Morteza Fatemi, a June 1985 graduate from
the Environmental Laboratory Technology program at Southeast Community
College, and Wade Gibson, a June 2002 graduate from the Microcomputer
Technology program, each received Distinguished Alumni Awards from the
College during an in-service meeting Jan. 4 at SCC's Lincoln Campus.
is a senior qualification engineer for Novartis Consumer
Health/GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare in Lincoln. He is responsible
for testing equipment to ensure that it is validated/qualified and
consistently does what it should do according to FDA rules and
regulations. The equipment may include pharmaceutical water and cooling
systems and packaging equipment for medications.
was extremely excited that I could express my gratitude to faculty and
staff about how my professional career and personal life were affected
since graduating from SCC," Fatemi said. "Their hard work and dedication
to education and student life" were evident.
Fatemi's daughter, April Minster, chair of SCC's Associate Degree Nursing program, nominated her father for the award.
have known him my entire life, and he has consistently shown
motivation, hard work and dedication amidst the challenges that life has
presented," Minster said. "My Dad came to the United States in 1977 to
attend college at Louisiana State University. When I asked him about any
challenges, he simply stated, 'culture and language.' He spoke a little
English and didn't understand the language. Shortly after he moved to
Fremont to attend Midland Lutheran University. His uncle lived in
Nebraska, and he wanted to be near family. Upon completing his Bachelor
of Arts degree in biological science, he moved to Lincoln. He spent the
next several months seeking employment and without success worked at a
downtown restaurant. He had heard about SCC and decided to take a few
classes, including microbiology and chemistry, when he met John Kenkel."
was an instructor in the Environmental Laboratory Technology program
who is credited with getting Fatemi started on his career.
excellent classroom education, hands-on training and job placement I
acquired from SCC prepared me for my current position," Fatemi said.
has numerous responsibilities at his current position, including the
qualification of new and existing utilities and manufacturing equipment;
performing installation qualification, operational qualification and
performance qualification; qualification of programmable logic
controllers, human-machine interaction and variable frequency drives;
and managing resources for the completion of qualification activities in
a timely manner.
Fatemi began his
career as a laboratory assistant in pharmaceutical development at the
former Norden Laboratories/SmithKline Beecham Animal Health.
He holds the Six Sigma Yellow Belt certification, Merck Yellow Belt certification and is a certified auditor.
His community service includes serving as a coach in the YMCA and Capital Soccer Association.
he is a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the
American Chemical Society, the CIP team for raw materials, and a member
of the lean manufacturing team (Kaizan).
Minster said her father's hard work and dedication are best exemplified by the following three points.
he says often, 'if you love your job, you don't work a day in your
life' proudly and finds this true to himself," she said. "Secondly, he
works until the job is done. Lastly, after many years working with the
same pharmaceutical company, my Dad was forced into early retirement. I
could see how devastating this was to him and his personal identity. He
was not old enough to 'really' retire and needed to seek out employment.
He had not interviewed or written a resume in years. I was shocked, not
sure why, but he went to the library for books and took classes on
interviewing techniques and resume writing. Several months later he
continued his career in Omaha. He has mentioned a few times how
eye-opening that experience was and how much he has grown personally and
professionally with a couple different companies since then."
Gibson is the media/technology coordinator for Educational Service Unit 11 in Holdrege.
I learned that I would be recognized for this award, I was immediately
taken by surprise," Gibson said. "I had no idea that I was even
nominated for this award, so I was very humbled."
Dr. Paul Tedesco, ESU 11 administrator, nominated Gibson for the award.
addition to Wade having extensive knowledge in technology, he has
tremendous communication and presentation skills," Tedesco said. "This
allows our organization to utilize him in multiple capacities, including
teaching adult learners and presenting information to both large and
small groups. Wade's friendly demeanor, coupled with his extensive
technical and background knowledge, make it easy for him to work with
people of all personalities."
Gibson said the education he received from SCC "provided the solid foundation for me to begin building my career."
fundamental skills and hands-on experience gained while at SCC proved
to be invaluable when entering the workforce," he said. "I was fortunate
enough to be hired on part-time with Lincoln Public Schools during my
first quarter at SCC (a job listing I found posted at the Placement
Office). The workplace experience I gained in parallel with my education
allowed me to stay on full-time upon my graduation from SCC. This
seamless transition was pivotal to my future growth in the field."
his current position, Gibson is responsible for providing leadership
and vision for the 13 member school districts that comprise ESU 11.
team partners with district administrators and technology coordinators
to plan, implement and support a variety of technology projects and
services," Gibson said. "Additionally, we collaborate on a number of
statewide initiatives that provide increased opportunities for schools
in our area."
Gibson was instrumental
in developing a streamlined approach to data collection. He and a team
of ESU 11 cohorts presented the information at the 2013 Association of
Educational Service Agencies annual conference in San Antonio, Texas.
The presentation was titled "You Can Lead Schools to Data, but Can You
Make Them Think?" It focused on how Gibson utilized free Web 2.0 tools
to assemble and analyze data to better assist member school districts.
holding membership in a number of professional organizations, Gibson is
a member of the Webster County Agricultural Association and has been a
board member since April 2015.
said, "One of the most important skills a person can possess is the
ability to continually learn and change. The information technology
field can shift rapidly, so this is crucial. A person's willingness to
learn new things is far more valuable than how well they mastered a
particular skill five years ago."