Alamance Community College alumni, faculty, staff, and students were honored by the College Thursday evening at the 2018 Celebrating Excellence Awards, hosted by the ACC Board of Trustees and the ACC Foundation Board of Directors. This year’s event held at the Alamance Country Club in Burlington, honors those who have achieved distinction through hard work and dedication.
Among those who spoke at the event were Dr. Algie Gatewood, ACC President; Scott Queen, Executive Vice President; Fairfax Reynolds, President of the ACC Foundation Board of Directors; and Carolyn Rhode, Vice President of Institutional Advancement and Executive Director of the ACC Foundation.
2018 Distinguished Alumnus
Leon Saul has been a business leader in Alamance County for many years. He is an Alamance County native and a graduate of Western Alamance High School. After he graduated from Western, he enrolled at Technical Institute of Alamance, where he earned an Associate Degree in Business Administration in 1974. Using those skills, he went to work with his father at the small family plumbing business, and together they expanded it greatly over the years. Now known as Willie Saul & Son Plumbing, the organization has grown from four employees to 27. The business provides service to up to 30 residential, commercial and light industrial customers per day. Services include new construction and remodeling, repair, water treatment, drains, sewers and pumps. Saul also gives back to the community through such organizations as Civitans, youth sports teams, and his church, New Life at Hocutt. He is a church elder, runs a ministry for young men and has traveled to Romania eight times as part of mission work. He has been instrumental in reviving the plumbing program at ACC, donating equipment, time, classroom space, and committing to hire graduates. One of his favorite activities is teaching a class on pumps.
The Distinguished Alumni Award is for an alumnus who has achieved a significant level of professional success as a direct result from the education gained at ACC.
At the Celebrating Excellence event, Saul was awarded the Presidential Medallion. The medallion was designed by Jesse Vaughn, retired Mechanical Drafting Technology instructor, and crafted by faculty and students in the Computer-Integrated Machining Department. Made of brass, the medallion features the college seal and a blue ribbon.
2018 Inspiration Award
Rosa Davis, a 1991 graduate of ACC’s Associate Degree in Nursing program, initiated and runs the Wings to Recovery program at the Cone Health Cancer Center at Alamance Regional. In that role, she is committed to the survival of all cancer patients and to matching each patient with a survivor who has completed cancer treatment. Through the Wings to Recovery program, current patients are provided with hope, inspiration and additional support. She is also known for her expertise in chemotherapy infusion. Always seeking to improve, Davis is on track to earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing in the fall of 2018. Her colleagues at the Cancer Center note that it is an honor to work alongside Davis, and that her life truly is an inspiration to current nursing and allied health students at ACC.
Other nominees for the Alumni Awards were:
Ravonda Cole, Owner of CMIT Solutions of Chapel Hill
William S. Horn, Retired Biomedical Equipment Engineer from the Clinical Engineering Department at Duke University Medical Center
Kenneth W. Knight, Retired Engineer and small business owner
Sgt. Jennifer Matherly, Burlington Police Department
Jonathan R. Richardson, Law Office of Jonathan Richardson, PLLC
Caroline S. Sykes, Director of Sunrise Corner at UNC Horizons Child Development Center
Also recognized were (below, from left):
Shekitha Rogers, Financial Aid Specialist, as Staff Member of the Year
Courtney Doi, English Instructor and Coordinator of the Writing Across the Curriculum Program, as Excellence in Teaching recipient
Jody Bussell, Computer-Aided Mechanical Drafting Instructor, as Adjunct Faculty Member of the Year
Beth Snow, Academic and Career Readiness Instructor, as Workforce Development Instructor of the Year
Christina Causey, Student Academic Excellence Award Recipient, of Burlington returned to college at age 34 after finding the job market difficult with only a high school diploma to her name. She has since earned an Associate in Applied Science in Business Administration and an Accounting Certificate, both with honors. This fall she will transfer to The Bryan School of Business at UNC Greensboro. Christina has received high assessments from her business instructors at ACC. As ACC Accounting Instructor Jeannette Blackburn commented, “Chris is one of the best students I have taught in my 23 years.” She has received straight A’s in her required English classes as well.
Mikayla Moore, Governor Robert W. Scott Student Leadership Award Nominee, of Mebane received this award because she is not only an exceptional student, she is an dedicated advocate for and leader within her Native American community, the Occaneechi Band of the Saponi Nation. In that capacity, she has tirelessly presented to schools, libraries and in the community about the Occaneechi Band, its history and its positive values. Some of the organizations that have invited her to speak include Leadership Alamance, May Memorial and Mebane Public Libraries, the Raleigh American Indian Heritage Celebration and Healthy Native North Carolinians. She is one of the first members of the new Honors program at ACC. As an inaugural member, she has helped facilitate service activities and stepped forward to provide classroom leadership. After completion of her Associate in Science Degree, Mikayla plans to transfer to UNC Chapel Hill to pursue a pre-med degree.
Edith Smith, Dallas Herring Achievement Award Nominee, of Mebane came back to school after her children were born. She knew she wanted to get a college degree, but she was not at all sure about what her major would be. Despite this, she threw herself into her studies and Sociology Instructor, John Neathery notes her high level of preparation for every class and activity. Edith eventually chose the University Transfer program, and will continue her education at UNC-Greensboro. Edith attributes her success to the dedication of her instructors, the opportunity to participate in extra-curriculars and her own hard work. While at ACC, she was elected president of the Spanish Club, vice-president of Sigma Psi (the psychology/sociology club), was named a student ambassador, elected vice-president of the Spanish Honors Society, served as SGA secretary, and is a member of the National Society of Leadership and Success.