05/09/04 — Community college diplomas awarded

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Community college diplomas awarded

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on May 9, 2004 2:08 AM

An overflowing crowd stood, sat and mostly fanned on the lawn of Wayne Community College Friday night as 403 students received their diplomas.

Among them were two very pregnant associate degree nursing graduates. Tara Humphries, public information officer at the college, said the two women are due to deliver soon. Six members of this year's nursing program graduates have already had babies this year, she said.

"All of the new or soon-to-be nursing students made it straight through, without missing a beat, to graduation," she said.

Dr. Dan Krautheim, vice president for academic affairs, introduced this year's commencement speaker as the youngest the school has had.

Sarah Price graduated from Wayne Community in 2002 with an associate degree in agri-business technology. She will complete her bachelor's degree at Mount Olive College in December and works at Goldsboro Laboratories, which produces vaccines for Goldsboro Milling Company.

"This is a time to pat yourselves on the back because you made the decision," she said. "You put so much effort into getting your education .... No one can ever take away your education."

She reminisced about her own journey to Wayne Community, following a false start at East Carolina University, where she changed majors twice.

Moving back to Seven Springs, she enrolled at Wayne Commuinty, calling it "one of the best decisions I have ever made."

"As soon as I walked through the door of the agricultural department, I knew I was where I was meant to be," she said. "Knowing I had made the right decision made the journey a pleasurable one."

The George E. Wilson Excellence in Teaching award was presented to Sharon Lee Bull, a 1973 graduate of Wayne Community. She also holds a bachelor's degree from Mount Olive College and a master's degree in management and adminstration.

The award is presented annually by the Foundation of the college and was made possible by an anonymous donor.

Dr. Ed Wilson, president of the college, said it was the 19th time the award for excellence in teaching has been presented at the college.

"We could give it 100 more times and never run out of candidates,"he said.

Sam Hunter, chairman of the Foundation board of directors, said the recipient receives $2,500 and funds to attend a national conference for outstanding teachers.

A 1973 graduate of Wayne Community with a degree in medical secretarial science, Ms. Bull later earned a bachelor's from Mount Olive College in business management and a master's degree from Central Michigan University in administration.

Hunter said, "In the 30-plus years she has been at Wayne Community, she has moved from assistant teacher to instructor in 1988, to head of the information systems department last year.

"One colleague said this about her, 'She sees what needs to be done and does it with a smile. She continues to sseek opportunities ot improve herself. What we need are more teachers, leaders, mentors, and team players like this on our campus.'"

Of the degrees presented Friday night, 84 were certificates, 56 were diplomas, 249 were for associate in applied science, 12 for associate in science, and 46 were for associate in arts and fine arts. Some candidates received more than one degree or certificate.