17-Year-Old Triplets Graduate CFCC

Brohaugh triplets

Triplets Hannah, Sam, and Molly Brohaugh, age 17, graduated from Cape Fear Community College this past Friday in the college transfer ceremony.

The triplets took advantage of the Career and College Promise Program (CCP) as homeschoolers, which allowed them to enroll — full-time — in college courses as high school students set to earn their associate degrees early.

Though unseparated their first semester, they began taking classes on their own in subsequent terms. Sam noted, “At Cape Fear, we were really taught to be independent.”

Hannah admitted, “I was always hesitant to tell people how old I was in fear that I’d be treated differently. And I thought the transition from homeschool to a public college would be difficult, but it was surprisingly easy.”

When asked what made the transition easy, Molly said, “We really wanted to do well in our classes,” and agreed with Hannah who said, “I really enjoy learning, I’ve always enjoyed learning.” They credited their parents and CFCC instructors as key factors to the ease of their transition as well.

On advice they would give to their peers, Hannah said, “Know what you’re doing and put the time in, it will pay off.” On a related note, Molly said, “Plan it out. Look into the college you want to go to and find out what you have to do get there. Be organized.” Sam said, “Finish, graduate! Don’t just transfer with a handful of credits.”

Hannah, the oldest by a minute, will attend Campbell University to study nursing. Sam and Molly will attend NC State University — Sam to study civil engineering and Molly, accounting.

To learn more about the Career and College Promise program, visit http://cfcc.edu/ccp/.




CFCC Nurse Aide Students Maintain High Pass Rate on State Exam

nurse aide student

Wilmington, NC – CFCC nurse aide students achieved a 100 percent pass rate on the North Carolina Nurse Aide I Training Program State Exam.

The 2018 first-quarter report from Pearson VUE and the National Council of State Boards of Nursing National Nurse Aide Assessment Program showed that the 24 students in the CFCC Nurse Aide I Training Program all passed the exam and were registered as Certified Nurse Aides (CNA) on the NC State CNA I Registry.

Since 2015, CFCC nurse aide I students have maintained a pass rate of 98 to 100 percent on the NC State Nurse Aide I Certification Exam. This exam consists of a 75 question written exam, and a skills demonstration exam. Candidates must pass both sections to receive their CNA I certification.

“We take pride in making sure our nurse aide students receive the best education possible to excel in the healthcare field,” said Claudina McLiverty, CFCC nurse aide program director.  “The historically high exam pass rate is a reflection of the student’s hard work and dedication, as well as the support and commitment of the Nurse Aide Program faculty and staff.”

For more information about the CFCC nurse aide program, visit https://cfcc.edu/na/




Cape Fear Builders Guild Continues Support for Student Scholarships

Cape Fear Builders Guild

Wilmington, NC – Wilmington, NC – The Cape Fear Builder’s Guild (CFBG) has generously donated $1,250 for scholarships to the Cape Fear Community College Foundation for two students in the construction management technology program. CFCC construction management students Richard Hilbourn and Cristian Molina both received scholarships.

“With the uptick in residential construction in the Cape Fear region, employers in the construction trades are encountering a shortage of qualified workers,” said Craig Johnson, president of the Cape Fear Builders Guild. “Our group is passionate about assisting students with training for these in-demand jobs and helping our members by supporting the development of a highly-trained workforce.”

The Cape Fear Builders Guild (CFBG) is a select group of residential homebuilders in the greater Wilmington area that joined to command better pricing and support from suppliers. Members exchange information on emerging market trends, design innovations and emerging technologies to ensure the best product and service is provided to CFBG customers. Through this association, CFBG builders provide benefits to homebuyers, preferred suppliers, builder members and the community in which they work.

The Builder’s Guild has been supporting student scholarships at Cape Fear Community College since 2010, and to date has donated more than $3,750 to students training for jobs in the homebuilding industry.

The Cape Fear Community College Foundation exists to support the mission of the College and its students, faculty, staff, programs, scholarships and specific capital projects. The Foundation secures and manages the endowment, gifts, and grants consistent with donor intent; These include but are not limited to, cash contributions, planned or estate gifts, securities, donated services, equipment, and supplies for educational purposes.

For more information about the Cape Fear Community College Foundation, please visit http://cfcc.edu/foundation/




New Initiative to Address Construction Workforce Labor Shortages

CFCC Construction Inst.

(Left to right: Tim Milam, Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage; Teddy Hardeen; Dave Spetrino, 2018 WCFHBA president; Josh Davis, CFCC director of customized training and workforce development; CFCC President Jim Morton)

WILMINGTON, NC — Cape Fear Community College and the Wilmington-Cape Fear Home Builders Association (WCFHBA) today announced the launch of a partnership and initiative that aims to mitigate labor shortages within the construction industry in New Hanover and Pender counties.

This summer CFCC will offer Construction Institutes, intensive two-week training programs aimed at helping satisfy local construction workforce needs. With input from the construction community, builders, and subcontractors, CFCC and WCFHBA developed four courses designed to teach basic skills in the fields of masonry, plumbing, carpentry, and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC). Upon completion of the training, participants are guaranteed an interview with a local employer.

Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage President, Mr. Tim Milam, also announced today that they will be committing $5,000 toward the support and training of the area’s construction workforce. Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage has partnered with WCFHBA to set up a memorial scholarship fund in honor of Mr. Ted Hardeen who was an integral part of the Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage new home construction division.

“This new CFCC initiative strikes a chord within our firm as we work hand-in-hand with so many local builders,” said Milam. “The partnership between the WCFHBA and CFCC will also help raise awareness among youth in our community about the many career opportunities within the construction industry.” The scholarship will be housed under the WCFHBA Paul Gregory Foundation, and the funds will be designated to CFCC programs like the Construction Institutes as well as program funding and scholarship support to students actively enrolled in CFCC construction programs.

“While the demand for new homes has steadily increased, the growth in our construction labor force has not,” said WCFHBA President David Spetrino. “This initiative by CFCC will provide a concise, focused, and comprehensive foundation for students to learn a skill that will forever be in demand. And our region as a whole will benefit.”

According to a survey conducted by the Associated General Contractors of America, 75 percent of construction firms plan to expand their workforce in 2018. Moreover, 78 percent of the surveyed construction firms in North Carolina expressed having a difficult time filling positions.

“It is both our mission and our privilege to meet the needs of our local employers,” said CFCC President Jim Morton. “As the need for skilled workers continues to grow, so will our efforts to equip students with the skills they need to succeed.”

The Construction Institutes will run concurrently June 18 through June 29 from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The cost for each course is $185. Participants may choose only one course of study. For more information, visit http://cfcc.edu/constructioninstitute/.




CFCC LPN Program Ranked #1 in North Carolina

CFCC PN StudentsWilmington, North Carolina – The Cape Fear Community College Licensed Practical Nursing (LPN) program, for the second consecutive year, has been named best in North Carolina.

In a recent study conducted by Practical Nursing.org, the CFCC LPN program ranked first among 36 other LPN programs offered by community colleges, technical centers, and private career schools in the state. The scores and rankings for each school were determined based on a historical analysis of National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) exam pass rates and test scores.

“It is an honor for the College to receive this recognition and I am extremely proud of our Health Sciences faculty and staff,” said President, Jim Morton. “This is a well-deserved acknowledgment of their efforts and their commitment to making our healthcare programs the best in the state.”

“The success of this program is shared by all of the faculty and staff who dedicate their time and expertise to support the students and the program,” said Dean of Health Sciences Dr. Angela Ballentine. “CFCC provides exceptional healthcare programs that are making a vital contribution to healthcare delivery in our community and throughout the state.”

“Our students are diligent, hardworking, and tenacious in their endeavor to become LPNs,” said Practical Nursing Program Director Carolyn McCormick. “They are representing our college in a positive way with each clinical rotation. The program faculty has tremendous experience as nurses in their practice areas with nearly 100 years of combined nursing experience. Additionally, we are fortunate to have the outstanding technology in our learning labs and simulated hospital which augments the student experience and creates realistic teaching and clinical scenarios upon which our students can learn.”

The CFCC Practical Nursing program prepares individuals with the knowledge and skills necessary to provide nursing care to clients and groups of clients throughout the lifespan in a variety of settings. Graduates are eligible to apply to take the National Council Licensure Examination, which is required for practice as a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN). Employment opportunities include healthcare settings such as hospitals, long-term care facilities, clinics, physician’s offices, industry, and community health agencies.

For more information about Cape Fear Community College’s LPN program, please visit http://cfcc.edu/pn/ .




From CFCC to Chapel Hill: A C-STEP Student Story

Tyler Balderson

“I found out about C-STEP against all odds,” said Tyler Balderson, a former Cape Fear Community College student who now attends the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

C-STEP, also known as the Carolina Student Transfer Excellence Program, is a program that mentors students through an associate degree program and onto a baccalaureate degree program as a student at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Balderson discovered C-STEP three days short of the deadline during his final semester of high school. With his SAT/ACT scores, he didn’t think he stood a chance of getting in. Despite his doubt, he decided to apply. A few months later, Balderson received an envelope from UNC-Chapel Hill in the mail. “Half expecting it to be a rejection letter, I ripped it open, tearing the envelope and the acceptance letter in two. I had been accepted!”

Balderson’s admittance to the program shifted his mindset — he felt like he belonged and like he was working toward a goal. “I worked 30-70-hour weeks while I was a student and because of my relationships with the students, staff, and faculty, I felt both supported and confident.”

“Not only has C-STEP given me peace of mind knowing that I will transfer on to UNC-Chapel Hill, but it has given me a community of people to lean on and friends that are like family,” Balderson noted. C-STEP affected Balderson in such a positive way that he wanted to give back. In his second year of the program, he dedicated his time to helping others who felt “alone or incompetent with no way out of it.” He reached out to new members, welcomed them, and made them feel at home in what he calls the “C-STEP family.”

“If you’re thinking about applying, stop thinking and apply!” said Balderson. “Don’t let the past or present define your future. If you want anything to happen for you in the future, you have to make it happen for yourself.”

Tyler Balderson is now in his third year of college at UNC-Chapel Hill with hopes to continue his C-STEP journey as a board member on the C-STEP Student Leadership Committee.




A Student’s Take: Marine Technology at CFCC

Marine technology student

My name is Michelle Wiegert and I’m a marine technology student at Cape Fear Community College. My journey at CFCC began as a means to fulfill graduate school prerequisite requirements. I decided it would be less expensive and offer more flexibility if I took math and physics — the classes I would need to begin my graduate studies in marine science — at the community college.

I was so pleased with my first class at CFCC — an advanced trigonometry class — that I decided to see what else the college had to offer. I discovered the associate of applied science in marine technology program and quickly learned it would afford me the tangible skills I was lacking from my bachelor’s degree.

After weighing the pros and cons (most of which dealt with financial burden and career opportunities that would offset those costs) I set up a meeting with the department chair of the marine technology program. I registered for the program that same day. Needless to say, it was an easy sell.

While at CFCC, I have learned new skills that include, but are in no way limited to marlin spike seamanship (splicing, knot tying, and net mending); how to change the spark plugs and the oil in an outboard engine; how to drive, dock, and trailer a boat; a working knowledge of important computer software programs like GIS and AutoCAD and other programs unique to marine careers such as Hypack; how to identify roughly 400 southeastern U.S. marine species; and how to use a variety of instrumentation deployed off a ship and into the ocean.

There is one skill I have learned that ties each of these together: how to live on a ship. Moreover, I know how to live on a ship for numerous days at a time while employing the aforementioned skills. In the marine technology program, we are fortunate to have a moving classroom, the R/V Cape Hatteras.

Every semester, the students take the ship into the open ocean, deploying their classroom-learned tactics and techniques, while living on a moving vessel. Let me tell you, the ocean is kinder and gentler on some days than on others, and during these times, a person learns how to live with other people in close quarters.

The support system at CFCC has inspired me to take part in other marine-technology related opportunities. I became a board member of the Marine Technology Club, which allowed me to lead events of particular importance to me like once-a-month beach clean-ups with other CFCC students and their friends.

These clean-ups are our way of giving back to the community. We have found ways to not only clean the beaches but to enter data of trash we find into worldwide databases with programs such as Rosalia Project and Ocean Conservancy’s Clean Swell.

We are also involved with the worldwide drifter program registered with NOAA’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center. The marine technology program has partnered with the boat building and manufacturing program to build miniature sailboats that we then deploy on our cruises. Monitoring the movement of the sailboats has enabled us to determine the status of currents and winds.

Not only has the program met my academic needs and provided me the tangible skills I need at an affordable price, but it has allowed me to pursue my passions with the utmost support and care from both faculty and classmates.




“I knew I wanted a career change.”

“I knew I wanted a career change,” said Laura Leigh Bransford, recent Cape Fear Community College First Responder Academy graduate and newly-hired firefighter at the Wilmington Fire Department. “And I knew I always wanted to help people.”

Bransford, a military wife and mother of a seven-year-old boy, was focused on her husband’s military career. After moving from Wilmington to Austin, Texas and back again, Bransford stayed at home with her little boy and worked as a part-time assistant and event coordinator for Poplar Grove Plantation. With growing passions for athletic training, teamwork, and helping others, she was naturally drawn to firefighting. “I realized it was never too late go after my dreams,” said Bransford.

In the summer of 2017, Bransford tried out for the Wilmington Fire Department. She did not make the cut, but Bransford persisted: “I knew I was not giving up. Then I found the First Responder Academy at Cape Fear Community College.”

Bransford described her experience with the First Responder Academy, “It was a key point in changing my career. The instructors and the classmates were great mentors and friends. It was a huge growing and learning experience. It was a big family and a great environment for learning. And I really came out of the program a different person…for good.”

Upon her First Responder Academy graduation, Bransford was hired by the Kure Beach Fire Department. Shortly thereafter, she went through the application process with the Wilmington Fire Department. Four hundred applications were taken, with just 24 spots to fill. After a series of written, physical, and oral tests and a panel interview by firefighters of all ranks, the Wilmington Fire Department offered Bransford a position.

Now, Bransford continues to work part time for Kure Beach Fire Department as she goes through her six months of training as a recruit with the Wilmington Fire Department.

Bransford offers advice to parents who have children and a family to support seeking a career change, “Going through school is temporary. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. I would often call my friends and ask my parents, who lived two hours away, to help with my son. A support system is essential. Put in the time and I promise you, you will be rewarded.”

And to others dreaming of a career change, “change your negative thoughts into positive thoughts.” Bransford continued, “Put one foot in front of the other. Suck it up and do it; put that hard work in. As you start to accomplish small things, your confidence will build and you will begin to see those small accomplishments grow and grow.”

As a firefighter and mother, Bransford has learned that sweat and hard work are essential to growth. “That’s what you have to do to grow — you have to make sacrifices.”




Wilson Center & Arts Council of Wilmington Announce Initiative Offering Theater Experience to Area Youth

Broadway for a Better WorldThe Wilson Center at Cape Fear Community College and the Arts Council of Wilmington & New Hanover County are pleased to announce Broadway for a Better World, a new initiative and community partnership whose mission is to make performing arts accessible to under-served populations.

Particularly focused on providing exposure to the arts for disadvantaged youth, the program is a collaboration between the Arts Council of Wilmington & New Hanover County, the Wilson Center at Cape Fear Community College, and the Cape Fear Community College Foundation, and will be solely funded through the generous support of private donors.

Non-profit organizations in New Hanover and Pender counties will have the opportunity to apply for a Broadway for a Better World grant, which will provide recipients with free tickets to Wilson Center PNC Broadway or Stars Series performances. All non-profit organizations in New Hanover and Pender Counties are eligible to apply, with the understanding that a majority of the tickets granted will go to organizations serving area youth.

“Broadway for a Better World provides a unique opportunity for children and young adults who don’t have access or exposure to the performing arts,” said Mr. Jack Fuller, former CEO at GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy and a founding member of the Broadway for a Better World committee. “We believe that experiencing the arts in this way will give kids a broader world view and insight into all the possibilities for their future. Not only will they have exposure to the theater, they will also have the opportunity to be on a college campus and learn about the educational options available to them at Cape Fear Community College,” said Fuller. “We can’t give tickets away, but we can ‘gift’ them away, and through the generosity of this community we can truly help children in need; children that deserve these opportunities.”

Local organizations may apply for a Broadway for a Better World grant beginning Thursday, December 7th, 2017 online at capefearstage.com/betterworld.

The Arts Council of Wilmington & New Hanover County will lead an independent grant review committee which will assess the applications and make the grant award decisions on a quarterly basis. The first group of grant recipients will be announced in January 2018.

“This is an exceptional opportunity to not only entertain residents of New Hanover and Pender Counties, but to offer young people in our community the chance to experience the transformative, creative, live theater experience,” said Wilson Center Director, Mr. Shane Fernando. “And that experience will be life-changing.”

Individuals who would like to donate to the Broadway for a Better World program should contact the Cape Fear Community College Foundation at 910-362-7207 or visit cfcc.edu/foundation.

For additional information on the Wilson Center and a full performance schedule, please visit www.capefearstage.com.




CFCC Launches Series of International Culinary Classes

Culinary Technology Student

Cape Fear Community College is pleased to announce a new series of continuing education courses for home chefs who want to learn to prepare classic dishes from regions around the world starting January 2018. The Culinary Academy International Series will take students on culinary journeys to France, Italy, Mexico, and a variety of Asian countries. Students will study the culinary traditions of each region and sample the dishes they create with classmates.

The Culinary Academy International Series will consist of four 16-hour culinary classes taught by award-winning chef and CFCC Culinary Technology Instructor Gwen Gulliksen. “I am so excited for us to offer these new international classes!” Gulliksen said of the new series. “Each week will be like a mini culinary vacation for our students. I look forward to sharing recipes from some of my favorite travels with them and teaching them how easy these delicious dishes are to cook.”

The Culinary Academy International Series segments into four class sessions, each four weeks long. The series will begin in January with Regional French Cuisine, continue in February and March with Regional Italian and Regional Mexican Cuisine, and conclude in April with Regional Asian Cuisine.

Students can register for each 16-hour class session separately depending on their interests. Classes will meet on Tuesdays from 10:00 to 2:00 p.m. in the Union Station culinary lab. For additional details, please visit www.cfcc.edu/ceschedule or call CFCC Community Enrichment at 910.362.7199.