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A-B Tech Holds Summer Commencement

Wednesday, August 26th, 2009


ASHEVILLE, NC – A-B Tech Student Services Vice President Dr. Dennis King urged graduates to share their newly attained knowledge with others, as part of the responsibility that comes with success, during Summer Commencement at Thomas Wolfe Auditorium.

“Charge for it (the knowledge) fairly, if you are in a position of setting fees. Give it away to the less fortunate who nevertheless need your skills. And comfort those who come to you stressed by a problem that you can solve. That’s being a professional, as well as being a good person,” commencement speaker King said.

King also reminded the graduates to remain current and continue on a path of lifelong learning, to be open to change, to be humble and ethical, to mentor others as soon as they are able and to be a “round” person.

“E. M. Forster, the renowned 20th-century author, classified fictional characters as flat or round. Flat characters are predictable, simple, one dimensional, whereas round characters are unpredictable, complex, and multi-faceted,” King said. “Forster went on to say that round characters are the truly interesting ones. That truth can be taken beyond fiction and into life itself. You want to be not only a health care professional, but one who volunteers at the local homeless shelter; not only an auto mechanic, but a mechanic with a political opinion; not only a chef, but one who loves baseball. Find the outside interest that makes you a round character.”

During the ceremony, President Emeritus and Trustee Harvey Haynes called for a moment of silence for fellow trustee J. Herbert Coman, who died July 13. Coman’s cap and gown were placed in an empty chair in his memory.

A-B Tech Interim President Richard Mauney presented the Staff Member of the Year Award to Tamala Barnett, Arts and Sciences division secretary. “I am especially pleased to present this award to Tamala because she is one of our very own graduates,” Mauney said. “When the Arts and Sciences dean’s secretary retired a few years ago, Tamala took on those responsibilities in addition to her other ones for several months, while we hired and trained a replacement for Tamala so she could move into the vacant position.”

Dr. Sam Dosumu, Instructional Services vice president, awarded Continuing Education Faculty Member of the Year to Gary Crossey, a computer training instructor. One of Crossey’s students who nominated him for the award wrote, “Gary not only has his finger constantly on the pulse of new technology, but more importantly, he knows how to explain it to the students and help us stay excited about the class subject matter. His teaching style is very personal and fun. He has patience and easily encourages creativity.”

The College had 188 students complete the requirements to earn 189 degrees and diplomas for the August graduation including a posthumous Associate in Arts degree presented to the family of Reed Ignizio, who died in a drowning accident in June. Ignizio, who would have graduated with high honors, was also a member of the Phi Theta Kappa honor society and had received a Carolina Covenant scholarship to attend UNC-Chapel Hill.

AB-Tech President Appointed to State Board

Thursday, July 30th, 2009

K. Ray Bailey

ASHEVILLE, NC – A-B Tech President Emeritus K. Ray Bailey was sworn in to the State Board of Community Colleges July 17 in Raleigh. Members of the N.C. House elected Bailey for a six-year term on the 21-member board.

The Board serves as the governing authority for the North Carolina Community College System. The Board is empowered by General Statutes to adopt and carry out the policies, regulations and standards necessary for administering and operating the nation’s third-largest system of community colleges.

Bailey served as president of A-B Tech from 1990 until he retired in August 2007. He was elected as a Buncombe County Commissioner in November 2008. He was A-B Tech’s longest-serving employee, having been hired in 1966 as the director of Adult Basic Education. Under his leadership, the College grew into a three-campus institution that enrolled more than 25,000 students each year in more than 50 curriculum programs and 1,200 Continuing Education courses.

Bailey served on the boards of numerous civic organizations and has been widely recognized for his community service. Among the honors he received are the title of 2005 President of the Year for the North Carolina Community College System, the 2005 Distinguished Service Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Asheville-Buncombe Community Relations Council, and the Rotary Centennial Service Award for Professional Excellence. In 2006, he received The Order of the Long Leaf Pine, one of the most prestigious awards presented by the Governor of North Carolina, for extraordinary service to the state.

Bailey also received the Spirit of the Civitan Award, a Professional Achievement Award from Western Carolina University, the Leadership Asheville Circle of Excellence Award, the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce Chairman’s Award, the Buncombe County Partners in Education Volunteer of the Year Award, and a Special Contributor Award from Goodwill Industries of Northwest North Carolina.

In addition, he holds honorary doctorates from Western Carolina University and Mars Hill College in recognition of his efforts to improve the quality of education not only for A-B Tech students, but all of Western North Carolina.

AB Tech Culinary Team Captures Silver Medal

Monday, July 27th, 2009

AB Tech

ASHEVILLE, NC – A-B Tech’s Culinary Team won a silver medal and third place nationwide in the American Culinary Federation Student Team Championship July 14 in Orlando.

“Winning the silver at the national level is exceptional,” said Bronwen McCormick, Culinary Arts and Hospitality Education chair. “The team was just shy of a gold medal.”

The competition requires student teams to prepare 24 plates of a four-course signature meal, while also being judged on their floor skills. Medals are awarded based on the number of points teams earn from a possible 40, with A-B Tech finishing with 33.75. A score of 36 is needed to receive gold.

A team from A-B Tech has made it to nationals for three of the past four years after winning first place in state and regional competition. This year’s team faced student chefs from the Pennsylvania Culinary Institute, Pittsburgh Chapter; Schoolcraft College in Livonia, Mich., and Kapi’olani Community College, Honolulu, Hawaii.

“The competition was tough. (Our team) did a fantastic job. As always, we all learn a great deal from these experiences, and had a great time,” said Chef Charles deVries, one of the coaches.

“This very cohesive, skilled and practiced team most certainly represented the southeast, A-B Tech and all of our culinary graduates and students in a most positive, professional manner. I could not be more proud of their accomplishments. They were a joy to watch as they grew and progressed through the multiple stages of culinary competitions in order to compete at the national level,” said Sheila Tillman, Hospitality Education associate dean.

“They went in and did what they spent many hours training for. They were poised, organized, professional, and had their plates finished in time,”

McCormick said. “Any time there is a convention or competition, the students walk away with a new level of perspective. It is a great learning experience.”

Team members were Michael Aanonsen, Shannon Ginn, Steven Goff, Anna McClintock and Travis McCloud. deVries served as coach with Chefs John Hofland and Michelle Kelley.

A-B Tech Achieves Exceptional Status

Tuesday, July 21st, 2009


ASHEVILLE, NC – A-B Tech was one of 11 community colleges in the state achieving Exceptional status on the North Carolina Community College System’s accountability measures.

The NCCCS measures colleges’ performance in eight core areas using the most recently available data. Accountability measures for North Carolina’s 58 community colleges based on 2007-08 academic year data confirm that community college students found success in college readiness, workforce preparedness and as college transfers.

To obtain Exceptional status, a college must meet or exceed all eight system standards. They must also meet the performance goals of achieving the college performance rates of students who began in, rather than transferred into, the UNC System and attaining at least a 70 percent passing rate for students who sit for a licensure or certification exam for the first time.

AB Tech’s Phi Beta Lambda Brings Home National Honors

Thursday, July 9th, 2009

AB Tech

ASHEVILLE, NC – A-B Tech’s chapter of Phi Beta Lambda (PBL) won six awards, including a first-place win, during the National Leadership Conference June 19-23 in Anaheim, CA. The College’s chapter was also recognized as a National Gold Seal chapter.

Members Chris Addy, Kevin Davio, and Sonia Hendrix took top honors for their Free Enterprise Project on Aquasolix, a local company that sells solar-powered water purification systems.

Aaron Foster, Heather Hamilton and Jennifer Rogers won third place for their Community Service Project. In fifth place were Nathan Hazlett for Computer Concepts and David Hazlett for Justice Administration. A team consisting of Nathan Hazlett, Juliana Schmitt and Beth Worland place 10th in the Community Service Project category.

Addy, Beth Carlisle, Stephanie Fann, Foster, Hamilton, David Hazlett, Nathan Hazlett, Hendrix, Ellyse Mazzi, Jennifer Rogers, Schmitt, Sean Warren and Worland were recognized for their completion of the Institute for Leaders Program.

Adviser Kathie Doole was the event administrator for Public Speaking and Network Designs events. Adviser Kathy Toler was the event coordinator for Business Decision Making and was a workshop presenter on business etiquette.

AB Tech Team Advances to National Culinary Competition

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

Asheville Culinary School

ASHEVILLE, NC – Asheville Buncombe Technical Community College’s culinary team will compete in a national competition this summer after winning first place in a regional match.

AB-Tech’s Hot Food Team won first place in the American Culinary Federation’s Student Team Southeast Regional Competition in Charlotte on April 20 securing its place in national competition for the third time in four years.

The team competed against five other teams in the Southeast, impressing judges with its garde manger platter, a selection of cold food, hospitality education instructor Charles deVries said.

"The judges really loved the aroma and could smell it before they even walked in the room," he said.

"This is a very cohesive group and they have become much closer the past few weeks. They realized what the pressure was like to take this on and they stepped up."

In last year’s competition, the A-B Tech team took second place at the regional level.

"Four of the five team members competed last year when we lost by .06 points. It was a real Cinderella story to see them come back to take first place," team coach John Hofland said.

"The food reflected a level of expertise that you would not generally see in a student venue. They made their coaches very proud," he said.

AB-Tech’s team will compete in July against teams from Pennsylvania, Michigan and Hawaii at the national competition in Orlando, Fla.

Team members include Michael Aanonsen, Shannon Ginn, Steven Goff, Anna McClintock and Travis McCloud.

Local Designers Present Fashion Show in Asheville

Thursday, March 26th, 2009

ASHEVILLE, NC – Phi Beta Lambda at AB Tech is announcing the launch of “Push Asheville Fashion,” a promotional campaign to support local businesses and designers at a not-for-profit event that will showcase the best local talent in Asheville along with an over the top Asheville runway fashion show.

The show will take place Friday March 27, 2009 starting at 9:00 pm at the renowned venue, The Garage at Biltmore, and will feature designers, boutique representatives, and musicians all of whom are locally based.

“During this time of great economic strain the community must support its local businesses. What better way to showcase clothing than with a fashion runway show; a marketing method used at all levels in the fashion industry,” says Sonia Hendrix of Franklin, who is organizing the event with Phi Beta Lambda at AB Tech.

“The desire of PBL’s project, PUSH ASHEVILLE FASHION, is bringing the attention of students to shopping locally by strategically marketing, campaigning, and showcasing participating boutiques/designers to students at ABTech, UNCA, and the citizens of Asheville.”

The fashion show is primarily a showcase for local designers who create an array of clothing styles with a focus in professional business wear, casual business attire, casual wear, and summer wear. In addition to being a unique opportunity for local fashion designers, the event promises to attract local fashion and music enthusiasts and stunning runway models.

This is a positive event for Asheville, creating job opportunities for stylists, models and others involved in local fashion.

Designers can show their collections on the modest budget of $120 and under per outfit.

Travelers to Asheville will have a resource for supporting the local economy once a brochure is developed featuring local fashion boutiques.

Local Ashevillians will have a fun event to attend that will showcase a performance by Asheville Dance Revolution and musical performances by Ras Berhane of Krystal Kind, Jen and the Juice, Afromotive members; Ryan Knowles and Jacob Keller in their group PLAZA REAL, local fashion, models, and a great foundation for networking.

The twelve boutiques showcasing outfits from their stores and outfits of local designers are: Wink, Custom, Hip Replacements, Va Va Voom, Terra Diva, Frock, Union, Virtue, Boga, Vintage Moon, Hunk, and Honey Pot.

The show is open to the public, and local and regional media is invited to cover the event.