ACC Names 2016-17 Employee Excellence Recipients

Alamance Community College has announced its 2016-17 recipients for Faculty Member, Adjunct Instructor, Workforce Development Instructor, and Staff Member of the Year.

The full-time teaching honoree serves as ACC’s nominee for the state’s Excellence in Teaching Award and the Alamance County area Gold Star awards later this year.


Rhonda Pierce, Faculty Member of the Year

Rhonda Pierce, Department Head of Nurse Aide

Employed at ACC since 2001 as Department Head of Nurse Aide (previously Nursing Assistant), Pierce oversees the program’s four full-time faculty members and a committed group of adjuncts. She has utilized the ACC campus as a site for state nurse aide testing. She played a key role in helping to structure a formal support group for the Piedmont Region of Nurse Aide Program Coordinators. Pierce also oversaw the development of a hybrid nurse aide program to meet the unique needs of students. An alternate evening schedule for the 8-week Goodwill satellite classes in nurse aide will begin a trial period this fall. Pierce has a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from UNCG and earns an Excellence in Nursing Leadership certification from UNC Chapel Hill this spring.


Don Utberg-Hood, Adjunct Instructor of the Year

Don Utberg-Hood, PLC/Electronics Instructor

An adjunct instructor since his 2005 retirement from ACC, Utberg-Hood began his tenure with the college in the 1990s as an instructor in the Electronics Technology program. He quickly moved into a department head position, followed by another appointment to head Industrial Systems Technology. In recent years, Utberg-Hood has taught Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC) and related courses in computer technology. In his adjunct work at ACC, he has focused primarily on encouraging students to learn how to think on their own. Under Utberg-Hood’s tutelage, students learn the basics, then go to work on computers to apply the problem-solving required by the course.


Beth Brehler, Staff Member of the Year

Beth Brehler, Director of Enrollment Management

A previous recipient of this award in 2013, Brehler has served in her present position since 2006. She supervises the daily operation for admissions and records departments, including student recruitment, and works with students daily. Her nomination for this award describes Brehler as utilizing “a combination of analysis, experience, wisdom and resources to solve day-to-day problems.” Brehler has a master’s degree in Higher Education Administration/College and University Leadership from UNC Wilmington. At ACC, she co-chairs the QEP (Quality Enhancement Plan) Committee, tasked with coordinating ACC’s five-year plan to improve student learning as part of reaccreditation.


Tom Davis, Workforce Development Instructor of the Year

Tom Davis, Woodworking Instructor

A graduate of ACC’s Residential Carpentry and Cabinetmaking program, Davis subsequently opened a small woodworking business specializing in custom furniture and cabinets. Returning to the College in 2007 to take advanced woodworking classes, he was approached a year later to teach woodworking, refinishing, cabinet making and large furniture design. Davis has a degree in marketing from Georgia State University, and 30 years in retail and wholesale manufacturing. Said one student, “Tom fosters an atmosphere which promotes self-development by his students.”