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Education briefs: Livingstone team advances to Sweet 16 playoffs in Honda Quiz Bowl competition

SALISBURY – Hundreds of study hours and intense preparation have paid off for a team of Livingstone College scholars, who have advanced to the Sweet 16 Playoffs in the Honda Campus All-Star Challenge

Now in its 32nd season, HCASC is America’s premier academic competition between students from Historically Black Colleges and Universities through which Honda annually awards more than $350,000 in institutional grants to the participating institutions.

Due to the pandemic, HCASC will shift from in-person events to virtual tournaments. Livingstone’s goal is advancing to the National Championship Tournament, which is April 17-20. 

Livingstone’s team members are William Elijah Benjamin McCorn of Charlotte, a senior, majoring in sociology; Emile Delal Dogbe-Gakpetor of Accra, Ghana, a sophomore, majoring in business administration; Juliet Mwende Makena of Nairobi, Kenya, a sophomore, majoring in business administration; and Varvara Papakonstantinou of Athens, Greece, a sophomore, majoring in business administration. Dr. Da’Tarvia Arnikka Parrish, associate professor of English, will coach the team.

This is the 18th year Livingstone College has participated in the Honda Campus All-Star Challenge. The college aims to be the last team standing and win the top prize, a $75,000 institutional grant from Honda.

“Although we are experiencing unprecedented times, we are fortunate corporations such as the American Honda Motor Company found ways to continue to support our institutions. We thank Honda for this opportunity, and we thank the College Quiz Bowl Company for its commitment,” Livingstone President Jimmy Jenkins said.

Established in 1989 to recognize the academic talents of HBCU students, the HCASC can be a platform to help students pursue their dreams through the s a year-round knowledge-based program that enhances educational experiences and personal development opportunities for HBCU students.

During games, students work together to answer questions about history, science, literature, religion, the arts and pop culture. Outside of competition, students build camaraderie, network and become friends for life. ” 

The Honda Campus All-Star Challenge Sweet 16 Playoffs will be live-streamed at HCASC.com.

RCCC program chair Billings recognized with national award

SALISBURY – Jenny Billings, program chair of Curriculum and Developmental English and ACA at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, was recognized at a recent meeting of the College’s Board of Trustees as a 2021 National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development Excellence Award recipient.

For more than 30 years, the NISOD Excellence Awards have honored extraordinary faculty, administrators and staff whose service to their students, colleagues and community deserves special recognition. The annual awards celebrate excellence in teaching, learning and leadership development.

“I am so honored and humbled by this recognition. When the email arrived in my inbox, I was so surprised and moved that I cried,” Billings said. “I thank the College for supporting me, believing in me, and being willing to recognize me for my efforts.”

Billings has led numerous projects while at Rowan-Cabarrus, including the Office Hour Initiative, an innovative concept to make faculty available to students online and during non-traditional hours, and to help at-risk students stay on track for success. She also led the College’s nomination for a national Bellwether Award for inclusive access.

Billings holds a bachelor of arts degree in English from Wake Forest University, a master’s in creative writing in poetry from Queens University, and a doctorate in Higher Education Executive Leadership with a community college focus from Wingate University. She co-manages the Read Across Rowan and Cabarrus Counties book drive, during which volunteers blanket the community each year to read and present books to school children.

Billings will be invited to attend NISOD’s virtual annual conference in April.

“Dr. Jenny Billings is a dedicated instructor, program chair and student advocate, and I am proud and appreciative of her efforts,” RCCC President Carol Spalding said.“She is always looking for creative ways to help our students succeed.”

Students can apply for $5,000 scholarship through March 31

 STATESVILLE –  The deadline for high school students to apply for a $5,000 Empowering the Future scholarship from EnergyUnited is Wednesday, March 31.

EnergyUnited is offering two $5,000 scholarships to qualified students who are currently enrolled in their senior year of high school and who plan to attend a college, university or technical school. The scholarship is designed to recognize students who have exemplified academic success as well as demonstrated a commitment to bettering their community.

To be eligible for the scholarship, applicants must satisfy at least one of the following requirements: applicants should either live in a residence that receives electric service from EnergyUnited or attend a school served by EnergyUnited, respond to two essay questions and complete an application which can be found on our website. Applicants must have plans to attend an accredited college, university or a technical school.

For more information on eligibility or to apply, please visit https://www.energyunited.com/scholarship-program/. Contact Adam Martin, Communications Specialist at 704-924-2139 or adam.martin@energyunited.com for more information.

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