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Martina Nelson, Salt Lake Community College

Before moving to Utah, Martina Nelson took drafting classes at an Ohio community college and some general education courses at a university. Knowing first-hand the skills-based education that community colleges provide, she enrolled in the surveying and geomatics program at Salt Lake Community College (SLCC). She also signed up for the NISGTC program.

With the help of Walt Cunningham, associate professor of surveying and geomatics, and other mentors, Nelson earned an associate in applied science degree in land surveying with honors in 2013. After obtaining her Utah Professional Surveyor License, she purchased Park City Surveying. It was the firm where she worked while enrolled at SLCC. In 2015 she hired two SLCC surveying students whom she considers “a perfect fit” for her firm.

"SLCC made sure that students were knowledgeable and proficient in the use of the latest hardware and software available."

“The curriculum and equipment SLCC provided was the most up-to-date and the teaching and mentoring provided was first-rate. SLCC made sure that students were knowledgeable and proficient in the use of the latest hardware and software available, and this is critical for the success of a land surveying company,” she said.