Southwest Colorado Community College programs strengthened with additions of new employees at East, West campuses

CORTEZ/DURANGO – Southwest Colorado Community College, a branch of Pueblo Community College, has greatly strengthened the instruction for two technical, “hands-on” programs at its West Campus here by adding three key faculty members this fall semester. Meanwhile, the SCCC East Campus has three new Nursing program instructors and a director to head its new Pre-College Programs division.


On the West Campus, new faculty members are David Wolfel and Robert Fahrion in the Welding program and Chris Ewald in the Automotive Department. All three bring excellent credentials and experience into SCCC classrooms.


Wolfel is a Pennsylvania native who grew up in Northern Vermont and earned welding certification from the Lincoln Electric School of Welding in Cleveland. He has worked as a welder in several different parts of the county in various capacities including nuclear fabrication, construction, oil and gas applications, aircraft and aerospace components, and both nuclear coal and gas-fired power plants. He has been certified as an American Welding Society welding inspector.


Fahrion grew up in Rico, Colorado, is a graduate of Dolores High School and earned a certificate in welding from San Juan Basin Technical College before it merged with PCC’s Southwest Center to become the SCCC West Campus.  Fahrion has worked on various projects in the Southwest region as well as on underwater welding projects in the Gulf of Mexico after receiving a certificate as a commercial diver from the Ocean Corporation. He has earned a variety of welding certificates over the course of his career and recently returned to Cortez, with his wife of 25 years and their two children, to work in the construction industry and to manage his own shop. He is working in a temporary capacity as an instructor in the Welding Department at SCCC.


Ewald has several automotive certifications including the Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) designation for master technician, master medium/heavy truck technician, and advanced level specialist in engine performance and diesel engines performance. He also has earned master technician certifications from both Ford and General Motors. Earlier, he graduated as valedictorian from the Spartan School of Aeronautics in Tulsa and attended the University of Nevada- Reno and the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Engineering, working towards a degree in master engineering. Chris has 17 years of work experience at factory dealerships and independent shops as a technician and service manager. Chris is married and has five children.


 On the East Campus, Terry Schumaker, Wendy Stevens and Nora Flucke are new Nursing program instructors while Jill Carrithers has become the Director of Pre-College Programs, a new college division.


Terry has been a nurse for more than 30 years, first as a Licensed Practical Nurse and then as an Associate Degree Registered Nurse. He lives in Mancos, has a master’s degree in Nursing from the University of Colorado (2010) and is working to obtain her Doctor of Nursing Practice degree.


Stevens moved to Durango four years ago from Denver, where she worked as a trauma intensive care unit and emergency room nurse. Originally from the East Coast, she received her Master in Nursing degree from the University of Pennsylvania. She then worked at the University of Pennsylvania Hospital and St. Luke’s Hospital. She has participated in several international medical missions.


Flucke lived in Venezuela and Germany before moving to Durango 17 years ago.  She worked as a registered nurse in Medical-Surgery, Obstetrics, the ICU, and PACU in Colorado, California, North Carolina, and New Mexico.  She obtained her Bachelor of Nursing degree from the University of New Mexico and is currently an MSN candidate at the University of Colorado Denver.


In her new position heading the Pre-College Programs division, Carithers oversees the Gateway to College program on the SCCC West Campus and the High school Diploma Program at the Archuleta County Education Center in Pagosa Springs. These two programs provide an alternative way to earn a high school diploma for students who are between the ages of 17 and 20 and no longer attend high school.


Jill also provides support and supervision to the concurrent enrollment programs on the SCCC’s Durango and Cortez campuses and at the sites of the partnering high schools. She previously served as the Region 5 Coordinator for the Colorado Department of Higher Education’s Gear Up grant and as Assistant Director of Admission for Fort Lewis College from 1996 to 2005.

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