Where Are They Now

Associate Degree Nursing

Kelley Pippett | 2017 Graduate

This is Kelley’s testimonial to what has been happening since graduating the Associate Degree Nursing program here at Carteret Community College in 2017. Kelley has been employed at The Children’s Hospital of New Orleans.

This is a letter from Kelley to her instructors in the ADN program.
“I am on an acute rehab critical care floor where I am learning so much. Our patients range in age from birth to 21 years old. We have traumatic and non traumatic brain injuries, spinal/orthopedic surgery patients, and renal patients. A lot of our rehab patients are recovering from some sort of a brain injury.

I want to thank every single one of you for all that you have done for me. I have had a few nurses I work with ask me where I worked before and when I tell them that this is my first nursing job they are shocked because of how confident I am on the floor. I know this is because of all the clinicals we had and how much time and effort you all (instructors) put in to get us to a level of a practicing nurse. My preceptor has told me how impressed she is with all my documenting skills and how I am able to balance multiple patients at the same time, I tell her that I was blessed with an amazing nursing school and with amazing instructors.

I am in a group of new nurse grads on my floor and although they all come from a BSN program and I feel that I was more prepared to get onto the floor than they were.Once again thank you all for everything that you did for me, I am so grateful for Carteret’s Nursing program!”

Karmen Sokolosky Harris | 2014 Graduate

My nursing career started upon graduating from Carteret CC’s ADN program in 2014. With a fellow Carteret CC nurse in tow we both entered the world of behavioral health nursing which set the stage for what was to come. As a nurse at Wilmington Treatment Center, a 28 day inpatient facility for substance use I was easily able to transition from nurse graduate to charge nurse and fast (10 shifts, in fact!). The qualities instilled in me as a student nurse at Carteret CC gave me the foundation to utilize critical thinking, time management and exceptional documentation skills as well as the ability to think quick on my feet in moments of emergency.

Since graduation, I have become board certified as a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner for adult and adolescent populations (SANE-A) and I am currently the Sexual Assault & Outreach Coordinator for the non-profit, Friend to Friend in Carthage, NC.

One of my favorite aspects of my current position is guest lecturing at Sandhills Community College for the second year ADN students. With the student nurses, I go over topics including sexual assault, child sexual abuse, domestic violence, elder abuse and human trafficking integrating how nurses play an integral role in identifying individuals requiring specialized care.

Ed Keating | 2007 Graduate

Ed Keating was in Carteret CC’s very first Advanced Degree Nursing program, graduating in 2007. He also won our very first college Alumni award in 2017.

Mr. Keating earned his Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 2014 while working full-time in the Emergency Department at Wake Medical Center.
During the years of 2010 – 2014, Mr. Keating was an integral part of improving the patient flow in the adult emergency department and was nationally recognized for his efforts. He co-authored a presentation outlining the results of their successful implementation of the “Split-model” method to improve Emergency room patient flow.

In 2015, Mr. Keating was selected to serve as the Manager for the Children’s Emergency Dept at Wake Medical Center. While in that position, he was impacted by the incidence of abuse and sexual exploitation of children and the challenge for health care providers in recognizing the signs and then taking measures to protect those most vulnerable in our population. As a result, he has authored a number of articles relative to this topic:

  • Keating, E., Farmer, J (9/2016) “Shelter From The Storm: Improving Pediatric Behavioral Health Care in an Emergency Setting by Recognizing Basic Human Needs.” Emergency Nurses Association (ENA) National Conference, Los Angeles, CA.
  • Keating, E., Farmer, J (9/2016) “Beyond a Reasonable Doubt: The Impact of ED Photo-Documentation in Prosecuting Childhood Sexual and Physical Assault.” Emergency Nurses Association (ENA) National Conference, Los Angeles, CA.
  • Keating, E (12/2016) “Time is Key: Pediatric Behavior Patients – Improving Care, Safety and Satisfaction” 5th Annual Cone Health Nursing Research and Evidence-Based Practice Symposium, Greensboro
  • Keating, E. (4/2015). “Behavioral Holding Patients in the CED: A Basic Human Needs Approach”. Wake AHEC Pediatric Conference, WakeMed Hospital, Raleigh, N.C.

Paralegal Technologies

Logan Okun | 2014 Graduate

“After completing my Bachelor’s degree I struggled to find work, much less a career. So in 2014 I enrolled in Carteret CC’s Paralegal Technology Post Baccalaureate Diploma program. At that time, I was able to find work at a local law firm reporting to three attorneys. The skills I learned and experiences I was exposed to both in the program and field were worth their weight in gold. Unfortunately, there is a misconception that a paralegal degree can only be used in the legal system. However, after completing the program and 2 ½ years with the law firm I was able to seamlessly transfer my paralegal skill set to an opportunity outside of the legal profession. Because of Carteret CC’s program and the exceptional instruction I received, I am proud to hold the title of Executive Director of the President’s Office at Carteret Community College.”

Kayte M Floyd | 2015 Graduate

Former (star) student here! I am turning 30 tomorrow and wanted to reach out to give y’all a (brief) update. You may or may not remember that I graduated in 2015 while working at Schulz Stephenson Law in Beaufort. Sundee Stephenson had hired me as a 2nd year Paralegal student. In November 2015, my husband separated from active duty service with the Marine Corps; he was unable to find a job in the local area, but he was offered a job in Florida, so we relocated. I was ready to job hunt again, I requested a letter of recommendation from Sundee. She gave me the best letter of recommendation. I would say that this letter is a reflection of not only myself as an employee, but also as a student who graduated from Carteret Community College with THE BEST Paralegal advisors/professors.

On March 8, 2017, I began working at a small Family Law Firm at Jacksonville Beach (Simpson & Paull, P.L.) and I have been working full time as the discovery paralegal, alongside the Senior Legal Assistant (who has been with this particular firm for 30 years!). I have my very own office, with my name on a plaque by the door, and my degrees are on the wall on display for all of the clients that I interact with to see. I have become very attached to my current work family, I am treated well and praised often, and I anticipate staying put at this job long-term.

I am extremely proud of being a graduate of Carteret Community College’s Paralegal Technology program and I attribute many of my accomplishments to the dedication you showed to your students each and every day. I am proud of how far I have come in my career and I would not have been able to make it this far without your guidance. I sincerely thank you, you have a special place in my heart!!!

Lt. Commander Bill Geraty | 1999 Graduate

Navy Lt. Commander Bill Geraty, class of 1999 , completed his AAS degree in Paralegal Technology while serving in the Marine Corp as a court reporter. Geraty went on to earn his undergraduate degree and then served as an instructor at the Naval Justice School in Newport, RI. While teaching at Naval Justice he attended Roger Williams School of Law on full scholarship and earned a law degree. After passing the Connecticut bar exam he accepted a commission in the US Navy where he joined the JAG Corps.

As a JAG officer Geraty was deployed to Afghanistan where he trained Afghani legal professionals. Geraty is currently serving in Washington, DC as trial and appellate defense counsel in the JAG Corps.

“The only diploma I have on my wall is the one I got from Carteret Community College.”

Medical Office Administration/Office Administration

Melissa Smith | 2016 Graduate

Upon graduating high school, I cautiously deliberated on the career path I would choose. Through my uncertainty, I decided to take prerequisite classes first. By the next semester, I incorporated classes of interest that would direct my path where I would earn not one, but two degrees in Office Administration and Medical Office Administration.

Some of the Honors I received while earning my degrees were being inducted into the Sigma Kappa Delta National English Honor Society and The National Society of Leadership and Success The Professional Development helped me organize and design a portfolio. The portfolio coupled with several mock interviews, and a recommendation from my advisor gave me the opportunity of employment, even before graduation.

Two months before I graduated in May 2016, I began my career at Carteret OB-Gyn. It was the perfect placement for me. I just celebrated my two year anniversary there in April and couldn’t be happier. The Office Administration and Medical Office Administration programs at Carteret Community College made all my dreams come true and for that I am eternally grateful.

Brittany Pangburn | 2016 Graduate

Like many other seniors in high school, I didn’t know what I wanted to do. After taking an anatomy class in high school, I knew I wanted to do something in the medical field. I have always worked in customer services and loved it. I knew that Medical Office Administration was the right program of study for me, it combined two things I loved helping people and learning about medical diagnosis and procedures.

I graduated May 2016 with an Associates in Medical Office Administration. One of my favorite classes in the program was Medical Terminology 1 and 2. I loved learning how to pronounce medical procedures and vocabulary. I credit this class to helping me in my day-to-day job. My second favorite class was Medical Coding. I loved reading the scenarios and having to search massive textbooks for a code. It was like a giant scavenger hunt!

We all know that working in the medical field everything is computer based now. Medical Office Simulation is a class that you could walk into any medical facility and be able to know what to do. When I started working at Carteret OB-Gyn Associates, I shadowed for a couple days and I watched them use Athena EMR. Athena is very similar to this class’s Electronic Medical Record program. I was able to work on my own after a week of shadowing and learning all the processes. Without taking the class I am sure it would have taking me at least two weeks to learn how to use the program.

The most valuable class I took was Professional Development. The instructor was amazing at making sure we had all the steps to be successful in the work place. We started with creating our resumes. Once we finished we started to put together our portfolios. While putting together my portfolio I realized how much I have accomplished throughout school. My instructor made sure that our classes portfolios were the best representation of us for our future employers. The next step for getting a job was an interview. One class project was called “mock interviews” and as stressful, as this project was it was extremely beneficial.

Medical Office Administration is a great program of study. I met amazing mentors and friends. I have really benefited from this program. I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to get into the medical field. You can work just about anywhere with this program the possibilities are endless. I think knowing that I could work in any field that interest me was the true selling point. I also want to thank my instructors for helping me get my job at Carteret OB-Gyn Associates. I do not know where I would be without their help and guidance.

Human Services Technology

Abbigail Wearse | Graduate

I met Ms. Foster when I was in student services attempting to figure out what to do with my life. She walked in and asked if she could help me and I began to tell her my story. That was the beginning.

This program has given me more than I ever expected. The Human Services Program here at Carteret CC has taught me so many things that it’s hard to write them all down. Hard Work is what I have learned primarily. We were all held to the exact same high standard and expected to rise to the high standard that our future employers and clients will hold us to. Hard work and determination is what Ms. Foster and this program have taught me.

Ms. Foster and this program have also given me is self-respect and confidence. Having taken a few detours in my life and making poor choices, I had low self-esteem, very little self-respect and almost no confidence in myself or others. Ms. Foster and this program have given me more than I ever expected. Through going to conferences we were able to meet other students and professionals from other schools throughout the state in our field of study. We were able to learn networking skills within our future professional organizations in the spring and fall semesters. Ms. Foster taught us while on these trips about how to dress appropriately, behave professionally and basic skills as how to mind our table manners. Many of us had never left the state let alone learned about proper table manners and basic etiquette. On this last conference that we attended to East Tennessee University, I walked into the hotel with my head held high, dressed professionally, and had never felt so confident and worthy of respect.

The first year in the Human Services Program, Ms. Foster worked hard preparing us to go into our internship sites. As students, we had to scout out our desired location and do all of the leg work that it took to be accepted. I had a friend of mine that I was in recovery with and she told me about Magnolia Landing where she was currently working. At the time I was working two jobs and wanted to be working in my profession. I contacted the Director and went in for an interview. During the interview, I told her that I was attending Carteret CC and was also looking for an internship site for the fall semester. She told me that it would be possible for me to perform my internship there with her LCSW that she had on staff. Through my internship at this facility I learned many skills that I will take with me. I learned the importance of being empathetic with our clients while being able to see through the manipulation and deceit some clients exercised. I was able to put into practice the theories that Ms. Foster had been teaching us such as confidentiality, multicultural awareness, crisis intervention, case management, and counseling. One of the most important skills I learned was meeting our clients where they were at physically, emotionally, and spiritually. This field that I love is not black and white. This field requires listening and adaptability because we are working with real people who have been through many real situations. We need to be able to walk into any given situation with our clients with no judgment and be willing to go the extra mile for them.

The skills and lessons that the Human Services Program here at Carteret CC has given and taught me are invaluable. Today as I prepare to graduate this program and go out into the workforce I am not the person who entered your doors. I have become a confident and self-respecting woman. I am excited to enter the work force and to be a positive example of what you teach your students here at Carteret CC. Ms. Foster is an amazing woman and instructor. If it weren’t for her I wouldn’t be the woman that you will see walking with her head held high across the stage with a huge smile on my face. The final and most important gift I have received is pride in myself and happiness.

Leslie Proctor | Graduate

After high school, I tried to go to the local community college, however I made some choices that lead me down a path that did not include college. I tried again several years later and did not finish but one semester and again I quit. Then when I was 33 I moved to Carteret County with my two year old daughter. I decided then that I needed a degree, my daughter deserved my best! I went to Carteret Community College to sign up for courses, and 2 years later got an Associates degree, however in my last semester I met a psychology teacher that would put me in touch with an amazing Advisor that would change my life forever. The first degree from Carteret CC helped me find my passion.

I am now a graduate from the very first class of Human Services Technologies program. During my time in this program I learned about myself, and others. I was able to attend professional conferences like the National Organization for Human Services in Tampa Fl., and the Southern Organization for Human Services in Charleston, SC., where I learned so many things about my profession. I was inducted into Tau Upsilon Alpha National Organization for Human Services Honor Society as well as Sigma Kappa Delta National English Honor Society. My second year in the program was dedicated to my internship. I interned at the Children’s Developmental Agency for several months and loved working with the children with special needs. In December I moved to interning at the Carteret County Department of Social Services doing the intakes for the Low Income Energy Assistance program. I never left. In April they hired me as a full time Income Maintenance Caseworker II. I love my job, and make a difference in my community by helping change families lives everyday. If it wasn’t for Carteret CC and my wonderful advisor and professors, I would not have such a rewarding career.

George Bibin | Graduate

I may not be one of the average Carteret Community College student that has been through the ringer. But as many, I have a story that lead me to the path that I am on now. I am currently employed with Easter Seals UCP as an Employment Specialist who assist personnel with disabilities obtain and retain jobs. I also provide support for on the job training as well as help out employers as well dealing with their employees who may have disabilities.

This is such a rewarding job that I am thankful of having every day. After I was medically retired from the United States Marine Corps after 4 combat deployments, I was at a loss in my life. I have already accomplished my Bachelor’s Degree in Law Enforcement Administration, but due to my own disabilities, I could not pursue a field in the Law enforcement field as I had hoped. I was not done serving my fellow man. I still had so much more that I wanted to do to help people. When I heard about the Human Service Technology program, it intrigued me but I was on the fence about it. After a semester, I knew that I was in the right program. It really opened up my eyes and my heart to a whole new world and a whole new way of helping people that I really did not even think of. What is amazing about this particular program is that we must accomplish hours in an internship as well the final year of the course while taking classes. That was huge because that is where I have learned real life experience in the field. I worked hands on with personnel who worked with the North Carolina Vocational Rehabilitation and saw first hand the difference that they all make. I am happy to say that I was also a part of that while I was interning there as a Case Work Technician. It was also because of my internship and how much networking that was done where I was able to get the job as an Employment Specialist with Easter Seals UCP. I now work with clients of Vocational Rehabilitation who refers to Easter Seals where we can make people a successful member of society even with disability. The joy on their face shows me that what I am doing now makes a huge difference. My time is now and it was all thanks to the Human Services Technology Program at Carteret Community College.

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