SCC Spotlight Archive | SCC

SCC Spotlight Archive

 

vicki conaway

Q: What is your favorite thing about working at SCC?

The way everyone pulls together to make it work for students. There is a definite teamwork atmosphere in the areas I work. That teamwork mentality includes faculty, staff, students, administrators, and even the community agencies where we do our clinicals.

Q: Growing up, what did you want to be?

I’ve wanted to be a nurse since I was very young. I had three aunts who were nurses and encouraged me in my passion to help people through the health field. My brother was a (usually) willing partner in all my attempts to nurse him.

Q: What is something you learned in the last week?

Over the past few weeks I’ve re-learned once again how resilient our students are when it comes to fulfilling life-long dreams in the midst of very uncertain times.  Some have had some definite setbacks, yet are still determined to be successful. In many ways they are my inspiration.

Q: What advice do you have for students struggling in school?

Keep your focus. Remember your dream.  You may need to try a different way to reach your goal. You may even need to readjust your goal. You may need to come back and try again. But don’t give up.  There is a place for you.

Q: How do you define success?  

One of my mottos is taken from Colossians 3:17. In many ways it defines success for me. “Whatever you do, work at it with all hour heart, as working for the Lord, not for men”.

Q: What is your favorite hobby?

This is a hard one. I have several. I love to read, especially biographies. I enjoy jigsaw and crossword puzzles. I enjoy walking and swimming, especially in the ocean or a large body of water with waves. 

 

rebecca thurman

Q: What is your favorite thing about working at SCC?

I love working with students. Helping them overcome challenges and watching them grow, as they become successful members of society.

Q: How do you like to spend your time outside of SCC?

I love spending time with my grandchildren and my horses. I have a farm and 7 grandchildren and 10 horses, cattle, 2 dogs, numerous cats and a bunch of chickens. On a farm the work in never finished.

Q: Growing up, what did you want to be?

My entire life has been on a farm and involved horses. But as a teenager I did think about computer programming.

Q: What would you name the autobiography of your life?  
It is neither here nor there!

Q: If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?

Fly a hot air balloon.

Q: What was the last experience that made you a stronger person?

The last two experiences that made me stronger would be the loss of my husband and the loss of my home to a house fire. It gives you a totally new perspective on life and what is really important. “STUFF” and “STATUS” IS not important!

Q: What chore do you absolutely hate doing?

There is nothing worse than washing dishes. I use to tell my husband that I would trade him in before I would give up my dishwasher. LOL

Q: Have you ever had something bad happen to you that you thought was bad but it turned out to be for the best?

Too many things to mention!

Q: What’s the coolest (or most important) trend you see today?

Technology (when used correctly) is always so cool!

Q: What advice do you have for students struggling in school?

Ask for help! Come see me in TRIO Student Support Services, go the Learning Commons, email your instructor and email classmates. Communication is key to any success. We at Somerset Community College are here to help with your success.

Q: How do you define success?

Embarking on a career that you love. Where work is a blessing not a burden.

Q: Who has influenced you the most in life?

My parents! “Hard work never killed anybody!”

Q: What is your favorite hobby?

Raising horses, training horses, riding horses and having my grandchildren to help!

Q: What is the best part about being an SCC faculty or staff member?

Having such a wonderful work family. They are a blessing beyond measure.

Q: Do you have any advice for current or prospective students?

Work hard, ask for help! We are here to help you be successful!

Q: Anything else you would like to share?

I love my family and my job. I hope this reflects in everything I do.

tracy franklin

Q: What is your favorite thing about working at SCC?

A: My favorite thing is being able to work with people in my community and help them navigate their way to success.

Q: How do you like to spend your time outside of SCC?

A: Outside of SCC, I enjoy the peace and solitude that comes with living in a rural area. 

Q: When did you know you wanted to teach?

A: When I was in elementary school, we had career day. I knew I wanted to be either a teacher or a doctor. Somehow, I ended up working in EMS as a Paramedic and that led me to teaching in a health science program. It’s the best of all worlds, really.

Q: What advice do you have for students struggling in school?

A: Never quit. We all have unique skill sets and diverse ways of absorbing knowledge. Be patient; move at your pace, and keep pushing forward. Moving slowly is still moving.  

Q: How do you define success? 

A: Well, that’s a loaded question isn’t it?  Life is mostly about trade-offs. Success in business usually comes with personal sacrifice.  So, my definition of success would be attaining a healthy balance of professional and personal goals.

Q: Do you have any advice for current or prospective students?

A: You’re never too old, and it’s never too late. Set short-term goals so that they’re easily attainable and you stay motivated to succeed. Always ask questions. Never stop learning!

karen plagge

Q: What is your favorite thing about working at SCC? 

A: The opportunity to work with our students. I really enjoy assisting and interacting with students before and throughout their time at SCC, and seeing their progression and achievements through graduation and beyond. 
I also appreciate being able to work with a great group of dedicated people. 

Q: How do you like to spend your time outside of SCC?

A: I enjoy spending time with my family and most recently, my three-month-old grandson. I cherish that time even more since the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Q: Have you ever had something bad happen to you that you thought was bad but it turned out to be for the best?

A: This actually is not “bad”, but our family had the opportunity to live in Okinawa, Japan during my husband’s military career. I was initially disappointed because his accompanied tour to Germany did not work out; however, our time in Okinawa was such an enlightening and positive experience. Okinawa is beautiful, with a history and culture that is unique and rich, but its people made the greatest impression. They were genuinely kind, respectful and accommodating to us, their American guests, no matter that we lived and worked on bases located on their land since WWII. Our time there was a powerful lesson in humility and humanity.

Q: What advice do you have for students struggling in school? 

A: Ask for assistance, communicate with your instructors, and do not give up! Utilize the resources SCC offers including our Early Alert, Student Support Services (TRIO), tutoring services through the Learning Commons, etc. Commit yourself to your classes, reevaluate your study habits and devote time for studying and completing your coursework. 

Q: How do you define success?

A: Success is different for everyone and subject to change over time. I personally define success as having a fulfilled life. I am so grateful for the promise of eternal life, having a loving and supportive family, enjoying and feeling passionate about what I do and that it allows me to make a positive difference in others’ lives, which makes me feel complete.

Q: Do you have any advice for current or prospective students?

A: While it may be intimidating to begin this journey, the knowledge gained by a higher education and degree will make a difference in your life for the better. We are here to help you along the way and provide resources for your success. Focus and apply yourself. It will go by quickly, so enjoy the experience. You will encounter obstacles; however, see it through as things seldom work out exactly as planned, but you can do this. If possible, get an internship or job shadow to gain experience, connections and maybe a job, or to determine if your chosen program is what you want to do.

carrie fitzpatrick

Q: What is your favorite thing about working at SCC?

A: I've held different positions at the college where I've had the privilege of working with our awesome students. I really enjoyed getting to know students throughout the years and building relationships, but now I get to work more with faculty and staff who support our students. I equally enjoy daily interactions with everyone at the college. We are like family.

Q: How do you like to spend your time outside of SCC?

A. I love spending time with my sweet grandson, Bryson and my family. I also love to go on camping trips throughout the year!

Q. What would you name the autobiography of your life? 

A. Never give up. 

Q: What chore do you absolutely hate doing?

A: Cleaning house! 

Q: Do you have any advice for current or prospective students? 

A: Challenges may arise throughout your life, but keep pushing. Give yourself grace, but don't settle!

dr. ron meade

Q: What is your favorite thing about working at SCC? 

A: I really love most aspects of my job, but if I had to list my favorite aspect, it would be student engagement. I enjoy finding ways to connect the right student to the right opportunity and seeing them develop as an individual. 

Q: If you could learn to do anything, what would it be? 

A: I was never really musically inclined, so I would love to learn to play an instrument… maybe the piano.

Q: What was the last experience that made you a stronger person?  

A: I would say the experiences associated with the deaths of my parents.  I look at life a bit differently after their passing. Of course, the current COVID-19 crisis is affording me new learning opportunities and forcing me outside of my comfort zone regarding my work here at the college. 

Q: What chore do you absolutely hate doing?

A: I loathe washing dishes by hand. My dishwasher is definitely the most used appliance in my house.

Q: What advice do you have for students struggling in school?  

A: Really, I believe a lot can be attributed to work ethic and persistence. If a student is struggling, that indicates that they are putting forth the effort and, ultimately, most will overcome. For those that are not successful, view this as an opportunity to explore new avenues.

carol price

Name: Carol Price

Division and subject: Associate Professor - Practical Nursing Program

 
Q: What is your favorite part about your job?

A: I love to see students' confidence build as they grasp new concepts and successfully master new skills.

 
Q: How do you like to spend your time outside of SCC?

A: You can usually find me at a baseball field watching my son, or in a dance studio with my youngest daughter.

 
Q: When did you know you wanted to teach?

A: I knew I wanted to teach early in my nursing career, because I loved explaining and showing things to new grads.

 
Q: Growing up, what did you want to be?

A: Other than in Kindergarten when I wanted to drive a school bus, I have always wanted to be a nurse!

 
Q: Who has influenced you the most in life?

A: My parents have always been my biggest supporters, and believed in me when I didn't always believe in myself.

 
Q: What is your favorite hobby?

A: I love watching any sporting event, especially baseball!

 
Q: What is the best part about being an SCC faculty member?

A: The best part of working at SCC are the lasting friendships that I have made with students and facility alike.

 
Q: Do you have any advice for current or prospective students?

A: Be prepared to work hard in my nursing program, because I am tough and nursing isn't meant to be easy!

 
Q: Anything else you would like to share?

A: I truly believe that I was made to be a nurse, and it is my passion now to prepare the next generation of nurses!

 

photo of nikki ware

Spotlighted on November 26, 2018

Name: Nikki Ware

Division and subject: Associate Professor of Reading


Q: What is your favorite part about your job?

A: I love to see students achieve. Even if it is something small, it means they are making progress to meet goals that they have set for themselves.


Q: What is the best part about being an SCC faculty member?

A: I would say that just being a part of SCC in general is awesome. We have great faculty & staff that I have personally learned so much from. 


Q: Do you have any advice for current or prospective students?

A: Don't give up on your goals! Completing your degree will not happen overnight. Be prepared for bumps along the way but do not let those bumps stop you in your tracks. You can achieve success. You can complete your degree. You can reach that goal that you have been dreaming of. 

photo of eric wooldridge

 

Name: Eric Wooldridge

Division and subject: Professor of Digital Printing Technology (3D Printing) 


Q: What is your favorite part about your job?

A: Three elements: the amazing technology, researching and developing new applications, and empowering students with skills to apply in their careers and interests.


Q: How do you like to spend your time outside of SCC?

A: Designing, farming, and taking friends and family to the lake.


Q: When did you know you wanted to teach?

A: During my first semester as an adjunct, I knew this is where I was meant to be.


Q: Growing up, what did you want to be?

A: An engineer, I love to design, fix, and build things. Growing up on our family farm significantly played into that mindset. There was always something to repair, a better solution to a problem, or a new project to undertake.  


Q: Who has influenced you the most in life?

A: So many wonderful people.  At the top would be Jesus, as He has never let me down, then there would be my parents, my beautiful wife and daughter, the life long friends that have always been there for me, my professional mentors, and of course my extended family here at SCC. 


Q: What is your favorite hobby?

A: A good question. Probably making and building things, though the lake is a very close second.


Q: What is the best part about being an SCC faculty member?

A: Collaboration. Working with the folks and students here across departments to try out new ideas and create new opportunities in the classroom is very exciting.  Likewise, to see students embrace  and utilize new skills for themselves is so rewarding.  


Q: Do you have any advice for current or prospective students?

A: Absolutely, do the best thing possible for your education, career, and future finances, go to SCC.  This is where I started my undergraduate courses.  It was my GPA and crucial-concepts springboard to eventually becoming a professional engineer in three disciplines, an architect, and a professor.  


Q: Anything else you would like to share?

A: A lot of folks are surprised when they learn about what we can do here at SCC.  Many don't realize how advanced our programs and labs are until they experience them firsthand. So, I recommend for everyone to stop by and see what we have in the works.  Also, check out our lab's Facebook page, www.facebook.com/cadd.lab, you might be surprised at what is happening.

photo of dr. john starnes

Spotlighted on March 9, 2018 

Name: Dr. John Starnes

Division and subjectAssociate Professor of Biology - Mathematics and Natural Sciences Division 


Q: What is your favorite part about your job?

A: My favorite part about my job is its dynamic nature.  Each semester brings new experiences and new students to interact with.  


Q: How do you like to spend your time outside of SCC?

A: As the weather is becoming warmer, I spend most of my time outside with my wife and three children.  We play in the woods behind our house or drive over to Mammoth Cave National Park and hike the trails. Each summer, we spend a week camping and exploring different areas within the Great Smoky Mountain National Park.


Q: When did you know you wanted to teach?

A: I have always enjoyed teaching and working to solve problems with other people.  As I pursued my Ph.D., I worked as a research assistant and did not teach any courses.  I realized that I missed working with students, and wanted to teach.


Q: Growing up, what did you want to be?

A: A Scientist.


Q: Who has influenced you the most in life?

A: The biggest influences in my life were the friends and teachers that I collaborated with as part of the FFA organization in high school and college. The energy and enthusiasm these people had pertaining to agriculture and the connections I made have stayed with me throughout my studies.


Q: What is your favorite hobby?

A: I have two favorite hobbies (hiking and MMORPG gaming), though I do not have the time to do them as much as I would like anymore. 


Q: What is the best part about being an SCC faculty member?

A: Working towards the vision of improving our students' lives that the faculty share at SCC is the best part of working here.  There is a real dedication towards student success at SCC that I have not experience at other places I have worked.


Q: Do you have any advice for current or prospective students?

A: Decide what you like to do, and work towards making it your career.  In classes, start early on assignments and ask questions.  Your professor isn't a scary person, so talk to them. Your professors really want to help you learn and succeed in your future goals.


Q: Anything else you would like to share?

A: Your cellphone is a powerful scientific tool, and can be used for lots of interesting science projects.  Become involved in citizen science. https://scistarter.com/index.html

kimberly toby photo

Spotlighted on January 18, 2018

Name: Kimberly Toby

Division and subjectAssociate Professor of Student Success - Humanities, Fine Arts, and Social Sciences Division 


Q: What is your favorite part about your job?

A: I love to see students come to class on the first day and get excited about learning. My favorite thing is to see them at the end of the semester, and seeing how far they have come.  I guess you could say, I love the journey of learning with my students. 


Q: How do you like to spend your time outside of SCC?

A: I love my little family. I love spending time at home with them. My daughter is in band, so we love to attend all of her band competitions.  We are very active in our church and my daughter sings and plays keyboard at church. I just enjoy seeing my daughter grow and I am also very much in love with my husband, Steven, of 23 years. 


Q: When did you know you wanted to teach?

A: I was hired as the Public Relations Assistant, here at Somerset Community College. It was then that I saw what the college professors do and how they are actively involved in changing lives. It was my second year here that I decided I wanted to teach at the college level. 


Q: Growing up, what did you want to be?

A: Growing up, I wanted to be a singer, a waitress that owned a Volkswagen bug, a lifeguard, and then I decided I wanted to be an accountant. The only one that panned out was the lifeguard. I was a fish in my youth. I was a lifeguard for two years during high school. The others didn't worked out, but the life I have now...I wouldn't trade it for the world!  Teaching is truly a calling and I am so glad I got the calling. 


Q: Who has influenced you the most in life?

A: I have always liked Dolly Parton. She is a great business woman, always has a positive attitude, always has a joke to tell, and is still married to her true love. There's just something genuine and pure about her and that is something to live up to.  I have had others who have influenced me here at SCC like Dorothy Phillips. She is always positive, smiles, gives a kind word, and is one smart cookie!  


Q: What is your favorite hobby?

A: I enjoy scrap-booking, crocheting, and helping others. I also enjoy games and Rook, but I don't get to play that often. 


Q: What is the best part about being an SCC faculty member?

A: I love meeting new students. I have made some life-long friends out of students. It's funny how you can live in the same town and never run into people. Yet, all walks of life are brought together at a COMMUNITY college. That's what I love about teaching at SCC, getting to know my community better. 


Q: Do you have any advice for current or prospective students?

A: Education is never wasted. I've always believed in leaving things better than you found them and that also includes people.


Q: Anything else you would like to share?

A: Last year, I went into sudden cardiac arrest while eating dinner with my daughter. Several people were there and helped with CPR. I was unresponsive for 20 - 25 minutes. I underwent hydrothermal therapy here at Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital. The staff and doctors did a great job saving my life. I was deemed the "Miracle Lady" and I am happy to have that name!

photo of chris hall

Spotlighted on November 7, 2017

Name: Chris Hall

Division and subject: KYFAME Instructor


Q: What is your favorite part about your job?

A: Working with the Workforce Solutions team. Just a wonderful group of people.


Q: How do you like to spend your time outside of SCC?

A: As a youth pastor, I enjoy spending time teaching our kids at church and participating in all of our church events.


Q: When did you know you wanted to teach?

A: While I was a Journeyman Pipefitter I had the opportunity of training several apprentices while I worked in the industrial field. It was those experiences that led me to pursue a career in education.


Q: Growing up, what did you want to be?

A: University of Kentucky basketball player, like Kyle Macy or Rex Chapman.


Q: Who has influenced you the most in life?

A: Definitely my parents.


Q: What is your favorite hobby?

A: I like to hunt, fish and play basketball.


Q: What is the best part about being an SCC faculty member?

A: Student success. Meeting them during recruitment, instructing them, watching them graduate and helping them find the jobs  they have worked so hard for.


Q: Do you have any advice for current or prospective students?

A: Once you find out what you want to do, set goals and then work hard to accomplish them. Then set new goals.

debra house

Spotlighted on October 10, 2017

Division and subject: Professor of Mathematics, Physics and Astronomy


Q: What is your favorite part about your job?

A: My favorite part about my job is the interaction with people - students and colleagues.  I enjoy getting to know the students and helping them reach their goals.


Q: How do you like to spend your time outside of SCC?

A: Outside of the college, I spend time with my family.  I enjoy reading, sewing and crafts.


Q: When did you know you wanted to teach?

A: Playing "school" was something that my sister and I would do a lot as children.  So, I would say that I knew I wanted to teach from very early on!  


Q: Growing up, what did you want to be?

A: I can't remember a time when I didn't want to be a teacher!  I decided on teaching math in high school.  Upon taking the required physics courses in college, I added physics to the list!  


Q: Who has influenced you the most in life?

A: I would say that my parents have had the greatest influence in my life.  Their work ethic and dedication to family impress me still today.  


Q: What is your favorite hobby?

A: I LOVE to read!!  Science fiction, mysteries, biographies.  I enjoy it all!


Q: What is the best part about being an SCC faculty member?

A: I enjoy the flexibility of this job.  It has been great to be a part of SCC for so long.  I get to teach in subject areas that I am passionate about, but still be able to enjoy time with my family.  Every day is different,  every student is different, every semester is different.


Q: Do you have any advice for current or prospective students?

A: Community college offers students greater interaction with their professors.  Take advantage of this!  Ask questions in class.  Visit them during office hours. Don't throw away this advantage by coming to class and then going back home.  Get involved in campus and get to know your professors. Letters of recommendation for jobs and transfer scholarships will come from your professors. These are much more meaningful if there is a personal connection! 

tracey franklin photo

 

Spotlighted on September 6, 2017

Division and subject: Paramedic Program Coordinator - Health Sciences Division


1. What is your favorite part about your job?

My favorite part about this job is watching EMS practitioners sharpen their skills and increase their critical thinking  abilities. By helping them achieve their goal of Advanced prehospital practitioner, we are helping the community.  After all, isn't that what this life is all about?  Helping each other?


2. How do you like to spend your time outside of SCC?

When I'm not working, I love spending time with my family.  It sounds cliche, but it's the truth. Whether we're sitting outside having coffee, kayaking on Lake Cumberland, or walking on our mini-farm, family time is always fun.


3. When did you know you wanted to teach?

I don't think there was an "A-HA" moment.  Teaching in some way has been part of my whole life.  Looking back on the road I've traveled and the career choices I made, there was no other destination than this one.  


4. Growing up, what did you want to be?

As a child, I just knew that I wanted to help people.  There wasn't really one particular thing that kept my focus. Being a community servant was part of my family culture.    


5. Who has influenced you the most in life?

I've been surrounded by examples of strong, selfless men and women in my life who have all left a positive impression. I believe this was providence.  


6. What is your favorite hobby?

My favorite hobby is kayaking, followed by fishing.  It doesn't get any better!


7. What is the best part about being an SCC faculty member?

The best thing about being an SCC faculty member is the sense of community. SCC is literally a representation of the community it services.


8. Do you have any advice for current or prospective students?

Don't be afraid. Take that first step. Change begins with a decision followed by an action.  

marci randall photo

Spotlighted on August 10, 2017

Name: Marci Randall

Division and subject: Associate Professor of Transitional Reading


1. What is your favorite part about your job?

I love that I get to help students learn to succeed at college in general, and reading in particular. I am quite passionate about sharing what I know with others, and when I can share strategies about how to better comprehend and retain what is read, then the entire learning experience is so much more rewarding. 


2. How do you like to spend your time outside of SCC?

I love spending time with family and friends, especially if we are cooking and eating, hiking or listening to live music. 


3. When did you know you wanted to teach?

I think I was in 5th or 6th grade, when I knew teaching was for me! I have been teaching for the better part of the last 20 years. 


4. Who has influenced you the most in life?

I have had many mentors along the way, starting with good parents, friends, and teachers. I cannot name just one! 


5. What is the best part about being an SCC faculty member?

I believe that SCC cares about students, and I know that I am a valued member of this learning community. It's a great place to work and learn! 


6. Do you have any advice for current or prospective students?

I have so much to say to students! First, success is a process. Practice and more practice/studying/reflecting is the key to learning. NEVER give up but instead have the grit to continue until you walk across the stage at graduation.  Mostly, believe in yourself and don't be afraid to find and ask for help along the way! 


7. Anything else you would like to share?

I chair the campus and community wide Common Read at SCC. Do you want to know more? Look under Student Life on the SCC website and follow SCC Common Read on Facebook!