WNCC Alumni & Friends Newsletter Summer 2015 - Page 4

Western Nebraska Community College Alumni Newsletter FACULTY SPOTLIGHT KENT HARVEY Coffee with Kent, written by Bradley Brown, current WNCC student Having a cup of coffee with Kent Harvey is impossible. He knows so many people that no matter the time or day someone is always coming by to say “hi” or talk to him. Sometimes in life it’s a struggle to find our purpose but for Kent, it was simple—he chose to go to college. While taking a night class at Chadron State he met Roger Green, a man who would change his life forever. They become close friends and Roger Green persuaded Kent to teach at WNCC. So started a satisfying and lengthy 38 year teaching career at WNCC. He has impacted over 10,000 students in that time and he will tell anyone he had the best job in town. Kent has had many successes in his teaching career. For him the key to success is “don’t quit in everything” and to “remain interested in life.” Kent has many stories but one in particular illustrates the impact Kent has made. He recalls a student who always came to class, sat in the back and failed the first mid-term exam. “At that point, I didn’t think too much of it, but then she failed the next test, so I asked her to see me after class.” Through that conversation Kent discovered the student could not read. He could have told her to drop the class and that she wasn’t cut out for college, but he didn’t - he set her up with a reading tutor and helped her learn how to read. This student went on to complete her GED and continue taking classes at WNCC. Kent brings great energy to everything he does and it’s impossible not to like the guy, as evidenced by all the interruptions during our interview. So if you ever decide to have a cup of coffee with Kent, be prepared for all the interruptions, but in the end it will be worth it. PROGRAM SPOTLIGHT POWERLINE During the 2015-16 school year, WNCC will celebrate the 10 year anniversary of the Powerline Construction and Maintenance Technology program, located on the Alliance Campus. “The Powerline program is a hidden gem of technical trades,” commented instructor Ed Salazar. Salazar began at WNCC in September of 2014 after 16 years of experience in the energy industry and member of the International Brotherhood Electrical Workers (IBEW) 111. The success of the Powerline program can be attributed to a strong course curriculum focused on the needs of the industry and expert advisors that support the college. Bi-annually an advisory committee comprised of industry professionals consult WNCC staff and faculty on new technology, regulations, and best practices so that WNCC students are prepared for work in the field. In just 12 months students can earn a diploma in Powerline Construction & Maintenance Technology, or complete an Associate of Occupational Studies (AOS) in 15 months. This career is in high demand and offers great wages as well. The U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that in 2012, the median pay for Powerline Installers and Repairers was $58,210 per year. Jobs for Powerline Installers and Repairers are projected to grow by 7% in the next seven years. For more information, contact Admissions at 308.635.6010 or email admissions@wncc.edu.