Winter/Spring 2014 4 NO LIMITS on WRES 100.7 FM A-B Tech and WRES 100.7 FM partner on new radio show

5 NASA Scholars Students Kris Ridenour and Mike Blackwater were two of 40 students in the United States chosen by NASA to participate as Aerospace Scholars at the Marshall Space Flight Center

6 Edwards Receives Governor’s Volunteer Service Award N.C. Governor’s Volunteer Service Award for 2014 presented to Madelyn Edwards for her many roles at A-B Tech

6 Sole Hope Program Math students cutting patterns out of various materials to make shoes for less fortunate in Africa

7 Alumni Success Stories A-B Tech is featuring alumni and students in its ad campaign to highlight successful students

8 GE Aviation Expansion A-B Tech will create a composites training center of excellence for GE Aviation on the College’s Asheville campus

10 New Aviation Composites Instructor Andy McNeal has been hired to lead the A-B Tech training center that will prepare GE Aviation employees to produce ceramic matrix composites

10 Sherrill Appointed to Board of Trustees Wilma Sherrill has been appointed to the A-B Tech Board of Trustees by the governor for a four-year term

11 Civil Engineering and Surveying The Engineering and Applied Technology Department announced that revamped courses will be offered in Fall 2014

12 News Briefs and Calendar A-B Tech’s Global Institute for Sustainable Technology supports community education needs

14 Scholarship Luncheon The Foundation awarded 378 scholarships totaling more than $480,000 at its 13th Annual Scholarship Luncheon

15 Vet Connections Café Vet Connections Café is where veterans on the A-B Tech campus can find a place to connect

Writer Martha Ball Design & Photography Josh Weaver Kyle Levitan Lisa Alford Jennifer Moran

Board of Trustees Chair Joe Brumit Vice Chair Ray Spells Troy Ball Wayne Brigman Mary Ruth Fowler Mike Fryar William A. Hart Jr. Richard Hurley Don C. Locke, Ph.D. Kaye A. Myers John Parham Jr., MD. Wilma Sherrill Mandy Stone David Wyatt Student Government Association President Jayne English Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate degrees, diplomas and certificates. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College. Equal Opportunity Educational Institution

15 Asheville Campus Construction Projects Update Buncombe County breaks ground for the new A-B Tech building On the cover: Ted Limbo, GE Aviation Technology Leader for ceramic matrix composites (CMCs)

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All rights reserved. No parts of the material printed may be reproduced or used in any form or by any means electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage retrieval system without the permission of the publisher. 125,000 copies printed at a cost of .10 cents each.

4 NO limits with wres 100.7 FM

6 Edwards Honored

8 GE Aviation Partnership

A Message from the President Whether we are native to these glorious mountains, or recently transplanted to the beauty of Buncombe or Madison counties, we all appreciate what a special place our corner of Western North Carolina is. The scenery, outdoor activities, the culture and lifestyle combine to make most of us recognize our home as a unique part of the country. Another resource that makes Buncombe and Madison counties special is A-B Tech. Having a community college of any caliber sets a community Dennis King, Ed.D. off from others; having a community college recognized as a leader in the state and region makes the community stand apart as a destination of choice for living and relocating. Your community college does it all. A-B Tech serves those who need help with high school completion and mastery of English. The College’s continuing education programs enhance the lives of many who want to master a skill without the burden of mandatory attendance and grades. The College also provides the first two years of a bachelor’s degree, which allows for seamless transition to most universities. The transfer graduate from A-B Tech continually performs as well at a university as does the native student. Students in technical and vocational programs are trained with state-of-the-art equipment and methods for more than 50 programs leading to excellent local jobs. Relocating businesses acknowledge that one reason for choosing their local site is the training for employees available at A-B Tech.

All of what your community college accomplishes is done for the citizens of our service district. With flexible class schedules and low tuition rates, A-B Tech is available to most individuals who seek a better life through training and education. A-B Tech belongs to Buncombe and Madison counties. It is a resource worth supporting, using, and cherishing.

Dennis King, Ed.D. Interim President


Locally Committed, Regionally Dynamic, World-Class Focused


A-B Tech inspires, nurtures and empowers students and the community toward a better quality of life through progressive teaching, bold innovation and support collaboration.


Excellence, Learning Supportive Environment, Innovation, Inclusiveness, Continuous Improvement

A-B Tech EDUCATION Journal | 3


A-B Tech and WRES 100.7 FM have partnered on a new bi-weekly radio show that explores education issues impacting the urban community. “No Limits” broadcasts at 11 a.m. every other Wednesday and is replayed three times each week. Hosted by James Lee, Workforce Outreach Coordinator for A-B Tech, and Phyllis Utley, the College’s Diversity Recruiter, the show kicked off with a segment on financial aid and how to afford a college education. Under the production of station CEO and President John Hayes, the show spends 30 minutes educating residents of Asheville on programs and services available at the college. Shows have covered the Minority Student Leadership Academy and the Workplace Readiness Certification, which can verify a student’s skills to potential employers. The show also has discussed how the community can support our students and where an A-B Tech degree can take you

“This is an important campaign because we need every one of our young people to know that getting a degree opens doors for them that would not be open otherwise.” - James Lee with special alumni guests, including Kevin Montgomery of United Way and Bill Murdock of Eblen Charities. The show also had the unique opportunity to partner with the radio station and Matters of the Heart radio show to present the first Share the Knowledge campaign event to empower young men for college and careers. The program was held February 22 on A-B Tech’s Asheville campus. It featured special guest speaker Leo Stoney and panelists who have attained a college degree and are working in a variety of chosen career fields. Stoney is a motivational speaker from Orlando, FL, who earned his college degree after 12 years of putting it off. “Education is important. It’s a means of power. It’s a means of respect. It’s a means of character and integrity… especially within the African-American culture. It speaks volumes. I would encourage anybody to go back. It’s never too late,” he said. Share the Knowledge was created to encourage young men to go to college and prepare for careers by providing the information and resources available to them. “This is an important campaign because we need every one of our young people to know that getting a degree opens doors for them that would not be open otherwise. This is a stand that A-B Tech and the community are taking to keep our young people striving for perfection in their lives,” said Lee.

John Hayes of WRES 100.7 FM with Phyllis Utley, A-B Tech’s Diversity Recruiter and James Lee, Workforce Outreach Coordinator, produce a bi-weekly show highlighting services available at the college.

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“What we wanted to accomplish was for the young men and their guests to leave the event feeling more empowered and strengthened.” said Tausha M. Kelly, the founder and host of Matters of the Heart.

A-B Tech students win coveted spots in NASA’s Aerospace Scholars program A-B Tech Community College students Kris Ridenour and Mike Blackwater were two of 40 students in the United States chosen by NASA to participate as Aerospace Scholars at the Marshall Space Flight Center February 26-28. “The NASA engineering contest was the most challenging fun we have ever experienced. The three-day contest, coupled with the three interactive engineering lab tours, was very educational and will most likely end up being a career changing experience,” said Blackwater.

A-B Tech Students Kris Ridenour and Mike Blackwater standing next to a fuel tank section from the upcoming Space Launch System, which will be converted into living quarters for future long-range missions.

They competed for a spot in Huntsville through an application process and scores from online lessons, where they created plans for their own Mars mission including a 3D rover design.

Ridenour and Blackwater were encouraged to apply for the program by instructors Tammy Sullivan, Math Chair and Jim Sullivan, Civil Engineering and Geomatics Technology Chair. “I wouldn’t have tried to do it if it weren’t for her (Tammy’s) encouragement,” Ridenour said. The on-site experience at NASA also includes a tour of facilities and briefings by NASA subject matter experts. Ridenour is studying computer engineering after 10 years in the Army where he served as a scout. “I decided to come to A-B Tech to do something more out of life,” he said.

“Kris is extremely bright, dedicated and loves to learn. He is such a wonderful addition to our class with his real-world knowledge and experiences. For example, when we were studying Laws of Sines and Cosines, he shared with the class how this is used in the Army during different missions and in-field training,” Tammy Sullivan said. Blackwater was in the rental real estate field and wanted a bigger challenge. He said his dream job has always been to work at NASA. “As long as I’ve known him, he’s been interested in space and NASA, and at one point he was signing his e-mail with, ‘Mike Blackwater – Future NASA Scientist,’” Jim Sullivan said. “He’s a pleasure to have in class, in many ways a catalyst who makes the entire class more engaged with his enthusiasm for learning. He’s taken the initiative to form study groups for many of his classes, which improves the performance of everyone in the group. He’s a great student and a natural leader, gregarious and fun to be around,” Jim Sullivan said.

A-B Tech Interim President Dennis King, Ed.D., student Kris Ridenour, Civil Engineering and Geomatics Technology Chair Jim Sulllivan, Math Chair Tammy Sullivan and student Mike Blackwater.

While at NASA, students form teams and establish fictional companies interested in Mars exploration. Each team is responsible for building a functional prototype rover and forming a company infrastructure, including budget, communications and presentations. A-B Tech was represented on the team that won the rover competition held at Marshall.

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Edwards Receives Governor’s Volunteer Service Award The NC Commission on Volunteerism & Community Service presented the N.C. Governor’s Volunteer Service Award for 2014 to Madelyn Edwards for her many roles at A-B Tech. Edwards was a successful television and video production business owner who, upon retirement, wanted to give back to the community. She combined her talents with A-B Tech’s

In addition to high school recruitment videos, Edwards has created a multimedia format that makes it easier for all constituents to understand complicated concepts in financial aid. “Maddy brings so much to the table with her professional background and engaging personality. She’s great at involving students, and they know they’re working with an expert,” said Dr. Michael Dempsey, A-B Tech’s Director of Recruitment and High School Partnerships.

“I want everyone to know about the quality here, not only in educating, but in making students feel like they fit in and that the faculty and staff really care about them and their future.” - Maddy Edwards efforts to showcase its products, resulting in the integration of students, teachers, administrators, marketing and information technology for a common goal – the enhancement of the college and its many departments, programs and educational offerings in the community.

Edwards also serves as a volunteer mentor and is assigned to a student who is at risk of not completing her desired degree. Her nurturing personality and commitment to higher education will help the student set priorities, organize her schedule, meet the demands of college and graduate.

Edwards said, “I want everyone to know about the quality here, not only in educating, but in making students feel like they fit in and that the faculty and staff really care about them and their future.” For more information, see

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Students in Tammy Sullivan’s Mathematical Measurement class at A-B Tech Community College had a math lab studying area and perimeter, but with an extra purpose beyond the numbers. Using empty cereal boxes, clean milk jugs, old jeans and other scrap cotton fabrics, they cut out patterns to create pieces to be made into shoes for children in Uganda and Zambia through the Asheville-based Sole Hope program. Materials rescued from the landfill are now able to not only cover feet but to provide jobs in Uganda, where the shoes will be pieced together. Students were responsible for tracing and cutting out the patterns after determining the maximum pieces to cut from the materials to minimize waste through A-B Tech student Morgan Edwards cuts out a pattern to help make shoes for children during a Mathematical Measurement class.

measurement and calculation. They were able to put together 44 pairs of shoes during the session. “I feel like it’s a good way to apply the concepts we’re learning to the real world,” said Caroline Klapper, a Veterinary Medical Technology student in Sullivan’s class. “It’s nice to help other people and to see it being used rather than just as problems in a book.”

Our students have changed their lives at A-B Tech

A-B Tech featured alumni and students in our 2013-14 ad campaigns to highlight the variety of success stories from our college. Students of all ages and backgrounds come here to get the skills needed to successfully begin or transition. Jeremy Jackson was designated as a special needs student as a young child in Texas. He came to Asheville not knowing what he wanted to do after high school. “I knew I didn’t want to live like this. I thought about who I was letting down if I didn’t go to college,” he said. Jeremy has earned an Associate in Arts and an Associate in Science degree from A-B Tech and is now working on his Massage Therapy degree so he can continue his education to become a physical therapist. “A lot of the instructors were not afraid to step in the role of mentor,” he said. Jeremy now serves as a mentor to younger AfricanAmerican males. As an active member of the college’s Minority Student Leadership Academy, Jeremy has been able to attend workshops and seminars that lead to success. He was able to participate in the Men of Color Inaugural Student Leadership Institute’s “Man Up: Educating Minority Males for Leadership and Service” Conference in Phoenix where he was one of 48 students selected to attend. “One of the most impressive parts of the conference was looking out over a sea of faces of color during the first night’s dinner that had attained their PhD. or Ed.D. The room was filled with African-American community college presidents, vice presidents and chancellors,” Jeremy said.

“It wasn’t until I started at A-B Tech did I really consider a career in psychology. It’s never easy to work and go to school but through the honor society, I was able to help others and get scholarships,” Andy said. “With the love and support from the faculty and staff I am going all the way for a doctorate. Without that care, I would have never made that decision.” Toya Ruffin attended A-B Tech while raising four children, received her degree in Emergency Medical Science and is now an EMT. “A-B Tech has profoundly affected my life in a positive manner,” she said. “I’m a great example to my kids to strive for excellence and they know firsthand learning never ends.” Logan Simmons is a non-traditional older adult who had a successful career in real estate, which ended when the real estate market crashed. He came to A-B Tech to study healthcare, will finish his degree in May, and already is employed at Mission Hospital.

See Jeremy’s, Abby’s and Andy’s stories and our television commercial at:

Abby Moore is a Digital Media graduate who chose A-B Tech because of its affordability. Her degree helped her begin a full-time wedding photography business since everything she does is processed and marketed online. “A-B Tech gave me the opportunity to pursue my career and gave me more than a high school diploma. I have learned skills I wouldn’t have learned without A-B Tech,” she said. Andy Marshall was dissatisfied with his first career, got his college transfer credits here, then went on to a four-year school and is now pursuing a doctorate in psychology.

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A-B Tech to provide training for innovative new GE Aviation plant GE Aviation is building a new 170,000 square-foot facility in Asheville, which will be the first in the world to mass-produce ceramic matrix composites (CMCs) for airplane production and A-B Tech has been seleced to train GE employees for the innovative process.

“Together with GE Aviation, we are going to bring cuttingedge technology to Buncombe County,” said Kevin Kimrey, Director of Workforce Development at A-B Tech. “The advanced material known as CMCs will mandate new manufacturing processes and thus new training programs. We look forward to teaming with GE in this effort.”

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A-B Tech will create a composites training center of excellence for GE Aviation on the College’s Asheville campus that through the state’s customized training program, will further enhance the skills of GE Aviation’s existing workforce and train new GE employees. The composite materials will be one-third of the weight of the existing super alloy component they replace in the engine’s hot section and are much more heat resistant. It is estimated that the lighter components will create fuel savings of $1 million per airplane. The training will start by establishing a technical foundation for individuals going through the program, according to Michael Meguiar, Asheville Plant Leader for GE Aviation. “It will cover how to read and follow technical documents, quality procedures, use of precision gauges and other measuring devices,” he said.

environment with state-of-the-art machinery. Facilities will include 5,000 square feet for training floor/lab spaces to accommodate 20 participants and an adjacent classroom. There will also be a dedicated lead instructor to facilitate the training, with adjuncts and state trainers on the faculty. The college has received a $200,000 grant from the Golden Leaf Foundation to assist with purchasing and installing equipment in the center and to support the development of the training program. Andy McNeal, who has 43 years of aerocraft experience, will be the lead instructor for the training center. He first started working with airplane composites in 1974 when he was in the Air Force at Langley.

Michael Meguiar, Asheville Plant Leader for GE Aviation, Micki Turner, Human Resources Manager for GE Aviation, Kevin Kimrey, Director of Workforce Development at A-B Tech and Andy McNeal, Lead Instructor for the composites training center.

The training will then address specific skills in creating composite materials using different operations. “To complement the technical skills, we also want to grow them in other areas such as Lean Manufacturing, business management, financials, and other areas that support our Teaming environment we have at GE Aviation,” Meguiar said. “Together with GE Aviation, we are going to bring cuttingedge technology to Buncombe County,” said Kevin Kimrey, Director of Workforce Development at A-B Tech. “The advanced material known as CMCs will mandate new manufacturing processes and thus new training programs. We look forward to teaming with GE in this effort.” The training program at the College will allow current and prospective GE Aviation employees to train in a hands-on

“A-B Tech has a good foundation of technical knowledge, but does not have the specific experience with composites and ceramics. We can partner with them to create the technical program specific to GE Aviation, which will be given to current and future employees,” said Meguiar.

The Asheville plant’s initial component slated for CMCs is the high-pressure turbine shroud, which is a stationary component that directs exhaust gas through the hot section of the LEAP engine. The LEAP engine, which will enter airline service in 2016, will power the new Airbus A320neo, Boeing 737 MAX and COMAC (China) C919 aircraft. “A-B Tech will train GE’s existing employees who transition to the new technology, as well as new hires for the expansion of the new facility. Between incumbent employees and new hires, we plan on training at least 300 people,” Kimrey said. “The goal is to begin the first training of current employees by end of second quarter of 2014.”

Kevin Kimrey, Director of Workforce Development at A-B Tech, left, and Michael Meguiar, Asheville Plant Leader for GE Aviation, speak with a GE employee at the plant on Sweeten Creek Road.

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Meet Andy McNeal A-B TECH’S AVIATION COMPOSITES INSTRUCTOR FOR GE AVIATION TRAINING FACILITY Andy McNeal has been hired as A-B Tech’s Aviation Composites Instructor to lead the training center on campus that will prepare GE Aviation employees to produce ceramic matrix composites. McNeal, who was previously an Aerospace Manufacturing Instructor at Lenoir Community College, has 43 years aircraft experience working as a contractor for companies such as Lockheed, Gulfstream and FedEx. He is experienced in all areas of aircraft structural maintenance and repair or modification, including the use of aircraft metals, fiberglass, metal bonded honeycomb structures, and composite materials. “We are very fortunate to have Andy at A-B Tech as a Lead Instructor for the GE Aviation project. He has a wealth of experience and knowledge in composites technology and aviation, as well as many other subjects,” said Kevin Kimrey, Director of Economic and Workforce Development. “He is also an instructor in shop math, blueprint reading, geometric dimensioning and tolerances, precision measuring, safety, quality assurance, and Excel. So, in addition to being very smart, he is extremely versatile!” McNeal spent 20 years in the U.S. Air Force and retired in 1991. He conducted repairs on the DC8 for TIMCO in Greensboro and taught at Trident Technical College in Charleston, S.C. for Boeing’s 787 project. He first started working with aircraft composites at Langley in 1974. “We are going to teach students how to lay up composites and how to cook it in an autoclave. We will be teaching math skills for blueprint reading,” McNeal said. “The parts

are within 1/1000th of an inch so they will need to know how to use precision equipment.” McNeal said he is looking forward to his new position because the industry is always changing and evolving. “They are always coming out with new and better composites. The aircraft are lighter and they last longer so there is no corrosion,” he said. He also wants to teach the craft to a new generation. “I would like to take a young person out of a service job where there is little chance for advancement and teach them to build an airplane. Now that’s a future.” Another benefit to the composite engines will be fuel usage. “The fuel savings are going to be astronomical. There also won’t be as much pressurization needed in the cabin so there will be less jet lag on passengers,” McNeal said. The automotive and boat industry also use composites and most finishing rods are made out of them because they are easier to construct. “You can make a mold and make the same project over and over. There are a lot of advantages to composites,” he said. McNeal has worked in construction, carpentry and even sold insurance. “But I always go back to my passion in aircraft. That is my field of expertise through building, repairing and modifying. Never has any of my work had to be redone. One thing I am proud to say. I have personal integrity when it comes to aircraft,” he said.

SHERRILL APPOINTED TO COLLEGE BOARD OF TRUSTEES Wilma Sherrill has been appointed to the A-B Tech Board of Trustees by the governor for a four-year term. Sherrill, a native of Yadkin County, has been a local businesswoman since 1967. She served as the Under Secretary for then governor James Martin from 1985 to 1992 and served as an elected member of the North Carolina House of Representatives from 1994 until 2006.

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She has received numerous awards including the state’s highest honor, the Order of the Long Leaf Pine. Sherill also currently serves on the UNC-Asheville athletic board of directors, where the Health and Wellness Center bears her name. She is on the WNC Regional Economic Development Commission, the State Employees Credit Union Advisory and Mission Hospitals Foundation board of directors.

Civil Engineering and Surveying revamped at A-B Tech The Engineering and Applied Technology Division at A-B Tech Community College announced that Civil Engineering Technology and Geomatics Technology programs will be offered in Fall 2014. Both programs have been enhanced based on input from area employers. Geomatics, formerly known as Surveying Technology, now has an added geographic information system (GIS) component and more emphasis is placed on sustainability in the impact and design. “It’s a little more comprehensive than it used to be,” said Jim Sullivan, Civil Engineering and Geomatics Technology Chair. “We’re still teaching surveying, but mapping and GIS and sustainability are new to the curriculum.” A-B Tech graduates get full-time jobs locally with good pay and benefits, according to Sullivan. “Our graduates are working in both public and private sector jobs. Half the employees at local engineering and surveying firm Vaughn and Melton are graduates of ours. Bunnell-Lammons Engineering is also hiring our grads and planning to hire more. It’s a very portable degree, so we

have graduates working all over the country.” Last year, Civil Engineering Technology students were able to work with the Blue Ridge Parkway to redesign the drinking fountains to make them more accessible for maintenance and repairs. The project was so successful that students are now developing a new design for picnic tables in the park.

Blue Ridge Parkway drinking fountains designed by A-B Tech Civil Engineering students.

Jared Ownbey, Civil Engineering and Geomatics Technology Instructor, earned his degree from A-B Tech. “What got me into the field was that it paid well while getting to play outside,” he said. “There are a number of employers that employ Geomatics Technology graduates and a fair number of graduates start their own surveying business.

A-B Tech student Brannon Honeycutt recently enrolled in the Civil Engineering program because she liked the idea of not being stuck in an office.

“We also have articulation agreements with four-year universities so our graduates can transfer and further their education. Salaries start at about $15 an hour, which is about $30,000 a year. After a few years experience they can start earning more. These are good paying jobs here in our community,” Sullivan said. Prospective students should contact Jim Sullivan for more information at or 828-398-7343. A-B Tech EDUCATION Journal | 11

News Briefs FERGUSONS HONORED FOR LEGACY AT A-B TECH Jack and Carolyn Ferguson were recognized by the Council for Resource Development as 2013 Benefactors of the Year during its national conference in Washington, D.C. The annual event celebrates regional benefactors who have contributed a transformative gift to a community college. The Fergusons’ gift of more than $5 million to Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College demonstrates their commitment and support of A-B Tech. They have also have created many scholarships to support students. A-B Tech’s new Allied Health & Workforce Development Building will be named in their honor.

CHANGES ARE HERE FOR THE GED TEST A new GED® (General Education Development) high school equivalency Test began in January 2014 at A-B Tech Community College. The former version, known as the 2002 Series GED test, expired and has been replaced with the new 2014 GED test. Students must now pass the test in four content areas of reasoning through language arts, mathematical reasoning, science and social studies to earn their high school equivalency. All tests are computer-based, but not offered online. To learn more about earning a high school equivalency, call 398-7132.

RAPETSKI ON PANEL FOR TOURISM Walter Rapetski, Hospitality Management Instructor at A-B Tech Community College, participated in a discussion panel March 2 at the Governor’s Conference on Tourism in Charlotte. The North Carolina Travel Industry Association held the session to discuss positive growth opportunities for the state’s overall employment outlook and highlighted the forecast that skilled workers will be in high demand and wages will increase as the market for labor becomes competitive. Learn more about Rapetski at

A-B TECH TEAM WINS CULINARY GOLD A team of A-B Tech Community College students took first place and earned a gold medal during NC state Hot Food Team culinary competition January 12 at Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte, earning a trip to the American Culinary Federation’s (ACF) regional competition. Students will compete April 26-29 in Charleston, S.C., at the ACF’s Southeast Regional conference. Members are from left, team captain Alex Harris, Kristina Costa, Jay O’Hannon, Ruth Solis, Daniel Radle and Caroline Williams.

STAFFER PUBLISHED IN TRAILGROOVE MAGAZINE Academic Advisor Rebecca Chambers had her essay What Bill Bryson Never Told You About Thru-Hiking the Appalachian Trail and accompanying photographs published in Issue 13 of TrailGroove magazine. Her story can be read at 12 | A-B Tech EDUCATION Journal

News Briefs ALUM KEEPS ADVANCING ON AMERICAN IDOL A-B Tech alum Caleb Johnson has been on the 13th season of American Idol making it to the finalist rounds where contestants sing live in Hollywood and are voted for by the viewers. His rocker style has been praised for being energetic and entertaining. The show, broadcast on the FOX network, has produced performers such as Carrie Underwood, Kelly Clarkson and Phillip Phillips.

Education Energized

Calendar of Events April 21 Registration Begins

Visionary progressive Entrepreneurial


For Summer and Fall Semesters

World Focused

April 23-27 Moogfest A-B Tech Community College is Proud to Be Moogfest’s

2014 EduCATion SponSor

April 28 Stand Against Racism

8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. A-B Tech Asheville Campus; Ferguson Auditorium Sponsoring Partners: A-B Tech and the Asheville YWCA Co-Sponsors: City of Asheville, MAHEC, UNCA

Education Sponsor: A-B Tech

For information and to register, visit

Discount tickets available for education. Email

May 17 Commencement

For information, visit | 828-398-7900

2:00 p.m. at the U.S. Cellular Center Arena Commencement Speaker: Former A-B Tech President K. Ray Bailey






Luncheon Celebrates Scholarship Recipients “Scholarships impact students in so many ways and the generous support of donors is invaluable.” - Leronica Casey

A-B Tech Community College’s Foundation awarded its first six scholarships for $7,737 in 2001. During its 13th annual celebration luncheon November 5 at the Crowne Plaza Resort, 378 scholarships totaling more than $480,000 were awarded by the Foundation reflecting the growth the College has experienced.

“After graduating this past summer, my grandmother became very ill. I started taking care of her. It was very hard for me to leave her along for even 30 minutes,” Romero said. After seeing the exemplary care she received, he knew what he wanted to go into health care. “These people help give others a better life. They serve the community.”

“Scholarships impact students in so many ways and the generous support of donors is invaluable. The scholarship luncheon is our way of not only thanking the donors, but also recognizing the outstanding accomplishments of our students,” said Leronica Casey, Scholarship Coordinator.

When Romero’s grandmother passed away, he was even more determined to be able to help others. “I wasn’t sure if I wanted to be a nurse or a doctor, but Peggy Bulla (Career Counselor) helped me narrow it down after testing. Occupational therapy was exactly what I wanted to do. Adding education makes dreams reality,” he said.

Jack and Carolyn Ferguson joined with others from the community to be recognized for their generous contributions and to celebrate the successes of the many scholarship recipients attending the event. “At their luncheon table were students supported by the Ferguson scholarships, many of whom are students in A-B Tech’s Nursing Program. Through the gifts of donors like the Fergusons, the College is helping more and more students realize their dream of a college education, which has the power to transform their lives,” said Sue Olesiuk, Executive Director of College Advancement.

Romero also thanked the sponsors of the scholarship he received. “For me it was a huge stepping stone to start college. For me and other Latino students to have this opportunity,” he said.

Carlos Romero, the recipient of the Asheville Latin Americans for Advancement Society Merit Scholarship, spoke about his plans to have a career in occupational therapy. “During high school, I never thought about college as an option. I didn’t think my parents could afford it,” Romero said. “It was just a dream.” While in high school, he said didn’t plan ahead and let the thought of college just linger. When pressed to decide what he wanted to do after graduation, he knew he liked art to express himself and thought architecture was the way to go. 14 | A-B Tech EDUCATION Journal

Foundation Scholarship recipient Carlos Romero with Scholarship sponsor Christiana Glenn Tugman and Alikhan Salehi, Coordinator of Transfer and Distance Services.

Construction Project Update Buncombe County began construction of A-B Tech’s new Allied Health & Workforce Development Building this winter. Located on Victoria Road between Livingston Street and Oakland Road, the building is scheduled to be completed by Fall 2015.

Vet Connections Café

GIVES VETERANS A PLACE OF THEIR OWN Vet Connections Café is where veterans on the A-B Tech campus can find a place to connect. It benefits our students with veteran status by giving them the opportunity to socialize with fellow veterans while providing a quiet place for them to study outside of other labs that are open to all students. A group of A-B Tech Volunteers has created a relaxing environment A-B Tech student Clarence B. Payton greets that is Buster Brown, a therapy dog and his handler favorable to Martha Server in the Vet Connections Café. veterans needing camaraderie and a peaceful environment. The vets receive tutoring from these qualified volunteers - some who are veterans themselves – while having access to computers and printing. The vets also enjoy an assortment of refreshments donated by the Veteran’s Services Office. Lead Volunteer Thomas Anspach, a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, developed the café because he saw a need for a place catering to veterans. Tom’s other volunteer duties brought him in contact with returning war veterans and he

recognized that a place dedicated only to them on campus could better ensure their success as they pursue their educational goals. His commitment to this project earned him Volunteer of the Month status and now in its second year, the Vet Connection Café continues to draw veterans and new volunteers to support them. Wednesdays in Birch 115, from 11 a.m. to 1:45 p.m., 20 students with veteran status on average frequent the lab and receive assistance from volunteers Janet Covert and Bob Miles. Miles is a Vietnam Veteran with extensive experience in counseling and advising veterans within higher education organizations. Also on Wednesdays, Volunteer Jane McCormick and her yellow Labrador retriever visit the Café to provide facilitated pet therapy to veterans requesting this form of emotional support while in the lab. A-B Tech had 331 students receiving VA Education benefits during the fall semester. A-B Tech EDUCATION Journal | 15


Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College 340 Victoria Road Asheville, NC 28801

Postal Customer

APPLY NOW! Now accepting applications for competitive admission programs in Allied Health, Emergency Services and Business Hospitality Education. All courses begin during the Fall term in August. Allied Health programs accepting applications until filled: • Medical Laboratory Technology • Veterinary Medical Technology • Central Sterile Processing program (new)

• Medical Assisting (new evening class) • Pharmacy Technology (new evening class) • Medical Coding • Phlebotomy (new Goodwill location)

Other courses accepting applications for admission to fall programs until classes are filled include Emergency Medical Science, Brewing, Distillation and Fermentation, Cosmetology, Esthetics, Manicuring and Therapeutic Massage. For more information, please see or contact A-B Tech Admissions at (828) 398-7577 or 398-7578.


A-B Tech Education Journal Issue 2  
A-B Tech Education Journal Issue 2  

Winter/Spring 2014