Gaston & Catawba

College and university news

Belmont Abbey College

Carolina Pro Musica: Period ensemble Carolina Pro Musica will present “So Longs the Soul” at 8 p.m. Feb. 9 the Abbey Basilica at Belmont Abbey College. The program will feature verses from “The Lamentations of the Prophet Jeremiah,” arias by J.S. Bach and instrumental works by Marcello and Veracini.

Carolina Pro Music features period instruments including an 18th century flute called a traverso, recorder, viola de gamba, chamber organ and voice.

Tickets are $16 adults, $8 students and seniors, and are available at Reservations also may be made by calling 704-334-3468.

Open house: Belmont Abbey College will host a half-day open house 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. March 28.

Prospective students can tour campus, talk with current students and faculty, learn about financial aid, meet with admissions counselors, attend an optional mass and get to know other prospective students.

For information, call the Admissions Office at 888-222-0110.


Funds available for GED testing: The Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute College and Career Readiness Division recently announced that funds are available to cover student fees for both the GED high school equivalency tests and practice tests.

The GED test is administered via computer and has four sections: Reasoning through Language Arts, Mathematical Reasoning, Science and Social Studies. Funds are available to cover the cost of each section of the test. In addition, CCC&TI offers free practice testing prior to taking the actual GED exam.

Registration for GED preparatory classes is ongoing. Students must attend Adult Education Orientation and Assessment prior to enrolling in a class. All orientation, assessment and prep classes are free.

To sign up or to get information, call 828-726-2230 for the Caldwell Campus or 828-297-5253 for the Watauga Campus.

Continuing education: CCC&TI will offer several Continuing Education courses in the spring semester. For information or to register, call 828-726-2242 for the Caldwell and Hudson campuses and 828-297-3811 for the Watauga campus, or visit

The lineup includes:

Welding: Several sessions, including Basic Welding, MIG/TIG/Pipe Part 1 and Part 2, will be offered on the Caldwell Campus in Hudson and Watauga Campus in Boone. Visit for detailed times. Cost is $181-$186.

Massage Therapy: 5-10 p.m. Monday-Thursday, Feb. 9-Oct. 15, Watauga Campus, Boone. Cost is $181.

Phlebotomy: 5-9 p.m. Monday and Wednesday, Feb. 16-Aug. 30, Caldwell Campus, Hudson. Cost is $181.


Faculty make presentations: The Catawba Valley Community College Humanities Department will host a series of faculty presentations in preparation for a campus visit by Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Sonia Nazario, author of “Enrique’s Journey: The True Story of a Boy Determined to Reunite With His Mother.”

Sessions will be held in the East Wing Auditorium on the Main Campus in Hickory.

English faculty member Susannah Blanchard will present “Prudencia’s Journey: A Parallel Perspective,” at noon Jan. 28. She will discuss an immigrant’s journey as a means to examine the history of U.S. legislation and actions in Central America, which led to destabilized governments.

At noon Feb. 18, a panel discussion featuring students, faculty, staff and community leaders will share their personal experiences with immigration.

CVCC drama faculty member Kim Stinson will direct her Play Production class in an informal presentation at noon March 25. The drama presentation will depict the many paths taken by immigrants when moving to a new country.

The faculty presentations culminate in the visit by Nazario at 11 a.m. April 1 in the Tarlton Complex and at 6 p.m. in the East Wing Auditorium. All events held in conjunction with “Enrique’s Journey” are free and open to the community.

For information, contact Donna Ross at 828-327-7000 x 4111 or

Credit issues facing small business: The CVCC Small Business Center will present “Understanding and Improving Credit for Your Small Business” 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Jan. 29 at the Corporate Development Center in Hickory.

Participants will learn what their credit score means, how it is used in the business loan process, how to obtain their credit score and strategies for improving it.

Admission is free, but registration is required by calling 828-327-7000, ext. 4117.

Global commerce partnership: Catawba Valley Community College recently joined nine other community colleges in the Charlotte region to form a new partnership focused on global commerce.

Other colleges in the partnership include Gaston College, Central Piedmont, Cleveland, Mitchell, Northeastern Tech, Rowan-Cabarrus, South Piedmont, Stanly and York Tech.

Crystal Glenn, executive director of CVCC’s Business & Industry Training for Catawba Valley Community College, will serve as chairwoman of the group this year. Michael Almond, an attorney and former president of the Charlotte Regional Partnership, will serve as executive director.

The collaborative group will work to bring together employers, leaders and workforce development partners to meet the needs and attract more global companies to the region. Member schools will collaborate on innovative skills training and share best practices on training workers.

Job search seminar: The CVCC Alexander Center for Education will present “How to Find a Job with a Criminal Record” from 11 a.m. to noon Feb. 5 at the CVCC Alexander Campus in Taylorsville.

Former offenders will learn to move past criminal background concerns and toward future employment. Topics include presentation, emphasizing strengths in resumes, applications and interviews; explaining the past, networking and staying employed once hired.

Admission is free. To register or for information, contact Carolyn Gilreath at 828-632-8221 or

Business start-up seminars: The CVCC Small Business Center will offer the Step Up, Start Up program, a series of seminars to help individuals interested in starting a business understand the pros and cons of business ownership, beginning in January.

Seminars run 6:30-8:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Feb. 17 at the Corporate Development Center. Admission is free, but registration is required.

Sessions include:

Creating the Images, Crafting the Message: Jan. 27. Participants will learn the importance of branding and creating a unique image for their new company.

Reaching Customer Targets: Feb. 3. Participants will learn how successful business owners create targeted marketing messages and choose appropriate media for effectively marketing products and services.

Keeping $ Score $: Feb. 10. Learn about standard scorecards for tracking business performance, cash position and net worth. Sources of startup capital also will be covered.

Roadmap to Success: Feb. 17. Compile data and conclusions from previous seminars into a business plan draft.

To register, contact the Small Business Center at 828-327-7000, ext. 4117 or

Workforce Development courses: The CVCC Workforce Development Center will offer several courses this winter. To register, contact Janet Lail at or 828-327-7000, ext. 4116.

The schedule includes:

National Electric Code (NEC) Prep: 6-10 p.m. Tuesdays, Jan. 27-June 2, CVCC East Campus, Room EC975. Cost is $180, plus a current Electrical Code book.

Intermediate Excel: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Jan. 27, CVCC East Campus, EC956. Cost is $92.

Vehicle OBDII Emissions Inspection Recertification: 8 a.m. to noon Jan. 31, CVCC Main Campus, VSL209. Cost is $88. Students must bring a driver’s license and LT310 form to class. Required books will be provided.

Personal enrichment classes: Catawba Valley Community College will offer several personal enrichment and learning classes.

The lineup includes:

Drawing and Painting: 6:30-9:30 p.m. Mondays, Jan. 26-March 16, CVCC East Campus, Room 1209. $60.

Sign Language for Beginners Level II: 6:30-8:30 p.m. Mondays, Jan. 26-March 16, CVCC East Campus, Room 1118. $70, plus textbook.

Be Your Own Wedding Planner: 7-9 p.m. Mondays, Feb. 9-March 16, CVCC East Campus, Room EC958. $70.

Quilting/Back to the Basics: 9 a.m. to noon Mondays, Feb. 23-April 13, City of Newton Recreation Center. $45.

Needle Fun: 9 a.m. to noon Tuesdays, Feb. 24-April 14, City of Newton Recreation Department. All skill levels are welcome to learn more about knitting, embroidery, crocheting and other needle work. $45. Registration deadline is Feb. 17.

Intermediate Shag Dancing: 7-8:30 p.m. Thursdays, Feb. 26-March 26, City of Newton Recreation Department. Partners are needed. Cost is $55.

For information or to register, contact CVCC’s Learning and Enrichment Continuing Education Center at 828-327-7037 or Cheri Toney at

Gaston College

Balancing Act seminar: Gaston College will offer a series of professional development seminars with information on what educators, friends, families and the community should know about students experiencing mental health issues while attending college.

Topics and dates are Addiction, noon-1 p.m. Feb. 13 and Bipolar Disorder, noon-1 p.m. March 30. All seminars will be held in the Robinson Classroom Building, Room 238, on the Dallas Campus.

The workshops are free and open to the public. For information, call Hisayo Tokuro-Gallo at 704-922-6341.

Cosmetology students offer services: The Cosmetology Program at Gaston College now offers skincare and haircare services to the public on two campuses.

An Esthetics Day Spa with facials, peels and other skincare services is open 9-11 a.m. weekdays and 6-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday on the Kimbrell Campus, 7220 Wilkinson Blvd. in Belmont. Walk-ins are welcome, or appointments can be made by calling 704-825-6295.

Hair services including cuts, styles, color, highlights, lowlights, perms and relaxers and spa services including waxing, manicures, pedicures, gel polish and more are now available at the Cosmetology Salon on the Lincoln Campus. Hours are 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays and 5-7 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday.

Seniors 55 and older receive half off the cost of services on weekdays. Other specials include $10 perms and relaxers on Wednesdays.

Walk-ins are welcome or call for an appointment at 704-748-5252.

Lenoir-Rhyne University

Higgins named head coach: Lenoir-Rhyne University recently named Gary Higgins as its new women’s soccer coach. He comes to Lenoir-Rhyne after serving as an assistant men’s soccer coach at Tusculum for three seasons.

Higgins graduated from Lenoir-Rhyne in 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in health and exercise science and earned a master’s degree in liberal arts in 2011. He also served as an assistant coach for the Bears men’s team in 2011.

A four-year letter recipient on the Lenoir-Rhyne men’s soccer team, Higgins was a two-time All-South Atlantic Conference and All-Region performer who earned NCAA Division II Daktronics Honorable Mention All-American honors in 2007. Higgins served as captain for three years and led the Bears to a berth in the NCAA Division II Appalachian Regional Championship in 2006.

After graduation, Higgins played at the semi-professional level with the Reading Rage of the USL Premier Development League and with the Knoxville Force of the NPSL. He has coached at the club level for more than five years.

Higgins replaces Madison Gates, who as acting head coach led the Bears to a fifth consecutive South Atlantic Conference Regular Season Championship. The Bears ended the year ranked No. 11 in the nation.

Jacobson speaks on psalms and daily life: Rolf Jacobson, a professor, preacher, speaker and writer who blends humor, enthusiasm and Biblical scholarship, will speak at 7 p.m. Feb. 5 in Grace Chapel at Lenoir-Rhyne University.

Jacobson also will speak at 1 p.m. Feb. 6 in Christ Chapel at Lenoir-Rhyne’s Center for Graduate Studies in Columbia.

Both visits are part of the university’s 2014-2015 Speaker Series sponsored by the Institute for Faith and Learning. The event is free and open to the public.

Jacobson will speak on the theme, “Sad Songs, Mad Songs, and Glad Songs: The Psalms and Daily Life.” Christian theology, he says, often speaks to the really big questions of the universe – the beginning of creation, the end of time, and the fall and redemption of the world. But Christian theology also has a great deal to say about the smaller moments of everyday life – sadness, madness, and gladness. A prominent scholar of the Psalms, Jacobson will talk about how the verses and faith relate to everyday emotions and moments of life.

Jacobson is an assistant professor of Old Testament at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minn., a position he has held since 2003. He provides inspirations not only through his sermons and lectures, but also through his own life story after losing both legs to cancer.

He has co-authored many books, including “Psalms: The New International Commentary on the Old Testament,” “Invitation to the Psalms: A Reader’s Guide for Discovery and Engagement,” “Crazy Book: A Not-So-Stuffy Dictionary of Biblical Terms” and the Bible studies, “No Experience Necessary.” His sermons can be heard weekly on Sermon Brainwave and I Love to Tell the Story podcasts.

For information, visit


Kiser honored: Lee Kiser, Western Piedmont Community College Dean of Workforce and Professional Development, was recently named 2014 Educator of the Year by the North Carolina Waterworks Operators Association.

Kiser was recognized for his devotion, leadership and dedication in the teaching of the North Carolina waterworks operators. NCWOA has provided certification schools and continuing education opportunities to waterworks professionals since 1939.

Law enforcement graduates: The Western Piedmont Community College Basic Law Enforcement Training (BLET) Academy recently held a graduation ceremony following 17 weeks of rigorous student training.

Graduates were: Casey Slate, Jennifer Gonzales, John Hood II, Austin Ayala, Spencer Marks, Nathan Keller, Ryan Hatch, Brad Haynes, Daniel Ramsey, Jordan Yamasaki, Joshua Angley, Matthew Buchanan, Zachary Surratt, Richard Hudgins, Richard Wisor, Eric Cooke, Marcus LaRoche, Leigh Ann Fox, Zachary Lusk, Devante Jones, Tevin James, Mark Sain and Dillon Ward.

Graduates will be employed by law enforcement agencies.

New York for spring break: Western Piedmont Community College will offer a series of courses that include a trip to New York City April 7-11.

The trip will incorporate curriculum classes Art 115 Art History Survey II, Humanities 120 E31 Cultural Studies, and Drama 111 E31 Theater Appreciation as well as the course New York Cultural Experience.

Tuition cost of the Continuing Education class and the curriculum classes will each be about $210. Approximate cost of the trip for participating students is $750, including airfare, hotel and transfer.

Mandatory on-campus meetings for all participating students will be 7-8:50 p.m. Feb. 12 and April 2. For information, call Mark Poteat at 828-448-3538. Compiled by Leigh Pressley