“I Am South Hills” – Karen Maynor – South Hills School of Business & Technology
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“I Am South Hills” – Karen Maynor

Fast Facts About Karen Maynor:
  • Engineering Technology Instructor at the South Hills Main Campus since 2007
  • Engineering Technology Program Coordinator since 2010
  • More than 30 years of experience in the engineering industry
  • Enjoys biking, walking, cooking, and reading
Q: Describe what drew you to teaching.

Karen Maynor: I had been in the engineering industry for almost 30 years, and even though I enjoyed what I was doing, I knew there was more out there for me to learn. I ran a small company, and I took a South Hills intern. Through that experience, I became familiar with the school and the internship program. Perhaps a year or so later, I saw an ad in the paper for an instructor in South Hills’ Engineering Technology program and decided to apply. I’ve been at South Hills for ten years now, and I wake up every morning, and I still enjoy it.

Q: What would your students say about you?

Karen: I think what my students would say is that I am passionate and that I do care and it does matter to me if you show up to class. It does matter to me if you do your homework and if you do your assignments. It matters to me that you have a good internship and that I spend time trying to find you the internship you need. Then, when students get job offers, I love that part of it…it’s the best part.

Q: The Engineering Technology program has three different specialty areas: architectural, civil and mechanical. How do these areas differ and how do students/prospective students decide which area is right for them?

Karen: Our program gives our students exposure to architectural, civil, and mechanical engineering. The mechanical piece involves machining and CNC manufacturing. In architectural, there’s also a mechanical aspect; but, that’s more HVAC-related (heating, ventilation, air conditioning), and then we have civil engineering. Civil and architectural engineering tend to go hand in hand. We teach the students Technical Drawing, and the easiest way for a student to learn how to draw is starting with mechanical; so, we teach them how to draw in that discipline. Then they learn how to use the software. Next, they move into the more challenging drawing for architectural and civil disciplines. In the 2nd year of the program, we get them into the cutting edge CAD programs, Revit®, Inventor, Civil 3D, all of the programs that involve 3D.

Q: As the Engineering Technology Program Coordinator, you have to keep an eye on what’s going on in the industry so that you can direct what’s taught in the classroom. Talk a little bit about how you keep an eye on the industry on behalf of South Hills to make sure that our programs and curriculum is what people need to get jobs once they graduate.

Karen: I have an advisory board made up of volunteers from companies, employers, and people who own companies and engineering firms that come twice a year and we sit around the table, and we talk about what’s going on in the industry. We discuss things like what software and hardware are currently being used in the field and which skills are needed most by employers. That way, we can determine if a new class or technical skills should be included in our program.

Q: Describe what it’s like to teach at South Hills.

Karen: I love teaching at South Hills. I’ve been here for ten years, and I wake up every morning, and I think, “I get to go and do something different every day.” I want to do the best I can for my students. I think what I love most of all is the people. I love the other instructors I work with. I love saying good morning to my students and getting to know them as individuals.

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