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CFCC Marine Technology Grad Locks in Job with Weeks Marine

Kaitlyn Bellas

Flashback to her senior year of high school, Kaitlyn Bellas was torn between pursuing a four-year degree in marine biology from a university and a two-year degree in marine technology from Cape Fear Community College.

The summer after her senior year, Bellas, working at a dive shop, was struck by the reputation CFCC’s Marine Technology program had amongst her coworkers and friends, many of whom were pursuing four-year degrees in marine biology. “They were talking about how they had heard about this program and that they wished they had done it,” said Bellas. A former instructor of Bellas, who worked with the State Underwater Archeology program, “couldn’t recommend it highly enough,” Bellas noted. The hands-on component of CFCC’s program was something she knew she wouldn’t be able to find elsewhere.

She decided to take a leap of faith and enroll in the Marine Technology program at CFCC. Now, hindsight 20-20, Bellas wouldn’t have her time at Cape Fear any other way.

“My experience in this program has been awesome. All the instructors are amazing. I like that it has been small; you really get one-on-one time with your instructors,” said Bellas. “And being able to take the boats out and go on the research vessel and use all the different types of instrumentation is really cool, it’s what makes this program unique.”

“I love hydrography; I love being able to see what’s under the water’s surface and looking at bottom types. When you’re using sonar, you can see what’s beneath. On cruises up and down the river on the R/V MarTech, we saw shipwrecks, the ridges of the sand underneath, and fish swimming by. It’s a whole other world down there.”

After her May graduation, Bellas will go to work as a Dredge Field Engineer with Weeks Marine. In her new role, Bellas will be able to practically apply all she learned at CFCC in her daily work—from the instrumentation used and the surveys and dredges done to the data-processing done.

To anyone on the fence about doing this program, Bellas says, “go for it. A lot of companies in this industry want to hire people that have hands-on experience in a little bit of everything. And this program gives you just that with emphasis on marine biology, technical skills, and data-processing; so you really get a lot of information from just one program, a lot of different experiences.

To learn more about the Marine Technology program at CFCC, visit cfcc.edu/marine-technology .

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