ACTC graduate Melinda K. Johnson has been named to the Kentucky Community and Technical College (KCTCS) Super Sunday Hall of Fame. Super Sunday is an annual recruitment and informational fair held by all KCTCS colleges in partnership with African-American churches
For Ms. Johnson, Ashland Community and Technical College was the beginning of a journey into higher education that she believed was unobtainable.
“Growing up in South Point, Ohio where many families focus on graduating high school to begin work in the manufacturing industry, it was difficult for me to break the cycle of ‘blue collar’ employment,” Johnson said. “My parents could not afford to help me through college, so after graduating from South Point High School I went into the job market.”
It was not easy to return to college as a non-traditional student with three children of her own, but Johnson “was tired of making minimum wage and was determined to find a better life.” At ACTC, she received an enormous amount of encouragement and support from faculty and staff, and credits their efforts in helping her achieve academic success.
That support helped her become a Dean’s List student and receive several academic awards, and she wanted to give that same kind of support to other students. She became a Supplemental Instruction Leader in Math and Natural Sciences. Supplemental Instruction is a grant-supported program that helps students in difficult courses by offering weekly study sessions led by students who have successfully completed those courses.
She graduated from ACTC in 2010 with honors, earning both Associate in Science and Associate in Arts Degrees. She transferred to Marshall University, and this spring she will complete her first cancer research study on mice. She is also currently working at ACTC as an Office Assistant.
After graduating from Marshall University in May with a Bachelor of Science Degree, she plans to pursue a Master’s degree in Biomedical Science, with an emphasis in Molecular Biology geared toward cancer research.
Ms. Johnson hopes to continue encouraging the successes of the students in her community as an educational success and role model for all non-traditional students. “As a Supplemental Instruction leader, I discovered I liked relating to students and giving them the same kind of support I was lucky to receive at ACTC.” After reaching all of her other career goals, she would eventually like to teach.
ACTC’s Super Sunday event is scheduled for February 24, at 3:00 p.m. at Christ Temple Church in Ashland.