Blackwell, Bautista among those honored with RCC academic awards

ASHEBORO (June 11, 2019)

Malinda Blackwell of Liberty, an Advertising and Graphic Design student, was chosen as Randolph Community College’s Academic Excellence Award winner for 2019.


Blackwell was one of 58 students from each community college in North Carolina who were recognized in April for academic excellence. AEA selection requirements are consistent with Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society criteria. Students must be currently enrolled, must have completed at least 12 semester hours in an associate degree program and must have a cumulative grade point average of no less than 3.25. A committee at RCC selected the final recipient based on faculty recommendations.

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Malinda Blackwell of Liberty was named RCC’s Academic Excellence Award winner for 2019. One winner is chosen from each of the 58 community colleges in North Carolina.
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Jose Bautista of Asheboro was RCC’s 2019 nominee for the statewide Dallas Herring Achievement Award, which recognizes a student who best embodies Dr. Herring’s philosophy of 'taking people where they are and carrying them as far as they can go.'

Blackwell, a mother of two who overcame an abusive relationship and cancer, enrolled in the Graphic Design Program at RCC at 27 to pursue her dream of being a graphic artist. She graduated with an Advertising and Graphic Design Degree on May 8.


“I had never made straight A’s before college,” she said. “I never felt like I belonged anywhere before joining the design program. My fellow classmates and instructors have become like family to me. I have finally found the support I longed for and inspiration I needed within Randolph Community College. I now see that the unreachable is within grasp. Dreams can be a reality with hard work and determination.”


Jose Bautista of Asheboro was RCC’s nominee for the 2019 Dallas Herring Achievement Award, which was established by the North Carolina Community College System to honor the late Dr. Dallas Herring, whose philosophy of “taking people where they are and carrying them as far as they can go” is the guiding principle of the system. The award is given annually to a current or former community college student who best embodies Dr. Herring’s philosophy.


Bautista came to the United States from Mexico as a toddler. Fast-forward 14 years, and Bautista is both an ambitious student at Randolph Early College High School on the RCC campus and a dedicated volunteer in his community. He has served as Treasurer for Phi Theta Kappa, led Liberty Elementary students with an art project, led residents in games and crafts at Universal Healthcare in Ramseur, helped plant 25 trees at Franklinville Elementary while teaching the students the importance of caring for the environment, and assisted with the Armadillo Drop-In, which helps new RCC students to find their classes, and get parking passes and student IDs. Bautista, who plays the drums at his church, also volunteers with Habitat for Humanity and at the local soup kitchen and the North Carolina Zoo.


“I’ve always told my parents, ‘I’ll pay you back for what you’ve done for me.’ ” said Bautista, who is hoping to become a mechanical engineer. “The staff [at RECHS] has really given me a hand and my family as well. ... Hopefully, one day, I’ll be able to make a change. That’s one of my dreams.”


RCC also recognized student achievement with its annual Academic Awards and Curriculum Awards.


The Academic Award is based on the highest GPA in the degree and diploma program of study. Students must have been enrolled in two of the last four terms, have completed at least 40 credit hours in a degree program or 10 credit hours in a diploma program and have a program GPA of 3.5 or higher.


Academic Awards winners (listed with their program areas) are:
Archdale: Erika E. Binkley, Radiography.
Asheboro: Mary F. Webster, Accounting; Abbie G. Sharpe, Associate in Arts; Macy L. Daniel, Associate in Arts-Early College; Matthew R. Kendrick, Automotive Systems Technology; Kaleigh S. Jones, Cosmetology; Shahmaen Ali Raja, Early Childhood Education; Lisa K. Brown, Information Technology-IT Support Specialist; Areli Yazuri Ocana Smith, Medical Assisting; Amanda L. Hall, Radiography.
Burlington: Margaret A. Stubblefield, Interior Design.
Denton: Morgan E. Deaton, Business Administration; Austin L. Routh, Electrical System Technology; Desiree D. Trogdon, Human Services Technology.
Franklinville: Ty S. Elliott, Welding Technology.
High Point: Kristina L. Lesnick, Associate in Science-Early College.
Lewisville: Sarah D. Coldiron, Photographic Technology: Portrait Studio Management.
Liberty: Malinda D. Blackwell, Advertising and Graphic Design; Bernadine F. Hernandez, Photographic Technology: Photojournalism.
Ramseur: Kiran A. Houston, Criminal Justice Technology; Garrick M. Coalson, IT-Network & Cyber Security Specialist.
Randleman: Nicole D. Sheron, Associate in Arts; Olesia L. Headen, Associate in Arts-Early College; Daniel Muro-Soto, Automotive Systems Technology; Karen D. Aldridge, Healthcare Management Technology; Bonnette P. Willard, Medical Office Administration; Christopher M. Lemon, Welding Technology.
Sophia: Hannah N. Deakins, Associate Degree Nursing; Orion A. Yountz, Associate in Science-Early College; Charity D. Evans, Early Childhood Education; Drake L. Spillman, Electrical Systems Technology.
Star: Shanna M. Beane, Associate in Science; Sean Swingle, Welding Technology.
Thomasville: Jennifer Callahan, Business Administration-Human Resource Management.
Winston-Salem: Alexandra E. Klein, Photographic Technology: Commercial Photography.


The Curriculum Award goes to a student in each degree and diploma program who is both outstanding in his/her academic achievement and has potential for success in the particular field he/she has chosen. To be eligible, the students must have been enrolled in two of the last four terms, have completed at least 40 credit hours in a degree program or 10 credit hours in a diploma program, have a program GPA of 3.0 or higher, have demonstrated expertise in their field of study and have participated in departmental, campus and community activities that promote the college.


Curriculum Awards winners are:
Archdale: Kayla Dawn Watson, Interior Design; Courtney M. Darnell, Medical Assisting.
Asheboro: Kaylee L. Hamby, Associate Degree Nursing; Jasmin E. Faz, Associate in Science; Matthew R. Kendrick, Automotive Systems Technology; Berenice A. Guzman, Cosmetology; Ruben J. Mitchell, Electrical Systems Technology; Lisa K. Brown, Information Technology-IT Support Specialist; Bradley A. Ritch, Information Technology-IT Support Specialist; Nathaniel E. Burton, Photographic Technology: Photojournalism.
Biscoe: Yaleen A. Gonzalez, Advertising and Graphic Design.
Burlington: Teresa Sue Herring, Human Services Technology Substance Abuse.
Denton: Toni M. Formato, Associate in Arts; Austin L. Routh, Electrical System Technology; Desiree D. Trogdon, Human Services Technology.
Franklinville: Belinda D. Hicks, Medical Office Administration.
Liberty: Trevor L. Jordan, IT-Network & Cyber Security Specialist.
Ramseur: Isaac B. Rumley, Accounting.
Randleman: Christopher M. Lemon, Welding Technology.
Trinity: Julie P. Shafer, Business Administration; Aaron T. Wimbley, Collision Repair and Refinishing Technology.