Local News Audio

Local News Audio 9-22-20 Noon

Local News Audio.  WIZS – Your Community Voice.

  • Perry Memorial Library Reopens
  • Hungry Heroes BBQ in Henderson to Feed HPD; HFD Today
  • Veterans Dog Walk
  • VGCC Emiliano Dunton

Click Play to Listen to Full Details…


Emiliano Dunton

VGCC Student Engages in Cutting-Edge COVID-19 Research


-Press Release, Vance-Granville Community College

Vance-Granville Community College student Emiliano Dunton of Oxford has faced challenges in his life, and now, he is involved in research related to what is perhaps the world’s biggest challenge today: the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.

Dunton, a VGCC Bioprocess Technology student, is participating in a research externship program at North Carolina Central University (NCCU) through a partnership between the community college and the university. Through the externship, he gets practical experience related to his studies. Specifically, Dunton works with a team led by Dr. Weifan Zheng, an award-winning professor of pharmaceutical sciences at NCCU’s Biomanufacturing Research Institute and Technology Enterprise (BRITE) program, along with research scientists Xialan Dong and Zheng Huang. Zheng and his team are currently using computer programming to identify drugs that may be effective in attacking COVID-19.

Vance-Granville Community College student Emiliano Dunton of Oxford is participating in a research externship program at North Carolina Central University (NCCU) through a partnership between the community college and the university. (Photo courtesy VGCC)

“I am currently learning a new computer language called Python, which is the most used computer coding language of 2020,” Dunton explained. “Our plan is to use the computer language to search for articles pertaining to biopharma research and information regarding COVID-19.”

Currently, due to that same global pandemic, Dunton is working and learning remotely with the professors at NCCU, but he looks forward to making an on-site visit to the Durham campus in November.

Stewart Lyon, head of the Bioprocess Technology program at VGCC, said Dunton is perfect for this research opportunity because of his interest in not just biotechnology but computers. “Emiliano has found a niche in science in the growing field of bioinformatics,” Lyon said. “Bioinformatics essentially uses computer programming languages to analyze large biological data sets.”

Dunton recalled, “I enrolled at VGCC because I did some research on good biotechnology programs and found out VGCC had one of the best around.” He said that the Bioprocess program appealed to him “because I’ve always been intrigued with technology, and the ever-growing science/information-driven era we live in calls for that type of background.”

Dunton said his excitement about learning a new computer language led him to participate in the NCCU externship program. “I also want to inspire more minority youth in my community to strive for excellence and let them know that no matter where you’re from, or what type of background you came up from, you can accomplish whatever you set your mind to,” he added.

Lyon said that Dunton is an inspiration to his instructors and classmates because of his determination to overcome obstacles in order to achieve success. Due to injuries sustained from a gunshot wound years ago, Dunton uses a wheelchair. Though he has use of his arms, Dunton also relies largely on touch-screen computers and has recently learned to code using speech-recognition software.

“After I’ve completed my studies at VGCC, my goal is to continue my education and obtain a bachelor’s of science degree,” Dunton added. He has an interest in the intersection of pharmaceuticals and agriculture and would like to learn more about North Carolina’s growing hemp industry and related pharmaceutical extracts. “I also would like to empower and educate people on methods to generate generational wealth for minority youth in the surrounding communities, as well as inspire academic excellence,” Dunton said.

According to Lyon, Dunton “serves as an example of resilience and that great opportunities in life are available.” He recalled seeing how excited the student was “to find out that he was going to be actively contributing to a research team with the goal of helping to resolve a global health crisis….I think his time with VGCC and Bioprocess Technology, and now linking back to the UNC system, has been transformative for him. Emiliano also balances his obligations as an outstanding student with his familial and community responsibilities.  He is a father as well as a student, and seeks to be a role model both at home and in the classroom.” Dunton said his seven-year-old daughter is one of his greatest “sources of strength.”

Dunton is the recipient of the Donald and Betsy Seifert Presidential Excellence Award this year. That is VGCC’s highest scholarship level.

Lyon said he is also pleased with the partnership with NCCU that allows Dunton to have such an interesting experience. The externship program is largely supported by a grant from the National Institute for Innovation in Manufacturing Biopharmaceuticals (NIIMBL) to NCCU.

“VGCC is listed as a participant in NCCU’s initiatives under the grant,” Lyon explained. “NCCU uses the funds to accomplish two major goals: develop and implement the research externship experiences for our students, and to create stackable program credentials. This ultimately helps to increase the number of students entering the industry employment pipeline. The partnership between VGCC and NCCU now allows for our students to transfer from VGCC’s Bioprocess Technology degree to NCCU’s bachelor’s degree program in Pharmaceutical Sciences.”

VGCC’s Bioprocess Technology program is open to everyone, including current high school students through the North Carolina Career & College Promise (CCP) program. In fact, through NC CCP, the program is tuition-free for eligible high school students who want to get an early start on their college education.

For more information on VGCC’s biotech programs, contact Lyon at or (252) 738-3632.

Kerr Tar Workforce and NCWorks

Town Talk 09/14/20: NCWorks Opens New Location at VGCC’s Warren Co. Campus

100.1 FM ~ 1450 AM ~ WIZS, Your Community Voice ~ Click to LISTEN LOCAL

Monica Satterwhite, center manager for the NCWorks Career Center, and Lou Grillo, interim workforce development director with Kerr-Tar Regional Council of Governments, appeared on WIZS’ Town Talk Monday at 11 a.m.

Satterwhite discussed the recent relocation of Warren County’s NCWorks Center to Vance-Granville Community College’s Warren County Campus. The new office, which held a ribbon-cutting last week, is located in Building One, Room 1106. The phone number remains (252) 257-3230.

NCWorks Career Centers offer residents job opportunities by matching marketable skills with available employment opportunities.

While in-person services are available, especially for those in need of access to a computer, Satterwhite said the majority of services can be done virtually at this time. Online services include resume building, career assessments, workshops, hiring events and more.

“We are really happy that Vance-Granville was willing to host us, and we’re looking forward to working with the community to help everyone find the jobs that they need,” said Satterwhite.

Satterwhite recommends participants complete a skills assessment to gauge their strengths and determine how they match up with available job opportunities.

Current in-demand jobs include those in the field of manufacturing, health and life sciences, IT and construction.

Grillo, whose agency works to initiate contact between partners such as NCWorks and VGCC, said one particular service – on-the-job training – can be especially beneficial to employee and employer alike.

“Every employer wants to hire the 10-out-of-10 worker, but sometimes you have a person that has the right education but doesn’t have the work experience yet,” said Grillo. “The on-the-job training program allows the person to have an opportunity they wouldn’t have been given before. The company actually gets the incentive of having that person’s wages subsidized up to a six-month period where we can sometimes pay from 50-75 percent of that person’s wages while they learn the job.”

Satterwhite explained that NCWorks can match participants with jobs from a wide range of areas and is not limited to the county of its physical office location. In addition to its new Warren County location, NCWorks offers in-person services locally in Vance and Granville County.

The Vance County office is located at 857 S. Beckford Drive in Henderson and is available by appointment by calling (252) 438-6129.

The Granville County office is located at 111 Hilltop Village in Oxford and is available by appointment by calling (919) 693-2686.

For more information, please visit or the NCWorks Career Center-Kerr Tar Facebook page.

To hear the interview in its entirety, go to and click on Town Talk.

Local News Audio

Local News Audio 9-14-20 Noon

– Henderson City Council to Hold Rezoning Hearing, Fill Vacant Ward 4 Seat

– State Board Launches Absentee Ballot Tracking Service for Voters

– VGCC Names 255 Students to President’s and Dean’s Lists

Click on Play for Local News Audio and Full Details…



VGCC Names 255 Students to President’s and Dean’s Lists

100.1 FM ~ 1450 AM ~ WIZS, Your Community Voice ~ Click to LISTEN LOCAL

-Press Release, Vance-Granville Community College

Vance-Granville Community College has announced that 110 students earned President’s List academic honors and another 140 earned Dean’s List academic honors for the Spring 2020 Semester, while two made the President’s List and three made the Dean’s List for the Summer 2020 Term.

The President’s List recognizes students who achieved a perfect 4.0 grade-point average (GPA) while carrying a “full load” (of at least 12 credit hours) in 100-level or higher curriculum courses. 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” of such courses.

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

Accounting & Finance:

Andres-Manuel Mata Espino of Creedmoor.

Air Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration Technology:

Chandler N. White of Raleigh.

Associate Degree Nursing:

Alexis N. Brown-Fincher of Henderson.

Associate in Arts:

Carson A. Blalock of Butner;

Tanaura R. Harrison and Cintly Vargas-Arias, both of Creedmoor;

Emma M. Cascino of Durham;

Susanna P. Ciferni and Cassidy A. Holmes, both of Franklinton;

Mason B. Boone, Tashanta S. Bryant, Emily M. Castro Freites, Kyrie D. Coverson, Jonathan B. Duran, Hannah P. Foster, Caroline A. Nutt, Sarah R. Parish and Alondra M. Torres-Ornelas, all of Henderson;

Chance S. Hayes of Louisburg;

Spencer T. Huff, Henry J. Pahl, Jonah W. Pahl, Mary E. Richardson and Erin P. Whitt, all of Oxford;

Jacob A. Comer and Grayson B. Williams, both of Rougemont;

Tomas J. Olivares-Beddoes of Zebulon.

Associate in Fine Arts – Visual Arts:

Rachel R. Hughes of Creedmoor;

Tyler R. Potter of Youngsville.

Associate in General Education – General Science:

Gabriella M. Fuentes-Wilson of Stem.

Associate in Science:

Alexis P. Whitfield of Butner;

Astrid Portillo-Granado and Briana S. Williams, both of Creedmoor;

Terrance J. Gowan of Franklinton;

Aniya Palmer and Evin F. Swilley, both of Henderson;

Miguel M. Magana, Rolando Rosado and Isaac D. Sutton, all of Louisburg;

Zion T. Page of Raleigh;

Bessie L. Alexander of Warrenton;

John E. Moore of Youngsville.

Bioprocess Technology:

Alicia R. Davis of Rocky Mount.

Business Administration:

Hunter P. Barbrey of Creedmoor;

Raven K. Kay of Henderson;

Vanessa L. Crabtree of Kittrell.

College Transfer Pathway:

Nicholas S. Ellis of Bullock;

Jillian Hanchey of Louisburg;

Ava E. Stoddard of Rolesville;

Chase A. Tuttle of Wake Forest;

Lilly W. Kramar of Youngsville.


Maura Surles of Butner;

Brandi N. Mitchell of Franklinton;

Megan N. Henderson and Yolanda D. Ragland, both of Henderson;

Kristen L. Smith of Kittrell;

Cannon G. Bigham and Leslie B. May, both of Louisburg;

Edna J. Johnson of Raleigh;

Brittaney J. Kilmer of Youngsville.

Criminal Justice:

Ricardo L. Ellis of Creedmoor;

Alexis R. Lincoln of Franklinton;

Natasha A. Alston of Henderson;

Jessica M. Wiles of Norlina;

Jason B. Williams of Roanoke Rapids.

Early Childhood Education:

Emily S. Bickerstaff of Raleigh;

Leighana E. Dail of Stem;

Samantha M. Fields of Wilmington.

Electrical Systems Technology:

Timothy L. Reid of Creedmoor.

Electronics Engineering Technology:

Dakota L. Hodnett of Oxford.


Marianna Coppola of Fayetteville.

Human Services Technology/Substance Abuse:

Donna M. Spencer of Butner;

Heidi M. Kulhawik-Angelini of Franklinton;

Diane V. Henson of Henderson;

Noah D. Yeargin of Oxford.

IT – Simulation & Game Development Track:

Benjamin A. Johnson of Henderson.

Information Technology:

Steven T. Pearce and Amy E. Reagan, both of Franklinton;

David B. Ayscue, Jr., Marvion A. Criddle, Koty R. Glover, Katelynn A. Ray and Elizabeth H. Wonsetler, all of Henderson;

Caleb S. Currin and Nicholas C. Parker, both of Oxford;

Marsha S. Musick of Warrenton.

Mechatronics Engineering Technology:

Triston L. Tilley of Stem.

Medical Office Administration:

Jessica L. Boone of Durham;

Maryjo M. Parks, Melanie A. Slaton and Roslyn C. Wynn, all of Henderson;

Paola Rebollar and Elizabeth L. Wiggins, both of Louisburg;

Rebecca A. Elliott of Wake Forest.

Paralegal Technology:

Rachel G. Roberson of Franklinton;

Emari N. Ragland of Henderson.


Charles M. Maina of Cary;

Travis S. Banka of Durham;

Mackenzie L. Cates of Efland;

Matthew S. Denton of Henderson;

Carly M. West of Littleton;

Mariah S. Lawson of Raleigh;

Victoria K. Swain of Roxboro;

Robyn N. Perry of Zebulon.

Welding Technology:

Ethan D. Hughes of Creedmoor;

Lacy E. Pfohl of Franklinton;

Kadarius D. Perry and Adrine L. Pettaway, both of Henderson;

Colby C. West of Norlina;

Rudy V. Pearce, III, of Raleigh.

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

Accounting & Finance:

Aaron W. Rettig and Isaac A. Saleh, both of Oxford.

Air Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration Technology:

Jeremy M. Johnson of Manson.

Associate in Arts:

Tania J. Cruz, Devon T. Padgett and Mallory K. Richard, all of Butner;

Amir L. Branch, Elizabeth A. Browning, Madison Daniel, Mya N. Harris, Jalia J. Medlin and Brennon M. Warren, all of Creedmoor;

Tekkia C. Cooper of Durham;

Zari Pearson and Kimberly Ross, both of Franklinton;

Courtney D. Adcox, Wafa A. Alazab, Ayanna K. Anderson, Taylor V. Cavanaugh, Kimberley M. Coghill, Alejandro Duran, Cheyenne M. Guerrant, Yumyah M. Hargrove, Alya N. Hawter, Lakaevyn C. Holden, Yazi Majette, Jesse C. Sawyer and Saray Trejo-Vega, all of Henderson;

Cameryn A. Bostic, Justin M. Jackson, Kaleb M. Pulley and Sara G. Woodard, all of Louisburg;

Quinten T. Perrineau of Macon;

Shoaeeb Hauter of Norlina;

Courtney A. Cox, Erica L. Evitts, Jacob T. Grissom, Bree Kromah and Carla Rodriguez, all of Oxford;

Summer M. O’Brien of Roxboro;

Kamille G. Klubert of Stem;

Jordyn E. Brown and Dustin D. Walters, both of Wake Forest;

Victoria L. Dorge of Warrenton;

Sonia Gonzalez, Sarah M. Lowery and Braden C. Roberts, all of Youngsville.

Associate in Fine Arts – Visual Arts:

Brandon K. Lewter and Alix L. Wallace, both of Franklinton;

Naomi Harrison-Carder and Aliyah Wright, both of Henderson;

Ethan M. Brown of Stem.

Associate in General Education – General Science:

Bernetta M. Daniels of Henderson;

Callie G. Englebright of Oxford.

Associate in Science:

Christyn M. Campbell, Haley R. Franklin and Timothy D. Hunter, all of Creedmoor;

Jessy A. Calamaco of Franklinton;

Sarah Alzubairi, Amanda J. Cease and Cameron K. Overton, all of Henderson;

Shaniya T. Boyd of Kittrell;

Nancy J. Alvarez Lopez and Madeline R. Beck, both of Louisburg;

Wilcliff Senatus of Mount Olive;

Rewees A. Ebrahim, Anna L. Just and Landon J. Parrott, all of Oxford;

Cheyenne M. Carroll of Warrenton;

Bryson W. Bridges of Zebulon.

Business Administration:

Gadiel A. Ogaz of Franklinton;

Crystal D. Wilkins of Henderson;

Breanna L. Lewis of Oxford;

Amanda C. Phillips of Roanoke Rapids;

Courtney Adcock and Kimberly Brogden, both of Stem;

Jonathan A. Olund of Wake Forest;

Katlynn C. Price of Zebulon.

College Transfer Pathway:

Hailee J. Bissett of Bullock;

Kara N. McIlroy of Franklinton;

Kaleigh V. Booker of Norlina;

Samuel V. Dickerson, Anthony D. Goreman, Lindsey G. Haley and Alexander M. Slack, all of Oxford.


Carter E. Gilliam of Franklinton;

Dynasty A. Hargrove and Camri N. Ross, both of Henderson;

Autumn B. Finch-Gilliam and Cameron S. Hayes, both of Louisburg;

Katurah D. Davis of McDonough, Ga.

Criminal Justice:

Wyatt D. Mote of Wake Forest.

Culinary Arts:

Michael J. Stephens of Henderson;

Karsen O. Garrett of Youngsville.

Early Childhood Education:

Lee Christine Bennerson and Coretta D. Harris, both of Henderson;

Brittaniana M. Channell and Chermella E. Durham, both of Oxford.


Daniel C. Smith of Creedmoor;

Nigoria B. Alston of Henderson.

Human Services Technology:

Pattie E. Harrison of Manson;

Ruth A. Terry of Oxford.

Information Technology:

Evan J. Williams of Creedmoor;

Troy West of Henderson;

Julian W. Causey, III, of Oxford;

Christopher R. Deitz of Stem.

Mechatronics Engineering Technology:

Anthony C. Morrotto of Franklinton;

Herbert H. Davis of Henderson.

Medical Assisting:

Tyaisa S. Jones and Kayla N. Whirley, both of Henderson;

Emily L. Adcock of Oxford.

Medical Office Administration:

Beverly Fearrington of Chapel Hill;

Yamileth D. Portillo of Creedmoor;

Bambi F. Coleman of Durham;

Desiree Annis of Franklinton;

Stacie B. Currin, Ashley A. Hedgepeth, Rebecca S. Keene and Davida L. Overby, all of Henderson;

Shannon M. Hester of Kittrell;

Savannah K. Alford of Louisburg;

Chassity A. Evans of Middleburg;

Tiera T. Cross and Kasey V. Evans, both of Oxford;

Keishla M. Garcia of Wake Forest.

Paralegal Technology:

Jashetta D. Freeman of Henderson;

Stacy W. Rideout of Zebulon.


Osvaldo H. Martinez of Butner;

Coleen N. Green, Terri L. McGarr and Katie A. Rumsey, all of Creedmoor;

Belete A. Dress and Eden N. Ketema, both of Durham;

Geneva A. Duncan of Henderson;

Ashley L. Hicks of Louisburg;

Sierra Holland of Raleigh.

Technical Special Student:

Remington J. Heathcoat of Franklinton.

Welding Technology:

Hunter A. Norwood of Henderson;

Seth T. Glover and Dylan P. Lawson, both of Oxford.

Summer President’s List honorees are listed below alphabetically by last name.

Heidi M. Kulhawik Angelini of Franklinton (Human Services Technology/Substance Abuse); and

Zion T. Page of Raleigh (Associate in Science and Bioprocess Technology).

Summer Dean’s List honorees are listed below alphabetically by last name.

Rebecca G. Currin of Henderson (College Transfer Pathway);

Jessica N. Jones of Louisburg (Business Administration); and

Latasha R. McWilliams of Roanoke Rapids (Business Administration).

Local News Audio

Local News Audio 9-9-20 Noon

– Homicide Suspect Arrested –
– Dr. Jerry Edmonds, VGCC Vice President Appointed to Black Entrepreneurship Council –
– Executive Session of Henderson City Council, Personnel Matter –
– Office Supplies for Vance County Schools Students –

Click Play for Local News Audio and Full Details


Jerry Edmonds

VGCC Vice President Appointed to Black Entrepreneurship Council


-Press Release, Vance-Granville Community College

Dr. Jerry Edmonds, III, a vice president at Vance-Granville Community College, is among 25 individuals recently appointed to serve on the inaugural North Carolina Black Entrepreneurship Council (NC BEC).

NC IDEA, a Durham-based private foundation committed to supporting entrepreneurial ambition and economic empowerment in North Carolina, formed the council to serve the entrepreneurial aspirations and economic potential of North Carolina’s Black community.

“I am excited to have the opportunity to work with such an accomplished team of North Carolina entrepreneurs, educators and community leaders,” Edmonds said. “Collectively, we have the opportunity to provide valuable mentorship and access to capital through the NC Black Entrepreneurship Council. This important work aligns with that of VGCC in educating students for the workforce of tomorrow while promoting entrepreneurship as an important career option in an ever-changing workplace.”

“We are encouraged and humbled that our announcement of the Council drew an overwhelming response from accomplished individuals, affirming community support for this vital work,” said Thom Ruhe, CEO and President of NC IDEA. “The Council will focus on economically empowering Black people with entrepreneurship, thereby combating economic inequality that perpetuates racial disparities,” Ruhe added.

The NC BEC will help guide the NC IDEA Foundation in its programmatic and grant making ambitions in furtherance of North Carolina’s Black community. Council members will work closely with the Foundation to identify, recommend and support partners and programs with the expressed purpose of elevating Black Entrepreneurship in North Carolina. Service on the Council will also include input on the Foundation’s funding decisions, specifically grants awarded to partner organizations through the NC IDEA ECOSYSTEM program.

A resident of Henderson, Edmonds has served as Vice President of Workforce Development and Community Engagement at VGCC since 2019. He oversees training programs that respond to community needs and prepare students for workforce success, including apprenticeship programs, and economic development support for the region. In addition, Edmonds leads the development of partnerships with businesses and government agencies and coordinates outreach and marketing for the entire college.

Edmonds previously served as Dean of Workforce and Economic Development at Halifax Community College. Prior to his role as Dean, he served as the Small Business Center Director at Halifax Community College, from 2014 until 2017. Edmonds worked for International Business Machines (IBM) and Johnson and Johnson in the private sector before entering the higher education field, earned his Bachelor of Business Administration degree, with an emphasis on Marketing, from Marshall University and his Master of Science degree in Human Services Management from Springfield College. He recently received his Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) degree in Educational Leadership from Wisconsin-based Edgewood College.

“We are proud of Dr. Edmonds’ appointment to the NC BEC, as it provides yet another avenue for VGCC to be a catalyst in supporting strong communities where everyone can experience a fulfilling quality of life,” said Dr. Rachel Desmarais, president of the community college. “Indeed, Dr. Edmonds is uniquely qualified to make an important contribution to this council, as he is one of the few members who represents an area that includes the rural ‘Tier 1’ counties that often have the most acute needs.”

Henderson Police Department

Local News Audio 9-4-20 Noon

-Suspect At Large After Man Shot Dead on Neathery Street-

-Vance County Schools Surpasses State Graduation Rate-

-VGCC Advances the Virtual Classroom through Proven Faculty Development-

Click Play for Full Details and Local News Audio



VGCC Advances the Virtual Classroom through Proven Faculty Development

100.1 FM ~ 1450 AM ~ WIZS, Your Community Voice ~ Click to LISTEN LOCAL

-Press Release, Vance-Granville Community College

Vance-Granville Community College (VGCC) and the Association of College and University Educators (ACUE) have partnered to advance the success and equitable outcomes for students in VGCC’s four-county service area. The college is the first community college in North Carolina to partner with ACUE to offer its nationally-recognized faculty development program in evidence-based teaching practices for online instruction.

Numerous and independently validated efficacy studies confirm that students are more engaged, learn more, and complete courses in greater numbers—more equitably with their peers—when taught by ACUE-credentialed faculty.

In September, about 75 VGCC faculty will begin their professional learning experience in ACUE’s microcredential courses in Designing Student-Centered Courses, Promoting Active Learning Online, and Creating an Inclusive and Supportive Online Learning Environment—enhancing the college’s teaching and learning efforts.

“In these ACUE microcredential courses, faculty will experience a proven learning design that not only provides foundational knowledge but also enables faculty to have an immediate impact on their virtual classrooms by implementing, reflecting upon and refining evidence-based teaching practices based on peer and expert feedback,” said Petra Kohlmann, partnership director, ACUE.

Faculty who satisfy course requirements will earn microcredential credit toward ACUE’s Certificate in Effective College Instruction, which is the only nationally-recognized college teaching credential endorsed by the American Council on Education.

“We are pleased to begin this partnership with ACUE and view this as an investment in our faculty to the ultimate benefit to our students. VGCC is committed to supporting excellent teaching and learning for the benefit of all students, and research has demonstrated the implementation of evidence-based teaching practices can improve student achievement and close equity gaps,” said Dr. Rachel Desmarais, president of VGCC.

“As VGCC faculty members and co-facilitators of the ACUE courses that will be offered this fall, we look forward to strengthening our educational practices with what we will be learning. It is beneficial for us as faculty to continuously learn and grow and these courses are great opportunities for doing this. Students will benefit from what we learn because we will be implementing specific strategies in our online classes both this semester and for future semesters. The overall goal is for every student to have an exceptional educational experience at VGCC,” said Dr. Erica Jastrow, department chair of nursing/co-facilitator and Tammy Ball, online retention specialist and instructor of medical office administration at VGCC.

“The quality of online instruction is critical to the success of our student population. Our college has amazingly talented faculty who believe in quality teaching, learning, student success, and equity. We are pleased that our new partnership with ACUE will help us to build upon the transformative student success work being done at the college by faculty and staff,” said Dr. Levy Brown, vice president of learning, student engagement and success at VGCC.


VGCC Students Recognized at Virtual Practical Nursing Pinning Ceremony


-Press Release, Vance-Granville Community College

Vance-Granville Community College held a Pinning Ceremony for the Practical Nursing Class of 2020 using Zoom on July 29, 2020, at 6 p.m. Twenty-two students successfully completed the program in the summer semester.

Since an in-person ceremony could not be held, students chose to have a virtual ceremony. Family and friends were able to watch the ceremony live, and the recorded ceremony can be viewed on Youtube using this link:

Dr. Rachel Desmarais, VGCC’s president, and Dr. Levy Brown, VGCC’s Vice President of Learning, Student Engagement, & Success, greeted the graduates and those who have supported them while they have been in the Nursing program. Both pointed out how needed nurses are in the healthcare field during the current pandemic. Jessica Price, Class President, congratulated her classmates and noted that 2020 is “the year of the nurse.”

Dr. Erica Jastrow, Department Chair of Nursing/PN Program Director (for SimLab Coordinator Mrs. Brande McILroy), recognized students graduating with honors (a GPA of 3.5 or higher). This is an important accomplishment, as the PN program is a challenging program with class, lab, and clinical components.

Those recognized include Beverly Frierson and Garikayi Nyakudya. Beryl Ogachi was recognized as the graduate with the highest GPA in the class. Mrs. Patsy Pegram, Nursing Instructor, shared the story of the VGCC Nursing Pin, and graduates were then “virtually handed” their pins by Dr. Jastrow. As each graduate received their pin, they shared their appreciation to family, friends, and the faculty for their support during their time in school.

After receiving their pins, the graduates recited the Nursing Pledge (written by Beverly Hansen O’Malley, RN) with Mrs. Kathy Bray, Nursing Instructor. At the conclusion of the ceremony, Dr. Anna Seaman, ADN Program Head, presented the class as official graduates of the Practical Nursing Class of 2020.

Many of the graduates plan to return to VGCC for the LPN to ADN Transition program, which is a one-year program in which current LPNs can return to college to earn their Associate Degree in Nursing to become Registered Nurses. The program starts in the summer semester. Current LPNs interested in the Transition program can contact Ms. Seletha Pherribo at for more information.

The graduates recognized were Sade Hunt of Butner; Ronald Kurui and Cavine Otieno, both of Durham; Jessica Price of Franklinton; Jessica Faulkner, Milton Harper, Jessica Martin, and Lizeth Nieto Mata, all of Henderson; Doanita Williams of Louisburg; Angela Grissom of Oxford; Rahabu Fraser, Jennifer Laney, Patricia Makori, Garikayi Nyakudya, Beryl Ogachi, Zipporah Omambia, Ibrahmia Pouye, and Jonique Whitaker, all of Raleigh; Kelley Lynch of Roxboro; Cheyanne Riley of Stem; Ashely Bass and Beverly Frierson, both of Youngsville.