SAVANNAH – Dr. Kathy Love was appointed president of Savannah Technical College in January and now, six months later, her focus on excellence has begun to pay off – in a big way.
This spring, the college boasted record enrollment; new evening programs in cosmetology and culinary arts are under way; automotive technology is being resurrected at the Liberty Campus; a long-awaited welding program is coming to the Effingham Campus, and more new programs are in the works, including neuromuscular therapy, sports medicine, barbering and court reporting.
"I have to admit, I had my doubts that we would fill an evening cosmetology program," said Mike Patterson, dean of industrial and public service programs, "but she proved me wrong. With a little bit of advertising and a lot of perseverance, we started the spring quarter with 25 students enrolled."
This summer, automotive technology will be taught at the Liberty Campus, again, at the president’s direction. "She’s committed to this and understands it takes consistent effort to make it happen," said Ben Rodriguez, the head of the automotive technology department. Rodrigues will teach at both the Savannah and Liberty campuses. At the Effingham Campus, plans are under way to teach welding, beginning this summer at an industrial site.
It’s not unusual to find Love talking with students, visiting with faculty members and checking out program offerings. At a spring open house for the industrial programs, she arrived early and stayed late learning about everything from electrical construction to HVAC to drafting and automotive. Recently, she visited the firing range for the college’s Peace Officer Academy – one of six designated programs in the Technical College System of Georgia to offer post-certified training for police officers – and even fired a few rounds into the targets.
A champion of Gov. Sonny Perdue's work ready initiative, Love is instrumental in seeing that Bryan, Chatham, Effingham and Liberty counties have the support they need to become work ready communities. With strong community support in Liberty County, the work ready effort is taking shape there and earned a mention when Purdue visited campus in June for a housing and business expo.