ROCKY MOUNT, NORTH CAROLINA – Greg Purcell has been selected as the new Art Curator for The Dunn Center at North Carolina Wesleyan College. Starting in August, he will be taking over the reins from Everett Adelman, current Wesleyan Art Professor, who will be retiring this summer. Adelman has filled this role since the opening of The Dunn Center in 1996.
As Art Curator, Greg will work with The Dunn Center staff to plan art exhibits and opening receptions for the Mims and Civic galleries located within The Dunn Center. He will present five art shows throughout the year.
“We are very excited about the passion and experience that Greg brings to The Dunn Center staff. For 26 years, the Mims and Civic galleries have played an integral part in our ability to build a bridge from North Carolina Wesleyan College to the region that we serve,” stated Sheila Martin, Executive Director of The Dunn Center. “Our visual and performing arts patrons have supported the College for almost 65 years. Greg’s knowledge and energy will grow and strengthen those relationships.”
Greg graduated from Catawba College, a private college in Salisbury, NC, with a B.A. in Theatre Arts and holds an Internship Certificate from the David Geffen School of Drama at Yale University. He brings a wealth of knowledge to The Dunn Center with 24 years of experience including television, staging, lighting and maintenance.
ROCKY MOUNT, NORTH CAROLINA – On Saturday, May 1, North Carolina Wesleyan College held Spring Commencement at the Rocky Mount Event Center celebrating 300 graduates. This commemorated the College’s 81st graduation, the first occurring in 1964.
Due to current state COVID regulations, the event was open to graduates, faculty, the platform party and four ticketed guests per graduate. The state’s mask mandate and social distancing safety precautions were observed. Of the 300 total graduates, there were 27 international graduates from 16 countries: Argentina, Columbia, Czech Republic, France, Israel, Italy, Mexico, Morocco, Nepal, Portugal, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, South Korea, Spain, United Kingdom and Venezuela.
“While commencement is always a special time for graduates, this graduation shines a little brighter because it is the first time since 2019 that we have been able to celebrate our graduates with family and friends present. The Rocky Mount Event Center provides substantial space to allow up to four guests per graduate, while following current state guidelines, and we are extremely grateful for that,” stated President Dr. Evan D. Duff.
Alumna, Ms. Latisha Scott ’06, performed the Star-Spangled Banner followed by a baccalaureate message from College Chaplain, Rev. Dr. Barry Drum. In his message, Dr. Drum encouraged students to give everyone a fair chance and “to look beyond the superficial, to hear beyond the sound bite, to think beyond the cynicism and sarcasm, and instead, consider all persons of sacred worth.”
The commencement address was given by Mr. Brandon P. Fleming, Assistant Coach of Debate at Harvard University, as well as Founder/CEO of the Harvard Diversity Project. At the age of 26, he was recruited to join the Harvard Debate Council faculty after coaching The Ron Clark Academy middle school debate team in a high school tournament to an unprecedented, undefeated record. As one of Ron Clark’s “Master Educators,” he also trained over 30,000 educators worldwide on best practices in education. Fleming has received numerous awards for his work in education and social entrepreneurship. Notably making history as an elected speaker for the inaugural International Day of Education at the United Nations General Assembly. He was also named to the 2020 Forbes 30 Under 30 list and recognized by The Root Magazine as one of the top 100 influential African-Americans in the United States.
Fleming’s message to the graduates centered around overcoming failure, stating: “Failure is not only necessary and inevitable, but it is also one of our greatest gifts…it’s the gift with the most promise. No matter what field you go into…your responsibility is to be a servant leader. Failure promises us a gift that money can’t buy– that is the gift of empathy. Empathy changes people more than information ever will. God does not call those who are qualified, but he qualifies those whom he calls. When you fail, my earnest hope and my deepest desire is that you will fail forward.”
The College also honored Nicole Danielle Jackson with an Honorary Posthumous Degree. Nicole was a native of Rocky Mount and mother of four who started attending NC Wesleyan in 2016. She was pursuing two degrees, a B.A. in Psychology and B.S. in Computer information Systems, and had already earned 96 semester hours at the time of her death on May 9, 2020. Her family members were present at the ceremony to receive her degree.
Alexandra Cucinotta received the Algernon Sydney Sullivan award, which honors a senior who best exemplifies excellence in character, leadership and service to the community. Cucinotta obtained Bachelor of Arts degrees in both Communication and Entertainment Arts.
The President’s Cup, an award that recognizes the attainment of the highest standards of academic performance as demonstrated by the overall grade point average, went to Elijah Blaise Gourley. He earned a Bachelor of Art degree in Liberal Studies and a Bachelor of Science in Marketing.
Tony Sawyer, Professor of Music Production, received the 2020 Exemplary Teacher Award and Dr. Meir Magal, Professor of Exercise Science, received the 2021 Exemplary Teacher Award. This award honors excellence in teaching, service to the College and scholarship.
In addition, NC Wesleyan’s ROTC program commissioned five graduates into the United States Army. These students took the oath of office from NC Wesleyan’s Director of Army ROTC, LTC (R) James Mercer. The newly commissioned Second Lieutenants include: Second Lieutenant Kate Avila commissioned into Adjutant General Corps/Active Duty, Second Lieutenant Tyree Butler commissioned into Infantry/Active Duty, Second Lieutenant Dion Cox commissioned into Finance Corps/US Army Reserves, Second Lieutenant DeShawn Finley commissioned into Medical Service Corps/Active Duty and Second Lieutenant Kori Shumate commissioned into Military Police/North Carolina National Guard.
The event was live streamed and recorded so family and friends who were not able to attend in person could celebrate with their students virtually. The recording can be viewed at ncwc.edu and the College’s Facebook page.
NC Wesleyan College recently held the 2021 Honors Convocation Award Ceremony. These Awardees and Honor Society Members have displayed outstanding contributions inside and outside of the classroom. When you see these students, please take a moment to congratulate them.
Recipients of the 2021 NCWC Honors Convocation Awards
|Accounting Outstanding Student Award||Jodie L Summerlin|
|Business Administration Outstanding Student Award||David Enrique Bolivar Alvarado|
|Marketing Outstanding Student Award||Elijah Blaise Gourley|
|Computer Information Systems Outstanding Student Award||Nichole Mooney|
|Organizational Administration Outstanding Student Award||Natalie Larson|
|SCIENCE AND MATH|
|Biology Award (1)||Enrique Chang|
|Biology Award (2)||Maria Padron|
|Environmental Science Award||Alyssa Brookhart|
|Exercise Science Award||Emily A. Ketchum|
|Mathematics Award (1)||Julia Trimmer|
|Mathematics Award (2)||Summer Phillips|
|Chemistry Award||Julia Trimmer|
|EDUCATION AND SOCIAL SCIENCES|
|Communications Outstanding Student Award||Mary Cat Davis|
|John Paul Jones History Award||Abigail Shah|
|History Major Outstanding Student Award||Marisa Corcoran|
|Political Science Award||Bijaya Lamichhane|
|Psychology Outstanding Student Award||Garrett Wesley Barger|
|Criminal Justice Outstanding Student Award||Grace deMontesquiou|
|Senior English Award||Chasadie Searcy|
|Religious Studies||Kevin L. Teague|
|ACADEMIC ENGAGEMENT AWARDS|
|Supplemental Instruction Leader of the Year Award||Alyssa Brookhart|
|Peer Tutor of the Year||Maria Padron|
|Internship Award (1)||David Bolivar|
|Internship Award (2)||Leonardo Guzman|
|Internship Award (3)||Alissa Avery|
|ROTC Highest GPA Award||Cadet Kate Avila|
|ROTC Golden Joe Award||Cadet Deshawn Finley|
|ROTC Golden Jane Award||Cadet Kate Avila|
|ROTC “Hooah” Award||Cadet Savion Young|
|OUTSTANDING ADULT STUDENT AWARD|
|Outstanding Adult Student Award||Eronger (Roger) Norman Kornegay III|
Honor society members who were recognized at the 2021 Honors Convocation Ceremony. When you see these students, please take a moment to congratulate them.
PHI ETA SIMGA
John-Colby P. Branham
Zoe R. Branstetter
Joshua C. Denton
Tyson A. Duff
Quincey L. Packer
Aseel S. Qasem
Mary K. Raynor
Alexis M. Reinert
Zachary B. Scott
Noah Jacob Strange
Omicron Delta Kappa (ODK)
Sigma Tau Delta
Kappa Mu Epsilon
Psi Chi / Pi Gamma Mu
Alpha Phi Sigma
Cassandrena Gabrellia Balloon
Sharon Lynn Bright
Tracey Nicole Brown
Gregory Joseph Groff
Jacob Scott Winstead
Jerry Thomas Wood
Jessica Willis Baird
Jennifer Cornelia Basler
Cynthia Ann Buffaloe
Robert Allen Greenfield
Madelaine Jean Meyers
Jy’maca Nyava Nneeka Revis
Angelica Raquelle Richardson
Kelley Ann Catherine Siboun
Rolanda Marie Richardson
Taylor Elizabeth Roberson
Tiana Kameel Squire
Sigma Beta Delta
Makenzie Renee’ Avery
Shenita D. Bethea
Consuela décor Staton
Jodie L. Summerlin
Rebecca Monaco Demeritte
Keorra Rynazah Taylor
Shelby McClure Oliver
Elijah Blaise Gourley
Elisabeth G. Evans
ROCKY MOUNT, NORTH CAROLINA – North Carolina Wesleyan College has partnered with JOY International and their mission to rescue, restore and reintegrate children, teens and women affected by human trafficking around the world. On Saturday, April 10, the College will host its first NC Wesleyan Barefoot Mile fundraiser where faculty, staff and students will walk to raise awareness of the effects of human trafficking.
JOY International is a nonprofit organization based in Conifer, Colorado that has helped over 2,000 children, teens and women. JOY works closely with law enforcement to find, persecute and prevent sex traffickers around the world. After a rescue, those affected are placed in carefully selected and equipped homes to help promote healing and a positive future.
Human trafficking is the fastest growing and second largest crime internationally. Globally, two million children are targeted and exploited each year in this $150 billion-dollar industry. While this is a worldwide issue, it occurs locally as well. The U.S. Department of State estimates that 14,500- 17,500 children, teens and women are trafficked into the United States each year.
The NC Wesleyan Barefoot Mile is hosted by Refuge Campus Ministries, in partnership with JOY International, BraceChange and PATCH, Inc. Due to COVID-19 precautions, this year’s on-campus event is limited solely to NC Wesleyan students, faculty and staff; however, community members are invited to sign up to walk virtually between April 4 and April 10. To help promote the event, two self-defense classes for women are being held on Friday, April 9 at Rise Church in Rocky Mount. Community members can participate from 5:15 p.m.– 7:15 p.m. and Wesleyan students can join from 7:30 p.m.– 9:30 p.m. Event organizers are also hosting a virtual silent auction for businesses to donate items if they’re unable to partner financially.
“The call from those with no voice needs to be answered and JOY is doing just that. I hope you will join me and these other ministries and organizations to fight for those being trafficked and exploited,” stated Natalie Larson, NC Wesleyan student and event organizer. I pray our goal will be met and through this initiative God will receive all the glory!”
North Carolina Wesleyan College hopes to be a catalyst in the fight against human trafficking by raising $15,000. Various levels of sponsorship are available for any business or individual wanting to help contribute to this goal. Your contribution can help at least one person escape from the bondage of human trafficking. For more details and to register, visit joy.org/barefoot-mile-events.
Exercise is Medicine® on Campus Mascot Challenge
ROCKY MOUNT, NORTH CAROLINA – North Carolina Wesleyan College was recently selected by the American College of Sports Medicine as the Judges’ Pick for first place in The Exercise is Medicine® On Campus (EIM-OC) Mascot Challenge video contest. This year, a record 32 colleges and universities submitted video entries.
As the first-place winner, the NC Wesleyan EIM-OC team will be receiving a $1,000 grant to host physical activity programming on Wesleyan’s campus. The video was created by Dr. Shannon Crowley, EIM-OC Advisor, Dr. Danielle Braxton, Health and Movement Science Club Advisor and Health and Movement Science Club student officers Emily Ketchum, Isaiah Matta, Savion Young and Rolando Valladarez. NC Wesleyan’s EIM-OC Leadership Team members, Dr. Meir Magal and Physician Assistant Jessica Brys-Wilson, also assisted with creation of the video. The submission, which featured NCWC’s mascot, Wes, can be viewed below.
“Our EIM-OC Leadership Team and Health and Movement Science Club have done a fantastic job in their efforts to promote the health benefits of physical activity on campus. We are thrilled to receive this award for our Exercise is Medicine on Campus video submission,” stated Dr. Shannon Crowley, Assistant Professor of Exercise Science.
The vision of Exercise is Medicine® (EIM), a global health initiative managed by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), is to make physical activity assessment and promotion a standard in clinical care, connecting health care with evidence-based physical activity resources for people everywhere and of all abilities. Exercise is Medicine® On Campus (EIM-OC) calls upon universities and colleges to promote physical activity as a vital sign of health. EIM-OC encourages faculty, staff and students to work together toward improving the health and well-being of the campus community.
The RN to BSN program at North Carolina Wesleyan College is pursuing initial accreditation by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (www.ccneaccreditation.org). Applying for accreditation does not guarantee that accreditation will be granted.
ROCKY MOUNT, NORTH CAROLINA – North Carolina Wesleyan College will celebrate its 64th year with its annual Founders’ Day on Thursday, October 22. Due to COVID-19, the health and safety of students, faculty, staff and community members are of utmost concern to the College. Therefore, the decision was made to alter the format of the day.
In lieu of the traditional activities, President Dr. Evan D. Duff announced the decision to focus this year’s celebration on emphasizing the College’s founding and the need to sustain Wesleyan’s future. Highlights for the upcoming week leading to Founder’s Day include a digital display of photos dating back to the groundbreaking for the College. In addition, there will be a series of videos published to the College’s social media accounts and website featuring the Honorable Phil Carlton, Dr. LaWanda Peace, Norris Tolson, CEO & President of Carolinas Gateway Partnership, Judge Brenda Branch and Wilson Police Chief, Thomas Hopkins. Both Judge Branch and Chief Hopkins are NC Wesleyan alumni.
“Our yearly Founders’ Day celebration pays tribute to our rich Methodist heritage, our liberal arts foundation and the community who dedicated immense time and resources to make North Carolina Wesleyan College the institution it is today. We also acknowledge those who are currently selfless with their guidance and financial contributions, raising our beautiful College to the next level,” stated Dr. Duff. Last fall, President Duff started a new tradition for graduating seniors to leave a lasting impression on campus. The occasion allowed seniors an opportunity to plant flower bulbs in a designated area on campus. This year’s senior tradition will coincide with Founders’ Day. Seniors will be able to leave their lasting mark by planting their bulb any time between 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, October 22. These flower beds will be marked with a class sign and maintained for years to come.
ROCKY MOUNT, NORTH CAROLINA – North Carolina Wesleyan College’s Board of Trustees recently approved five new board members to join the Wesleyan family: Leslie Hall, Janice Byrant Howroyd, Kevin Jones, Melvin Mitchell and Constance Williams. These new members come from a variety of backgrounds and industries joining 19 others that serve on the North Carolina Wesleyan College Board of Trustees, chaired by Dr. Dan Crocker.
“This incoming class of Board members will add value to our existing Board through their rich life experiences, connections beyond Rocky Mount, diversity and the ability to resonate with our students,” stated President Dr. Evan D. Duff.
Leslie Hall is a retired Nursing Executive with more than 35 years of experience in nursing management, education and patient care. She holds a B.S. in Nursing and M.S. in Nursing from Syracuse University. Prior to retiring, Mrs. Hall was the Senior VP and Chief Nursing Officer at Nash UNC Health Care in Rocky Mount. During her time there, she participated in the development and implementation of multiple new clinical services including a new Emergency Department, Women’s Center and Heart Center.
Janice Bryant Howroyd, a native of Tarboro, NC, is a businesswoman, entrepreneur, educator, ambassador, author and mentor. She is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the ActOne Group, an award-winning, global talent and workforce technology enterprise. Her professional accomplishments include Presidential appointments (U.S. Ambassador for the Department of Energy’s Minorities in Energy, U.S. International Trade Advisory Commission Board, and the Board of Advisors for the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities), plus recognition from world-renowned business organizations like Forbes and BET, who selected her as their first-ever Entrepreneur of the Year. She was also named in the North Carolina Twin County Hall of Fame. Howroyd is a tireless advocate for education and has dedicated her resources to funding scholarships and serving on several boards, including the Harvard Women’s Leadership Board of the Kennedy School of Government, her alma mater North Carolina A&T State University, University of Southern California and many others. Her passion for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) is rooted in her belief that STEM will be one of the great equalizers in 21st-century employment and has led her to work with Girls in Tech, a non-profit that works to create STEM opportunities for underserved communities. She attended NCA&T State University and holds honorary doctorates from California State University Channel Islands, NCA&T State University and North Carolina Wesleyan College.
Kevin Jones holds a B.S. in Engineering from North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University. He is the owner of Katala Industries in Rocky Mount, a small business focused on construction and real estate development. He is also a Transportation Specialist with the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Founder/President of the Bulldog Alumni Community (BAC) Scholarship Fund. This nonprofit organization was created to help underserved children in Eastern North Carolina pay for college and gain the tools needed to compete in a global economy after college graduation. From 2014-2020, the BAC Scholarship Fund has awarded more than $160,000 in scholarships and technology resources to local schools while remaining engaged with scholars to assist with resume writing, career planning and effective relationship building.
Melvin Mitchell is the President of Melvin M. Mitchell Agency Inc., which is affiliated with Allstate Insurance Co. He serves on the Board of Commissioners for Nash UNC Health Care in Rocky Mount, is a founding partner and a member of the Board of Directors for Providence Bank in Rocky Mount and is a past member of the First Carolina State Bank Board of Directors. In addition, he serves on the North Carolina Board of Transportation representing Edgecombe, Halifax, Johnston, Nash, Wayne and Wilson counties. Mitchell is a member of Alpha Omicron Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity and is the fraternity’s 41st Sixth District Representative. He is a member of the N.C. Agriculture and Forestry Awareness Study Commission, and a member of the Fireman’s Relief Fund Board. He obtained a B.S. in Business Education from Fayetteville State University.
Constance Williams is a Senior Human Resources Executive and has served in senior level roles with Sony Music, Time Inc, and American Express to name a few. Ms. Williams was also a part-time Professor at North Carolina Wesleyan College from 2016-2018, credentialed to teach courses in Psychology, Business Administration and Organizational Administration at all levels. She has over 28 years of exceptional HR and business experience having contributed to the success of several blue chip firms in diversified industry sectors. A double Ivy League graduate, Ms. Williams holds an M.A. in Organization Psychology from Columbia University and a B.S. in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University, as well as an honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from North Carolina Wesleyan College. Ms. Williams has displayed a significant commitment to NC Wesleyan students by providing rich developmental experiences including one-on-one mentorship, speaking engagements and comprehensive on-site job shadowing. She resides in New York City, but also has a home in Rocky Mount and is a board member of Hunter College High School AA.
The combined skills, knowledge and expertise presented by these new board members will help chart a course for success at North Carolina Wesleyan College. Their fresh perspectives and new ideas will be an asset to the current Board of Trustees and to the students, faculty and staff of the College.
ROCKY MOUNT, NORTH CAROLINA – North Carolina Wesleyan College (NCWC) recently signed an agreement that will help qualified graduates of College of The Albemarle (COA) transfer to Wesleyan. The agreement aims to provide a seamless transfer for students who enroll at Wesleyan following completion of their two-year degree at COA.
Leaders of both colleges signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in late September. This new agreement adds COA to a list of over 30 other colleges and community colleges throughout North Carolina that have a transfer partnership with NCWC.
“We are excited to continue the partnership we have built with North Carolina Wesleyan College that allows COA students a smooth transition to a baccalaureate degree program,” shared COA President, Dr. Jack Bagwell. “Through the signing of this agreement, students who qualify will be guaranteed admission at NCWC, giving them an opportunity to attend a 4-year institution while living at home. It is a win for all parties involved when we have the ability to assist students in their pursuit of an academic degree.”
The agreement will enhance and expand the educational opportunities of Associate in Arts, Associate in Science and Associate in Applied Science graduates by offering COA graduates access to the benefits of the Wesleyan Works program, pre-admission advising, generous transfer credit and a clear definition of the transfer of courses from COA to NC Wesleyan. This MOU allows COA Associate in Applied Science students to transfer an additional 15 hours of general education credits for a total of 75 transfer credits.
“I am excited about the new agreement that will improve the transfer pathway resulting in a great education and career opportunities for students. Our partnership provides a great benefit to the students and community of Dare County,” stated Joy Smallwood, Executive Director of Adult & Professional Studies at NC Wesleyan.
Students who graduate from COA and transfer under this agreement may select any of NC Wesleyan’s programs of study or may transfer to the college’s Adult and Professional Studies program, taking advantage of the Wesleyan Works program. Students are required to maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0 and be in good academic standing. The agreement brings NC Wesleyan within the reach of COA students who may not have otherwise been able to attend the College.
Wesleyan Works is a transfer program designed for community college students who plan to continue their education at NC Wesleyan. Students who participate in Wesleyan Works will have access to academic advising and financial aid counseling through NC Wesleyan, as well as access to events on the College’s main campus. The program is ideal for students who would like to attend NC Wesleyan’s evening or online programs.
ROCKY MOUNT, NORTH CAROLINA – In July, North Carolina Wesleyan College and the USA South Athletic Conference announced the postponement of the College’s conference football games for fall 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. As a result, Homecoming will also not happen in an official capacity this fall. The College’s Student Activities may plan some events for students on campus with appropriate guidelines in place and alumni groups may get together, but there is no “official” Homecoming event planned. If the College is able to resume its football season in the spring, there may be a similar type of Homecoming experience at that time. NCWC values the health and safety of its faculty, staff, and students; therefore, the College does not want to risk having larger-scale events at this time.