Category Archives: Press Releases

NCC Announces Campus Reading Program



“Nash Reads” is a Nash Community College campus-wide reading program designed to inspire as many people as possible on campus and beyond to read a selected book. This year Nash Community College is encouraging students, faculty, staff and community members to read The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates by Wes Moore, and to participate in related discussions and activities.

Nash Reads is a co-curricular activity designed to foster a sense of community through a shared reading experience that promotes academic discourse, integrates social and academic experiences, and encourages service to the community campus-wide or beyond.

How can you participate?

• Read the book! Check it out at the NCC Library, or purchase at the NCC Campus Store.
• Encourage others to read the book.
• Attend one of the following events:

Nash Reads 2017-2018 Events

Mentoring Fair, Wed. Aug. 30, 2017 – 11:00 am-1:00 pm, Midway Cafe
Organizations from across the community whose mission it is to mentor, assist, guide, or educate others to lead fulfilling lives will be on hand in the Midway Cafe on Wed. Aug 30 from 11:00 am-1:00 pm. Students who visit at least three organizations to learn more, see how they can be helped, or provide service will receive a free lunch.

Panel Discussion: The Impact of Choice, Wed. Oct. 25, 2017 – 3:00 pm, Room 2206 (Building A)
The Nash Reads book selection, The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates, chronicles the lasting impact choices make in our lives. This panel discussion will feature community members who have personal and professional experience with both sides of the criminal justice system. Light refreshments will be served.

Book Discussion, Tue. Nov. 7, 2017 – 12:30-1:30 pm, Room 4103 (Building D)
All are welcome to explore the themes and startling discoveries of The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates. Light refreshments will be served.

Panel Discussion: Impacting Our Community, Wed. Mar. 14, 2018 – 3:00 pm, Room 2206 (Building A)
The community that the two Wes Moores grew up in shaped their beliefs and influenced their choices. This panel discussion will feature community organizations striving to address the challenges vulnerable populations face and assist in building stronger communities able to meet the needs of its members. Light refreshments will be served.

National Library Week Activities – April 8-14, 2018

For more information, call 252-451-8308.

NCC Welcomes New Small Business Center Director


Theresa PeadenNash Community College has named Theresa Peaden ​as ​Small Business Center ​D​irector upon the retirement of former Director Fred Brooks.
Peaden, of Wilson,​ held the position of Small Business Center ​D​irector at Wake Technical Community College since August 2014. In her tenure there, the Center was responsible for creating and retaining more than 300 jobs, and assisting nearly​ ​100 new business start-ups. Prior to joining Wake Tech, Peaden was the ​D​irector of Continuing Education at Wilson Community College. Additionally, she previously served as Small Business Center ​Director at Edgecombe Community College.​ Peaden, a community college graduate, earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business/Psychology from Barton College.

“The college is proud to have Ms. Peaden’s expertise as part of our Continuing Education Department,”​ Dean Carla Dunston said. “Her extensive experience with the N​orth Carolina Community College System Small Business Center Network, and with community partnerships, Chambers of Commerce, and other entrepreneurial and economic development service providers, will benefit ​our Center’s clients and the local community. As a Nash County native, she understands the unique needs of the area.”

The Nash Community College Small Business Center provides free, confidential counseling services for new and existing businesses, as well as free seminars, a complimentary resource center, business and industry training and local educational partnerships. For more information, please call 252-451-8233.

Student Saves Thousands by Enrolling in College During High School



Sarah Donnelly of Rocky Mount enrolled in Nash Community College’s Career and College Promise program during her junior and senior years at Northern Nash High School. She graduated last spring with a high school diploma and 28 college credits including a certificate in Criminal Justice.

Donnelly has been accepted at East Carolina University. All of her Nash Community College credits will transfer with her to the university in the fall. “Career and College Promise saved me about a year, and approximately $17,000 in university tuition,” she said.

Donnelly is pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice and aspires to be a lawyer. “I have already met quite a few of the upperclassmen at ECU and I am very excited to be living on campus,” she said.

The Career and College Promise program allows eligible students to enroll in college classes during high school and earn college credits with tuition waived. Upon graduation or completion of a certificate or pathway, students may continue working toward an associate degree, or transfer into a university.

The Career and College Promise program is a great way for motivated high school juniors and seniors to get a head start on college and career training. Whether students are planning to transfer to a university or prepare for a technical career after high school, the Career and College Promise program offers pathways for them to meet their college goals.

Dual enrolled students may choose from four options: an Associate in Arts Pathway, Associate in Science Pathway, Associate in Engineering Pathway or from Career and Technical Education Pathways. Full-time NCC students save on average $6,000 in tuition and fees per semester compared to students enrolled at four-year colleges and universities.

“My mom, Melanie Thompson, was such a strong supporter throughout my high school years and in my decision to participate in the Nash Community College Career and College Promise program,” Donnelly said. “If you have the chance to be a part of the program; take it. It is really an opportunity to not only get ahead, but to meet amazing new people. I am glad I chose Nash because I got a feel for what college life is like before heading to ECU.”

This year, 845 students earned 1,167 degrees, diplomas and certificates. Recent data show more than 82 percent of NCC transfer students performed at or above a 2.0 grade point average in their first year at a university.

Students interested in Career and College Promise at NCC should meet with their high school counselor or home school principal to discuss options and eligibility. They may choose one College Transfer pathway, one or two Career and Technical Education pathways, or a combination of one College Transfer and one Career and Technical Education pathway.

For more information, visit call 252-451-8244. “My experience with Nash is one that will never be matched by another,” Donnelly said.

NCC Offers Options for High School Equivalency Credential


Nash Community College is now offering a five-week High School Equivalency program. Provided through the NCC Continuing Education College and Career Readiness program, the “Boot Camp” is a multi–subject course that integrates the Social Studies, Reading, Writing, Science, and Math skills necessary to pass the High School Equivalency examinations. Students attend classes daily, take practice tests in the Learning Lab as the week progresses, and then take the official examinations each Thursday night or Friday morning. Because of the fast– paced nature of this course, perfect attendance, and adequate placement test scores are required.

“It took a lot of discipline, sacrifice, and soul-searching to get from where I began to where I am today. Along this journey I have learned a lot of things. I learned that before I could be the best student I could be, the best father to my children, and the best husband to my wife, I first needed to get myself together and work on becoming the best man I could be,” NCC ​High School Equivalency Boot Camp graduate William Gorham said. He was among NCC’s first boot camp cohort graduates in May.

Students in the NCC High School Equivalency program score at or above a ninth grade level in Reading and Math. Individuals interested in a traditional paced class may be placed in graduated Math and Writing courses following an orientation. When students feel comfortable they may take the exams for completion. NCC offers the GED, HiSET, and the TASC in its testing center.

“Even beyond my goal of obtaining my High School Equivalency diploma, the College & Career Readiness program has helped me plan the next steps to my future and I am proud to say that I have transitioned and am currently enrolled in the Culinary Arts program at Nash, and I will not stop until I receive that degree,” Gorham said.

The NCC College and Career Readiness Department serves students without a High School Diploma with a completely free program. The programs offered include: Foundational Adult Basic Education, Adult Basic Education, High School Equivalency, Basic Skills Plus, College & Career Readiness Bridge Courses and Adult High School. For more information, call 252-451-8216.

Children learn from engineers at STEM camp



Students attending Nash Community College’s Youth Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Camp heard from Professional Engineer David Causey, assistant director of the Energy Production & Infrastructure Center at the The William States Lee College of Engineering at UNC Charlotte. Jade Mantell, Manufacturing Engineer at Cummins – Rocky Mount Engine Plant also made a presentation during the camp. The two explained their roles in the industry, and discussed career opportunities within STEM. Throughout the week, campers will learn about careers in biotechnology, zoology, human and molecular genetics, wildlife biology and more. For more information about Nash Community College summer camps, call 252-451-8216.


NCC’s 49th BLET Academy graduates

BLET Group_01

Front row, from left:  Dylan Justin Price, Rocky Mount; Bradley Aaron Demuth, Nashville; Curtis Wayne Batchelor, Nashville; James B. Ellis Jr., Elm City;  Myers Parker Helms IV, Nashville; John Chester Wilson, Youngsville; Joshua Wade Bulloch, Franklinton; Back row, from left:  John Scott Mizelle, Nashville; Kevin Christian Livesay, Zebulon; Christopher Martin Hendricks, Battleboro; Rickey Kevin Mercer, Rocky Mount; Daniel Sterling Wheeless, Macclesfield; Major Herman Spruill, Rocky Mount; Devin Alexander Hicks, Louisburg; Justin McCoy, Nashville.


Cadets from Nash Community College’s 49th Basic Law Enforcement Training academy graduated Wednesday, May 31 in the NCC Brown Auditorium. Martin Victor McKoy, Sr., retired captain from Rocky Mount Police Department, addressed the graduates. “Matters of great importance to us are never performed casually,” McKoy said. “Each of these young men certainly exuberates honor, pride and courage.”

The NCC BLET training includes physical and classroom state commission mandated topics and methods of instruction covering topics such as criminal, juvenile, civil, traffic, and alcohol beverage laws, investigative, patrol, custody, and court procedures, emergency responses, ethics, community relations and more.

“Can we begin to imagine what our society would look like if we did not have men and women willing to stand in line and sign up for such an awesome responsibility,” McKoy asked. “Today we celebrate the accomplishments of these men for their perseverance in going through this class.”

Nash Community College has trained law enforcement officers through its BLET program since 1999. More than 500 cadets have completed the NCC BLET program and gone into their communities to serve and protect local citizens, many employed within the Twin Counties. Because of the regional reputation of the program, and due to its quality and growth along with the College’s superior in-service law enforcement training, Nash Community College expanded the BLET training options with the opening of the Center for Advanced Law Enforcement Training in the new Continuing Education and Public Services Building.

The college will offer a day and night BLET academy beginning August 15. To enroll, or for more information, call 252-451-8298 or email In addition to Basic Law Enforcement Training, Nash serves as a regional training facility for continuous and comprehensive in-service training for individuals already employed in criminal justice occupations. For more information, visit


NCC Fire Academy Graduates Recognized


Nash Community College Recruit Firefighter Class #011717 graduated in Brown Auditorium at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, June 6, 2017. Nash County Emergency Services Deputy Director Scott Rogers was the guest speaker. “You are entering the greatest and most satisfying but yet the most hazardous occupation in this country,” Rogers told the graduates.

Five graduates were recognized for completing the program which is designed to provide individuals and firefighters the information and skills needed for modern firefighting through a variety of learning experiences and training scenarios.

Rogers described four characteristics necessary for fire services professionals: a high level of professionalism, passion for the career, dedication to a particular course of action, and pride in the firefighter role. “Remember whatever goals you seek to achieve are there for the taking. Start reaching for them when you leave this ceremony tonight. May you each work to make the fire service that I love better than you found it,” he said.


The graduates include (pictured from left): Cesar Espinoza, Whitakers Fire Department; Justin Lee, Momeyer Fire Department; Andrew Doran, Enfield Fire Department; James Lynn, Spring Hope Fire Department and Erguin Turcios, Stony Creek Fire and Rescue.

NCC fire classes are often taken directly to firefighters through training sessions held in local departments and at training sites throughout the community. For more information, visit

Community college offers Human Services Technology degree online



Nash Online has added four new fully online options to Nash Community College’s degrees, diplomas, and certificates. The Early Childhood Education degree with Special Education concentration is one of the new programs. “We partner with East Carolina University to provide the 2+2 Special Education degree completely online. Students can take their first two years online through NCC, and then complete the remainder of their four-year degree online with ECU. These programs complement the Middle Grade and Elementary Education online partnership we already had with the university,” Nash Online Department Chair Lane Freeman explained.

Two other programs now taught online are in the field of human services technology: an Associate Degree in Human Services Technology and a Case Management Certificate. To ensure the academic quality of its offerings, Nash Online employs instructors like Crystal Garris-Gowen who work in their field of study and bring work-based experiences into the virtual classroom.

Garris-Gowen found a way to marry her love for advocacy and family into a profession that allows her do what she loves while teaching others about it. She initially planned to be a history teacher, but when her grandfather became ill and had to reside in a nursing home, her career goals shifted. “I spent many afternoons with him watching westerns and sharing a meal. I saw the inner workings of facilities,” Garris-Gowen said. “Some of them were pleasant, and others were not. I did not understand why families never visited their loved ones in nursing homes. By the time I had decided to declare my major at Barton College, I was torn.”

A Qualified Professional (QP) as deemed by North Carolina guidelines, Garris-Gowen holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in History, a Bachelor of Science degree in Social Work, Master of Arts degree in Adult Education, and Master of Science degree in Psychology. Her resume includes experience as social worker, case manager, care coordinator, and supervisor. Currently employed at Eastpointe in Rocky Mount as a care coordinator, Garris-Gowen serves individuals with developmental disabilities. “My goal is to help my students understand the impact they have on the individuals they serve.”

Very strong personal connections to her profession continue to propel Garris-Gowen in her advocacy, career trajectory, and teaching. “My grandparents helped raise me, along with my parents. Their pronounced effect upon my life has truly molded my enthusiasm for educating others about gerontology and being a social worker,” she shared.

Nash Community College now offers 14 two-year degree programs entirely online. Freeman said this means even someone who lives in another state may be eligible to complete a program remotely. “The concept of Nash Online is groundbreaking for many people. University students who are seeking transfer credit but do not want to leave the comfort of their dorm may pick up classes without paying higher tuition prices at the university,” Freeman said. He advises students pursuing a four-year university degree to consider taking their first two years online through the community college.

From Nash Online’s Human Services Technology degree to Accounting, Emergency Management, Information Systems degrees and more, a variety of online two-year programs provide flexible options for individuals seeking two-year and four-year studies. For more information, call 252-451-8321.

Instructors provide unique perspectives in training for utility careers


Pictured above: Instructors Jon O’Boyle (left) and Brandon Shook

Nash Community College offers a degree, diploma and certificate in Electric Line Construction. For nearly 20 years, Nash has been the only college in North Carolina to provide this type of training.

The Electric Line Construction curriculum prepares students for line construction in rural and utility settings through laboratory and practical applications. NCC students master competencies including elements of electricity, overhead pole and electrical line construction, safety codes and applications, electric power system, transformer installations, and more. An emphasis on safety is embedded in the program as students earn OSHA, CDL and CPR certifications during training.

NCC Electric Line Construction instructors Jon O’Boyle and Brandon Shook provide unique perspectives for their students.  Their fathers are NCC professors, and both are NCC alumni.

“In 2009, I was working for a cable company. Though the pay was very competitive, I wanted more than a job, but a career in which I would find fulfillment. Through my employer, I learned about the electric line career and I thought it was a very admirable profession,” O’Boyle said. However, even with relevant field experience, employers told O’Boyle he would have to complete Nash’s program before they would consider him for employment. Heeding their advice, he entered the NCC Lineman Academy and graduated in 2010. O’Boyle began teaching in the program in 2014.

Shook graduated from NCC’s Academy in 2005 and spent more than a decade working as a lineman in the field. He cites his desire to help others learn about the profession as his reason for his move into academia in 2016. Shook is a third generation community college instructor.

Both O’Boyle and Shook recall their careers as field linemen fondly, saying the challenges, excitement and comradery of storm work are what they enjoyed most. “It was great traveling to help other companies, meeting other utility workers, seeing how they do things and ultimately getting people’s power back on,” O’Boyle said. “It is an amazing feeling to have people come out of their homes and cheer for you when you respond to help them during a time of need.”

These instructors bring real-world experiences to the classroom. “The best part about being an instructor is hearing about students after they get hired. When a crew foreman tells me one of our graduates really hit the ground running and is moving up quickly within their profession, it lets me know I did my job as an instructor,” O’Boyle said.

If someone is considering the program O’Boyle explained they need to be ready for challenging days, mentally and physically, that will prove to be a rewarding experience. “Once students successfully complete the training, they can go anywhere they want. There is a huge demand for linemen across the industry due to retirement,” O’Boyle said. After completing the NCC program and obtaining a third class certificate, students are ready for an entry-level position as an electric line worker.

“NCC enjoys strong longstanding relationships with major employers in the utility industry. Employers such as Duke Energy, North Carolina’s Electric Membership Cooperatives, ElectriCities of North Carolina and others often visit campus for training and recruiting, and remark that NCC serves as a primary feeder for employees seeking careers with their companies,” Vice President of Corporate and Economic Development Wendy Marlowe said. North Carolina’s Electric Membership Cooperatives were on Nash Community College’s campus recently completing Overhead Line Construction III training on the Electric Line Construction training field. The week-long course introduced energized line work while teaching the proper use of aerial lifts and application of rubber protective equipment.

“Line Construction graduates have options. They may seek employment with their local municipality or cooperative and be home most nights, or they could travel the country as a contractor building power lines,” O’Boyle said. O’Boyle, of Wendell, is an authorized Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Outreach Trainer, and a graduate of Nash’s Electric Line Construction Technologies Associate Degree program. Shook holds a North Carolina Department of Commerce Journeyman Lineman card, and graduated from NCC’s Electric Line Academy. He resides in Rocky Mount.

For more information, please call 252-451-8379.

NCC grad wins contest and assistance with small business start-up

Kristopher Gupton

Kristopher Gupton

Recent Nash Community College graduate Kristopher Gupton of Littleton has been selected among applicants throughout the United States to receive $4,825 in seed money supporting the establishment of his small business, H&K Farms.

Gupton earned the Entrepreneur Award as a member of the National Society of Leadership and Success at Nash Community College. To be considered for the award, students were required to be a member of the national organization and seeking to start a mission-based business that will positively impact society or will have a portion of the proceeds going to charity. Applicants submitted a business plan, letters of recommendation, budget and information about the potential for future growth.

Gupton grew up in a community of farmers, and worked in farming as a youth before joining the United States Army. Upon returning from service, he became a full-time farm employee. He enrolled in Nash Community College’s Associate in Science College Transfer program working toward a degree in Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology with a focus in Botany. Gupton graduated from NCC in May 2017 and will continue his undergraduate studies at Appalachian State University.

Soon-to-be wed Kristopher Gupton and Heather Bryant, H&K Farms owners, recently purchased their first home and the farm in Collettsville, NC which will be a veteran-owned and family operated business specializing in herbs, berries, and other crops used in mixology. “Our sweet basil will be raised naturally, and our main seed supplier will be Johnny’s Selected Seeds,” Gupton said. “Due to the fact that our herbs are raised naturally, we will provide a service to our community, state, and nation by enabling a better, healthier way of life.”

“H&K Farms will provide local breweries, restaurants and community members an alternate source of basil as America continues to move away from genetically modified organisms, or GMOs,” Gupton said. “The location of our operation allows us to effectively distribute the produce to several locally-owned microbreweries and restaurants with close proximity to many farmer’s markets. Being close to a major university has its benefits given the demand of the produce used in distillation and neighborhood dishes.” H&K Farms is pursuing organic certification avoiding the use of most synthetic pesticides found in conventional agriculture and ensuring the quality and health of the basil grown.

Gupton will use the awarded funds to purchase necessary equipment and hardware including a high tunnel greenhouse, lumber for raised garden beds, and hardware for an irrigation system. He was selected in a national Facebook social media poll. As part of the application process, Gupton submitted a video produced by Nash Community College’s Studio 67 which is available at

The National Society of Leadership and Success is the nation’s largest leadership honor society. Students are selected by Nash Community College for membership based on either academic standing or leadership potential. Candidacy is a nationally recognized achievement of honorable distinction.

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