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Kelvin Orellana

What year did you graduate? What program were you in?

I graduated from Cape Fear’s chemical technology program in the spring of 2018 and recently graduated (Fall 2021) from NC State’s agriculture science program. I also minored in plant biology and animal science.

Were you involved in student activities at CFCC? Special memories about class and/or instructors?

I was a member of Phi Theta Kappa. I also helped set up and oversee the Chem-Techathon event. A special memory I have of the chemistry class with my advisor and professor Tracy Holbrook was making candles using household objects. When we lit the candles, they created a cloud of smoke, resembling a smoke grenade. I’ll never forget how much fun it was to create it and see it go off.

What did you do post-graduation? If you transferred to a 4-year college, where did you go and what is /was your major?

After graduating from Cape Fear, I transferred to NC State.

How did CFCC prepare you for that transition?

CFCC gave me a taste of what it’s like to be a part of a larger institution. It allowed me to settle in a place where I could start networking and improve my ability to talk to others before going into the workplace or a 4-year institution where networking is vital.

What ways did CFCC prepare you for the workforce?

I was able to receive more than just the experience of being a student at CFCC. I worked in the laboratory as a work-study. I am super thankful to my professor/advisor Tracy Holbrook for his leadership throughout my entire time as a student and as a lab assistant. I was able to get the experience of working in a laboratory and see the other half of the laboratory through checking chemicals and preparing student labs.

What suggestions/recommendations/tips do you have for students considering CFCC?

I would recommend that others check out all the programs Cape Fear has to offer. I only knew of this program from my advisor in high school, and I am sad that we did not have as many people in my program. At first, I saw having a low number of students as a good thing because I was like oh yeah I won’t have to wait to use the equipment but at the same time I wish more students were able to experience what I experienced during my time at CFCC.

I wish more people would pursue the chemical technology program because it not only opens doors for your future but allows you to create tons of memories that you will forever remember.

Chemical Technology Program

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