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Introducing ‘Beyond the Classroom: Voices from Community Colleges’ podcast

“Beyond the Classroom: Voices from Community Colleges” is a podcast dedicated to uplifting the voices of North Carolina community college students, mentors, and professors. It is hosted by a former community college student, Kaidyn Radford, who is passionate about telling these stories.

Through interviews, we will learn how each guest became involved with the community college system, what they love about their schools, and any difficulties they’ve faced along the way. These stories will serve as a guide to our understanding of both the triumphs and the hardships that come from navigating community college life in North Carolina.

In the first episode, the host, Kaidyn Radford, talks to Donald Ellington, the department chair for Manufacturing at Guilford Technical Community College. Ellington, once a community college student himself, discusses what it took to successfully transition from student to professor and why this makes him uniquely qualified to tend to his students’ needs. Along the way, he also offers up advice to students who are just beginning their community college careers. 

In the second episode, Radford talks to Terry Phillips, the program coordinator for Legacy, a mentorship program for men of color at Davidson-Davie Community College. Phillips discusses his own journey as a Black man navigating the educational system and how that has equipped him to help the men in his program. He also offers advice for community colleges looking to start a similar program on their campus. Please note: this interview took place before Davidson-Davie Community College changed its name from Davidson County Community College.

In the third episode, Radford talks to Tina Hardin, a cardiovascular technology student at Central Piedmont Community College. Hardin is a non-traditional adult learner and a part of the Student Ambassadors program. In this interview, she discusses what it was like to go back to school later in life and how the community around her helped her succeed.

Kaidyn Radford

Kaidyn Radford is an undergraduate senior in the departments of Communication and Media and Women and Gender Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Originally, he comes from western North Carolina, where he earned an associate of applied science degree in advertising and graphic Design. This year, as a part of the John M. Belk Impact Fellowship, he is working with EducationNC as a multimedia intern.