Student works on second career at RCCC

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 11, 2013

KANNAPOLIS — As a non-traditional college student, Kelley Powell seldom shares his journey of moving from the corporate world to the community college.
Powell already had a bachelor’s degree and 24 years of experience in information technology when he came to Rowan-Cabarrus. Although Powell was comfortable and knowledgeable in the IT world, he was envious of his wife’s passion for her work as a third grade teacher.
“She always came home from work happy. I wanted that,” said Powell.
After getting his son settled at UNC-Wilmington, he decided it was time to realize his own dream. Powell’s choice to pursue his passion came as a result of much self-evaluation. He admits to being nervous after making the courageous decision to change his career to help people through health services.
With a 3.5 GPA, Powell has validated his commitment to scholarship. He exhibits a passion for people, leadership and community engagement in his work with the college’s Student Government Association and the Radiography Club.
“Kelley has demonstrated commitment to high academic achievement, personal development and the awareness of student concerns and community initiatives. We are honored he is our nominee for the Robert W. Scott Student Leadership Award,” said Dr. Carol S. Spalding, president of Rowan-Cabarrus.
The Robert W. Scott Student Leadership Award is named in honor of Robert W. Scott, who served as governor from 1969-1973 and as president of the North Carolina Community College System from 1983-1995. The award is bestowed on students who demonstrate leadership on a statewide level.
“Kelley embodies the qualities of a great student leader,” said Natasha Lipscomb, director of student life and leadership development at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College. “He expects the best from himself, he encourages others to be at their best, he works to serve the larger community and he is well-respected among peers and faculty.”
Powell graduated last month from Rowan-Cabarrus. His unique skill set will help him blend the two career fields and reinvent himself in the emerging Radiology Information Systems field.
“I’m not the best student in the class, and I’m certainly not the youngest. However, I do feel strongly about the patient skills I have learned through the Rowan-Cabarrus radiography program,” said Powell.
To qualify for the award, nominees must be enrolled at least half-time, be in good academic standing, possess a GPA of 2.5 or greater, be active in campus activities and exhibit traits which will help them become leaders in their communities.
For more information about Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, please visit or call 704-216-RCCC (7222).