OCtech Honors Three Educators of the Year

Three Orangeburg Calhoun Technical College faculty/staff members have been honored as the College’s Educators of the Year and will be recognized at the South Carolina Technical Education Association (SCTEA) meeting February 19 – 21 in Myrtle Beach.  SCTEA is a professional association of technical education personnel and others interested in post-secondary technical education.

Richard Murphy, Dean of the Computer, Engineering and Advanced Manufacturing Division, is the College’s outstanding administrator; Williette Waring Berry, Criminal Justice and Paralegal Program Coordinator and Instructor, is the outstanding faculty member; and Myra Brown, Student Services Program Coordinator, is the outstanding staff honoree.

Murphy, an OCtech graduate, joined the College’s faculty in 2008 as the Electronic Instrumentation Technology Instructor and Program Coordinator.  Bringing 22 years of industry experience to the classroom, Richard quickly gains the respect of students.  He finds it rewarding to assist students in choosing a program of study that will equip them with the knowledge and skills needed to take advantage of the resurgence of manufacturing in the United States and particularly in South Carolina.  “The best part of my job here is working with students as they select the programs that best suit their interests and begin new careers,” says Richard.

He has the unique opportunity to view programs in the division from the perspective of an Instructor, Program Coordinator and Dean.  Within each program in the division, he sees a focus on quality instruction, a commitment to keeping pace with changing technology, and a personal commitment to each student.  He assures prospective students that regardless of the program of study they choose, they will learn their skills working with the latest technology and industry standard equipment available.

Williette Waring Berry joined the College’s faculty in 2003.  She is enthusiastic about her work and says that “Teaching is my first love when it comes to OCtech.  It is all about the students I teach – wanting them to strive for excellence and achieve far more than they could ever have imagined.”

She is a well-respected member of the faculty and has participated in many College committees during her tenure at OCtech.  Currently, Williette serves as the Faculty Council Chair for the OCtech faculty organization.   She has also served on the Advising Committee, the Faculty Performance Management System Committee, the Curriculum Committee, and the Student Appeals Committee. She was the graduation speaker for the College’s fall 2013 Adult Education program.

Outside of OCtech, Williette is involved in many organizations.  She is a member of the South Carolina and Orangeburg County Bar Associations and works with the Guardian ad Litem program for Orangeburg and Calhoun Counties.  She is also an active member and First Vice President of the Orangeburg Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

A graduate of Wake Forest University School of Law, Williette has practiced Family, Real Estate, Personal Injury and Probate law for over 17 years in her hometown of Holly Hill as well as in Charleston and Orangeburg.  She also earned a Certificate in Higher Education Administration/Leadership from the University of South Carolina.

Myra Brown’s career in Student Services spans more than twenty-four years.  Prior to joining OCtech as a Counselor in 2010, Myra spent 20 years in Student Services at Piedmont Technical College.  Through the years, she has been involved in many aspects of student services and has worked as a recruiter, admission counselor, personal/academic/career counselor, academic advisor, job placement specialist, test administrator, career specialist and health science admission counselor.

“I enjoy hearing why our students have chosen this time in their lives to begin their college experiences and why they chose OCtech.  I also enjoy engaging our students in the decision making process regarding their programs of study and their course selections,” says Myra.

Myra’s willingness to help others is also evidenced by her volunteer work at the College and in her community.  She participated in OCtech’s Day of Service by helping at the Samaritan House and the Orangeburg-Calhoun Free Medical Clinic.  As a former member of Buelah United Methodist Church, she worked on service projects, prepared meals for the needy, and assisted with the church’s barbeque and bazaar.  She also works with others to keep the Sandy Run community litter-free by volunteering to pick-up trash along the highways in the community.

Myra finds it a pleasure to work not only with a great group of students but to also work alongside a close-knit group of faculty and staff committed to helping the next generation reach their educational goals.

Brown earned an undergraduate degree from Lander College and a Master’s degree in Guidance and Higher Education from Clemson University.

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