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 or call CFCC Community Enrichment at 910.362.7199.

CFCC Receives Grant to Provide Assistance for Veterans Pursuing Truck Driver Training

CFCC Truck

Wilmington, NC — Cape Fear Community College announces today that they have received a grant for $97,607 from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) which will give CFCC the opportunity to award over $50,000 in scholarship assistance for veterans and active duty military seeking a commercial driver’s license (CDL) certificate through CFCC’s Truck Driver Training program.

Grant funds will be used to cover the cost of student fees and/or expenses above the amount that will be covered by veterans and active military educational benefits for qualified students, based on need. In addition, spouses and children of these service members will be eligible to apply for scholarships. “Students can complete the Truck Driver Training certificate program in just ten weeks and a day,” said Dean of Vocational and Technical Education Mark Council. “The demand for licensed CDL drivers continues to grow, and this grant will help area veterans and their families to pursue a high-paying in-demand career immediately after graduation.”

Funds from the grant will also support the hiring of a program-specific Recruiter & Job Placement Specialist, which will actively seek employment opportunities for graduates of CFCC’s Truck Driver Training program and strengthen program-employer relations throughout North Carolina. For graduates who desire to become owner-operators and work as private contract haulers, the recruiter will connect them with CFCC’s Small Business Center for additional assistance.

“With the unemployment rate of North Carolina veterans at 4.5 percent and a great need — now, more than ever — for educated and qualified drivers, I see this as a great opportunity, one that will equip the workforce and mitigate an ongoing unemployment issue for our nation’s heroes,” said Truck Driver Training Program Director Al Gover.

The Truck Driver Training program at CFCC has been training students for over 20 years. The program currently has 11 instructors, over half of which are veterans themselves. “Veterans are not new to Truck Driver Training at CFCC,” said Gover. “Currently, seven of our Truck Driver Training instructors are veterans. It will be great to see them sharing their skills and experience with fellow service members who are pursuing a new adventure.” CFCC also has three CDL examiners on-site, with another being added this month, which offers CFCC students the unique opportunity to take their CDL test on campus before they graduate. “Our students are trained in a variety of trucks, and in diverse road conditions so that they have the best practical experience possible, and they are better prepared for the workforce because of it,” said Vocational and Technical Department Chair Shawn Dixon.

Individuals who are interested in learning more about the Truck Driver Training program and available scholarships should contact the Truck Driver Training Center at 910-362-7320.

Former CFCC Metals student opens jewelry shop at Wrightsville Beach

Heather Talton

“When I know I want something, I work hard,” said owner of The Nicoblue Boutique and former Cape Fear Community College Metals student HeatherTalton.

In 2014, as a senior in high school, Talton started creating ceramic pendants and wrapping sea glass and shells found on the beach with wire to create jewelry. By requests from her friends and family, she started her own little business selling jewelry from her home.

With jewelry making as a hobby, Talton started at CFCC pursuing a career in occupational therapy. She used her electives to take Metals courses which taught the basic principles of metal design and contemporary art forms using brass, copper, and silver with emphasis placed on designing and fabricating jewelry and other objects.

“I pursued occupational therapy with a desire to help people. But my passion was in jewelry-making and CFCC helped me realize that” Talton said. “I am realizing how I can help others through jewelry-making, too. Jewelry isn’t necessarily something someone needs, but it has the power to make people feel something when it’s created with loving, genuine intentions.”

At CFCC Talon learned to create things, that before, she could only think of. Her ideas came to life. This inspired Talon to pursue her career as a Metalsmith. In January 2017, Talton opened The Nicoblue Boutique located at 7202 Wrightsville Avenue, Wilmington, NC, 28403. She now works full time at the shop creating and selling her jewelry. The boutique sells jewelry along with other local goods, some of which include essential oils and crystals, pottery, and bathing suits.

To others shy or afraid to go after what they want, Talton advises, “honor your soul and do what makes you happy. Surround yourself with the things that feed you. Work hard. When you want to do something bold or different, the first thing you need to change is your mindset. If you think ‘I can’t do this’ or ‘I won’t profit from this’ then you will never allow yourself to take the first step.”

Former CFCC landscaping student fashions his own business from the ground up

Wilson Stratus

Wilson Stratas is not a typical 20-year-old. He is a business owner, with plans for his future which seem both practical and well-thought-out. He’s a realist, a hard-worker, and a Cape Fear Community College graduate.

Stratas graduated CFCC with a Landscaping and Gardening Certificate in 2017, though he had already started his own business during his senior year of high school.

“I didn’t think I would pursue this career, but I tried it and liked it,” said Stratas. “I like being outside, and I like being my own boss.”

Stratas’ business, Oceanside Landscaping & Maintenance, has a motto: No problems, Just solutions.  It’s a concept Stratas seems to have taken to heart. Starting your own business in high school is rare enough, but honing that business into a successful, growing operation at such a young age is almost unheard of. Stratas has been methodical in his approach. He studies his competition, is careful with his image, and is proactive in his relationships with his clients.

He also values education and chose to come to Cape Fear Community College to learn skills to enhance his operation.

“My favorite class was Turf Management,” says Stratas. “I learned a lot about pest and weed control and what chemicals to use to control them.” Stratas is now preparing to take a licensure exam that will allow him to begin offering lawn pest control as part of his business.

“I want to be a full-service operation,” says Stratas.

Learning skills to enhance his business is not only Stratas’ plan for his current operation but also part of his long-term vision for the business. He knows he will not only need to expand the services he can provide but prepare for the physical toll this type of work can take.

“Long-term, I see myself supervising several crews, and doing some of the lighter work – like insecticide application – myself,” says Stratas.

It’s obvious that Stratas is a planner, constantly working on ways to improve and build upon his already growing business. He advises CFCC students interested in taking a similar path, “Do your research.  Know your competition. See how people are running their businesses. Observe, work, and get involved. Learn from your experiences.”

Stratas explains his future plans with a gleam in his eye. “I want to see how big I can get,” he says. “I like challenging myself.”

He also advises those following in his footsteps to be aware of their image. “Have respect for your own work and process. Your work will advertise for you. If you do good work, it will be noticed. As you grow and expand, you will realize that there are differences between your customers. Treat your customers well and expect the same from your clients, and recognize that your image makes a difference. You can’t show up in a trashy-looking vehicle and expect to get high-end clients.”

Stratas began his business with a lawnmower that had no engine cover that had to be lifted into the back of his vehicle each day. “I’ve come a long way,” he says. “I buy equipment as I can.  It doesn’t have to be brand new, but it’s a long way from where I began.”

To learn more about Landscape Gardening at CFCC, contact Program Director Ken Wells at (910) 612-4447 or at

CFCC Announces Hiring of Dean of Health Sciences

Angela Ballentine

Cape Fear Community College is pleased to announce that Dr. Angela Ballentine has joined its staff as Dean of Health Sciences. Ballentine most recently served as Vice President of Academic Affairs at Vance-Granville Community College in Henderson, NC.

Ballentine is originally from Eden, North Carolina. She attended Greensboro College for her undergraduate degree and later became certified in Radiographic Technology through the Radiologic Technology Department at Moses H. Cone Memorial Hospital in Greensboro.

Ballentine began her career as a radiographer, specializing in mammography. She worked as a mammography specialist in Houston, Texas before beginning her career in higher education at Vance-Granville. While working at Vance-Granville, Ballentine earned both a Master’s of Education degree and a Doctor of Higher Education at North Carolina State University.

“Dr. Ballentine brings a wealth of experience to Cape Fear Community College – both as a healthcare professional and as a community college leader,” said Melissa Singler, CFCC’s Vice President for Academic Affairs and Workforce Development. “We feel very fortunate to have her on board, and we look forward to working with Dr. Ballentine as we continue to expand and enhance our highly-demanded health science programs.”

“I am excited and humbled to join the Cape Fear Community College family,” said Ballentine “This is an environment where student success is paramount, and our students are both highly-motivated and service-oriented. The health science disciplines require real teamwork, and I can already see that our faculty and staff truly rally around our students to make sure that everyone is successful.”

Cape Fear Community College’s Health Science programs include Associate Degree Nursing (RN), Dental Assisting, Dental Hygiene, Cardiovascular Sonography, Early Childhood Education, Medical Sonography, Nurse Aide, Occupational Therapy Assistant, Pharmacy Technology, Phlebotomy, Practical Nursing (PN), Radiography, and Surgical Technology. For more information about the Health Science programs offered at Cape Fear Community College, visit

CFCC Culinary Instructor Participates in Chinese Gourmet Expo in JiNan, China

Chef Gwen at Chinese Food Expo

Cape Fear Community College Chef Gwen Gulliksen was one of four chefs selected by the Traveling American Chefs to attend and participate in an all-expense-paid Chinese food conference, the 18th Chinese Food Festival & International Gourmet Expo 2017. The Expo was sponsored by the China Hotel Association, the JiNan Government, and the International Hotel & Restaurant Association.

Gulliksen attended the Chinese Food Festival & International Gourmet Expo from September 15 to 17th, where she worked alongside famous chef masters and chef educators to share and showcase cooking skills and food culture.

Gulliksen’s primary responsibility was to represent authentic American holiday food by preparing food for display in individual regional demonstrations on stage and sampling. Gulliksen prepared 100 warm biscuits with honey butter. “At first no one would touch them,” Gulliksen said. “Everyone was standing around looking. Then one person tried one and they were gone within two minutes!”

Gulliksen organized and conducted an Authentic American Cuisine Class exclusively for the top Chinese hotel chefs to teach them how to create and authenticate American holiday food. Her individual demonstration was to create an Authentic American Southern Easter Brunch. Gulliksen prepared Smithfield ham, collard greens, macaroni and cheese, biscuits with honey butter, and robin-egg blue dyed Easter eggs. “They just could not get over the Easter eggs,” she said.

The conference inspired Gulliksen to perfect and master cooking dumplings; she has plans to teach a dumpling class in the near future and to continue sharing the knowledge she gained in China with her students moving forward.

For upcoming culinary classes taught by Chef Gwen Gulliksen, visit

Landfall Foundation Grant Supports CFCC Student Veterans

Wilmington, NC – With a donation of $3,102, the Landfall Foundation sponsored an initiative to purchase laptop computers for use by student veterans at Cape Fear Community College. CFCC’s Veterans Affairs Center was established three years ago to support the degree and program completion requirements of all military-affiliated students and student veterans. The funds received from the Landfall Foundation will allow CFCC’s student veterans to complete curriculum coursework on laptop computers in the Veterans Center. The convenience of working among their peers helps student veterans to feel more comfortable studying and completing their academic assignments.

Over the last five years, more than 700 student veterans have either graduated or completed a certificate program at CFCC. In fact, the college enrolls well over 700 student veterans each semester. CFCC’s Veterans Center provides resources to help ease veterans’ transition to college and enhance their educational experiences.

Sustainability Awareness Week 2017

Sustainability Awareness Week 2017

March 20-24th, 2017

Sustainability Awareness Week is a week long celebration of all things sustainable hosted by CFCC Sustainability committee. The week’s activities are designed to engage and educate the college community about sustainability. Events include lectures, demonstrations, workshops, presentations, documentary films, a sustainability fair, and a pop up farmer’s market.

Monday, March 20th

*RESCHEDULED FOR MARCH 24: Workshop: Build your Own Compost Bin – Karly Dahlin, Schwartz Center Courtyard — Pre-Registration required:

Lecture: Wind Power Science and Industry Basics – John Wojciechowski
4:30-5:45 PM — Union Station — U-153

Tuesday, March 21st

Meeting: ECO
3:00-4:00 PM — Union Station Lobby

Wednesday, March 22nd

Lecture: Solar Power for Homeowners with Cape Fear Solar Systems 
12:00-1:30 PM — Union Station — Room U-529

Tour: Electric Vehicle Charging Station – John Wojciechowski and David Kanoy

Meet at room NB 141
2:00-2:30 PM — North Campus

Thursday, March 23rd

Open House: Tiny House with Sustainability Technologies students 
Drop in to see the house and the 3 projects that have been done to improve it: sustainable interior, high-performance cladding systems, and solar photovoltaic array.
11:00 AM-12:00 PM — North Campus — Carpentry program parking lot

Documentary: “Bringing it Home: Industrial Hemp, Healthy Houses and a Greener Future for America”

This documentary tells the story of hemp: past, present and future and a global industry that includes textiles, building materials, food products, bio-plastics, auto parts and more.
Documentary screening and discussion
12:00-1:30 PM — Union Station Auditorium

Friday, March 24th

Workshop: Build your Own Compost Bin – Karly Dahlin
Noon – 1pm — Schwartz Center Courtyard — Pre-Registration required:

Sustainability Fair

  • Seed swap
  • Plant sale (Laura Moore)
  • BYO-Tshirt tie dye workshop

Possibly Featuring:

  • Bike workshop
  • Solar demonstration
  • Full Belly Project
  • Cape Fear Riverwatch
  • Legacy Arch. Salvage
  • Food Truck
  • The Produce Box

10:00 AM-2:00 PM — Schwartz Center Courtyard

Farmers Market

2:00-6:00 PM — Schwartz Center Courtyard

CFCC Radiography Program Receives $50,000 Equipment Donation

Cape Fear Community College’s Radiography program recently received a generous donation of state-of-the-art radiographic equipment from the Cape Fear Memorial Foundation. The gift includes a new patient table, a radiographic tube, an x-ray control panel, and a wall unit, with a combined value of $50,000.

CFCC Radiography Program Director, Donna Collentine, is excited to train students on the new equipment. “Our radiography students will now have the opportunity to practice their skills on the same cutting-edge equipment that is being used in hospitals and clinics around the country,” said Collentine. “We are so grateful to Cape Fear Memorial Foundation for this wonderful donation.”

The CFCC Radiography program is a five semester, full-time program beginning in the fall semester of each year. Classes and labs are held on campus at CFCC, and the clinical education component of the program is conducted in various hospitals and other medical facilities in the surrounding area. Program graduates are eligible to apply to take the national examination administered by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists for certification and registration as medical radiographers.

Radiography program graduates can work in radiology departments in hospitals, clinics, physicians’ offices, research and medical laboratories, federal and state agencies and industry. Hospitals also offer a wide variety of subspecialties including orthopedics, mammography, and operating room and trauma areas. For more information about CFCC’s Radiography program or to apply, individuals should visit

Cape Fear Memorial Foundation supports not-for-profit organizations providing services that improve the health and wellness of the people of southeastern North Carolina. The organization supports five counties in the Cape Fear Region: Brunswick, Columbus, Duplin, New Hanover and Pender.

Got-Em-On Live Bait Club Supports CFCC Marine Technology Program

The Cape Fear Community College Foundation recently received a $3,500 donation from the Got-Em-On Live Bait Club to support CFCC’s Marine Technology program.

President of Got-Em-On Live Bait Club, Butch Martin, presented the contribution to Marine Technology instructor, Kelly Franklin; CFCC Foundation representative Wendy Littlefield; and Executive Director of Institutional Effectiveness and Planning at CFCC, Patrick Hogan.

Martin believes the donation will help efforts to preserve local wetlands. “We want our children and our grandchildren to enjoy the beautiful fishing landscapes we have, and Cape Fear Community College is fantastic at training students to preserve fisheries. The more the College does for our local environment, the more we want to give,” says Martin.

The Got-Em-On Live Bait Club was established in 1980 with 17 members and has grown to include over 400 family memberships. The fishing club hosts fishing and golf tournaments each year to raise funds for local charities and other organizations in the Wilmington area. Got-Em-On Live Bait Club has supported CFCC’s Marine Technology program since 2012.

To find out more about the Got-Em-On Live Bait Club, visit To learn about giving opportunities at Cape Fear Community College, please visit the Foundation’s website at


IMG_1497Wendy Littlefield, CFCC; Butch Martin, Got-Em-On Live; Kelly Franklin, CFCC; Patrick Hogan, CFCC