Meet Johnny O’Connell, the new Automotive Systems Technology Instructor at Southeastern Community College.
O’Connell joins the Southeastern Community College faculty from Wilkes Community College (WCC). O’Connell graduated from WCC with a degree in Automotive Systems Technology. “It’s the only thing I knew well,” said O’Connell. O’Connell comes from a “naturally mechanically inclined family,” he explained. “My grandfather owned an automotive shop that became a family affair. The shop was long gone before I was born, but those technical skills were instilled in me at a young age. As a kid, I loved repairing anything from toys, bicycles, and anything mechanical.”
His achievements have occurred both as a student and as an instructor. He won awards for Outstanding Student and Vehicle Technician.
After experience working in the automotive industry, he returned to WCC and spent the last 14 years teaching as an automotive instructor.
During his time at WCC he has earned an Excellence in Teaching Award, making it to the semi-finalist stage at the state level. He assisted in developing an automotive program at the University of Erbil in Iraq. O’Connell participated in an instructor exchange program with a college in Northern Ireland, spending a week in Ireland to teach a few automotive classes. Over the past ten years, he has gone on four service-learning trips to Panama, three of which, he brought groups of automotive students to participate in community projects that benefit those in need. “Those trips were funded with money that his students raised through an automotive club. Many students said it was the best experience of their lives and I’m excited to create opportunities for students at Southeastern Community College,” said O’Connell.
“We feel very fortunate to have Mr. O’Connell at SCC. He comes to Columbus County with real-world experience and high-tech knowledge of automotive training, and he’s super excited to develop opportunities for students in our region,” said Angie Ransom, Dean of Business Careers and Technical Training.
SCC is enrolling students in the Automotive Systems Technology program this Fall. If you are interested in learning more about this awesome program or you are ready to enroll, please call Student Services at (910) 642-7141.