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L-R: Ryan Harper, Carson Turner, Joe
Podany, and Keats Walker
NGTC Students Have New Turf to Dominate
Claiming the new territory of the inaugural Turf Bowl
competition for the state of Georgia hosted by the Georgia Golf
Course Superintendent’s Association (GGCSA), North Georgia
Technical College students took top honors against some very
In the event held on November 7, 2011, North Georgia Technical
College’s team dominated this new competitive turf against
four-man teams from UGA and Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College
(ABAC) and walked away with top honors, including overall
highest individual award for Joe Podany.
Participating from NGTC were students from the Turf and Golf
Course Management programs: Joe Podany of Cleveland;
Keats Walker of Murphy, NC; Carson Turner of Flowery Branch, and
Ryan Harper of Hartwell. They were accompanied by
instructor Joshua Jackson.
“We are proud of our students and their instructors,” said NGTC
Vice President of Academics Rex Bishop. “I know they worked hard
in preparation for the event. It shows us again the quality of
our students in comparison to those at four year institutions.
Not only is it a learning experience for the students, but it
builds confidence and self-esteem that they can take to the
The Turf Bowl consisted of a timed event in five categories
including plant protectants, irrigation, pest identification,
turf math, and pesticides. The NGTC team won with
individual scores placing first, second, fourth, and sixth.
The Turf Bowl was held during the GGCSA annual conference and
students from NGTC participated in the Vendor Fair prior to the
event. Students manned the booth for recruiting and
networked with industry to discuss job and internship
“It has been a good year for the Turf and Horticulture programs
at NGTC,” said Jackson. “Keep in mind we placed second in
the nation at PLANET in the turf event in Chicago last Spring.”
The Turf and Golf Course Management program started in 1997 on
the NGTC Clarkesville campus. Through the years the
program has grown not only in size, but in prestige.
Students are often given opportunities for internships with
world-class venues such as Fenway Park in Boston and Augusta
National Golf Course. The current students and graduates
in the Turf program at NGTC continue to receive state and
national recognition. This current victory emphasizes the
quality of education offered at NGTC when compared to any other
nationally recognized four-year institutions.
For more information on the Turf and Golf Course Management
program of study at NGTC, contact Joshua Jackson at 706-754-7751
Twelve Selected as
Semi-finalists in 2012 GOAL Competition at NGTC
Honoring high achieving students at North Georgia Technical
College is a long standing tradition. In fact, the Georgia
Award for Occupational Leadership (GOAL) competition originated
at the school more than 40 years ago.
The GOAL Program is designed to spotlight outstanding
achievement by students in the Georgia Technical College System
and to emphasize the importance of technical education in
today’s global workplace. Local GOAL winners are selected at
each of the state’s technical colleges. Through a series
of competitive interviews, the top student of the system is
identified. In 2010, NGTC was proud to have Practical
Nursing Student Brian Jones selected as the recipient of the
TCSG GOAL Award.
Though the 2012 winner will not be declared until next spring,
already 26 students at NGTC were nominated for consideration.
The first round of interviews with faculty and staff has been
completed, and twelve have been selected as semi-finalists.
This group will be interviewed again by the Vice Presidents and
Directors at the college who will select four finalists to be
announced at the GOAL Banquet on Tuesday, January 17, 2012.
Those four will then be interviewed by members of the community
who will choose the winner for the college.
Named as a semi-finalist this year were Caitlin Ayers of Toccoa
in Applied Business Technology; James Faulk of Martin in
Industrial System Technology; Robert Gambrell of Cleveland in
Marine Engine Technology; Eduardo Irizarry of Hinesville in
Electrical Systems; Leslie Kelly of Lavonia Medical Assisting;
John Mather of Clarkesville in Horticulture; Jonne Maultsby of
Toccoa in Criminal Justice; Joshua Colby Moore of Cleveland in
Photography; Jennifer Neese of Eastonallee in Health Care
Science; Cynthia Syphrit of Bowersville in Accounting; Donald
Thomas of Dahlonega in Air Conditioning Technology; and Keats
Walker of Murphy, NC in Turf and Golf Course Management.
These semi-finalists are also eligible to be the recipient of
the Marlowe-Evans GOAL Scholarship. The Scholarship,
founded in 2005 by Jim Marlowe and Bob Evans, is given to one of
the 12 GOAL finalists at NGTC who exemplifies the spirit of Bob
Evans and Jim Marlowe through their community service and
willingness to help others.
Also nominated as 2012 GOAL candidates were Ben Collins of Helen
in Marine Engine Technology; Briana Echols of Toccoa in
Pharmacy Technology; Karen Erwin of Cornelia in Cosmetology; Amy
Estep of Murphy, NC, in Clinical Lab Technology; Amy Gailey of
Baldwin in Clinical Lab Technology; Corey Garrett of Cleveland
in Clinical Lab Technology; Amy Johnson of Tiger in
Practical Nursing; Deborah Kelley of Carnesville in Culinary
Arts; Sean Patterson of Blairsville in Business Administrative
Technology; Margaret Pinney of Toccoa in Practical Nursing;
Dixie Sorensen of Hiawassee in Clinical Lab Technology; Kellie
Tallent of Clarkesville in Medical Assisting; Jocelyn Thacker of
Commerce in Photography; and Willadene Tyler of Blairsville in
GOAL candidates are nominated by an instructor and must carry at
least a 3.0 GPA.
“All of the students did a great job yesterday in the first
round of interviews. They represented their programs very
well,” said Trudy Ayers, NGTC’s GOAL Coordinator. “The
best part of GOAL is hearing where these students have been and
where they are going now. We are proud to honor all of the
For more information on programs of study at North Georgia
Technical College, visit
www.northgatech.edu or call 706-754-7700.
HEROES members visit Ronald McDonald
House: Advisor Dorothy Hansen,
Levi Saxton, Olivia Pickens, President Toni Eaves, Willadene
Victoria Morrell, Advisor Dorothy Mayfield
NGTC Students Contribute to Ronald McDonald House
North Georgia Technical College Blairsville campus HEROES
(Having Equity Resources and Opportunities Equals Success), a
student organization focused on providing support and a sense of
community for non-traditional students, visited the Ronald
McDonald House in Atlanta on November 4.
Volunteer Coordinator Nicole Holley led a tour of the
state-of-the-art home showing us the impressive kitchen,
playroom, computer room, and bedrooms, and she informed the
group that the Atlanta Ronald McDonald House Charities have
provided housing for families of seriously ill children since
HEROES members donated boxes of can tabs collected during the
year, and the recycled can tabs will be used to defray the cost
of housing for families, help provide scholarships, and help
finance special fundraising events.
HEROES students Toni Eaves, Victoria Morrell, Willadene Tyler,
Levi Saxton, and Olivia Pickens, along with advisors Dorothy
Mayfield and Dorothy Hansen, enjoyed touring the facility and
learning more about the wonderful opportunities available to
For more information about the Ronald McDonald House Charities,
visit their website
http://www.armhc.org/index.html. For more information
on the programs of study at NGTC, visit
Horticulture and Turf Students Go “Between the
Walking onto the immaculately kept grounds “between the hedges”
of Sanford Stadium is an experience few are offered.
Recently, nearly 30 Horticulture and Turf & Golf Course
Management students from North Georgia Technical College were
excited to be taking their annual excursion to the historic
“This is the field trip we all look forward to every year,” said
Turf and Golf Course Management Instructor Joshua Jackson.
“We get the expert tour and informational session from UGA’s
Director of Grounds Kenny Pauley. From there, the students
split into two groups with one touring the Founders Garden and
the other going to Georgia State Soil Lab.”
Beginning on the football field where the Bulldogs reign
supreme, Mr. Pauley described the daily tasks in his job
highlighting the best and the worst things about his job to this
group of aspiring professionals in the turf care arena.
From painting the field to mowing to water management to
fertilization and more, maintaining the health of the athletic
facilities takes infinite care and expertise. Even so,
Pauley indicated that his job was 90% people and 10% turf.
At the soil lab, Dr. Leticia Sonon showed the class the entire
automated testing process from drying and grinding to chemical
application and argon flames that yield information about
fertility and ph balance. The tour also explored Rhizotron,
a joint venture between UGA and the State of Georgia that is the
only underground root research facility in the country.
Kevin Tucker explained how research is done by studying the
growth of the plant without disturbing the plant, viewing it
through glass with the aid of black lights.
“It is a great time to see the job opportunities and internship
opportunities at UGA,” said Jackson. “Two of our graduates
are working at the UGA Golf Course right now.”
The Turf and Golf Management and Horticulture and programs
prepare students for professional placements with athletic
agencies, landscaping design and installation organizations,
resorts and more. For information on the Horticulture or
Turf and Golf Course Management programs of study at NGTC,
contact Joshua Jackson at 706-754-7883 or
Dawn Adams with President Steve Dougherty.
Dawn Adams Serves NGTC for 25 Years
Dawn Adams, North Georgia Technical College’s Currahee
Librarian, recently received the Faithful Service Award for 25
years of service. The Faithful Service Award symbolizes
the dedication and hard work that employees have performed for
Born in Iowa, Ms. Adams received her Bachelor’s degree in
English from Wheaton College in Illinois and a Masters in
Library Science from Florida State University. “Technology
has changed this profession so much from when I was in school,”
she mused. “When I look back at what I studied, I hardly
recognize the processes now.”
Dawn’s first Librarian job was at Toccoa Falls College where she
worked for twelve years. During that time she met and married
Henry and they have lived in Toccoa since.
Adams joined the staff at NGTC in 1986, working in the library
on the Clarkesville campus and then moving to the new Currahee
campus when it was opened. “I love being a librarian, and
the best part of the job is working with the students.”
After 37 years, it is clear she made the right career choice.
“My father was an English professor and my mother was a
librarian,” she explained. “It was in my blood, and I have
never wanted to do anything else.”
NGTC also recognized employees who had achieved five, ten, and
15 years of service. Distance Education Specialist Renee
Deibert of Union County received a certificate for 15 years with
the system. Receiving recognition for 10 years of service
were Industrial Maintenance Technology Instructor Jim Haag of
White County, Administrative Support Assistant Tiffany Scroggs
of Habersham County, and Culinary Arts Instructor Chef David
Drake of Union County. Recognized for 5 years of service
were DegreeWorks Specialist Shawn Weaver, , Receptionist Loretta
Addison, and Financial Aid Technician Suzanne Wright, all from
Stephens County and Machine Tool Technology Instructor Shannon
Gary from White County.
For more information on North Georgia Technical College’s
programs of study, contact 706-754-7717 or visit
(L-R) NGTC delegate to the 2012 Eagle
Leadership Institute is Christine Canup.
2011 EAGLE Winners Honored
Six North Georgia Technical College adult education students
were honored as Exceptional Adult Georgian in Literacy Education
(EAGLE) winners. Students who have demonstrated superior
achievement in adult education programs are nominated by their
instructors for this tribute.
These six excellent students were selected to compete for the
honor of being the NGTC delegate to the EAGLE Leadership
Institute which will be held February 12-15, 2012, in Atlanta.
Michael Jarrett of Fannin County, Jessica Finley of Habersham
County, Megan English of Rabun County, Christine Canup of
Stephens County, Mary Speelman of White County, and Kurtis Kidd
of Union County each had a turn interviewing with five judges,
answering questions regarding their studies, progress, hopes and
“Each one had such an incredible story of strength and courage,”
noted Public Relations Director Sandra Maughon after the
interviews. “They represented their fellow Adult Ed
students well, and each one is truly a winner.”
Megan English, who was nominated by Caroline Simons, first came
back to get her GED so she could advance at work. After
she achieves her GED, she plans to continue on for a college
degree, with a goal of working in the banking industry.
Jessica Finley, who was nominated by Shelby Ward, lit the
interview with her overflowing enthusiasm. “I want to work
somewhere that I can make a difference in someone’s life,” she
said. “My favorite phrase is, ‘I am somebody,’ and I am
proving that now every day!” Ms. Finley is currently as
successful student at Piedmont College studying Business
Michael Jarrett, who was nominated by Donna Earl, knows that now
that he has his GED, his future is unlimited. “I have
already had two job interviews I wouldn’t have gotten if I
didn’t have my GED,” he said. “Anything is possible to
those who want to help themselves.”
Kurtis Kidd, nominated by RoseMary Allen, has an ultimate goal
of one day receiving a Masters in Criminal Justice. “No
matter if you have quit school or have made mistakes, if you
truly apply yourself, there is an opportunity to succeed.
You just have to reach,” he said.
Mary Speelman, nominated by Sandra Adair, was glowing with
excitement as she had just received news that she passed the
final part of the GED test. Working as a CNA now, Ms.
Speelman plans to continue her studies, enrolling in NGTC’s
Medical Assisting program. “I’d like to work in a Doctor’s
office,” she said.
Christine Canup, nominated by her instructor Jackie Reeder, was
chosen to be NGTC’s delegate to the 2011 conference. “I
have learned to never give up on my dreams. It was hard
getting started after so many yeas out of school, but once I
took that step, it was easy!” said Canup. “Obtaining my
GED helped me gain confidence in myself. Now, I can
achieve the goals that I never thought possible. I now
have a thirst for knowledge and I truly enjoy learning!”
“We appreciate the opportunity to serve you as you reach for
your goals,” said Adult Education Director Dr. Barbara Melichar.
“I hope you all will consider continuing your career studies
whether here at the NGTC or at another college.”
The Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) through its
Office of Adult Education sponsors the annual EAGLE Leadership
Institute each year. The program is designed to create
greater awareness of educational opportunities that are
available in local communities and to foster greater involvement
in lifelong learning. It is the only recognition program
of this type in the United States.
For more information on the Adult Learning programs of study at
NGTC, please contact 706-754-7717 or visit the website at
Rotaract at Tallulah Gorge Power Plant,
Jeremy Lee, Dorothy Jeffers,
Advisor Ruth King, Terry Bond, Advisor Paul Long, Sue Blair, and
Rotaract Gets Energized Visiting Local Businesses
Getting out into the community, whether to serve or to learn, is
one of the best parts about the college experience. The
members of NGTC’s Rotaract, the student version of Rotary enjoy
a broad range of activities and events. Recently, the
group visited the Georgia Power plant at Tallulah Gorge.
“We look for a variety of ways to integrate our Rotaract with
the organizations and businesses in the area,” explained Ruth
King, Applied Business Technology Instructor and Department
Chair and Advisor to the Clarkesville Campus Rotaract.
“Already this year we’ve been to visit HEMC, volunteered with
the Taste of Clarkesville, and hiked the Tallulah Gorge.”
The hike was a week after an extensive tour of the Georgia Power
plant there at the gorge. Lead by Electrician Glenn Vining,
the students were able to get up close and personal with the
equipment, processes, and operating systems.
Tallulah Falls is the oldest and largest plant in the North
Georgia Hydro Group of Georgia Power. Though construction
started in 1910, it first began operating in 1913.
Presently, the plant is capable of generating 72,000 KW.
The development includes a 126-foot-high by 426-foot-long dam
built across the Tallulah River.
“Several of the students attending were from the Computer
Information Systems program,” said CIS Instructor and Rotaract
Advisor Paul Long. “They asked some very astute questions
about the networking and systems setup.”
Rotaract is an organization dedicated to bringing together
business and professional leaders to provide humanitarian
service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and
help build goodwill and peace in the world. Their familiar
mottos “Service above Self," and "They profit most who serve
best," are truly exemplified by their gifts to local
For more information on programs of study at NGTC, please
contact 706-754-7700 or visit the website at
Tim Bennett is New Work Ready Profiler
Tim Bennett, Contract Training Director and Instructor at North
Georgia Technical College, has completed job profiler
certification training for the Georgia Work Ready initiative.
Bennett has been a test proctor for Work Ready initiative since
it began in 2007. Now he is qualified to assist business
and industry in better identifying specific skills and skill
levels required for jobs across the state. Using the ACT
job profiling process, Bennett will work collaboratively with
employers to complete each job analysis.
To achieve this certification, Mr. Bennett went through an 8
week period of training culminating in a one-week hands-on
workshop. During this intense workshop, participants
examined all nine areas of the ACT profiles which include
reading for understanding, basic applied mathematics, teamwork,
Though he just received his certification, Tim is already out on
a profiling job for a manufacturing plant in Toccoa working
closely with NGTC’s senior profiler, Ruth King.
“Tim is a great representative for NGTC,” said Ruth King,
Applied Business Technology Instructor and Department Chair for
Work-based Studies. “He has long been active in the NGTC
community from Fannin County to Franklin County and our local
businesses value his insights and recommendations.”
According to the
www.gaworkready.org website, the Georgia Work Ready
initiative was launched in August 2006 by Georgia Governor Sonny
Perdue and the Georgia Chamber of Commerce to improve the job
training and marketability of Georgia’s workforce and drive
future economic growth for the state. This workforce development
initiative assesses the “real world” skills of Georgia’s
workers, provides valuable job training and helps companies
reliably match the right people with the right jobs.
“I see this initiative as an opportunity to provide real
beneficial training for the workforce,” says Bennett.
“Companies can use this information to ensure the employees they
hire have those fundamental skills, and they can build a
training and development plan for a highly skilled workforce.”
Tim is state certified to teach Certified Manufacturing
Specialist (CMS). Prior to becoming a North Georgia Tech
faculty member, he was a Metal Cluster Instructor in the
Technical Vocational Department at Franklin County High School.
Since that time Tim has delivered technical education to
approximately 2,000 students.
For more information on the Georgia Work Ready program, visit
contact Tim Bennett, 706-779-8109,
Dustin Emhart Selected as Accounting Instructor in
Hands-on training is the hallmark of education at North Georgia
Technical College. Finding faculty with the right blend of
real-world as well as teaching experience is the goal when the
college seeks to hire new instructors. Dustin Emhart is
just such a find.
In October, Dustin Emhart joined the faculty as a full-time
Accounting Instructor based on the college’s Blairsville Campus.
With nine years in public practice at firms such as KPMG in
Washington DC, as well as several years teaching experience at
places such as Edgecombe Community College in North Carolina,
Emhart is just what the students need.
“Dustin has hit the ground running and is already working with
students,” said Dean of Academic Affairs and Blairsville Campus
Director Mindy Glander. “His corporate background will be
a huge asset to the college and our students.”
Mr. Emhart’s career has taken him through many states including
North Carolina, Texas, Indiana, Washington DC, and finally
Georgia. In DC, he was involved in an audit of the
Department of Treasury and Homeland Security.
Dustin attended North Carolina State University, achieving both
a BS in Accounting and a Master of Accounting. He
maintains Certified Public Accountant (CPA) credentials in both
Indiana and Georgia. His roots in the area run deep as his
father graduated from Rabun County High School and his
grandmother, Jean Emhart, still lives in Clayton.
For more information on programs of study at North Georgia
Technical College, contact 706-754-7700, or visit
Blalock, Ruiz Make GCAA All Conference
Completing their first season, the Cross Country team of North
Georgia Technical College is proud to announce two of the five
runners made the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association (GCAA)
All Conference. Freshmen Sherri Blalock of Nicholson and Eli
Ruiz of Clayton came in fourth and fifth respectively and were
named to the All Conference Team.
As a new member of the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association
(GCAA) and the National Junior College Athletic Association
(NJCAA) for Cross Country sports, North Georgia Technical
College’s inaugural Cross Country team has competed admirably
throughout the Fall 2011 season.
In all, five runners participated in five races across Georgia
and Tennessee. Beginning with the first meet held on the
newly opened Ben Purcell Trail on the NGTC campus, the crew
showed well at invitationals in Chattanooga, Toccoa, and
Oglethorpe. Their final race was in Albany on Saturday, October
29, at the GCAA Regional Finals.
Sherri Blalock lead the women’s team throughout the whole
season. Placing in the top five in nearly all of the
races, Sherri’s final time of 20:57 for the 5K at the regional
race in Albany stands as a Personal Record (PR). Also, as
the first entry in the school records, she has set the bar for
seasons to come. Ms. Blalock ran for East Jackson High
School before graduating and enrolling at NGTC in the
Eli Ruiz ran for Rabun County High School and has had an
impressive season at the college this fall. Recovering
from a leg injury over the summer, Ruiz’s times made great
progression through the season, from a beginning time of 26:27
at the NGTC Invitational to her ending of 21:29 at Albany.
Leah Sanders of Toccoa was new to the sport of Cross Country.
Leah’s tenacity and positive attitude were an inspiration to the
rest of her team and, like both Sherri and Eli, Leah set her own
personal records at each of the meets she attended.
Running on the men’s team in 8K races were Blake Albright of
Commerce and Steven Ortega of White County. Blake, like
Leah, made great improvements over the season beginning with a
time of 39:08 and finishing in Albany with a 32:57. “This
season was a great experience and helped me grow as a runner and
as a person,” he said. “I’m looking forward to next year
so we can let everyone know NGTC is here!”
Ortega set the pace and the initial school records for the men’s
team. Consistently running the 8K races in about 31 minutes,
Ortega placed 26th at the regional meet with a PR time of 30:16.
“Conference went great as everyone had a PR,” he said. “I
am looking forward to great off season workouts and to next year
when we have a full scoring team.
We will surprise some people next year.”
“This was a successful first year,” said Coach Bob Roller.
“A lot of the other schools were glad we are in the league and
they saw that we’ll be a competitive force.” All of the
five who ran this year are eligible to come back next year, and
Coach Roller is already in recruiting mode. “We’ll have a
good, full team next year.”
For more information on the Cross Country program at NGTC,
contact Coach Bob Roller at 706-754-7818 or
Rachel Morrison knows how to achieve fashion on a dime.
NGTC HEROES Learn to Dress for Success with Fashion
on a Dime
“Dressing for success is not expensive,” smiles Rachel Morrison
to a group of more than twenty college students. “You have to
recognize quality and remember what is appropriate.”
Ms. Morrison was the special guest speaker at the October
meeting of HEROES (Having Equity Resources and Opportunities
Equals Success), a student organization on the Currahee Campus
focused on providing support and a sense of community for
The group listened in rapt attention as Ms. Morrison explained
the foundation of a business wardrobe. “Always have a white
shirt and wear black and grey for an interview,” she instructed.
“Also, watch out for those ‘toos’ – too short, too tight, and so
During the session, Rachel not only talked about how to make
good selections, she had with her many examples of designer
clothing in excellent condition that she found in local thrift
stores. Students were encouraged to frequent thrift shops like
the Salvation Army and Habitat for Humanity.
“She has a presence and a wonderful sense of style,” said HEROES
Advisor Suzanne Wright.
“When she walks into a room, heads turn.”
Plans are already in the works for Morrison to come back in
April prior to the college’s commencement program in the Spring.
Last year, four students were selected for an interview makeover
which included an appropriate outfit.
Rachel Morrison is a member of the NGTC Foundation Board of
Trustees. She is a wardrobe consultant for Doncaster
Design and is also a certified partner for Dress for Success.
For more information on Dress for Success, visit
For more information on the NGTC Foundation, contact Cynthia
Brown at 706-754-7714.