Featured Stories

Overview
Featured Instructor

Martin Schmerr

Biological and Physical Sciences

Martin Schmerr headshot.

The most rewarding part of teaching for Schmerr is “the process of discovery. It’s a two-way street — sometimes they teach me.” It’s that student interaction that brought him to COTC, and it’s that relationship that’s kept him here. “I actually passed on other positions to come to COTC, because I was very impressed with the culture of the campus,” he says. “It’s a place that really values strong teaching.”

Student Spotlight

Justin Glass

Business Management Technology

Portrait of Justin Glass.

To Justin Glass, a first-year student pursuing his associate degree in business management technology, COTC “feels homey.” Glass joined the Marine Corps when he was 20 and served eight years. As his time in the Marines was ending, Glass and his fellow soldiers would ask each other, “What do you want to do when you grow up?” Glass answered, “I want to better myself.”

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Mir Arif

English

Portrait of Mir Arif inside the COTC Pataskala campus.

Inspiration comes from everywhere, which is certainly the case for Mir Arif, adjunct English faculty at Central Ohio Technical College (COTC).

Arif didn’t start his educational journey with sights set on teaching – or even English. His original major at the University of Dhaka was in international relations. “I felt like it didn’t satisfy my inner needs, my desires and passions,” Arif explains. He then switched to journalism, writing for English newspapers while still in Bangladesh. “I realized that I loved writing, and I’ve always loved reading. I felt the passion come back to me.”

Student Spotlight

Billi Gross and Matayah Berry

Nursing Technology

Portrait of Billi Gross and Matayah Berry at COTC's Coshocton campus.

For some, Central Ohio Technical College (COTC) is the beginning of their professional journey. For others, it’s a legacy they carry throughout their lives. For mother and daughter Billi Gross and Matayah Berry, it’s both.

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Joe Hess

English

Portrait of Joe Hess in a classroom.

Joe Hess has always been a writer, specifically a poet. This passion has carried him through his creative and professional journeys alike, though it wasn’t a straightforward path to teaching and, soon, publishing.

Student Spotlight

Melanie Gibson

Nursing Technology

Portrait of Melanie Gibson at the Coshocton campus.

While she knew she wanted to pursue a career in healthcare, Melanie Gibson hasn’t had a straight path to her dream position. Gibson is a currently pursuing her associate degree in nursing at Central Ohio Technical College (COTC), but it wasn’t her first stop on her educational journey. 

Featured Instructor

Caitlin Baine

Psychology

Caitlin Baine headshot.

Like many Central Ohio Technical College (COTC) students, Caitlin Baine’s educational story started at a community college.

“I didn’t go to university right away, partly because I didn’t have the financial means to do it,” Baine, part-time psychology faculty, explains. “I didn’t know what I was getting into when it came to college. I was intimidated by four-year colleges.”

Student Spotlight

Naomi Nichols

Associate of Arts in Social Work

Portrait of Naomi Nichols in front of the COTC Gateway enrollment center.

Naomi Nichols’ educational journey didn’t start at COTC. She originally enrolled in a four-year university majoring in psychology, but she didn’t feel like she was getting the one-on-one attention necessary to be successful. That’s when she found her way to COTC.

“COTC happened to not only be close to home, so I would actually be able to be close to my family and friends, but also my mom, sister and grandpa had gone to COTC and had all spoken so highly of it,” Nichols says.

Featured Instructor

Scott Wilson

English and Communications

Headshot of Scott WilsonWhen Scott Wilson was in the fifth grade, he assisted one of his neighborhood friends with a homework assignment they were struggling with. That was his first experience doing what would ultimately become his lifelong passion.

Many students will know Wilson from their speech courses at COTC where he teaches Public Speaking, Fundamentals of Communication and Small Group Communication.

Student Spotlight

Benjamin Anyigbavor

Radiologic Science Technology

Benjamin Anyigbavor and his wife Suzzie walk across campus in their scrubs.

When he moved to the United States from his home country of Ghana, Ben Anyigbavor had a degree in geodetic engineering from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology and 10 years of experience in land surveying. In terms of careers, the healthcare field was not on his radar.

Featured Instructor

Kris Bowman

Nursing Technology

Kris Bowman headshot.Professor Kris Bowman has been a member of the nursing faculty at COTC since 2009. In addition to teaching at COTC, she teaches basic life support for the American Heart Association and provides health education development for faculty, staff and students at Newark City Schools (NCS). Bowman previously worked at NCS as a school nurse and also spent many years working at Genesis Health Care in Zanesville as a nursing hospital supervisor, telemetry staff nurse and registered respiratory therapist.

Featured Instructor

Cindy Washington

Nursing Technology

Cindy Washington headshot.

Associate Professor Cindy Washington is a teacher, a nurse and an author. She has been a faculty member at COTC since 2007, where she currently teaches the advanced adult health nursing course at the Newark campus. In 2022, Washington was one of the contributing authors in the Columbus Black Nurses Association’s (CBNA) first book: “The Voices of Black Nurses Our Challenges and Triumphs During the COVID-19 Pandemic.” Book sales support scholarships for CBNA nursing students.

Featured Instructor

Asif Khan

Engineering Technology

Asif Khan stands in front of engineering equipment in a classroom

Asif Khan’s list of achievements in academia is second to none. With three degrees to his name — a bachelor’s in information technology from AL-Khair University, Pakistan; an associate degree in electrical engineering technology from COTC; and a master’s in engineering and technology from Ohio University — and eight years of teaching at COTC, Khan has reason to be proud.

Student Spotlight

Kristen Eblin

Diagnostic Medical Sonography Technology

Kristen Eblin in her sonography scrubs

The fall after she graduated from Chillicothe High School, Kristen Eblin started a radiologic sciences degree at a four-year university. About halfway through, she realized that she was in the wrong major at the wrong school. Fortunately, she discovered a new passion, and today she’s found her match with the diagnostic medical sonography technology (DMS) program at Central Ohio Technical College (COTC).

Featured Instructor

Patrick Courtney

Social and Behavioral Sciences

Patrick Courtney stands in a hallway.

Assistant Professor Patrick Courtney has been teaching at COTC since 2003, but his teaching history dates back to 1978. Prior to COTC, he was a secondary school teacher and administrator as well as a district administrator. He now teaches at all four COTC campus locations and online. 

Student Spotlight

Katherine McCoy

Associate of Arts in Psychology

Headshot of Katherine McCoy

After being diagnosed with the autoimmune disorder alopecia universalis in 2016 and losing her hair to it, Central Ohio Technical College (COTC) student Katherine McCoy thought she had lost herself.

“Initially it was devastating for me. I felt as if I had lost my identity. Throughout the years, I have grown to accept and embrace my hair loss,” she said.

McCoy realized that a career helping others through their own difficulties would be the perfect way to redefine the possibilities of her life.

Student Spotlight

Samuel Wolf

Radiologic Science Technology

Samuel Wolf sits in the grass.

In celebration of National Radiologic Technology Week® this November, COTC recognizes the vital work of faculty, students and alumni.

Central Ohio Technical College (COTC) radiologic science technology student Samuel Wolf is well on his way to his dream career as a pediatric radiology technologist thanks to the college’s highly regarded program and the connections it offers to students.

Featured Instructor Elizabeth Eyster, MPH, RDMS (AB), RVT, RDCS (AE)

Beth Eyster

Diagnostic Medical Sonography Technology

Beth Eyster stands next to an ultrasound machine.

In recognition of Medical Ultrasound Awareness Month this October, COTC celebrates the impact that the many alumni, current students and faculty of its diagnostic medical sonography technology program have on the lives of their patients.

Instructor Beth Eyster started teaching at COTC in 2011 as part of the diagnostic medical sonography technology (DMS) program. She teaches many course topics including basic sonography scan skills, human anatomy, echocardiography, abdominal sonography and sonographic physics. She also serves as the clinical coordinator for the DMS program. 

Student Spotlight

Denise Turner

Diagnostic Medical Sonography Technology

Denise Turner smiling for a portrait.

In recognition of Medical Ultrasound Awareness Month this October, COTC celebrates the impact that the many alumni, current students and faculty of its diagnostic medical sonography technology program have on the lives of their patients.

Denise Turner has not had a clear-cut path to her dream career. As a matter of fact, she originally earned a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts and Culture from New Saint Andrews College in Moscow, Idaho. Now she is redefining the possibilities for her career and her life at COTC.