11/18/05 — Yvonne Goodman wins state college award

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Yvonne Goodman wins state college award

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on November 18, 2005 1:51 PM


News-Argus Staff Writer

A longtime employee of Wayne Community College was to be named the best community college staff member in the state today.

Yvonne Goodman was headed to Raleigh this morning to accept the award for the N.C. Community College System's Staff Person of the Year.

Ms. Goodman is associate vice president for student services at the school. She has worked for the college 34 years.

Yvonne Goodman and Debbie Curl

Debbie Curl, right, pins a corsage on Yvonne Goodman. Ms. Goodman was to be honored by the North Carolina Community College System at a ceremony in Raleigh today as Staff Person of the Year.

The award comes with an $8,000 gift, part of which goes to the Foundation of Wayne Community College.

In her role, she does more than just help the students at Wayne Community, say students and faculty, she inspires them.

Debbie Curl is one of the students who has been helped by Ms. Goodman.

"I wouldn't be in school if it wasn't for this lady," Ms. Curl said. "I came here with a thought I was afraid to say out loud, and she made it happen. She's my inspiration."

Ms. Curl gave Ms. Goodman a corsage Thursday morning to wear at today's ceremony.

"You shine tomorrow, hon," she told Ms. Goodman.

Ms. Goodman said she was pleased to learn she had been recognized but that the satisfaction she gets from her job is what motivates her.

"It's hard to explain," Ms. Goodman said. "You never know how many lives you touch."

This is the second year in a row that a member of the Wayne Community College staff has been honored by the state system.

WCC President Ed Wilson was named the college President of the Year last year.

The system recognizes the top college president, staff member and faculty member each year.

Ms. Goodman was one of 33 people across the state nominated for the staff award.

Ms. Goodman said she was honored and humbled to learn she would receive the award. But education is a team effort, she said, and she considers herself lucky to work at WCC.

"It's not just me," she said. "We have a great team here at the college."

She said she understands that students need encouragement. Having someone who will listen to their problems and offer advice can be crucial to their success, she said.

"It could be by just listening to the students talking through their situations, giving suggestions and, if needed, making referrals to other departments on campus or to some outside agency like Department of Social Services, Employment Security Commission or Vocational Rehab," she said.

Ms. Goodman attended WCC before starting work at the school. She started work a week after graduating in August 1971.

She started as a secretary, was promoted four years later to assistant financial aid director and to financial aid director after another four years. Along the way, she earned a bachelor's degree, then a master's degree, all while working full-time for the college.

Ms. Goodman said her experiences as a student help her deal with young people today. They are going through the same phases as she did years ago, she said.

"I guess that's why I have such a close understanding of our students, what they're going through, because this is what I did as well," she said.