Biotechnology big draw at HCC-NE College Fest

Instructor John Brandon (left) assists Sharita Smith (right) in selecting courses.

Sharita Smith wants to be a forensic investigator for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
Jacqueline Wells wants to obtain the necessary skills to augment her bachelor’s degree in biology and begin a new career after 20 years of being a stay-at-home Mom.

The two met recently at College Fest, and will be classmates by the end of the month in the new biotechnology program at Houston Community College (HCC)-Northeast.

An annual event at HCC-Northeast, College Fest is held each summer to provide prospective students with an opportunity to explore the many certificate and degree programs offered by the College. In an informal setting complete with refreshments and door prizes, participants can meet with counselors to map out career plans, discuss avenues for financial aid, apply for admissions and even register for classes.

Smith and Wells were two of nearly 100 participants that took advantage of the opportunity this year.
An American Chemical Society Minority Scholar, Smith is a recent graduate of ITT with an Associate’s degree in Chemical Laboratory Technology. She heard about HCC-Northeast’s biotechnology program while at ITT and came to visit with department chair Dr. John Galiotos to determine if it fit into her ultimate career plans.

“My goal is to become a forensic scientist with the FBI,” she said, “and a lot of the skills needed for that position can be obtained here at HCC, so I’ve decided to go through the Biotech program here before pursuing my bachelor’s degree at Georgia Tech.”

Mrs. Wells already has her bachelor’s degree.
“I graduated from Prairie View A & M in 1982 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology,” she noted, adding: “With the exception of being a substitute teacher off and on, however, I’ve not used my degree because I chose to be a stay-at-home mom in order to be more involved in my children’s activities.”

“Now it’s mom’s turn to begin a new career,” she said, “so I’m coming back to school to acquire skills that, along with my degree, can open up paths of career opportunities. and we’ll just see where they go.”

For more information about registration or the Biotechnology program at HCC-Northeast, call 713-718-8300.