kinard award

Kinard Named PTC Innovator of the Year

March 22, 2017

Zeolean Frick Kinard, director of Institutional Reporting at Piedmont Technical College, has been named the 2017 PTC Innovator of the Year by the PTC Area Commission.

"It's an honor to be recognized," Kinard said. "I'm a part of a great team, and I think this is really a reflection on the work we all do here at PTC."

“Piedmont Technical College has a long history of innovation. It's a necessary part of serving the communities and businesses in our region well.” said George Piersol, chairman of the PTC Area Commission. “Zeolean is an exceptional employee with great vision, drive and leadership, and we feel she's the ideal candidate to be recognized this year.”

Throughout Kinard's 32 years of service to Piedmont Technical College, innovation and responding to changing needs have been the cornerstones on which her career has been built.

Kinard has led the institution through multiple complex system implementations, including point of sale software, design and automation of financial systems, and the launch of major portions of Banner, the database software that forms the backbone of the college's operations.

With each new challenge, Kinard has developed innovative solutions to some incredibly complex problems, always keeping the needs of students and a customer-service mindset at the core of her work.

"Zeolean's work across departments was one of the reasons we tapped her to develop a more powerful data toolset for the college," said Dr. Ray Brooks, PTC president. "She's been able to approach this work from the standpoint of the end user, which has made a huge difference in the level of adoption."

Brooks said that this improved data analysis capability has been key in the college's continuous improvement efforts over the past few years.

While many colleges centralize data and analysis functions in a single department, Kinard has led the charge in empowering individual faculty and staff members with the tools they need to directly access the information they need to better understand the factors affecting their students. This innovation has increased the speed of improvement actions across the curriculum.

This information was recently made even richer by the inclusion of financial aid data, and the introduction of predictive analytics. The college data will be refined in the coming months to present a complete student profile with risk factors, automated student success alerts, and actionable data for individuals working directly with students.

The PTC Innovator of the Year is selected each year by the college’s executive team, and is also nominated for the South Carolina Technical College System's annual A. Wade Martin Award.

The A. Wade Martin Innovator of the Year Award was established in 1980 to pay tribute to Wade Martin, the first executive director of the technical and industrial training program in South Carolina.

Photo Caption: Zeolean Frick Kinard, director of Institutional Reporting at Piedmont Technical College, has been named the 2017 PTC Innovator of the Year by the PTC Area Commission. Presenting Kinard with a proclamation from the Area Commission are Dr. Ray Brooks, president of Piedmont Tech, left, and Cherry Brown, PTC Area Commission secretary, right.