Associate in Arts

Associate in Arts

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.

Zachary Rhyner

In March of 2013, Zachary Rhyner was a soldier in the military.   In this month things for Rhyner changed after being struck by an enemy bullet during an assault against enemy combatants in Afghanistan.  The wound left by the bullet was extensive, leaving a femur to be repaired, a severed sciatic

Constance Morse

"I don’t know yet. I just want to help people!" I told the career coach instead of admitting that I had always wanted to be a family physician. That childhood dream seemed unreachable.

Courtney Kirkham

My success story at Cape Fear Community College has been one filled with many emotions. I have felt empowered, gained leadership skills, and have overcome obstacles. I came to school to get an education, but I have found so much more.

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.

Cristian McLaughlin

A small vignette on the front of Piedmont Community College's student planners describing the Student Government Association caught the eye and interest of Cristian McLaughlin.  After e-mailing the advisor of the SGA and conversing back and forth McLaughlin jumped in the "deep end" and ran for SG

Aaron Thomas Clark

Wilkes Community College Academic Excellence Award recipient Aaron Thomas Clark

While in eighth grade, I chose to attend Wilkes Early College High School, a dual-enrollment program through Wilkes Community College (WCC).

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.

Tammy Small Cox

For Tammy Small Cox her biggest regret was not going to college.  She didn't think that it was possible to pursue her degree until she received a little encouragement.  That encouragement came from her daughter, and with a little research, Cox realized that her regret could finally become a reali

Alexandre de Souza Carvalho Pennington

When I was young, I wanted to be important and successful. I would spend hours imagining myself in a business meeting or wearing my father’s suit. I understand now what I did not back then. Success comes from persistence and resilience. I came to the U.S. from Brazil to work as a bellman.

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.

Jana Carver

When thinking about the best thing for her future Jana Carver decided to enroll at Guilford Technical Community College.  Having never attended public or private school going to college terrified her since her prior education was taught at home.  Being homeschooled in an unstable home caused her

Hope Crute

As a Franklin County Early College High School student, Hope has been a member of the Vance-Granville Community College family for five years. The obstacle Hope has had to overcome most of her life, especially in the last few years, is her father’s long battle with illness.

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.

Shakyra Davis

Shakyra Davis knows what she wanted and chased after it starting at the age of 13.  One of the hardest challenges she has faced was transitioning from middle school to Rutherford Early College.  She wanted the challenge and has learned how to balance high school classes, college classes, and part

Sarah Wagoner

Attending Surry Community College has been the best choice I could have made. After graduating from high school, I was not yet sure of my future path or ready to leave home. These last two years at Surry have instilled a confidence in me that will continue pushing me to strive for my goals.

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.

Marco Leonardo Chumbimuni

As the first college graduate in his family, Marco Leonardo Chumbimuni knows the importance of his accomplishment. Not just for himself, but also for his younger brother and his relatives in his parents’ native country.

Victoria Powell

Through Whiteville High School’s Career and College Promise program, I am able to take college courses of my choosing and receive both high school and college credit for them.

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.

Irene Bantigue

Native Filipino, a British citizen, and a U.S. permanent resident Irene Bantigue moved to Winston-Salem, North Carolina in October of 2014.  The relocation with her family was not easy as they faced heavy relocation expenses and were surviving on one income.  Irene did not think she would be able to afford a college education until she called Forsyth Technical Community College.

Dana Diaz Cuellar

I am honored to be nominated for the North Carolina Community College Academic Excellence Award on behalf of Sandhills Community College (SCC). I would not have been able to succeed without the support of my SCC family. Prior to coming to SCC, I earned my A.A.S.

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.

Paul Caroline

Paul Caroline, a senior at Franklin County Early College High, attends VGCC in a dual-enrollment program. The support from faculty at the high school and college has been transformative, and he has found that learning not only yields the power to better oneself, but the world as a whole.

Jonathan Overton

To say I originally despised the idea of attending a community college would be an understatement; however, my opinion quickly and completely changed. As someone who did not know what he wanted for the future, I neglected college applications until it was too late.

Vickie Wilkinson

Vickie Wilkinson, Beaufort County Community College, Excellence Award 2014

Vickie Wilkinson is a School Age Education major. She will be graduating spring 2014 and as of now her cumulative grade point average is a 3.76. Vickie came to BCCC to pursue a School Age Education degree after working in the business world for 29 years.

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.

Jamie Jennings

Jamie Jennings was selected as Mayland Community College 2019 Academic Excellence Award recipient. She graduated in May with her Associate in Arts Degree and plans to pursue studies in Secondary Education at Mars Hill University.

Jeremy Jackson

Jeremy Jackson, Asheville-Buncombe Community College, Excellence Award 2014

As a child in Texas, Jeremy Jackson was designated as a special needs student. He graduated high school and came to Asheville not knowing what his future held.

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.

Chris Combs

After his 20-year retirement with the United States Navy, Chris L.

Robert Lachapelle, IV

I currently reside in Tarboro, North Carolina. I have attended Edgecombe Community College (ECC) for almost two-years. I have worked diligently to earn and maintain a 3.8 GPA, and I am proud of my efforts. While attending ECC, I have met some awesome students and instructors.

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.

Daisha Jordan

All Daisha Jordan could think about her senior year of high school, was what college or university she was going to attend.   Campbell University offered Jordan admission and an academic scholarship and Jordan attended with hopes of being a part of the women's basketball team.  Unfortunately, Jor

Angeles Gomez

I was looking for an educational challenge and wasn’t sure if I wanted to attend a community college. However, my opinion changed once I started attending Central Piedmont.

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.

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. 

Kimberly Ogle

 I began to work at a minimum wage job straight out of high school, without any plans to continue my education, because that just wasn’t what people in my family did. The fact that I had even graduated High School was a bit of a miracle for us.

Katie Pontak

In May, 2019 Academic Excellence Award recipient at Bladen Community College, Katie Pontak, earned an Associate in Arts, Associate in Science, and a high school diploma all at once.

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.

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.

Olga Diaz-Rios

My experience with Rockingham Community College has helped me to be successful. I am a firm believer that if students feel comfortable in an institution, they are more likely to succeed. In my case, I feel a sense of “belonging” because the staff cares about me.

Isaiah Gordon

My decision to attend Western Piedmont Community College was based on proximity, cost, and uncertainty in terms of career path.

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.

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.

Kirsten Faith Stovall

"(Kirsten) is one of my advisees and is just an awesome young lady,” said Grey Lane, RCC’s division chair for Arts, Social Sciences & Public Services.

Anna Grace Brooks

Ana Grace Brooks is an Associate in Arts student planning to transfer to a four-year institution to pursue a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in occupational therapy.

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.

Philomena De Piante

Philomena De Piante's education started with two goals.  To receive her Associates in Arts degree then transfer to a four-year university.  She soon realized that Central Piedmont Community College had more to offer than just an excellent education.   For Philomena CPCC provided an environment of

Cammie McMahan

In May, I will graduate from College of The Albemarle with three Associate degrees and 101 college credits, a week before I graduate high school (J.P. Knapp Early College).

Tiffani Woods

When I decided to return to college, it was a no-brainer to find a community college to attend. I was new to North Carolina, but I had heard a lot of positive stories about Piedmont Community College. I was leery, expecting ridiculously high tuition rates.

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.

Angel Andrade

Angel Andrade had a passion, and that passion was football.  His love for football didn't make Pitt Community College a top priority in his education plans after graduating high school.  Andrade, however, had come to a realization that completing his Associates in Arts, and transferring to a high

Jennifer Liebelt

Having a hard upbringing Jennifer Liebelt knew that for her future she wanted to break the cycle of poverty and substance abuse.  In 2012, Liebelt made the decision to enroll at Cape Fear Community College to get her degree and make something of herself.  Just after being enrolled Jennifer was fa

Gavin Taylor

Gavin Taylor, a second-year student studying criminal justice at Rockingham Community College, has been named one of “The Great Within the 58” – an academic excellence award presented to one student at each of North Carolina’s 58 community colleges.