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RCCC student award finalists and winners

SALISBURY — Rowan-Cabarrus Community College has named its top 18 Student Excellence Awards finalists and winners for the year.

Students are selected through a nomination process.

“These finalists represent the best and brightest of Rowan-Cabarrus Community College,” said college President Carol S. Spalding. “We could not be more proud to recognize these students whose outstanding accomplishments reflect the core values of our college.”

The 18 finalists are: Pat Brown, Ashlyn Coble, Sheryee Cunningham, Jessica Driver, Najma Hassan, April Honbarger, Aaron Humphrey, Deborah Mattox, Daphne Moore, Larry Newcomb, Heath Newton, Raissa Nguendi, Eduardo Otero, Trudy Persons, Penny Webster, Tonya Wessman, and Katherine Wingler.

The finalists were up for three awards. The Student Excellence Award Committee began with a pool of more than 400 eligible students. Candidates included Rowan-Cabarrus Community College Foundation scholarship recipients, faculty and staff nominees, and student organization leaders. Student nominees were invited to write a 500-word essay to be reviewed by a committee. Of the 98 submitted essays, 18 finalists were selected to be interviewed.

“The committee was honored to interview each of the finalists and learn more about their journeys,” said Natasha Lipscomb, director of student life and leadership development. “Each student had such a unique perspective based on their life experiences thus far. Their stories were touching and their goals inspiring. Narrowing down to just three winners was a tough decision, as all 18 finalists are truly remarkable people.”

Aaron Humphrey received the Academic Excellence Award, which recognizes the academic achievement, leadership and community service of one student from each of the 58 institutions in the North Carolina Community College System.

Najma Hassan was awarded the Dallas Herring Achievement Award. Herring, a Duplin County native, is acknowledged as the philosophical godfather of the state’s community college system. He may be best known for his belief that education should be available to all and that community colleges should “… take people from where they are to as far as they can go.” The award is given annually to a current or former community college student who best embodies Herring’s philosophy.

Kathryn “Bailey” Wingler was named the Gov. Robert W. Scott Student Leadership Award nominee. This award is named in honor of Robert W. Scott, who served as governor from 1969 to 1973 and as president of the North Carolina Community College System from 1983 to 1995. The award is given to students who demonstrate leadership on a statewide level.

“I am so proud of not only Aaron, Bailey and Najma, but all of the finalists. They are all so deserving,” said Lipscomb. “These students represent the college well.”

For more information about Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, visit www.rccc.edu or call 704-216-RCCC (7222).

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