VGCC Graduates 15 Cadets in 108th Basic Law Enforcement Training Class

-Press Release, Vance-Granville Community College

Fifteen cadets graduated from the Basic Law Enforcement Training (BLET) program at Vance-Granville Community College in a ceremony held May 14 in the Civic Center on the college’s Main Campus. After passing the state certification exam, all are authorized to work in any law enforcement agency in North Carolina.

Above: On front row, from left: graduates Kevin Allen, Taylor Inscoe, Zachary Long and the college’s interim director of Law Enforcement Training/BLET, Glen Boyd; on second row, from left: graduates Maggie Cabiness, Jonathan Kearney, Jeremy Moore, Zachary Workman and Seth Hodge; and on back row, from left: graduates Gina Chappell, Daniel Allen, Michael Bader, Andrew Spitzer, Jake Coleman, Sabrina Hoyle and Emma Britt. (VGCC Photo)

Honored as members of VGCC’s 108th BLET class were: Emma Carey Britt and Andrew Ronald Spitzer, both of Butner Public Safety; Jeremy Dale Moore and Zachary Lance Workman, both of the Granville County Sheriff’s Office; Jake Matthew Coleman and Sabrina Edward Hoyle, both of the Henderson Police Department; Seth Thomas Hodge of the N.C. Division of Parks & Recreation; Daniel Marquis Allen, Michael James Bader and Gina Christine Chappell, all of the Oxford Police Department; Kevin Ward Allen, Taylor Nicole Inscoe and Zachary Thomas Long, all of the Vance County Sheriff’s Office; Maggie Rena Cabiness and Jonathan Shawn Kearney, both of the Warren County Sheriff’s Office.

The class was exceptional in at least two major ways. First, all 15 cadets who began the program successfully graduated, marking a rare 100-percent completion rate for the rigorous 16 weeks of training. Second, each member of the class was employed by a law enforcement agency by the day of their graduation.

Speaking as leader of the class, Cadet Seth Hodge thanked all the graduates’ family members and friends in attendance for their support. He added that the class had learned a great deal about teamwork. “We as a group of strangers decided on this path together, and we were tasked to complete our first major hurdle in our careers together,” Hodge said. Learning to trust one another, he said the team had then become a family. “And no matter where our lives take us from here, no matter the badge or uniform we wear, I want you to always remember just what we are: family,” he added.

VGCC Campus Police Chief Sean Newton, representing the program’s many instructors, was chosen by the cadets as the keynote speaker for their graduation. He congratulated the cadets on the completion of “a long, hard journey.”

Newton reminded the new law enforcement professionals that they would be taking an “oath of honor” to uphold and protect the Constitution, their community and their agency.

“The first thing you will uphold is the Constitution,” Newton said. “You’re taking an oath to protect the rights of all people of our state and country: the victims of crimes, the general public, and those accused of crimes. In my opinion, there is no greater responsibility than this.”

Second, they will pledge to uphold their community. “I cannot stress enough how important it is to embrace and include the community in your law enforcement efforts,” Newton said. “We’ve seen a reported breakdown between law enforcement and the communities they serve. Some of it is unfortunately true, while some may be exaggerated by social media or certain biases. Regardless of the reason, we must, as members of the law enforcement community, constantly strive to better these relationships.”

Finally, he said, graduates will swear an oath to the agencies they serve. “I would like to add all law enforcement officers in general to that category,” Newton said. “Always remember, you won’t be the only officer judged by your actions; every other officer in the country will be, too. No other profession is scrutinized as much as law enforcement, and rightfully so.”

The police chief called on graduates to think carefully about the words in their oath and remember them as they start their careers. “How you embrace these words will determine how successful your career will be,” Newton said.

Glen Boyd, interim director of Law Enforcement programs and BLET at VGCC, presented awards to several students. Kevin Allen took home the Academic Achievement Award for having the top grade average in the written tests each cadet must pass. Seth Hodge earned the Physical Fitness Award for scoring highest in the various fitness tests the cadets undergo during physical training. Michael Bader won the “Top Gun” Award for having the highest accuracy score in firearms qualification.

For more information on the BLET program, contact Glen Boyd at [email protected].

VGCC Basic Skills Grads Encouraged to ‘Go Further’

 -Press Release, Vance-Granville Community College

Graduates of the Adult Basic Skills programs at Vance-Granville Community College received inspirational messages along with their diplomas during commencement exercises on May 2. The students being honored in the Civic Center on VGCC’s Main Campus in Vance County were among those who have completed either the Adult High School Diploma program or the High School Equivalency program in the past year.

The principal commencement speaker for the ceremony was Rev. Dannie T. Williams, chief of human resources with the Franklin County Schools. “I am one of you,” Williams told the graduates because he completed the GED high school equivalency program himself. The 16th of 18 children, the Franklin County native recalled, “I left the high school arena because I had to go to work to provide for my family.”

Rev. Dannie T. Williams, chief of human resources with Franklin County Schools, served as principal commencement speaker at Vance-Granville Community College’s Basic Skills commencement ceremony on May 2, 2019. (Photo courtesy VGCC)

He added, “There were many who told me that a GED wouldn’t carry you anywhere, that a GED was a dead end. Wrong! This is the beginning for you; it was only the beginning for me.”

Williams advised graduates to be lifelong learners. “Don’t be satisfied with this graduation. Go further and keep moving forward. The world is waiting for what you have to offer,” he told the students. “Education will take you places you never dreamed of.” Recalling that, ironically, his high school counselor did not advise him to go to college, Williams went on to complete multiple college degrees, to work in education and serve on the county school board. Most recently, he has completed all required coursework for his doctoral degree (Ed.D.) and is currently working on his dissertation.

He called upon graduates to “be true to yourselves….love yourselves….recognize, appreciate and develop your unique talents.” He also asked them to pass on encouragement. “Be somebody’s coach,” Williams said. “As you have reached this milestone in your life, reach back to somebody else and say, ‘I’ve done it, you can do it, too.’ Coach them into being in the next graduating class at Vance-Granville Community College.”

Speaking on behalf of the graduating students was Rev. Roberta Egerton of Louisburg. She completed her High School Equivalency earlier this year after attending classes on VGCC’s Franklin County Campus.

“I have been striving for this goal for 30 years, but my family came first and then I became a foster mother,” Egerton told the audience. “Afterward, I had setbacks and sickness but I overcame, and by overcoming, I stand before you today as a proud woman of 76 years old. No matter what life may bring your way, I want you to know that you can overcome any obstacle, because I stand here as a living witness today, saying ‘never give up,’ but continue in your education.”

She is now enrolled in the Nurse Aide program at the college and plans to eventually obtain an Associate’s Degree in Nursing.

“There is nothing impossible if you want to reach your goal,” she advised her fellow graduates. “You have to maintain, to stay focused and be committed. Apply the wisdom and knowledge that you have been taught at VGCC.”

As an extra incentive for graduates to begin their collegiate studies, each received a certificate worth free tuition and fees for one semester of courses in curriculum programs or continuing education courses at VGCC, absorbing costs not covered by federal financial aid.


Keyara Shanell Moncur of Apex;

Carly Jean Minor of Butner;

Tre’Sean Quintez Clark of Chapel Hill;

Mishak Rodriguez Brown, Jr., Tinajha Al’more Davis, Cheyenne S. Days, Davionne Omneatte Dunlap, Donte L. January, Jainay Cishara Richardson, Imani Jabre Staton, Deja Nicole Stokes and Deshawna Shanyah Welcome, all of Charlotte;

Israel Tramell Melvin of Clinton;

Elijah Bowling of Creedmoor;

Kyana Yeshema Humbert and Taneesha Nicole Kirk, both of Fayetteville;

David Nathaniel Dunn, Joseph Thomas Dunn and Ryan C. Morris, all of Franklinton;

Tyequan KyAngelo Davenport of Greensboro;

Dysheka V. Baker of Greenville;

Amber Lynn Abbott, Zermaine Bianca Alston , Jasmine Jeanae Johnson, Alexis Simone Miller, Kaitlyn Ann Parrish, Alicia Monae Pointer and Quaneisha Wortham, all of Henderson;

Ladajah Rashaye Mebane of High Point;

Ty’shon D. Stokes of Hollister;

Aliyah Shonte Cabbagestalk and Amaru M. Golden, both of Hope Mills;

Arkeivious Lavar Alston of Kittrell;

Kera Cherisse Brindle of Lexington;

Trinity Janae Frazier and Karla Rebollar, both of Louisburg;

Paytyn Justice Abbott, Takiera Money Mayo and Jessica Pearson, all of Macon;

Daeaz Jacoby Holloway-Baine of Matthews;

Christian Miguel Avalos, Ivori Samon Christian and Lakeisha Monshe’ Henderson, all of Norlina;

Erin L. Banks, Bailee Michelle Barker, Jazmine Samone Brame, Jacob Lee Edmonson, Michael Austin Skiff and Darian Jaiole Yates, all of Oxford;

Erine Eliel Reed and Samuel Brian Teague, both of Raleigh;

Marcedia Rosand Warren of Roanoke Rapids;

D’Lang Williams of Salisbury;

Taj Andrew Young of Sophia;

Tayla Rae Bowen of Stem;

Joshua Lee Nelson of Thomasville;

Micah Dillon Breeden and Yerania Reyes Novas, both of Wake Forest;

Paige Cheyanne Brown, Tianna Laynia Burt, Enijah Marquel Henderson, Shea’ Moneak Jones, Alicia Lafonda Lewis, Adraya Michelle Lewis Love, Zachary Allyn Sampson, Abigail Loren Short, Anna Townes and Alexis Miracle Young, all of Warrenton;

Jarek Damonte Burwell and Sarah Elizabeth Dale, both of Youngsville;

Michael Lamont Williams of Zebulon.



Autumn Brea Finch – Gilliam of Castalia;

Tony Dale Arnold, Malisa Jensen, Willard Abram Lewis and Hunter Cameron Sparrow, all of Creedmoor;

Araceli Palacios of Durham;

Karena Allen, Kristofer Erak Bryant, Jeremy Croskey and Alyssia Lyn Pugsley, all of Franklinton;

Johnnie Ray Berry, Jr., Desmond Antwann Davis, Rondarious Malick Keith, James Allen Neal, Donnie Ray Travis and Nathan Wills, all of Henderson;

Shakayla Tatiyana Burnett of Kittrell;

Araceli Alejo-Benítez, Linda Lee Crudup, Roberta Flagg Egerton and Kira L. Tant, all of Louisburg;

Lucas Logan Matthews and Kaleigh Yvonne Overby, both of Norlina;

Drew A. Johnson and Cesar Lorenzo Vazquez, both of Oxford;

Jessica Marie King and Joel Wayne Poe, both of Stem;

Mariah Lashelle Alston, Alhaarith Ibn-Faruq Abdul Haqq and Kempton Louise Robertson, all of Warrenton;

Emily Rose Gaeta and Andrew Hillman, both of Youngsville;

Harley Raven Brantley of Zebulon.

VGCC Pins 2019 Associate Degree Nursing Graduates

-Press Release, Vance-Granville Community College

Vance-Granville Community College recognized 37 students who graduated this spring from the Associate Degree Nursing program with a pinning ceremony in the college’s Civic Center on May 8.

Among those honored with distinctive nursing pins at the ceremonies were nine who graduated through the LPN to ADN Transition Program, which helps Licensed Practical Nurses to continue their education and then become Registered Nurses. Those graduates were: Lakeisha Scott of Bullock; Catherine Bullock of Butner; Lilian Schleifer of Cary; Christine Atieno of Durham; Frances Beddingfield, Joseane Buckley, Teresa Coley and Wanda Davis, all of Oxford; and Leslie Judd of Raleigh.

Above: members of the 2019 Associate Degree Nursing class at Vance-Granville Community College who received their nursing pins on May 8 included, on front row, from left: Ashton Hobgood, Lakeisha Scott, Rachel Munson, Chelsea Ray; Frances Beddingfield, Emily Padgett and Katie Lee; second row, from left: Michelle Madison, Abigayle Edwards, Rhonda Williamson, Catherine Bullock, Hellen Mbuya, Wanda Davis and Melissa Ramos; third row, from left: Joseane Buckley, Keyona Bullock, Ashley Flynn, Vanna Farrar, Teresa Coley, Tuesday Mathews, Jessica Honhart and Maritza Vazquez; fourth row, from left: Leslie Judd, Phylicia Wimbush, Allison Stell, Shanae Rhoades, Takera Green, Angela Talam and Caitlin Pernell; back row, from left: Kaylin Gibson, Moses Onchonga, Tyler Thorp, Ashley Sawyer, James Temple, Brandon Smith and Christine Atieno; not pictured: Lilian Schleifer. (VGCC Photo)

The graduates who took courses in the traditional five-semester sequence included: Tuesday Mathews of Angier; James Temple and Rhonda Williamson, both of Bullock; Emily Padgett of Butner; Kaylin Gibson of Creedmoor; Takera Green and Moses Onchonga, both of Durham; Vanna Farrar and Ashley Sawyer, both of Franklinton; Katie Lee, Allison Stell, Tyler Thorp and Phylicia Wimbush, all of Henderson;

Keyona Bullock, Jessica Honhart, Rachel Munson, Caitlin Pernell and Chelsea Ray, all of Louisburg;

Ashton Hobgood, Hellen Mbuya and Shanae Rhoades, all of Oxford; Abigayle Edwards, Angela Talam and Maritza Vazquez, all of Raleigh; Michelle Madison of Selma; Ashley Flynn and Brandon Smith, both of Wake Forest; and Melissa Ramos of Warrenton.

Welcoming remarks for the ceremony were offered by Dr. Rachel Desmarais, VGCC President; Dr. Anna Seaman, Associate Degree Nursing Program Head; and Ashton Hobgood, president of the graduating class of 2019.

Academic honors were presented to graduates who completed the program with at least a 3.5 grade point average: Angela Talam, and Tyler Thorp, who was recognized for having the highest GPA in the class.

Cords were presented to students who participated as members of the National Student Nurses Association, which sponsors community service projects and professional development. These students included Bullock, Coley, Davis, Farrar, Flynn, Gibson, Hobgood, Honhart, Mathews, Munson, Padgett, Pernell, Ray, Rhoades, Sawyer, Smith, Stell, Talam and Thorp.

Instructor Brande McIlroy described the significance of the nursing pin. The unique green and gold pin identifies each nurse as a VGCC graduate and indicates that the graduate has the training and competence to serve as a professional nurse. During the ceremony, graduates were pinned by Dr. Anna Seaman and received lamps from instructor Patsy Pegram. Meanwhile, Nursing Department Chair Erica Jastrow read their biographies.

After all graduates had received pins, the lights in the Civic Center were lowered, and instructor Crystal Senter led students in reciting the “Nursing Pledge” by lamplight.

VGCC Student Receives Top Academic Honor

-Press Release, Vance-Granville Community College

Vance-Granville Community College has named student Hope Crute of Youngsville as its recipient of the North Carolina Community College System’s Academic Excellence Award for 2019. One student from each of the 58 colleges in the state system is honored with the award each year.

Crute will be officially recognized at Commencement in May when she is scheduled to graduate from the college with both an Associate in Arts and an Associate in Science. Not long afterward, she is set to graduate from Franklin County Early College High School. That challenging five-year program, along with the guidance and support of teachers and peers, has helped her develop into the person she is today.

Hope Crute of Youngsville is the VGCC recipient of the North Carolina Community College System Academic Excellence Award for 2019. (VGCC Photo)

“Vance-Granville Community College is a school that successfully brings together ambitious, hard-working students who encourage one another and challenge each other to do better academically and professionally,” Crute said. “The magical thing I have found as a student at VGCC is that the school does not just teach academic lessons, but also life lessons.”

Crute has excelled in the classroom while also taking on numerous responsibilities at home to help her family as they dealt with her father’s serious health issues. She has served as a peer tutor in the VGCC Academic Skills Center and has been inducted into the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society for community college students, as well as the National Honor Society at the high school level.

Crute plans to transfer to UNC-Chapel Hill in the fall to complete a bachelor’s degree in a scientific field.

“Hope’s determination and dedication to academic success have earned her recognition as one of North Carolina’s outstanding community college students,” said Dr. Rachel Desmarais, the president of VGCC.

“Thanks to her experience at Vance-Granville and at Franklin County Early College, Hope now enters the next stage of her education equipped with confidence, clarity, enhanced skills, and a thirst for further knowledge.”

VGCC Names 134 Students to Fall Semester Dean’s List

-Press Release, Vance-Granville Community College

Vance-Granville Community College has announced that 134 students earned Dean’s List academic honors for the fall 2018 semester.

To qualify for the Dean’s List, a student had to earn a GPA that was at least 3.5 but less than 4.0, and have no grade lower than “B,” while carrying a “full load” (at least 12 credit hours) in 100-level or higher curriculum courses.

*WIZS posted the list of VGCC fall President’s List recipients on Thursday, April 18 (click here).

Fall Semester Dean’s List honorees are listed below by program of study and then by residence.

Accounting & Finance:

Jason A. Murphy of Franklinton;

Trina M. Leapley of Louisburg.


Air Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration Technology:

Ernest F. Hill, III, and Tyrell Terry, both of Henderson;

Zavious D. Oakley of Oxford.


Associate in Arts:

Clay T. Boyd, Christyn M. Campbell, Sarah J. Jones and Brandi M. Umstead, all of Creedmoor;

Rebecca K. Middleton and Kimberly Ross, both of Franklinton;

Viridiana Chavez, Emani’ D. Foster, Viviana Hernandez, Sarah E. Howarth, Henry Huynh, Kristyn M. Medlin, Josie M. Roberson, Daquan M. Southerland, William A. Strickland, Hannah D. Wells, Corey K. Williams, Jr., Haley L. Williams and Al-Leain I. Young, all of Henderson;

Tiffany M. Frank, Rebekah L. Varker and Gracey R. Vaught, all of Kittrell;

Robert J. Holovnia of Louisburg;

Christy L. Beasley, Sherman I. Booker, Savannah L. Brogden, Laci A. Davidson, U’lia K. Hargrove, Asmaa Kassim, Kristie Lumpkin, Erin P. Whitt and Alexander C. Wilkinson, all of Oxford;

Kamiyah E. Wiggins of Townsville;

Josiah A. Trotter of Youngsville.


Associate in General Education – General Science:

Dakota M. Chabala of Franklinton;

Carly M. West of Littleton;

Vlada Balalova of Louisburg;

Kylie M. Blackwell of Timberlake;

Robyn N. Perry of Zebulon.


Associate in Science:

Astrid Portillo-Granado of Creedmoor;

Jacklyn C. Stanley of Durham;

James Geary and Kayla D. Romig, both of Franklinton;

William Z. Egerton, Shawn A. Faulkner and Evin F. Swilley, all of Henderson;

Maggie E. Dickerson and Brooklyn F. Fuller, both of Oxford;

Lindsay Fenlason of Wake Forest;

Quavion C. Basyden of Willard;

MacKenzie S. Clifford of Youngsville.


Automotive Systems Technology:

Brandon M. Sparrow of Creedmoor;

Justin T. Reavis of Henderson.


Business Administration:

Syreeta D. Scott-Jernigan of Franklinton;

Jennifer S. Crabtree of Kittrell;

Adero B. Bullock of Louisburg.



Megan L. Sandell of Creedmoor;

Hunter M. Boykin and Bridgett N. King, both of Franklinton;

Shelly C. Benson, Angel N. Bradford and Irina Z. Letts, all of Henderson;

Megan L. Twisdale of Kittrell;

Ashley J. Bennett of Louisburg;

Logan B. Breedlove of Oxford;

Jazmin L. King of Rougemont;

Rachel A. Savage of Wake Forest;

Danielle K. Hargrove and Brittney Wray, both of Warrenton;

Sydney G. Sakoman of Youngsville.


Criminal Justice:

Carly J. Minor of Butner;

Salvador I. Manjarrez Moli of Creedmoor;

Amali N. Elayah, Kalin D. Jackson, Keyla Lewis and Dylan Sanford, all of Henderson;

Brooke T. Bendel of Louisburg;

Sherese L. Hicks of Macon;

Abdon A. Silva and Matthew A. Smith, both of Oxford;

Addison U. Dinglasan of Youngsville.


Early Childhood Education:

Courtney Crute of Bullock;

Milena F. Nelsen of Franklinton;

Rochelle D. Williams of Henderson;

Melissa C. Ayscue and Ellen M. Young, both of Louisburg.


Electrical Systems Technology:

Jacob I. Mitchell of Oxford.


Electronics Engineering Technology:

Dakota L. Hodnett of Oxford.



Rawia Dafalla of Raleigh.


Human Services Technology/Substance Abuse:

Gloria J. Chavis of Butner;

Grace A. Ohlandt of Franklinton.


Information Technology:

Christian E. Colon and Cody R. Hassell, both of Creedmoor;

Koty R. Glover, Colin Hope and Andrew M. Watkins, all of Henderson;

Spencer B. Duncan of Louisburg;

Emily Durling of Oxford;

Courtney L. Faison of Wake Forest.


Medical Assisting:

Ashley R. Hill of Henderson;

Crystal C. Williams of Louisburg.


Medical Office Administration:

Caroline P. Williamson of Bullock;

Savannah N. Jones, Kaitlyn T. Pojman and Galesia E. Williams, all of Durham;

Margaret Avery, Anna D. Davis, Cassidy J. Grissom, Raeann Johnson, Maryjo M. Parks and Shirley B. Spivey, all of Henderson;

Holly R. Heston of Louisburg;

Lisha T. Harris and Keshonda A. McMannen, both of Oxford;

Amy C. Hildebran of Warrenton.


Paralegal Technology:

Emari N. Ragland of Henderson;

Evelyn Nolasco of Louisburg.


Pharmacy Technology:

Jane M. Jones of Franklinton;

Fnu Monika of Roanoke Rapids.



Frantz Alexis of Chapel Hill;

Matthew S. Battistel, Dwayne D. Huneycutt and Paige D. Snider, all of Creedmoor;

Brooklyn Rooker of Henderson;

Rubi J. Coyote Baizabal of Roxboro;

Sabrina E. Bedard of Wake Forest;

Megan T. Whitman of Youngsville.


Welding Technology:

Michael D. Perry of Bunn;

Edmund M. Goulet of Oxford.

Vance-Granville Selected as Inaugural Host of Teaching Seminars

-Press Release, Vance-Granville Community College

Vance-Granville Community College announced today that it has been selected to host an inaugural credit-bearing regional seminar that supports faculty use of evidence-based teaching practices. This seminar, which will take place on Friday, November 15, 2019, is part of a major collaboration between the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) and the Association of College and University Educators (ACUE) to advance faculty and student success through quality instruction at community and technical colleges nationwide.

Vance-Granville is one of 10 colleges selected by NISOD and ACUE to host an inaugural seminar as part of this national initiative, following a competitive application and interview process. Faculty from Vance-Granville Community College and other institutions in the region will be invited to refine their instructional skills by engaging in two learning modules on core teaching competencies and implementing these strategies in their classes.

“Teaching and learning are at the heart of what we do every day. Our faculty are passionate about helping students succeed in the classroom. The credit-bearing seminar on active learning speaks volumes about how the college’s faculty and faculty in the region demonstrates the college’s commitment to excellence in teaching and student success,” said Levy Brown, vice president of Academic Affairs.

The members of the Faculty Planning Team noted that “As community college faculty, we are always interested in relevant professional development that provides opportunities to design, implement, and reflect on new instructional strategies for our courses and that enables us to provide positive learning experiences for our students. We strive to improve student learning outcomes, increase program completion rates, and encourage more students to pursue higher education and careers of their choice. Learning how to incorporate active learning strategies in our classroom will be a valuable tool to help achieve these goals.”

“We were impressed by the selected institutions’ commitment to teaching excellence and faculty professional development,” said Dr. Edward Leach, NISOD’s executive director. “The seminars will equip faculty from the host institutions, as well as their colleagues from neighboring colleges, with strategies proven to make a positive difference in student learning.”

Seminar participants will learn about and implement teaching practices aligned to ACUE’s Effective Practice Framework—a statement of the core instructional competencies every college educator should possess—which was independently validated and is endorsed by the American Council on Education. Faculty who satisfy the seminar requirements, which include implementing at least two evidence-based teaching practices and writing reflections about their experience, will earn credit toward a Certificate in Effective College Instruction, a highly sought-after credential co-endorsed by ACUE and the American Council on Education.

“We’re excited to offer these high-quality learning events, in collaboration with NISOD, that provide faculty with a glimpse into ACUE’s learning design and competencies from our comprehensive, 25-module courses,” Dr. Penny MacCormack, ACUE’s chief academic officer, said. “New and experienced instructors will have the opportunity to learn with and from one another as they prepare to implement evidence-based teaching strategies in their classes, keeping with our mission to impact student success through exemplary instruction.”

The following colleges have been selected to host inaugural credit-bearing regional seminars:

  • City Colleges of Chicago Harold Washington (IL)
  • City Colleges of Chicago Malcolm X (IL)
  • Hudson County Community College (NJ)
  • Lenoir Community College (NC)
  • Miami Dade College (FL)
  • Montgomery College (MD)
  • Prince George’s Community College (MD)
  • Vance-Granville Community College (NC)
  • Wake Technical Community College (NC)
  • Wayne County Community College District (MI)

Seminar dates will be announced in the coming weeks. All faculty are invited to register at

VGCC to Launch Two New Information Technology Programs Fall Semester

-Press Release, Vance-Granville Community College

This fall, the Information Technology department at Vance-Granville Community College will launch two new programs: Healthcare Informatics and Cyber Security.

Healthcare Informatics is a program designed to provide students with a foundation in computer technology and information sciences as they apply to supporting decisions in the healthcare fields. Students will focus on computer software, networks and security, programming and operating systems, and database management, as well as healthcare topics in medical language, the health insurance industry, and healthcare laws. Classes will be offered online and in a day program on the main campus in Henderson, NC.

The Information Technology department offers a Healthcare Informatics Support Certificate consisting of 5 classes and 15 credit hours and an associate’s degree which requires the completion of 67 credits. The IT-Healthcare Informatics program is designed for computer professionals, nurses, and healthcare administration professionals as they prepare to work for healthcare providers, hospitals, and government entities.

Graduates will be eligible to prepare for industry certifications through CompTIA, Microsoft (Microsoft Technical Associate – Database Administration Fundamentals and Microsoft Office Specialists certifications) and the Health Information and Management Systems Society (CPHIM – Certified Professional in Health Information and Management Systems).

Cyber Security is the first-ever program at VGCC offered through the Information Technology department that provides students with training in securing information and defending data within computer systems, including hardware, software, and electronic data. The program places an emphasis on classes in network vulnerabilities, cyber-crime activity, and security risk management providing students with highly sought-after skills in ensuring confidentiality, maintaining integrity and availability of information, researching emerging security threats, and recognizing vulnerabilities. The curriculum is also aligned with exam material for many industry certifications for IT-security professionals.

The IT-Cyber Security program will be offered at the Franklin Campus in Louisburg, NC. The IT department will offer a 15-credit hour certificate in Cyber Security Support and an associate’s degree consisting of 67 credits. Classes will be offered online through distance education and on campus in a day program. The Cyber Security program is designed for individuals interested in technology, interacting with computers, and problem-solving and analyzing data and information.

Graduates of Cyber Security will be eligible for positions in information technology specializing in security for a variety of industries including healthcare and research, technology firms, banking and finance, and military and government agencies. To compete in this fast-growing industry, students will also be encouraged to obtain industry certifications, such as CompTIA Security+, ITF+, Net+, A+, and the *CySA+ Cyber Security Analyst.

*The CompTIA CySA+ certification is an IT workforce certification for IT professionals looking to gain the following security analyst skills: (

  • Data analysis and interpretation of results to identify vulnerabilities, threats, and risks
  • Configure and use threat-detection tools
  • Secure and protect applications and systems within an organization.

For more information about these two new curriculum programs, please contact Faith Harris, program head for Information Technology at 252-738-3235

New students can find admissions information on our website:

Desmarais Talks Economic Development, Ending the ‘Stigma’ of Community College

Dr. Rachel Desmarais, president of Vance-Granville Community College, was on Tuesday’s edition of WIZS’ Town Talk program to discuss the college’s role in economic development and her vision for the future of the institution.

Beginning her tenure as VGCC’s seventh president in January, Desmarais brings with her over 20 years of experience in the community college system.

Once a community college student at Forsyth Tech herself, Desmarais said she never would have imagined that she would one day become the college’s executive vice president and chief operating officer.

“I had a liberal arts degree already and needed real-world skills, and I got that at Forsyth Tech. I’m living proof of how you can transition from one to the other. Being able to use those skills to recruit students, recruit businesses, brainstorm with the best in town and make asks of large-name companies to try to recruit them to the area was a really valuable experience.”

It is this experience, in part, that Desmarais said she’ll draw on to help implement economic turnaround in the local four-county area.

Dr. Rachel Desmarais, president of Vance-Granville Community College (Photo courtesy VGCC)

“Coming from the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County area, I have experience working with the transition from tobacco and old-style manufacturing into healthcare and biotech innovation,” Desmarais said.

For their part in this transition, VGCC will focus on building new relationships with businesses and organizations while strengthening relationships with current community partners. “We work with partners such as economic development and the Chamber to be the glue between people looking for jobs and people wanting to hire.

I’m going to leverage the gifts and talents that our people have here in the college to create more short-term workforce training to support our existing companies and to be a recruitment tool for economic development,” Desmarais stated.

To build the educated workforce best-suited for local employment needs, Desmarais said the college is reviewing its current offerings of programs and courses, including where courses are offered and program completion times.

“Our focus is on degree alignment, making sure we offer courses in the right format and in the right locations.”

According to Desmarais, other barriers to education – lack of transportation, extreme poverty and the general “stigma” of community college – also need to be addressed to ensure that everyone has an opportunity for educational advancement and/or career development.

“We have to end the stigma of community colleges. Community colleges are very valuable; if you want to go on to get a four-year degree, it’s cost effective. There is a lot of evidence that demonstrates that students from community colleges are just as successful as four-year college students, and in some cases, even better prepared.”

Desmarais said she also wants to work with four-year colleges on possible transfer credit agreements of Associate in Applied Science (AAS) degrees.

Similar to current agreements for Associate in Arts and Associate in Science degree credits, this type of agreement would potentially allow students with AAS degrees to more smoothly transfer their credit hours earned at a community college to a four-year college.

As for the immediate future, VGCC has several exciting events planned for 2019 in celebration of their 50th anniversary, including the college’s dinner theatre performance of “Company” by Stephen Sondheim April 25 – 26, the annual VGCC golf tournament to be held at Henderson Country Club on May 7 and open house events at all four VGCC campuses.

While excited to be joining the college in its 50th year, Desmarais said she is even more thrilled to see her passion for education and for the community college environment reflected in the community.

“I love the passion that I see here at the college; the love that people have for the college and what it has done in the community.”

To hear the Town Talk interview with Dr. Rachel Desmarais in its entirety, click here.

Update: No Serious Injuries Reported in Warren Co. Activity Bus Rollover

Warren County Schools’ Assistant Superintendent Dr. Frank Polakiewicz contacted WIZS News Monday afternoon to follow up with information about the Warren County activity bus that rolled over this past Friday afternoon. Injuries were minor to all the occupants of the bus. Dr. Polakiewicz said everyone aboard was transported to nearby hospitals but all were released.

He said, “We had a bus that was returning from a field trip in Durham. They had been to a Microsoft establishment for a STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math) activity I believe. We had 14 students, two chaperones and the driver on the bus.  About five miles outside of (Warrenton) on route 1001, the bus swerved and tipped over on its side. Our team responded, and the principal, transportation and emergency services responded.”

Polakiewicz said, “Fortunately none of the students, chaperones or driver were seriously injured.”

The highway patrol is still trying to determine the direct cause of the accident, according to Polakiewicz. He said an individual claimed to have seen the accident and thought it was wind-related. “We reviewed the camera. There was nothing unusual going on inside the bus, so we are waiting for the final report as to the cause of the accident.”

VGCC Presents 7th Annual Dinner Theater: ‘Company’ by Stephen Sondheim

-Press Release, Vance-Granville Community College

“Company” by Stephen Sondheim

Tickets for Seventh Annual Dinner Theater will go on sale March 25!

Check out the details below of what promises to be an evening of fun, food and fellowship in the great Vance-Granville Drama and Culinary Arts tradition and get your tickets at The event, once again involving the collaboration of the VGCC Drama and Culinary Arts departments, is scheduled for the evenings of Thursday, April 25 and Friday, April 26, 2019, in the Civic Center on VGCC’s Main Campus in Vance County. Dinner begins at 6 p.m. each evening.

Sondheim’s musical is a sophisticated and honest look at modern adult relationships.

From musical theatre’s most renowned composer, “Company” is largely regarded as a trailblazer of the dark-comedy, modern-musical genre and the winner of seven Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Best Score, Best Lyrics and Best Book.

On the night of his 35th birthday, confirmed bachelor Robert contemplates his unmarried state. Over the course of a series of dinners, drinks and even a wedding, his friends – “those good and crazy people [his] married friends” – explain the pros and cons of taking on a spouse. The habitually single Robert is forced to question his adamant retention of bachelorhood during a hilarious array of interactions.

“Company” features a brilliantly brisk and energetic score containing many of Stephen Sondheim’s best-known songs. The strength of the piece lies in its vivid yet real characters, meaning impressive technical aspects aren’t necessary to convey the story. It can be told as effectively with a cavalcade of automated set pieces as it can with a chair or two. Every audience member will see reflections of themselves in at least one of the characters onstage.

Betsy Henderson, VGCC’s Department Chair/Instructor of Humanities and Fine Arts, is the director of the play.

Tickets are $30 and are scheduled to go on sale on March 25. Audience members will be able to choose the table and specific seats they want at the same time that they buy their tickets online. Patrons are encouraged to purchase their tickets early in order to have the best chance of getting the seats they want for this year’s show.

For more information, visit