Two graduates honored at DCCC Commencement

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 26, 2016

THOMASVILLE — Davidson County Community College recognized two graduates for excellence in the classroom during the college’s annual commencement exercise held Saturday on the Davidson Campus.

Amber Kittrell of Statesville was named the first recipient of the Robert Bruce Smith, Jr. Student Success Scholarship while Shodeah Kelly of Mocksville was introduced as the 2016 Academic Excellence Award winner. Both maintained 4.0 grade point averages and graduated with high honors.

Kittrell earned an Associate in Applied Science degree in electronics engineering technology (EET) and a certificate in applied engineering technology.

“I’m extremely honored to receive the Student Success Scholarship,” Kittrell says. “These funds will help me to continue my education at Arizona State University where I will pursue my bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering.”

As a student in the EET program, Kittrell participated in an internship program at R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company that allowed her to utilize and build on the skills she learned in the classroom. The company has offered her full-time employment.

The Robert Bruce Smith, Jr. Student Success Scholarship is part of the Davidson County Community College Foundation’s new student success scholarship program designed to benefit students upon completion of their degrees. These scholarships help outstanding graduates prepare for the next stages of their lives.

The Smith Scholarship, the first for the program, was established by his wife, Martha Ellen Smith, along with his children, Robert Bruce Smith III and wife, Nicole; Amy Smith Klass and husband, Todd; and Shelley Smith Rice and husband, Brad. The son of Eleanor Farmer Smith and Robert Bruce Smith, Sr., Smith practiced law in Lexington for more than 50 years. His civic involvements were numerous, and he often supported the growth and education of young people, including establishing five scholarships at DCCC with his brothers.

Kelly, who earned the Associate in Arts degree, is among students from each of the state’s 58 community colleges to be recognized this spring for academic excellence. Currently enrolled students completing as least 12 semester hours in an associate degree program and maintaining a cumulative grade point overage of not less than 3.25 are eligible for consideration.

“I’m honored to receive the Academic Excellence Award,” Kelly says. “I look forward to applying the skills I’ve acquired at DCCC and feel much more prepared for classes at a four-year university. Moreover, I’m looking forward to finding a career that makes me happy.”

Kelly, also a 2016 graduate of the Davie County Early College High School, was recipient of a DCCC study abroad scholarship to Ireland this spring. She plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree in public policy, with a minor in social and economic justice beginning this fall at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.