Educators of the Year
Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College recognized two employees who have gone above and beyond in serving the college community with the college’s inaugural Presidential Awards.
David Odom, engineering design technology program coordinator, was named Faculty of the Year, and Youlanda Johnson, administrative assistant to the vice president of business affairs, was named Staff of the Year.
They were recognized during the college’s summer faculty/staff meeting held in July via Zoom.
The Faculty of the Year Award honors faculty members who have demonstrated an overall impact or improvement in student outcomes at the college.
The Staff of the Year Award honors staff members who have demonstrated a commitment to the college’s mission and had a significant impact on their department or division.
Odom, who has been at OCtech since 2007, received his associate degree in engineering graphics from the college in 1980. He earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Indiana State University in 2015 and a master’s in engineering management from Arkansas State University in 2018.
Prior to joining the faculty at OCtech, Odom worked for Magnum Venus Products as a piping consultant for a new pipe fabrication plant in Romania, and as a piping and process equipment inspector with New York City’s Department of Environmental Protection.
“David Odom really understands the importance of adding flexible course options to a program,” Assistant Vice President of Academic Affairs Richard Murphy said. “Many of David’s students work, and it is a challenge for them to attend classes the same time each day. He has created online content and step-by-step tutorials that allow students to access these resources at any time. He has also structured the program so that students may work ahead and at their own pace. He also maintains an open lab for maximum flexibility for students,” Murphy said.
Johnson, who received a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Benedict College in 1993, has worked at OCtech for 27 years. Prior to that, she worked for the Internal Revenue Service. She was nominated for the Staff of the Year honor for her work ordering, managing, storing and distributing personal protective equipment during COVID-19.
“Last year, when the pandemic hit and we saw a need for someone to coordinate our PPE supplies campus-wide, I turned to Youlanda for help. She agreed to take on that role,” Vice President of Business Affairs Kim Huff said. “Youlanda set up a storage room as a PPE supply room, and she and (procurement manager) Scarlet Geddings worked together to get supplies ordered and maintain inventories. She also spent many hours distributing supplies campus-wide.”
“I know it turned into a much bigger job than she ever anticipated. I am thankful for Youlanda and other employees who stepped up during this crazy time to help our college,” Huff said.