Three high-achieving students are Alamance Community College’s (ACC) nominees for state awards sponsored by the NC Community College System.
• The 2023 Academic Excellence Award recipient is Shane Hogan, 23, of Mebane. He admits he felt alienated from the world and was unsure about his future before attending ACC. After earning his GED at Durham Technical Community College, he decided to enroll at ACC which he realized could give him the sense of purpose he had been looking for. In the two years that Shane has been a student at ACC, he has laid out plans for his future education and career goals by taking courses that include psychology, sociology, and graphic design classes.
Shane has built personal and professional connections with many members of the community, and established a presence in several organizations on the ACC campus. Shane is President of Sigma Psi, the college’s sociology and psychology club; a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society; and he feels honored to serve as a student ambassador.
Shane plans to graduate in spring 2023 from ACC and transfer to a four-year university where he is considering majoring in either art, sociology, or Eastern languages with a concentration in Japanese.
The Academic Excellence Award is sponsored by the NC Community College System (NCCCS). One student is selected from each community college by faculty nomination and must complete an application process that includes obtaining references and writing a personal statement. The student must have completed a minimum of 12 credit hours at ACC, and must demonstrate exceptional academic performance.
• The 2023 Dallas Herring Achievement Award was given to Lay Thine, 35, of Mebane, a native of Burma who spent nine years in a refugee camp before immigrating alone to the U.S. With little English in his vocabulary, Lay worked as a professional housekeeper for 15 years, but eventually wanted to improve his employment. He enrolled in ACC’s free English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESL) classes and worked hard for two years to improve his English language skills.
Lay enrolled in the College’s combined English for HVAC and HVAC/Refrigeration training, a program that conducts classes to improve English language skills while simultaneously teaching HVAC skills for a credential. After his August 2022 graduation from the HVAC program, Lay found employment in the Building Services department on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus where he currently works as a HVAC/Refrigeration technician.
Lay has now set his sights on returning to Alamance Community College while continuing his job in Chapel Hill. He hopes to earn an associate’s degree in HVAC with his eye on one day starting his own business to make an even better life for himself and his family.
The Dallas Herring Achievement Award was established by the North Carolina Community College System and honors the late Dr. Dallas Herring, whose philosophy of “taking people where they are and carrying them as far as they can go” is the guiding principle of the community college system.
• The 2023 Governor Robert Scott Leadership Award recipient is Alexandra Versace, 20, of Burlington. She has gained valuable experience in leadership roles while at ACC through workshops, conferences, retreats, presentations, and research. Over the past two years, Alexandra has immersed herself in opportunities that include volunteering as an intern with the Dream Center’s youth soccer team in Burlington, and serving as SGA president at the College. She grew as a leader in ACC’s Student Leadership Development Program, and was the Central Division representative for the NC Comprehensive Community College Student Government Association.
Alexandra says being a leader has taught her “how to be selfless, and learn the importance of connections and networking, perseverance, and determination.” As a strong participant in ACC’s CSTEP (Carolina Student Transfer Excellence Program), Alexandra will qualify to transfer to UNC Chapel Hill next fall after earning an Associate of Arts in spring 2023.
The NC Association of Community College Presidents created the Governor Robert W. Scott Student Leadership Award in 2004 as a way to recognize student leadership on a statewide level. The award is named in honor of former Governor and NC Community College System President Robert Scott. Each NC community college may nominate one student for the award.