Women to Watch Awards Finalists – Education
Meet the 2020 finalists
Baking and Pastry Arts Program Director,
Jaime Chadwick grew up working in the kitchen with her grandmother. Now, she shares her love and knowledge of cooking with many children – not her family, but her students.
Chadwick is the baking and pastry arts program director at Cape Fear Community College. She began as an adjunct instructor in the hospitality management department nine years ago. After a few more years as a full-time faculty member, she received the promotion for her current role in 2019.
“It was a promotion I never saw coming, and I was thrilled and honored,” Chadwick says.
At CFCC, Chadwick works with baking and pastry arts, culinary arts, and hospitality management students.
“All three programs are dependent upon one another,” Chadwick says, “and I love bridging the gap for students to have multiple degrees … I will always continue to share my passion for food, family, and community to every student I mentor.”
Chadwick continues to invest in her own education and culinary skills while supporting her local students. She recently received her master’s degree in hospitality management from Johnson & Wales University and is considering Ph.D. programs.
“I hope to become a certified chef instructor through the American Culinary Federation within the next five years and continue to run the BPA program,” she says.
Chadwick also hopes to expand her catering business, A Moveable Feast, within the next two years.
Coordinator, Center for Workforce Development,
UNCW College of Health and Human Services
In her role as coordinator for the Center for Workforce Development in UNCW’s College of Health and Human Services, Tiffany Erichsen has implemented several programs that connect and prepare students for their future careers.
“This field encourages ongoing personal and professional growth,” Erichsen says, “while working within (my department) gives me the opportunity to improve the health and quality of life of this community.”
Erichsen has been employed in the College of Health and Human Services since October 2017 as part of a workforce development program originally funded by Duke Energy.
Since then, she has established MentorCR, a mentorship program for clinical research students.
“The students in the program have provided extremely positive feedback and say they really value the opportunity to work closely with a seasoned professional,” Erichsen says.
Under her leadership, the department has received funding to expand the program to social work and public health students.
Erichsen calls herself a “lifelong learner,” a title evidenced by her support of CHHS’ creation of continuing education programs. She and other colleagues offer, for example, training to area nurses and mental health practitioners.
Adding to her accomplishments, Erichson is currently preparing a post-baccalaureate certification in evaluation to be taught at UNCW and has begun translating her work in the university setting to grade-school students.
“I look forward to additional opportunities to leverage all that I have learned and continue to learn into assisting local health and human service organizations evaluate their strengths,” she says.
D.C. Virgo Preparatory Academy
Sabrina Hill-Black is the principal at D.C. Virgo Preparatory Academy, named after a community pillar who was the first principal of the beloved Williston Primary, the high school for Black students during segregation.
“I am proud to be the leader of the school, a school named for David Clarke Virgo,” Hill-Black says. “The ideas he implored upon teachers and students during his leadership impacted them for years to come.”
Now, many feel similarly about Hill-Black, who has been with the D.C. Virgo family – first as a teacher and instructional coach – since 2013, before the school evolved into a UNCW-supported laboratory K-8 school.
“Lab schools” such as D.C. Virgo support high-needs, low-performing institutions to improve student outcomes by employing experimental learning methods and curriculum flexibility, among other benefits.
“We focus on families coming to school together,” Hill-Black says. “This includes establishing a warm, welcome environment for families as they partake in their children’s learning.”
Under her lead, students have seen fewer discipline referrals, more time spent outdoors, and other academic and social gains.
Hill-Black oversaw the school’s 2018 collaboration with UNCW, while also weathering Hurricane Florence and now, of course, adjusting to COVID-19. She has ensured that families receive meals and essential items – even hand-delivering computers for students in virtual distance learning.
“As a school administrator, it is important to me to lead a virtual environment that considers everyone’s health and needs,” she says. “It is especially important that we, collaborative communities, are empowered to work toward equitable opportunities to expand the dreams of all our children.”
Assistant Vice President of Instructional Operations,
With the help of Jennifer McBride and her team, Cape Fear Community College experienced successful spring and summer 2020 semesters, despite many challenges presented by the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic.
As assistant vice president of instructional operations at CFCC, McBride was suddenly tasked with providing immediate training needs and expanded access to technology. Many CFCC classes – although not all – remain online this fall.
“I work with a phenomenal group of people,” McBride says, “and it was inspiring to witness all departments coming together to assist with the transition.”
Before the pandemic, McBride had already been overseeing online learning and instructional technology, curriculum management, and curriculum scheduling, as well as two early college high schools, the CFCC honors program and the Center for Professional Excellence.
“Because of what we do at Cape Fear Community College,” she says, “people can pursue a new career, a higher education, start a new business, obtain a four-year degree, and beyond.”
McBride has been at CFCC for nearly two decades. She first began as an English instructor for fourteen years before taking on more administrative roles.
“(It is my goal) to consistently promote the importance of education,” she says, “and to remain a student to any learning opportunity that I face, both personally and professionally.”
Kirah Van Sickle
Kirah Fine Art
As a fierce advocate for the arts, Kirah Van Sickle teaches several mediums at three notable institutions – Cameron Art Museum, Cape Fear Community College, and Johnson County Community College.
As an artist-educator, Van Sickle brings a rich insight in materials and styles – teaching both traditional and contemporary processes in drawing, mixed media, and painting, including en plein air, as well as art appreciation lectures.
“What started as a teaching residency at Yosemite National Park in 2007,” she says, “has grown into a custom art history and studio art educational program for beginners to advanced student-artists.”
Described as a “citizen-artist,” Van Sickle thrives while contributing to her community.
“As a lifelong artist and adventurer, I love sharing the fundamentals of visual storytelling and creating a positive ‘space’ for students,” she says.
Van Sickle also partners with other local art associations and nonprofits (such as Wilmington Art Association and Osher Lifelong Learning Institute to provide lectures, professional critiques, and studio art workshops.
“Time in the studio, whether a private class or in a group, offers amazing energy,” she says, “a dynamic of ideas and goals.”
Of her own goals, Van Sickle names the development of her art journaling program and soon-to-be virtual classes, as well as more travel workshops focused on the appreciation and preservation of cultural and natural resources.
To view the Women to Watch Awards Finalists main page, click here.