Education shoutouts

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 18, 2013

Dr. David L. Fish, associate professor of music and chair of the music department at Catawba College, has been elected to serve as chair of the Association of Popular Music Education (APME). He will serve a two-year term.
Other APME officers elected include Cliff Wittstruck, vice chair; Joseph Pignato, secretary; Irwin Kornfeld, treasurer; and Chris Sampson, immediate past chair.
APME’s mission is to promote and advance popular music at all levels of education both in the classroom and beyond.
Fish, who joined the Catawba College faculty in 2002, is a native of Tucson, Ariz. He earned his bachelor and master of music degrees from Western Michigan University and his doctorate from the University of Michigan.
As students begin their college careers this fall, one of their looming questions is likely to be: Will the benefits of my education outweigh its cost? Students who are attending Catawba College now have some outside affirmation about the benefits of their education.
Catawba College was one of only six institutions in North and South Carolina to make Forbes’ Measuring a College’s Worth: Grateful Grads Index, an index that ranks the return on investment of private, not-for-profit colleges enrolling more than 1,000 students.
Only 100 institutions were included in this index. In addition to Catawba, other institutions from the Carolinas included were Duke University, Davidson College, Wake Forest University, Wofford College and Converse College.
The Forbes’ Index is a way to measure a college’s worth. It uses a formula that measures the amount of private gifts given to a four-year college over time, divided by the number of full-time students it has. The logic for the index formula is that private donations are typically indicative of how successful alumni are and how “grateful” these alumni feel toward their alma maters at private-not-for-profit colleges that offered four-year degrees and had more than 1,000 fulltime students.
Catawba’s median gift per student between 2002 and 2012, according to Forbes’ Grateful Graduates Index, was $7,239.21, with its endowed assets per student during 2011-2012 totaling $32,620.
Matt Schifrin, a Forbes’ staffer who serves as managing editor of investing, markets and personal finance, developed the Grateful Grads Index which is available at
North Carolina’s community colleges are celebrating the legacy of Dr. W. Dallas Herring this year as part of their 50th anniversary celebrations. Herring, a Duplin County native, is acknowledged as the philosophical godfather of the state’s community college system. As the chair of the State Board of Education in 1963, Herring was instrumental in the creation of the community college system. He may be best known for his belief that education should be available to all and that community colleges should “….take people from where they are, as far as they can go.”
In honor of Herring, the Dallas Herring Achievement Award was established by the North Carolina Community College System. The award is given annually to a current or former community college student who best embodies Herring’s philosophy. Rowan-Cabarrus Community College has nominated Shannon Patella.
After serving in the U.S. Air Force and raising a family, Patella was motivated to prepare herself to re-enter the job market. Three years later, Patella is a graduate of Rowan-Cabarrus with an A.A.S. in medical office administration. Her goal is to work in a hospice or medical facility for veterans.
“It would be an honor to help care for the men and women who have served our country, and I have great respect for the mission of hospice facilities,” said Patella. “I am confident that wherever I work, the education and training I received at Rowan-Cabarrus has prepared me well to transition into the medical office administration field. I also know that there will not be a day that goes by that I am not given the opportunity to continue to live and learn.”
Herring was appointed by Gov. Luther Hodges to chair the State Board of Education, serving from 1955-77. In May 1963, the General Assembly established the North Carolina Community College System. Under the leadership of Herring, the Community College Advisory Council was established to advise the State Board of Education. Herring was a lifelong advocate for the state’s community colleges and the system’s “open door” philosophy — a result of Herring’s leadership during the system’s early years.
“Dallas Herring was a visionary who understood that education could be a defining factor in a person’s life,” says Dr. Scott Ralls, NC Community College System president. “His legacy has brought us to where we are today — one of the most comprehensive community college systems in the nation, educating people of all ages, training the state’s workforce and providing college transfer opportunities.”
All 58 community colleges and the community college system office are holding events to honor Herring. Many, including Rowan-Cabarrus, are unveiling portraits of Herring that were commissioned as part of the system’s 50th anniversary celebration. The portraits were sponsored by Duplin Winery and by the North Carolina Community Colleges Foundation.