Alumni Spotlight: Life-Changing Events

Some events in life leave a lasting impression. They are pivotal points in time that are truly life changing. For Laura Freeman, the first of these came at age 12. She was diagnosed with cancer, an illness that resulted in having her leg amputated. She was no longer a “typical” teenager and struggled through her high school years. Though she didn’t know it at first, her life would change...

Getting a Head Start

Ways to earn college credit in high school CollegeNow! at Hawkeye Community College allows students to earn high school and college degrees simultaneously. Mercedes “Cede” Angel will graduate from Denver High School on May 24. As she and her classmates prepare to become high school graduates that day, Cede will stand out among them for one reason: she will already be a college...

Skill and Caring

There’s more to healthcare careers than you think Everyone knows that job opportunities in healthcare are booming. From technicians to those on the front line of patient care, healthcare careers abound. Beyond doctors and nurses, hospitals and health centers are staffed with technicians, researchers, therapists, and assistants. Many of these in-demand, good-paying healthcare careers require...

Life After the Bakery Closes

Job retraining at Hawkeye Community College helps father land on his feet Kent Zingg had a plan. He had 26 years under his belt at Wonder Bread and planned on five more until retirement. Then, the factory doors closed in 2012 and Zingg found himself looking for a job. His plans had changed. “I didn’t know which way to go,” he said. “With my experience there’s really not a whole lot out...

Short-Term Training Nets Long-Term Career Goals

Student Success Story Ka-Te-Dra Purifoy Ka-Te-Dra Purifoy learned about the short-term training opportunities at Hawkeye Community College at a time in her life when she was searching for direction. Unemployed for nearly two years, she was at home recovering from a broken ankle and hoping to find a path to a high-paying, in-demand career. Hawkeye’s Minorities in Manufacturing program proved to...

CNC Training Helps Refugee Find New Career Path

Student Success Story: Po Chan Po Chan arrived in Waterloo two years ago without any real job training. A refugee from Burma, he had worked as a spray painter in Malaysia and had some limited math education, but lacked the English skills and technical training for a skilled job. He was working the production line at Tyson Fresh Meats, Inc., and taking English classes at the Hawkeye Community...

Student Success Story: Walfer Cifuentes

Walfer Cifuentes learned so much in the CNC Machining class that he doesn’t want to stop. “I want to keep learning more,” he said. “I need to learn the most possible.” Cifuentes has lived in Waterloo for six years, working at Tyson Fresh Meats, Inc., the entire time. He learned about the CNC Machining program while in his English Language Learning class and came to the program without...

Gain Confidence, Reinvent Your Career

Former bakery employee uses ingenuity, Hawkeye degree to make his dreams a reality Brian Mauer is a problem solver. He prides himself on coming up with inventive ways to fix things, whether it’s a rigging to elevate a children’s playhouse or helping his daughter with an Invent Iowa project that developed into a patented insulated window system. For many years, invention was a fun but...

GAP Tuition Assistance Program Removes Barriers to Career Training

When Toney O’Neal was laid off from his job at Bridgestone/Firestone in Des Moines, he came back to his hometown to get back on track. He was able to enroll in the short-term Industrial Maintenance program at Hawkeye Community College, the first step on what ultimately would be a very rewarding journey. “I’m a big fan of the whole program,” O’Neal said. “I didn’t realize how much...

Alumni Spotlight: Sam McCord

“Hawkeye has impacted me hugely!” says Sam McCord, CEO and founder of MCG BioComposites, LLC. “It provided a launching pad to get me into the field of soil and materials engineering.” McCord graduated from Hawkeye Institute of Technology in 1974 with a degree in Civil Engineering Technology. He is proud of his degree from Hawkeye, as it provided him hands-on experience and laid the...

Student Spotlight: Dominic Lazum

For Dominic Lazum, racking up 50 hours of community service isn’t hard. The Waterloo Columbus grad is always busy helping others. “I like helping people,” said Lazum, a student in the Liberal Arts Transfer program. “It’s one of my favorite things to do.” Since coming to Hawkeye in 2014, Lazum has volunteered at the Northeast Iowa Food Bank and helped pick up trash with the Phi Theta...

Student Spotlight: Courtney Foulk

Courtney Foulk had worked in healthcare for years, but when a company restructure left her without a job, she decided to reevaluate her career path. Her first stop was Hawkeye Community College. “I sat down with the Admissions office and tried to figure out what was a good fit for me,” she said. Their conversations guided Foulk to the Executive Assistant and Legal Office Assistant programs....

Alumni Spotlight: Kim Miller

Kim Miller traveled the world with the U.S. Navy, earned a management degree, worked in human resources, and held a real estate license. A career in nursing wasn’t on her radar. Then a serious health scare in the early 2000s put things in a different light. The Waverly native saw the care and attention her nurses and nurse aides gave her when she was in the hospital. It was eye...