February is traditionally designated as Black History Month and Robeson Community College’s newly established Diversity Club in conjunction with the campus’ Male Minority Mentoring Project sponsored several events to celebrate the contributions and achievements of African-Americans. On Feb. 15, The Honorable Vinston Rozier Jr. spoke to an audience in the Fred G. Williams Student Center about his experiences in Wake County District Court since he was appointed in 2006. At that time he was the youngest person ever to be appointed to a judgeship in Wake County. Judge Rozier is from Bladen County but has family in Robeson and his father, the Rev. Vinston Rozier Sr., has pastored churches in Robeson County.
On Feb. 21, the Diversity Club assisted with the Robeson Community College Foundation Fashion Show in the A.D. Lewis Auditorium. In addition to the latest fashion trends from JCPenney and Maurices at Biggs Park Mall, traditional African attire from the personal collection of Robeson Community College instructor Nancy Blue was featured in the show.
On Feb. 27, the Diversity Club, again in conjunction with Male Minority Mentoring Project sponsored the Luis and Valeria Ramos family, who brought the “West African Experience” to the BB&T conference room of the Charles V. Chrestman Workforce Development Center. This program featured clothing, music, artifacts, and dance, primarily from the Pearl Primus collection of which the Ramos are curators.
Finally, on Feb. 28, the Diversity Club sponsored several Black History Month quiz bowls in the school’s library. Photos of many of the Black History Month events are available on the college’s Facebook page.
February was also a big month for several students at Robeson Community College. Early in February, Clint Haywood won $1,000 for submitting the best business plan to Robeson Community College’s Small Business Center at the culmination of a series of seminars sponsored by the Small Business Center and North Carolina REAL. N.C. REAL is a non-profit based in Raleigh that promotes entrepreneurship primarily by educating students on how to write business plans and start up small businesses.
Radiography student Madison Batten and Early College High School student Joshua Oxendine were honored on Feb.20 as the first winners of the RCC Presidential Scholarships, which were endowed by Mayme and Bill Tubbs and Regina Chrestman. Batten and Oxendine were honored at a reception with the scholarship donors. Earlier in the school year Batten was also selected as Robeson Community College’s Excellence Award Winner. The Excellence Award is sponsored by the North Carolina Community College System and one student is selected from each community college in the state.
Finally, students Kathy Herring and Whitney Pittman won the 2013 Robeson Community College Short Story Contest and were recognized for their achievements at this year’s Book ‘em conference. The theme of the contest this year was “The Power of Inspiration.” Herring is a Computer Information Technology major. This is her second time winning the contest. She writes about her experiences and her observations. She loved writing as a young girl and her English course at Robeson Community College reminded her of that passion. She credits her instructor, Ms. Daniela Newland, for sparking that fire in her once again.
Pittman is an Associate in Science major. Upon her completion at Robeson Community College, she plans to transfer to The University of North Carolina at Pembroke and major in Biology. She eventually hopes to earn a PhD in Botany. When asked about her inspiration for writing, Pittman said she is “inspired by my life and things I have overcome. I based my writing on an event that changed my life … that has motivated me through hard times.” Whitney credits instructor Wendy Fields for her taking a chance and submitting an entry into the contest.
English department chairperson Crystal Edmonds also contributed to this column.
Dennis Watts is the Public Information Officer at Robeson Community College. If you have questions about Robeson Community College or suggestions for future articles, he can be reached email@example.com.