College Honors Distinguished Alumni, Faculty, and Student Excellence

(Pictured) ACC Distinguished Alumni past and present included (from left) Daniel Danieley, 2008; Chief Brian Long, 2022; Jesse Long, 2013; Brian Woodard, Distinguished Alumnus 2023; Jack Overacre, 1999; Melissa Frauendorfer, 2023 Inspiration Award; Candace Rey, 2000; Lori Welch Wilson, 2019; Rolanda Stanfield, 2021 Inspiration Award; and Leon Saul, 2018.

(May 26, 2023) – Alamance Community College alumni, faculty, staff, and students were honored by the College Thursday evening, May 25, at the 2023 Celebrating Excellence Awards, hosted by the ACC Board of Trustees and the ACC Foundation Board of Directors.

The annual event, held at the Alamance Country Club, honors those who have achieved distinction through hard work and dedication. Among those who spoke at the event were Dr. Algie Gatewood, ACC President; Ami Hill, President of the ACC Foundation Board of Directors; Dr. Carol Disque, Vice President of Student Success; Dr. Connie Wolfe, Executive Vice President; and Carolyn Rhode, Executive Director of the ACC Foundation.


(Pictured) Brian Woodard, 2023 Distinguished Alumnus, poses with Carolyn Rhode, Executive Director of the ACC Foundation, following the award presentation.

The College presented Brian Woodard, Senior Assistant Director of Admissions at UNC Chapel Hill, with its 2023 Distinguished Alumni Award. At UNC, he also serves as Senior Assistant Director of CSTEP, the Carolina Student Transfer Excellence Program. Brian himself was a member of CSTEP while earning his Associate in Arts from Alamance Community College. He transferred to Carolina where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in History, followed by a Master of Education in School Counseling. While studying for his graduate degree, he worked as a school counselor in Rockingham County and at Turrentine Middle School in Burlington. In addition to his work at UNC, Brian is an active member of ACC’s Alumni Council, the Carolina Covenant Advisory Board, and works as a community volunteer mentoring students with similar backgrounds to his own.

The Distinguished Alumni Award is for an alumnus/a who has achieved a significant level of success as a direct result from the education gained at ACC.

At the Celebrating Excellence event, Brian Woodard was awarded the Presidential Medallion. The medallion was crafted by the Computer-Integrated Machining Department at ACC. Made of brass, the medallion features the college seal and a blue ribbon.


(Pictured) Lt. Col. Melissa Frauendorfer (left) received the ACC 2023 Inspiration Award, accompanied here by Susan Holt, retired ACC Nursing Dept. Head, and Dr. Lisa Johnson, VP of Instruction at ACC.

The College presented its Inspiration Award to Melissa Frauendorfer, a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army who serves as Assistant Chief Nurse at Fort Douglas, Utah. In her position, Frauendorfer is principal advisor to the Hospital Commander for Nursing Activities. While an enlisted soldier in the Army Reserves in the early 1990s, she earned her Licensed Practical Nursing (LPN) diploma and Associate in Applied Science degree in Nursing at Alamance Community College. Entering the Army Reserves as a Registered Nurse (RN) and Family Nurse Practitioner, she was deployed to multiple locations during the Global War on Terror. Over more than 30 years, Lt. Col. Frauendorfer has gained incalculable experience in healthcare and leadership roles around the world. She received the 2022 Army Nurse of the Year Award for Family Nurse Practitioner.


Other nominees for the Distinguished Alumni Award were:

  • Heath Clay, Pathology Laboratory Manager at Labcorp
  • Dr. Jonathan G. Frye, Research Microbiologist/Senior Scientist for U.S. Department of Agriculture
  • Tia Gilliam-Wilson, School Instructional Specialist and MTSS Coordinator at Elon Elementary
  • Ian Macklin, Executive Chef at Bull City Solera in Durham
  • Dylan McBride, Engineering Manager at USA Dutch
  • Anneisha McWilliams, Elon University student
  • Travis Pysar, Executive Vice President of Manufacturing/Cheerland Bio-CDMO
  • Donna Vanhook, Community Organizer and Elected Official

Other award recipients recognized during the event included:

  • Janet Byrd, Nurse Aide instructor, as Excellence in Teaching Recipient
  • Jennifer Durham, Health Instructor, as Adjunct Faculty Member of the Year
  • Marcelle Malone, Information Services Technician, as Staff Member of the Year
  • Cyndi Caviness, Allied Health Instructor, as Workforce Development Instructor of the Year

(Pictured) ACC 2023 Employee Excellence recipients included (from left): Marcelle Malone, Staff Member of the Year; Janet Byrd, Faculty Member of the Year; and Jennifer Durham, Adjunct Faculty Member of the Year. Not present at the ceremony: Cyndi Caviness, Workforce Development Instructor of the Year.

Students recognized for their outstanding achievements were:

 Academic Excellence Award Recipient

(Pictured) Shane Hogan, Academic Excellence Award recipient, with Dr. Carol Disque, VP of Student Success, and John Neathery, sociology instructor.

Shane Hogan was unsure about his future before attending Alamance Community College. After earning his GED, Shane enrolled at ACC to find the sense of purpose he had been lacking. Over the past two years, Shane has laid out plans for his future education and career goals by taking courses that include psychology, sociology, and graphic design. He has built personal and professional connections with many members of the community, and established a presence in several organizations on campus. Shane served as President of Sigma Psi; was a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society; and served as a Student Ambassador. Shane will graduate this June and transfer to a four-year university.

Dallas Herring Achievement Award

(Pictured) Lay Thine, Dallas Herring Achievement Award recipient, with Dr. Carol Disque, VP of Student Success, and Catherine Knight, ESL.

Lay Thine is a native of Burma who spent nine years in a refugee camp before immigrating alone to the U.S. Knowing little English, he worked as a professional housekeeper for 15 years, but wanted to improve his opportunities. He enrolled in ACC’s free English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESL) classes and worked hard for two years to improve his English language skills. Lay then enrolled in ACC’s combined English for HVAC and HVAC/Refrigeration training, where students improve English language skills while simultaneously earning HVAC skills for a credential. Lay found employment in the Building Services Department on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus as a technician. Lay hopes to return to ACC while continuing his job at UNC and earn an Associate in Applied Science degree in Air Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Technology.


Governor Robert W. Scott Student Leadership Award

(Pictured) Alexandra Versace, Governor Robert W. Scott Student Leadership Award recipient, with Josefvon Jones, Director of Diversity & Inclusion, and Dr. Carol Disque, VP of Student Success.

Alexandra Versace has gained valuable experience in leadership roles while at ACC through workshops, conferences, and presentations. Over the past two years, she has interned with Burlington’s Dream Center youth soccer team, and served as Student Government Association president at ACC. She was appointed as the Central Division Representative for the NC Comprehensive Community College SGA. Alexandra says these opportunities have taught her how to be selfless, the importance of connections, networking, perseverance, and determination. As an outstanding participant in ACC’s CSTEP (Carolina Student Transfer Excellence Program), Alexandra qualifies to transfer to UNC Chapel Hill this fall after earning her Associate of Arts degree from ACC this June.