-Press Release, Vance-Granville Community College
Almost 500 graduates were honored at Vance-Granville Community College’s 50th annual commencement exercises on May 10, 2019. Dr. Rachel Desmarais, who became the seventh president of the community college earlier this year, served as the principal commencement speaker for the outdoor ceremony, held in front of the gazebo on the college’s Main Campus.
As VGCC celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, Board of Trustees Chair Danny Wright noted that Desmarais followed in the footsteps of Dr. Donald Mohorn, the first president of the college. Mohorn served as the speaker for the very first commencement exercises, back in 1970, when the school was known as Vance County Technical Institute. Wright added that one member of that first graduating class is today a faculty member at the college: Faith Harris, program head of information technology/computer education.
Desmarais began by reminding students of the special meaning of the college mascot, the “Vanguard,” which often refers to being in the lead. “Today, you are truly Vanguards – going forward and leading the way into the future as you leave this campus,” she said.
The president went on to give the graduates pieces of advice that she felt would have been helpful to her younger self when she graduated from college. “The first one is to focus on what you do best,” she said. “Now is the time to stop concentrating on your weaknesses and put more attention and effort into your strengths.”
Second, she advised students, “don’t be afraid to be an original.” She explained, “You’ve probably heard that there will be jobs in the next 15 years that don’t even exist today…. Now, that’s not to say that your education and skills training are useless – simply that different combinations and applications of skills will be required for future jobs. That’s where being an original comes in!”
Desmarais added, “Don’t be afraid to recombine your strengths, knowledge, and ability into something new – because that’s where innovation lies.”
Also offering inspiration to the Class of 2019 was the Student Government Association president, Jose Angel De Leon of Henderson, speaking on behalf of his classmates. De Leon graduated with a degree in Criminal Justice.
He said that, after high school, he “made some decisions that were truthfully not in my best interest” and later realized he needed to make a change. Crediting his mother with never giving up on him, De Leon enrolled at VGCC. “I found the courage to move forward like a raging storm,” he told his fellow graduates. “I have not looked back since.”
De Leon did not know what he wanted to do with his life when he enrolled. “It wasn’t until my instructor’s first lecture was over that I realized that I wanted to become a professor,” he recalled. “I wanted to inspire others the way he did. I now have two years of instructors who have inspired me to change others’ lives the way they did for me. The faculty and staff here at VGCC truly care about the students.”
He thanked professionals at the college for helping “sculpt” him into the person he is today. “I am proud to stand here before you as a man with a future,” De Leon said. He plans to continue his education at North Carolina Central University, with a long-term plan to earn his Ph.D. in criminal justice or criminology.
After Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Levy Brown presented the candidates for graduation, Board of Trustees chair Danny Wright and President Desmarais presented degrees and diplomas and congratulated the graduates.
Students in the Class of 2019 joined more than 14,000 others who have graduated from the college over the past half-century and made some history of their own, with the first graduates from a pair of degree programs that have been added in recent years: Histotechnology and the Associate in Fine Arts in Visual Arts.
One graduate, Hope Crute of Youngsville, was formally presented with the North Carolina Community College System’s Academic Excellence Award. During the procession of graduates, President Desmarais paused to place a medallion around Crute’s neck in honor of her outstanding achievement. One student from each of the 58 colleges in the state system is recognized with the award each year. Crute, a Franklin County Early College High School student, graduated with both an Associate in Arts and an Associate in Science.
Members of this year’s class, including those predicted to graduate at the end of the summer term in July, were awarded 221 Associate in Applied Science degrees in a variety of curriculum programs, 143 Associate in Arts degrees, five Associate in Fine Arts degrees, two Associate in General Education degrees, 75 Associate in Science degrees and 72 technical and vocational diplomas. Some 25 students graduated with more than one credential.
De Leon led the new graduates in ceremonially turning their tassels as the ceremony concluded. Music was provided by the Vance-Granville Community Band. Bearing the ceremonial mace for commencement was Bioprocess/Biotechnology Program Head Stewart Lyon, the college’s 2018-2019 Faculty Member of the Year.
LIST OF GRADUATES
Graduates are listed by program and then by residence. Names marked with asterisks (*) indicate graduates who are projected to graduate in July 2019.
Sally Jean Perry of Louisburg.
Accounting and Finance:
Alicia Denise Hinton of Castalia;
Tonya Faucette Saleh and Lissbeth Trejo Trejo, both of Henderson;
Jasmine Keona Dunston, Tammy Elizabeth Johnson Dudding and Trina Marie Leapley, all of Louisburg.
Air Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration Technology:
Christian A. Dockum and Ethan Dean Hughes, both of Creedmoor;
Alberto M. Delahoz of Franklinton;
Tyrell Terry*, Tyres Na’eem Terry* and Hunter T. Windley, all of Henderson;
Luis Fernando Briones Gomez*, Justin Albert Hicks, Zavious Damond Oakley* and Noah Ashton Reed*, all of Oxford;
Russell Wade Hinnant of Youngsville.
Associate Degree Nursing:
Lakeisha Monique Scott, James Elijah Temple and Rhonda Barnette Williamson, all of Bullock;
Catherine Gill Bullock and Emily Padgett, both of Butner;
Lilian J. Schleifer of Cary;
Kaylin Renee Gibson of Creedmoor;
Christine Atieno, Takera Shantell Green and Moses Maiko Onchonga, all of Durham;
Vanna Cunningham Farrar and Ashley Chea Sawyer, both of Franklinton;
Tuesday Ni-Asia Mathews of Fuquay-Varina;
Kathleen Elizabeth Lee, Allison Paige Stell, Tyler A. Thorp and Phylicia Johnette Wimbush, all of Henderson;
Keyona Donyitta Bullock, Jessica Brooke Honhart, Rachel Elizabeth Munson, Caitlin Anne Pernell and Chelsea Morgan Ray, all of Louisburg;
Frances Tuyet Beddingfield, Joseane Santiago Buckley, Teresa Ann Coley, Wanda Cozart Davis, Ashton Brummitt Hobgood, Hellen Ochanda Mbuya and Shanae Nicole Rhoades, all of Oxford;
Abigayle Makenzie Edwards, Leslie Michelle Judd, Angela Jepkoech Talam and Maritza Alexandra Vazquez, all of Raleigh;
Michelle Madison of Selma;
Ashley Nicole Flynn and Brandon Lee Smith, both of Wake Forest;
Melissa Candice Ramos of Warrenton.
Associate in Arts:
Daniel Esquivel-Contreras of Bunn;
Benjamin Vijay Mangalam of Butner;
Spencer Jones* of Castalia;
Delaney Faith Edwards, Rickelle Taina Harrison, Sarah Josephine Jones, Netana Anastasia Ojeda Stgermain*, Michael Seth Potts, Rosanny Reynoso, Brandi M. Umstead and Davina Larae Williams, all of Creedmoor;
Jai Malik Butts and Dillon Keith McIntyre, both of Durham;
Maria Teresa Ayala*, Jessica Lynne Burney, Morgan Paige Byrd*, Kaleb Lee Cahoon, Sarah Rose Frizzle, Harley Marie Keith, Michelle Delgado Medina, Bernaldo Antonio Pina-Paz, Tyler Rada,
Charles Michael Sawyer, Brittney Ann Smith and Craig Wilkie, all of Franklinton;
Ariana Aguirre*, Viridiana Chavez, Amber Sha’prieste Cotton, Matthew Scott Denton, Dalton Scott Elliott*, Megan T. Goswick, Jessica Paige Grissom, Zurisadai Guzman-Vazquez, Kaitlyn MacKenzy Harris, Sarah Emily Howarth, Henry Huynh, Dylan Tyler Jackson, Tim Jiang, Jadyn May Jones, Joshua Arthur Jones, Jade A. Lewis, Alondra Lopez, Darius Philip Macon-Majette, Ariel Delores Noel, Vianey Nonato*, Evan Alexandra O’Geary, Ashley Jane Pendergrass, Joseph E. Penny, Joel Renteria, Ethan Bryce Roberson, Jarrett Philip Seaman, Amaya Sealyn Sneed, Jonyiah Alise Teasley, Alexis McKenzie Watson, Hannah Denise Wells, Corey Kennard Williams, Jr., Kianna A. Wills and Al-Leain Ishamarie Young, all of Henderson;
Kimberly Hope Callis, Caitlyn Nicole Holmes, Ashlee Marie Perry, Charles Edward Thompson, Gracey Renee Vaught and Brinea Wright, all of Kittrell;
Rachael Mei Ling Minter of Littleton;
Jessica Alexandra Baker*, Shelbie Dion, Nathan Fields, Leslye Herrera, Rylie Hannah Howes, Lujain Issa, Ashley Brook Lloyd*, Rachel May, Kalyn McComas, Kassandra Plascencia and Anthony Smith, all of Louisburg;
Destiny Lynae’ Brown, Colby Latrell Richardson and Delana Symone Williams, all of Macon;
Katelyn Frazier, Daisha Monique Lemay and Sha’niya Lo-Angel Perry, all of Manson;
Caleb Richard Brauer, Andrew Barrington Cheek, Maya Hawkins, Wesley Scott Huff and Jasmine Luna, all of Norlina;
Chance Parker Taylor of Omaha, Nebraska;
William Jordan Abbott*, Christy Lynn Beasley, Savannah Leigh Brogden, Jacob Newby Carver, Laci Anne Davidson, Ker’Telian Sharey Fields, Willie Lorenzo Fields, Khalil Nasim Gay, U’lia Kiana Hargrove, Sonia Marie Hernandez, Miya Kimberly Jefferson, Glandra Tahjah Jolly, Asmaa Kassim,
Kristie Lumpkin, Kelan Javarious Marable, Anna Elisabeth McAuley*, Kacey Ann Ramsey*, Alyssa McKya Thorpe, Trinity Alexis Thorpe, Kimberly Nicole Vargo*, Shiloh Ann Whiten, Hunter Scott Wilkins, Alexander Chance Wilkinson, Jadakiss Davonne Wilson and Foster Thomas Yacos*, all of Oxford;
Emerald M. Scott of Raleigh;
Madeliene E. Williams* of Rougemont;
Brittany Lee Petrimoulx and Maria Guadalupe Rojas, all of Stem;
Kamiyah Elizabeth Wiggins of Townsville;
Nicholas Henry, Morgan Hopkins, Ashley Husske, Rachel Sudney Kelley, Jamie Elizaveta McGinn,
Jillian Stegemann and Rachael Glynn Yelle, all of Wake Forest;
Conner Gray Bryant, Moniah Dal’shaunda Bullock, Ellen Renee Denning, Danaja Bene’t Lee*,
Bryanna A’layza Richardson and Heriberto Vela-Leos, all of Warrenton;
Tabais Jaheim Mitchell of Williamsboro;
Emily Jean Bauer, Julia Brock, Dariana Cabrera, Sarah Callahan, Kyle Cook, Hope Crute, Meara McCrory, James Hunter Murphy, Hayley O’Neal, Sydney Venezia and Taylor Nichole Wagaman, all of Youngsville.
Associate in Fine Arts in Visual Arts:
Jessica Kathryn Hartley of Kenbridge, Va.;
Christian Daevon Ellison* of Kittrell;
Elizabeth Nicole Durand and Samantha Theda-Jean Marchese, both of Wake Forest;
Colton Michael Valentino of Youngsville.
Associate in General Education:
Michael Wayne Whittemore, Jr.,* of Kittrell.
Associate in General Education – General Science:
Dominique Raeshaun Richardson of Henderson.
Associate in Science:
Daniel Esquivel-Contreras of Bunn;
Spencer Jones* of Castalia;
Austin Michael Councilman of Creedmoor;
Jacklyn Colby Stanley of Durham;
James Geary*, Michelle Delgado Medina, Rebecca Kali Middleton and Morgan Daryl Wiggins, all of Franklinton;
Brian Joseph Boyd, Matthew Burnette, Matthew Scott Denton, William Zachary Egerton, Toni Sorensen Greene, Jessica Paige Grissom, Kaitlyn MacKenzy Harris, Fatima Najib Hawter, Henry Huynh, Tim Jiang, Shadi Mohamed Nagi, Dawson Thomas Peoples, Joel Renteria, Ethan Bryce Roberson, Charne A. Robinson, Delaney Short, Tiffany M. Williams and Kianna A. Wills, all of Henderson;
Ethan Allen Cole and Ashlee Marie Perry, both of Kittrell;
Evan Theodore Casady, Maxwell Diaz, Abiral Singh Hamal, Leslye Herrera, Karalee Jensen Miller* and
Anthony Smith, all of Louisburg;
Katelyn Frazier and Shawn Lavonda Miles, both of Manson;
Kristen Miranda Senter of Middleburg;
Andrew Barrington Cheek and Shima’a Hauter, both of Norlina;
Amari Gekedd Bass, Monica A. Botros, Destiny Jonique Davis, Aivy Balan Derry*, Maggie Elizabeth Dickerson, Ashley Marie Parker*, Chase Michael Perry, Natalie Renee Russell*, Isaac Ayoub-Nagi Saleh and Jacob Bart Thomasson*, all of Oxford;
Nicholas Luchenbill Kurtz* of Raleigh;
Emily Jean Bauer of Rolesville;
Lily Rose Averette of Rougemont;
Desiree Raquel Talley of Roxboro;
Elizabeth Adcock and Kayla Michelle Blue, both of Stem;
Aaron Wesley Archambault, Lindsay Fenlason and Kynleigh Elizabeth Holley, all of Wake Forest;
Nihya Tyrae Alston, Ellen Renee Denning, Kamini Alexis Hudson, Kimberly Labra-Franco, Hannah Pastores Ortiz, Nyasia Monique Warren and Taylor Nicole Williams, all of Warrenton;
Quavion Chykiem Basyden of Willard;
Julia Brock, Sarah Callahan, Hope Crute, Dylan Hagen, Hayley O’Neal, Caroline Sofia Puca, Daniela Vargas-Donge*, Sydney Venezia and Cody Alexander Woolverton, all of Youngsville.
Automotive Systems Technology (Degree):
Brandon Matthew Sparrow of Creedmoor;
Christopher Ramon Hernandez of Henderson;
Branden Scott Lilley* of Louisburg;
Juan Avila-Velazquez and Blake Aaron Larcade*, both of Oxford;
Daniel Shaw of Wake Forest.
Automotive Systems Technology (Diploma):
Alfredo Rodriguez Jimenez, Jr., of Henderson.
Sable Clark of Bullock;
Charlene Allen Kearney and Eboni Latoya Kilgore, both of Creedmoor;
Cody Nelson Garner of Franklinton;
Sharon Terry Bryant, Venita Jean Day, Christie Gail Ellington and Megan Brooke Penny, all of Henderson;
Danny Wayne Ayscue and Tara Lastacey Burwell*, both of Kittrell;
Adero Benjamin Bullock of Louisburg;
Justin Tyler Roberson of Norlina;
Latosha Cherie Hunt, Temeka Gill Marable and Bridget Marie Odom, all of Oxford;
Amber Lynn Taylor of Rolesville;
Leeanne Nicole Harp of Wake Forest;
Tiffany Lynn Gray, Barbra Ann Warren and Dar-Neshia Samone Williams, all of Warrenton;
Karen Noemi Intriago-Carrion of Washington, D.C.
Computer Technology Integration – Networking & Security Technologies:
Terrence Bowden of Oxford.
Hunter M. Boykin, Bridgett Nicole King and Samantha Briann Williamson, all of Franklinton;
Holly Rose Buchanan, MacKenzie Dawn Hutson, Chelsea Leigh Jones, Michelle Lynn King* and Irina Zhavrina Letts, all of Henderson;
Megan Lee Twisdale of Kittrell;
Jayliyah Aareyan Edgerton* and Anna Marie Wood, both of Louisburg;
Nikshya Williams* of Manson;
Jazmine Diane Hunt and Kaela M. Wood*, both of Oxford;
Kathleen Rae Feinman of Rolesville;
Aliah Kaitlyn Dillard, Laura Elizabeth O’Hara and Rachel Ashley Savage, all of Wake Forest;
Danielle K. Hargrove*, Danielle Seward and Janice Pitchford Shehata, all of Warrenton;
Traci Nichol Alston of Youngsville.
Criminal Justice Technology:
Adrianna Maria De Nuzzia and Akilah S. Hyatt, both of Creedmoor;
Brenda Gail Ellis of Durham;
Darryl Lamont Ragland of Franklinton;
Jose Angel De Leon, Jerry Lawrence Dickerson, Keyla Lewis, Kettisha Cheriss Marrow and Latoya Renee Seward, all of Henderson;
Charles Francis White of Hurdle Mills;
Yahaira Kelly Solis and Charmaine Ailean Sutton, both of Louisburg;
Sherese Lashonda Hicks* of Macon;
Reginald Tyrone Harris*, Madison Nicole Johnson, Savannah Ciara Kelly, Brandon Wayne Perry, Matthew Austin Smith and Olivia Jayde Williford*, all of Oxford;
Andrew Lewis Ayscue of Youngsville.
Mia Symone Ray* of Butner;
Sonya Kearney Jackson of Franklinton;
Leonard Noel Lyons* of Henderson;
Rebecca Naomi Groover of Raleigh;
Dejah Davis of Stem.
Early Childhood Education:
Brittany Ann Yarboro of Butner;
Chelsea Ann Mickle of Durham;
Holly A. Perry of Franklinton;
Jessica Renee Bolton, Johanna Wilkins Ragland, Tracy Grissom Roberson, Ayesha Tia Rogers, Seniqua Dante Turner and Rochelle Danielle Williams, all of Henderson;
Shannon Chantel Manning of Norlina;
Sharon Wilson Barnette, Penny O. Glover and Charlie Kristine Vaughn, all of Oxford;
Hayley Autumn Massengill of Raleigh;
Deborah Ellenburg Burns of Youngsville.
Electrical Systems Technology:
Daniel Charles Ohrt of Creedmoor;
Cecori Lamon Dunston of Henderson;
Joshua Todd Neal of Stem.
Electronics Engineering Technology:
Douglas A. Gendron of Louisburg.
Global Logistics and Distribution Management Technology:
Melissa Edwards Waddell of Henderson.
Melissa Brook Anderson of Butner;
Michael Angelo Parziale of Cary;
Linda Jamira Livingston of Louisburg;
Rawia Dafalla of Raleigh.
Human Services Technology:
Gloria Ann Evans of Bullock;
Jennifer Stasia Bennett of Henderson;
Larecia Roberson Bullock and Hali L. Wheeler, both of Oxford.
Human Services Technology/Gerontology:
Sonya Jeanne Barnes* of Henderson.
Human Services Technology/Substance Abuse:
Gloria Jean Chavis of Butner;
Emilee Elizabeth Newhouse* of Creedmoor;
Grace Abigail Ohlandt* of Franklinton;
Jennifer Stasia Bennett and Feliciana Inconta Hernandez, both of Henderson;
Hali L. Wheeler of Oxford;
Jawanda La’meia Burchette of Stem.
Information Technology (Degree):
Mitchell Lee Greene and Robert Cam Hurt, both of Creedmoor;
Justin Keith of Durham;
Colin Hope, Aron Lee Magee and Alvin Bryan Richardson*, all of Henderson;
Cody Ryan Parrott of Kittrell;
Kassidy Lynn Holtzman of Norlina;
Lewis Keith Carr of Raleigh;
Alex T. Jackson and Tony Emmett Schuenemann, both of Stem;
Brandon Vestweber of Wake Forest;
Cody Brandenburg of Youngsville.
Information Technology (Diploma):
William Mark Woodlief of Oxford.
Mechatronics Engineering Technology:
Xavier Dominique Eaton of Bullock;
John Walter Slaton of Henderson;
Christopher Everett Long of Norlina;
Segun Adeyinka Folajin of Raleigh.
Medical Assisting (Degree):
Candice Antrice Downey of Creedmoor;
Ebony Le’shea Moniqu-Terry of Franklinton;
Ashley R. Hill and Petrina La-Vette Perry*, both of Henderson;
Emily Palacios* and Jessica Nicole Ruffin-Sutton, both of Louisburg;
Savannah Jackson Barnes of Oxford;
Erica Tunstall of Warrenton.
Medical Assisting (Diploma):
Destini L. Foster* of Butner;
Katie Anne Fuller*, Danielle Brook Groves* and Kaylor Michelle Lawrence*, all of Creedmoor;
Sheronica Raquel Griffin* of Franklinton;
Jennifer Louise Parker* of Knightdale;
Briana Taleen-Tign Barnwell* and Crystal Catlett Williams*, both of Louisburg.
Medical Office Administration:
Ashleigh Danielle Ray of Bunn;
Valerie Ann Robinson of Butner;
Eboni L. White of Creedmoor;
Savannah Noelle Jones* of Durham;
Cheryl Lynn Graham of Franklinton;
Morgan Maria Archer, Tranita Nicole Brown, Sarah Marie Cassell, Cassidy Jackson Grissom, Melissa Orr Simmons, Tashiyana Avante Turner and Raini Williams, all of Henderson;
Robin Elaine Dorsett, Susan Millard Edwards, Misty Rose Grabowski and Shalinda Leondria White, all of Louisburg;
Adrienne Fudge Edwards of Middleburg;
Shimeka Latice Kearney and Cartes Eaton Newell, both of Norlina;
Belinda Faye Davis, Tracy Ramsey Matthews, KeShonda Arielle McMannen, Ashley Nicole Piper and Robin Claiborne Williams, all of Oxford;
Hannah Scurto Parnell of Stovall;
Meri Beth Blake and Davita Chante Steed, both of Warrenton;
Kathleen Cardullo Green, Jessica Marie-Faithe Noll and Yvonne L. Richards*, all of Youngsville.
Matt Stephan Larch of Henderson;
Lastacey D. Burwell Kittrell;
Indajah Sahmon Henderson of Oxford.
Paralegal Technology (Degree):
Katie Lynn Bean* and Amali Nagi Hauter, both of Henderson;
Evelyn Nolasco of Louisburg;
Holly Hodges Cashwell of Wake Forest.
Paralegal Technology (Diploma):
Celene Acuna of Henderson;
Lauren Elizabeth Cash and Melissa J. Padgett, both of Oxford.
Pharmacy Technology (Degree):
Jane M. Jones of Franklinton;
Darcel L. Alston of Henderson;
Katherine Rose Harris* of Kittrell;
Taylor Elizabeth Reams of Warrenton.
Pharmacy Technology (Diploma):
Glenn Thomas Burgess* of Creedmoor;
Adrienne L. Reams and Anthony Martin Wade, both of Oxford;
Monika* of Roanoke Rapids.
Candice Compton Howarth* of Bullock;
Sharlett Elisa Wilson* of Butner;
Mary Wairimu Wanjiku* of Cary;
Shaquile Londale Hawkins* of Creedmoor;
Justin Kortor* of Durham;
Stephanie White Alston* and Mikayla Ashley Sellers*, both of Henderson;
Laveasta Perry Clayton* of Knightdale;
Cindy Cooper Blankenship* and Megann Joy Casady*, both of Louisburg;
Marylou L. Goedeker*, Sylvia Bosibori Mugambi*, Stephen Makori Nyambariga*, Esther Kwamboka Ogachi* and Teresa Nyanchama Onchiri*, all of Raleigh;
Suzanne Lee Wiley* of Wake Forest;
Bryanne Janelle Kilmer* of Youngsville.
Kristen Ashlee Bowman of Butner;
Shanice Donnia Alleyne, Karene Kavonne Anderson, Matthew Scott Battistel, Starsha Hargrove, Dwayne Douglas Huneycutt and Paige Donahue Snider, all of Creedmoor;
Allison Weaver Wiggins of Franklinton;
Brooklyn Rooker and Ashley Bobbitt Ward, both of Henderson;
Angela Joan Basili of Hillsborough;
Shayla Adair Cash and Dulce Guadalupe Huerta-Santillan, both of Louisburg;
Megan Irene Proctor of Macon;
Crystal Gail Sorrell of Oxford;
Samantha Pierce of Raleigh;
Rubi Judith Coyote-Baizabal, Celeste Justine Evans and Treva Duncan Gordan, all of Roxboro;
Marina Ellen Rombout of Stem;
Megan Tamara Whitman of Youngsville.
Welding Technology (Degree):
Michael Lee Hall of Creedmoor;
Carrie Ellen Johnson and Troy J’Qwan Little, both of Henderson;
Austin Davis Finch of Louisburg.
Welding Technology (Diploma):
Marquis Lamar Skinner* of Henderson;
Ismael Trejo Labra of Norlina.