VGCC to Offer Open House at All Four Campuses

-Press Release, Vance-Granville Community College

Vance-Granville Community College will hold an Open House on Saturday, April 6, 2019, from 9 a.m. until noon, at all four of its campuses.

VGCC staff members and faculty will be available during those hours to provide information on the enrollment process, academic programs and student support services. Visitors will also be able to take campus tours.

The Summer 2019 term begins May 20, while the Fall 2019 semester starts on August 19.

Prospective students are encouraged to pre-register for Open House (and select the campus they plan to visit) at www.vgcc.edu/openhouse.

VGCC’s Main Campus is located at 200 Community College Road, Henderson (Exit 209 on Interstate 85, about midway between Henderson and Oxford).

The Franklin County Campus is located at 8100 N.C. 56., Louisburg (just west of Louisburg).

South Campus is located at 1547 South Campus Drive, Creedmoor (off of N.C. 56, between Creedmoor and Butner).

The Warren County Campus is located at 210 West Ridgeway Street (U.S. 158 Business) in Warrenton.

For more information on enrolling, call (252) 738-3234 or visit any campus.

VGCC Franklin Campus to Hold ‘Community Engagement Night’

-Information courtesy Christopher LaRocca, Director of Communications, VGCC

Vance-Granville Community College will hold a “Community Engagement Night” event at their Franklin Campus in Louisburg on Tuesday, March 19, 2019.

The community is invited to hear campus updates and discussion on the community college vision and VGCC’s strategic direction. An open dialogue session will also provide a speaking opportunity for participants.

VGCC’s Welding Technology Program at Franklin Earns Vanguard Cup

-Press Release, Vance-Granville Community College

Vance-Granville Community College’s interim president, Dr. Gordon Burns, has honored a team of faculty members in the Welding Technology program at the Franklin Campus by awarding them the “Vanguard Cup” for excellence in education.

The department became the fourth recipients of the cup, an honor created by the President’s Office to recognize “exceptional team performance toward the college mission, vision and strategic plan.” The Vanguard Cup is awarded to a department that meets or exceeds the targets on improvement strategies designed to further department or instructional goals, Dr. Burns said in making the presentation on Thursday, Dec. 13, at a college event in the Civic Center.

Above: Members of the VGCC Welding Department faculty pose with the “Vanguard Cup,” awarded to the Welding program at Franklin Campus for educational excellence by Dr. Gordon Burns, interim president of the college. From left are Dr. Burns; Rusty Pace, program head/instructor for Welding Technology; Allen Tharrington, instructor for Welding at Franklin Campus; and Luke Gravel, instructor for Welding at Main Campus. (VGCC photo)

Rusty Pace, program head and instructor for Welding, and Allen Tharrington and Luke Gravel, instructors, were honored for the Franklin Campus achieving a student course success rate of 100 percent, the president noted.

“The Welding program at the Franklin Campus achieved this superior student course success rate by advancing student skill development through increased repetition and by working more closely with local employers,” said Dr. Burns. “The local employers provided student tours of their respective campuses, served as guest lecturers and hired program graduates.”

In addition to the cup, the department receives up to $10,000 for use on equipment, professional development, adjunct instructors, or other approved purposes for state funds, as well as a luncheon for the area.

Runners-up for the cup were announced as the Math Department faculty who increased the student success rate of Math 171 students by 8 percent by offering supplemental instruction and maintaining performance rates in Math 172; and the Accounting/Business Administration/Entrepreneurship faculty who increased retention rates by connecting with students during registration periods and over the summer

VGCC offers degree, diploma and certificate programs in Welding Technology. In addition to the classes at Franklin, classes are offered on the Main Campus in Vance County. For more information, contact Rusty Pace at (252) 738-3375 or [email protected]

VGCC Franklin Campus Launches Vanguard Flex Evening & Weekend College

-Press Release, Vance-Granville Community College

Vance-Granville Community College’s Franklin County Campus has launched a new initiative called Vanguard Flex to meet the needs of adult learners who need more options for class scheduling.

The evening and weekend college program begins with Spring Semester for which registration is now underway.

“Vanguard Flex offers flexible, hybrid schedules in the evenings and on weekends on our campus located at 8100 N.C. Highway 56 in Louisburg,” said Bobbie Jo May, dean of the campus. “We want to accommodate the busy schedules of our adult learners. We are offering flexible scheduling for placement testing, advising, the library resource center, and the open computer lab on our campus some evenings and one Saturday per month.”

Spring Semester classes start on all four VGCC campuses on Monday, Jan. 7, 2019, with a registration deadline of Jan. 3. In addition to the traditional 16-week semester session, VGCC is offering a 12-week term, two 8-week terms and two 4-week terms for the Spring. The first of two 8-week sessions will begin on Jan. 7 and run through March 5. The second 8-week session starts March 5 and concludes May 6, with a registration deadline of Feb. 28. A 12-week mini-term begins Feb. 5 and runs through May 6, the registration deadline coming Jan. 31.

The four-week “Spring Forward” online mini-term begins Dec. 17 with a registration deadline of Dec. 13. A second four-week online mini-term, labeled “March Forward,” is scheduled to begin March 5 with registration ending March 1.

Vanguard Flex is offering five complete curriculum programs of study initially: Early Childhood Education, Certificate; Early Childhood Education, Diploma; Medical Office Administrative Assistant I, Certificate; Business Management, Certificate; and Basic Welding, Certificate. All courses taken in the certificate programs can be applied to diplomas and degrees offered through Vance-Granville, Dean May said.

In addition, a variety of classes is being offered in the following areas through the Vanguard Flex initiative at Franklin Campus:

College Transfer: English, Math, Biology, Introduction to Computers and Psychology courses can be used toward many degree and diploma programs offered through the college. Dean May is recommending that students meet with an academic coach or advisor prior to enrolling in the classes.

Career and Technical: Courses in Welding Technology, Paralegal Technology, Medical Office Administration, Business Management, Bioprocessing Technology and Early Childhood Education lead to certificates and diplomas that can be completed entirely through the evening and weekend format.

Continuing Education: VGCC’s Franklin Campus has a robust selection of courses through the Continuing Education division during the day, evenings and weekends, among them, Nursing Assistant, Medication Technician, Phlebotomist, Notary Public, Bioworks, Human Resource Specialist and Healthcare Administration.

Adult Basic Skills: For those in need of a High School Equivalency or Adult High School Diploma, the Franklin Campus offers flexible hybrid schedules with evening classes in the Adult Basic Skills program. Basic Skills classes for Spring will begin Jan. 8 and will be held each Tuesday and Thursday from 6 to 9 p.m. Orientation is held each Friday at 10 a.m. Dean May encourages students to contact the instructor at 252-738-3618 with questions about the classes.

A complete list of the evening and weekend courses is available online at www.vgcc.edu/vanguard-flex.

Students who are interested in Vanguard Flex should contact the Franklin County Campus at (919) 496-1567 or write to Dean Bobbie Jo May at [email protected].

VGCC Faculty, Staff Raise $16,000 To Support Students

 -Press Release, Vance-Granville Community College

Vance-Granville Community College’s annual Faculty & Staff Drive for the VGCC Endowment Fund raised $16,011 this fall from among employees on the college’s four campuses, according to an announcement by the co-chairs for the drive to the Trustees on Monday, Nov. 19, at the board’s regular bi-monthly meeting on the Main Campus.

The funds were raised to support the mission of the college and award scholarships to deserving students, said Eddie Ferguson, director of the Endowment Fund.

Heading up the drive this year were Michael Brodie, Campus Police sergeant; Antoinette Dickens, program head and instructor for the Paralegal Technology curriculum program; Willie Mae Foster-Hill, Main Campus receptionist; and Jeremy Lambert, assistant director of financial aid.

“Our campaign theme was ‘Rise Up!’” Ferguson told the Trustees. “It was based on the fact that every day our students rise up to come to school under a lot of hardships, whether it be academic pressure, family issues, transportation or such. We serve a very diverse community.”

VGCC’s Faculty & Staff Drive for the Endowment Fund was led by volunteers Michael Brodie, Campus Police sergeant; Antoinette Dickens, program head and instructor for Paralegal Technology; Willie Mae Foster-Hill, Main Campus receptionist; and Jeremy Lambert, assistant director of financial aid. Shown above celebrating the success of the drive at the Board of Trustees meeting are, from left, Brodie; Kay Currin, Endowment Fund specialist; Trustee Danny Wright, chair of the board; Dr. Gordon Burns, interim VGCC president; Foster-Hill; and Eddie Ferguson, director of the Endowment Fund. Dickens and Lambert were unavailable for the photo. (VGCC Photo)

The faculty and staff, he said, “rose up” with this drive to provide the funds for the students. “We are really proud to raise this money from our employees, most of which will go directly to students in the form of scholarships. Some of the money is directed to projects such as our student emergency fund to help meet other immediate needs,” Ferguson said.

Statewide Budget Priorities

In his report to the trustees, Interim VGCC President Dr. Gordon Burns outlined budget priorities identified by the North Carolina Community College System (NCCCS) for 2019 through 2021 and urged the trustees to share those priorities with the returning and newly elected members of the N.C. House of Representatives and the N.C. Senate who represent the four counties served by Vance-Granville Community College.

Under the Workforce Development Legislative Agenda, NCCCS is requesting funding to help 700,000 students annually achieve a better life through high-school equivalency, career and technical education, short-term workforce training, and high quality, affordable college transfer programs, Dr. Burns said. The state’s community colleges are essential in closing the skills gap for North Carolina employers, the NCCCS notes, and are a driving force in the economy of the state.

The system office reports that the state’s 58 community colleges continue to suffer from approximately $53 million in budget cuts made during the 2008 recession that have not been restored, which undercuts efforts to prepare the state’s workforce. Dr. Burns noted, too, that community colleges are having difficulty recruiting and retaining faculty and staff because the average annual faculty salary, at $47,362, is 41st in the nation.

Among legislative priorities for 2019-2021, NCCCS is seeking recurring funds of $11.5 million to fully fund short-term workforce training; $15 million to upgrade information technology systems across the state; $2.6 million to fund workforce-focused multi-campuses; and $2.8 million to expand a program that places career coaches in high schools to assist students with determining career goals and identifying community college programs that align with the students’ goals.

Dr. Burns said the legislative priorities also include increasing funding to bring faculty closer to the national annual salary average of $60,422, enacting statutory changes to eliminate barriers to enrollment caused by the state’s relatively new Residency Determination System, and stabilizing budgets for colleges faced with enrollment declines because of Hurricane Florence.

Capital Projects

In his report to the board on capital projects, Trustee Donald Seifert, chair of the Building Committee, said renovations have been completed to the seminar rooms in the Civic Center on Main Campus.

H.G. Reynolds Company began renovation of a 3,200-square-foot portion of Building 10 on Main Campus to create a Practical Simulation Lab for the Basic Law Enforcement Training, Fire/Rescue and Emergency Medical Services programs. The work, which started in October, is scheduled to be completed in January. In addition to the area being renovated, parking lot space is being expanded, Seifert said.

College officials are also working with the county managers in Vance and Granville counties to fund the replacement of a storage building on the Main Campus that was lost in a fire this past summer.

Other Action

In other action:

  • The trustees voted to approve the closure of two curriculum certificate programs and a diploma program no longer in demand from students. The closure of the Nurse Aide Certificate, Nurse Aide Diploma and the School Age Care Certificate programs, effective this fall, will go to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges and the North Carolina Community College System for final approvals. The closures came at the request of the Curriculum Committee, chaired by Trustee Barbara Cates Harris.
  • Trustee Xavier Wortham, chair of the Investment Committee, reported the VGCC Endowment Fund Corporation received a favorable report from May & Place PA, certified public accountants, for the 2017-2018 fiscal year. He also gave the bimonthly update on the college’s investments.
  • Trustee Sara Wester, chair of the Personnel Committee, reported on new employees, retirements and resignations, and she presented an amended employee calendar for 2018-2019.
  • Student Government Association President Angel De Leon, the student Trustee, reported to the trustees on a leadership workshop recently attended by students, participation in recent Fall Festivals on the college’s campuses, and a relief drive that is being held to help victims of Hurricane Florence.

The next meeting of the Board of Trustees will be held on Monday, Jan. 28.

Public Invited to Forums With VGCC Presidential Search Finalists

-Press Release, Vance-Granville Community College

Vance-Granville Community College invites the public to attend three separate forums scheduled for Nov. 30, Dec. 3 and Dec. 4 to meet and provide input on the finalists for the presidency of the college.

The three public forums will be held each day from 12:15 to 1 p.m. in the Civic Center.

Dr. Quentin J. Johnson of Mooresville, currently vice president of Student Support Services at Guilford Technical Community College in Greensboro, will be at the college on Friday, Nov. 30.

Dr. Melanie W. Thornton of Albany, Ga., the vice president of academic affairs at Columbus Technical College in Columbus, Ga., will attend the forum on Monday, Dec. 3.

Dr. Rachel M. Desmarais of Clemmons, who is currently executive vice president and chief operating officer at Forsyth Technical Community College in Winston-Salem, will be present on Tuesday, Dec. 4.

Invitations to the forums also have been sent to county officials, school officials, area chambers, and VGCC faculty and staff, among other groups.

The three finalists were selected from among nearly 90 applicants on Monday, Nov. 19, at the regular bimonthly meeting of the college’s Board of Trustees on Main Campus. Following North Carolina Community College System protocol, the trustees have presented the finalists to the State Board of Community Colleges for vetting.

The VGCC Board of Trustees plans to have the new president in place early in 2019. The new leader will become the seventh president in the 49-year history of the college, replacing Dr. Stelfanie Williams who resigned in August to take a position at Duke University.

VGCC Trustees Narrow Presidential Search To Three Finalists

-Press Release, Vance-Granville Community College

Vance-Granville Community College’s Board of Trustees has narrowed the search for the college’s next President to three candidates.

A search committee composed of six board members recommended five candidates from among nearly 90 applicants for the position, and the full board selected these finalists:

  • Dr. Rachel M. Desmarais of Clemmons, who is currently serving as executive vice president and chief operating officer at Forsyth Technical Community College in Winston-Salem;
  • Dr. Quentin J. Johnson of Mooresville, currently vice president of Student Support Services at Guilford Technical Community College in Greensboro; and
  • Dr. Melanie W. Thornton of Albany, Ga., the vice president of academic affairs at Columbus Technical College in Columbus, Ga.

The action came Monday, Nov. 19, at the regular bimonthly meeting of the board on the college’s Main Campus.

Following protocol established by the North Carolina Community College System, the trustees now present the finalists to the State Board of Community Colleges for vetting. The three candidates will be invited to the college for public forums individually on Nov. 30, Dec. 3 and Dec. 4.

“We are extremely pleased with the quality of the candidates who are interested in the position, and we are confident that we are on track to select an excellent leader to carry our college into our 50th year and beyond,” said Danny W. Wright, chair of the VGCC Board of Trustees. “We want for Vance-Granville a president with visionary leadership and a commitment to student access and success and economic development in the communities we serve.”

The board plans to have the new president in place early in 2019.

Invitations to the forums are being sent to county officials, school officials, area chambers, and VGCC faculty and staff, among other groups. The public is invited to attend. The forums will be held in the Civic Center on the Main Campus. Each will begin at 12:15 p.m. Dr. Johnson is scheduled to speak at the Friday, Nov. 30, forum; Dr. Thornton, on Monday, Dec. 3; and Dr. Desmarais, on Tuesday, Dec. 4.

Dr. Desmarais earned her Doctor of Philosophy degree in Instructional Design and Technology from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Va., in 2015. She earned her Master of Science degree at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and her Bachelor of Music degree from Mars Hill College. She was an Aspen Institute Community College Excellence Presidential Fellow in 2017-2018. She has been with Forsyth Technical Community College since 2002, starting as a department chair before becoming a vice president in information services and in planning.

Dr. Johnson earned his Doctor of Philosophy degree in Organizational Leadership from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore in Princess Anne, Md., in 2010. He earned his Master of Arts from Bowling Green State University and his Bachelor of Science from Defiance College in Ohio. Prior to beginning work at Guilford Technical Community College in July 2012, he worked with Fairmont State University and Pierpont Community & Technical College in West Virginia in 2011-2012 and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore from 2004 to 2011.

Dr. Thornton earned her Doctor of Education degree in Curriculum Studies from Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, Ga., in 2007. She received her Education Specialist degree from Troy University in 2002, two Master of Education degrees from Georgia Southwestern State University in 1995 and 1997, and her Bachelor of Science degree from Albany State University in 1991. Prior to going to Columbus Technical College in 2013, she was vice president for Academic Affairs at Okefenokee Technical College in 2012-2013, and Dean and Professor of Reading at Darton State College in Albany, Ga., in 2007-2012.

The Board of Trustees began accepting applications for the position on Oct. 8 with a deadline of Nov. 9 for applications and nominations. A nationwide search was conducted under the guidance of the firm of Executive Leadership Associates (ELA) LLP of Emerald Isle. ELA, described as “a consortium of former North Carolina community college presidents who are committed to ensuring that our internationally recognized community college system continues its proud tradition of excellence,” was selected by the Board of Trustees at its Sept. 17 meeting. The firm helped the Trustees by creating the presidential profile of the ideal candidate needed, guiding the search process, and recruiting and screening applicants, as needed.

Serving on the Trustees’ presidential search committee were Trustees Deborah Brown, chair; Herb Gregory, vice chair; N. Annette P. Myers, Abdul Sm Rasheed, Donald C. Seifert, Sr., and Sara C. Wester.

VGCC, Southeastern Open New Pathway For Students

-Press Release, Vance-Granville Community College

Vance-Granville Community College and The College at Southeastern have entered a partnership to provide a “ready-made pathway” for students to be dually enrolled on their way to a Bachelor of Science degree at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.

In VGCC’s Civic Center, colorfully decorated with banners displaying the various applied technology, business and health sciences academic programs offered by Vance-Granville, a ceremony was held on Monday, Oct. 22, for the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between the two colleges.

“Partnership is very important as you think about higher education today,” said Dr. Levy Brown, Vance-Granville’s vice president of academic affairs. “We hear about pathways. We hear about multiple entry points for students. We hear about collaboration. Today we are very excited to join Southeastern in this opportunity to provide more training opportunities for their students.”

Dr. James Dew of The College at Southeastern, left, and Dr. Levy Brown of Vance-Granville Community College sign a memorandum of understanding officially launching a partnership that provides a “ready-made pathway” for students to be dually enrolled at the two colleges on their way to a Bachelor of Science degree at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. (Photo: VGCC)

The partnership opens a new door for students at The College at Southeastern ([email protected]) in Wake Forest to earn additional credentials in the career and technical education areas, nearly 40 curriculum programs, at Vance-Granville, Dr. Brown noted, citing the significance of the regional collaboration.

With plans for the partnership in the works for several years, Dr. James Dew, Vice President of Undergraduate Studies and Distance Learning and the Dean of The College at Southeastern, said he was pleased to see two institutions working together rather than being competitive in their recruiting efforts. Students have had to choose between schools when pursuing their college educations, he said, “either here or there but not both.”

“We can do far more together than we can do apart from each other,” he said. “I think the days are gone, or should be gone, when we compete against each other in unnecessary ways.”

“As we sat down to think about the possibilities,” Dr. Dew added, “what we began to realize is that there are actually ways that we can serve each other. You have students in your vocational programs who ultimately desire to do something for the Lord. And we have students who very much want to do something for the Lord but are going to need along the way various kinds of vocational training to get there.”

At [email protected], he said, they refer to the situation as the “Tentmaker’s Paradigm.” Citing Acts 18:1-4, he described how the Apostle Paul had a vocation of making tents. “He would go from place to place, and as he went he would build tents and that would give him a platform to preach the Gospel to the nations,” Dr. Dew said.

“That ultimately is our vision,” he added. “We are training a generation of people at Southeastern to go into the darkest places in the entire world, places where there is no hope, places where the darkness is thick and depression is strong. And there in those places shine their light of Jesus Christ to those places and to those nations. But to get there … they are going to need the kinds of programs that we see represented here in this room.”

He said [email protected] wants their students to have these kinds of programs that VGCC offers, but “I also understand that they need the kinds of theological and ministerial training that we can offer them at Southeastern as well.”

[email protected] began in 1994 as an undergraduate school of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (SEBTS) in Wake Forest. Students who are pursuing their Bachelor of Science degree from SEBTS have had the option to transfer in an associate’s degree from another college, dually enroll in a vocational program at another college or complete a business minor at [email protected]

The partnership will provide a clear pathway, the college officials noted.

Among the highlights of the partnership:

  • [email protected] students may enroll in as many as 12 credit hours per semester at VGCC and have those hours count towards their status at [email protected]
  • Southeastern students who complete an associate’s degree, diploma or certificate of study in a VGCC-approved vocational and/or applied technical program will receive full credit for courses taken in which a grade of “C” or better was earned.
  • [email protected] will also accept credits from high school and early college high school students enrolled in an approved Career and College Promise (CCP) track through VGCC.
  • VGCC will allow students to dual enroll in a Bachelor of Science degree program at [email protected]

The partnership also allows for a seamless integration of recruitment initiatives between both colleges.

Dr. Dew recognized Cory Thornton of the Youngsville-based Frigi-Temp commercial heating, air conditioning, ventilation and refrigeration service provider for being a part of a three-way meeting with VGCC and [email protected] last year that eventually led to the partnership. Thornton is the chief operating officer of the licensed mechanical contracting company which is now a partner in VGCC’s Vanguard Apprenticeship Collaboration.

Dr. Dew added, “We began to think together about what your curriculum looks like, what ours looks like and the various ways that we can partner broadly by taking the diplomas, the certificates and the associate’s degrees offered here in vocational trainings at Vance-Granville and let the students either come to Southeastern after they finish here by way of transfer or to work on those degree programs concurrently.”

“It is a unique day in the life of Southeastern when I can begin saying to our students, ‘Hey, you should also go to this school,’” he said. “Praise God for good things that He has brought. I’m excited for this day.”

VGCC’s Interim President Dr. Gordon Burns applauded the “efforts, insights and wisdom” of Dr. Brown and Dr. Dew “and all of those colleagues who supported them in our two institutions.”

“Thank you for making this day possible,” he added. “I think it’s especially important that we allow the doors to be open for further higher education. By accepting our credits at your college, you open the door to new opportunities to advance study, and for that, we are most grateful,” Dr. Burns said.

Also instrumental in the creation of the partnership is VGCC’s project manager for the TechHire grant, Ken Wilson, who also spoke to the staff and faculty from both institutions who gathered for the signing. “We look forward to wonderful times ahead for this great partnership,” Wilson said.

Questions about the partnership can be directed to Ken Wilson at VGCC by phone at (252) 738-3259 or by e-mail at [email protected] or Dr. Brent Aucoin at The College at Southeastern by phone at (919) 761-2286 or by e-mail at [email protected].

Click here for a Flickr album with photographs from the signing ceremony: https://www.flickr.com/photos/vancegranvillecc/albums/72157703270339775

VGCC Honors 2018-2019 Faculty And Staff Members Of Year With Awards

-Press Release, Vance-Granville Community College

An instructor who also is leading one of VGCC’s curriculum programs and a director of a jobs skills training program for the unemployed and underemployed have been honored as outstanding employees for 2018-2019 at Vance-Granville Community College.

Stewart Lyon, a Biology instructor at VGCC and the point of contact for the Bioprocess Technology curriculum program at the Franklin County Campus, was named Faculty Member of the Year at the college, and Blondelle Edgerton, director of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) program, was selected as the Staff Member of the Year.

Above: VGCC’s 2018-19 award winners are Faculty Member of the Year Stewart Lyon, left, and Staff Member of the Year Blondelle Edgerton, right. Dr. Gordon Burns, VGCC’s Interim President, center, has praised both employees for their commitment to Vance-Granville’s mission of educating, inspiring and supporting students. (VGCC photo)

The honors are two of VGCC’s three Glen Raven Excellence in Teaching and Leadership Awards for 2018-2019. Glen Raven, Inc., the custom fabrics manufacturer with a facility in Warren County, is a longtime partner and supporter of the college. In addition to sponsoring the annual stipends to recognize excellence among VGCC instructors and staff members, Glen Raven has endowed several scholarships for students.

Lyon and Edgerton are now eligible to be considered for the N.C. Community College System’s statewide R.J. Reynolds Excellence in Teaching and BB&T Staff Person of the Year awards, respectively.

“Stewart and Blondelle are two outstanding leaders among the faculty and staff at our college,” Interim President Dr. Gordon Burns said. “Every day, they are dedicated to our college’s mission of educating, inspiring and supporting a diverse community of learners to achieve professional and personal success. Their extraordinary commitment, positivity and expertise are appreciated by both students and colleagues.”

Stewart Lyon

Stewart Lyon joined the VGCC faculty in August 2013 as an adjunct instructor for Biology at VGCC’s South Campus in Creedmoor. In January 2014, he came on board as a full-time Biology instructor, teaching classes at all four of VGCC’s campuses — South, Franklin, Warren and Main. In the Fall Semester of 2017, he became the point of contact for the Bioprocess Technology program based at Franklin Campus.

A 2007 graduate of North Carolina State University with his Bachelor of Science degree in Biological Sciences, Lyon earned his Master of Science degree in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology from East Carolina University in 2010. He has a graduate certificate in Business Foundations from ECU, in 2014, and is currently is working in non-degree graduate studies in Chemistry with Montana State University.

“Stewart has a unique approach to teaching cultivated to help students understand why they are learning the course material by connecting the content to aspects of their own lives,” said VGCC’s Interim President Dr. Gordon Burns. “He grabs their attention and the students are more likely to be motivated, resulting in a more successful learning environment. He has built rapport with his students and demonstrated a sincere desire to help them learn.”

Lyon has recently carved out some time from his Biology teaching and leadership of the Bioprocess Technology program to represent VGCC’s faculty on the Achieving the Dream Core Team as the college works to implement, align and scale cutting edge reforms to improve student success, Dr. Burns added.

Among his activities at the college and in the community, Lyon has participated in the Leadership Program of the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce. He has volunteered for area public high school science fairs. He also was an event leader for the Science Olympiad, taught classes for VGCC’s Summer Science Camp for middle school children, and coordinated VGCC Earth Day celebrations at Main Campus and Franklin Campus.

“Stewart displays very high levels of professionalism and he intentionally engages students, colleagues and the general public with enthusiasm, positivity, and reminders that we are all making a difference in students’ lives,” said Cecilia Wheeler, VGCC’s Dean of Arts & Sciences.

Blondelle Edgerton

Blondelle Edgerton came to Vance-Granville in September 1995 as a part-time education specialist for what was the Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA) program, later renamed the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) program. She became full-time in 1999, and in August 2004, she became a program analyst and job developer for WIA. Less than two years later she became the supervisor for the program while still serving as job developer. She was elevated to director of the program, her current position, in February 2013. The program in recent years was renamed Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA).

She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science at East Carolina University in 1994. Since then she has had professional training in nearly two dozen areas related to her role in WIOA. She is a member of the North Carolina Employment Training Association (NCETA), and she volunteers on the Community Advisory Committee of the Franklin-Granville-Vance Partnership for Children.

“Blondelle is deeply committed to the mission of our college and the North Carolina Community College System to open the doors to educational opportunities for the people of the communities served by Vance-Granville,” said Dr. Burns. “Through her position with the WIOA, she works with the unemployed, underemployed, economic disadvantaged and those who need to upgrade their job skills. She makes sure eligible students get help with tuition, fees, books, supplies, transportation, counseling, work experience and job placement.

“Clearly the right person for this critical job, Blondelle has a heart for her students and understands well the obstacles they face as she helps them ascertain their goals and aspirations,” Dr. Burns said.

Edgerton has built partnerships for work experiences with businesses and organizations in the community, and she has structured her program at VGCC in such a way that it is a model for the Kerr-Tar Council of Governments and the Workforce Development Board, the administrators of the federal funding for the program.

“Blondelle unselfishly assists students and staff far above her normal job responsibilities,” Kali Brown, VGCC’s Dean of Student Support Services, added. “She has assisted other employees with reporting requirements, served as a chaperone at the annual Youth Summit, and even watered plants in our administration building. She is an employee that every supervisor dreams of having.”

VGCC Franklin Campus Hosting Education Night For Adult Learners

-Press Release, Vance-Granville Community College

Vance-Granville Community College’s Franklin County Campus is hosting a special event for new and returning adult learners to learn more about its plans for Evening & Weekend College.

Education Night for Adult Learners will be held on Thursday, November 1, at 6 p.m. at the campus located at 8100 N.C. Highway 56 in Louisburg.

“The Evening & Weekend College will serve all learners at Vance-Granville, with an emphasis on the adult learner,” said Bobbie Jo May, dean of the Franklin Campus. “Our campus will provide placement testing and counseling services on some evenings and weekends, and we’ll offer hybrid sections of courses with classes on campus once per week or even once per month to meet the busy schedules of adult learners. The college is strategically planning to meet the diverse needs of this population.”

As a part of the Evening & Weekend College, Franklin Campus will offer many courses for the upcoming Spring Semester through the College Transfer program, including English, Math, Biology, Introduction to Computers and Psychology. The Career and Technical Division will offer courses in the Welding, Paralegal, Medical Office Administration, Business Management, Biotechnology, Medical Assisting and Early Childhood Education curriculum programs.

VGCC’s Franklin Campus also offers a robust selection of courses through the Continuing Education division during the day, evenings and weekends for the Spring Semester and the Summer Terms in 2019: among them, Nursing Assistant, Medication Technician, Phlebotomist, Notary Public, Biotechnology, Human Resource Specialist, and Healthcare Administration.

“We encourage those who are interested in how the Evening & Weekend College can accommodate their schedules to come to the Franklin Campus on November 1 so that we can help them achieve professional and personal success in their lives,” said May.