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Kris Riddle to Receive A-B Tech’s Academic Excellence Award
March 20, 2014
A-B Tech student William ‘Kris’ Riddle has been selected as this year’s recipient of the Academic Excellence Award from NCCCS, the North Carolina Community College System. Riddle will receive his award during a ceremony on campus April 8.
Riddle, a student in the Radiography program at A-B Tech, was nominated by Angela Goodwin, Interim Chair of the Radiography program. The final selection was made by Dr. Terry Brasier, Vice President of Student Services.
Goodwin says Kris has overcome a number of obstacles in his life and is trying to better himself. “He’s worked super hard and is dedicated to the school and his family. He has a young daughter, still works and yet maintains his grades. He’s inspiring.”
Goodwin says Kris is the type of person the radiography field needs, because of his maturity level and the compassion he has for people. “He honestly cares about people and wants them to get better. He excels at patient care and can relate to people, and that’s not something you can teach.”
Goodwin says Kris has a very positive attitude that will serve him well as he pursues his new career in radiography and she predicts he will be very successful.
At 41, Kris Riddle is the oldest of the 31 students in the Radiography program, and admits to being kidded by the younger students. He’s the only one not on Facebook. He says he has too much going on to spend time on social networks.
Kris says being selected for the Academic Excellence Award has been really exciting. As the oldest in his class, he felt the need to excel and says the award is a kind of validation of that.
After graduating from UNCA in 1996, where he met his wife Shawna, Kris held jobs in government for quite a few years doing environmental work. In 2004 he attended photography school in Massachusetts and later opened his own studio in the Asheville’s River Arts District. After the studio fell victim to the economic recession, Kris started thinking of other careers and focused on the health care industry. His brother is an opthamologist, his mother has worked in a medical lab at Greenville Memorial Hospital for years and his uncle is a pathologist.
Kris says applying to A-B Tech was a no-brainer, and he was ecstatic when he got his letter of acceptance. “A-B Tech is a very competitive school in the health care field. They don’t hold a candle to anyone.”
Kris says acceptance at A-B Tech has positively changed his life for the better. “I’ve had an up and down kind of career in my life up to this point and I knew my acceptance would get me back on track, provide me with a career to support my family and allow me to do something I enjoy as well.”
Kris’s wife Shawna and 7-year old daughter Ginger have been his number one supporters. He says the Radiography program has been demanding and rigorous, and his wife and daughter have had to make sacrifices. He doesn’t get to spend as much time with them as he would like. “I’m interested in what Ginger will think when graduation comes. She says she’s ready for her dad to have a job again, so I’ll have more time to spend with her.
Kris says going back to school at his age has been quite an experience. He didn’t know what to expect, so he had taken a few core curriculum courses before going full time. That opened his eyes to what college life was like. “I knew I liked the instructors and liked the environment.”
Kris will graduate in May and begin looking for a job. He knows his degree from A-B Tech will be a real plus. “A-B Tech is well known in the community for putting out quality graduates. I truly believe the training I’m receiving there will more than prepare me to take on a career in the medical field. The light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter. Let’s see what the future holds.”