Aiken Technical College Employees to Be Recognized During SC Technical Education Association Conference
Nikasha N Dicks
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Aiken Technical College Employees to Be Recognized During SC Technical Education Association Conference

Several Aiken Technical College (ATC) employees are participating this week in the annual South Carolina Technical Education Association (SCTEA) conference in Myrtle Beach.

SCTEA will recognize Educator of the Year award recipients during the conference, including three ATC employees.

The organization recognizes employees in the South Carolina Technical College System (SCTCS) who have contributed to furthering the System’s mission and have done outstanding work in their roles at their colleges.

Each college within the SCTCS selects honorees in the following categories: faculty, staff, and administrator. ATC’s award recipients are:

ATC Educator of the Year—Administrator: Dr. S. Vinson Burdette

Burdette serves as the Vice President of Academic & Student Affairs and has been employed at ATC for 11 years. Previous positions held at the College have included Vice President of Student Affairs & Marketing, Vice President of Enrollment Management, Dean of Enrollment Services, and Dean of Student Development.

He is also involved in professional and civic organizations as a representative of the College, including the North Augusta Rotary Club and the Chief Academic Officer and Chief Student Services Officer peer groups with the SCTCS.

ATC Educator of the Year—Faculty: Daniela Payne

Payne has been employed by the College for four years and is the Biology Department Chair. She also serves as the president of the College’s Faculty Assembly. In addition, she is a member of the Curriculum & Instruction Committee, Technology Steering Committee, and the 50th Anniversary Committee.

She is also a past advisor for the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society.

ATC Educator of the Year—Staff: David Przygoda

Przygoda is the Custodial Supervisor and has been employed at the College for 13 years. In his role, he is a member of the ATC Green Team, manages the set-up and custodial support for events, and assists other departments such as Maintenance and Shipping & Receiving.


New SCTEA officers will also be introduced during the conference, including Bruce McCord, ATC’s Director of Institutional Effectiveness, Teaching & Technology, who will assume the association’s president role for the next year.

This year’s conference, themed “Soaring Above the Obstacles,” features several sessions that ATC employees will lead on various higher education topics. Session presenters and topics include:

  • Deanna Brandenberger, History and Anthropology Instructor, presenter of “Embracing Diversity: Understanding, Identifying & Engaging Students of Different Backgrounds”

  • Kent Cubbage, Biology Instructor, presenter of “The Choice to Lead: The On and Off-Ramp in Higher Education Leadership”

  • Romana Hinton, English Instructor, presenter of “Use of Direct Quotes in Literature Reviews: A Qualitative Case Study of Undergraduate and Graduate Students”

  • Aimee Johnson, Human Resources Specialist, presenter of “Emphasizing Employee Wellness”

  • Stacey Nichols, Communications Department Chair, co-presenter of “Are You Ready to Soar to Your Doctorate? Reflections and Tips on Balancing Doctoral Studies with Your Career”

  • Daniela Payne, Biology Department Chair, presenter of “Succeeding in Introductory STEM Courses at Community Colleges: STEM Instructor Perceptions of Essential Skills and Barriers to Success”

  • Dora Robson, Procurement Director, presenter of “Management Oversight of P-Card Use”

For more information about the SC Technical Education Association, visit

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