Four Motlow Students Win Medals at National SkillsUSA Championship

Motlow SkillsUSA contestants (from left to right) Mariam Tanas, Mandy Byrd, Michelle Bowler, and Vanida Vongsamphanh. (Photo Courtesy of Motlow College)

LYNCHBURG, Tenn. — Four students from Motlow State Community College brought home medals from the 2022 SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference held in Atlanta, Ga., June 21-23.

The SkillsUSA Championships are career competition events showcasing the best career and technical education students in the nation. Contests begin locally and continue through the state and national levels.

Smyrna resident Mariam Tanas, a dual enrollment graduate at Motlow, earned Gold in Telecommunications Cabling. Tanas attended Stewarts Creek High School and competed at the college/post-secondary level. She will be starting at MTSU in the Fall.

“We are very proud of her accomplishments. As a high school student, she bested her collegiate competition to become first in the nation,” said Joseph Marco, Motlow Cybersecurity Technology instructor and her SkillsUSA advisor. “By showing their dedication to excellence in occupational and leadership skills, Tanas and the other students who participated in the SkillsUSA Telecommunications Cabling competition are true champions at work.”

During the competition, the students worked against the clock and each other, proving their expertise in their respective fields. Tanas demonstrated skills in fiber and copper cable termination, pulling and mounting cabling, patch panel installation and termination, jacks, cable and fiber optic testing and troubleshooting, and customer service.

Vanida Vongsamphanh, of Smyrna, took home a Silver Medal in Customer Service. The contest involved live, role-playing situations in which Vongsamphanh demonstrated her ability to perform customer service in both written and oral forms including telephone and computer skills, communications, problem-solving, conflict resolution, and business etiquette.

In a joint competition, Michelle Bowler, of McMinnville, and Mandy Byrd, of Doweltown, won Silver in the Emergency Medical Technician Demonstration. The purpose of this event was to evaluate each contestant’s preparation for employment within healthcare and to recognize outstanding clinical excellence and professionalism within the emergency medical services field.

National-level participants advanced from the previous State-level competition held in April. Motlow’s national medalists were among approximately 1,150 medals presented at the end of the competition. Many winners also received industry prizes, tools of their trade, or scholarships. •

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