Morteza Fatemi is the
recipient of the 2017 Nebraska Community College Association’s Distinguished
Alumni Award from Southeast Community College. Each of the five Nebraska
community colleges who are members of the NCCA selects one graduate who is
worthy of the award.
Originally from Iran, Fatemi
came to the United States in the late 1970’s. He enrolled in Southeast
Community College because of its affordable price tag and small class size.
“I did a little search before
enrollment and decided to attend SCC because it was affordable, small class
sizes, individual attention from staff, hands-on experience and the most
important part was the job placement service,” he said.
Fatemi graduated from SCC’s Environmental
Laboratory Technology program in 1985. He is a senior qualification engineer
for Novartis Consumer Health/GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare in Lincoln.
“What I have here today, it
all came from SCC,” he said. “I am proud of it and I wouldn’t do what I’m doing
today without my education from SCC.”
Fatemi said the small class
sizes and availability of the instructors was priceless.
“I got to know all the
instructors, and we were never afraid to ask questions,” he said. “A lot of
kids graduate from the University (of Nebraska-Lincoln) and don’t have the
hands-on experience. Once I walked into this job, I knew I had done things like
that at SCC.”
Following his graduation from
SCC, Fatemi worked as a lab assistant at SmithKline Beecham Animal Health and
worked his way up to a research associate. He worked there for 13 years and
then worked at Pfizer Global Manufacturing for 10 years as a quality assurance
In 2009 he commuted to
Elkhorn, where he worked as a quality assurance specialist at Merck Animal
Health. Two years later he returned to Lincoln to work at Novartis Consumer
Health as a QAS, and now as a senior qualification engineer.
Fatemi says he is able to use
his experiences at SCC every day in his job.
“I love the science field; I
learn every day,” he said. “I can always go there and relate to what I learned
Morteza and his wife Teresa
have three children: April, Heidi and Javada, as well as two grandchildren. He
enjoys biking, hiking and spending time with his family in his spare time. He
also loves going to work every day.
“I love my job, and they say
if you love your job it becomes your hobby.”