Piedmont Tech Introduces 2021-22 Presidential Ambassadors
Each year, Piedmont Technical College (PTC) officials hand-pick some of the college’s most promising students to serve as Presidential Ambassadors. In this role, they represent the college at campus events, provide campus tours and speak about their experiences to various audiences. This year’s 17 ambassadors hail from a variety of backgrounds and represent many program areas.
Here’s a brief introduction to our latest class of Presidential Ambassadors:
Madison Ashley of Donalds in Abbeville County is majoring in advertising design with a focus on photography at PTC. While in school, she works as a server at the Carolina Tavern in Greenwood. Madison had considered teaching as a major but, after giving it more thought during the pandemic, ultimately decided that design was her calling.
“I have always loved art, but I was afraid I wouldn’t be good enough,” she said. “I have discovered that being a designer is my path.”
A nursing major, Alyssa Flynn of Newberry has wasted no time getting involved at PTC. She is a member of the Student Nursing Association (SNA) and plans to run for an officer position with SNA. She also is a member of Phi Theta Kappa and the devoted mother of three beautiful children who are her No. 1 priority in life.
“Everything I do is for my children,” she said, “and my life choices usually revolve around them.”
Quenton Garrett of Greenwood is majoring in mechanical engineering technology. He enjoys running, playing basketball, and cooking. In fact, he works as a Sous Chef at the Greenwood Country Club.
“My most prized possession is a family Bible that my mother gave me for safekeeping. It has a lot of photos of family and friends tucked inside,” he said. “Of all my siblings, she gave it to me because she believes that I will keep it safe.”
Currently enrolled in the Associate Degree Nursing Program, Ytoshia Gilchrist of Edgefield County has a twin who also is pursuing a nursing degree. Ytoshia currently works as a nurse extern on the burn unit at Doctor’s Hospital in Augusta. She likes to spend every free moment she can with her family.
“I have always loved to help people as long as I can remember,” she said. “Nursing has always been a passion for me, and the COVID-19 pandemic has reignited my passion for patient care.”
Haylee Godfrin of Greenwood County is majoring in advertising with a focus on photography. She serves as vice president of the Kappa Pi National Honor Society.
“I have always loved art and creating, so a creative major was perfect for me to be able to find a job that I will love,” she said. “I am studying under one of the best commercial arts programs in the region. My instructors are shaping me into the best designer I can be and preparing me for the career world.”
While in school, Haylee has been working as a sales representative with Vyve Broadband and a marketing/advertising intern with Dangerfield Properties, LLC.
Noah Guire of Abbeville is pursuing an associate degree in nursing. This is his second year serving as a Presidential Ambassador. He is a member of the National Technical Honor Society and works as an intern at his church.
“I chose my major because I like science and learning about the human body. My grandmother had a stroke, and I saw how much it affected her,” he said. “I want to be able to help others who have chronic conditions that impact their quality of life.”
Merry Lu Han of Greenwood is majoring in cardiovascular technology with a focus on adult echocardiography. At PTC, she is a student representative on the Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity Team at PTC and participates in the Interclub Council. While in school, she works as a tutor both at PTC and with private clients. She has always had an interest in health care.
“Even in middle school, I have always found the heart fascinating and wanted to know more about it,” she said. “I knew that I wanted to have a career in the medical field, and learning more about sonography, I knew that this was a great fit for me.”
A Greenwood native and daughter of PTC Health Care Dean Tara Gonce, Madalyn Harris knew from an early age that she wanted to establish a career in health care.
“I had heart surgery when I was in the 8th grade, and I realized that I wanted to pursue a career that involved the heart in some way,” she explained. “I shadowed Laura Boone (PTC cardiovascular technology instructor) and her students one day and fell in love with the CVT Program.”
While working toward her degree in cardiovascular technology/non-invasive, Madalyn is working as an admissions call center assistant at PTC. This is her second year serving as a PA.
Human Services will be a second career for Amy Marshall, who currently works as a Registered Polysomnographer at Aiken Regional Medical Center. A resident of Leesville in Lexington County, Amy enjoys helping people through her job and her church. “I am a minister and enjoy living life on purpose,” she said. “Without my faith and belief in God, I wouldn’t be who I am today.”
At PTC, Amy embraces involvement in her role as vice president of the Human Services Club. She is inspired by her mother and the example she offers. “She has a heart of gold, and she demonstrates the love of Christ to everyone she meets.”
William McClellan of Ware Shoals has served PTC as a Presidential Ambassador two years in a row now. He holds an associate in applied science in machine tool technology. He expanded his skill recently by completing a Precision Metrology Certificate and is now studying welding.
In addition to representing the college as a PA, William is a member of Phi Theta Kappa and the National Technical Honor Society. He maintains a hobby chicken farm and is a huge enthusiast of anything Disney.
“I love my chickens. They help me destress after a long day,” he said, “and I wouldn’t trade them for anything.”
Lawrance Partlow of Greenwood loves cars and the sport of drag racing. It’s only appropriate that he chose automotive technology as his major. While working toward his degree, he works at Advance Auto Parts in Greenwood.
Lawrance’s most prized possession is his 1994 Mustang GT. “It has great sentimental value for me,” he said.
Joseph Pinkard of Abbeville is majoring in electronic engineering technology at PTC. Friends and family thought the field might be a good fit for him and encouraged him to try it. While pursuing his degree, Joseph is working as an intern at Greenwood Commissioners of Public Works (CPW).
Joseph’s favorite pastime is gaming. “It is my escape and my relaxation,” he said. Ever youthful, Joseph admits to being teased for looking so young. “I’m 27 years old, but most people say I look 17!”
Tyler Rauton of Abbeville has a curiosity about design and an appreciation for architecture that impacted his decision to major in engineering design technology. He has a work study job in the Engineering Department at PTC and is a member of Phi Theta Kappa. He hopes to continue his post-graduation education studying a field related to architecture or interior design.
“I love figuring out how things come together and how I can create new parts and pieces to make designs come together seamlessly,” he said. “This major allows me to learn skills to create parts and detailed drawings.”
Alejandro Sabatino Barrios of Greenwood already holds an associate in applied science in mechatronics from PTC and now is growing those skills towards a second degree in electronic engineering technology. An interesting side note is that Alejandro also plays baseball with the Antreville A’s in the Palmetto Baseball League.
The most influential person in Alejandro’s life is his wife, “because she is always a light in my day and pushes me to become the best version of myself.”
Ashley Smith of McCormick is a dual-enrolled student at PTC. “I chose the Dual Enrollment Program because it allows me to receive my associate degree while attending high school,” she said, adding that she gains inspiration from her older sister.
“She has always been my role model in so many ways, and, to this day, I still watch her grow and achieve more every day,” Ashley said. “She keeps me motivated and excited to keep striving for success.”
Sheresa Sullivan of Laurens appreciates people who inspire her and has developed her own strategy for winning at life. “I chose my major (associate in arts) because I want to go ahead and knock out my general courses for when I transfer into a four-year university,” she said. While in school, Sheresa works as a barista at Starbucks to save for a transition to a four-year college and indulge her cooking hobby.
Stephanie West of Abbeville is a repeat Presidential Ambassador pursuing her second associate in applied science degree in criminal justice. Last year, she earned an AAS in human services. She is still a member and treasurer of the PTC Human Services Club and plans to restart the PTC Criminal Justice Club soon. She’s also a member of Phi Theta Kappa and secretary of the Tau Upsilon Alpha Human Services Honor Club. While studying for this second degree, Stephanie is employed at Meg’s House Shelter for Abused Women and Children in Greenwood, a job she earned after completing an internship through the Human Services Program.
“I want to be a victim’s advocate, and having both degrees will help me become one,” she said. “I fully believe that we are all meant to learn something new every day, and that’s what I always try and do. I love being in school as well as helping others succeed.”
Associate Dean of Students David Rosenbaum advises the Presidential Ambassadors program at PTC.
“Our Presidential Ambassadors never fail to inspire me,” Rosenbaum said. “No matter how far out of their comfort zone this role may be, they always bravely step up and represent the college with distinction.”
The Presidential Ambassadors are second-year students who are selected on the basis of their academic achievement, college and community involvement, work ethic, leadership skills and willingness to serve the college.
The 2021-22 PTC Presidential Ambassadors with PTC President Dr. Hope E. Rivers, far right.