Shamard Thomas, a Conway native and recent graduate of the Computer-Aided Drafting and Design (CADD) Technology program at the University of Arkansas Community College Morrilton (UACCM), took home silver in the nationals SkillsUSA competition for architectural drafting.

The 2021 SkillsUSA Championships were held virtually from June 14-24, 2021. More than 3,700 students from every state in the nation competed in the championships, making it the largest skill competition in the world.

“My initial introduction with SkillsUSA was during my 10th grade year of high school when I had just begun taking architecture and architectural design seriously,” Thomas said. “The organization was introduced to my fellow peers and I on the first day of our drafting class by our teacher, Randy Wiedmaier. After learning about the organization, what they represented, and what the competitions held for my trade, I was hooked.”

Kristen Karetov, CADD Technology Instructor and SkillsUSA Club sponsor, praised Thomas.

“Shamard was a wonderful student,” she said, adding she was thrilled knowing that this is the best placement that a UACCM student has ever achieved at the national competition. “It let us know that we are doing something right with our students.”

Thomas contributed his success, in part, to his time at UACCM and help from his instructor: “UACCM gave me a place to learn, and hone in on my skills as a Designer and Drafter. This university was able to provide me the tools that I needed in order to become successful in my field of study, and be able to place second in the country among peers in my trade. My adviser, Mrs. Karetov, played a huge role in my success at the SkillsUSA competition and my success here at UACCM in general.”

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