RCC Honors Outstanding Faculty and Staff Member, Employee Years of Service at Spring Convocation

ASHEBORO (January 18, 2017)

Randolph Community College honored Dolores Vargas-Benavides as its 2017 Excellence in Teaching award winner and Cathy D. Hefferin as the 2017 Staff Person of the Year during its Spring Convocation held Jan. 6 in the R. Alton Cox Learning Resources Center auditorium on the Asheboro Campus.

Dolores Vargas-Benavides
Cathy D. Hefferin

RCC honored Dolores Vargas-Benavides as its 2017 Excellence in Teaching award recipient.

Cathy D. Hefferin was honored as 2017 Staff Person of the Year.

The Excellence in Teaching winner, Dolores Vargas-Benavides, started out at RCC in the English as a Second Language program when she emigrated to the United States from Mexico. She earned her high school equivalency diploma at RCC and began to take curriculum classes. With some encouragement from her instructors, Vargas-Benavides decided to continue her education at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, eventually earning her Bachelor of Arts in Spanish. She went on to earn her Master of Arts in Spanish from North Carolina State University, and she is currently working on her Ph.D. in Educational Studies with a specialization in Cultural Studies at UNCG.
Vargas-Benavides began to teach Spanish part time at RCC in August 2009 and joined the college as a full-time instructor in August 2010. In addition to her classroom teaching, she teaches English for Speakers of Other Languages courses at RCC.
She is very popular with her students. “Miss (Vargas-Benavides) is the best teacher I have ever had,” says one student in an evaluation. “She makes learning fun and always was helpful. She explained why something wasn’t correct without making you feel stupid.”
Vargas-Benavides has been nominated for the Excellence in Teaching award at RCC each year for the past five years, a clear sign of the high esteem in which she is held by her faculty colleagues. This year alone, two separate nominations were submitted for her to win the award.
Vargas-Benavides is active in other areas of the College, too. She took part in the President’s Educational Leadership Academy at RCC in the spring of 2015. She planned and hosted a Latino Career Symposium at RCC in November 2015 for all students in the community, but particularly Latino students, bringing in guest speaker Monica Colin of the Mexican Consulate of North Carolina.
The Staff Person of the Year, Cathy Hefferin, has been with RCC for 24 years working under several different titles, including director of public affairs/affirmative action officer, director of communications and marketing, director of communications, and currently assistant director of marketing for public information.
Hefferin was part of the RCC team that developed the Fountain-Luria Student Leadership Academy at RCC in the 2007-2008 academic year, and she has volunteered to serve on that committee every year since. Since 2014, she has served as a representative of the College on the Asheboro Advisory Board for the State Employees Credit Union. She also has been very active in RCC’s Armadillo Trackers, the college’s fundraising team for Relay for Life, which funds cancer research.
Hefferin graduated from the Asheboro/Randolph Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Randolph program in 2007. She also completed the RCC President’s Educational Leadership Academy in fall 2014. Throughout her tenure at RCC, Hefferin has been active in the Public Relations, Information, and Marketing Association (PRIMA), a statewide organization of her colleagues in the North Carolina Community College System; the College News Association of the Carolinas (CNAC); and the National Council for Marketing and Public Relations (NCMPR).
Employee service records were also recognized during the spring convocation. The following employees were honored:
5 Years: Erin A. Arsenault, Melanie L. Avelino, James L. Boomgarden, Tracy B. Burnette, James P. Capers, Heather O. Clouston, Raymond N. Dumeh, Cameron P. Eunice, Kandis B. Hughes, Neal E. Johnson, Bryan S. Marbert, Hillary D. Pritchard, Jim C. Russell-Owen, Gregory Warlock Vance, Kia Vang, Melissa M. Woodell.
10 Years: Angela D. Cox, Tina S. Dixon, Kevin C. Eames, Daffie H. Garris, Cynthia J. Goodwin, Susan I. Rice, Joel B. Trogdon IV, Kevin M. Walker, G. Chad Williams.
15 Years: Cathy D. Aikens, Stephen J. Baltes, Tracie O. Hayes, Waymon C. Martin, Dr. Robert Shackleford Jr., Curby L. Simerson, Kathy W. Thornburg, Neilson L. Weatherly.
20 Years: David H. Shields.
30 Years: Mitchell L. Kiser.

 Mitchell Kiser  David Shields

30 Years:
Mitchell L. Kiser, division chair for the Industrial, Engineering and Transportation Division, was honored for 30 years of service during RCC’s spring convocation on Jan. 6.

20 Years:
David H. Shields, maintenance staff/electrician, was honored for 20 years of service by RCC.
 Employees honored for 15 years of service

15 Years:
Honored for 15 years of service at RCC were (from left) Waymon C. Martin, Tracie O. Hayes, Stephen J. Baltes, Cathy D. Aikens, Kathy W. Thornburg, Curby L. Simerson, Neilson L. Weatherly, and Dr. Robert S. Shackleford (not pictured).

 Employees honored for 10 years of service

10 Years:
Honored for 10 years of service at RCC were (from left) Joel B. Trogdon IV, Cynthia J. Goodwin, Kevin C. Eames, Daffie H. Garris, Tina S. Dixon, Angela D. Cox, Susan A. Scott, Susan I. Rice, Kevin M. Walker, and G. Chad Williams.

 Employees honored for 5 years of service

5 Years:
RCC employees honored for 5 years of service at RCC were (front row, from left) Hillary D. Pritchard, Melanie L. Avelino, Kia Vang, Jim C. Russell-Owen, Erin A. Arsenault, and Kandis B. Hughes; and (back row, from left) Neal E. Johnson, Raymond N. Dumeh, Bryan S. Marbert, James P. Capers, James L. Boomgarden, Melissa M. Woodell, and Gregory Warlock Vance. Also completing 5 years of service, but not pictured, were Tracy B. Burnette, Heather O. Clouston, and Cameron P. Eunice.