Shannon Thomas got his start at Sinclair with a degree in printing technologies. Co-founding his business, Four Ambition, in 2011, he specializes in screen-printed apparel and posters, embroidery, buttons and graphic design.
Designed to be at Sinclair, Shannon took no opportunity for granted. Yearning for additional challenges in his major, he used the printing lab and resources provided to print projects that prepared him for his future beyond Sinclair. “Sinclair has an amazing graphics department,” Thomas complimented. Shannon noted that this would not have been possible without the support of his professors. “I felt like a lot of the teachers and professors cared more than most other colleges,” he said.
While in the lab one day, Shannon received a phone call from a local employer to schedule a job interview. The printing press was running in the background and made a good first impression to the employer, Oregon Printing. Shannon worked there for four years before opening Four Ambition.
Running his company now, Shannon leads current students with his bright insights. “Take advantage of all the opportunities that Sinclair offers,” he said. “Take some fun classes and get to know the people you’re in class with.”
Shannon returns to Sinclair periodically as an adjunct professor teaching a printing class.
“It’s my way to give back to the students and help prepare them as my professors did for me. I’ve been working in the industry for 10 years now and I just like to be able share that knowledge I’ve obtained. And at the same time, it reignites my passion for it to see others with the same passion,” Shannon said.
Frank Martinez worked odd jobs, mostly in construction, until he decided he wanted more. He is now a project coordinator for Montgomery County, and his time at Sinclair is what got him there.
“I could have just stayed in construction labor, but I wanted to be more involved with planning, design and administration,” he said. “A degree made that possible.”
Frank was able to successfully achieve two degrees—Architecture and Civil Engineering—both within the same year of 2002.
“Receiving an education from Sinclair has opened the door to various job opportunities that I would not have been considered for without a degree,” Frank said. “I feel Sinclair gave me a great foundation to build my career upon.”
Bethany Farrier found a home at Sinclair, earning her Associate of Arts in Visual Communication and meeting the contacts that would refer her to Hooven-Dayton Corporation, where she now works as a Sales & Marketing Assistant. "Even though I’ve never been one of those people who liked school," Bethany says, "I had a lot of really great teachers that enhanced my experience at Sinclair."
"I was on the Dean’s List every quarter. Since I enjoyed school, I tried harder, and it paid off. I felt fulfilled, receiving that letter," Bethany says, "especially since my grades in high school were only ever average."
Sinclair's accreditation by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design made her degree and education valuable, and pairing that with her student employment in Sinclair's eMarketing and Publications department gave her a foundation of work experience that she's building upon today. "The knowledge I gained was useful and immediately applicable to the professional world: Not just theory." she says. She remembers her friend playing Daniel in Once on This Island, and also the day she modeled for her boss, Kathy Kiggins. "It was a really fun day, going around campus with a bunch of other students, enjoying the nice weather and taking a few photos," some of which were published in Sinclair in Mason Catalog, and on the pillars in the bookstore.
Bethany suggests that students should meet as many people as they can. "Sinclair has such a wide variety of people, and you never know which of them could impact your life," she says. "I've been an HDC team member for more than a year, and it's all thanks to Sinclair Community College.”
“I dreamt when I was nine years old, on West Third St. and going to Jackson School, of living in Africa and doing volunteer work abroad,” said Pat Carter. “Sinclair was my gateway to learning and finding my potential in life’s pursuit.”
Pat and her husband, William, recently returned from serving in St. Vincent and the Grenadines in the West Indies for the U.S. Peace Corps. Pat hosted a call-in radio show about HIV/AIDS while William taught welding safety and regulations.
It’s always been a team effort for Pat and William Carter. More than 60 years down the road, and with 44 years of marriage along for the ride, Pat said, “I give much credit for our adventurous spirit to my education and teaching time at Sinclair.”
Pat left a lucrative job in sales via radio to become a full-time Sinclair student and ended up becoming an adjunct professor and Alumni Association board member. Since then she has retired from owning a business consultancy for more than 35 years and earned her master of arts degree from Antioch University McGregor.
With Pat’s dyslexia, Sinclair provided support for testing and proctors through disability services. She said this was invaluable. Although her degree was individualized for International Marketing and Political Science, Pat took swimming classes; her favorite class was logic, and she attended free lectures from guest speakers as well. For Pat, time spent at Sinclair is best used “to explore and discover the other sides of life and learning.”