Donor’s gift provides service learning opportunity for CFCC students, needed equipment for Boy’s and Girl’s Home of Lake Waccamaw

generatorwebDr. Joe James, a long-time supporter of Cape Fear Community College (CFCC), recently provided a unique, hands-on experience for CFCC students, which united the Heavy Equipment and Diesel, Welding and Collision Repair programs to work towards common goal.  Dr. James arranged for CFCC students to refurbish a 4.5 KW generator to power a dormitory at the Boy’s and Girl’s Home at Lake Waccamaw.

The Boy’s and Girl’s Home of Lake Waccamaw provides housing and education for youth between the ages of 6 and 21 who are unable to live successfully with their family or previous home setting.  The environment at Boy’s and Girl’s Home is one of welcoming support, encouraging their residents to not only achieve success in the school setting but to use their personal strengths to guide their future.

Dr. James has supported the Boy’s and Girl’s Home for years, following in the footsteps of his stepmother. He is especially impressed by the school’s 80% graduation rate, which is attributed to teachers’ strong commitment to leave no child behind, no matter their past circumstances. A majority of these students continue to college.  Therefore, when James heard of the Home’s need for a generator, he jumped at the opportunity to combine his resources with CFCC’s know-how.

The generator, previously idle at Dr. James’ home, was in rough shape before students revived it. Though the engine and generator were in working condition, the frame surrounding the generator was caked in rust which halted its ability to perform.

Students restored the frame to more effectively support the engine, repainted the unit and ran performance checks on the generator as a whole.  Their combined efforts ensured that the generator would work efficiently and reliably for the Boy’s and Girl’s Home.

“When I saw it I was overcome with emotion,” said James. “It looked just like it did twelve years ago when I first installed it.  And when it promptly started and produced the correct voltage and frequency on schedule I was greatly pleased.”

Patrick Hogan, Dean of Vocational and Technical Education at CFCC, joined Dr. James in commending his students and the department on this service learning opportunity. “I could not be prouder of our students, faculty and staff for their support of this service project that allowed them to hone their technical skills while providing a valuable emergency generator for this Boy’s and Girl’s Home,” he said.

Along with the technical skills students refined during the project, students also gained collaborative experience working hand-in-hand with other departments to accomplish a common goal – skills that will prove valuable in their future careers. “Getting the job done on schedule told me that these students were not only learning vocational skills with this project, but were also learning the business associated with these skills,” said Dr. James.

Cape Fear Community College strives to integrate students into community service and career-preparation projects such as this and extends many thanks to Dr. Joe James for allowing our students to be a part of this rewarding opportunity.

Application Deadline for Cardiovascular Sonography Extended until 6/25

The application deadline has been extended for CFCC’s Cardiovascular Sonography Program until June 25, 2015.

Interested students who have met the minimum requirements should come to the Counseling office on the Wilmington Campus – Union Station Building (Room U-240) or on the North Campus – McKeithan Center (Room NA-100) for more information and to meet with a counselor to file your Intent to Apply. For more information, contact Pam Aubry, Health Science Admission Support Specialist, at 362-7558.

Community raises $300,000 for CFCC student scholarships 

thank you signs

Over 600 people from around the local community packed the Schwartz Center at Cape Fear Community College earlier today to help raise an estimated $300,000 for student scholarships.

Sponsored by the CFCC Foundation, the annual “Gift of Education” luncheon is an annual event organized to raise funds to help students afford a college education.

The bulk of today’s program featured speeches from current and former students who spoke about how their life and careers have been affected by their experiences at CFCC.

Each student came to Wilmington and enrolled at CFCC for a different reason, but all three emphasized their high level of gratitude and respect for the college because of the opportunities and support they received as students.

Stephen Golf, a recent CFCC nursing graduate and former U.S. Marine, explained that CFCC “defies the notion of being a stepping-stone to another institution.”

“Cape Fear is the institution that encourages and sets up success at any level. It’s the individuals who make up this large entity, who are the reason I am standing here before you today, and the reason I can proudly say that I am a nurse and it is my goal and privilege to serve our local community through this profession,” Golf stated in his remarks.

CFCC graduate Araceli Leon, who is a current doctoral student at UNC-Chapel Hill’s pharmacy school, made a point to say thanks to all the donors who helped her realize her dream of becoming a pharmacist.

“My dreams are becoming true thanks to you all, who have donated for scholarships that allow students like myself to focus on our career path and ease the financial burden of college tuition costs,” Leon said.

Current CFCC student Lanier Warner, who overcame a series of personal and economic difficulties before rediscovering a love for ‘books and basketball” at CFCC, got a standing ovation following his remarks.

Following speeches from the students and graduates, Donald Croteau, CEO of Vertex Rail Technologies spoke to the crowd about his own challenges growing up in the Boston projects. Croteau emphasized that our local area is very fortunate to have an institution like CFCC to help guide people reach their goals and he urged the guests to make a contribution to the cause.

According to Margaret Robison, CFCC’s vice president of institutional advancement, the need for additional support for student scholarships is absolutely essential to help students begin and achieve their educational goals.

“Financial need is the most common reason students cite for not finishing their studies,” Robison said.

Last year, contributions to the CFCC Foundation helped to fund 475 student scholarships.

“We are very fortunate to have so many generous individuals who believe in the mission of the college and who have chosen to give to the Foundation to help our students succeed,” Robison stated.

Other speakers at the event included CFCC Foundation Chairperson Jan Capps, CFCC Interim President Dr. Amanda Lee, and CFCC students Shaquasha Williams and Jonathan “J.J”  Brodie. Rev. Carl Byrd gave the invocation and CFCC graduate Mariah Grace Sutton sang the national anthem.

For more information about the CFCC Foundation, visit


Landfall Foundation grant helps CFCC students afford certification exams

Wilmington, NC – The Landfall Foundation’s $4,000 grant to Cape Fear Community College’s health science programs is enabling more students to become certified in their field of study and increasing their opportunities to become successfully employed. This year’s grant is assisting students finishing CFCC’s Dental Hygiene Program.

Regina McBarron, chairperson of CFCC’s health science programs, says that the funds provided by the Landfall Foundation help students complete one of the final steps toward employment. “Professional certifications are required for our students to get jobs.  Many of our students struggle to pay for the certification exams. The Landfall Foundation assists our students with those expenses, and in turn, helps them to start working in their field.”

The mission of the Landfall Foundation is to provide funds to local nonprofit organizations for programs and projects that provide for the Arts, Education, and Health and Welfare in the Greater Wilmington, North Carolina area.

The Cape Fear Community College Foundation exists solely to support the students, teachers, programs and mission of Cape Fear Community College. The Foundation secures and manages gifts and grants, including cash contributions, deferred gifts, securities, donated services, and equipment and supplies for educational purposes.  For more information about CFCC, The CFCC Foundation or scholarship opportunities, contact the Cape Fear Community College Foundation at 910.362.7207 or visit

Over 950 students set to graduate from CFCC


Over 950 students are expected to earn degrees, diplomas and certificates from Cape Fear Community College this week.

Two graduation ceremonies are scheduled for Wednesday, May 13 in the Schwartz Center in downtown Wilmington. The first ceremony will be held at 4 p.m. and will be for students earning associate degrees in arts and sciences. After graduation, many of these students will be transferring to four-year universities like UNC-Wilmington, UNC-Chapel Hill, East Carolina University and many others.

The second ceremony at 7 p.m. will feature students graduating from CFCC’s technical and vocational programs with associate in applied sciences degrees, diplomas and certificates. After graduation, many of these students will be headed directly into the workforce in areas including health care, business, computer technology, marine technology, mechanical engineering and a wide variety of trades.

These ceremonies will also include students from both Pender and Wilmington Early College High schools, who will be earning a college degree before they officially graduate from high school.

CFCC boat builders take first place in annual boat building challenge


Building a boat is a task that often takes months to complete, but this past weekend, a team representing Cape Fear Community College finished the job in just a few hours and brought home a trophy to prove it.

On Saturday, May 2, local boat builders participated in the 8th Annual Beaufort Boat Building Challenge at the Beaufort Boat Show. The objective of the challenge is to build a two person wooden rowboat in the fastest amount of time and then paddle it (without sinking) across the waterway.

Competitors are judged in three categories: Building time, boat quality and rowing time.

CFCC is pleased to announce that Chris Sargent, a current CFCC boat building student, and Ben Hess, a recent boat building program graduate, earned first place overall for the first time in college history. They were ranked 1st in quality of work, 2nd in time of construction and 1st in rowing the course. CFCC’s boat was finished in 3 hours and 36 minutes.

Fourteen teams from across the region (and two teams from Virginia and Australia) took part in the competition.

For more details, visit:

CFCC’s Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa Earns Top Honors at National Conference


Students in Cape Fear Community College’s chapter of Phi Theta Kappa earned top awards at “Nerd Nation” in San Antonio, TX  for the 97th International Convention on April 17-19, 2015.

“Our chapter members and officers have worked really hard this past year and we are extremely proud to report that we did historically well in regards to bringing back the top awards,” said chapter president Billy Koch.

The awards included:

  • Distinguished Chapter Award, which is given to the top 10 percent of all 1,250 chapters worldwide. To be considered for a Distinguished Chapter Award, a chapter must submit entries for both the Honors in Action Project and College Project Award. Selection of the Distinguished Chapters is based solely on the written entries for these Hallmark Awards. The scores in each of the two Hallmark categories will be averaged to determine a chapter’s overall ranking. Awards are presented to the top 10 percent of chapters entering the Honors in Action and College Project categories.
  • Distinguished Honors in Action Project Award, which recognizes the top chapters whose Honors in Action Project entries demonstrated excellence in academic research into the Honors Study Topic, leadership roles and leadership development activities, service learning and collaboration..
  • Distinguished College Project Award, which was only awarded to 25 out of 1,250 chapters. The purpose of the College Project is to establish a supportive relationship between the chapter and the college administration. The chapter should meet with the college president (or other appropriate administrator) to determine the College Project, which can be anything that supports the college’s mission.
  • Top 100 Chapter Award
  • Five Star Chapter

In the Carolinas Region of 84 chapters, CFCC’s chapter was the only one that won all the top project awards (College Project and Honors In Action Project). This is an accomplishment that has not been done in the history of CFCC’s chapter.

CFCC’s Chem-Techathon gives local students hands-on experience with real world science



What brand of chicken contains the highest level of antibiotics? Are oysters found in our local waterways safe to eat? Are there heavy metals in the soil of our area playgrounds? These are just some of the questions posed by teams of high school students who have just completed a series of research projects as part of a unique project in conjunction with Cape Fear Community College.

For the last six months, dozens of local high school high students have been working with CFCC students and faculty on a competitive research project known as the Chem-Techathon.

Funded with a $150,000 grant from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, the purpose of the Chem-Techathon is to increase interest in the field of chemical technology among high school students through hands-on research using professional-level equipment.

The project was created by Tracy Holbrook, who is the lead instructor of CFCC’s Chemical Technology program. Holbrook said that there is a growing demand for trained chemical technicians and wanted to develop a project that will help give “future chemists” some real-world experience in the field and generate additional interest in the field.

“There’s an employment gap in chemical technology right now, so we are trying to show students that chemical science is not only fun, but you can actually get paid to do it,” Holbrook said.

He explained that based on the work he’s seen so far from the student projects, there’s definitely plenty of potential talent in the local high schools.

“I’ve been very impressed with the level of dedication shown by the students during this project,” Holbrook said.

“They’ve been using our labs, working alongside our staff and our students to learn how to ask the right questions and then use the right tools and equipment to get valid scientific results.”

Each student team was assisted by a mentor from CFCC’s Chemical Technology department and used equipment and instrumentation at the college’s labs, which includes industry-standard equipment used in professional labs around the country.

The results of all the studies will be on display  on the first floor of CFCC’s Union Station Building and the public is invited to attend a special viewing reception on Friday, May 1 at 6 p.m. to see the results of the research, talk with students and vote for a winner. Students will be on campus on Saturday, May 2 to demonstrate the types of hands-on experiments used in the projects.

Holbrook emphasized that public voting is a critical component of the project because the votes will determine the winning teams. High school teams who place first, second, and third will win a prize packages (worth $2,500, $1,500 and $1000 respectively) to purchase lab supplies and equipment for their own schools.

Displays will also be available for review on Saturday, but all votes must be in Friday night to qualify.

The project is open to all eleven public high schools in Pender and New Hanover County is funded through 2017. This year, participating high schools included Ashley High School, Hoggard High School, Laney High School, Pender High School, Pender Early College High School and Wilmington Early College High School.

CFCC’s Chemical Technology program is a two-year associate degree program which prepares students to work as technicians in chemical laboratories in a variety of industries. Graduates of the program can also transfer credits to complete a four-year degree program in chemistry at several state universities.

The Burroughs Wellcome Fund is an independent private foundation dedicated to advancing the biomedical sciences by supporting research and other scientific and educational activities.


Wilmington Contractors Association continues to support CFCC students through scholarship gift


(Caption) CFCC students Alana Dos Santos, Landon Ray, Jason Eaton, Susan Martin, and Christopher Hatfield, are presented with the Wallace and Virginia West Endowed Scholarship and the Thurman Watts Book Scholarship by Chip Overman, President of the Wilmington Contractors Association and Dr. Amanda Lee, Interim President of CFCC.

Wilmington Contractors Association (WCA) President Chip Overman recently presented a $3,000 gift to Cape Fear Community College to benefit the Wallace and Virginia West Endowed Scholarship fund and the Thurman Watts Book Scholarship.

Alana Dos Santos, Landon Ray, Jason Eaton, Susan Martin, and Christopher Hatfield were the five CFCC student recipients of the scholarship funds.

“The scholarships that are provided by the Wilmington Contractors Association give our students much needed financial help but possibly even more importantly, the scholarships provide a boost in morale to the students by being recognized for their hard work and dedication to Construction Management program and the construction industry.  To date, 100% of the Wilmington Contractors Association scholarship recipients have earned their degree in Construction Management.  That fact alone proves how much those scholarships impact the students our program. I cannot thank WCA enough for helping students reach their goals,” said Jon Begue, Lead Instructor.

The West scholarship, established in 1999, honors two long-time administrators of the Wilmington Contractors Association, one of the oldest trade associations in North Carolina. WCA also supports the Thurman Watts Book Scholarship. This scholarship honors Thurman Watts, who worked for twenty-nine years with John S. Clark Company, LLC and served as a former president of the WCA. It was established to recognize Watt’s contributions to his profession and his community.

The WCA has provided $126,796 in scholarship support to CFCC students since 1999. “The Wilmington Contractors Association strongly believes it is important to give back to our community and what better way to give than to students in our local area. By partnering with Cape Fear Community College, we are insuring an investment in the lives of students now and in the years to come,” said Shanda Bordeaux, Secretary.

For more information about the Cape Fear Community College Foundation, endowments, or scholarship opportunities, please contact 910.362.7207 or visit


Hampstead Garden Club gift supports Landscape Gardening students at CFCC











CFCC student Jeffrey Marshall is this year’s recipient of a $1,000 scholarship from the Hampstead Garden Club. Marshall, originally from Currie, NC, is a student in the Landscape Gardening program, who is applying the knowledge and skills he has learned in the program to use in his own landscaping and lawn care business.

Marshall is a veteran who previously worked in the manufacturing industry for many years, and enjoys having the opportunity to own his own business.

Each year, the Hampstead Garden Club awards a scholarship to one exceptional student who has completed their first year of landscape gardening courses, obtained a GPA of 3.0 or higher, and has a need for financial assistance.

“It gives us great pleasure to support students who are basically re-arranging their lives for the better. Jeffrey is a great example of that. We have truly enjoyed our relationship with CFCC and are happy to support their landscape gardening students for many years,” says Val Trofimoff, vice-president of the Hampstead Garden Club.

The Club has provided over $24,000 in scholarship funds to CFCC since 1997. They raise funds through various events such as their upcoming Bake Sale/Plant Sale on Saturday, April 25, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Cedar on the Green shopping village in Hampstead, NC.

To learn more about giving at CFCC, please contact the CFCC Foundation at 362-7207 or visit

(photo l-r; Val Trofimoff Hampstead Garden Club vice-president, Dena Seago, Hampstead Garden Club president, scholarship recipient Jeffrey Marshall, and Ken Wells, landscape gardening instructor for CFCC)