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…
ROCKY MOUNT, NORTH CAROLINA – The 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.
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:
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.
- 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.
ROCKY MOUNT, NORTH CAROLINA – NC Wesleyan welcomes Kerri Harper as Admissions & Advising Coordinator for its Wilmington and Brunswick campuses. In this role, she will be responsible for participating in recruiting events and presentations, advising and counseling students on major and minor requirements, and promoting the Adult Studies Program at community colleges, churches, civic organizations and businesses.
Kerri is an alumna of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte where she earned a bachelor’s degree in theatre education. After graduation, she worked abroad in Shanghai, China as a drama instructor and English teacher. After returning to the United States, she obtained a Master of Arts in Education from Baldwin Wallace University.
“We are very excited to have Kerri join the NC Wesleyan team. Kerri brings a wealth of experience that will positively impact the students she recruits and advises,” said Katie Farrell, Associate Dean of Adult Studies.
Kerri’s teaching experience in both the K-12 setting, as well as higher education, has equipped her with a well-rounded set of skills to welcome future Bishops. She states: “I am excited to join the Wesleyan family and look forward to assisting the citizens of our community with achieving their educational goals.”
ROCKY MOUNT, NORTH CAROLINA – Last month, Connect- Youth Theology Institute at NC Wesleyan College hosted its fifth consecutive year of its summer program. Though the format changed due to COVID-19, the mission remained the same: “creating space for high school students to connect to Christ, Community and the Church.”
“So much of everyone’s lives have been turned upside down due to this pandemic, especially teenagers,” said Mikah Brondyke, Director of Connect- Youth Theology Institute. “We scaled things down, stayed true to our mission and met students right where they were.”
The Connect leadership team went back to the drawing board to figure out ways to continue the mission of the program, while maintaining the safety of all and offering families something beneficial to the overall health of high school students during these challenging times. “We wanted to make sure that we were very careful to first listen, before making any big decisions about how to move forward with our summer. Since so many events and camps were being canceled or rescheduled, we found that students and their families desired for us to offer something” says Brondyke.
After several weeks of brainstorming and creating, the Connect team designed an online program called “Connect 2020-A Virtual Online Experience.” The program took place over five days, intertwining elements of spiritual practice, theological discussions and worship. The program took a unique approach by using an online streaming platform to stream its morning sessions and evening worship and Zoom for theological classroom discussions and evening hangouts.
“I’m so glad that we could continue ‘The Connect Experience’ virtually. It was as authentic and immersive as it would have been if we were able to meet on campus” said one high school attendee. “Though it was virtual, it still welcomed me into such a genuine community. The Lord still spoke to me this week through people, theology and meditation,” stated incoming NCWC freshman, Madison Moore. Connect YTI plans to continue finding creative and beneficial ways to offer students safe spaces to explore and deepen their faith. They have also provided free access to all of this summer’s sessions on YouTube. For more information on the program and the work they are doing, visit ncwc.edu/youththeologyinstitute and follow @NCWConnectYTI on Facebook and Instagram.
ROCKY MOUNT, NORTH CAROLINA – North Carolina Wesleyan College recently welcomed Dr. Jason Modlin as its new Dean of Students. Modlin comes to Wesleyan from Louisburg College, where he previously served as Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students.
Among his many accomplishments at Louisburg College, Modlin was instrumental in developing a Residence Hall Mentor program, an innovative approach to staffing residence halls with full-time professional relationship-builders. He also led a short-term retention effort that increased fall-to-fall retention by 7% over the previous year.
Modlin holds a Doctorate in Higher Education Leadership from the University of North Carolina Wilmington. With a 25-year career in small, private higher education, he brings a wealth of knowledge to NCWC.
In his role as Dean of Students at NC Wesleyan, Modlin will be responsible for overseeing all student affairs operations, including the departments of Health & Wellness, Campus Life, Residential Life, Religious Life and Food Services. He will also serve as the Chief Judicial Officer of the College and the Title IX Coordinator and Adjudicator. Modlin assumes the role of Dean of Students from Dr. Molly Wyatt who had previously taken on the responsibilities of both Interim Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean of Students.
“NC Wesleyan is fortunate to have brought in a highly-qualified and experienced Student Affairs professional who is both familiar with the small private college environment as well as the Eastern North Carolina region, stated Dr. Molly Wyatt, Interim Provost. “Dr. Modlin is making a big impact already, having had a summer forum with the College’s traditional students and contributing to reopening plans and retention strategies.” Modlin is a long-time resident of Nash County and currently resides near Red Oak with his wife, Ami, and their three daughters.
Join us on a Webinar learn about the impact of COVID-19 on our local education systems and find out what the next steps will be for the Fall 2020 school year. All proceeds are going to Tackle the Tar which will support our local students for scholarships at Edgecombe and Nash Community Colleges and North Carolina Wesleyan College.
Webinar Panel Featuring:
Dr. Valerie Bridges, Superintendent, Edgecombe County Public Schools
Dr. Evan Duff, President North Carolina Wesleyan College
Dr. Steve Ellis, Superintendent, Nash-Rocky Mount Public Schools
Dr. Lew Hunnicutt, President Nash Community College
Dr. Gregory McLeod, President, Edgecombe Community College
Contract Extended Through 2023
ROCKY MOUNT, NORTH CAROLINA – Dr. Evan D. Duff has been named the eighth President of North Carolina Wesleyan College. The announcement came early this month from Dr. Dan Crocker, Chair of the Board of Trustees for the College.
Duff was appointed as Acting President by the Board of Trustees on June 10, 2019 and later accepted a two-year contract as Interim President. Following recent discussions with faculty and staff, a consensus decision was made by the Board of Trustees in their May 29 assembly to appoint Duff as President and extend his contract for an additional two years. The extension positions Duff as President for the College through May 31, 2023.
In his statement to faculty and staff, Dr. Crocker, Chair of the Board, noted “the remarkable manner in which Dr. Duff took the reins since last summer, leading both efficiently and effectively.” He also mentioned “the extraordinary financial turnaround [of the College] in just one year with Evan at the helm.”
Over the last year, Dr. Duff has worked diligently with the Provost and faculty to develop new academic programs, namely Wesleyan’s new RN to BSN Program, set to begin this fall. In collaboration with faculty, staff and the Board of Trustees, he has been instrumental in developing a new vision, core values and a comprehensive strategic plan for the College, while providing significant leadership in the College’s efforts to finalize the educational space of Wesleyan’s new Indoor Sports and Education Facility, currently under construction.
The Executive Advisory Committee of the Board agreed to complete a yearly formal presidential assessment, which is currently in-process under the leadership of Dr. Andrew Stern, Chair of NC Wesleyan’s Faculty Council. Critiques from this assessment will be a valuable resource for both the Board of Trustees and Dr. Duff as he continues to lead the College.
“I am humbled by this opportunity that the Board has granted me, and I look forward to serving the faculty, staff, students, alumni, area churches and the community as we all continue to ensure the mission of the College is met. There is no greater time than the present to ensure our students are informed and educated citizens who are passionate about being positive change agents,” said Dr. Duff.
ROCKY MOUNT, NORTH CAROLINA – North Carolina Wesleyan College continues to build upon its already robust Admissions Team by welcoming new Admissions Counselor, Ashley Anderson. Ashley began on June 1 and will represent the College in the local territories of Nash, Edgecombe, Wilson, Franklin and Halifax counties, as well as Wake county private schools, starting in August 2020.
Ashley is from Wilson, North Carolina and an alumna of NC Wesleyan. She graduated magna cum laude in 2018 with degrees in Psychology and Criminal Justice. As a student, she gained invaluable experience in the Admissions Office as a Tour Guide and Student Ambassador. Upon graduation, she went to work for Truist (formerly BB&T) as a Retirement & Institutional Services Support Specialist. In this role, she was cross-trained in multiple positions allowing her to obtain various skills in customer service through interacting with a variety of clients daily.
“We are excited to welcome Ashley back to NC Wesleyan! During the interview process, there were many worthy and qualified applicants; however, her experiences and passion for the College add great value to our office, as she will be a significant resource for prospective students,” stated Paige Price Wells, Assistant Director of Admissions-Recruitment. NC Wesleyan looks forward to welcoming students back to campus this fall and having the Class of 2024 join the Bishop Family.
Catherine Leake, a senior political science major, has been selected to represent North Carolina’s 1st Congressional District as a delegate to the 2020 Democratic National Convention! This is a great honor, as there are only about 4,000 delegates selected nationwide.