College Celebrates Launch of Engineering Degree Program

Published: September 25, 2015

engineeringOpen house showcases new program to the community.

Johnston Community College officially celebrated the launch of its new associate in engineering degree program Thursday with an open house.

The event took place in the College's new STEAM Center and was attended by students, faculty and staff, college trustees and advisory board members, and community members.

Guests toured classrooms and got a sample of the equipment and technology students are experiencing, including a 3D printer, a wireless presentation system that fosters student collaboration and group work, and an advising center where instructors and students can meet to discuss transfer and career options.

Lead instructor Dr. Katherine Stevenson-Chavis said motivation and encouragement for students are important elements to their success. "We must continue to make investments in our students, push them to create, inspire, explore, and think so they can design tangible things for tomorrow that do not exist today," she said.

Dawn Dixon, dean of arts, sciences, and learning resources thanked those who attended for their support. "We are so grateful and so excited about our program, and we are looking forward to a bright future," she said.

Terri Wilkerson of Selma started the engineering program this fall. She has an associate's degree in radiography from JCC, but decided to pursue her engineering degree because she wants to help solve problems in the health field. She hopes to transfer to N.C. State and has her sights on a career in robotics or tissue engineering.

"I want to build an artificial kidney to eliminate the wait list and get people off dialysis sooner," Wilkerson says. "If we can make an artificial heart, why can't we figure out how to make an artificial kidney."

For more information about engineering at JCC, please contact Lance Gooden, director of programs for mathematics, engineering, and social sciences at (919) 209-2375 or by e-mail at

Cut line: Dr. Katherine Stevenson-Chavis, lead engineering instructor, shows Lyn Austin, JCC trustee chair, and community members a skull prototype created by the program's 3D printer.

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