Just the Facts

Nominations sought for SCC’s Distinguished Alumni Award

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Southwestern Community College is now accepting nominations for the SCC Foundation’s sixth-annual Distinguished Alumni Award through March 1. 

To be considered for the award, nominees must have graduated with either a certificate, diploma or degree from the institution known today as Southwestern Community College and previously as Southwestern Technical College (1979-1988), Southwestern Technical Institute (1967-1979), or Jackson County Industrial Education Center, a satellite of A-B Tech (1964-67).

To nominate a Southwestern graduate, visit SouthwesternCC.edu/award.

Past winners include Kyle Dowling (2019), Dustin Wilson (2020), John Mattox (2021), Jared Ballew (2022), and Dr. Rivers Woodward (2023).

Dowling was a 2013 graduate of SCC’s Emergency Medical Science program before receiving his bachelor’s degree at WCU.  Within two years of graduating, he became a supervisor and training officer for Harris Regional Hospital’s EMS Department. 

A 2003 graduate of SCC’s Outdoor Leadership program, Wilson later earned his Ph.D. in Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management from Clemson University. He is now the Outdoor Recreation and Cultural Resources Planner for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in Washington, D.C.

The late John Mattox was a member of SCC’s first National Park Service – Seasonal Law Enforcement Training program in 1978. He spent 37 years in the National Park Service and eventually rose to the role of Special Agent in Charge of the Eastern U.S.

Graduating in 2007, Ballew serves as Vice President of Government Relations for Drake Software – a leading tax software development company. A leader in cybersecurity industry, he’s the current president of the National Association of Computerized Tax Processors.

Also a 2007 graduate, Dr. Rivers Woodward currently works as the lead physician at Blue Ridge Community Health Services in Lake Lure. At the same time, he serves as a physician champion for the N.C. Medical Society Diabetes Prevention Program, a faculty member for the family medicine residency at the Mountain Area Health Education Center, and as an adjunct faculty member at UNC-Chapel Hill School of Medicine.

DR. RIVERS Woodward was the 2023 recipient of SCC’s Distinguished Alumni Award.

In addition to being recognized at graduation, this year’s recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award will be recognized on SCC’s website, social media, and receive an award plaque and $250 from the SCC Foundation.

For more information about the alumni award, contact Kathy Posey, SCC’s Institutional Development Associate, at (828) 339-4227 or [email protected].