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Former OTC student lives out dream with NBC internships


Sean Barnhill outside NBC Studios building.

Sean Barnhill outside NBC Studios building.

Sean Barnhill dreams big. The 22-year-old knew early on what he wanted in life and what his singular goal was — to work at NBC.

Now, after studying at OTC and moving on to Drury University, Sean is seeing his dreams come true. He is serving his second internship with NBC, this time on the staff of the TODAY Show.

“I knew what I wanted in life and my sole goal was to get there,” said Sean, a Branson High School graduate.

“Anything is possible if you believe in yourself. I’ve been tested many times. It just takes the right mindset and attitude to conquer life’s obstacles. You can’t listen to the naysayers. You have to stay true to yourself and hold out hope.”

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OTC student doesn’t let disability hinder his education


Jason Morgan (left) and Kris Myers

Jason Morgan (left) and Kris MyersKris Myers says he can be himself at OTC. For someone with cerebral palsy, that’s not always easy.

The 18-year-old, first-year student recently spoke at this month’s OTC Board of Trustees about his college career and how students, faculty and staff ­– including Disability Support Services at the OTC Springfield campus  – treat him with respect and dignity.

The left side of Kris’ body is disabled by cerebral palsy, which afflicts the movement of muscles and can produce poor coordination, tremors, as well as stiff or weak muscles. His arm and hand are tucked tight to his side and the fingers on his hand are squeezed together. He walks with a pronounced limp.

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Former OTC student headed to university for the deaf

Doug Williams will be working on his master’s degree in deaf education at Gallaudet University, the world’s only university for the deaf, located in Washington, D.C.

Doug Williams will be working on his master’s degree in deaf education at Gallaudet University, the world’s only university for the deaf, located in Washington, D.C.

Doug Williams came to OTC in search of a language class and left with a new career.

Williams, who has an undergraduate degree in English, is now working on his master’s degree in deaf education at Gallaudet University, the world’s only university for the deaf, located in Washington, D.C.

While Williams is not deaf, the classes he attends will not have a speaking instructor.

“I’ve never been in that environment. All of the classes are signed,” he said.

The training he received in American Sign Language classes he took at OTC allowed him to pass the rigorous fluency examinations required in order to be admitted as a hearing student to Gallaudet.

“I came to OTC looking for a second language to study. I was required to study two languages. After two semesters of Spanish, I took up sign language and fell in love with it,” the Virginia native said.

”I knew that I wanted to do something with it for the deaf community. I never would have guessed when I took the classes that I would be doing this.”

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Recycling project to benefit dental program mission

Heather Adkins (left) and Rebecca Caceres with recycling box.

Heather Adkins (left) and Rebecca Caceres with recycling box.

Normally, you wouldn’t give your toothbrush to someone once you’re done with it, but now you can, and for a good cause.

The OTC dental programs are collecting and recycling used dental products, such as toothbrushes and empty toothpaste tubes. The programs will receive money for the items and those funds will go to Project HOPE, which buys supplies for the dental students to take on the annual mission trip to Nicaragua.

Rebecca Caceres, the dental hygiene program director, said collection boxes have been placed around the Springfield campus and will be out during the fall picnic in September. The public can also contribute to the project by bringing materials to Lincoln Hall, Room 215.

Caceres said the project is sponsored by Colgate-Palmolive Co., which is contributing funds to the project as well.

“Our Colgate representative is a friend of mine and she contacted me about the project and said she thought it would be something I’d be interested in,” she said.

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OTC grad continues to stride toward her dream

Na Pham’s five-year wait is over as she takes the first step towards a dream she brought to the Ozarks from her homeland of Vietnam in 2010.

She wants to be a pharmacist.

Na Pham works in the tutoring center.

Na Pham works in the tutoring center.

The program was developed in response to current and projected shortages of pharmacy professionals in the state, particularly in underserved rural areas.

Na, who graduated from OTC in 2014 with an associate of arts in chemistry, will be one of several OTC graduates who will take advantage of the close proximity of the program.

“It’s convenient that it is offered across the street,” Na said in reference to how close the Springfield campuses of OTC and MSU are to each other.

Na was an Honors Program student at OTC and impressed Todd Yerby, the program’s director.

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A+ program gives student second chance

Michaela Cate

Michaela Cate

Don’t tell Michaela Cate she can’t do something because she loves to show people she can.

Cate has used her A+ scholarship to become a physical therapy assistant even though, at one point, it didn’t look like she was going to get through the program.

“I wouldn’t have made it through financially without A+,” the Lincoln, Mo., high school graduate said. “I wouldn’t be in college without A+.”

The A+ program provides scholarship funds to eligible graduates of A+ designated high schools who attend a participating public community college or vocational/technical school, or certain private two-year vocational/technical schools in MIssouri.

In high school, Cate more than met all of the requirements needed to be eligible for the A+ scholarship. Besides having the grades that were required, she served on school committees, teams and societies.

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OTC graduate to study languages in Finland


Jay Rauhoff

OTC has student ambassadors who show prospective students around the college’s various campuses and centers.

But Jay Rauhoff has become the type of OTC ambassador who spreads the word about the college around the world.

Rauhoff, who attended OTC from 2007-2009, is now in Finland where he will work for four years on his doctorate in teaching the English language to those who don’t speak it.

He received his master’s from Missouri State University in 2013. Once he receives his terminal degree, there are no limits to where he can go next.

“I plan to come home every now and then after I receive my doctorate but in my line of work, my opportunities are very open to the world. My job is in high demand,” said Rauhoff, who graduated Glendale High School and also was a student teacher at Hillcrest.

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