Before enrolling at Salem Community College, Corina Guerra had done her homework. She discovered that scientific glass technologists are in demand. That fact cemented her decision to choose the Scientific Glass Technology (SGT) program.
Cat Burns was at her family’s home in Woolwich Twp. in December 2019 when she received the invitation to appear in Season 2 of the Netflix reality series “Blown Away.”
“I got off a Skype call and basically burst through the doors, jumping and screaming at my mom,” recalled Cat, who had submitted a video and an application to the show’s producers several weeks before. “I legally wasn’t allowed to tell anyone but everyone knew that I had applied and got a call back so it was pretty obvious I had good news.
Avery Fordham had already earned a B.S. in Chemistry from Juniata College and an M.S. in Chemistry from University of California, Irvine when he enrolled in the Scientific Glass Technology program at SCC in 2018.
While at Juniata, he became interested in glass. “I was exposed to some really intricate pieces of laboratory glassware and I would always try to figure out what the apparatus was used for if I didn't already know,” said Avery, who grew up in Clarks Summit, PA, “I then took an introductory course on scientific glassblowing that Juniata offered.”
Florida resident Bryan Beck arrived at Salem Community College to study glass in 2006. The successful experience paved the way for two more degrees and a productive career.
“SCC allowed me to explore all styles of glass work, from cast glass to hot blown glass, and cold working to flameworking,” said Bryan, who grew up in Boca Raton and learned about SCC from glass bead maker and relative Jeri Warhaftig. “There wasn’t a process I couldn’t and didn’t learn about while at SCC.”
Tifa Tossmann Hunt enrolled at Salem Community College in 2017 after earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from The Ohio State University (OSU). As fate would have it, her interest in glass was sparked by a sign on the OSU campus.
“The glass shop was right next to the student parking lot,” she recalled. “In the window, there is a neon sign that says, ‘Blow Glass.’ I saw that during my second year while passing by on the campus bus and thought, ‘okay.’”
By day, Kiva Ford is the scientific glassblower at the University of Notre Dame. By night, he is an incredibly talented artist who has been featured in the New York Times, Huffington Post, and in numerous art blogs and vlogs.
“SCC was paramount in starting my career as a glassblower. Without SCC, I would not be where I am today,” said Kiva, a 2004 graduate in scientific glass technology.
Joseph Neil Messinger enrolled at SCC in fall 2015 after earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Strategic Marketing Communications from Ohio State. “I studied studio art glass for fun before deciding that glass was my ultimate passion,” he said.
At SCC, he excelled in the Scientific Glass Technology program, graduating with high honors in May 2016.
Today, Neil works in Southern California for Meggitt PLC, a global engineering business specializing in aerospace equipment. He fabricates glass sensors that are installed into military jet-powered aircraft.
Scientific Glass Technology (SGT) graduate Olivia Bugbee parlayed a summer internship at GE Global Research in upstate New York into a full-time position with the company. Olivia, a graduate of Northampton Area Public High School in Pennsylvania, interned with GE Global Research during the summer of 2013, between her first and second year at SCC.
“It has been my experience that a great number of jobs available in the industry require the SCC degree,” said Olivia, who learned about SCC’s program via an online search.