Wesleyan’s Professional Closet Gives Students the Chance to Dress for Success

ROCKY MOUNT, NORTH CAROLINA – North Carolina Wesleyan College strives for its students to excel both inside and outside of the classroom. To assist with success outside of the classroom, Dr. Gena Messer-Knode, Dean of Career Development & Business Innovation, launched The Wesleyan Professional Closet to provide professional attire for NCWC students. 

The idea came to fruition almost a year ago, but the initiative was put on hold due to COVID-19. The Wesleyan Professional Closet is located on the second floor of the Gateway Technology Center at the front of NC Wesleyan’s campus. Students are able to borrow clothing for interviews, school events and other community functions. This service is completely free and based on the honor system. Students can show up, try on clothing and then provide dates for their event in order to ensure that the clothes will be available. Once they are finished with the event, the clothes are laundered and placed back on the rack for future use. 

“The way we dress affects everything – the way we think and feel. It impacts how we act and react to various scenarios. I want the students at NCWC to feel their best when they have opportunities for growth and development,” stated Dr. Gena Messer-Knode, Dean of Career Development & Business Innovation.

NC Wesleyan is especially thankful to two community members who were instrumental in donating a significant amount of clothing to help get the initiative up and running: Pell Foster with First Presbyterian Church in Rocky Mount and David Farris, President and CEO of the Rocky Mount Area Chamber of Commerce.

Those who are interested in donating professional attire can contact Gena Messer-Knode at GKnode@ncwc.edu or 252.985.5151 to arrange a drop off or pick up time. 

Two New Counselors Welcome Future Bishops to NCWC

ROCKY MOUNT, NORTH CAROLINAWhile the educational landscape may look different this year due to COVID-19, North Carolina Wesleyan College has not altered its commitment to current and future students. The College recently welcomed two new counselors two its Admissions team — Adrian Moore to the traditional program and Jessica Wilkins to the Adult and Professional Studies (APS) program.

Adrian Moore is a 2018 alumnus of NC Wesleyan and graduated with a B.S. in Organizational Administration with a concentration in Sports Administration. While at Wesleyan, Adrian was the captain of the men’s basketball team and led the team to two conference championships. Now back at Wesleyan, he will serve as an Admissions Counselor and continue to share his passion for the College to prospective students. 

African American male college counselor
Adrian Moore ’18
Admissions Counselor

“As a recent graduate, Adrian has a deep passion and understanding of the value of a Wesleyan education. With his experiences, knowledge base and leadership qualities, prospective students will receive the individualized and professional attention that is needed during the admissions process,” stated Paige Price Wells, Director of Admissions. “There has been a recent shift in what we perceive as our normal routines, and Adrian, along with the rest of the Wesleyan community, is here to help the educational needs of prospective students.”

Jessica Wilkins joined the Adult and Professional Studies team as Admissions and Advising Coordinator for the Rocky Mount campus after recently relocating to North Carolina from her home state of Virginia. Jessica earned a B.S. in Communications from Old Dominion University in December 2009. She also holds a Master of Science in Media and Communications with a concentration in Public Relations from Norfolk State University. During her time in Virginia, Jessica developed experience in the nonprofit, K-12/higher education industries. She and her husband have three kids– Jawan, 11, Savannah 3 and Kingston, 10-months. Jessica’s hobbies include dancing, cooking, enjoying nature and spending time with family.

image of african american college counselor
Jessica Wilkins
Admissions and Advising Coordinator

“With Jessica’s experience in higher education, bundled with her infectious and inviting personality, there was no doubt that she would be the perfect fit for the APS team. In her first month being a part of North Carolina Wesleyan, Jessica has already made an immediate operational impact and made lasting first impressions on all of her students,” stated Robert Benson, Director of Adult & Professional Studies– Rocky Mount.

NC Wesleyan kicked off its fall semester on August 19 with enhanced cleaning practices, smaller class sizes, practicing social distance between students, faculty and staff, and providing face masks and hand sanitizer for all students, faculty and staff.

NCWC Welcomes Bishops Back to Campus Under Wesleyan Wise Safety Measures

ROCKY MOUNT, NORTH CAROLINA – North Carolina Wesleyan College kicked off its fall semester on August 19 by welcoming 275 new and 731 returning students to campus. Recruitment efforts for this incoming class were focused on local recruitment, a diverse representation and building upon the College’s growing academic programs.

Local students continue to comprise a significant portion of the 2020 freshman class. Sixty-five students arrived at North Carolina Wesleyan from Nash, Edgecombe, Wilson, Halifax and Franklin counties, accounting for approximately 24% of the incoming student body. Three local students have made a great impact on the NCWC campus already – William, Sarah and Morgan Waters. The three are from Scotland Neck and attended Hobgood Academy in Halifax County.  The fact that all three are from Hobgood Academy is not unique, but it is rare for triplets to enroll and stay at a local college.

According to Paige Wells, Director of Admissions, “North Carolina Wesleyan is overjoyed to welcome a new class of Battling Bishops to the campus. This academic year looks much different than any other and students are craving a sense of normalcy. Wesleyan is proud to offer this to students, while being Wesleyan Wise.” 

A Global Community
While NC Wesleyan College continues to place a strong focus on recruiting state and local high school graduates, the fall 2020 class also has a national and global presence. The incoming class consists of students from 13 different states and 12 different countries around the world. New international students originated from countries such as Argentina and Germany. NC Wesleyan’s Director of International Recruitment, Alex Rodriguez, states “Wesleyan continues its recruitment of international students. Our class was challenged this year, as many, with different regulations and restrictions due to the pandemic. However, we look forward to continuing the academic success of our new and current international student population.” 

Graduate Programs Expand
North Carolina Wesleyan continues to see academic gains from adding a second graduate degree program. In January, Wesleyan began a second graduate program with the start of the Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree. The Master of Science in Criminal Justice (MSCJ) program began in spring 2017 and has since graduated 32 students starting with the first cohort in 2018. The MBA program currently has 83 students enrolled in the fully online, one year, 33-credit-hour program. In total, NC Wesleyan has 120 students enrolled in both the MSCJ and the MBA programs.  

Students interested in North Carolina Wesleyan College should contact Admissions at 252.985.5200 or ncwc.edu/admissions.

SRU Signs Articulation Agreement with NCWC to Place Students in New Athletic Training Program

“We are honored to have this opportunity to work with such a prestigious academic institution as SRU,” said Meir Magal, professor of exercise science at NCWC. “This option will allow our students the opportunity to join an outstanding athletic training program that provides rigorous academic curricula and a superior hands-on, patient-centered clinical experience.”

The connection between Slippery Rock University and NC Wesleyan was spurred by Tim Donovan, a 2009 SRU graduate with a degree in athletic training, who is the head athletic trainer at NCWC.


New Residence Life & Student Activities Coordinator Joins NCWC

ROCKY MOUNT, NORTH CAROLINANorth Carolina Wesleyan College welcomed a new Residence Life & Student Activities Coordinator this fall. Ms. Nadine Verner will manage and reside in Roberson Hall, as well as work with Wesleyan’s Greek Life students in the Student Activities department.

Nadine was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois and is an alumna of Alverno College of Milwaukee, Wisconsin where she studied Communication. As a continuous learner, she is currently in her second year pursuing her master’s degree in Education at Abilene Christian University in Texas. Nadine’s experience in higher education includes residence life, student activities and various support services. She has been a part of many organizations, both as a student and advisor, and is also a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

In addition to overseeing Roberson Hall, a first-year female residence hall housing up to 130 students, she will also provide leadership development and event management support to the Office of Student Activities. She is charged with encouraging and supporting students’ academic, social, cultural and emotional growth and retention. Her responsibilities will also include managing and recruiting resident advisors, desk assistants and game room attendants.

“We are excited to have Nadine join our team due to her previous experiences with residence life and student activities. Her background, energy and professionalism will allow Nadine to connect with students to advise, mentor and help shape them during their college career,” stated Steve Burrell, Director of Residence Life.

In her free time, Nadine loves to explore new places and craft. Nadine recently joined the College in welcoming the NCWC community back to campus for fall 2020 and looks forward to supporting the Bishops and fulfilling the mission of the College.

The Lasting Value of the Liberal Arts

Featured article featured on evolllution.com written by our very own Dr. Evan D. Duff.

This pandemic has given the liberal arts the time and space to begin building upon and traditional models and innovating new methods to deliver the education and skills that employers are looking for…


Nonprofit Founded by NCWC’s Director of Military Studies Fights Hunger Locally

ROCKY MOUNT, NORTH CAROLINAThe Mercer Foundation, Inc., founded by NC Wesleyan’s Director of Military Studies, Lt. Col. (Ret) James Mercer, has partnered with Thornes Chapel Missionary Baptist Church , The Alpha Omicron Chapter of Omega Psi Phi, Inc. and Conetoe Family Life Center to assist Nash, Edgecombe and Rocky Mount communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Throughout the current pandemic, Thornes Chapel Missionary Baptist Church, Alpha Omicron chapter members, volunteers from The Mercer Foundation, Inc. and Conetoe Family Life Center have been committed to serving their communities in various ways. These groups have made it their mission to provide donated food from the Eastern and Central North Carolina Food Banks and Conetoe Family Life Center to those in need and also helping the elderly of their communities.

During these unprecedented times, their members and volunteers have answered the call by assembling, packaging and distributing over 10,000 pounds of donated food to area residents and have helped more than 350 families in the month of July alone.

“Sadly, most people believe that hunger only affects people who are lazy, people who are just looking for a handout or people who don’t want to work. However, many of us who are on the front-lines fighting hunger know that is not true. Here in our community, over one-third of our hungry people are innocent children who are members of households that simply cannot provide enough food or proper nutrition,” Lt. Col. (Ret) James Mercer said.

Mercer, who serves as the Director of Military Studies and coordinates the ROTC program for North Carolina Wesleyan College, founded The Mercer Foundation, Inc. in late 2017. The organization seeks to create healthy opportunities for children and to provide assistance to disabled veterans. The major goal of the organization is to transform lives. They equip disabled veterans with necessary tools, education and vocational training and provide balanced meals for children in high-risk environments. Knowing well the challenges that face his community, Mercer founded this organization to make a positive impact. Understanding what veterans go through as a retired Lt. Colonel of 31 years, Mercer has firsthand experience in transitioning back into the work force after serving in the military.

New Indoor Sports & Education Facility at Wesleyan Takes Shape

Inflation Begins This Week

ROCKY MOUNT, NORTH CAROLINAOver the course of the past week, Hayden Bay, the company responsible for installation of the dome of the new Indoor Sports & Education Facility at NC Wesleyan, began mounting and assembling the mechanical systems for the building. This is the first step in an estimated two week process which will be completed with the inflation of the facility’s dome. The crew hopes to finalize inflation by Friday, July 31.

Indoor Sports & Education Facility at NC Wesleyan

Crews broke ground on the project in early February 2020. The state-of-the-art, approximately 48,000 square foot, air-supported structure was designed by Oakley Collier Architects, engineered and produced by Broadwell Air Domes, and built by Smithson Incorporated. Phase I of the facility, including the design and construction of the air supported structure, two squash courts and four indoor tennis courts, was fully funded by anonymous donors, along with a grant from the Nash County Tourism Development Authority.

Indoor Dome Facility

Broadwell Air Domes is an industry-leading air dome manufacturer that produces the highest quality, longest lasting and most technologically advanced air dome in the world. Wesleyan’s new facility will be unlike any in the area. The software-driven, climate-controlled “smart” building automatically adjusts to changing weather conditions. The software allows for full control over temperature, humidity, pressure and air quality, which can all be controlled from a smart phone. The shell of the structure is evenly covered with a square woven cable harness system that allows for superior strength and corner protection creating unmatched structural durability.

Recently, an additional anonymous donor committed funds to outfit the Exercise Science and Health Promotion area within the facility. This gift will provide these faculty members with new laboratory and office space, as well as new equipment to offer state-of-the-art learning to Wesleyan students. NC Wesleyan continues to seek donors to contribute to the success and development of various amenities and services provided to the campus, as well as the community, by the addition of the Indoor Sports & Education Facility.

“This process has demonstrated how Wesleyan faculty and staff, generous donors and the community can come together to enhance the learning and health of our students in a considerable way. This facility will have a major impact on the community as well by affording opportunities for physical activity, health research and tournaments that will bring additional revenue to Nash County area businesses,” stated NC Wesleyan President Dr. Evan D. Duff.

The facility has potential for future growth academically and athletically, specifically within the College’s Exercise Science and Health Promotion programs. The leadership team of NCWC, along with the faculty and staff associated in these areas, desire collaboration with the local community to improve and enhance the well-being of its citizens. The sports and future educational pillars of this facility— athletics, scholarship and research— have vast potential to develop training, mentorship and tutoring programs for area youth. The facility will also offer training and education for students and local citizens concerning prevention and management of diseases and injuries, as well as facilitating proper and enjoyable physical conditioning measures.

A time-lapse video of the inflation of the facility will be posted to the College’s website, ncwc.edu, and social media accounts in the coming weeks.

2020 Brings New Vision for NC Wesleyan

ROCKY MOUNT, NORTH CAROLINA – Over the past year, North Carolina Wesleyan College has been in the process of developing a new Strategic Plan. The plan, recently approved by the College’s Board of Trustees, will drive the institution’s priorities, focus efforts and set goals for the next five years.

Credo, an independent higher education consultant, worked with the College’s Executive Planning Team and President Dr. Evan D. Duff to discuss the contours and timeline for the planning process. The College wanted to develop a planning process through which it could have meaningful input from all constituencies and members of the community. So in December, Wesleyan held a Community Day and Christmas lunch where all faculty and staff were invited to participate in a college-wide planning workshop hosted by Credo. This allowed employees to come together and provide their thoughts and input about NC Wesleyan’s future.

“Working with Credo and the entire Wesleyan community to develop our new vision and core values has been an inspirational experience. To see how much our students, faculty, staff and Board care about the College demonstrates our commitment to make North Carolina Wesleyan College a place where students can learn about the world, grow their skillsets and develop meaningful relationships,” stated President Dr. Evan D. Duff.

From this feedback, the College established its new Vision and Core Values:

Vision Statement
At North Carolina Wesleyan College, we provide students with opportunities to make meaningful connections and learn through innovative teaching approaches. The distinctive Wesleyan experience equips our graduates to make a positive impact on the world.

Core Values

  • Knowledge & Understanding
  • Integrity & Accountability
  • Patience & Respect
  • Kindness & Empathy

This new Vision and Core Values will help propel Wesleyan to the next level in the new decade as the College continues to build upon its academic offerings, infrastructure and community relations.