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November 14, 2018
ACTC Chi Epsilon Honor Society is hosting its second annual children’s musical talent show to benefit area youth on Saturday, Dec. 8 in the J.B. Sowards Theatre at the College Drive Campus. Carols for a Cause will be from 6-8 p.m. and a portion of the evening’s proceeds will benefit Hopes and Dreams, a local organization focused on helping children with special needs. The competition is open to students or groups of students in grades 3-12 to perform vocal or instrumental seasonal and holiday music. Registration is $15 per individual or group and the first 20 registrations will be scheduled to perform. Others will be placed on a wait list and refunded if they do not get to perform. Registration deadline is Nov. 26. First place will receive $100; second place will receive $75; third place will receive $50. All audience participants will receive one voting ballot. The ballot will ask for the top three acts (regardless of age, performance type, or individual or group). Only ballots with three votes will be counted. Ballots will be collected and tabulated at the conclusion of all acts. Ties will be awarded an equal prize amount, but only 3 total monetary awards will be given. Tickets to view the competition are $2 and the sale starts at 4:30 p.m. the day of the competition. Advance ticket sales (maximum of 10) is available for each paid participant/registrant. No refunds are available on advance ticket sales. Concessions will also be available for purchase by cash or check only. A donation box will also be available for additional cash donations, which will be given directly to Hopes and Dreams. There will be an intermission half-way through the competition and at the end before the winners are announcement. At intermission, the children who participated in the first portion will be available to join their families in the audience. The children who perform in the second half will need to report to the art room. Full-time ACTC staff will be stationed in the room where children will be waiting to enter the stage (art room on first floor). Crayons, coloring pages, games, etc. will be provided to help entertain the younger children. They should leave any valuable possessions with parents or guardians. If a parent or guardian would like to sit with a participant they are welcome to do so. There will be an open rehearsal in the theater from 4-8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 7. The day of the competition, check-in and sound check will be from 4-5 p.m. To register or for more information about competition rules, contact Michelle Gollihue at 606-326-2045 or
November 5, 2018
Ashland Community and Technical College has been recognized as one of the best colleges offering online learning in the nation by the Community for Accredited Online Schools ( As a leading resource for campus and online learning, the site released its annual ranking for the 2018-2019 school year, honoring Ashland Community and Technical College multiple times for its excellence in online learning. “We are appreciative of this recognition for our online programs,” said Dr. Larry Ferguson, ACTC president and CEO. “It is a testament to the dedication to excellence by our faculty and staff.” To qualify, schools must be regionally or nationally accredited, hold a not-for-profit status in the United States, and offer at least one online degree. Schools were then ranked based on their quality, affordability, flexibility, and degrees granted to their students. “We wanted to highlight schools like Ashland Community and Technical College who are providing exceptional online education experiences for their students,” said Doug Jones, CEO and founder of the Community for Accredited Online Schools. “These schools continue to uphold rigorous accreditation standards and show an overall commitment to maximizing student success.”
November 5, 2018
Ashland Community and Technical College faculty and staff had much to celebrate at its professional development day on Oct. 5. Faculty Excellence Awards nominations were made in the following categories: • Business, Public Service and Technology — David Childress, Randy Cullum and Janet Thompson • Math and Natural Sciences — Rick Conley, Ashley Cox, Mary Cat Flath, Frances Martin and Hossein Mohebbian • Manufacturing, Transportation and Industrial Technology — Woody Fosson and Shannon McCarty • Humanities and Social Science — James Coy Hall, Jonathon Joy, Debra Justice and Laura Tussey • Health Sciences — Deena Howerton, Natalie Robinson and Susan Wallace-Vernatter One nominee from each category was chosen as First Among Peers. Those awardees were Janet Thompson, Mary Cat Flath, Woody Fosson, Debra Justice and Deena Howerton. Woody Fosson was chosen at the President’s First Among Firsts. Faculty Excellence Award nominees for adjunct instructors, beginning with the First Among Peers winner, were: Lisa Henderson, Judith Cox, Noel Davis, Colleen Griffiths, Pam Porter, Carolyn Preston and Dale Queen. Staff Excellence Award nominees for support staff were Sarah Klein, Rose French and Roxanne Neal. Nominees in the administrative staff category were Megan Horne, Jason Salyers, Karen Coburn, Robin Lewis and Ron McDavid. Sarah Klein and Megan Horne were the winners. Jennifer Allen and Linday Moore II reached educational milestones and were also recognized at the professional development day. Allen earned a Bachelor of General Business Degree from Morehead State University. Moore earned a Master of Nursing Degree from Indiana Wesleyan University. Other ACTC staff and faculty were recognized for reaching milestones of employment at the college: 5 years — Susan Wallace-Vernatter and Emma Mullins 10 years — Terry Burton, Lori West, Ashley Skidmore and Pam Miller 15 years — Ruth Leone, Jack Johnson, Sara Brown, Ron McDavid and Curtis Bowman 20 years — David Childress, Jackie McAfee and Kellie Allen 25 years — Dale Thornton 30 years — Ralfred Hall 35 years — Jesse Silver and Farnoosh Rafiee 45 years — Danny Bailey
October 22, 2018
Unseasonably warm weather made for a perfect day to tee off during Ashland Community and Technical College’s golf scramble on Monday, Oct. 8. This was the fifth annual event, which raises money for ACTC’s foundation that administers student scholarships. Proceeds from this year’s event at Bellefonte Country Club, brought total earnings for student scholarships through the golf scramble to a milestone $100,000 since the event began. “We are so thankful for the leadership that Dr. Bruce Schaffer has provided in working with our Foundation Board and sponsors to make our annual golf event a huge success,” Dr. Larry Ferguson, ACTC president and CEO, said. “Through their efforts we are providing opportunities for scholarships that will change students’ lives.” Funds were raised through team registration, 25 hole sponsors and five corporate sponsors: Clark’s Pump-N-Shop, AEP Kentucky Power, Karlene Putnam and Jay (John) and Diane Hannah, Braidy Industries and Community Trust Bank. Twenty teams participated with Marathon Refinery’s team taking first place. Team members were Jeff Porter, Dave Rice, Greg Jackson and Kenny Patrick. DESCO Credit Union took second place, with Clark’s Pump N Shop taking third place. It was a great day with beautiful weather to play golf,” said Brooke Seasor, director of resource development at ACTC. “Because of this event, we are seeing students’ lives change with the help of all our golfers, hole sponsors and corporate sponsors.”
September 25, 2018
Kearsten Peters, of Greenup County, was awarded the Rick Ritchason Memorial Scholarship by Build Ashland. The Ashland Community and Technical College freshman was chosen to receive the $3,000 scholarship because of her extensive volunteer service. Wes Thompson, board member of Build Ashland, said Peters’ application was “impeccable” and imbodied the meaning behind the scholarship, which was created in memory of Rick Ritchason and his commitment to community service. “He was the embodiment of volunteerism,” Thompson said. “He was with everything from Build Ashland to Ashland in Motion, Summer Motion, River Cities Harvest. If you went anywhere you ran in to Rick. Rick was just and endlessly positive person. When he passed away, we decided we wanted to do something to honor him and this scholarship idea came up.” During her high school years, Peters was actively involved in community service activities organized by her school and those she organized herself. She has volunteered decorating and serving meals in nursing homes, worked with a backpack program, bell ringing for the Salvation Army, wrote letters to soldiers, coordinated efforts to make a Veterans Day video for her community, participated in the LEO Club and National Honor Society, raised money for a camp for the blind and deaf, helped with Toys for Tots, volunteered with vacation Bible school, among many others. “I just think it’s fun,” she said. “I think it is an awesome opportunity, especially for me, to go out and get to meet new people. And I get to help people while I’m at it, so that’s always rewarding.” Peters is attending ACTC to get her Associate in Arts degree and plans to transfer to a four-year university to student marketing and advertising. She said she looked forward to continuing her community service efforts throughout college. Thompson said Build Ashland fundraise for another scholarship next year. Those interested in donating to the Rick Ritchason Memorial Scholarship fund can visit and click on the donate button. Donations to the scholarship should be marked with a “scholarship” notation. A link to scholarship application is also on the Build Ashland website. To be eligible for the scholarship, the student must be a resident of Boyd or Greenup County, be active in community service, have a GPA of at least 2.5 and plan to attend ACTC. In addition to the scholarship application, applicants are also required to submit a typed essay or video documenting their community service involvement.
September 20, 2018
The fifth annual Tri-State Conference on Diversity and Inclusion will be Friday, Sept. 28 at Marshall University. The theme of this year’s conference, co-sponsored by Ashland Community and Technical College, “Intersectionality: Celebrating the Difference Among Us.” Community leaders, educators, college and high school students, counselors and area residents are invited to the conference to celebrate individuals from different backgrounds, experiences and perspectives and to share dialogue and engage in critical thinking exercises to enhance multicultural awareness. Laura Tussey, associate professor and program coordinator of ACTC’s Appalachian studies program, will help present a workshop called A Conversation with Diverse Women about Being Students, Professors and University Administrators. Other presenters on the panel are Dr. Alicia Chavira-Prado of Ohio University-Athens, Dina Lopez of Ohio University Southern, Dr. Nancy Preston of Morehead State University, Dr. Ellen Rodrigues of West Virginia University and Dr. Chantel Weisenmulller of West Virginia University. Tussey and her fellow presenters recently co-authored a textbook about female faculty members in higher education, specifically in Appalachia, called, “The Feminist Alliance Project in Appalachia: Minoritized Experiences of Women Faculty and Administrators in Higher Education.” The book, an idea that blossomed from a previous year’s Tri-state Diversity conference, illustrates the minoritized experiences of women faculty and administrators in higher education and highlights Appalachia as a geographic and cultural region, a sector in academia that still remains relatively ignored in mainstream feminist studies. The book is based on autobiographical and autoethnographic narratives of diverse women who discuss their similar and unique forms of oppression as students and as professionals in the academic workplace within Appalachia. Registration is $40 per person or $15 per student (secondary/post secondary). The fee includes continental breakfast, luncheon, workshops, panel discussion and a Certificate of Cultural Competency. Continuing Education Unit (CEU) and university credits are available for additional fees. To register online, visit
September 18, 2018
Ashland Community and Technical College Workforce Solutions is offering a course on leadership development for emergency response supervisors. The course will be from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Oct. 8-12 on the Roberts Drive Campus. The cost is $259. Instructor for the course is Beverly Sharp, ACTC’s criminal justice program coordinator. The purpose of the course is to develop leadership skills for emergency response staff that have been recently promoted or demonstrate the potential for promotion possibilities. Oftentimes, internal promotions pose difficult challenges. This course is designed to not only develop leadership and supervisory skills, but also to develop the necessary skills to effectively deal with internal agency challenge, legal issues, personnel challenges and recognizing job stressors. Although the course would be beneficial to any leadership or supervisory staff, there will be specific material as it applies to those working in public safety. For more information or to register for the course, contact Workforce Solutions at or 606-326-2072.
September 17, 2018
ACTC is once again offering child care provider trainings. Call 606-326-2130 or 606-326-2072 or visit to register online.
September 13, 2018
If you want to get a taste of what Ashland Community and Technical College’s culinary arts students do each day, stop by their café for lunch. Located on the Technology Drive Campus and open to the community, the Culinary Café is open from 11 a.m.-12:45 p.m. Monday-Thursday and is operated by students in the program. Each day, students prepare a made-from-scratch à la carte menu that features regional and international dishes, such as fried chicken with mashed potatoes, gyros, pulled pork, bourbon glazed salmon or jerk chicken. In addition to each day’s main dish and dessert options, there are also burgers, chicken sandwiches and French fries, as well as a full salad bar.
September 12, 2018
ACTC’s welding program was named Top 3 in the nation in a ranking for America’s Best College for Vocational Certificates by Washington Monthly. According to Washington Monthly, a Washington, D.C.,-based magazine, the rankings were created using information from the U.S. Department of Education’s gainful employment database. WM selected the 12 most common undergraduate certificate programs (welding, medical office assistant, etc.) and ranked the colleges that offer them by the median earnings of their students three years after graduation. The data also shows the median debt-to-earnings ratios, annual debt payments, estimated total debt, and outcome under gainful employment—pass, at risk or fail—for the schools. The 10 best and 10 worst performing schools for each program were published in its September/October issue. “The success of a welding program is not what you’re teaching, but how you relate to the students that ensures success,” said Curtis Bowman, ACTC’s welding program coordinator. Complete rankings are available online at
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