Two VGCC students awarded Mike Bradley memorial scholarships

Brady, a company that provides energy-efficient HVAC systems and comprehensive building solutions for commercial and industrial facilities across North Carolina, recently awarded the annual Mike Bradley Memorial Scholarships to Vance-Granville Community College students Michael Hall of Creedmoor and Cedric Rodebaugh of Franklinton.

Both students, who are studying Welding Technology at VGCC, received a $500 scholarship to help fund their education.

Established by the Association of Community College Facility Operations (ACCFO) in 2014, the Bradley Memorial Scholarship was named in honor of Mike Bradley by his long-time employer, Brady Services. Bradley served as an outspoken supporter of and advocate for ACCFO and was passionate about the North Carolina Community College System, as a graduate of Wake Technical Community College. He passed away suddenly in 2014 after working with Brady for more than 30 years. In his memory, Brady funds the scholarship to be given annually to students at one member college. This was the first year that VGCC has been selected as the recipient school.

ACCFO members are employed as maintenance directors, managers, supervisors, physical plant managers and foremen employed by North Carolina Community Colleges to oversee physical plant operations and buildings and grounds maintenance.

Representatives of Brady recently made a visit to VGCC’s Main Campus to meet the two scholarship recipients and hold a luncheon in their honor. The officials from the company included Brady Vice President of Direct Sales Brad Resler of Greensboro, Account Services Representative Lina Lindberg of Morrisville and Director of Business and Leadership Development Phil Kirk of Raleigh, who is also a former member of the State Board of Community Colleges.

“Brady is a North Carolina company, and one of our missions is to be supportive of our associates and our community,” Resler told college officials and the students at the luncheon. “We had a tragedy strike us about two and a half years ago, with the passing of one of our associates, Mike Bradley. Through this scholarship, we remember him and carry on his legacy in a way that gives back to our community colleges and helps grow the vocational trades in North Carolina.”

Resler added that the scholarship is important not only to the individual students who receive it but also to the company, because it allows them to “reinvest in the workforce of North Carolina, the purpose of the community colleges, and the skilled trades that Brady and other contractors across the state rely upon.”

He noted that nationwide, many more skilled technicians in areas such as HVAC and welding are retiring than are entering those professions. “It’s vitally important that we get qualified, hard-working folks like Michael and Cedric to make the choice to train for these careers, so we’re just thrilled to support what VGCC is doing to develop a knowledgeable workforce. Congratulations, Michael and Cedric, on being selected as the recipients. We look forward to seeing the great things that are ahead of you both!”

Hall, who was accompanied by his mother, Lynn, and Rodebaugh, who was joined by his wife, Tamara, expressed their appreciation to Brady and to the college. Both students have completed the first year of VGCC’s two-year Welding degree program. Hall is already employed in the welding field, at MGM Products in Kittrell.

“We feel very honored and fortunate to have you here to present these scholarships,” Rusty Pace, the head of the VGCC Welding program, said. “I love to see our students and industry come together, whether through employment or scholarships. Cedric and Michael are quickly becoming leaders as students in the Welding program. They are highly motivated, dedicated and set an excellent example for their classmates.”

  1. Keith Shearon, who oversees Welding and other programs as the Applied Technologies department chair at VGCC, added, “It’s always encouraging to have people in the community, especially employers, make an investment in our students.”

“The Mike Bradley Memorial Scholarship makes a significant difference in our community college system, and we are grateful to Brady and ACCFO for selecting a pair of outstanding Vance-Granville students as the recipients this year,” said Dr. Stelfanie Williams, VGCC’s president. “We can’t wait to see Michael’s and Cedric’s bright futures as they prepare for personal and professional success.”

About Brady

Brady is headquartered in Greensboro, North Carolina, with locations in Raleigh, Durham, Fayetteville, and Wilmington. Founded in 1962 by Chairman Don Brady, the company remains a family owned enterprise, today employing over 420 associates. The company works with building owners, facility managers, developers, architects, engineers and contractors providing sustainable, comprehensive building solutions for commercial and industrial facilities. Brady provides customers with a diverse range of HVAC and building solutions including building automation, energy conservation, green design, performance contracts, access controls, security, mechanical systems, parts and supplies, as well as world-class technical support. Brady is a Trane franchise. For more information, visit

About Vance-Granville Community College

Vance-Granville Community College, one of the 58 institutions of the North Carolina Community College System, is the local source for higher education and training in Vance, Granville, Franklin and Warren counties, north of the Research Triangle. Established in 1969, VGCC today serves students at four campuses (one in each county of the service area) and online. The college offers more than 40 curriculum programs, as well as occupational certifications, continuing education, adult education, customized training for employers and the first two years of a four-year degree. For more information, visit


VGCC offers seminar on improving credit scores

The Vance-Granville Community College Small Business Center is offering a free seminar that offers helpful tips on how to obtain a better credit score.

“How to Increase Your Credit Score to Over 740 Points; Prepare for a Bank Business Loan!” is scheduled for Thursday, June 22, from 6 until 9 p.m., in room 7109 (Building 7) on the college’s Main Campus in Vance County.

According to instructor Bob Moore, “a very good credit score is now considered to be 740 points, with an excellent credit score being over 800 points. Now more than ever, having good credit is important in being able to obtain a loan for your business or to obtain a personal loan.” He added that a person’s credit score is also important in determining the interest rate of their loans, their insurance premiums and deposits required for phone and utility services.

In this three-hour seminar, attendees will learn how to raise their scores simply by the way they use their credit cards, treat inquiries, make payments and carry balances. This seminar will include information about the importance of maintaining good credit and the positive financial consequences it produces. Moore will also discuss the history of credit scoring, how to read a credit report and what factors are used in calculating a FICO or Beacon score.

A graduate of Fayetteville State University, Moore is a longtime small business owner and serves as director of the Small Business Center at Robeson Community College in Lumberton. He was honored as the Small Business Center Director of the Year for the entire North Carolina Community College System in 2013.

For more information and to reserve a seat in this free seminar, contact Small Business Center director Tanya Weary at [email protected] or (252) 738-3240. The deadline to register is June 19.

Registration can be completed online at


Twins on their way from VGCC to prestigious universities

Twin brothers Paul Caroline and Peter Caroline of Louisburg began their higher education at Vance-Granville Community College and will soon continue that education at two of the nation’s top universities.

Both received full QuestBridge scholarships, Paul to the University of Pennsylvania and Peter to Stanford University. According to U.S. News & World Report, Stanford is the country’s most selective university, accepting only five percent of applicants, while Penn has the 14th lowest acceptance rate.

The brothers have attended VGCC for the last five years through the Franklin County Early College High School program, allowing them to simultaneously complete high school diplomas and college degrees, tuition-free. Each is graduating this month with both an Associate in Arts degree and an Associate in Science degree from the community college.

Looking back on his experience, Paul said that his favorite classes at VGCC were his math, science and Spanish classes. “I enjoyed all of my science courses, because my instructors always related the information we discussed in class to applications in the real world,” he reflected. “After each lab or lecture, I looked at certain parts of daily life in a new light and tried to think of ways to make connections with what I learned. I often found myself running home and excitedly telling my parents things that I learned in class, like the fact that you can boil water without heat, or that green beans are actually fruits!”

Likewise, Peter most enjoyed science classes like Chemistry and Biology, along with American Literature. “They’re all some of the most difficult courses I’ve taken, but I feel they’ve helped me the most to learn and improve academically and personally,” he said. “Plus, they were fun; the experiments were levels beyond what I’d do on the high school campus. Meanwhile, the discussions in English about literature, history, and life in general made me think deeper about situations and information.”

When they were high school sophomores, the Carolines became aware of QuestBridge, a nonprofit organization that connects the nation’s brightest students from low-income backgrounds with leading institutions of higher education. They each received an email, inviting them to be involved in the program because of their strong academics. Peter recalled, “Here was this organization I had never heard of promising me free tuition to an Ivy League school; of course, I thought it was too good to be true or there was some catch. But I forwarded it to my mother, talked to my school counselor, and applied my senior year.”

Both were accepted into the program. They received free essay coaching and tips about applying to colleges. QuestBridge allowed them to apply early to 38 prestigious universities for a chance to receive a full, four-year scholarship. Each participating student ranks up to 12 universities. “If a school at the top of a student’s ranking list does not wish to award that student a scholarship, then the application would be sent to the next school on the list, and so on,” Paul explained. There was no guarantee that a student would be “matched” with a university on their list, he said. “There were over 14,000 applicants in the QuestBridge National College Match Program, and only about 700 received scholarships.”

Eventually, the long-awaited news came to both twins. “I remember I was on the VGCC campus when I found out,” Peter said. “In Franklin Campus Building 5, I was reading a book in the VNet room (where the most comfortable chairs are) and I got a text from Paul, saying: ‘I got into Penn :)’. So after that I rushed to the lab and checked my QuestBridge account and saw I got into Stanford. Both used the exact same three words to describe their feeling at the time: “I was ecstatic.”

While the brothers had been attracted to some of the same four-year schools, Penn was only on Paul’s list and Stanford only on Peter’s. Now, they will head off to universities on opposite ends of the country. “I think that these schools will be a perfect fit for each of us,” Paul said. He intends to study Molecular and Cell Biology at the Ivy League university.

“I have always liked science, because it can explain how things work,” he said. “I ultimately chose to study biomedical sciences after hearing about the advancements in the field in 2014 at a seminar in Washington, D.C., called the Congress of Future Medical Leaders. I began reading medical journals in my spare time and trying to make sense of them. After several weeks of reading journals and Googling words that I didn’t know, I was able to understand the material and make suggestions based on the conclusions I had drawn. I really liked this kind of research, because it delved into cell and molecular biology, which is aimed at understanding small processes related to living things.”

Paul said he was drawn to Ivy League schools, “because of their rich history and traditions, academic rigor, and strength in research. I was also intrigued by the idea of living in the city, because I had always lived in suburban and rural areas throughout my life. Since I am generally a quiet person, I think that going to Penn, which is known as the ‘Social Ivy,’ will help me develop socially.”

For his part, Peter has been “obsessed” with Stanford since his junior year. He plans to study Biology and Biomedical Science at the large California university. “There are a lot of people, but it’s greatly different from North Carolina,” he said. “I think I enjoy the sciences and cardiology so much because it offers real solutions to problems in the world. Specifically for cardiology, heart disease is the leading cause of death in the country and it’s only going to progress without research and efficient policy. I think I can do my part to make a difference, so after school I would like to pursue a career in research and as a cardiovascular surgeon.”

High-achieving brothers might be expected to be quite competitive with one another. According to Paul, they are “competitive, although in a lighthearted sort of way.… We enjoy seeing each other’s achievements, which have always seemed to alternate from time to time. I think that this sort of supportive competitiveness has made us strive toward excellence. Instead of having a negative effect, it gives a sort of standard to maintain in all that we do.” Peter does not see them as focusing on competition. “We sometimes joke with each other about whose grade was higher or who did best in a certain class, but more than anything, we push each other to succeed together,” he said. “We both believe in each other’s abilities and are always learning from each other, so it’s more like we’re teammates than competitors.”

Both say that their family has always instilled in them the value of education. “Since elementary school, my parents have not only encouraged me to do well in school, but they have also searched different areas in order to ensure the quality of the schools that my brother and I attended,” Paul noted. Similarly, Peter recalled that family members encouraged them to be “leaders, not followers.”

The twins say that their community college experience has prepared them well for the next steps in their journeys. Both students have earned President’s List honors at VGCC, and Paul was VGCC’s recipient of the North Carolina Community College System’s Academic Excellence Award for 2017.

“The most important way that VGCC classes have prepared me for attending a four-year university involves expectations in the classroom, as well as the nature of assignments,” Paul said. “Once I had a feel for the rigor and expectations of VGCC classes, I was able to engage in a new level learning which goes beyond completing assignments, and begins to reach into the process of asking new questions, conducting new research, and having new discussions.”

Peter added, “Using VGCC and Early College as a means of getting through college quickly wasn’t why I enrolled. I came for the knowledge, experience, and relationships that would make me a stronger college student and better person. Vance-Granville has given me opportunities to succeed, ideas to challenge and cultivate, and knowledge in a variety of subjects. I think at Stanford, I will be a student that will definitely leave an impression on the school, and hopefully, my environment.”

“Peter and Paul Caroline are true scholars,” said Evelyn Hall, VGCC’s college liaison for Franklin County Early College High School. “These super-seniors bring inquisitive minds and add thoughtful reflection to every class they complete. Their commitment to achievement extends beyond the classroom to service as well. Paul tutors VGCC students in a number of academic areas, and Peter serves as a mentor for our FCECHS students. Always seeking excellence as their singular ideal and aim, Paul and Peter also bring positive energy to all around them. It has been a joy to witness their growth, and I look forward to hearing about many successful endeavors and discoveries in their futures.”


Congressman Butterfield talks with VGCC students

U.S. Rep. G.K. Butterfield, who represents North Carolina’s first congressional district, visited the main campus of Vance-Granville Community College on April 17, during a tour of his district while Congress was in recess. At the college, the congressman met with Dr. Stelfanie Williams, VGCC’s president, along with a group of five students: Jesse Edwards, Camden Jones, Evan O’Geary and Latessa Wilkerson, all of Henderson; and Francis Scotland of Oxford. The congressman was accompanied by Reginald Speight, his district director.

Dr. Williams informed students that Butterfield has represented the first district in the U.S. House of Representatives since 2004. “He is a longtime public servant with a background in the law, and he wants to hear about your experiences at VGCC and what your plans are,” Williams told the students at the outset of the meeting. “It’s my pleasure to be with you today and to talk with you about your future and about what I can do to assist this institution and you individually to achieve your goals,” Butterfield added.

Butterfield said his district includes all or parts of 14 counties, including Vance, Granville and Warren. The congressman is no stranger to VGCC, having spoken at several events over the years, including commencement exercises in 2014. Butterfield praised the North Carolina Community College System as one of the best in the country, and VGCC as one of the outstanding community colleges in the state. He is a member of the Community College Caucus in Congress.

The congressman discussed a wide range of issues, including the federal budget and the need for the two parties in Washington to work together. Butterfield urged students to educate themselves on the major public policy issues of the day and then to make their views known to their elected officials.

He asked the students to talk about their respective career aspirations. O’Geary and Jones are interested in careers in the arts, Wilkerson in sports management, Scotland in electrical engineering and Edwards in nursing.

“This was a great opportunity for these students to speak with a sitting congressman, because we want VGCC students not only to learn about their academic areas, but also to be well-informed, productive citizens,” Dr. Williams said.



VGCC student nominated for Herring Award

Jordan Williamson of Henderson, a student in the College Transfer program at Vance-Granville Community College, was recently the college’s nominee for the North Carolina Community College System’s Dallas Herring Achievement Award.

The award was established by the system in 2010 to honor the late Dr. Dallas Herring, the longtime State Board of Education chairman and one of the state’s earliest advocates of community colleges. Each year, the award recognizes a current or former community college student who best embodies Herring’s philosophy of “taking people where they are and carrying them as far as they can go.”

Williamson said that VGCC had helped him to overcome learning challenges and earn a college degree. “As a child, I was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, which is characterized by social awkwardness and difficulty communicating feelings,” he wrote in an essay for the award nomination. “My grade school education was normal, by all accounts, but I struggled to interact comfortably with other people. As I advanced through school and eventually entered the Vance County Early College High School, I withdrew socially. I was allowed certain accommodations in order to compensate for some of my challenges in class, but at times these seemed to separate me from my peers even more.  My instructors offered their support and understanding, which allowed me to continue my education without the need for remedial or special classes.” 

As a VGCC student, Williamson wrote, “the opportunities that I have been afforded have allowed me to excel in my education…. I was allowed to record notes during class, instead of having to write them down. I was allowed additional time during exams to help alleviate my anxiety during timed exams. I was allowed a separate, quiet area to take my tests in order to reduce distractions and allow me to focus more clearly. I have been allowed the opportunity to succeed or fail based on my own merits.”

Williamson describes himself as “a young man who has to use the tools that I have been given and try to achieve the best that I can with them.” He is graduating from VGCC this month with his Associate in Arts degree, as well as his diploma from Vance County Early College High School.

“I want to continue my education and work in the field of science,” Williamson added. “I aspire to use the gifts that I have been given to become the best person that I can. I do not know what my future holds, but my present has been shaped by the opportunities that I have been given. My goal is to become someone, that when I look back from a ripe old age, did his best with the tools he was given.”

“During Jordan’s tenure at Vance County Early College High School and Vance-Granville Community College, I have seen him grow and mature socially, physically and academically,” said Evangeline Mitchell, VGCC’s college liaison for the high school. “He is a daily reminder that with hard work, dedication and perseverance, anything is possible. I am so proud of Jordan and I wish him all the best in his future endeavors.”


Two VGCC campuses to host Mini-Medical School summer camps

High school students from throughout the region are invited to learn about health sciences and careers in medicine by participating in the 2017 “Mini-Medical School” Summer Camp, conducted by the Wake Area Health Education Center (AHEC) in partnership with Vance-Granville Community College.

The intensive, week-long day camp is being offered twice: June 12-16, at VGCC’s South Campus, located between Butner and Creedmoor, and July 24-28, at VGCC’s Franklin County Campus, just outside Louisburg. At either location, students will be on campus from 8:30 a.m. until 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

This will be VGCC’s fourth summer hosting a Mini-Medical School, which uses computational science (computer simulation) and hands-on activities to study key aspects of medicine. Topics include anatomy and physiology, biochemistry, pharmacology, cardiology, epidemiology, medical genetics and genomics. Becky Brady, a registered nurse and chemical engineer, will serve as the lead instructor.

Participants will not only learn about training for careers in the medical field, but they will also have opportunities to become certified in CPR and Youth Mental Health First Aid (for students aged 16 and over) during the course of the camp.

Campers will be able to learn more about VGCC programs that prepare students for medical careers, including Histotechnology, Nursing, Medical Assisting, Radiography, Pharmacy Technology, Human Services Technology, Emergency Medical Services and Occupational Healthcare.

Wake AHEC serves nine counties in central North Carolina from its office in Raleigh: Durham, Franklin, Granville, Johnston, Lee, Person, Vance, Wake, and Warren counties. AHECs are located throughout North Carolina and are affiliated with the North Carolina Area Health Education Centers Program at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill School of Medicine. The mission of the statewide AHEC Program is to meet the state’s health and health workforce needs. NC AHEC provides educational programs and services that bridge academic institutions and communities to improve the health of the people of North Carolina with a focus on underserved populations.

The registration fee for the camp is $200, which includes materials, CPR and Youth Mental Health

First Aid Certifications, catered lunches and snacks.

For more information and to register, visit or contact Heather Schafer at [email protected] or 919-350-0468.



VGCC nominates student for statewide leadership award

Francis Scotland, Jr., of Oxford, a student in the College Transfer program at Vance-Granville Community College, was recently the college’s nominee for the North Carolina Community College System’s Governor Robert W. Scott Student Leadership Award for 2017.

The award was established in 2004 in honor of Scott, who served as Governor of North Carolina from 1969-1973, and as President of the N.C. Community College System from 1983-1995. Each year, the N.C. Association of Community College Presidents bestows the honor on one community college student in recognition of his or her academic and leadership achievements.

Scotland was recognized for his leadership as a student ambassador and as an officer in the VGCC Student Government Association (SGA). He recalled being “hesitant” the first time he was offered a position of leadership at the college. “I was offered the position during my first year at VGCC by my former Chemistry teacher, Steve McGrady,” Scotland said. “He pulled me aside after class one day and told me how good my grades were and asked if I wanted to be a counselor for the VGCC summer science camp. I was both nervous and humbled that I was offered such a position. I feared that I wouldn’t be able to handle such a position, that I couldn’t live up to the expectation he had set for me. I not only took the position, but I have helped with the science camp for the past two years.” That experience led him to take advantage of other opportunities to serve at VGCC.

After serving as a senator in the SGA in 2015-2016, Scotland had to run what he described as “a friendly political campaign” to be elected by the student body to the office of parliamentarian in the spring of 2016. “Through campaigning, I met a lot of my peers who I’ve never had the opportunity to meet before the campaign,” he recalled. “SGA is the voice of the students; we coordinate and plan events for the student body as well as addressing any concerns a student may have.”

Scotland said one of his favorite leadership roles has been as the lead student ambassador. “I was given the opportunity to become a student ambassador in the spring of 2014; then I got promoted to lead ambassador in the fall of 2015,” he said. “As a lead ambassador, I am required to assign other ambassadors to professional and recruitment events that VGCC hosts. This position not only helped me with my time management skills but it also helped me with my overall management skills. Learning how to schedule people to work events in addition to working in a professional environment are life skills I will always carry with me.”

He added, “I didn’t want people to think I’m an overachiever for taking on several leadership titles. Instead, I want to be somebody who can be a role model for my peers. Taking on these leadership positions has given me life skills that are embedded in my life forever and can never be changed.  Being a leader is more than telling people what to do. It’s about active listening and addressing the concerns of others. Even though many people would call me a leader, I am equal part a follower. I believe one can only lead by following others.”

“Francis is one of our most dependable, dedicated and helpful student leaders, and we appreciate his excellent service to the VGCC Vanguards,” said Jermiel Hargrove, the college’s coordinator of student activities and athletics, who advises both the SGA and the ambassadors.

Scotland has excelled academically, as well. He was recently inducted into the college’s chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa international honor society. He has already completed the requirements for both the Associate in Arts and Associate in Science degrees and will march at VGCC’s commencement exercises on May 12. Scotland will continue his higher education at a four-year university in the fall to study electrical engineering.


N.C. Community College System president to speak at VGCC Commencement

Dr. James C. “Jimmie” Williamson, the president of the North Carolina Community College System, will be the principal commencement speaker for Vance-Granville Community College’s graduation exercises on Friday, May 12.

Colton Hayes of Epsom, president of the VGCC Student Government Association, will be the student speaker.

Approximately 490 students are scheduled to be honored during ceremonies beginning at 6 p.m. at the gazebo by the lake on the college’s Main Campus in Vance County. For those unable to attend the event in person, VGCC will broadcast a live video feed from the ceremony online at

Williamson became the eighth president of the 58-institution North Carolina Community College System (NCCCS) on July 1, 2016. Before assuming his role at NCCCS, he served two years as President and CEO of the South Carolina Technical College System. His insight into workforce development is informed by both his 20 years in the South Carolina system – rising through roles from registrar to dean to two college presidencies and then to System President – and by his six years in a leadership position with Agapé Senior, a healthcare-related industry in South Carolina.

Dr. Williamson holds a Bachelor of Visual Arts and a Master of Education in Guidance and Counseling from Winthrop University, as well as a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration from the University of South Carolina.

Hayes is graduating with an Associate in Arts degree. Later in May, he will graduate from Franklin County Early College High School. Hayes will continue his education in the fall at North Carolina State University, where he plans to study computer science. He was elected president of the VGCC Student Government Association for the 2016-2017 year, and, in that capacity, also served as the student member of the VGCC Board of Trustees. He is the first early college high school student to serve in those leadership roles in VGCC history. Hayes has been named twice to the VGCC President’s List.

Students serving as graduation marshals will be Brenda Ellis of Durham; Mya Wilson of Franklinton; Taylor Anderson, Victoria Inscoe and Evan O’Geary, all of Henderson; Pamela Campbell of Littleton; Mark Meinhart of Louisburg; Betsy Mason of Macon; Briana Barnes of Manson; and Austin Smith of Oxford.


VGCC students inducted into honor society

Vance-Granville Community College recognized 75 students who were inducted into Phi Theta Kappa, the international honor society for students of two-year colleges, on April 18 in the Civic Center on the college’s Main Campus. VGCC students honored with induction into Phi Theta Kappa must have a cumulative grade-point average of at least 3.5 in associate degree curriculum programs and have completed at least 12 credit hours toward their degrees.

As advisors for VGCC’s PTK chapter, instructors Olu Ariyo, Isaac Talley and Maureen Walters conducted the ceremony. Walters, the head advisor, told the new inductees and their families and friends in attendance that since VGCC’s chapter of PTK, “Alpha Sigma Chi,” was chartered in 1991, more than 1,900 students have been selected for induction. She said that while scholarship is the first aim of PTK, the society also encourages fellowship, leadership development and service to others, and she noted that the letters Phi Theta Kappa stand for the Greek words for “Wisdom,” “Aspiration” and “Purity.”

Serving as guest speaker for the ceremony was Danny Wright of Henderson, a retired Vance County commissioner and the current chair of the VGCC Board of Trustees. “On behalf of the trustees, we salute you for your accomplishments and achievements,” Wright said. “The most important element of a democratic society is the education of its citizens. The greatest anti-poverty program this country has ever administered is a good education. The foundation for any nation to become a peaceful, ordered society is the education of its people. Each of you has demonstrated how much you value and how much you believe in education, so you are well on your way.” Education, he noted, does not, in and of itself, make students better people. “Life is a constant exercise in self-improvement,” Wright said, and the most important thing in life is the cultivation of relationships. “Technical competency alone is not enough to achieve career success,” he added, but rather, students must develop their interpersonal skills as well.

This year’s inductees into the Alpha Sigma Chi chapter of Phi Theta Kappa are:

From Franklin County

Rebekah Glasheen, Christopher Plumley, Charles Sawyer and Mya Wilson, all of Franklinton;

Madison Waddle of Kittrell;

Loganne Driver, Michael Gokee, Katelyn Jensen, Mark Meinhart, Katlyn Riley and Charmaine Sutton, all of Louisburg;

Hope Crute, Skylar Davenport, Jordan Dowdy, Lindsay Henry and Sydney Venezia, all of Youngsville.


From Granville County


Jordan  Ligon and Katie Weary, both of Bullock;

Debra Duncan of Butner;

Caitlyn Good, Carlos Matinote, June Matinote, Sara Reid, Martin Spencer and Hunter Thompson, all of Creedmoor;

Cedric Rodebaugh of Franklinton;

Cecilia   Barrenechea, Nicole Bowman, April Brogden, Larecia Bullock, Kristel Dehart, Timothy Farley, Keodric Grant, Aaron McNeill, Sharon Ray, Francis Scotland, Sydney Towers, Alana Towles, Johnathan Williamson and Ymani Yancey, all of Oxford;

Alex Jackson of Stem;

Kellyann Cook of Stovall.


From Vance County


Lauren  Beauchamp, Angela Burrell, Anthony Henderson, Victoria Inscoe, Jacquella Jones, Lindsey Perry, Katelynn Ray, Janet Rodriguez-Morales, Fatima Saleh, Melissa Simmons, April Thompson,

Bailee Tippett, Makala West and Shanetta Wright, all of Henderson;

Beverly Ellis, Renee Jackson, Leslie Leake and Allison Long, all of Kittrell.


From Warren County


Shima’a Hauter of Norlina;

Ellen Denning, Nubia Lockett, Amanda Miller, Raina Mills, Rowan Morris, Daniel O’Malley, Hannah Ortiz and Joshua Taylor, all of Warrenton.


From Wake County

David Jeanblanc and Charles Keith, both of Raleigh;

Kathryn Catlett of Zebulon.

From other counties

Joshua Jacobs of Durham;

Brian Stevenson of Gastonia;

Brianna Lynch of Hollister.

Author of “Blood Done Sign My Name” To Speak at VGCC Adult Basic Skills Commencement


Vance-Granville Community College will hold commencement exercises dedicated exclusively to new graduates of Adult Basic Skills programs on Thursday, May 4. The ceremony will begin at 6 p.m. in the Civic Center on the college’s Main Campus in Vance County.

Those being honored at the ceremony will include students who have completed either the Adult High School Diploma program or the High School Equivalency program in the past year.

Dr. Timothy B. Tyson, an author and professor who spent part of his childhood in Oxford, will serve as the guest speaker. Tyson is currently Senior Research Scholar at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University and Visiting Professor of American Christianity and Southern Culture at Duke Divinity School. He also holds a faculty position in American Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His most recent book is The Blood of Emmett Till, published early this year.

Tyson is the author of Blood Done Sign My Name, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and winner of the Southern Book Award for Nonfiction and the Grawemeyer Award in Religion. His Radio Free Dixie: Robert F. Williams and the Roots of Black Power was the winner of the James Rawley Prize for the best book on race and the Frederick Jackson Turner Prize for the best first book in U.S. history from the Organization of American Historians. His Democracy Betrayed: The Wilmington Race Riot of 1898 and Its Legacy, published with David S. Cecelski with a foreword by Dr. John Hope Franklin, won the 1999 Outstanding Book Award from the Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Human Rights. He serves on the executive board of the North Carolina NAACP and the board of advisors for the UNC Center for Civil Rights.

Speaking on behalf of the graduating students during the ceremony will be Spencer Bojan Boyd of Oxford. Boyd completed the Adult High School Diploma program online and is already enrolled in the College Transfer program at VGCC. Boyd is a native of Serbia and was adopted at the age of six by a family in Johnston County, who later moved to Granville County. He was born without a right leg and with a distorted left leg, which was later amputated. Boyd’s future plan is to continue his education at the four-year level and become a certified prosthetist in order to help other amputees.