Getting to know ACTC’s faculty
June 5, 2020
This is the ninth installment in a series of employee spotlights for Ashland Community
and Technical College to highlight how faculty and staff are helping students while
Despite the change in delivery method, ACTC’s employees are dedicated to providing the best support possible to its students.
Name: Wendy Foster(welsh)
City of Residence: Ashland
Education: BFA (Painting and illustration): Savannah College of Art and Design (1990); Art Education: Armstrong Atlantic State (1997); MFA( Painting) Georgia Southern University (2004); M.S. in Higher Education EPE Educational Policy Studies and Evaluation: University of Kentucky (2018)
Role(s) at ACTC and how you interact with students: I teach art
How long have you been with ACTC? 13 years
What are your favorite things about working at ACTC? Students and talking about active learning and art. Oh, and the library, we have a great library!
Special accomplishments while working at ACTC?
2013-present Artist of the month program: Crabbe Elementary Bring art to 5th graders every month.
2014 Golden Artistry Boyd County Public Library
2012 First Among Peers award, for excellence in teaching. ACTC
2012 National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Scholar. Received a summer scholar grant to study and participate in Landmarks of American History and Culture Program studying New Mexico, and Georgia O’Keeffe.
2011 Teaching and Learning Excellence Award, for excellence in teaching.
2010 Kentucky Foundation for Women grant winner. Received a 3,700.00 grant from the KFW to work with women in a domestic violence shelter. Doing weekly classes using collage to help them explore their feelings and express emotions through art.
2009 IMADE project. Worked with local preschools to bring the arts to every preschool child, designing and teaching art projects to three and four-year-old classrooms in Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky. Taught two one-day workshops for teachers.
2008 Puzzle Peace Project. Created the project and worked with local school and community leaders to create a large community puzzle representing how each individual can create positive change in their community.
2008 BELL Scholar One of three KCTCS professors chosen for British Education in Living and Learning a three-week study in Oxford, England. Studied the work of J.M.W Turner and the Pre-Raphaelites. Oxford and London, England
2008 First Among Peers award, for excellence in teaching at ACTC
Who is your biggest role model and why: My Mom ( I know lots of people say this, and it sounds cliché, but she is fantastic), she is a genuinely independent woman before being an independent woman became as possible. She has lived her life, setting an example of kindness, intelligence, and independence. She is truly a woman that other women should look to instead of singers and Hollywood actors. She worked much of her adult life caring for others, and now in her retirement, she bought land and cares for unwanted animals, mainly horses.
If the students I work with learn one thing, I hope it is… If they work and they do their honest best, they will succeed. And they don’t have to fall into the roles that society says. The oppression of women and toxic masculinity doesn’t have to be their fate. And don't do things because others will say you are great, do things because it's the right thing to do. Learn to be intrinsically motivated.
And creativity is the number one human resource, and they should use theirs for good. (obviously one is not a number I understand when it comes to what I hope students learn)
Name: Mourine Smith
City of Residence: Morehead, Ky.
College education/degrees (with years): Associates in Applied Science 2010; Diploma\Certificate in Cosmetology 2009
Role(s) at ACTC and how you interact with students: Assistant professor\cosmetology coordinator. I teach and work with students that are passionate about our beauty industry. I assist in helping students become work ready when they pass their state board exams and help introduce salon managers and owners to our students.
How long have you been with ACTC? I was a substitute instructor in March 2015 before coming on full-time in August of 2015.
What are your favorite things about working at ACTC? I love that I get to work with students first hand to help them achieve their goal of becoming a Cosmetologist. It’s a blessing to be a part of their journey and to see them continue their success even after they graduate!
Special accomplishments while working at ACTC? I have completed several certifications within the field of cosmetology. First is the Milady Educator Certification both Master and Advanced Master. I completed the certification through Barbicide which is the disinfectant that we use. I have also completed the Matrix Color Certification online. Most recently I have received the Olaplex Certification online.
How would your co-workers describe you? I hope they would describe me as a go getter, a fun-loving person, a team player, and very passionate about my students and the beauty industry.
Who is your biggest role model and why: I would have to say over the last 10 years my role model has been my mom. She has shown me how to love, fight, and to be strong! She fought a long hard 7-year battle of ovarian cancer. Even though she did not win the battle she won the fight! She showed me how to stay strong even in the weakest moments!
If the students I work with learn one thing, I hope it is… To show compassion towards every person in their chair. To express their passion and love for our industry and strive to do the best they can in every aspect of their lives.
How are you assisting students during the pandemic and what should students know about your area of service during this time? During this trying time I am available anytime remotely and speak to my students on a daily basis. If they need anything they know they can email me anytime.
Name: Susan Wallace-Vernatter
City of Residence: South Point, Ohio
College education/degrees (with years): Associate of Science in Nursing 1987 at Ashland Community College. Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Management at Bellevue University.
Role(s) at ACTC and how you interact with students: I teach lab skills to students in the Practical Nursing Program and arrange for clinical experiences. I organize and arrange the lab for specific skills we are practicing so students can practice on mannequins prior to people. I work with students in clinical settings and take them to facilities so they can learn the setting and how to provide patient care on real people. I am part of a team effort to educate bedside nurses. I serve on several committees and represent ACTC at the KCTCS System as Senator at Large. I have been a nurse practicing in the emergency department for many years and this has been a new learning experience for me. Like beginning a new career, but I have loved the journey.
How long have you been with ACTC? I have been at ACTC since 2012 as adjunct clinical faculty and took a fulltime position in 2013.
What are your favorite things about working at ACTC? I love my students! We get to know our students so well in the PN program. I make it a point to learn about them personally, what their struggles may be and their strengths. Nursing school is difficult and sometimes our students are not prepared for the rigorous curriculum. I make it a point to be there in the mornings before class begins to greet and encourage them.
Special accomplishments while working at ACTC? Being nominated for the Teaching Excellence Award is a big honor. I believe the biggest honor has been being asked by the students in some classes to speak at their pinning ceremony. Working with a group as a team and being part of the team has made me happy. I have also been promoted at each opportunity. I am currently an associate professor.
How would your co-workers describe you? No nonsense. Sometimes very emotional and passionate.
Who is your biggest role model and why: My mom is my biggest role model and my biggest fan! She is the kindest, most compassionate person I know. My mom is 88 years young and still strong and independent yet sweet and naive. She has set the best example of “always doing the right thing” that I have ever known. She never just said it, she lived it!
If the students I work with learn one thing, I hope it is…to believe in themselves! People can do anything if they believe they can do it and are willing to work to achieve.
How are you assisting students during the pandemic and what should students know about your area of service during this time? I am contacting them regularly. I am still grading skills done via YouTube videos and giving them my input on how to improve or what a great job they did. I am still attending clinical with them all day on Monday and Tuesday while we learn how to care for patients with specific conditions through simulation. They should know that this has not been easy for this technologically challenged older lady to learn to use various programs and that I miss them all in person very much!