The most important people at Henderson Community College are our students. We take pride in the wide variety of people who choose to attend Henderson Community College and want to share some of their stories with you. Take a few minutes and find out about some of the people you will meet in classes, at the Student Center or hanging out in the library.
Cheryl Higgins’ path to a degree has been rather circuitous. About four years after graduating from Gibson Southern High School in Fort Branch, IN, she began working on an accounting degree from Ivy Tech in Evansville. One term away from graduation, her education was put on hold due to family obligations. She then worked for a few years doing payroll, followed by many years as an administrative assistant.
About fifteen years ago, Cheryl left the workforce to finish raising her children. When the last two were nearing high school graduation she decided to try her hand at college classes once again and enrolled at HCC. Cheryl has been taking classes part time since 2006 with the intention of obtaining an associate degree. She will graduate in May 2014 with an Associate of Arts and an Associate of Applied Science, with an emphasis in internet technologies.
Following her graduation, she plans to get a job in the web development field. She’d like to say that she will remain there until retirement but life circumstances can change rapidly and you never know where those changes will take you.
"Until 2012 I spent my life living just outside Corydon, KY pretty much on my own. I was homeschooled up until June 2011 when I started attending the Adult Learning Center to prepare for GED testing. After a month and change of studying and taking pre-tests I obviously managed to pass and started at HCC in the Fall of 2011.
I immediately attempted to get a job with the Literary Magazine. I'm a writer at heart and a secondary motivation was that I felt there was some form of completing the cycle there, given that I managed to get an honorable mention in poetry at the ripe old age of eight. That first semester through a series of something you could either call circumstance or blind luck, I managed to not irritate the sponsor for the school paper, Scott Taylor, too much while reviving The Hill newspaper and have managed to keep it going steadily since then.
In addition to The Hill. I eventually got a position on the Literary Magazine. I've been an active member of the History Club. (I would say I'm an officer but the History Club is currently comprised of my entire circle of friends, so it's a democratic process whenever decisions are made these days. I don't hold the title of officer in such high regard as the fact that I managed to be in History Club at all). Last semester I somehow managed to land enough votes to be the Student Government Association president in the upcoming school year. In my spare time I run a writing website and podcast with some fellow HCC students.
My goals are to finish my Associate in Arts here at HCC before moving on to a 4-year college to get a BA in English which I will then take into getting a Masters in English that will allow me to be a college-level English teacher. Teachers have done nothing but help in my life and the few times I've had to give anything akin to a lecture I feel like this is what I want to do for a living. I can't think of a better thing for a writer to do than help teach others that they have that novel/poem/essay in them that the world wants to read."
Lindsey Powell is a second generation HCC student; her mom graduated in the spring of 2012. Lindsey was home-schooled from the 7th-9th grade but after she finished 9th grade, she was unable to continue home schooling. Since she didn’t want to return to regular school, she quit school all together. After a couple of years, she decided to take the GED exam. Not only did she pass the exam, she also received a scholarship because of her high scores.
After passing the GED, Lindsey started classes here the following fall. She says that everyone at HCC has always been encouraging and has pushed her to do the best that she can. Lindsey knows that she can turn to her teachers whenever she is having a problem. She’s involved in the Science Club, History Club, and Phi Theta Kappa. Being active on campus through clubs has helped her overcome some of her social anxiety; plus, she likes getting to meet new people.
Lindsey anticipates graduating in December 2013 with an AS degree in general sciences. Next fall she’s going to Kentucky Wesleyan to major in zoology. She’s not sure what field she wants to go into, but she wants to work with animals in some way. She would love to either be a veterinarian or to work in conservation.
At Henderson Community College we are proud of our graduates and their accomplishments. Our graduates include doctors, lawyers, politicians, teachers, and other leaders in our community. We are honored that many of them are willing to share their stories here. If you are a graduate of HCC and want to tell your story, contact us and tell us how HCC transformed your life!
Union County native Caesarrae Rapier, is a 2013 graduate of Henderson Community College. The 30 year-old married father of two shares that his experience at HCC was terrific.
In 2010, I lost my grandfather, Moscoe T. Rapier, to brain cancer; it was one of the hardest times in my life. My grandfather was actively involved in civil and workers’ rights and dedicated his life to fighting social injustices in the area. His passion for civil rights, coupled with the love that he showed me throughout my life was always a major driving force for me. He was always proud of me and encouraged me in my academic endeavors. Losing him was very hard and there were times when I considered giving up on school. However, the HCC family really helped me to continue pressing toward realizing the educational and life goals that I had set for myself. I am now pursuing my BA in Social Work through Murray State University’s satellite campus here at HCC.”
A native of Arkansas, Jan Thomas Hite moved to Kentucky in 2007 following nearly four years of service as a medic in the Army National Guard. During this time she served on active duty with the Army working at a medical clinic in Fort McCoy, Wisconsin.
After the birth of her second child Jan decided that it was time for her to go back to school and complete the degree that had been interrupted by her military service. Location and low tuition were only a few of the reasons Jan chose Henderson Community College. More importantly, Jan didn’t want to jump into a four-year university environment after having been out of school so long. HCC was just what she was looking for.
Jan loved everything about HCC. Jan credited the small classes and the ability to have one-on-one attention from her professors with creating a family-like atmosphere at HCC. The dedication of the professors also amazed her. Jan says "All of the professors I have met are passionate about what they do and the success of their students."
She served as the president of the Student Government Association, the president of Phi Theta Kappa, a Student Ambassador, and was a member of the History Club. She also served on the KCTCS Board of Regents as a Student Representative.
Jan graduated in May 2012 with an Associate of Arts degree in Political Science. Her ultimate goal is to attend the Louis D. Brandeis School of Law at the University of Louisville.
Following graduation, Jan was elected to the Henderson City Commission in the 2012 election. As a result of receiving the largest amount of votes, she was named to the position of Mayor Pro Tem by her fellow commissioners. This means that she will be the acting mayor when the mayor is out of town.
Keith Williams, whose 34-year career in photography for the Louisville Courier-Journal earned him two Pulitzer Prizes, attended Henderson Community College from 1968 until 1971. Even though tuition at the time was only $150 per semester, he would have not been able to attend without the help of businessmen Bethel Brown of Brown’s Radio Service and Walt Dear and Ron Jenkins of The Gleaner.
He credits HCC with turning him into a reader. While he was growing up, he had many great teachers at Seventh Street Baptist Church, Seventh St. School, Barret Junior High, and Henderson City High, but Mr. Myers of HCC was the one who piqued his interest in reading.
Williams said, “Mr. Myers taught sociology. Most of the class was over my head until he had us to purchase a copy of a book entitled Manchild in the Promised Land, by Claude Brown. It was the first book that I read from beginning to end. That turned on the light for me to become a reader. I could relate to the story, even though I lived in the opposite kind of environment. From that point on, I went in search of other books to expand my view of the world.”
Williams believes that in his formative years, his teachers made an investment of time in him. Because of this, in his post-retirement years he’s trying to return the dedication by substitute teaching and helping students in Greater Clark County Schools in southern Indiana.
Henderson Community College employees share a common goal, student success. Whether they teach classes, assist with registration, keep the classrooms warm and clean, or make sure your financial aid forms are in order, they do their jobs with the students in mind. Take a few minutes and read more about the special people who have helped shape Henderson Community College and continue to dedicate their careers to building a better school and community.
Jonas Hunziker is one of those HCC employees who came to HCC as a student and then stayed to become a more permanent part of his alma mater.
Jonas doesn't come from the tri-county area. He's come a long way to attend and later work at HCC, around 4,600 miles. Jonas met his future wife, Kelli, in an online chat room and decided to move to the United States. After moving to Morganfield, Jonas worked at Rayloc until 2008 when the company laid off hundreds of workers.
Jonas learned that he was eligible for an educational opportunity at Henderson Community College with financial assistance from the Green River Area Development District (GRADD) program. It quickly became apparent to the HCC staff that Jonas was already very knowledgeable about computers and software,” said Robert Jenkins, GRADD training coordinator. Within two years, he obtained an Associate Degree in Applied Sciences with a specialization in computer programming and was asked to work in the Technology Solutions department.
According to Robert Jenkins, “Jonas is certainly one of the remarkable success stories about a dislocated worker who has made the most of an unfortunate situation.”
Kara Becker, Henderson Community College’s chemistry instructor, is a 1994 graduate of HCC. Following her time at HCC, she transferred to Western Kentucky University, where she received her B.S. in Recombinant Genetics and Chemistry. She received her MA in Education with an emphasis in Chemistry from Western Kentucky University in 2001.
Her passion for chemistry began with her first hands-on lab in Ann McCroskey's 9th grade Introduction to Chemistry and Physics course at Henderson County North Jr. High School. That passion resurfaced in professor Mary Carver’s class at HCC. According to Kara, Ms. Carver’s relaxed manner and her enthusiasm made the class enjoyable (and it didn’t hurt that she did really cool experiments).
Kara loves helping students understand concepts and getting them excited about learning. Kara enjoyed teaching stints at Henderson County North Middle School, Mater Dei High School, and Henderson County High School, and also served at the University of Southern Indiana as the director of the Southwest IN Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Resource Center. She returned to the college as an instructor in the Spring 2011.
For her, being at HCC is like being at home. Her goal at HCC is to grow the department so that students can transfer from HCC with enough chemistry credits to be on track with their peers at a 4-year institution. She would also like to see students get more involved in campus life at HCC. She believes that students who get involved learn and stay to finish goals.
Bill Dixon serves as the Director of Cultural Diversity and Global Awareness, at Henderson Community College. Bill has come full circle, as he graduated from HCC in December 1970. He is also a graduate of Henderson City High School and Indiana State University-Evansville (now USI), with a degree in Sociology and Psychology.
His professional work experience includes
Dixon feels that his most significant professional accomplishment occurred in March 2006, when he was appointed to his present position at HCC. He says this position allows him to give back to this institution and community, much in a way that was given to him. One of Dixon’s primary goals is to increase awareness among the African American population about the value of higher education and the quality of education at HCC.
Bill is married to the former Fathey Hatchett. Between them, they have four adult children.