2016

2016

Rachel Quinn

Blue Ridge CC 2016 Academic Excellence Award recipient Rachel Quinn

One of the hardest choices in life is choosing which college to attend. I could have gone to any college, but I started looking at community colleges for financial reasons.

Monica Cooper

Forsyth Technical CC 2016 Academic Excellence Award recipient Monica Cooper

When I was sixteen I dropped out of school due to being pregnant and homeless. I was forced to give my son up for adoption, a decision that would prove to stagnate me for years as well as be that one thing in life that I regret. For years I found myself surviving to live and living to survive.

Mary Gardner

Pitt CC 2016 Academic Excellence Award recipient Mary Gardner

When I started this higher education journey in spring of 2013 at 46, I really had no direction and was plagued by the fear that I would fail. I did not excel in high school and it had been over 18 years since I was in a classroom setting.

Dennis Hawley

Wayne CC 2016 Academic Excellence Award recipient Dennis Hawley

I was born and raised in Germany, where I survived a battle with cancer but had limited options for furthering my education or career. So in 2011 I moved to the United States with hope and big expectations.

Kyle Mehl

Brunswick CC 2016 Academic Excellence Award recipient Kyle Mehl

Many things go through a first-year college student’s mind when walking into their first class. These fears can include: having trouble at making friends, embarrassing themselves, and even failing their class as if they are not prepared for it.

Samantha Jo Christopher

Gaston College 2016 Academic Excellence Award recipient Samantha Jo Christopher

I began my collegiate journey at Gaston College in the fall of 2014. The year prior, I was deployed overseas on my second combat tour when a 200-pound Improvised Explosive Devise struck my vehicle.

Santiago Avila Ponce

Randolph CC 2016 Academic Excellence Award recipient Avila Ponce

The success of Santiago Avila Ponce, a Radiography student at Randolph Community College, goes beyond his grade point average, which is excellent at 3.893. It shows up in various ways in the classroom and at clinical sites, according to his instructors.

Brooke Church

Wilkes CC 2016 Academic Excellence Award recipient Brooke Church

It is by no means an overstatement to claim that Wilkes Community College (WCC) has reinvented my world, shaped who I am, and molded my future. At WCC, I have been immersed in a variety of courses that have altered my perspective.

Callie Tester

Caldwell CC&I 2016 Academic Excellence Award recipient Callie Tester

Shortly after starting at CCC&TI in the Computer Technology Integration program, I joined several groups, including the Student Government Association, TRIO, and the National Society of Leadership and Success. Being involved has helped me accomplish my goals and benefit from new experiences.

Sharon Parks

Guilford Technical CC 2016 Academic Excellence Award recipient Sharon Parks

A friend is one that is always accepting and encouraging regardless of how much time has passed. For thirty years Guilford Technical Community College has consistently demonstrated this concept.

Jacob Newton

Richmond CC 2016 Academic Excellence Award recipient Jacob Newton

This is my fifth semester at Richmond Community College. When I first came here, my future felt uncertain. I was reluctant to return to a classroom setting after being homeschooled and self-taught for more than five years.

Melvin Little

Haywood CC Academic Excellence Award Recipient Melvin Little

In the fall of 2010, I found myself being told that I would be laid off from a job that had

afforded my wife, son, and I, a comfortable living. I now was relying on unemployment

benefits, unable to pay my bills, and competing with many other unemployed people for very

Megan N. Lambert

Cape Fear CC 2016 Academic Excellence Award recipient Megan Lambert

“To be nobody but yourself-- in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else--means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight.”

Rodney L. Lashley

Halifax CC 2016 Academic Excellence Award recipient Rodney Lashley

I know from experience the path to a higher education is one that many start, but only a few finish. I am able to count myself among the few who will finish and have Halifax Community College (HCC) to thank for this accomplishment.

Shirley M. Parker

Roanoke-Chowan CC 2016 Academic Excellence Award recipient Shirley Parker

I am a second-year student at Roanoke-Chowan Community College with plans to graduate in May 2016 with an Associate Degree in Business Administration. in 1976, I attended Roanoke-Chowan Technical Institute majoring in Executive Secretarial Science.

Ed Spitler, Sandhills Community College

2016 Excellence in Teaching Award recipient Ed Spitler

Professor Spitler’s “hunger for knowledge and his continued quest for personal excellence and understanding of his academic discipline have translated to a career that has impacted literally thousands of students since the 1990s and kept his program at the forefront of engineering programs at bot

Lindsay Anne Finn

Carteret CC 2016 Academic Excellence Award recipient Lindsay Finn

Fresh out of high school, I joined the United States Coast Guard. Upon completion of my enlistment, I began to search for my next adventure. I knew I wanted to do something in the medical field but I was unsure exactly what that was.

Rachel Yvette Mercantini

Isothermal CC 2016 Academic Excellence Award recipient Rachel Yvette Mercantini

I began classes at Isothermal Community College after being out of school for over 10 years. I knew I wanted to continue my education, but was unsure at the time if I could do it while raising a young child.

Kenneth Jackson

Robeson CC 2016 Academic Excellence Award recipient Kenneth Jackson

In 2009, I dropped out of high school in the 11th grade because I simply lost interest in going. I began working here and there, never really being able to hold down a job.

Dr. Ben F. Currin

Dr. Ben F. Currin

Dr. Ben F. Currin served as president of Vance-Granville Community College for nearly 18 years, beginning in 1981.  Current Vance-Granville Community College President Stelfanie Williams states that Dr.

Kim Lee Taylor

Catawba Valley CC Academic Excellence Award Recipient Kim Lee Taylor

There are no words that can describe how I feel about the honor that has been given me though this award.  I thank God for the grace of giving me the ability to learn, the instructors for the encouragement they gave me and my family for the patience they have had when I could not do everything th

Cindy Inestroza

James Sprunt CC 2016 Academic Excellence Award recipient Cindy Inestroza

Being a high school senior at Duplin Early College High School, while taking college courses at James Sprunt Community College has not been easy. It has taken plenty of hard work and dedication. I have learned that reaching my goals in life will not be easy, but it will be worth it in the end.

Karishma P. Desai

Rockingham CC 2016 Academic Excellence Award recipient Karishma Desai

Karishma Desai came to RCC as a Rockingham County Early College High School (RECHS) student.

Gary Heisey

Gary Heisey

Gary Heisey’s contributions to the missions of Blue Ridge Community College and the NC Community College System, as well as to the business development and economic growth of Henderson and Transylvania Counties, have been profound during his tenure as director of the Blue Ridge Community College

Hunter Riggins

Central Carolina CC 2016 Academic Excellence Award recipient Hunter Riggins

Since I was little, I have wanted to be a nurse.  The time I realized it the most, was when my great grandma became sick. I along with many other family members helped care for her around the clock.

Anna Pierce

Johnston CC 2016 Academic Excellence Award recipient Anna Pierce

These past two years have been a huge transition for me. Throughout high school I planned to attend a university in Florida, where I had lived all my life. During my senior year my grandfather passed, leaving my grandmother alone in North Carolina.

Thea Flynn

Rowan-Cabarrus CC 2016 Academic Excellence Award recipient Thea Flynn

As I begin my final semester at RCCC, I am 100 pounds lighter and am astonished at my academic and personal growth.  I entered college with a love for numbers but am leaving with a much greater appreciation of who I am.  Throughout my journey, my instructors have introduced me to an eclectic worl

Dr. Lawrence L. Rouse

Dr. Lawrence L. Rouse

Dr. Lawrence Rouse is dedicated to engaging community partners in innovative programs to assure student success.

Seedy Njie

Central Piedmont CC 2016 Academic Excellence Award Recipient Seedy Njie

When I moved to the United States from Gambia, I was both nervous and excited about what the future had in store for me, so I used that as a fuel to succeed in every aspect of my life, especially in education.

Leslie M. Smith

Lenoir CC 2016 Academic Excellence Award recipient Leslie M. Smith

The fall semester after my graduation in 2011, I started attending Salem College as a Music Education major. I soon realized a career in music was not for me. In the 2013 spring semester, I dropped to attending college part time, and after that I dropped out altogether.

Johna Barbour

Sampson CC 2016 Academic Excellence Award recipient Johna Barbour

Johna Barbour enrolled at Sampson Community College in the fall of 2014, following a 16-year career as a Medical Transcriptionist. The shift from manual to automated transcription led to a decline in demand for transcription services, which resulted in a layoff in May of 2014.

Emmanuel S. Wallace

Cleveland CC 2016 Academic Excellence Award recipient Emmanuel Wallace

Emmanuel S. Wallace of Shelby plans to graduate with an Associate in Applied Science in Electronics Engineering Technology and transfer to a four-year university to pursue a bachelor’s degree in engineering.

Elizabeth Hernandez

Martin CC 2016 Academic Excellence Award recipient Elizabeth Hernandez

My experience at Martin Community College has been one-of-a-kind! Ever since I made the decision to go back to school, I knew it was not going to be an easy journey.

Lindita Oelfke

Sandhills CC 2016 Academic Excellence Award recipient Lindita Oelfke

I arrived in the United States on December 31, 2013 with extremely limited English skills. Originally from Albania, I moved here to join my husband who I had met when he was teaching at a local University.

Willie Jackson Corbett

Willie Jackson Corbett

Mr. Willie Corbett, a survivor of a motorcycle accident, a victim of quadriplegic paralysis, a conscious and thoughtful parent aiming to teach his children and grandchildren the value of education, is worthy of the Dallas Herring Award for 2016.

Katelyn Lloyd

Coastal Carolina CC 2016 Academic Excellence Award recipient Katelyn Lloyd

My interest in Coastal Carolina Community College began when I first heard of their Associate in Applied Sciences Emergency Medical Science-Paramedic Program.

Emilee Christian Crowder

Mayland CC 2016 Academic Excellence Award recipient Emilee Christian Crowder

Emilee Crowder, who will graduate with her Associate in Arts Degree this May, is a first generation college student who enrolled at Mayland Community College following her high school graduation.

Daniel Steinberg

South Piedmont CC 2016 Academic Excellence Award recipient Daniel Steinberg

I am a nontraditional student in the sense that my pursuit of a degree at South Piedmont Community College is taking place much later in life than most students.  A few years ago I retired from a career in engineering, a career that was professionally satisfying and afforded me the opportunity to

Isothermal CC and the Tryon International Equestrian Center

Isothermal Community College and the Tryon International Equestrian Center Named 2016 Distinguished Partners in Excellence

The partnership between Isothermal Community College and the Tryon International Equestrian Center is giving new life to the southwest region of our state – an area which was devastated by the recession – by creating new areas of opportunity for its citizens.

Daniel West

College of the Albemarle 2016 Academic Excellence Award recipient Daniel West

College of The Albemarle has presented me with more opportunities than I could have ever imagined.  I started here in 2014 after being laid off for the first time in my life.  Truthfully, I am not sure how I found the courage to return to school after nearly 18 years, but I was encouraged because

Ashlee Wood

McDowell Technical CC 2016 Academic Excellence Award recipient Ashlee Wood

I was a junior in high school when I enrolled at McDowell Tech in the fall of 2013 as a dual-credit student.  I had known for a long time that I wanted to become a teacher, because I wanted to impact the lives of children and give them a great foundation of learning at an early age.

Stacy Pukl

Southeastern CC 2016 Academic Excellence Award recipient Stacy Pukl

When Stacy, a single mother of three boys, relocated to Columbus County a few years ago, she thought she would easily find work utilizing her bookkeeping and office administration skills gained in her previous employment, but quickly realized her opportunities were limited with only a high school

Janet E. Joyner

Wilson CC 2016 Academic Excellence Award recipient Janet E. Joyner

My experience at Wilson Community College began in spring 2012 – 25 years after graduating from high school!

Arodi Grullon Fernandez

Craven CC Academic Excellence Award recipient Arodi Grullon Fernandez

I started at Craven Community College after I finished serving 12 years of service in the Marine Corps. My time at the college has been very high tempo, but also very rewarding. There have been many things I have done and accomplished, that I never saw coming.

Angela Johnson

Mitchell CC 2016 Academic Excellence Award recipient Angela Johnson

I walked into my first class on shaking knees and sat down. It wasn’t long until I heard someone say "Who’s the old chick?" I looked around for a moment and realized that, at 42 years old, I am the old chick! So, I introduced myself to my younger classmates.

Sophie Maxwell

Southwestern CC 2016 Academic Excellence Award recipient Sophie Maxwell

Before I began classes at Southwestern Community College, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life.

Kimberly Thompson

Western Piedmont CC 2016 Academic Excellence Award recipient Kimberly Thompson

For many years I had an unrealistic fear of math and computers that locked me into believing I could never attend college.  I was terrified to even try the placement test, but a mentor, Mr. Charles Moore, said, “Face your fears,” and what sound advice that was!

Shodeah Kelly

Davidson County CC 2016 Academic Excellence Award recipient Shodeah Kelly

Clenching the straps of my book bag in sheer nervousness, I walked into the doors of Davidson County Community College. In an instant, I was in a class with adults who had full-time jobs, spouses, and children.

Tyler David Thompson

Montgomery CC 2016 Academic Excellence Award recipient Tyler Thompson

My college experience began at the age of sixteen when I enrolled in the Career and College Promise program which allows high school students to take college classes. I enrolled in the Electrical Systems Technology program under my instructor Art Fur.

Katelyn Blythe

Stanly CC 2016 Academic Excellence Award recipient Katelyn Blythe

Two years ago, I made a decision that would change my life for the best.  I decided to go to Stanly Community College (SCC) to obtain my associate degree in Criminal Justice.  I am now in my last semester at SCC, and I have had a great experience thus far in my college career.  I have come a long

Melissa Dawkins

Alamance Community College 2016 Academic Excellence Award recipient Melissa Dawkins

As a busy wife and mother of three, I attended classes at Alamance Community College for two years before obtaining my Associate in Arts degree in December 2015. Going to ACC positively impacted my family’s life.

Yiu San Tung

Durham Technical CC 2016 Academic Excellence Award recipient Yiu San Tung

Durham Technical Community College has become the place that I arrive early in the morning with the prospect of having new lessons on my favorite subjects, Chemistry, English, and Psychology.

Dana K. Wise

Nash CC 2016 Academic Excellence Award recipient Dana K. Wise

As a forty-something year old wife and mother of five, I got this crazy idea that I would like to be a Physical Therapist Assistant.  Thinking it was impossible, I told my husband so he could bring me back to reality.  Instead, he encouraged me to follow through.  I drove an hour from Mount Olive

Elena Wimpey

Tri-County CC 2016 Academic Excellence Award recipient Elena Wimpey

Fifteen years ago, I moved to the United States from Russia, and found myself immersed in a culture unfamiliar to me while struggling to learn a new language I could barely speak.

Michelle Irwin

AB Tech 2016 Academic Excellence Award recipient Michelle Irwin

As a single mother of three children, I always knew that my high school diploma was never going to be enough. High school was always a challenge for me, so the idea of college was daunting.

Christopher Donte Atkinson

Beaufort County CC 2016 Academic Excellence Award recipient Chris Atkinson

Attending Beaufort County Community College has aided in achieving my life's goal of becoming a law enforcement officer. I was raised in Kearney Park housing development, which is housing designed for low income families. The community was ridden with high crime, drugs and gang activity.

Kathryn Carpenter Hale

Edgecombe CC 2016 Academic Excellence Award recipient Kathryn Carpenter Hale

I am a senior Medical Assisting student at Edgecombe Community College. My program began fall 2014, and I graduate this May 2016. Throughout my program, I have maintained a 4.0 GPA. I have taken away so many experiences that will forever benefit my personal life and career.

Janna Raynor

Pamlico CC 2016 Academic Excellence Award recipient Janna Raynor

My community college experience has been life changing. Upon graduating high school in 2014, I was far from eager to leave my comfort zone and attend college. My parents encouraged me to tour Pamlico Community College. From the very beginning, I was welcomed. My assigned advisor, Mr.

Elizabeth Mary Caulfield

Vance-Granville CC Academic Excellence Award recipient Elizabeth Caulfield

My high school experience has been unorthodox. I am an early college student, and I have been enrolled at Vance-Granville Community College since fall of 2012. My experience has been thrilling; I would never change my decision to attend the early college.

Levy Pate

Bladen CC 2016 Academic Excellence Award recipient Levy Pate

I began my journey with Bladen Community College during the summer of 2014.  After being homeschooled for 13 years, I was reluctant about how well I would do in a classroom setting.  That summer, I took two on-line courses and did well, which boosted my confidence in my ability to achieve in coll

Toni Jurkiewicz

Fayetteville Technical CC 2016 Academic Excellence Award recipient Toni Jurkiewicz

In 1999 I left South Africa and came to America to make a better life for myself by driving 18-wheelers country-wide. I knew America was the place I wanted to be. My dream came true when I met the man of my dreams who was serving his country in the US Army 3rd Special Forces Group.

Vivian Kpenosen

Piedmont CC 2016 Academic Excellence Award recipient Vivian Kpenosen

Living in Nigeria, I had a friend with Sickle-cell disease. This friend said that her nurse was a guardian angel. That nurse always put a smile on my friend’s face. It was then that I decided to focus on healthcare and getting a degree. My mother helped me get a Visa to come to America.

Donna S. Dixon

Wake Technical CC 2016 Academic Excellence Award recipient Donna S. Dixon

In 2003, I was a traditional student at a four-year university; however, I did not have a very well thought out plan concerning where I was headed in life. I could not afford $16,000 per year tuition as an out-of-state student, so I decided to join the United States Army.