Skip to main content

Trustee Profile: Shelly Eicher


Shelly Eicher, TTC alum and assistant general manager and VP at Raycap Stealth, joined the TTC Foundation Board of Trustees in 2013 and serves on the college’s scholarship committee. We asked her about her experience as a student, foundation trustee and scholarship donor.

What did you study at Trident Tech? 
I already had an undergraduate degree in accounting. I enrolled at TTC for additional classes so I could apply for admission into the Physician Assistant program at MUSC. Out of 1500 applicants, MUSC only accepted 15 and I was not one of the 15.

Ironically it all worked out. The company I was working for part-time hired me full time, the very same day I found out that I did not get accepted into the MUSC program. Twenty-one years later I am still working at that same company.

There is no way I would be where I am today both personally and professionally without my Trident Tech experience.

What was the biggest surprise about Trident Tech? 
How much I loved going to classes and how much the teachers and administrators took an interest in my success. It was a very positive experience. There were a lot of changes in my life when I enrolled at TTC. I was recently married and left a ten year plus career in hospital administration when we moved to Goose Creek for my husband’s job. My mom had just passed away. I felt personally lost.

At the time I didn’t realize how much my experience at Trident Tech gave me a purpose again and helped me regained my confidence. It was a little intimidating at first since I was the older student going back to school, but I was welcomed from day one.

What one thing should everybody know about Trident Tech? There are numerous ways to receive reduced tuition from Lottery Tuition Assistance and other state funding for certain programs of study. Speaking as a TTC scholarship donor, it is easy and rewarding to set up a scholarship.

What is the best advice you’ve received? Never judge an individual until you have walked in their shoes.

Why did you and your husband establish a scholarship? When I graduated high school, I was surprised that I did not qualify for financial aid. I ended up going to an extension of Indiana University that was only 20 minutes from my hometown so I could live at home to save on expenses. After two years I transferred to Ball State University. Working my way through school and with my parents' help, I graduated with little debt. I promised myself then that if I could ever help someone pay for college I was going to do it. I have been very fortunate with my career path and very thankful that I am able to actually fulfill that promise. Serving on Trident Tech’s scholarship selection committee, I realized that with a small financial sacrifice, my family could fund scholarships. My husband, Keith, and I are very proud of the Eicher Family Scholarship which we have supported since 2009.

Shelly Eicher is assistant general manager and VP at Raycap Stealth, a company that designs and constructs custom concealment structures for the wireless industry. She graduated from Trident Technical College in 1999 with an Associate in Science.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Behind the Front Lines

Dillon Spires was in his last semester at Trident Technical College and nearing graduation from the Medical Laboratory Technical (MLT) program last Spring when COVID-19 hit. “I remember walking into clinical thinking that COVID-19 would certainly become an issue soon. That same day clinicals were canceled until further notice,” he said. While this could have delayed his graduation from the program, MLT faculty worked with him to fulfill the remaining clinical requirement. He was already working as a Lab Assistant at Roper St. Francis Mount Pleasant Hospital, so he was able to use some of his work experience to fulfill clinical requirements and schedule training time for the areas that he still needed clinical experience. Spires joined the Air Force in 2011 after graduating high school in Eastman, Ga. He served for seven years, first in Omaha, Nebraska supporting reconnaissance aircraft and then at Joint Base Charleston supporting C-17 aircraft. He met his future wife in Nebraska and t

Training the Next Generation of Auto Mechanics

Where do new auto mechanics come from? One pathway that continues to grow every year is the Charleston Regional Youth Apprenticeship Program (CRYA) .  Trident Technical College, in collaboration with regional employers in a variety of industries, offers students the opportunity to get paid to learn as youth apprentices. High school students hired as apprentices receive paid on-the-job training along with classroom instruction at TTC. The Hendrick Automotive Group employs many youth apprentices.  Don Smith, community relations guru at Hendrick, said, “We have young men and women looking for opportunities in the automotive field. With technology increasing in automobiles today, we need people with new skills for tomorrow. With the Trident Tech partnership, we hope we can fill the pipeline in the Charleston market with auto techs to fit those demands.” Buzz Varella, department head of the TTC Automotive Program , is sold on the program as well. “The apprenticeship program is a tre

America's Dream

Moving can be difficult for most teenagers, but when it's to another country, it can be even more intimidating. America Martinez Gonzalez moved to the United States from Mexico with her parents at the age of 18.   She eventually learned English by watching the television show, "Friends. " She says, “Because of the language barrier, I felt so insecure about meeting new people. But "Friends" helped me overcome the struggle and I laughed a lot while doing so.” Now she has two teenagers of her own and is one semester away from getting her associate degree in Baking and Pastry at the Culinary Institute of Charleston at Trident Technical College .  Her dream is to open a Hispanic bakery. For years Gonzalez would drive by Thornley Campus in North Charleston thinking how nice it must be to study there. At the time, she did not have a social security number, a high school diploma or the money to go to college. She thought the American dream was beyond her reach.