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Tickets for VGCC Dinner Theater now on sale

Tickets are now on sale for Vance-Granville Community College’s production of “The Glass Menagerie,” its fifth annual Dinner Theater event. The classic American drama that first launched playwright Tennessee Williams to fame will be preceded by a delicious meal on the evenings of Thursday, April 27, and Friday, April 28, starting at 6 p.m., in the Civic Center on VGCC’s Main Campus in Vance County. The event once again involves the collaboration of the VGCC Drama and Culinary Arts departments.

Tickets are $30 per seat and may be purchased online at www.vgcc.edu/dinnertheater.

Audience members are able to choose the table and specific seats they want, at the same time that they buy their tickets online. Patrons are encouraged to purchase their tickets early in order to have the best chance of getting the seats they want for this year’s show.

First staged in Chicago in 1944, “The Glass Menagerie” is a “memory play” (narrated by one of the characters, recalling his experiences) and is based in part on Tennessee Williams’s own memories of his family. In 1945, the play premiered on Broadway, winning the prestigious New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for the best American play of the year. “The Glass Menagerie” has been adapted for television twice and as a Hollywood feature film twice. It has been revived for the Broadway stage numerous times, including a current production starring Sally Field. A drama of great tenderness, charm and beauty, “The Glass Menagerie” has become one of the most famous and acclaimed plays of the modern theatre.

The story focuses on Amanda Wingfield, a “faded Southern belle” who lives in poverty in a dingy St. Louis apartment with her son, Tom, and her daughter, Laura. The crux of the action comes when Tom invites a young man of his acquaintance to eat dinner with the family. Jim, the caller, is at once pounced upon by Amanda as a possible husband for Laura.

The cast is set to feature Brittney Patterson of Henderson as Amanda Wingfield; Ben Taylor of Franklinton as Tom Wingfield; Samantha Hines of Henderson as Laura Wingfield; and Jordan Bunting of Rocky Mount as Jim O’Conner.

Members of the crew include Chadstity Copeland of Henderson (Assistant to the Director/Stage Manager), Allison Hines of Henderson (Assistant Stage Manager/Props), Jamie McGinn of Wake Forest (Costumes/Assistant for Props), Camden Jones of Henderson (Lighting/Sound operator), Lauren Elliott of Oxford (Head of Props) and Mya Hargrove and Evan O’Geary, both of Henderson (Hair and Make-up).

All are current students at the college, except for Elliott, an alumna and VGCC staff member. Betsy Henderson, VGCC’s Department Chair/Instructor of Humanities and Fine Arts, is the director of the play.

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VGCC puts Associate in Arts degree on fast track

Vance-Granville Community College is introducing a new way for students to complete the first two years of a four-year degree on an accelerated timetable.

Starting with the fall semester that begins in August 2017, students will have the option to earn the 60-credit-hour Associate in Arts (College Transfer) degree in just three semesters: fall, spring and summer. Under the standard pathway currently in place, full-time students typically complete the Associate in Arts in five or six semesters (while taking courses in the summer on a part-time basis).

“The VGCC Division of Arts and Sciences is very excited to be able to offer a new accelerated pathway for the Associate in Arts,” said Cynthia Young, the college’s dean of arts and sciences. “This will allow dedicated students the ability to complete a two-year degree in just one year and quickly move on to a four-year university.”

The new pathway will be rigorous, with students taking a combination of 16-week and eight-week courses. For example, during the fall semester, students on the accelerated schedule will take two courses over the entire 16 weeks, four other courses during the first eight weeks and three others during the second eight weeks. A student would take a maximum of six courses at any one time. Only three courses would be required in the eight-week summer term.

Some required courses will be taken online, while others may be taken either online or in the traditional face-to-face format.

Students must first either complete or place out of any developmental coursework in order to complete the degree on this schedule.

The Associate in Arts (A.A.) is ideally suited for students who want to pursue bachelor’s degrees in communication, education, humanities, fine arts, languages, and social and behavioral sciences. Students in the program complete essentially the same required general education courses that they would take at most four-year universities and colleges. Graduates with an A.A. who make a grade of “C” or better in every course are assured of admission into one of the 16 universities in the University of North Carolina system, usually transferring in with junior ranking.

In the past few years, the comprehensive articulation agreements between all North Carolina community colleges, the UNC System and the private N.C. Independent Colleges and Universities have been revised with clearer pathways, simplifying the transfer of credits for both A.A. and Associate in Science (A.S.) graduates.

Registration for the fall semester at VGCC is currently ongoing, and ends on Aug. 10.

For more information on the accelerated pathway, contact Oluwunmi Ariyo at (252) 738-3270 or [email protected].

–VGCC–

VGCC to hold Enrollment Day on Saturday, April 8

Vance-Granville Community College will hold “Enrollment Day” on Saturday, April 8, from 9 a.m. until noon, in Building 8 on the college’s Main Campus in Vance County.

During those hours, VGCC staff members will be ready to assist anyone who is interested in enrolling at the college for the summer term, which starts on May 30, or the fall semester, which starts in August. Prospective students are encouraged to pre-register at www.vgcc.edu/enrollment-day-registration. The deadline to pre-register is March 31. All who register in advance will receive a free VGCC T-shirt on Enrollment Day.

The April 8 event will include campus tours, an information session for future Vanguards, help with financial aid and Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), along with assistance with choosing programs and registering for classes. Incoming students who have already completed applications for admission will also have the opportunity to take a placement test.

Breakfast items will be available, while supplies last.

VGCC’s Main Campus is located on Poplar Creek Road in Vance County (about midway between Henderson and Oxford) at the intersection with Interstate 85 (Exit 209).

Registration for classes at VGCC is ongoing. For more information, contact VGCC at [email protected] or (252) 738-3330, or visit any campus.

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VGCC adds fully-online Associate in Science degree

Adults interested in obtaining the first two years of a four-year degree completely online will have a new option this fall at Vance-Granville Community College.

The “Vanguard Online Learning through Technology” (VOLT) initiative at VGCC is entering its third year in operation and preparing to add the Associate in Science degree program to its offerings in August. VOLT courses are for adult learners who need an online-only educational experience.

VGCC already offers another College Transfer degree, the Associate in Arts, in VOLT, along with degrees in Business Administration, Criminal Justice, Medical Office Administration – Coding Specialist, and Global Logistics and Distribution Management Technology.

The Associate in Science (A.S.) program provides students with an excellent foundation for bachelor’s degrees in engineering, computer science, mathematics, and the natural sciences. Meanwhile, the Associate in Arts (A.A.) is ideal for students who want to pursue bachelor’s degrees in communication, education, humanities, fine arts, languages, and social and behavioral sciences.

Graduates of either degree who make a grade of “C” or better in every course are assured of admission into one of the 16 universities in the University of North Carolina system, usually transferring in with junior ranking.

In the past few years, the comprehensive articulation agreements between all North Carolina community colleges, the UNC System and the private N.C. Independent Colleges and Universities have been revised with clearer pathways, simplifying the transfer of credits for both A.A. and A.S. graduates.

Registration for the fall semester is currently ongoing, and ends on Aug. 10.

The planned program of study calls for VOLT Associate in Science students to take four college transfer courses during their first semester: one each in English and Math, plus Art Appreciation and Introduction to Computers. Students will complete the 61-credit-hour degree over six semesters under the plan, including two summer terms in which they will take one or two courses each.

Other courses in the degree come from disciplines such as Biology, Geology, Sociology, History, Humanities and Physics. These are the equivalents of the same required general education courses that students would take if they were freshmen or sophomores at most four-year universities.

“The VOLT Associate in Science program provides another opportunity to meet the educational needs of students who prefer to complete their entire degree online,” said Cynthia Young, VGCC’s dean of arts and sciences. “Our experienced, innovative Arts and Sciences instructors utilize a variety of instructional strategies to engage students. Graduates are well-prepared with an excellent educational foundation as they transfer to four-year institutions to earn bachelor’s degrees, because our programs are not only affordable and convenient but also high in quality.”

VOLT began with a small number of courses in 2015 and has grown steadily since then. Students are able to earn their associate’s degrees 100-percent online through VOLT. Advances in technology allow many of the courses to be more interactive than those offered in the past.

VOLT students enjoy several specific benefits, including priority registration and guaranteed course availability. They also have access to many online resources that are available to all VGCC students, such as library services, testing and the Bookstore. VOLT students also have an academic and career coach devoted to helping them, just as traditional on-campus students do.

Courses offered through VOLT have the same low tuition as all other VGCC courses, making them more affordable than their counterparts at for-profit institutions. In addition, Duke Energy, a longtime corporate supporter of VGCC, has provided funds for scholarships specifically for VOLT students.

Last year, Vance-Granville was recognized as the top two-year college in North Carolina for online programs by the national organization Accredited Schools Online (ASO).

For more information about VOLT, visit volt.vgcc.edu or call Evelyn Harris at (252) 738-3254 or Melanie Copeland at (252) 738-3271.

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VGCC basketball season ends in second round of conference tourney

The Vance-Granville Community College Vanguards men’s basketball team recently closed out the season at the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division II Region X tournament, the first two rounds of which were held at Richard Bland College in Petersburg, Va.

On March 4, VGCC, the tenth seed in the tournament, defeated the seventh-seeded Titans of Guilford Technical Community College in the opening round, 90-87, recording the program’s first postseason win since 2015. The victory came just one week after the Vanguards lost to the Titans, 108-102, to wrap up the regular season.

This time, VGCC came out strong from the start, leading by as many as eight points in the first five minutes of play. GTCC came back in the middle of the first half but the Vanguards responded and built up a 44-39 lead at halftime. VGCC led for practically the entire second half, beating back a late rally by the Titans to secure the narrow win, in part on the strength of shooting 100% (14 for 14) from the free-throw line. According to the staff at tournament host Richard Bland College, the Vanguards were the only team to make 100% of their free throws all season in that arena, and may be the only team to be perfect from the line in a Region X tournament game.

“The NJCAA Region X Conference tournament was an amazing experience for both the players and myself,” said VGCC head coach DeMarcus Oliver. “The atmosphere was electric! For the first time, players had the opportunity to play in front of NCAA Division I and II college coaches sitting court-side to recruit. This is the place where everything mattered, from the pre-game warm-up to the post-game hand shake.” The coach said that the tournament, his first since taking the reins of the program, will always be “an unforgettable moment” in his life. “Being defeated by Guilford Tech twice in the regular season, and then coming out victorious when it mattered most, brought tears to my eyes as I left the court,” Oliver added.

The Vanguards were led in scoring by sophomore TyQuon Reid of Goldsboro, who posted 26 points to go along with four steals. Freshman NiQuan Cousins of Raleigh was also key, contributing 24 points as well as a team-high 14 rebounds. Freshman Kenneth Finley, Jr., of Raleigh led in assists (6), while also scoring 11 points. Sophomore Chris Pernell of Raleigh put up 14 points.

With the win, VGCC advanced to the second (quarter-final) round on March 5, but lost to the number-two seed, Richard Bland College, on March 5. The Statesmen were ranked as the eighth-best team in the nation in the most recent NJCAA Division II poll.

Cousins scored a game-high 25 points for VGCC and also led in rebounding (8). Reid put up 14 points and 3 assists in his final game as a Vanguard. His fellow sophomores were Pernell, who had 6 points, 2 rebounds, one assist and one steal; Antonio Adams of Oxford, who had 4 rebounds and a steal; and Michael Henderson of Henderson, with 3 rebounds.

The 2016-17 season saw the emergence of two Vanguards as national leaders. Cousins was the top rebounder in the nation this year for Division II, recording 432 total rebounds and 14.9 rebounds per game while also ranking first in both offensive rebounds per game and defensive rebounds per game. He is VGCC’s all-time leader in rebounds during a single season and in a single game (28). Reid, meanwhile, ended the season ranked third in the nation for free-throw shooting (195-256) and fifth in steals (95). Reid was also VGCC’s team leader in points per game (23.3), assists per game (6.1) and steals per game (3.3) for the season.

Before the opening of the conference tournament, Reid was named to the All-Region X Second Team, becoming just the third Vanguard to receive that honor in program history. He is also the first player in VGCC history to score 1,000 points.

Coach Oliver said that among the many highlights of the season, the Vanguards defeated the UNC Tar Heels JV team for the first time, and at one point had three players ranked on the NJCAA national leader boards at the same time: Cousins, Reid and Finley. He added that Pernell became the first player in Vanguards history to make more than 100 career three-pointers, with nine of those coming in a single game.

“I can assure our VGCC fans that we will be back in the 2017-2018 season, playing some exciting basketball,” Coach Oliver said. “I am committed to building a much stronger, better, and more equipped men’s basketball program that will aid us in continuing to pursue making history! Thanks to sophomore players such as TyQuon Reid (Team Captain), Chris Pernell (Team Co-Captain), Antonio Adams, and Michael Henderson, for being four solid pillars that I have used to start construction on the rebuilding of VGCC men’s basketball.”

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Couldn’t get enough of the 3rd President? VGCC to welcome back “Thomas Jefferson”

A series of lectures at Vance-Granville Community College by Bill Barker, in character as President Thomas Jefferson, were so popular in 2016 that the college’s Endowment Fund is bringing him back to the community.

Barker will speak as Jefferson on the “Freedom for Religion” in the VGCC Civic Center on the college’s Main Campus in Vance County on Monday, March 20, at 11 a.m.

Then, he will present “Mr. Jefferson on Food and Wine” at the same location on Monday, March 27, at 11 a.m. The VGCC Culinary Arts department will provide refreshments for the occasion.

Both of the talks are different from the well-received presentations that he made at VGCC in 2016, which touched on science, the Constitution and slavery.

This year’s hour-long presentations, which include time for questions from the audience, are free and open to the public.

Barker has portrayed Thomas Jefferson in a variety of venues since his first appearance at Independence Hall in Philadelphia in 1984. He has received critical acclaim as the resident “Mr. Jefferson” at Colonial Williamsburg, Va., since 1993.

Born and raised in Philadelphia, his interest in Thomas Jefferson reaches back to his youth. He enjoys researching the American world Jefferson knew with an interest in the role this Founding Father played and continues to play in our American identity. Barker has a local connection, as his father was an Oxford native and he has many relatives in Granville County.

Barker received a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in history, from Villanova University. Attracted to the stage at an early age, he became a professional actor, director and producer. He was cast as Jefferson in the musical, 1776. Barker is the same height, weight and general appearance as Mr. Jefferson. When Barker spoke at VGCC in 2016, David Wyche, the college’s English department chair, remarked, “Short of time travel, this is as close as we can come to meeting the man himself.”

He has performed as Jefferson at the White House, the Palace of Versailles and throughout the United States, Great Britain, France and even on the Las Vegas Strip. He appeared as the Founding Father in programs that aired on ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS, CNN, The History Channel, and C-SPAN.

For more information on the Thomas Jefferson programs, call VGCC Endowment Director Eddie Ferguson at (252) 738-3264.

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New members join VGCC endowment board

The Vance-Granville Community College Endowment Fund Board of Directors recently welcomed four new members. They include Tanya Evans of Timberlake, Ronnie Goswick of Franklinton, Katharine Macon Horner of Durham and Marshall Tanner of Oxford.

“We are delighted to welcome these leaders to our Endowment board, and we appreciate their commitment to supporting our students and our mission,” said Dr. Stelfanie Williams, president of VGCC.

The board of directors oversees the Endowment Fund Corporation, a nonprofit organization established in 1976 to seek and receive scholarship funds and other contributions for the college.

Evans is a district manager in Duke Energy’s government and community relations department. She is responsible for external relations, issue management, community involvement and corporate contributions for the company’s northeast region, which covers Caswell, Person, Granville, Vance, Warren, Franklin, Edgecombe, Nash, Wilson and Halifax counties. Duke Energy has established numerous scholarships for VGCC students and awarded several grants to the college over the years. Evans has a degree in journalism and mass communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Goswick is the director of business and economic development at Carolina Sunrock, based in Raleigh. The company is a longtime supporter of the college and has endowed a VGCC scholarship in its name. Goswick served for 25 years in local government with Franklin County and the Kerr-Tar Regional Council of Governments as an economic development director. He is also a former Franklin County commissioner and member of the Town of Franklinton Board of Commissioners. Goswick is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a degree in business.

Horner is a Henderson native who graduated from Atlantic Christian College (today known as Barton College) with a degree in health and physical education and from Wilson County Technical Institute (today known as Wilson Community College) with an associate degree in nursing. She retired after a lengthy, varied career in health care, having spent many years working as a nurse at Duke Medical Center. Horner has endowed two scholarships at VGCC in memory of her parents and grandparents.

Tanner spent his career in the manufacturing sector, retiring in 2010 as a vice president of Bridgestone Bandag, another company that has supported the VGCC Endowment Fund for many years and endowed a scholarship in its name. He managed plants for that company in Iowa and Georgia before finally moving to its Oxford location. Tanner earned his bachelor’s degree in industrial management at Georgia Tech. Active in his community, he received the John Penn Citizen of the Year Award in 2003 from the Granville County Chamber of Commerce.

The four new additions join current Endowment Fund board members Robert L. Hubbard (the vice-chair), Julius Banzet III, Sarah Baskerville, Rep. James W. Crawford, Jr., Dr. Ben F. Currin, Clay Frazier, L. Opie Frazier, Jr., Rev. Dr. Richard M. Henderson, Darryl Moss, T.S. Royster, Jr., Donald C. Seifert, Sr., Josh Towne and Todd Wemyss. As president of VGCC, Dr. Stelfanie Williams chairs the board.

Through the Endowment Fund, VGCC has awarded more than 8,800 scholarships to students since 1982. Scholarships have been endowed by numerous individuals, industries, businesses, civic groups, churches and the college’s faculty and staff. Tax-deductible donations to the VGCC Endowment Fund have often been used to honor or remember a person, group, business or industry with a lasting gift to education. For more information about the Endowment Fund, call (252) 738-3409.

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VGCC information session to spotlight health programs

Vance-Granville Community College will hold a Health Care Programs Information Session on Wednesday, March 15, at noon, in Room G1131 on the college’s South Campus, located between Creedmoor and Butner.

Information will be available about curriculum programs in Radiography, Histotechnology, Pharmacy Technology, Medical Assisting, Human Services Technology, Medical Office Administration and Medical Office Administration – Coding Specialist, along with Continuing Education programs such as Health Unit Coordinator and Nurse Aide.

The session is open to anyone interested in exploring opportunities in such programs, including current VGCC students and high school students considering college options.

After receiving information about VGCC, attendees will tour the curriculum programs that are based at South Campus: Human Services Technology, which trains students for entry-level jobs in the helping professions and includes special degree tracks in Gerontology and in Substance Abuse; and Radiography, the degree program that prepares graduates to skilled health care professionals who use radiation to produce images of the human body.

Histotechnology, VGCC’s newest curriculum program, provides students with the knowledge and skills necessary to prepare tissue specimens for microscopic examination using various stains and dyes to identify tissue and cell structures. The program is based at VGCC’s Main Campus in Vance County.

Pharmacy Technology, also based at Main Campus, trains pharmacy technicians for positions in hospitals, nursing homes, private and chain drug stores, research laboratories, wholesale drug companies and pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities. The program offers both a diploma and an associate degree option.

Medical Assisting, based at the college’s Franklin County Campus, prepares multi-skilled health care professionals qualified to perform administrative, clinical and laboratory procedures. That program also offers both a diploma and a two-year degree.

Medical Office Administration prepares individuals for employment in medical and other health-care-related offices. Both a general and a Coding Specialist degree track are offered, along with Medical Coding Specialist and Medical Transcription Specialist certificates.

Continuing education programs like Nurse Aide, Medication Aide, Phlebotomy, Medical Office Assistant and Health Unit Coordinator offer short-term training and are offered at various locations throughout the year.

For more information, contact Dean of Health Sciences Angela Thomas at (252) 738-3397 or [email protected].

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VGCC honors sophomore Vanguard basketball players

The Vance-Granville Community College Vanguards men’s basketball team honored their departing sophomores on Feb. 17 at Aycock Recreation Center in Henderson. The result of the “Sophomore Night” game was a narrow 98-93 loss for the home team to Patrick Henry Community College. The hard-fought contest marked the last home game of the regular season for the Vanguards.

At halftime, VGCC head coach DeMarcus Oliver recognized four players completing their second and final seasons on the team — forward Antonio Adams of Oxford (a J.F. Webb High School graduate), guard Michael Henderson of Henderson (Northern Vance High School), guard Chris Pernell of Raleigh (East Wake High School), and point guard and Team Captain TyQuon Reid of Goldsboro (Durham Hillside High School).

Two of those sophomores, Reid and Pernell, led their team in scoring, with 26 and 25 points, respectively. Freshman NiQuan Cousins was not far behind, putting up 23 points while leading the Vanguards in both rebounds (17) and blocks (3). Reid also contributed 7 assists, and Pernell recorded 5 rebounds. Henderson posted 12 points. Adams had 3 points and 3 rebounds.

Pernell had been on a hot shooting streak going into the Patrick Henry game. On Feb. 9, he led the Vanguards in scoring, with 27 points, helping VGCC defeat Fayetteville Tech Community College at home, 96-93. In that game, Cousins was second in scoring (17 points) while Kenneth Finley, Jr., was third (16). Cousins led in rebounding, with 17.

Pernell was also the top scorer in the Vanguards’ 96-76 loss on Feb. 15 to Catawba Valley Community College. He put up 28 points that night, while also contributing 5 rebounds. Cousins recorded 18 points and 15 rebounds.

On Feb. 22, VGCC lost on the road to nationally-ranked Richard Bland College, 101-71. Cousins had the most points (24) and rebounds (14). Reid added 17 points and 7 assists. Pernell scored 11 points.

VGCC will compete in the NJCAA Division II Region X conference tournament, which starts March 4 at Richard Bland College in Petersburg, Virginia.

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VGCC awards top academic honor to Ivy League-bound student

Vance-Granville Community College has named student Paul Caroline of Louisburg as its recipient of the North Carolina Community College System’s Academic Excellence Award for 2017. One student from each of the 58 colleges in the state system is honored with the award each year.

Caroline will be officially recognized at Commencement in May, when he is scheduled to graduate from the college with both an Associate in Arts degree and an Associate in Science degree. That same month, Caroline will graduate from Franklin County Early College High School. This is the second year in a row that the VGCC Academic Excellence Award has gone to a student at FCECHS.

The college partners with four Early College high school programs, one in each county of the VGCC service area. As Caroline has done, students typically finish the program in five years, simultaneously earning high school diplomas and college degrees, or up to two years of college-transferable credits.

In an essay that he wrote for the award nomination, Caroline put his academic experience into its historical context. “For my family, education has always been a privilege,” he wrote. “In the early twentieth century, laws prohibited my great-grandmother and many other African American students from advancing to the twelfth grade and earning a high school diploma. Since then, each new generation has attested to a strong commitment to the pursuit of educational opportunity.”

Caroline added that “education opens doors to a better life, and one of the greatest thresholds I have crossed on my journey thus far is the iconic archway of Vance-Granville Community College.”

He described the support he has received from faculty members at both the high school and the college as “transformative.” Caroline said that he found that learning “not only yields the power to better oneself, but the world as a whole.” He took the “Vanguard spirit” and VGCC’s commitment to students to heart, he said, by helping others as a Peer Tutor through the college’s Academic Skills Center, starting at the age of 17.

After he graduates, Caroline is set to study Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of Pennsylvania, the prestigious Ivy League institution, with a full QuestBridge scholarship, which he described as “a first” for his community. “In my personal journey, Vance-Granville Community College has been a stepping-stone to making an Ivy League education possible,” Caroline said.

His twin brother, Peter, is also a Franklin County Early College High School student. Peter is likewise set to graduate with both an Associate in Arts degree and an Associate in Science degree from VGCC and will continue his education at Stanford University with a full QuestBridge scholarship.

“Paul’s hard work and dedication to excellence have earned him a place among the top community college students in North Carolina,” said Dr. Stelfanie Williams, the president of VGCC. “He is an outstanding representative of both Vance-Granville and Franklin County Early College High School, and we know he will continue to make us proud as a student at one of our country’s elite institutions of higher learning.”

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