DOBSON — One student from each of the 58 community colleges in the North Carolina Community College System receives the Academic Excellence Award every spring. Students from Jonesville, Mount Airy and Yadkinville were honored.
Recent graduate Mackenzie D. Ammann of Mount Airy, an Associate in Arts major, was the North Carolina Community College System Academic Excellence Award recipient for Surry Community College. SCC President Dr. David Shockley recognized Ammann at the morning SCC Commencement Ceremony on May 14 where she received a commemorative gold medal and a plaque from the North Carolina Community College System.
Ammann graduated with an Associate in Arts degree at SCC before receiving her high school diploma from the Surry Early College. She plans to attend UNC-Chapel Hill to major in Business and Economics.
“As I prepare to make the transition from a community college to a four-year institution, I find it incredibly hard to say goodbye to a campus that has not only encouraged me to find my own voice in this massive world, but to also take the time to identify with those around me,” Amman says. “As a student and tutor at Surry Community College, I have had the pleasure of networking with other students whose determination towards fulfilling such far-reaching aspirations for themselves and their families has inspired me to be all I can possibly be as well.”
According to the N.C. Community Colleges System website, selection of the Academic Excellence Award is based on a single selection from each college. Selection is consistent with Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society criteria and includes the recipient being currently enrolled, having completed at least 12 semester hours in an associate degree program and maintaining a cumulative grade point average of not less than 3.25. Colleges may use additional scholarship criteria beyond these minimum requirements.
Benjamin “Ben” Simpson of Yadkinville was the 2016 nominee from Surry Community College for the Dr. Dallas Herring Achievement Award. The award was established in 2010 by the North Carolina Association of Community College Presidents to honor the late Dr. Dallas Herring, considered one of the founding fathers of community colleges in North Carolina. The award is bestowed annually upon a current or former student who best embodies Dr. Herring’s philosophy of “taking people where they are and carrying them as far as they can go.”
Simpson is working towards an Associate in Arts and an Associate in General Education. He plans to transfer to Appalachian State University where he hopes to participate in ROTC and become an officer in the Army National Guard. He is currently a Private First Class in the Army National Guard which he joined in September 2015. During his time at SCC, he was inducted into both honor societies offered at SCC, Phi Theta Kappa and the National Society of Leadership and Success, the latter of which he served as the president. He was also the Student Government Association’s secretary.
JaMeire Bryant of Jonesville was nominated for the Governor Robert W. Scott Leadership Award. The award, also sponsored by the North Carolina Association of Community College Presidents, was created in 2004 to recognize student leadership on a statewide level while also honoring former Governor Scott, one of the earliest supporters of the N.C. Community College System and the fourth System President from 1983 until 1994.
Bryant graduated in May with a Paralegal Technology degree with plans to transfer to Appalachian State University to study Political Science. He was very active on Surry’s campus having served as the Student Government Association President and Vice President and also as a College Ambassador. Additionally, Bryant was the President and Vice President of the Paralegal Club on campus. He was inducted into Phi Theta Kappa and the National Society of Leadership and Success while a student, the latter of which he served as Vice President. Through all these organizations, he helped with blood drives, community holiday events, attended statewide conferences, conducted campus tours, assisted the SCC Student Services staff with orientations and summer camps, and served on the college’s Board of Trustees.