Sampson ‘Rides Again,’ Names EXCEL Award Winners

Written by Megan Bednar

[Clinton, N.C.] – For thirty-six consecutive years, Sampson Community College (SCC) has proudly boasted 100% participation by all full-time employees during its annual Campus Drive, a fundraising event commencing the SCC Foundation’s new giving year. On Wednesday, October 5, SCC employees came together once again to donate and pledge support for student scholarships, staff and faculty development, and other campus programs for the 2022-2023 fiscal period through a western themed event.

Every October, the SCC Foundation selects a theme for its Campus Drive, allowing employees to demonstrate their creativity through relevant costumes, in addition to giving. This year, faculty and staff dressed to the tagline of ‘Sampson Rides Again,’ arriving as either cowboys or outlaws. Flash BBQ catered for the event, serving up fried chicken and pork barbeque to participants, complete with banana pudding for dessert.

In a quote, Bill Fulton, President of the Foundation, remarked on the steadfast yearly participation of SCC’s committed faculty and staff during Campus Drive, and mentioned how they continue to set a precedent for others by going “all in” with their support for the College and its students each year.

He elaborated, “At last year’s ‘Celebrate Sampson’ event to commemorate the dedication of the campus walking trail, I took the opportunity to note that every Board member of the SCC Foundation had made a financial contribution to the project’s completion. More specifically, I stated that supporting the College with 100% participation showed that we as a board are “all-in.” In pledging to make this “all-in” commitment, we as a Board cited as motivation and inspiration the employees of SCC faculty and their history of 100% participation in the Campus Drive. We proudly followed their example of stewardship in support of the College and its students.”

Also taking place on October 5 was the SCC Foundation’s annual EXCEL Awards presentation. Recently, the Foundation decided to combine its Campus Drive with the EXCEL Awards, which recognizes employees who go above and beyond in their work. Members representing both SCC’s faculty and staff are nominated by their fellow colleagues each year, and two are selected by an anonymous EXCEL Selection Committee as winners. Both nominators and nominees must be full-time hires employed for at least three years at SCC.

This year’s EXCEL Award finalists were Jake Miller, Department Chair and Instructor of HVAC, Refrigeration, and Electrical; Kayla Shatley, Director of Financial Services; Alisha Carwise, Nursing Instructor; and Ryan Rutherford, Director of Facility Services.

However, the ultimate prize went to 2022-2023 EXCEL Award recipients: Joy Rogers, English and Communications Instructor, representing faculty or instructional; and Aleta Whaley, Director of Continuing Education (ConEd), representing staff or non-instructional.

“We are always excited to celebrate our staff and faculty who do exceptional work for the college and in our community,” explained Lisa Turlington, Dean of Advancement and Executive Director of the Foundation. “Aleta is dedicated to her programs and works hard to make them successful. She’s a quiet leader who takes care of her people. Joy loves her students and her colleagues and works to elevate all those her around her.”

Both Rogers and Whaley expressed their appreciation to their colleagues, nominators, and members of the SCC Foundation for gifting them with the EXCEL Award honor at the Campus Drive event. They truly love what they do, the people they work with, and the students they’re able to reach each day. In their eyes, it’s truly been a joy to work at SCC for as long as they have, and they plan to continue it in the future.

“I am very thankful for the opportunity to work with such wonderful students, faculty, staff, and the SCC Foundation,” remarked Rogers, staff EXCEL Award recipient. “I am so very grateful for the award. Every day, I have had the chance to do what I love—to teach—while seeing students grow and learn and having a few laughs along the way. I am truly thankful for being able to be part of the SCC Team for the last 16 years.”

(From L) 2022-2023 EXCEL Award recipients: Aleta Whaley and Joy Rogers.

Similarly, Whaley, faculty EXCEL Award recipient voiced, “What an honor to receive such a distinguished award. I was taken aback by being nominated. Katie Brown was sitting next to me and said, “Aleta you need to go up” and I unknowingly asked why. Katie stated, “Because Lisa called your name!” I then looked up and saw Lisa looking right at me.  I was both overwhelmed and honored to be the 2022 staff recipient. I am very grateful to receive the EXCEL Award, but most of all grateful to be a member of the Sampson Community College family.” 

Sampson CC extends its immense gratitude to all the employees who continuously show their commitment to student success and development through the Foundation’s annual Campus Drive campaign. Their dedication speaks to the College’s mission to “provide accessible and affordable education, workforce training, and lifelong enrichment” to all students, local and abroad, and assist them in truly beginning at SCC, then going anywhere.

The College congratulates its 2022-2023 EXCEL Award finalists and recipients, and thanks them for all they’ve done, and continue to do to help SCC, its students, faculty, and staff succeed.

For more information about the SCC Foundation or how to contribute to student success at SCC, visit www.sampsoncc.edu/foundation

About Sampson Community College:  Sampson Community College is a member of the North Carolina Community College System, located in Clinton, NC in Sampson County. The college offers many programs to include two-year degrees, college transfer, continuing education and workforce development options and early college education.