Congratulations to the South Carolina Technical Education Association's Educators of the Year!
Three OCtech employees will be recognized as oustanding educators during the South Carolina Technical Education Association's (SCTEA) Annual Conference. These individuals, Cindy Boyleston, Mike Morris and William Hair were selected by their OCtech peers in the categories of Support Staff, Faculty and Administrator.
Support Staff: Cindy Boyleston
Cindy Boyleston, Administrative Assistant to the Vice President of Student Services, joined Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College in 2004. Cindy began her career at OCtech at the cashier’s desk in the Business Office. She has always loved working with people and knew it would be a perfect fit. She then went on to work in the Career Training & Development Department before joining Student Services.
Cindy works diligently every day to ensure that the Student Services Department is always equipped to serve offering students the most up to date information. She is often recognized outside of the college for her helpfulness and positive attitude.
Cindy can often be spotted wearing her OCtech t-shirt and nametag around town. Cindy says treating everyone with respect and a smile is of utmost importance to her. Her main goal is “to help students with their classes and to see every one of them walk across the stage to receive their degree.” She has even had students call her at home.
Cindy is dedicated to the College within the realm of her regular everyday job duties, but she also shows her dedication by being involved in the College’s community events. She supports Relay for Life, the Orangeburg Technical College Foundation and the United Way through the College’s annual campaign. She has also spearheaded the Team OCtech Pets for Relay and helped with the Fine Wines event. Cindy also shows her support for the Gladiators, the College’s football team, by displaying their wins on the marquee for the public to learn more about the team.
Always looking for ways to broaden her knowledge in order to help students as much as possible, Cindy attends financial aid training, various computer classes and enjoys exploring Microsoft Office programs, such as Excel and PowerPoint, to maximize ways she can perform her job functions. Cindy is also a member of SCTEA.
Her positive attitude and approachability qualifies Cindy as an advocate of the goals and philosophy of OCtech. She is always willing to help students and colleagues. Students who graduated several years ago still approach Cindy and thank her for always being helpful and treating them with respect. Her love for helping people also carries over into her personal life. She is very active in her church and was the Children’s Director for 9 years. She is certified in CEF, Child Evangelism Fellowship.
Faculty: Mike Morris
Mike Morris, Instructor for Machine Tool Technology (MTT), joined Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College in 1993. Mike loves to work with his hands and enjoys working on old cars, tractors and woodworking. His passion for machines began when he was 17 years old working at a local textile mill. At lunchtime, he would watch the machinist make tools and it quickly became a fascination of his. At 18, he was placed in the machine shop and excelled so fast that they paid to send him to night classes at the College.
After graduating and a successful career at a local company, Mike returned to OCtech with an apprenticeship program and soon became a full time instructor. He is proud that he is able to take his passion for machines and share with others. Student success is his number one priority and he feels a great sense of accomplishment when he sees them move from novice to experienced students in just two years. He continues to develop professionally by completing yearly training courses such as Computer Numerical Control, Statewide Technical College Peer Review for Machine Tool Instructors and Project Lead the Way.
Mike continuously promotes the College in the community. He is an Advisory Board Member for three different vocational schools and presents at numerous career day events and job fairs. He works closely with area high school administrators and guidance counselors and also holds open houses and tours for parents of prospective students.
He enjoys seeing former students out in the community and loves to hear how well they are doing. Many former students are in management positions now. Mike often helps his students with resume preparation and arranges job interviews for them. He wants them to be as prepared as possible for the real world. Mike’s students know his door is always open and he is available for tutoring after class and during office hours. He supports the goals and philosophy of the College by encouraging diversity in the MTT department. He supports female enrollment and has a diverse group of students varying in cultural background and age. Mike enjoys brainstorming ideas among his diverse group of students.
Mike is a well-respected member of the faculty. He believes that “you get respect from your colleagues by showing them respect.” According to Mike, we need to get “back to the basics, thank people when they do for you. Please, thank you, you’re welcome are all things we were taught as children. Our parents taught us manners for a reason.”
Administrator: Dr. William Hair
Dr. William Hair joined Orangeburg Calhoun Technical College in 2004. He currently serves as the Dean of Arts and Science and is also an Agriculture and Biology Instructor. He chairs the Course Quality Assessment Committee, a campus-wide committee that evaluates the confines and qualities of the College’s curriculum.
William is a lifetime resident of the community and works diligently to promote the College. Working with the Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College Foundation, he assists with events that promote and market the College and raise funds for scholarships. He was also involved in the successful implementation of the Middle College which now has over 500 students.
Serving as Interim Vice President of Academic Affairs for 2 months, William was responsible for projections of new programs of study and courses, development of an enrollment action plan and addressing faculty and staff needs. Under his direction, the math department implemented a redesign project that has the potential for redefining both developmental and degree mathematics instruction. As a result, the College established a ninety station math redesign lab.
William is an extremely effective communicator. He ensures faculty and staff understand how the work they do every day aligns with the College and its goals. He currently supervises all aspects of the Associate of Arts and Science Degree transfer programs. Under his leadership, the degree programs have expanded bridge and two-plus-two offerings to both public and private colleges and universities, including University of South Carolina, Clemson University, The Citadel and South Carolina State University. His past connections with higher learning institutions have brought about collaborative K-16 efforts and William has also played an integral role in the implementation of an advisor/advisee relationship at the College that has resulted in every student having an individualized, electronic graduation plan.
William also wants to see his colleagues grow and develop. He works to reward employees and hones their leadership qualities by delegating responsibilities where applicable. He believes that, “holding people accountable is a quality that ensures forward progression of the College.” He utilizes best practices and his research on leadership to not only further his growth as an instructor and manager, but also to encourage the personal growth and development of his faculty. By encouraging faculty to go above and beyond, William assisted in the development of Supplemental Instruction (SI) Learning. SI learning aids with peer tutoring for students in courses with normally low success rates.
An innovative manager who has earned respect both inside and outside the College, William’s positive attitude, work ethic and ability to be fair in all situations, has made him a leader among his peers. His ability to address concerns and provide solutions is recognized by College leaders. His contributions helped Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College attain Leader College status in the Achieving the Dream network. Outside of the College, he serves as a Deacon of First Baptist Church of St. Mathews and also sits on the Long Range Planning Committee that oversees the remodeling of church facilities.