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STC drafting student designs school's signs
STC MichelleMethot 4x6
Michelle Methot, a drafting graduate, stands near the newly-erected exterior sign based on her design concept for Savannah Technical College. - photo by Photo by Stephen B. Morton

SAVANNAH — When Michelle Methot was a drafting student at Savannah Technical College three years ago, she had no idea that her design concept would set a standard for exterior signs at the college.

Her sign has already been erected outside the  Savannah Campus. Similar ones are going up at the Aviation Technology Center at the Crossroads Campus and the Liberty Campus in Hinesville.

“It is inspiring and encouraging for a design of your own making come into reality,” Methot said. “No matter what the scale or purpose of the project, the gratification of the final product coming to life is what drives designers.”

The sign was originally designed to incorporate multiple disciplines within the Industrial Technology division at the College. The idea was to afford other students the opportunity to contribute to a student-based design. Her design incorporated roof trusses found on campus buildings, so the sign would be consistent with existing structures.

Methot had a professional master of architecture from Savannah College of Art & Design and was designing houses when the housing market crashed. She enrolled in 3D modeling drafting classes at Savannah Technical College to master mechanical drafting software. In 2012 she was a student in the STC CATIA class, taught by Joseph Powell, now Dean of Industrial Technology at the college.

“When you design something that is actually built and used as you intended it – that’s what it’s all about,” says Powell. Of the 13 students in the class, all but Methot used Auto CAD, computer-aided design and drafting software for the project, while Methot used CATIA, software primarily used for aviation projects. Her design stood out immediately, says Powell. From there, the concept was validated by industry professionals and fine-tuned for construction.

“Michelle was a great problem solver,” says Powell of his former student. “She was always self-motivated, curious and quick to assist other students.” Now Methot is a business owner, who plans to resume her career in architecture.

Having students design project for real-world applications is a hallmark of the STC drafting program and is consistent with the college’s focus on community engagement. Over the years, drafting students have worked with the Mighty Eighth Air Force Museum to design parts for a World War II bomber, with Savannah Morning News to redesign news racks, with Forsyth Farmer’s Market for Farm Truck 912 – a mobile farmers’ market, with Serenity Gardens for a potential expansion, and with St. John’s Episcopal Church for lighting ideas in the historic sanctuary. “Projects like these provide invaluable experiences for our students. They get to test their design ideas and practice presenting like they will present to clients in the field,” says Powell.

STC’s Drafting program prepares students for a career in mechanical or architectural drafting. Whether it’s AutoCAD, Revit, Inventor, or CATIA, the Drafting department stays on the cutting edge of all the designing software available in industry. Students may earn an associate degree, diploma or technical certificates of credit. For more information visit or contact the Industrial Technology Academic Advisor 912.443.5859 or

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