ACTC Welcomes New Technical Staff


Megan Smedley

   President Larry Ferguson and the entire Ashland Community and Technical College family are excited to welcome three new faculty to the Technology Drive Campus.

   Rebekah Michael, John Willis, and Jeff Walters were all recently hired as new faculty. Michael is an instructor and program coordinator for the business administration department, with Willis and Walters working in the Applied Process Technologies (APT) program as instructors, with Willis also serving as APT program coordinator.

   Prior to her new role at ACTC, Michael served the FIVCO Area Development District as Chief Financial Officer in 2016.

   “After leaving FIVCO, I had a few occupational adventures: working part time for Supporting Strategies as a remote bookkeeper with general accounting duties, working full time as a self-employed woodworker at my company, Burning Day Designs, and most recently, working for Accountingprose – a fully remote team of “small business superheroes” providing bookkeeping, payroll, and other services to a variety of industries,” Michael said.

   Michael also worked for Kelley Galloway Smith Goolsby, PSC from 2013 to 2016 in the audit department.

   “I had wonderful coworkers and mentors, and audit exposed me to many types of clients, each with their own internal control environments, organizational culture, accounting systems, and technical prowess. The experience was invaluable and I described it before, during, and to this day as my ‘dream job’ … before babies.”

   She says teaching has always been a passion of hers, so being able to take what she has learned in the field to the formal classroom is a dream come true.

   “Coming from industry, I am able to relate almost everything my students will be learning about business to their current or future careers,” she says.  “Planning my classes has been so fun – we are going to make the terms and concepts come alive through engaging discussions, thought provoking assignments, and some humorous truth telling.”

   She adds, “As program coordinator, I have the amazing responsibility of ensuring our program is meeting the needs of our students and our community. A college degree is an accomplishment in and of itself that should be celebrated, but I want to be sure our students are successful beyond the ACTC classroom.”

   Willis joins the ACTC family after most recently working as an adjunct instructor in the Applied Integrated Technology (AIT) program and a third-party contracted Safety Consultant working at PureCycle Technologies.

   “The last two school years, I had the opportunity to work as an adjunct with the AIT Program here at ACTC. I instructed Workplace Safety, Intro to Power Distribution, and Equipment Maintenance. Going from adjunct instructor to APT Program Coordinator will be a welcomed challenge, a task I’m excited to pursue. The biggest change with this position will be the responsibility of the program, not just a few classes,” Willis says.

   He says this opportunity brings the ability to share the knowledge and experience he has gained throughout his career with ACTC’s students.

   “The students can expect to learn about the equipment and processes involved with the oil, petrochemical, and manufacturing industries. We will also focus on developing critical thinking skills to create the best candidates for all types of industries.”

   Walters comes to ACTC from Brayman Construction where he has spent the last year and a half working as a safety officer on a project in Hinton, W. Va. He has been working as a safety officer on various projects in the area since 2005. Before that, he worked as a refinery operator at Marathon Ashland Petroleum for 13 years.

   “I’m excited to be assisting students with career building and learning.  I hope to pass on a lot of ‘life experiences’ which may assist them in their pursuit of a degree and career,” Walters says. “Students can expect individual attention if needed and also a champion for each student’s learning experiences.”