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.

Guest designer helps VGCC bring “The Glass Menagerie” to life

When audiences enjoy the upcoming Vance-Granville Community College Dinner Theater production of “The Glass Menagerie,” they will see the work of a set designer who has worked on professional productions all along the Eastern seaboard. Shannon Clark is the first official “guest designer” for a VGCC theatrical production.

VGCC’s fifth annual Dinner Theater event, featuring the classic American drama that first launched playwright Tennessee Williams to fame, is scheduled for 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. Tickets are $30 per seat and may be purchased online at

Clark has known Betsy Henderson, VGCC’s Department Chair/Instructor of Humanities and Fine Arts and the director of the play, ever since they were both undergraduate students studying theatre at the University of Southern Mississippi. Clark and Henderson are, like playwright Tennessee Williams, also Mississippi natives. “Tennessee Williams has been a favorite of mine for a long time,” Clark said, so he relished the opportunity to work with Henderson on this production.

“’The Glass Menagerie’ is an impactful piece of literature,” Clark explained. “It’s about family, relationships and hope. The matriarch character, Amanda, has hopes and dreams for her children. I think the play has a really powerful message.” He said that his approach to the VGCC production played with the concept of a “memory play” and the themes of dreams and wish fulfillment. “We’re using muslin and lace on the walls, which gives them the ability to ‘glow’ with a dream-like quality,” Clark said. He also gave the scenery a period feel, since the setting is an apartment built in the 1920s. “It’s a bit disjointed and disconnected, because the family is disconnected,” Clark noted. “The pieces of the set belong together, but we don’t know exactly how they fit together, which is a metaphor for the family unit.” All the design elements are tied to the story, with lace representing delicacy and fragility (like the “glass” of the title), while warm colors are used to contrast with the characters’ cold family relationships.

After an initial visit to talk with the VGCC students, Clark returned to campus for what he called “a glorious three days” to work with students on building the sets and putting together the costumes. “I’m thrilled to be working with such a talented, dedicated cast and crew,” he said of the students. For her part, Henderson said, “It has been a wonderful opportunity for our students to work with such an accomplished professional in the field of theatrical design.”

With a career in the theatre spanning 25 years, Clark has called North Carolina home since completing his master’s in fine arts at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 2000. He has managed the Fine and Performing Arts Center at Cary Academy for the last 17 years, and his work is often seen on stages across the region, with credits including: Meredith College, William Peace University, Raleigh Little Theater, StreetSigns Center for Literature and Performance, Manbites Dog Theater, Bright Star Touring Theatre, Raleigh Ensemble Players, Honest Pint Theatre, the Justice Theater Project and NC Theatre. Clark has been an artist for opera and ballet productions, as well as traditional plays.

First staged in 1944, “The Glass Menagerie” is based in part on Tennessee Williams’s own memories of his family. 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 VGCC cast features 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.


VGCC holds Banquet to honor Student-Athletes

Vance-Granville Community College celebrated Vanguard student-athletes at its annual Athletics Banquet, held on March 31 in the Civic Center on the college’s Main Campus.

VGCC Coordinator of Student Activities & Athletics Jermiel Hargrove started the event by praising the students for their hard work, both on the court and in the classroom. He noted that the VGCC athletics program is growing, with the 2016 addition of the “Vanguard Spirit” cheerleading squad, while the men’s basketball and women’s volleyball teams have celebrated historic successes.

Serving as guest speaker for the event was Carlos Fields, a football standout at Northern Vance High School and Winston-Salem State University who is currently a linebacker for the Los Angeles Chargers. Fields spoke about his “idol,” his mother, Sheila Kearney, who was also an outstanding student-athlete and became an educator. “She motivated me to be a great athlete, but most of all, to give back to my community,” he said. Fields plans to go into coaching and teaching once his professional playing days come to an end. To the VGCC athletes, he emphasized the importance of character, “being coachable,” and working hard “while you wait to get your opportunity to excel.”

Hargrove started the presentations of awards by recognizing VGCC women’s volleyball players. He presented the award for Most Valuable Player to Kiyanna Kearney of Henderson, the Team Captain award to Jesse Edwards of Henderson and co-Freshman of the Year awards to Stormi Abernathy of Yanceyville and Hannah Arneth of Oxford.

Other volleyball team members recognized included Nicole Bowman of Oxford, Allyson Cash of Grassy Creek, Ashley Parker of Henderson, Katelynn Ray of Henderson, Madison Waddle of Kittrell and Hanna Williams of Oxford, along with assistant coach Rachel Thomas, a former VGCC student-athlete.

VGCC staff member Tina Ragland, who coaches the cheerleading squad, presented the Most Valuable Cheerleader Award to Latessa Wilkerson of Henderson, the Most Spirited Cheerleader award to Seniqua Turner of Henderson and the Most Versatile Cheerleader award to Stackia Burwell of Henderson.

Other cheerleaders recognized included Anaya Brown of Henderson, Sequoyah Jones of Oxford, Latia Thomas of Henderson, Chiatyra Turner of Ebony, Va., and Kaela Williams of Henderson.

Vanguards men’s basketball head coach DeMarcus Oliver presented awards to members of his team. He named TyQuon Reid of Goldsboro as MVP, Christopher Pernell of Raleigh as Teammate of the Year, and NiQuan Cousins of Raleigh as Freshman of the Year. In a first for the program, the coach also presented commemorative basketballs to Reid, for scoring the 1,000th point of his VGCC career on Feb. 22 and to Pernell for scoring his 100th career three-pointer on Feb. 9. Both set new records for the Vanguards program, the coach noted.

Other basketball players recognized included Antonio Adams of Raleigh, William Beck of Raleigh, Darius Buford of Cary, Kenneth Finley, Jr., of Raleigh, Lynn Henderson of Henderson, Jaylen Jones of Warrenton, Calvin Manley of Louisburg and Thomas McCaffity of Warrenton, along with assistant coach William Clements and team manager Mycal Elam, another former VGCC student-athlete.

Hargrove also recognized four students for their service as support staff for the VGCC athletics program this year: Micah Roberts of Stem, Daniel Reece of Henderson, Alana Towles of Oxford and Angelique Taylor of Macon.

In closing remarks, Stacey Carter-Coley, VGCC’s vice president of employee and public relations, congratulated the student-athletes on the past year and thanked their family members for their support.

Current or prospective students interested in participating in VGCC athletics during the 2017-18 year should contact Jermiel Hargrove at [email protected] or (252) 738-3246.


Retired judge, wife endow scholarship at VGCC

Henry Banks, who recently retired as chief judge of the North Carolina Ninth Judicial District Court bench, and his wife, Mamie B. Banks, recently established a new scholarship at Vance-Granville Community College.

Residents of Henderson, Judge Banks held court in Franklin, Granville, Vance and Warren counties as a district judge for almost 21 years, while Mrs. Banks is a longtime educator, currently teaching in the Exceptional Children’s department at Northern Vance High School. She actually started her own higher education at VGCC, taking general education courses at the college before transferring to North Carolina Central University to complete a bachelor’s degree in education and, later, a master’s degree in special education.

Judge Banks also received both his undergraduate and law degrees from NCCU. He practiced law for many years in Henderson and served on the Henderson City Council for 13 years.

In awarding the new J. Henry and Mamie Banks Academic Achievement Scholarship, preference will be given first to students in the VGCC Paralegal Technology degree program, and secondly to students preparing to become teachers, either in the Early Childhood Education program or in the College Transfer program.

Judge Banks said that in addition to his wife’s experience in the teaching profession, he has always had a passion for education, as well. “We’re endowing this scholarship to provide financial support to help people pursue their dreams,” he said. “Because of my career, I know there is a particular need for qualified paralegals in our area.” Mrs. Banks added that she and her husband hope their contributions will encourage others to donate to the community college and help area residents gain education and training.

“We are so grateful to Judge and Mrs. Banks for their support of VGCC students,” said Dr. Stelfanie Williams, president of VGCC. “Their examples of public service, both in the law and in education, will inspire students who receive the scholarship in their name for years to come. Not only the scholarship recipients, but also their families, their employers and their communities will benefit from the Banks family’s generosity.”

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.


VGCC registering students for summer Science Camp

Vance-Granville Community College will offer a Science Camp for local middle school students this summer at the college’s Main Campus in Vance County. The camp will be held Monday-Friday, June 12-16, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day.

Rising sixth, seventh and eighth-graders from Franklin, Granville, Vance and Warren counties are invited to participate in the week-long camp.

Sessions will be taught by faculty members from the VGCC Science Department and other college programs. The VGCC Science Camp is now in its seventh year. “We will have fun, hands-on activities that involve various sciences and allow campers to explore STEM career fields like electronics, pharmacy and biotechnology,” said VGCC Science Department Chair Steve McGrady. “Our outstanding VGCC faculty members collaborate each year to make this a learning experience that is unlike anything available in our four-county area.”

The cost to attend the camp is $125, which includes lunch each day and a camp T-shirt.

The deadline to register for Science Camp is May 12. Parents can now register their campers online at

For more information, contact Steve McGrady at (252) 738-3339 or [email protected]


VGCC Radiography students seek local businesses for fundraiser

Radiography students at Vance-Granville Community College are planning a fundraiser to help them attend a major conference, and they are inviting local businesses to join them in a vendor event. The event is scheduled for Saturday, April 22, from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. in the gymnasium at the First Baptist Church of Creedmoor (108 South Main Street, Creedmoor).

Students are seeking vendors of all sorts to participate, including local crafters. So far, they have enlisted a variety of direct sales and craft vendors selling products ranging from apparel and home décor to personal health items and cosmetics. Vendor fees start at $40.

Door prize drawings will take place every hour, and attendees must be present to win. The Radiography students will be selling light refreshments at the event as well. All monies raised will go directly to the VGCC Radiography Club for program-related student expenses to help students achieve their goal of attending the next Atlanta Society of Radiologic Technologists, Inc., Student & Radiographer’s Seminar & Educator’s Conference, scheduled for March 3-6, 2018.

“By attending this conference next year, students will be exposed to other imaging professionals and Radiography students,” said VGCC Radiography Clinical Coordinator/instructor Stacey Soles. “They will be able to actively participate in classes to prepare them for their national registry exam after graduation. The conference also includes opportunities for students to meet the authors of commonly used textbooks within the Radiography program.”

Based at VGCC’s South Campus between Butner and Creedmoor, the two-year Radiography degree program prepares graduates to be radiographers, skilled health care professionals who use radiation to produce images of the human body.

For more information or to apply to be a vendor, please contact Stacey Soles at [email protected].


VGCC, Warren Library partner for discussion of Tennessee Williams & “The Glass Menagerie”

Vance-Granville Community College is partnering with the Warren County Memorial Library to present a program on playwright Tennessee Williams and his classic drama, “The Glass Menagerie,” which the college is preparing to stage as a dinner theater event.

The educational program is scheduled for Monday, April 17, from 10:30 a.m. until noon at the library on South Front Street in Warrenton. The event is free and open to the public. Betsy Henderson, VGCC’s Department Chair/Instructor of Humanities and Fine Arts, will make a presentation and lead a discussion on Williams (1911–1983) and the play, including its poetic elements, in celebration of April as National Poetry Month.

Henderson will also talk about VGCC’s upcoming production of “The Glass Menagerie,” which she is directing. The college’s fifth annual Dinner Theater is scheduled for the evenings of Thursday, April 27, and Friday, April 28, in the Civic Center on VGCC’s Main Campus in Vance County.

First staged in 1944, “The Glass Menagerie” is based in part on Tennessee Williams’s own memories of his family. In 1945, the play premiered on Broadway, won the prestigious New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for the best American play of the year, and launched Williams to fame.

Henderson has an MFA in Acting from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and a BFA in Theatre Performance from the University of Southern Mississippi. She was VGCC’s 2005 Instructor of the Year. As an actress, Henderson has worked professionally with Raleigh Ensemble Players (REP), Deep Dish Theatre Company, Burning Coal Theatre Company, North Carolina Shakespeare Festival, Theatre of the American South, Hot Summer Nights @ the Kennedy, Temple Theatre, and Justice Theatre Project. Henderson has toured nationally with productions of “Miracle Worker,” portraying Annie Sullivan, and “Diary of Anne Frank,” portraying Mrs. Frank. Her performance in REP’s “Distracted” in 2011 was recognized by the Independent Weekly as one of the Best Lead Performances of the year. Henderson has served on local theatre boards of directors, and as a faculty member for Cary’s Applause Youth Theatre. She is currently vice-chair of the board of directors of Granville Little Theatre, as well as the chair of the GLT education committee. She has also been the Creative Director for the Broadway and Beyond/TeenWorks summer camps for 10 years.

For more information, contact Betsy Henderson at [email protected] or David Spence at [email protected].


VGCC to hold 33rd benefit golf tournament on May 2

Vance-Granville Community College’s 33rd Annual Endowment Fund Golf Tournament, presented by Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company, will be held at the Henderson Country Club on Tuesday, May 2, 2017. All event proceeds support the mission of the college, the Endowment Fund and student scholarships.

With the support of numerous golfers and sponsors, the annual event has raised more than $750,000 since its inception in 1985. The 2016 tournament alone generated a record-breaking $104,160.

This year’s morning and afternoon rounds will begin with shotgun starts at 8 a.m. and at 1 p.m. The afternoon round is sold out, but there are openings in the morning round.

The format is four-person “Captain’s Choice Super Ball.” Golfers can form their own teams of four, or sign up and be put on a team. Teams will be handicapped based on handicaps supplied by each player. Trophies will be awarded for first net, second net and first gross. Other awards will be given for “closest to the pin” and “longest drive.”

A hole-in-one on Hole 9 will be rewarded with a 2017 Cadillac XT5, courtesy of Charles Boyd Chevrolet Cadillac Buick GMC. A player who hits a hole-in-one (with a $10 donation) on Hole 16 will win $5,000, while another $5,000 will be awarded to the VGCC Endowment Fund.

The cost for one golfer to enter the tournament is $150. In either round, that fee includes greens fees, cart, meals, gift bag and practice balls.

A light breakfast, lunch and dinner (immediately following the afternoon round) will be served in the HCC clubhouse. A silent auction and door prize drawings will be held in conjunction with dinner.

Businesses and individuals can take advantage of sponsorship opportunities at various levels. Businesses may also donate products or premium items featuring the company’s logo to be placed in golfers’ gift bags, or to be given as door prizes.

For more information, contact Kay Currin at [email protected] or (252) 738-3409.


VGCC Radiography students and educators attend conference

Several students and faculty members from the Vance-Granville Community College Radiography program attended the 20th West Coast Educators Council (WCEC) of Radiologic Technologists Student-Educator-Radiographer Seminar, held March 7-10 in Orlando, Florida.

The annual conference is attended by over 1,000 students and educators in the Radiography field from all over the country. This year, 26 of the 50 states were represented.

While at WCEC, the VGCC Radiography students were able to meet imaging professionals who have written or contributed to the textbooks which the students currently use. The students also attended classes relevant to their major and were able to take a mock registry examination, which simulates the exam that all Registered Radiographers are required to take in order to obtain their registry upon completion of a two-year associate degree program. “The average score for the mock registry is around 65 percent, and the VGCC students scored within this range, indicating that they are on target for Registry success following graduation,” explained VGCC Clinical Coordinator/instructor Stacey Soles.

Students Mary Beth Brewer and Trevor Houston, both of Durham, and Jonathan Liddane of Oxford participated, along with their peers from across the country, in the “Student Bee,” with Brewer advancing to the second round. Only three students per program could compete in the Student Bee, a fun competition that tests participants’ knowledge of radiologic technology.

Additional topics of study during the conference for students included “Inside the NFL,” “The Role of Forensic Radiography in Peru,” “Sectional Anatomy,” “Technique 101: Getting Back to the Basics” and “Mastering Digital Radiography.” “’Inside the NFL’ gave insight into the role of Radiographers in sports,” Soles said. “Not only can Radiographers work in hospital and health-care settings, but they can be part of an NFL team!”

The other faculty member from the college in attendance was VGCC Dean of Health Sciences (and radiographer) Angela Thomas, who gave a well-received presentation to educators from many other states, entitled “Crucial Conversations.”

Based at VGCC’s South Campus between Butner and Creedmoor, the two-year Radiography degree program prepares graduates to be radiographers, skilled health care professionals who use radiation to produce images of the human body. For more information on Radiography, contact Dean of Health Sciences Angela Thomas at (252) 738-3397.



VGCC students visit RHA patients

A group of students from Vance-Granville Community College conducted a Valentine’s-themed community service project in February at RHA Health Services in Creedmoor.

VGCC Radiography and Human Services Technology (HST) students handed out valentines and gifts to the patients, staff and administrators at RHA. “The patients were very receptive and appreciative to receive the gifts,” according to VGCC Radiography Clinical Coordinator/instructor Stacey Soles. The VGCC Radiography Club invited Human Services students who wished to participate in the community service activity to join them. Both degree programs are based at VGCC’s South Campus between Creedmoor and Butner. Sharon O’Geary, instructor of Human Services Technology, also went with the group, and said she plans to start an “HST Club” that would participate in service projects and attend regional and national Human Services conferences.

RHA Health Services is a multi-state company providing a comprehensive network of support services for people with intellectual, physical and developmental disabilities and those with mental health needs or substance use challenges.

The two-year Radiography degree program prepares graduates to be radiographers, skilled health care professionals who use radiation to produce images of the human body. For more information on Radiography, contact Dean of Health Sciences Angela Thomas at (252) 738-3397.

The HST curriculum program prepares students for entry-level positions in institutions and agencies which provide social, community, and educational services. VGCC offers a general HST track, a Substance Abuse track, and a Gerontology track. For more information on HST, contact Tracy Wallace at (252) 738-3519.