One of our strategic planning goals at Wilson Community College is to “create a culture and framework for continual research, experimentation, and innovation across all College missions.”
In 2016, President Tim Wright established the President’s Award for Innovation because so much incredible work was happening. We continuously encourage and recognize innovations at the college, and this annual award is just one small way we can celebrate the good work so many of our folks are doing. So I wanted to highlight some of our past and present winners and their innovations, because I think it’s important for our community to know, too.
• 2016-17 (first year): Andrew Walker, director of institutional effectiveness, developed a program to identify hundreds of previously unrecognized certificate-earners. In the past year alone, we have awarded about 250 certificates that students would not have received before.
• 2017-18: James Carr, director of TRIO, met seemingly impossible TRIO enrollment goals by reframing TRIO to attract students, and by internal unit changes. TRIO is a federal program that allows us to offer opportunities for tutoring, assisting students with basic college requirements and providing motivation to students along the way.
• 2018-19: Applied engineering instructor Joshua Stevens, needing an expensive piece of computer equipment for his program, led his students to build their own out of spare parts.
• 2019-20: Graphics/advertising manager Kyla Strenge spearheaded implementation of new copiers toward greater campus-wide efficiency and cost-savings. Doug Lynch, information technology support technician, developed 50-plus Google forms for college operations. Math instructor Angela Grantham provided one-to-one tutorials and other virtual methods to lessen the anxiety of transition math students. And Brandon Craft, also a math instructor, created a detailed video to introduce students to his new online format, and shared with them his personal website and its math resources.
2020-21: Instructor David Bishop reinvented our culinary program to more closely align graduates’ skill set with a wide variety of industry positions, including in Wilson County. He’s also increased the number of culinary students and graduates in just a few short years. Lois McNeal, continuing education records specialist, conceived, worked with IT and our four deans to create, and implemented a process that enables online faculty contracts rather than hardcopy. This has reduced by half the time necessary to process contracts.
We have had numerous honorable mentions, too. Instructor Britney Smith essentially created her own position — part English instructor and part adviser. IT Director Susan Weekley arranged a permanent off-site backup partnership with Central Carolina Community College. Instructor Kendra Faulkner was the driving force behind our very successful CyberSafe in the Gigabit City 2019 event. And bookstore manager Kaschia Spells developed and implemented online book-ordering and shipping for students on financial aid during COVID.
We are so grateful for their expertise and commitment — and that of many others — as the Wilson Community College family works hard every day to make our community a better place.
For more information about WCC, give us a call at 252-291-1195 or visit our website at www.wilsoncc.edu. #WilsonCC— we make Wilson work.
• Sept. 16 — New student orientation and nursing information session.
• Sept. 25 — WCC Car & Truck Show on campus from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.