Meet the Student

Every week, Tri-County Community College recognizes one of its students on the front page of and on the TCCC Facebook page.

To view the previous Meet the Student Entries, click below.

To view the previous Meet the Student Entries, click below.

Meet the Student - Spring 2018
Meet the Work-Study: Tiffani Johnson, Institutional Advancement Office AssistantTiffani Johnson TCCC Student

Where do you currently live?: Murphy.

What’s your program of study?: Right now I am finishing up my college transfer degree. I recently graduated from the Early College and wanted to finish my associate in arts degree here.

Why did you apply for your position as a work-study?: I wanted the experience and to learn skills that would benefit me in a career setting, so I wanted a job focused on office work.

What are some of your duties in your position?: I do mostly office tasks, but I also have learned a lot about analyzing data and how to compile data using Excel.

Do you have a favorite class or instructor?: I really like Ray Kaylor. His art classes are both fun and instructive.

What are your plans after leaving Tri-County?: I recently accepted a position with the AmeriCorps in Seattle, so I will be moving after I graduate. Ultimately, I want to study social work.

Meet the Student - Fall 2017
 Meet the Work-Study: Krystal Baker, Financial Aid Work-StudyTCCC StudentWhere do you currently live?: Murphy.What’s your program of study?: I am working on my Business Administration degree.What are some of your duties in your position?: I do a lot of filing, labeling, and other office tasks for Katie and Diane.

Do you have a favorite class or instructor?: One class I have really enjoyed in my program so far is OST-130, (Comprehensive Keyboarding) because I love keyboarding.

When the opportunity arose to assist her Student Government Association officers in portraying patriotic TCCC Studentcharacters in a Constitution Day skit, Brooke Crompton, Tri-County Community College esthetics student, jumped at the chance.According to Brooke, she recently moved to the area from Florida with her family. While living there, she was an active volunteer with American Heritage Center for the Arts, where she worked applying stage makeup to actors.Her time there as a makeup artist is what led her to becoming an esthetics student, she said. In just two semesters, she will have explored all aspects of skin care, have a greater understanding of cosmetics, and be eligible for her license to perform services on clients that were out of the scope of her abilities before.Brooke said she plans to finish the esthetics program, become licensed and pursue a career in medical esthetics.
Meet the Student: Leighton Brown, College Transfer. Where do you currently live?: Murphy.College Transfer at TCCCWhy did you choose TCCC?: I was part of the Career and College Promise program in high school and earned nearly 30 college credits before I graduated. But I wasn’t totally sure where I wanted to go after high school. I decided to stay close to home and take some time to decide while I work on my core classes.What is something you’re looking forward to at TCCC this fall?: In high school I played volleyball, so I’m excited about the Intramural Sports program here and look forward to playing volleyball and some of the other sports offered when the semester starts.What are your goals after finishing here?: I want to transfer to a university to pursue my degree in elementary education.
Meet the Student - Spring 2017
Meet the Work-Study: Shawna Oliver, Marketing Work-Study Shawna Oliver TCCCWhere do you currently live?: Peachtree.What’s your program of study?: I’m going to get my degree in College Transfer.What are some of your duties in your position?: I do a lot of office tasks like organization, scanning, shredding, and documentation. My favorite part of my job is my interaction with other students when I get to take over the social media channels for the College.What are your goals after finishing here?: I’d love to get a marketing degree and return here to work.Do you have a favorite class or instructor?: I love Tiffany Goebel, and I’m looking forward to taking Suzann Ledford soon.Why did you choose TCCC?: It was affordable and close to my family. I knew I had friends coming here and I wasn’t ready to leave my support system right after high school.
Meet the Work-Study: Lynette Holloway, Harper Help Desk Work-StudyLynette HollowayLynette HollowayWhere do you currently live?: Hanging Dog.What’s your program of study?: I’m hoping to get my degree in College Transfer.What are some of your duties in your position?: I do a lot of filing, labeling, and other office tasks at the Help Desk. I also help with managing student check-in lists during Registration.What are your goals after finishing here?: My ultimate goal is to do what I can to help save the world. I want to become a teacher and travel internationally helping underprivileged children.Do you have a favorite class or instructor?: Tiffany Goebel and Lee Ann Hodges are some of my favorite instructors I’ve had so far at TCCC.Why did you choose TCCC?: I had friends who decided to come here, and I knew I’d have a good support system with my family so close.
Emily Vandewerker TCCCMeet the Work-Study: Emily Vandewerker, Financial Aid Work-StudyWhere do you currently live?: Hayesville.What’s your program of study?: I’m working on my cosmetology degree.What are some of your duties in your position?: I do a lot of filing, labeling, and other office tasks for Katie and Diane.What are your goals after finishing here?: After this summer, I’m looking at getting my cosmetology license and starting out by getting my foot in the door at local salons.Do you have a favorite class or instructor?: Robin Panter is one of my favorite teachers I’ve had at Tri-County.Why did you choose TCCC?: I’m too close to my family to want to travel far away from them.
Meet the Student - Fall 2016
Allison McClure TCCC StudentMeet the Work-Study: Allison McClure, Business Office Work-StudyWhere do you currently live?: Marble.What’s your program of study?: I’m doing College Transfer right now.What are some of your duties in your position?: I help with filing paperwork and helping with events, just general office tasks.What are your goals after finishing here?: I’d like to transfer to Western Carolina University and work toward becoming an elementary school teacher.Do you have a favorite class or instructor?: Kathy Temple is great! I’ve had her for English 111, 112, and Critical Thinking.
Jennifer Barton EMS Student
Meet the Work-Study: Jennifer Barton, Emergency Medical Science (EMS) Work-StudyWhere are you from?: I’m from Murphy.What’s your program of study?: I’m working on a College Transfer degree.Why did you apply for your current position?: I grew up around the EMS world because my dad was an Emergency Medical Technician and I wanted something to do during the day.What are some of your duties in your position?: I do everything from paperwork to cleaning — basically anything Bryan asks me to do.How long have you attended TCCC?: I was in TCCC’s Career and College Promise program while I was in high school, but this is my first Fall semester here.Do you have a favorite class or instructor?: Hands down Suzann Ledford.
Jack Rateliff TCCC StudentMeet the Work-Study: Jack Rateliff, Office Assistant Work-StudyWhere are you from?: In the January of my sixth grade year, we moved from Gilmer County, Georgia to Murphy.What’s your program of study?: I’d like to study psychology.What are some of your duties in your position?: I do a lot of copying, scanning and filing.How long have you attended TCCC?: This is my first semester here.Do you have a favorite class or instructor?: I really enjoy my Introduction to Computers class with Scott Sherrill.
Kim Legault TCCC StudentMeet the Work-Study: Kim Legault, College and Career Readiness Work-StudyWhere do you currently live?: Hayesville.What’s your program of study?: I’m starting my first semester in the Nursing program.Why did you apply for your current position?: Angie was the first call back to the positions I applied for, because I wanted something to do that was convenient to the College’s location, but also provided a little extra money on the side. This is my second year working for Angie, we clicked so well last year I decided to stay on as her work-study.What are some of your duties in your position?: I help with auditing, filing, and other office tasks.What are your goals after finishing here?: I’d like to go on and get my bachelor’s degree in Nursing after I finish my associate degree here.Do you have a favorite class or instructor?: I really enjoyed Deb Raper’s Nurse Aide I class. She’s very straightforward and a great teacher.
Dallas ManusMeet the Work-Study: Dallas Manus, Welding Work-StudyWhere are you from?: I’m from Hiawassee, Georgia, and I still live there.What’s your program of study?: Welding.Why did you apply for your current position?: I like Welding and it was a way to fill my time between classes and make money on the side.What are some of your duties in your position?: I keep the shop clean and fill tanks, just some hands-on things to keep stuff in order.How long have you attended TCCC?: This is my second year in the Welding program.What are your goals after finishing here?: I’d like to find a job and just travel for a while.
Kensie WhitmoreMeet the Work-Study Student: Kensie Whitmore, Financial Aid Office AssistantWhere are you from?: Chattanooga originally, but I’ve lived most of my life in Murphy.What’s your program of study?: Currently I’m in Medical Assisting, but my ultimate goal is to become an registered nurse.Why did you apply for your current position?: I like the office atmosphere. This is my first real job in an office setting, but I like the work.How long have you attended TCCC?: I started with the Spring 2016 semester and I’ll graduate in 2018.Do you have a favorite instructor or class at TCCC?: Lee Ann Hodges is one of my favorite teachers here.
Jessica Blomgren, a resident of Ranger, Jessica Blomgeren TCCC Studentsaid she enrolled in TCCC’s College Transfer program of study because of the College’s convenient location.“I was new to the area,” said Jessica, a native of New York. “I could work and go to school at the same time. I started off taking classes online, but I found myself wanting more interaction in my education.”One of her favorite parts of being a TCCC student are the talented faculty members at the College.“They make the school and the experience — the teachers do,” she said. “I can’t say there was a class I disliked during my time here.”In the future, Jessica hopes to pursue her passion for art, possibly at one of The Art Institutes around the country.“It’s kind of sad that this is my last go-around,” Jessica said. “I’ve enjoyed my time here.”
Meet the Student - Spring 2016
José Renteria Tri-County Community College StudentJosé Renteria and his family came to Hayesville 10 years ago from Mexico, and when he graduated from Hayseville High School in 2014, he was the first in his family to do so.Originally, José wanted to be a police officer, before he realized he had to balance his education with his job at a local restaurant in Hayesville to help provide for his family. Police officer training hours conflicted with his work schedule, but TCCC’s then brand-new Culinary Arts program didn’t, so he decided to try his hand in the culinary field.When he first met his instructor, Chef Greg Spencer, he immediately knew culinary was where he belonged.José recently was among the first four students to reach the halfway point in the Culinary Arts Program at Tri-County Community College. He was honored in a ceremony where he received his white chef’s hat. He will complete his cumulative capstone dinner, comprised of 7 courses for a panel of judges, on April 28.José said his eventual dream is to open his own authentic Mexican restaurant in Hayesville, and run his own kitchen staff.
Tri-County Community College Cosmetology Student Elena WimpeyFifteen years ago, Elena Wimpey moved to the United States from Russia, and found herself immersed in a culture unfamiliar to her while struggling to learn a new language she could barely speak. She said she found her solace in reading, where she would sit for hours at a time with a Russian-American dictionary and a pile of magazines and teach herself how the English language worked.When she decided to pursue her passion for cosmetology a few years ago, she said she knew Tri-County Community College was the perfect fit for a myriad of reasons: it was local, affordable, and they had an acclaimed cosmetology program. At first she was concerned at the thought of losing time with her children, and about any barriers her less-than-perfect English might pose. At TCCC, however, she found teachers who not only worked to ensure clear communication, but who also supported her every step of the way on her path toward her goal of one day owning her own business.Elena said she is a firm believer in hard work, and her college education at TCCC has been no exception. She recently completed her training in cosmetology and now is finishing her last year to achieve her associate’s degree. At TCCC she has learned from extraordinary teachers, who never became frustrated at her language or cultural barriers and encouraged her to work hard and celebrate her successes.
Dalan Loudermilk Tri-County Community College StudentDalan Loudermilk, a resident of Ranger, is currently studying electrical engineering at
Tri-County Community College.Dalan hopes to transfer to the University of
North Carolina Asheville after completing his associate’s degree in general college transfer to study mechatronics.Calculus is one of Dalan’s favorite subjects at TCCC. He said he picked TCCC because of its location and the opportunity to use his time at TCCC to boost his chances of being accepted to UNCA.
Paul Jenkins Tri-County Community College StudentPaul Jenkins, a native of New Hampshire and current resident of Ranger, is currently studying creative writing and English at Tri-County Community College.Paul said he chose TCCC because it was close to home and an affordable opportunity to gain his associate’s in arts degree.He also said he particularly enjoys Lee Ann Hodges English courses, as well as Ray Kaylor’s art classes, where he gets to hone his artistic skills.
Meet the Student - Spring 2015
Alexis Peterman Tri-County Community College StudentWhile Alexis Peterman hasn’t quite decided what career path she will take, she’s already made a good decision by enrolling at Tri-County Community College (TCCC) to help figure things out.“I know I want to go on to a four-year university,” says Peterman. “I just haven’t yet chosen a major.”In the meantime she’s heading towards an AA degree in science at TCCC, and says her favorite class is Biology.She has two favorite teachers, Joan Ledford and Ronnie Whitener, and says she loves both their classes because both teachers make their classes fun and neither are ever boring.Peterman says she chose TCCC because “I needed to start somewhere and this is close to home and easy to get to.”A first-year student, Peterman is enrolled in the work-study program at TCCC, spending 60 hours per month assisting the Financial Aid Director, Diane Owl.
Truck Driving student David JordanDavid Jordan, who enrolled in the very first group of students to take the new course being offered at Tri-County Community College, in partnership with Alliance Tractor-Trailer Training Centers of America, finished top of his class when the students went to Asheville recently to take their Commercial Drivers License (CDL) exams.“It felt good to do so well on the test,” said Jordan. We had a great class, and great teachers.”He says he particularly enjoyed the teaching of TCCC’s Sandra Paige.“She takes you under her wing and shows you what you need to know,” said Jordan. “She’s a veteran truck driver and it shows.”With Alliance’s guaranteed life-time placement program, and because of the respect Alliance students have in the trucking industry, Jordan believes he will be working soon in the lucrative field of truck driving. He hopes to land one of the short-haul jobs that will keep him home on weekends.He says he chose to come to TCCC because the truck-driving course was here and available at the time he needed work.“I can’t believe how fast I got my CDL,” said Jordan. “Now I’m ready for work.”
Daniel Hartness Student SpotlightDaniel Hartness, 18, a Computer Science major at Tri-County Community College (TCCC) has a definite plan for the future.“I’m going to spend one year at TCCC, transfer to NC State in Raleigh, then come back to either this, or another rural community after graduation, and help people learn to properly use the technologies that surround them,” said Hartness.He’s well on his way. Enrolled in the work-study program at TCCC, he has a job as a lab assistant in the Library and in the Student Computer Support Lab, helping other students deal with the technology that abounds at the College.His favorite course is American Literature and his favorite instructor is Suzanne Ledford.“She really makes the course come alive,” said Hartness.Daniel chose to enroll in TCCC because, “It’s close to home, it’s a good option to save money, and it will prepare me well for my transfer to a four-year university.”If he keeps making wise choices like that, his success is just about guaranteed.
Tri-County Community College student Teresa WaldroupTeresa Waldroup has worked in manufacturing, and only manufacturing, for all of her life. As one of the more than 400 employees that lost their jobs when the Stanley Furniture plant in Robbinsville closed down, she knew she needed to find a more stable career path.She chose to go to Tri-County Community College for guidance, and through the efforts of the Enrollment Management team at TCCC, she decided to enter the field of medicine as a Medical Assistant.Her two favorite classes are Biology and Medical Terminology, but she says she can’t pick a favorite instructor.“They’ve all been tremendous about helping me with anything I need,” said Waldroup.She hopes to graduate from TCCC towards the middle of 2016, then look for work in her newly chosen field.“I’m grateful to TCCC,” said Waldroup. “They’re giving me an education so I can get a better job.

Culinary Art Students at Tri-County Community College

Husband and wife Danny and Sal Key, Culinary Arts majors at Tri-County Community College, worked together for years at the Stanley Furniture plant in Robbinsville. When it closed last year, putting more than 400 people out of work, the Keys not only lost their jobs, but also found they were unqualified for any other positions in the area. The pro-active approach from the enrollment management team at TCCC helped give them a direction, as well as hope for the future.

“We love the Culinary Arts Program and Chef Greg,” said Sal Key. “We never would have been able to manage without the help we got from the college.”

 Ryan Dockery Tri-County Community College StudentRyan Dockery holds the hedge trimmer he uses to perform his work-study duties at Tri-County Community College.When he isn’t assisting in maintenance chores, he attends computer and math classes as a Computer Information TechnologyWeb Technology major.Dockery hopes to land a job in I.T. with the Harrah’s Valley River Casino currently under construction in Murphy.Dockery said he chose to attend TCCC, “so I could have a good future.” He added that the cheaper tuition and the ability to live and learn at home helped make it an easy choice.
Meet the Student - Fall 2014
IMG_7349Mandy Cross is enrolled in the Animal Assisted Interactions Program. She became interested in the program after visiting a presentation held at Tri-County Community College. After completing her degree, Cross hopes to work with the Shriner’s Hospital in South Carolina in their Animal Assisted Interaction Program. Adam MashburnAdam Mashburn is a graduate of Tri-County Community College’s Machining Program. Mashburn is currently enrolled in the College Transfer Program at TCCC where he takes classes on both the Main Campus and the Graham County Center. Mashburn is also currently enrolled in WCU’s Bachelor of Engineering Distance Program. In addition to his academics, he also works full-time for Snap On.
IMG_7317Ashley Bailey is in her first semester of the College Transfer Program at the Graham County Center. Baily plans to continue her college education at a university after graduating from Tri-County Community College. She is the mother of 3 small children and feels enrolling in college has been a new beginning for her family. “I have turned over a new leaf,” Bailey said. matt edwards2Matt Edwards is a student at Robbinsville High School. For the last two years, he has been taking college courses at the Graham County Center through the Career and College Promise Program. Edwards enjoys both the welding and automotive classes
he has been able to take. His favorite type of welding is tig welding. Edwards is grateful for the opportunity to get ahead by taking college courses while still in high school.
IMG_7293Danny West of Robbinsville, NC is in the College Transfer Program of Study. Danny plans to continue his education at ECU or WCU after completing his Associates Degree at Tri-County Community College. Danny would like to complete his Bachelor’s degree in History and become a Historian. “The Graham County Center is very convenient for me to attend and I like knowing I’ll have all the basic classes out of the way so that I can concentrate on the classes for my history degree which I will greatly enjoy.” TeesateskieRebecca Teesateskie is a senior at Robbinsville High School. For the last three years, she has been taking college courses at the Graham County Center through the Career and College Promise Program. Teesateskie plans to continue her education at Western Carolina University, majoring in Hospitality and Tourism. Teesateskie enjoys her college classes and appreciates the opportunity to get ahead on her college education.
DSC_021645 year old native of South Plainfield, New Jersey, Jerry Janasiak, Jr., aka “Jerry the Dude,” has been around the Tri-County Community College campus for nearly two years, first earning his High School Equivalency diploma in May, and now as a student in the welding diploma program. IMG_7152Former Appalachian State Mountaineer Andrew Nichols has returned home to Tri-County Community College to continue his college education. The 23 year old native of Murphy,
North Carolina, spent a year and a half at App State. The former history major decided it would be better and more cost effective to come back home and get his College Transfer – Associate of Arts degree from Tri-County Community College.
IMG_7151Davis Gentry is in the College Transfer program and is working toward an Associate in Science degree.“I hope to transfer to Young Harris College in two years and major in physics with a minor in astronomy,” he said.When asked why he chose Tri-County he gave a number of reasons. “It is easier to attend classes and I am saving money by going to my local community college taking the same classes as I would at a four year college,” he said. “One of the big reasons I wanted to go to Tri-County was because I felt I wasn’t quite ready to accept the personal responsibility I would need to be an effective student if I was on my own at a four year college." IMG_7170Born in Murphy and a graduate of Murphy High School, 18 year old Chase Brown is working on his Criminal Justice degree.When asked why he wanted to attend Tri-County Community College Chase said, “I really didn’t want to go away just yet. It is just easier and cheaper to take the core courses I will need down the road here at TCCC than at a more expensive four year college.”When asked about what he hopes to do when he leaves TCCC Chase wants to continue pursuing his four year degree at Western Carolina University
and wants to become a Wildlife Officer.

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