Monthly Archives: February 2014

NCC Representatives Meet with State Leaders


From left: NCC Student Government Association President James Horne, House Speaker Thom Tillis, NCC Student Activities Coordinator Kara Deans, NCC President Bill Carver and NCC Associate VP of Community and Governmental Affairs Keith Smith


Nash Community College was invited on behalf of the North Carolina Community College System to present an update to legislators in December regarding its successful developmental curricula redesign. System President Dr. Scott Ralls asked NCC President Dr. Bill Carver to share about the college’s progress in the redesign of developmental Math and English courses as part of the statewide Developmental Education Initiative. The goal of the state policy initiative is to accelerate student completion and success throughout the North Carolina Community College System.

Nash Community College has experienced particular success in this endeavor. “We refer to the developmental classes as fundamental because the Math and English skills obtained in the redesigned modules are truly fundamental to students’ future success,” President Bill Carver said. In fall 2013, student persistence in Developmental Math classes was 95 percent, up from an estimated 47 percent in Fall of 2011 when the reforms began in earnest.  Over the same period, student persistence in Developmental English increased from an estimated 59 percent to 85 percent. “We are pleased with the improvement being made in fundamental studies as a result of the redesigned coursework. In order for students to progress to higher modules, persistence must increase,” he said. In the fall 2013 semester, 73 percent of NCC students in fundamental Math courses progressed to the next level, up from an estimated 53 percent in Fall of 2011. The reforms in fundamental English just began in Fall 2013, but that semester 78 percent of the students in the highest level fundamental class progressed to curriculum classes, as opposed to an estimated 56 percent overall progression rate in Fall 2011.

This month, in a second visit with members of the General Assembly, representatives from Nash Community College’s Board of Trustees, student body, administration and staff delivered a resolution urging the leaders to support North Carolina’s economic prosperity through the investment in the Community College System. Nash Community College aids North Carolina in increasing its competitive advantage by developing and training a quality workforce essential to economic prosperity, and also assists families by providing high-quality, cost-effective, relevant education and training for advanced careers. An increased investment will help Nash continue to support employers in closing the skills gap, and thereby create opportunities for expansion and retention.

Nash Community College students and administrators challenged the group to invest in North Carolina’s future by authorizing an investment of $32 million in the State’s community colleges to fund a fourth tier of instruction that will prepare students for immediate employment in higher-paying jobs in the health sciences, engineering, construction, manufacturing, transportation, and biotechnology fields. This investment will enable the college to continue meaningful workforce preparation. The call to action further requested an increase in funding at all tier levels to help the college in continuing to improve the quality of instruction and student support and ensuring all programs have the resources necessary for the twenty-first century economy.

Additionally, college representatives requested that the General Assembly recognize the importance of Nash Community College faculty and staff by appropriating funds to support a salary increase reflecting the value they provide to the State as highly trained, experienced and dedicated employees who are essential to student success, but whose salaries are significantly less than the national average.



College Awarded for United Way Contributions


Nash Community College has received the United Way Bronze Award for the campus’ contributions to the recent campaign. The college led a high-spirited campaign with fun activities serving the purpose of helping thousands of people in need throughout Nash and Edgecombe Counties. United Way campaign awards are given to organizations that attain at least $30 per capita giving and 25 percent employee participation. Nash Community College employees contributed nearly $18,000. Pictured from left: United Way Tar River Region Executive Director Ginny Mohrbutter with campus campaign leaders NCC Vice President for Instruction and Chief Academic Officer Dr. Trent Mohrbutter, NCC Student Activities Coordinator Kara Deans and NCC Director of Human Resources Susan Barkalow.

NCC Provides Job-Driven Training for Relevant, Employable Fields


Nash Community College continues to offer and enhance programs equipping students for immediate employment in thriving career fields. This has been a call to action by President Barack Obama urging federal leaders to support training efforts that prepare students for available jobs in fields that need qualified workers now. In a January 30, 2014 memorandum on job-driven training for workers, presented to the secretaries of Commerce, Labor, and Education, President Obama wrote: “Giving workers the opportunity to acquire the skills that they need to pursue in-demand jobs and careers is critical to growing our economy, ensuring that everyone who works hard is rewarded, and building a strong middle class.”

Through an Industrial and Advanced Manufacturing (IAM) Academy at Nash Community College, high school students can fast track to careers by completing as many as 19 hours of college credit during high school. With the IAM Academy, students may explore career pathway options in Computer Engineering, Computer-Integrated Machining, Electronics Engineering, Industrial Systems, Mechatronics and Welding. The IAM Academy is offered through support of the North Carolina Advanced Manufacturing Alliance.

Additionally, with programs like Career and College Promise, Nash Community College (NCC) offers motivated high school juniors and seniors a head start career training and college. The program prepares eligible high school students for life after high school regardless of a student’s plans, by providing focused preparation at no cost tuition to the student.

According to the President’s memo, his proposed action plan would provide “support for secondary and post-secondary education and training entities to equip individuals with the skills, competencies, and credentials necessary to help them obtain jobs, increase earnings, and advance their careers and make available to workers, job seekers, and employers the best information regarding job demand, skills matching, supports, and education, training, and career options, as well as innovative approaches to training using learning science and advanced technology.”

NCC’s Career and College Promise program offers Career Technical Education and College Transfer pathways that equip students with the skills President Obama referred to in his memorandum regarding job-driven training. The Career Technical Education Pathway provides high school students in a career cluster program an opportunity to enroll in a Nash Community College program aligning with their high school program. In the last year, Nash Community College has experienced a 44 percent increase in students enrolled in the College and Career Promise program which also includes an Early College pathway.

Students in the Career Technical Education pathway have the opportunity for internships with local industry partners preparing them with real-world, hands-on experience for available jobs. They may explore careers in Advertising and Graphic Design, Architecture, Automotive, Computer-Integrated Machining, Cosmetology, Criminal Justice, Electronics Engineering, Emergency Preparedness Technology, Networking, Web Design and Welding. “Despite recent employment growth, far too many hard-working individuals still have not been able to find a job or increase their earnings, and many businesses report difficulty hiring workers with the right skills for jobs that they want to fill,” Obama’s memo continued. Last year, Nash Community College’s Career Technical Education pathway had a 63 percent increase in enrollment.

By choosing the College Transfer Pathway, high school students planning to attend a four-year college, can complete some core general education classes required during the first two years of a four-year degree. The freshman and sophomore level courses introduce the students to areas of study that develop breadth of outlook and contribute to balanced development. This training is complementary to, but different in emphasis from, the specialized training one receives for a job, a profession, or a major in a particular field of study.

“It is critical that the Federal Government ensure that its policies and programs in the workforce and training system are designed to equip the Nation’s workers with skills matching the needs of employers looking to hire,” President Obama’s memo said. “To achieve this goal, employers must identify the skills and credentials required for in-demand jobs and help develop training programs; workers and job seekers must have access to education and training that meets their unique needs and the requirements for good jobs and careers; and employers must have easy ways to find workers who have or can acquire those skills,” it said.

Alumni Association Spotlight: Nicole Sellers


“Since earning my Associate in Applied Science Degree in Information Systems Technology from Nash Community College in May of 2002, I have gone on to have a career in bank operations. NCC taught me a wide range of skills necessary for success in the fast paced environment of banking technology and operations,” Nicole Sellers said. “Today, I work as a banking analyst reviewing deposit activity in effort to prevent loss by monitoring accounts. It’s an exciting path, and I know choosing Nash was the right decision for me and my family. The real-world training I received helps me perform my job efficiently each day.”

Nicole Sellers, NCC Alumna

Local Leaders Become NCC Students for a Day


Leadership Twin Counties visited Nash Community College Tuesday, February 11th during their focus on local higher education. In an early morning mock orientation, Nash Community College Math Professor Dina Pitt told the local leaders to prepare for success as they became students for a day. “We will help you every step of the way. It will be a challenging experience, but a fun one and you will leave here prepared for success,” Pitt said. She defined “blue love” which refers to NCC’s culture of making every student feel welcome, assisting students in reaching their educational goals, ensuring proper advising and helping them overcome barriers to learning.

After ‘new student’ orientation, the group tested their memory at math equations in the college’s Math Tank. They experienced firsthand the challenges some students face returning to school years after taking math classes. In 2011, Nash Community College introduced the interactive Math Tank equipped with computers for student use, faculty work stations, 70” LCD displays for student viewing from all angles of the room, wireless touch screen controllers and a high definition video distribution system. The only one of its kind in the area, the space is designed to facilitate student learning during fundamental studies.

Biology class offered Leadership Twin Counties participants a chance to explore microscopes and hands-on learning activities like Nash Community College students participate in each day. In the English Studio, which opened in 2012, they worked alongside current students using proven methods supporting self-paced learning, peer interaction and instructor feedback. After English, the ‘students’ ended their day in an ACA-115 Success and Study Skills class. The class, which is required for all degree-seeking students, provides an orientation to campus resources and academic skills necessary to achieve educational objectives. Topics such as study skills, research skills, self-assessment, wellness, goal-setting, and critical thinking are taught in the class.

Nash Community College takes very seriously its commitment of graduating every student. Whether students are on campus for a day, or are lifelong learners, the college offers an inviting student-focused environment with instructional tools, academic support and technology to facilitate learning for all students.

Alumni Association Spotlight: Lauren Bailey


NCC Culinary Arts graduate Lauren Bailey, left, with Chef Jacques Torres

“Challenge yourself and learn something new every day,” NCC Culinary Arts graduate Lauren Bailey said. “Put these two items on your to do list and you’ll never be bored.” As a student, Lauren worked at Rose Hill Conference Center and was far from boredom. Today, she is fulfilling her dream, serving as a Sous Chef at Borgne Restaurant in New Orleans, Louisiana. Borgne is the latest Chef John Besh restaurant, with Brian Landry serving as Executive Chef.

Champagne Panna Cotta with Candied Grapes prepared by Lauren Bailey for her friends

After graduating from Northern Nash High School in 2003, Lauren Bailey headed to Stanford University to pursue a Bachelor of Arts degree in Film and Media Studies. She graduated from Stanford in 2007 and moved to the “Hollywood of the East”, Wilmington, NC, to work as a production assistant. Several jobs later, Lauren developed an interest in Culinary Arts and decided to pursue a different career.

Octopus Marinating at Borgne Restaurant, New Orleans, LA

Lauren researched culinary schools all over the United States and after speaking with several people in the Nash-Rocky Mount community, she learned about the Culinary Arts program at Nash Community College. “I probably made one of the easiest and smartest decisions of my adult life.” While at Nash, Lauren received the NCC Foundation Business Technologies Departmental Scholarship. She comes from a long line of educators and realizes the importance of education.

Smoked Veal Breast – butternut squash, beluga lentils, cider aioli, pumpkin seeds served at Borgne Restaurant, New Orleans, LA

“Borgne is located right across the street from the Super Dome, so we are always serving a diverse group of people,” Lauren shared. “Besides Chef Brian Landry and Chef Besh, I have had the opportunity to work with some amazing chefs from all over the nation such as Chef Danny Bowien and Chef Jacques Torres.”

Burnt Sugar Bundt Cakes w Caramel Whiskey Frosting prepared by Lauren Bailey on her day off

“Nash Community College gave me a great foundation to get my culinary career started on the right foot. If it were not for my instructors, who had years and years of experience in the restaurant and catering industry, I do not think I could have excelled as quickly as I have,” she said. “I’m still learning every day, and I give credit to my instructors for helping me to understand that my career, just like my education at Nash Community College, is defined by the effort I put into it.”
{Photography by: Lauren Bailey}

Alumni Association Spotlight: Crystal Lynn Denton


“Three years ago I had no idea I would one day be walking across a stage to receive my Paramedic Certification. I was unsure of what I wanted to do for a career, other than work in healthcare. Then I received a flyer in the mail from Nash Community College advertising their Emergency Services Program. Right then I knew that was my calling. The classes were offered at night, which was convenient for me since I was already working a full-time job. The number of students per class is smaller than at a university, which allows more one-on-one time with the instructor. The instructors are highly experienced in the fields they are teaching, and make learning fun through lots of hands on activities.”

“After receiving my EMT-Basic certification I was able to get a job with Nash County EMS. I chose to continue my learning experience with Nash Community College and began their year-long Paramedic Program. It was a very challenging course, with a lot of classroom and field hours. However, the teachers put a lot of effort into the class, making each minute worthwhile. The classroom itself is full of materials and equipment to practice vitals skills used in EMS. Did I mention a fully stocked ambulance on campus for more learning experience? Nash Community College also works closely with the surrounding Emergency Services Departments to ensure their students are able to receive lots of real experience by allowing the students to do ride-alongs on the ambulances.”

“Through this, I was able to put my classroom skills to the test with real patients in true medical emergencies. Although it was a long, stressful year, completing the course and receiving my certification was a dream come true. I get to work my dream job, which honestly doesn’t feel like work at all! I could not have achieved all of this without Nash Community College!”

Crystal Lynn Denton
NCC Emergency Medical Services Graduate

Calling all Drama Alumni!


A recent Saturday rehearsal for the cast and band of the NCC drama production of Godspell

The Nash Community College Alumni Association is calling all former students who directed, acted, painted sets, lit up the stage (literally or figuratively), applied makeup or assisted with costumes or anything else for a Nash Community College drama production. We need your memories! This is the 10th year anniversary of Plaza Suite, the first Nash Community College dinner theater show. Anyone who has ever been a member of a drama production at Nash Community College is invited to celebrate during this year’s production of Godspell.

Send your memories, pictures and favorite quotes of your show to Jenny Braswell (Karen Nash in Plaza Suite) at These items will be used to decorate the auditorium during Godspell. Show times are: March 28th at 7PM, March 29th at 5PM (dinner theater), and March 30th at 2PM. The production is open to the public and alumni are encouraged to attend. Tickets will go on sale in early March.

Alumni Association Spotlight: Jennifer Stephenson


“I decided to go back to school later in life after I achieved the highest position as clinical manager at my job in a local doctor’s office. In 1998, my hard work paid off, and I graduated from Nash Community College’s Nursing Program,” Jennifer Stephenson said.


Jennifer’s story began in the early 1990’s when she decided it was the right time to change career fields and go back to school. After much consideration, Jennifer enrolled in the Nursing program at Nash Community College. She was married with a three-year-old daughter and had a very supportive husband; she knew it was the right time.


Jennifer graduated in 1998 with her degree in Nursing and was hired part-time by Nash Health Care Systems in the Emergency Department. Later, Jennifer went to work at the Bryant T. Aldridge Center, and today she serves as the Manager of HealthFirst Wellness Center, a service of Nash Health Care Systems. HealthFirst Wellness Center is an outpatient cardiopulmonary rehabilitation facility with a 250-member medically-based fitness center and community wellness offerings.


Jennifer also works to keep the employees of Nash Health Care Systems healthy as she oversees Employee Wellness Assessments at the hospital, and her department handles approximately 1,200 wellness assessments each year for hospital. She serves as an employee health coach and helps keep employees compliant with their wellness goals. Her department also handles employee wellness screenings for local organizations, including the City of Rocky Mount’s 850 employees.


Jennifer is very connected to the community and the work she does. She is an instructor for the Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) program at Nash Community College and a North Carolina Board of Nursing evaluator for the National Association for Credential Evaluation Services, the certification test CNAs must pass prior to being placed on the North Carolina Board of Nursing CNA registry. Jennifer is a personal trainer and group exercise instructor and is very active in the American Heart Association.


“Nash Community College made my dream of being a nurse a reality. I love my job and that I can help so many people,” she said.


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