Apply Now Campus Tour

Alumni Profiles

Alumni Profiles - Our Alumni do great things.


How'd They Get There?


Take a look at just a few CVCC alumni who’ve found happiness and fulfillment in their careers.

We’ll add new stories over time, so visit often! Or, offer up your own story for us to feature. Who knows? Maybe your journey will inspire someone to take that first step to enroll at CVCC.

Amber Chavez
College Transfer, '12

Amber Chavaz, College Transfer, '12From factory job to veterinary school. Dreams really do come true...if you're willing to work for them! Just ask Amber Chavez.






Dale Hamilton
Information Systems, '08

Dale Hamilton, Information Systems, '08Dale is the first CVCC student to receive the prestigious Jack Kent Cooke Scholarship valued at $30,000 a year for up to three years. Now, he's finished his doctorate in physical therapy at UNC-Chapel Hill. Learn more about Dale Hamilton's journey here.






Cassaundra Hefner
Nursing, '98

Cassaundra Hefner, Nursing, '98

This former high school dropout refused to believe a college education was out of reach. After earning her high school diploma and a nursing degree through CVCC, Cassaundra Hefner now holds a Doctor of Nursing Practice and has been successful beyond her wildest dreams. Learn more about Cassaundra's journey.   





Skyla Nieves
Nursing, '14

Skyla Nieves, Nursing, '14

Skyla Nieves was born to an addicted mother. At age 7, she started smoking marijuana. Her first drink of alcohol came two years later. Today, she is a practicing nurse helping others who have been in her shoes. Read more about Skyla's journey.





Scott Monish 
Networking Technology '11

Field Engineer with HSM (Hickory Springs)

Scoot Monish, Networking Technology, 2011In the networking industry, there are three requirements to getting hired: experience, industry certifications and a college degree. When Scott was laid off from an IT job, he had all but the degree. So he turned to CVCC.

Scott combined the training he received through Old Dominion University while in the Navy with CVCC credits to complete an associate degree. The job market was still tight when he graduated, though, so he engaged his entrepreneurial propensity and did freelance computer engineering work for a couple years. 

Keeping in touch with his industry contacts, he landed a progression of IT jobs. Today, he’s a field engineer for HSM (formerly Hickory Springs) and enjoys traveling across the country doing location-based IT work. 

Monique Alva
Associate in Arts '11

Monique Alva, Associate in Arts, '11A single mother  of two, I enrolled at CVCC because I wanted a better life for my children. While attending CVCC, I found out about Appalachian State’s bachelor’s in social work taught at the East Campus. Once I had enough transfer credits, I enrolled at ASU. It took 6 years to finally finish college on my 5th attempt in 2012. I am so blessed and thankful to be a social worker for Child Protective Services in Caldwell County’s Department of Social Services.


Chad Bumgarner
Microcomputer Technology '97

Chad Bumgarner, Microcomputer Technology, '97I grew up in the Ridgeview community, attended CVCC and graduated from Mercer University. I work for a large accounting firm in Atlanta as a technical project manager, but my passion is motivational speaking, team building and leadership coaching. I started my own leadership training group and have authored a book on leadership. I tell people, “You can be from a small town and grow up to work for a Fortune 500 company making six figures.”


Kathy Helms
Advertising & Graphic Design '08

Kathy Helms, Advertising and Graphics Design, '08I grew up with dreams of becoming a filmmaker, singer or artist, but I failed to follow those creative dreams. Instead, I pursued a steady income for 22 years. During what I call my own personal midlife crisis, I started my formal education at CVCC in order to pursue a creative career. CVCC gave me the technical skills that I needed to apply my creative skills. I quickly discovered a particular love for book cover design. Today, I am a self-employed graphic designer and award-winning book cover designer. 


Amelia "Amy" Kennedy
Office Administration Technology '13

Amelia Kennedy, Office Administration Technology, '13I was a stay at home mom until my daughter turned 12 and I decided to enrolled in computer classes at CVCC’s County and was elected 4th Vice Chair of the CVCC’s County Republican Party. I also formed an advocacy organization called Catawba Catawba of NC that educates, integrates and empowers our Hispanic Community.



Pa Lor

Associate in Arts

Pa Lor, Associate in ArtsI grew up in a Hmong family where traditional family values were stressed over education. I married immediately after high school and had a daughter. Yet I “always wanted to do something special,” so I enrolled at CVCC and began what would be a 15-year educational journey. I earned a bachelor's in psychology at Lenoir-Rhyne University, teaching credentials at UNC Charlotte and ultimately a master's degree in school counseling at Appalachian State. I taught at Bandys High School and Riverbend Middle School until I became a counselor at Webb A. Murray Elementary where I serves as a role model for students who also “want to do something special.”

Steve Peeler
TurfgrassTechnology '90

Steve Peeler, Turfgrass Technology, '90Steve has worked in professional sports field construction around the world, including the St. Louis Cardinals, Seattle Mariners, Houston Murry, Florida Marlins and Pittsburgh Pirates. In 2000, he started SEP International, a full service firm that specializes in consulting, design, construction, renovation and facility management for sports fields/facilities. He started Five-Tool Baseball/Softball Academy, a training facility for youths and adults in Turfgrass. And he's back at his alma mater as a faculty member passing on his knowledge to the next generation of turf professionals.



Thankful For Your CVCC Education?

Want to offer up your own story for us to feature? Maybe your journey will inspire someone to take that first step to enroll at CVCC.Let us connect you with faculty, student clubs and the Career Services office so you can "pay it forward." 


Mary M. Reynolds
(828) 327-7000, ext. 4387