2015

2015

Daniel Stickel

Daniel Stickel, Alamance Community College, 2015 Academic Excellence Award Recipient

Alamance Community College has had a tremendous impact upon my life.

Shantel Richardson

Shantel Richardson, Durham Technical Community College, 2015 Academic Excellence Award Recipient

After graduating high school, I moved in with my sister in North Carolina. I began a gap year working retail and volunteering at a local nursing home. Though I was busy working, traveling and volunteering, I knew I wanted more – to continue learning.

Elizabeth Johnson

Elizabeth Johnson, Montgomery Community College, 2015 Academic Excellence Award Recipient

There were several reasons I decided to go back to school. As a mother of four children, I wanted to set a good example for my children so they would understand the value of education. I wanted to achieve something I had waited twenty years to do.

Conner Wilson

Conner Wilson, Southwestern Community College, 2015 Academic Excellence Award Recipient

When I started my college career I was excited for what my future as a student held. I was already working two part-time jobs and then I just added the task of going to school full-time. In the fall semester of my first year was when I decided to join the fire department.

Danielle Williams

Danielle Williams, Beaufort County Community College, 2015 Academic Excellence Award Recipient

Two years ago, my husband and I became licensed foster parents.  Since then, we have fostered three children and have learned a great deal from each one. Through my experiences with foster care, I was informed about the Guardian ad Litem program which is a child advocacy program.

Andre Cooper

Andre Cooper, Edgecombe Community College, 2015 Academic Excellence Award Recipient

It has been times in my life that victory and self-esteem eluded me. Nothing I tried worked. I was starting to think happiness and success wasn’t meant for me. All of my peers had moved on in life and started careers and families, living their life to the fullest.

Lilia Martinez

Lilia Martinez, Nash Community College, 2015 Academic Excellence Award Recipient

In elementary school and middle school, I was an A and B student.  At the age of 17, my senior year of high school, my life took a 360 degree turn because of making a wrong decision.  I graduated from high school with a very disappointing GPA and begin working a full time job, which I did not lik

Xee Cindy Xiong

Xee Cindy Xiong, Stanly Community College, 2015 Academic Excellence Award Recipient

When I was in the eighth grade, I made the decision to apply to Stanly Early College High School.  Never before did I understand how big of a decision it was nor how greatly it would impact me down the road until now. 

Robin Novak

Robin Novak, Bladen Community College, 2015 Academic Excellence Award Recipient

In pursuit of advanced academic training for better career opportunities, Robin Novak enrolled in the Computer Information Technology program at Bladen Community College. A veteran of the United States Army, Ms. Novak suffers from Cervical Dystonia.

Scarlett Burgess

Scarlett Burgess, Fayetteville Technical Community College, 2015 Academic Excellence Award Recipient

I have always had a lifelong love of learning and upon graduating from high school in 1981, my intention was to complete a college degree, but life intervened and I found myself divorced, raising two children alone.

Zachary James

Zachary James, Pamlico Community College, 2015 Academic Excellence Award Recipient

My family  moved to Pamlico County  in 2011.  I was a high  school dropout, working  on homeschool assignments.

Brad Easter

Brad Easter, Surry Community College, 2015 Academic Excellence Award Recipient

Almost three years ago to the day, I was sitting in the same spot on the couch that I’m sitting in now typing this essay. It is only by reflecting back on that painful night three years ago that I’m able to put into words my “success story” involving my NC Community College experience.

Shanita Jackson

Shanita Jackson, Blue Ridge Community College, 2015 Academic Excellence Award Recipient

Aside from my mother, education has been the only constant in my life. My mother and I were homeless for a year. I began my senior year living out of a motel. I walked to restaurants to turn in homework assignments. I sacrificed. I cried.

Angela Tournay

Angela Tournay, Forsyth Technical Community College, 2015 Academic Excellence Award Recipient

In early 1990, I completed a year of Auburn's architectural program, but took a leave due to financial issues. Years passed. I worked, bought a car, got married, and bought a home. Life happened and my plan to return to Auburn faded. By 2012, I was at a crossroads: divorced and frustrated.

Joanna Cheek

Joanna Cheek, Piedmont Community College, 2015 Academic Excellence Award Recipient

About ten years after getting my GED from Piedmont Community College, the opportunity arose for me to finally begin my college education. I always knew I wanted to get a degree, but things just never worked out.

Rebecca Williamson

Rebecca Williamson, Tri-County Community College, 2015 Academic Excellence Award Recipient

Tri-County Community College has been a positive, life-changing experience, but the journey hasn’t been easy. Being an only child and homeschooled, I had never been in a public classroom until my first day at Tri-County.

Marley Templeman

Marley Templeman, Brunswick Community College, 2015 Academic Excellence Award Recipient

My journey at Brunswick Community College started after serving as an Intelligence Specialist in the United States Navy, and it has been a successful one thus far, but not without some adversity.

Thu Vu

Thu Vu, Gaston College, 2015 Academic Excellence Award Recipient

When moving to Gastonia four years ago, I did not know what to do with my life other than what my family has set out for me - nail business. I wanted something more to satisfy my hunger for knowledge, so I took the first step by getting my GED at Gaston College.

Eric Walls

Eric Walls, Pitt Community College, 2015 Academic Excellence Award Recipient

Going back to school was a decision that was a long time coming for me. I was a bit of a rebel back in my youth and decided to forego college right after high school and instead entered the proverbial School of Hard Knocks.

Geoffrey Arnott

Geoffrey Arnott, Vance-Granville Community College, 2015 Academic Excellence Award Recipient

I was homeschooled for grades 1-12.  I was given an excellent education by my parents, but I had never attended a class with more than a few students.  I had no idea what to expect from college.

Elizabeth Bullock

Elizabeth Bullock, Caldwell Community College & Technical Institute, 2015 Academic Excellence Award Recipient

Throughout middle and high school, “school” became a word that struck fear in my heart. As a child I was labeled as a dyslexic who struggled with reading and writing. I was told I would amount to very little in life and that college was not for everyone.

Gary Johnson

Gary Johnston, Guilford Technical Community College, 2015 Academic Excellence Award Recipient

GTCC helped save my life. At 18, I joined the military, and as a result, suffered from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Left untreated, it contributed to a tumultuous twenty years. On August 7, 2013, I woke up in a hospital, suffering a traumatic brain injury from a car accident.

Monica Spencer

Monica Spencer, Randolph Community College, 2015 Academic Excellence Award Recipient

First, please allow me to begin by saying that I am a high school dropout.  I start with this information because it is an event that has set the tone for most of my adult life. In March of 2004, three years before my high school graduation, I decided to discontinue school.

Korey Marie Butler

Korey Marie Butler, Wake Technical Community College, 2015 Academic Excellence Award Recipient

I am a thirty-year-old, married, mother of two who is actively engaged within the community.

Thus, while researching options of where to attend college, I knew I needed a flexible and transitional environment. Therefore, attending Wake Technical Community College was my only option.

William Koch

William Koch, Cape Fear Community College, 2015 Academic Excellence Award

My true measure of success comes not from my personal successes, but from the success of the many students I have had the privilege of mentoring while on my college journey. As a U.S.

Krystie Pendergrass

Krystie Pendergrass, Halifax Community College, 2015 Academic Excellence Award Recipient

Something in me changed once I entered the doors of a community college. All of my teachers were very encouraging. Upon becoming a Dental Hygiene student at Halifax Community College, I truly started to focus on my grades. I have pushed myself to make the best grades I could.

Christi Miles

Christi Miles, Richmond Community College, 2015 Academic Excellence Award Recipient

Growing up I struggled through school, so initially I decided against college. At first it was fine, but after this past recession I realized without furthering my education I would not be able to provide a decent living for my family.

Audi Torres

Audi Torres, Wayne Community College, 2015 Academic Excellence Award Recipient

Ever since I can remember, I have always wanted to be a nurse.  However, it took many years for me to finally work towards my dream.

Kaitlin Rae Colvin

Katelin Rae Colvin, Carteret Community College, 2015 Academic Excellence Award Recipient

My journey through the Carteret Community College has been a very rewarding experience.  Through the Radiography program, I have found a love and passion for a career and I have gained experience from opportunities I never knew I would be a part of.

Andrew Brewer

Andrew Brewer, Haywood Community College, 2015 Academic Excellence Award

My education at Haywood Community College started on a whim. I just transitioned out of the Marine Corps after 9 years of service and I received a flyer in the mail from HCC about upcoming registration for the 2012 fall semester.

George Yandle

George Yandle, Richmond Community College, 2015 Academic Excellence Award Recipient

I am the type of person who is driven to succeed. Many people throughout my life told me I would never make it. In June 2011, I graduated from Richmond Senior High School with a GPA of 3.75.

Coley Scott Cannon

Coley Scott Cannon, Western Piedmont Community College, 2015 Academic Excellence Award Recipient

The classes I have taken at WPCC have helped me gain responsibility as an individual.  I have become better at organizing my schedule, gained diligence by putting in as many hours of studying and working as needed to achieve academic success, and I am acquiring the knowledge needed to further my

Chanda Sherrill

Chanda Sherrill, Catawba Valley Community College, 2015 Academic Excellence Award Recipient

When I graduated from high school in 1989, going to college was not an option because I was pregnant with my son. I had to put my educational dreams on hold and go to work so that I could take care of him. The majority of the jobs I have had were factory jobs.

Amanda Guevara

Amanda Guevara, Isothermal Community College, 2015 Academic Excellence Award Recipient

Earning a college degree has always been a goal of mine, one which seemed unattainable until I enrolled at ICC.

Kayla Wolverton

Kayla Wolverton, Roanoke-Chowan Community College, 2015 Academic Excellence Award Recipient

I arrived at Roanoke-Chowan Community College in 2011 at the age of fourteen as a college student and a full-time high school student. I quickly discovered a few challenges; such as the class sizes were different and I had to interact with more adults than teenagers.

Kayla Myers

Kayla Myers, Wilkes Community College, 2015 Academic Excellence Award Recipient

I am a dual-enrolled student who took on the challenge of earning a high school diploma and an Associate in Science degree though Wilkes Early College High School at Wilkes Community College. The strong educational environment and supportive staff gave me a pathway to graduate with good grades.

Isaac Phillips

Isaac Phillips, Central Carolina Community College, 2015 Academic Excellence Award Recipient

At the age of 31, I decided to become a civilian and leave my Army life behind. Unfortunately, my skills at firing missiles were not in demand outside of the military. I needed more education and training to achieve my goal of becoming a biomedical engineer.

Leslie Raynor

Leslie Raynor, James Sprunt Community College, 2015 Academic Excellence Award

My name is Leslie Raynor. I am 33 years old and am married to a welder. Together, we have four children. Before enrolling in James Sprunt Community College, my education level was only a GED. With employment becoming harder and harder to find, I decided to return to school.

Rachel Rena Maynor

Rachel Rena Maynor, Robeson Community College, 2015 Academic Excellence Award Recipient

Being born and raised in the state of Maryland for 12 years, moving to Lumberton, North Carolina was a difficult transition. I overcame my culture shock and learned to adapt to my new environment by keeping an open mind and building relationships with my new teachers and people in the community.

Sadie Herndon

Sadie Herndon, Wilson Community College, 2015 Academic Excellence Award Recipient

My name is Sadie Herndon and I am currently completing my fifth semester at Wilson Community College.  I am enrolled in the Paralegal Technology Program.  I work full-time as a waitress, attend school full-time, and am a single mother of a six-year old child named Max.  I have maintained a 4.0 GP

Moza Hamud

Moza Hamud, Central Piedmont Community College, 2015 Academic Excellence Award Recipient

Growing up in Kenya, education was a privilege and not a right.

Matthew Green

Matthew Green, Johnston Community College, 2015 Academic Excellence Award

In 2010, I graduated from Central Carolina Community College with an Associate Degree in Lasers and Photonics.  I had to look for a job outside the state due to economy.  Half a year after graduating, I found a good job in Delaware.  I packed all my things and moved to an unknown place with no fr

Michael Matthews

Michael Matthews, Rockingham Community College, 2015 Academic Excellence Award Recipient

At first, I was drawn to Rockingham Community College to be a part of the baseball team, but I realized shortly after I started in the fall of 2013 that school was my priority.

Stella Galyean

Stella Galyean, Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College, 2015 Dr. Dallas Herring Achievement Award Recipient

Stella Galyean has been named the statewide winner of the Dallas Herring Achievement Award from the North Carolina Community College System for her accomplishments at A-B Tech Community College.

John Neathery

John Neathery, 2015 Excellence in Teaching Award Recipient

The NC Community College System (NCCCS) has given John Neathery, Alamance Community College instructor, its highest award as the top community college instructor in North Carolina.

Erin Pruitt

Erin Pruitt, Cleveland Community College, 2015 Academic Excellence Award Recipient

Erin Pruitt of Lawndale is the 2015 Academic Excellence Award winner at Cleveland Community College. Pruitt is graduating with an Associate of Applied Science in Radiography and holds a 3.85 grade point average.

Becky Leon

Becky Leon, Lenoir Community College, 2015 Academic Excellence Award Recipient

Ever since I was a little girl, my dream was to become a doctor. I did not know what kind of doctor I wanted to be. All I knew was that I wanted to help someone and maybe even save a life or two, or three, or even a hundred.

Amber Blackwelder

Amber Blackwelder, Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, 2015 Academic Excellence Award Recipient

I always wanted to do something with my life, but didn’t exactly make the best plan of action to make that possible. I am twenty-nine years old, I worked in collections a few years but for the most part, I’ve been in the restaurant industry all my life.

Dr. Garrett Hinshaw

Dr. Garrett Hinshaw, 2015 President of the Year

Dr. Garrett D. Hinshaw, president of Catawba Valley Community College in Hickory, was recently named President of the Year by the State Board of Community Colleges.  

LaQuon Rogers

LaQuon Rogers, Pitt Community College, Excellence Award 2014

When I graduated from Ayden-Grifton High School, I was excited to be college bound but apprehensive about the transition. After a very rewarding senior year as President of the Senior Class, Governor at Tar Heel Boy's State, and more, I had no idea what to expect at college.

Anastasia Izvekova

Anastasia Izvekova, College of The Albemarle, 2015 Academic Excellence Award Recipient

College of The Albemarle gave me so much, I don’t even know where to begin. I came all the way from Russia to realize my dream of studying in the USA. I am so fortunate that I chose to go to the College of The Albemarle first before going to a four-year school.

Holly Davis

Holly Davis, Martin Community College, 2015 Academic Excellence Award Recipient

The decision to attend Martin Community College came very naturally to me. I knew MCC would be the best option for me, because it was close to home and was a smaller institution.

Paula Alanis

Paula Alanis, South Piedmont Community College, 2015 Academic Excellence Award Recipient

My name is Paula Alanis and although I was born in the USA I grew up in Mexico. I returned to the United States when I was 18 with my wonderful husband. We didn't know the culture or the language we decided to come here for better opportunities.

Murphy Brown LLC & James Sprunt Community College

James Sprunt & Murphy Brown Photo

Murphy-Brown LLC. was instrumental in James Sprunt’s decision to implement a diesel mechanics program. Meetings were held to discuss the educational needs of our community and how best to position the institution to ensure that those needs were met.

George Fouts

George Fouts, 2015 I.E. Ready Award Recipient

George Fouts is the recipient of the 2015 I.E. Ready Award, the highest honor bestowed on an individual by the Board.

Robin Kerr

Robin Kerr, Coastal Carolina Community College, 2015 Academic Excellence Award Recipient

Learning is an essential part of life. According to the Digest of Education Statistics at ed.gov, approximately 7.3 million people attended a two-year college in 2014. I am one of those people. I began pursuing my Associate in Applied Science Degree in Architectural Technology in August 2013.

Matthew Ray

Matthew Ray, Mayland Community College, 2015 Academic Excellence Award Recipient

Mayland Community College’s 2015 North Carolina Community College System’s Academic Excellence Award recipient is Matthew Ray. He will graduate with his Associate Degree in Nursing this May, and intends to continue his education at a four-year institution after graduating.

Joshua Bradley Mesimer

Joshua Bradley Mesimer, Sampson Community College, 2015 Academic Excellence Award Recipient

Sampson Community College has named Joshua Bradley Mesimer to receive the 2015 Academic Excellence Award.

Dr. Adriane Leché

Dr. Adriane Leché, 2015 Staff of the Year Award Recipient

Halifax Community College (HCC) Dean of Institutional Effectiveness, Planning and Assessment Dr. Adriane Leché is the recipient of the 2015 Staff of the Year Award. 

Hallie Frency

Hallie French, Craven Community College, 2015 Academic Excellence Award Recipient

Craven has proved to be an incredible stepping stone. When I began my time at Craven I was unsure of myself. I knew that I wanted to study English, but I lacked direction. Craven has provided me with priceless opportunities that I would not have been afforded otherwise.

Dalton Brooks

Dalton Brooks, McDowell Technical Community College, 2015 Academic Excellence Award Recipient

Fearing I shall sound pretentious when others read this, I will begin by saying I am humbled with being selected out of so many, to receive this Award of Academic Excellence.

Joshua Babb

Joshua Babb, Sandhills Community College, 2015 Academic Excellence Award Recipient

In 2005, at the age of sixteen, I became husband and a father. To this day, these are still my two greatest accomplishments. With that being said, my early start on adulthood did not leave me much time to think about my education.

Paulette Gardner

Paulette Gardner, Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College, 2015 Academic Excellence Award Recipient

When I was expecting my second child, I looked at my life and wanted more for my children. I decided to go to A-B Tech. I knew the only way I would be able to give them the life they deserved was by going back to school.

Mitchell Cleary

Mitchell Cleary, Davidson County Community College, 2015 Academic Excellence Award Recipient

In high school, I had a hard time understanding not only what the point of learning was, but what the point of life was. I felt like I was playing a game where everyone understood the rules except for me. I dropped out and fell into a deep depression.

Alexis Kryssing

Alexis Kryssing, Mitchell Community College, 2015 Academic Excellence Award Recipient

I moved from New York to North Carolina, before my last year of high school, and I was unsure where I wanted to attend college. Starting in 2013, I chose Mitchell Community College because employees greeted me with kindness, and I could settle into my new surroundings.

Nico Reyes

Nico Reyes, Southeastern Community College, 2015 Academic Excellence Award Recipient

A bag packed with books, pens and pencils ‐ an epitome of normalcy for an average college student.