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Eleven Complete 7th Randolph Community College
 Student Leadership Academy

ASHEBORO (March 20, 2014)

Student Leadership Academy graduates
Graduates of the 2013-2014 Randolph Community College Student Leadership Academy are (seated, from left) Amber Martin, Danielle Nagel, Lacie Morrison, (standing, from left) Josh Oldham, Connor Bryant, Noah Lowdermilk, Kyle Mills, Brandon Curtis, Cole DeHart, Isaac Ferguson, and Jake Hunsucker. Photo by RCC Portrait Photography student Katie Lester.

Eleven students graduated from Randolph Community College’s seventh annual Student Leadership Academy on March 18. The students were chosen for the Academy based on a competitive process that considered leadership experience, leadership potential, and a letter of reference from a faculty member.
           
Dr. Brenda Kays, president of Stanly Community College, was the keynote speaker at Tuesday’s graduation ceremony held in the R. Alton Cox Learning Resources Center auditorium. Kays talked to the students about three “pearls of wisdom” that had inspired her during her 29 years working at community colleges. Kays said the advice included “picking your battles wisely,” from a vice president at her first college job. He wanted her to understand that “you can’t fix everything at once,” she said, “and I learned the fine art of compromise and collaboration along the way.” After a particularly grueling board meeting at another college, she asked the president how he stood that level of diversity. He told her, “If everyone is always 100% satisfied and happy with what you are doing, you are probably not doing your job,” which taught her that a thick skin is necessary in a leadership position. The third “pearl” was “you either need to change your people or change your people.” She explained that change is difficult for people and that as a leader, you have the responsibility to lead people through that change, or get rid of them if they cannot change.
           
Participants in this year’s Student Leadership Academy attended evening sessions throughout the school year with guest speakers focusing on different leadership topics. Each student created a personal portfolio, which was reviewed by a local human resource professional. The participants were also involved in a leadership project, in which they were charged with finding a need in the community and meeting that need.
           
Three groups of students presented the results of their projects during the graduation ceremony. The first group combined volunteer time for five different community organizations/events. They included helping at an Operation Red Sleigh event, volunteering at a Helping Hands Adoption Day, serving meals to the homeless at the Lexington Crisis Center, working in the warehouse division of Christians United Outreach Center, and volunteering for an RSVP Community Theatre production at Sunset Theatre. The second group chose Habitat for Humanity for their leadership project and organized volunteers for two separate Saturdays working at two habitat houses—one at Olde Main Terrace and the other at N. McCrary Street. The third group decided to organize a canned food drive that was so successful, they divided the proceeds between Christians United Outreach Center and Community Outreach of Archdale/Trinity.
           
The Student Leadership Academy is sponsored by Dr. Stuart B. Fountain and Dr. Alan S. Luria through the Randolph Community College Foundation.
           
The graduates of the Randolph Community College 2013-2014 Student Leadership Academy, their majors, and hometowns are as follows:
Connor Bryant, Associate in Arts (College Transfer), Asheboro
Brandon L. Curtis, Associate in Arts (College Transfer), Denton
Charles Cole Dehart, Associate in Science Engineering Pre-Major, Asheboro
Isaac Ferguson, Associate in Arts (College Transfer), Liberty
Thomas Jacob Hunsucker, Associate in Arts Nursing Pre-Major, Trinity
Noah Lowdermilk, Associate in Arts (College Transfer), Seagrove
Amber Martin, Associate in Arts (College Transfer), Seagrove
Kyle Mills, Computer Information Technology/Networking Technology, Asheboro
Lacie Morrison, Associate in Arts (College Transfer), Asheboro
Danielle Nagel, Associate in Arts (College Transfer), Asheboro
William J. Oldham II, Associate in Arts (College Transfer), Seagrove.

To view photos from the graduation ceremony, go to RCC's Facebook account.