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Volume II, Issue 2 | Page 1 Augusta Technical College

March 2013

The neutron because nuclear matters

Welcome! The Neutron focuses on all things nuclear at Augusta Technical College.

look inside WIN Conference Welcome Dean Arena! Spotlight on... Meranda Sapp GOAL Student Student Reception Check it Out! Be Featured

Region II WIN Conference The Region II Women In Nuclear (WIN) conference was held February 18-21 at the Augusta Marriot. Hosted by the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations (INPO) and Southern Company, the conference theme was “Nuclear in a Changing World: Mastering the Future.� Conference attendees included professionals and students, predominantly women, in the nuclear field. From sessions on work/life balance to fire protection safety, the sessions offered participants a wide variety of topics to choose from. Keynote speakers included executives and high-level administrators in the

industry. The sessions fostered professional development and networking. Additionally, participants had the opportunity to tour several facilitates in the CSRA including the Savannah River Site, Westinghouse Fuel, and Plant Vogtle 3 and 4. It was an excellent opportunity for professionals and students! For more information about WIN, visit


#2 Principle for a strong nuclear Safety culture Leaders demonstrate commitment to safety. The nuclear safety message is communicated frequently and consistently, occasionally as a stand -alone theme. Leaders throughout the nuclear organization set an example for safety.

Welcome, Dean Arena! In December 2013, John Arena began his tenure as the new Dean of the Information and Engineering Technology Division at Augusta Technical College. Dean Arena came to the position with over 33 years of experience in computer programming, database management, and IT consulting. He began at Augusta Technical College 30 years ago and until December, dedicated his time to teaching in and chairing the Computer Programming Department. In his new role, Dean Arena is responsible for overseeing 30+ degree, diploma, and certificate programs, including the Nuclear Engineering Technology program.

This material is based upon work supported by the Department of Energy Environmental Management under Award Number DE-EM0001232.

Volume II, Issue 2 | Page 2 Augusta Technical College

March 2013

The Neutron

Spotlight on…MERANDA SAPP Current net student, class of 2014 Augusta Technical College What sparked your interest in the Nuclear Engineering Technology (NET) Program? My Dad gets the credit for this one. He knew I was frustrated trying to find my niche in the art world. I realized that just because I was passionate about art, it did not mean I needed to do it for a living. I have always loved science. Knowing this, my Dad brought the NET program to my attention and every day I am thankful he did. Tell us more about your background in art and how it relates to what you are learning in the program. I attended Louisiana Art Institute and Southeastern Louisiana University. I worked for an art gallery called La Gallery Royale outside of New Orleans. I assisted in painting back drops for movies and photography. The way I see it, art and math mirror one another. I see my math homework as I would a painting. I cannot covey just how satisfied I feel when, upon finishing my homework, I see my finished product (and understand it!). I'm surprised I haven't framed any of my homework yet.

What most excites you about a potential career in nuclear energy? I look forward to working in a field in which I am excited to go to work every day. I'm also excited that my nuclear education does not stop the day I graduate. I look forward to growing alongside the company I work for and living a nuclear-filled life until I retire. How do you balance the demands of your personal life with your education? Before I began the program, I had serious conversations with my husband, family and friends. I explained the demands of the program and asked for support. Going on nightly walks with my husband and calling my parents daily are two ways I maintain a healthy work/life balance. What piece of advice would you give prospective NET students? I actually have a few pieces of advice. For one, make sure you are 100% ready to give your all for two years. Be confident. Even if you struggle more than other students, it doesn't mean you don't belong there. You may just need to study more. It is more than okay to ask for help and in this program, it is encouraged. I am proud to say we have great comradery in the Class of 2014. We encourage one another and push each other to be successful. Just for fun, fill in the blanks:

What has been the greatest lesson you have learned thus far in the program? Red means open and green means closed! But seriously, the greatest lesson I have learned is best reflected in a quote by Gautama Buddha in which he says, “All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think, we become.” This quote directly pertains to my experience in the NET program. This program is difficult and at times, the workload can seem daunting. I am learning new concepts at a fast pace. Confidence and persistence have contributed to my success in this program. Don't think, just do it!

If I could vacation anywhere, I would go to the Redwood forest in Northern California. The last book I read was “Cinder” by Marissa Meyer. It's a fairytale mash up of Star Wars and Terminator and it was awesome! Winter would not be complete without extra coffee dates with my husband, hoodies, and snuggling with my cats.

Volume II, Issue 2 | Page 3 Augusta Technical College

March 2013

The Neutron

Augusta Tech Goal Student of the year Shilo Dennard Current net student, class of 2013

Shilo Dennard, a second year student in the NET program, was recently selected as the GOAL Student of the Year at Augusta Technical College. The purpose of GOAL is to spotlight the outstanding student achievements in Georgia's technical colleges and to emphasize the importance of technical education in today’s workforce. GOAL is a statewide program in the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG). What made you decide to pursue a technical education? I chose a technical education because it provides me the foundation to gain employment in the growing field of nuclear power. Technical education provides a hands-on environment, allowing me to take abstract concepts in the classroom and apply them to situations outside the classroom. Consequently, I have acquired skills that can be easily applied in this competitive, global economy. What motivates you to be successful inside and outside the classroom? My children motivate me to be successful. I am motivated inside the classroom by my desire to financially provide for my children. Outside the classroom, I am motivated to set a good example for my children. Why do you think it’s important to promote technical education in Georgia? Technical education provides easy access to education, industry training, innovative instructional strategies, hands-on training, and small class sizes. Nearly every job requires technical training and the technical colleges in Georgia provide an education that is designed for today’s workforce. What advice would you offer future Augusta Tech students? I would advise future Augusta Tech students to select a program of study that combines their interests with job opportunities. I would also advise them to take their education seriously and to utilize the academic resources provided by Augusta Tech. Finally, I would encourage students to ask for help when they need it because the instructors are more than willing to assist students outside of the classroom. Favorite quote?

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit.” -Aristotle To learn more about the GOAL program, visit the website at

Volume II, Issue 2 | Page 4 Augusta Technical College

March 2013

The Neutron

Student Reception On January 18, Southern Nuclear hosted a reception for the current NET students. Representatives from across the company spoke on topics related to POSS/MASS testing, career options, internship, and new employee expectations. Two Southern Nuclear employees and NET alumni, Jennifer Wiggins and Bill Thompson, offered advice and shared their experiences in the nuclear field. The presentations were followed by a reception and networking opportunity for students. Check out the NET Facebook page for pictures from the event at

Check it out! Powering America Each issue of The Neutron features a new nuclear website. This issue features the new film Powering America. This free film gives a great overview on the basics of nuclear energy. Southern Company is even highlighted several times throughout the film. Check it out!

The Neutron’s Next Top Feature! Submit your feature in The Neutron (article, website, comic, recipe, etc.) to Melissa Foster at

Featured recipe: Beef & broccoli stir-fry Courtesy of Prep Time: 20 min Total Time: 20 min Servings: 4 Ingredients: 6 oz uncooked whole wheat spaghetti 1 teaspoon canola or vegetable oil 3/4 lb boneless beef top sirloin steak, trimmed of fat, cut into 1/8-inch slices 1 large red, yellow or orange bell pepper, cut into 1inch pieces 1 small onion, cut into 1/4-inch wedges 1 bag (10 oz) frozen broccoli florets 1/3 cup water 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes 1/3 cup reduced-sodium teriyaki sauce 2 teaspoons cornstarch 2 tablespoons chopped green onions (2 medium)

Instructions: Cook and drain spaghetti as directed on package, omitting salt; cover to keep warm. Meanwhile, in 10-inch nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add beef; cook and stir 1 to 2 minutes until beef is no longer pink; remove from pan. Add bell pepper and onion to skillet; cook and stir 1 minute. Add broccoli; cook and stir 1 minute longer. Stir in water and crushed red pepper. Reduce heat to low; cover and cook 3 to 4 minutes or until broccoli is crisp-tender. In small cup, mix teriyaki sauce and cornstarch. Stir teriyaki sauce and beef into broccoli mixture in skillet. Cook and stir over high heat until sauce is thickened and heated through. Toss broccoli mixture with spaghetti. Garnish with green onions.

Volume II, Issue 2 | Page 5 Augusta Technical College

The Neutron

March 2013

The Neutron 2.2  

A newsletter dedicated to all things nuclear at Augusta Technical College.

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