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Billboard part of Rowan-Cabarrus new image

Rowan-Cabarrus Community College News Service
A Rowan-Cabarrus Community College billboard has made Abby Harwood somewhat of a local celebrity.
Harwood, a Rowan-Cabarrus alumna and dental assistant at Mashburn, Zsambeky & Associates, is kicking off a billboard marketing campaign that features recent graduates from the college. Harwood received her diploma in dental assisting in July 2010.
“I came to Rowan-Cabarrus because I knew I’d be able to find a career,” said Harwood. “I chose the healthcare field because I wanted to help patients. I was pleased at how much assistance and support I received from the faculty and the college staff.
“The dental assisting program was very job-focused and left us feeling prepared for work. The dental assisting field is in high demand – over 75 percent of my classmates secured jobs soon after graduation,” said Harwood.
The billboard is located on Interstate 85 South between exits 76 and 75 near the college’s North Campus. College officials said the campaign will allow the college to share the success stories of former students as well as the potential of current students.
“We’re proud to have Rowan-Cabarrus graduates among our staff,” said Dr. Jonathan Zsambeky. “We have found that graduates like Abby are well-prepared for work and extremely skilled.”
Rowan-Cabarrus is in the process of rebranding the college.
“As we approach our 50th anniversary, it is an appropriate time to take a close look at our image. We want to make sure we’re aligned with the pulse of the community and meeting the needs of business for a well-equipped workforce,” said Dr. Carol Spalding, president of the college.
The college began working on this rebranding effort during fall semester and hopes to complete the process in the spring. Surveys, focus groups and interviews with students, employees and the community are key elements of the rebranding process.
“It makes a difference to have a real person on a billboard rather than clip art,” said Jeanie Moore, vice president of college advancement and continuing education. “People connect with other people.”
Harwood’s billboard is the first of what the college hopes will be a series of billboards featuring student success stories.
“There are so many stories of student success at the college. I hope we’ll be able to show people that Rowan-Cabarrus reflects the community. We have students of all ages, aspirations, skill levels and education. And we’ve probably got something for you,” said Spalding.
The billboard on Interstate 85 has a one-year option and will be changed to accommodate for the new branding strategy once complete.
“I would say Rowan-Cabarrus is an excellent learning institution and an excellent place to prepare for a career,” Harwood said. “I’m proud to be a graduate of Rowan-Cabarrus Community College.”
Other business at the Board meeting included:
• Introduction of new employees Steven Saine, information system analyst III; Dina Harkey, Academic and Career Advising Center director; Don Chunn, customer service manager; and Jonathan Chamberlain, chief of Planning, Capital Projects and Environmental Operations.
• Recognition of outgoing trustee Clyde Higgs.
• Introduction of new trustees Dari Caldwell and Dakeita Vanderburg-Johnson.
• Presentation of LEED “Gold” Certification for Sustainable Design from U.S. Green Building Council for Building 400 (North Campus)
• A presentation to the trustees on the college’s recent Title III grant from the U.S. Department of Education.
• Update on Career and College Promise for 2012 by Dr. Rod Townley, vice president, academic programs.
The college is registering students for the spring 2012 semester. Classes begin on Jan. 10, 2012. For more information, please see the Rowan-Cabarrus website, www.rccc. edu.

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