09/23/10 — WCC dances its way through drive kickoff

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WCC dances its way through drive kickoff

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on September 23, 2010 1:46 PM

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Dancers "Chi Chi Ruiz," left, portrayed by Bill Thompson, associate vice president of Wayne Community College, and "Kirkette the Cougar," or Kirk Keller, a staff member at the college, perform a tango during Wednesday's "Dancing with the Wayne Community College Stars" event at the college. The program was part of the college's campus fund drive kickoff, which raises money for student scholarships.

It was "an afternoon to reckon with," said Wayne Community College President Dr. Kay Albertson on Wednesday, as the college kicked off its 2010-2011 campus fund drive, presented two distinguished faculty awards and held its own version of "Dancing with the Stars."

The goal for the upcoming year is $400,000, with $24,000 of that the faculty goal, said John Peacock, chairman of the WCC Foundation board of directors. He encouraged staff to do their part to raise money that will be used for student scholarships.

"Every dollar that comes into the foundation is used for one purpose and that's to provide hope for a lot of these folks," he said. "It's extending that hand of hope for many of these students who come here every day."

Peacock also recognized efforts of clubs on campus, which collectively had raised $2,287.

One organization in particular, Medical Assisting Students Association, was credited with bringing in $500 for the drive last year and being an ardent fundraiser in the community.

"There are 18 students in this club," Peacock said as he introduced members of the group. "On Sept. 19, they raised $1,000 for Alzheimer's, today they raised over $500 selling hot dogs."

Accepting a trophy for their participation in the campaign, club president Melanie Hardison challenged other clubs to do the same.

Two staff members were recognized by Mrs. Albertson for distinguished service. Each received a crystal globe and $5,000 to be used for travel and professional development.

This year's recipients were Anna Anaya-Vega and Todd King.

Ms. Anaya-Vega joined the WCC faculty in 2006 as a pre-curriculum math instructor. Co-creator of the pre-curriculum math contest, she also serves on the N.C. Association for Developmental Education State Board as the cultural diversity chair as well as other committees at the college.

"A colleague said, 'To sum this person up in one word, it would be belief,'" Mrs. Albertson said. "'She helps everyone believe in themselves and others. Through the endless time spent with students, to sharing ideas with faculty, she is all about belief.'"

Mrs. Albertson also lauded the accomplishments of King, who joined WCC in 1999 and most recently was selected as head of a new department, engineering and manufacturing technologies.

"When I hear his colleagues across the state talk about him, I'm greeted with words like 'consummate professional,' 'excellent leader,' 'go-getter,'" she said. "And he has demonstrated his talents and those traits in the classroom and statewide by leading a two-year curriculum improvement project with machining instructors from all the community colleges."

The hour-long program concluded with a light-hearted rendition of "Dancing with the Wayne Community College Stars," a take-off of the popular TV show, featuring representatives from the college, Wayne County Public Schools and the Wayne Education Network.

The segments were choreographed by Top Hat Ballroom in Goldsboro, including Norman and Ellie Hooker, board-certified instructors and former national champions in ballroom dancing.

Among those participating were Dr. Allesandra Lowery, head of the dental department; Dr. Debbie Grady, ECU Partnership East Coordinator and online instructor; a line dance team of WCC faculty and staff; and retirees from the public school system Chris Garrett and Beverly Carroll.

Comic relief was provided by two "mystery dancers" -- Chi Chi Ruiz and Kirkette the Cougar, portrayed by associate vice president Bill Thompson and WCC staffer Kirk Keller -- who performed their own interpretation of the waltz, tango and rumba.