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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.

ADULT HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA GRADUATES

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.

 

HIGH SCHOOL EQUIVALENCY GRADUATES

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 Honors Radiography Graduates at Pinning Ceremony 

-Press Release, Vance-Granville Community College

Twenty-two new graduates of Vance-Granville Community College’s two-year Radiography program were honored in a May 6 pinning ceremony in the college’s Civic Center.

The Radiography Class of 2019 included Frantz Alexis, Jr., of Chapel Hill; Shanice D. Alleyne, Karene Anderson, Matthew Battistel, Kristen Bowman, Starsha M. Hargrove and Dwayne Huneycutt, all of Creedmoor; Allison Weaver Wiggins of Franklinton; Samantha Pierce and Paige Snider, both of Garner; Brooklyn Rooker and Ashley Bobbitt Ward, both of Henderson; Angela Basili of Hillsborough; Shayla A. Cash and Dulce Santillan, both of Louisburg; Megan Irene Proctor of Macon; Crystal Sorrell and Megan Whitman, both of Oxford; Rubi Judith Coyote Baizabal, Celeste Evans and Treva Gordan, all of Roxboro; and Marina Rombout of Stem.

Above: members of the 2019 Radiography graduating class at Vance-Granville Community College who received their pins May 6 included, on the front row, from left: Marina Rombout, Megan Whitman, Angela Basili, Shanice Alleyne, Shayla Cash, Treva Gordan and Brooklyn Rooker; second row, from left: Ashley Ward, Paige Snider, Samantha Pierce, Dulce Santillan, Crystal Sorrell and Rubi Coyote; third row, from left: Karene Anderson, Matthew Battistel, Dwayne Huneycutt, Allison Wiggins and Kristen Bowman; back row, from left: Megan Proctor, Starsha Hargrove, Frantz Alexis and Celeste Evans. (VGCC Photo)

Angela M. Thomas, the Dean of Health Sciences/ Interim Program Head for Radiography, presided over the ceremony. She encouraged students to “love what you do or you will not give it your best; enhance your passion for giving and dream bigger than Disney World.” The ceremony featured live entertainment by Detroit Yancey, an Oxford native, who sang “Wind Beneath My Wings.”

The keynote speaker for the ceremony was Lewis Daughtry, Jr., one of the instructors for the program. He advised the students, “Do not think future opportunities are going to stop and wait for you. You must be ready.”

Rubi Judith Coyote Baizabal gave an address in response on behalf of her classmates. A Dean’s List student and Phi Theta Kappa inductee, she has served as one of her program’s representatives in the VGCC Student Government Association.

“Remember, do not bury your failures, let them inspire you,” Baizabal told her fellow students.

Lindsay Hinkle from the VA Medical Center in Durham was chosen by the graduating students to receive the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT) Certificate of Excellence for Clinical Educators. The students voted for Tabitha Owens from EmergeOrtho William Penn Plaza in Durham as the top technologist at the clinical sites in which they received their 900 hours of practical training, while the Clinical Affiliate Award of Excellence went to the EmergeOrtho William Penn Plaza in Durham.

Receiving the JRCERT Certificate of Excellence for Students was Megan Whitman, who also received the VGCC Radiography Academic Award. In a first-ever tie, the VGCC Radiography Clinical Excellence Award was presented to two students, Megan Proctor and Brooklyn Rooker.

Instructor Anthony Twisdale shared the history of the Radiographer’s Pin before he and Angela Thomas awarded the pins to each graduate. Thomas led the graduates in reciting the Radiographer’s Pledge as the ceremonies concluded.

New VGCC President to Address Graduates as College Celebrates 50 Years

-Press Release, Vance-Granville Community College

Dr. Rachel Desmarais, who earlier this year became the seventh president of Vance-Granville Community College, will serve as the principal commencement speaker for the college’s graduation exercises on Friday, May 10, 2019. As VGCC celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, Desmarais follows in the footsteps of the school’s first president, Dr. Donald Mohorn, who was the commencement speaker at the first such ceremony, back in 1970.

Dr. Rachel Desmarais, who earlier this year became the seventh president of Vance-Granville Community College, will serve as the principal commencement speaker for the college’s graduation exercises on Friday, May 10, 2019. (VGCC Photo)

Jose Angel De Leon of Henderson, president of the VGCC Student Government Association, will be the student speaker.

Nearly 500 students are scheduled to be honored during ceremonies beginning at 6 p.m. at the gazebo by the lake on the college’s Main Campus in Vance County. For those unable to attend the event in person, VGCC will broadcast a live video feed from the ceremony online on its YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/VanceGranvilleCC).

The VGCC Board of Trustees selected Dr. Desmarais to become the college president in December 2018, while she was serving as the executive vice president and chief operating officer of Forsyth Technical Community College.

Once a student at Forsyth Tech, Desmarais became an adjunct instructor at the community college from 1996 to 1999 while also working in the private sector. She joined Forsyth Tech full-time in 2002 and served in a variety of academic and administrative roles over the next 16 years.

Jose Angel De Leon of Henderson, president of the VGCC Student Government Association, will be the student speaker. (VGCC Photo)

Desmarais earned her doctorate of philosophy in instructional design and technology from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Va., in 2015 after getting her master’s of science in information technology management from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 2003. She earned a bachelor of music degree in voice performance from Mars Hill College in 1992.

She was also among fewer than 40 aspiring and emerging community college presidents nationwide who were chosen for the Aspen Institute Presidential Fellowship for Community College Excellence in 2017-2018.

De Leon is graduating from VGCC with a degree in Criminal Justice Technology. A graduate of Norlina Christian School, he has earned Dean’s List and President’s List honors at the college and has been inducted into the Phi Theta Kappa honor society.

De Leon plans to continue his education at North Carolina Central University, where he will complete a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. His long-term plan is to earn his Ph.D. in criminal justice or criminology and become a college professor.

Students serving as graduation marshals will be Caroline Williamson of Bullock; Ebony Cotton of Franklinton; Hannah Edwards, Evin Swilley, April Zuniga-Trejo and Leslie Zuniga-Trejo, all of Henderson; Gricel Arroyo of Louisburg; Miranda Brown of Oxford; Rana Alashmali of Timberlake; and Ronnie Brodie, Jr., of Wake Forest.

 

April Zuniga-Trejo of Henderson

Caroline Williamson of Bullock

Ebony Cotton of Franklinton

Evin Swilley of Henderson

Gricel Arroyo of Louisburg

Hannah Edwards of Henderson

Leslie Zuniga-Trejo of Henderson

Miranda Brown of Oxford

Rana Alashmali – Timberlake

Ronnie Brodie, Jr., of Wake Forest

VGCC Community Band to Perform at McGregor Hall, Raleigh Rd Outdoor Theatre

The Community Band of Vance-Granville Community College will perform a spring concert on Monday, May 6, 2019, at 7:30 p.m. at the McGregor Hall Performing Arts Center in downtown Henderson. Admission is free.

The band will also perform a Memorial weekend performance at Raleigh Road Outdoor Theatre, 3336 Raleigh Rd in Henderson, on Saturday, May 25 at 6 p.m. The concert will be performed prior to the showing of that evening’s feature film.

The Vance-Granville Community Band offers free membership to area musicians. The band rehearses on Monday nights from 7 until 9 p.m. during the academic year at the Main Campus in Henderson. If you are interested in joining, please contact Brian Miller at [email protected]

Above, the Vance-Granville Community Band performs under the direction of Brian Miller in this file photo from its May 2017 concert in McGregor Hall. (VGCC Photo)

 

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.”

Education Veteran to Address VGCC Basic Skills Grads

-Press Release, Vance-Granville Community College

Vance-Granville Community College will hold commencement exercises dedicated exclusively to new graduates of Adult Basic Skills programs on Thursday, May 2, 2019.

The ceremony will begin at 6 p.m. in the Civic Center on the college’s Main Campus in Vance County. Those being honored will include students who have completed either the Adult High School Diploma program or the High School Equivalency program in the past year.

Rev. Dannie T. Williams, a longtime leader in education, will deliver the principal commencement address at VGCC’s Adult Basic Skills graduation ceremony on Thursday, May 2, 2019. (Photo courtesy VGCC)

Rev. Dannie T. Williams, a longtime leader in education, will deliver the principal commencement address. Williams is a Franklin County native and a GED High School Equivalency graduate himself. He went on to graduate from Shaw University with a B.A. in Criminal Justice, along with a minor in Sociology and Public Administration, from Christian Bible College in Rocky Mount with a Master of Theology, and from North Carolina State University with both a Master’s in School Administration and an Ed.S. in School Supervision and Administration.

Most recently, he has completed all required coursework for his doctoral degree (Ed.D.) and is currently working on his dissertation.

Williams has had numerous experiences in the field of public education. He began his career as a teacher assistant/bus driver. After receiving his Lateral Entry teacher certification, he taught the subjects of Social Studies, Science, Mathematics and English, and served at times as a basketball coach and coordinator of character education. He has served as a member of the Board of Education in Franklin County.

In administration, he was an assistant principal, principal, executive director for human resources and auxiliary services and is currently the chief of human resources with the Franklin County Schools.

Rev. Roberta Egerton will speak on behalf of graduating students at VGCC’s Adult Basic Skills graduation. (Photo courtesy VGCC)

In addition, Williams is a Christian educator. He served as the Minister for Church Life and Education for the Southern Conference, United Church of Christ (UCC), and currently is the President of the Board of Directors of the Southern Conference, UCC. He has been the Senior Pastor and Teacher of the Melfield UCC in Haw River, N.C., for 23 years and has over 43 years of ministry experience.

Speaking on behalf of the graduating students during the ceremony will be Rev. Roberta Egerton of Louisburg. She completed her High School Equivalency earlier this year after attending classes on VGCC’s Franklin County Campus. She is also a Monmouth Bible Institute graduate and an ordained Baptist minister.

Egerton has enrolled in curriculum classes at VGCC with plans to obtain an Associate’s Degree in Nursing.

LaRocca, New Director of Communications, Encouraged by VGCC’s ‘Fresh Approach’

Christopher LaRocca, director of communications for Vance-Granville Community College, was the guest of honor on Thursday’s edition of WIZS’ Town Talk program.

LaRocca, who joined the college in March after 15 years with Duke University, said his own experience as a graduate of North Country Community College in Saranac Lake, New York made the possibility of working for VGCC appealing.

“Vance-Granville is giving me another opportunity to give back to the community college system that gave so much to me,” LaRocca said. “I gained valuable tools learning how to manage my time, learning how to focus academically, and then using those skills at a four-year college and in my career.”

In addition to Duke University, LaRocca’s career includes stints with the U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team and USA Basketball Men’s National Team.

While LaRocca believes his educational path was the key to success in his career, he agrees that everyone must define success in their own terms – an opportunity readily offered by the community college system.

“I’m a big proponent of education. I’m a big advocate of getting a four-year degree and even going on to get a master’s degree; however, I’m also aware that college isn’t for everyone. Sometimes getting a two-year degree in a skill or trade is enough to be successful,” stated LaRocca.

While less than two months into his new position, LaRocca said he is encouraged by the positive growth he has already witnessed under the leadership of VGCC President Dr. Rachel Desmarais. Desmarais, who previously served as executive vice president and chief operating officer of Forsyth Technical Community College in Winston-Salem, joined VGCC as the institution’s seventh president in January.

“I love the new, fresh approach at the college. Dr. Desmarais has some wonderful ideas in terms of restructuring and her view on where the college could be in the next few years.”

In a recent Town Talk interview with WIZS, Desmarais explained her vision promoted economic turnaround by helping the four-county area transition “from tobacco and old-style manufacturing into healthcare and biotech innovation.”

Part of that vision, according to LaRocca, is promoting new programs at the college to ensure students have the skills needed to be eligible for emerging career opportunities in the local area.

Two of VGCC’s newest programs – Healthcare Informatics and Cyber Security – will be offered as certificate and associate degree programs through the Information Technology Department beginning fall 2019.

“We are making strides to create new programs so there is something available for everyone. I encourage the community to check out our website frequently (www.vgcc.edu) for updates,” said LaRocca.

LaRocca also invites the community to attend upcoming events at VGCC, including:

To hear the Town Talk interview with LaRocca in its entirety, click here. LaRocca’s portion of the interview begins at the 10:00 mark.

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.

 

Cosmetology:

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.

 

Histotechnology:

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.

 

Radiography:

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.