Women’s History Month 2024

In honor of women's history month

The WCC Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Committee is celebrating the contributions of female employees who play pivotal roles in the success of our students and the growth of our institution. From educators and administrators to support staff and mentors, the women of WCC are instrumental in shaping our educational environment and fostering an atmosphere of excellence in their respective roles.

This year, the committee agreed to identify four recipients for this recognition through a chance drawing that included all full-time female employees. Check out the profile of each nominee below. Happy Women’s History Month!

photo of Trish HolstenTrish Holsten

As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to pursue a career where I could provide support and encouragement to others, which led me to pursue an undergraduate degree at ECU in psychology. Wanting to continue that trajectory at ECU, I graduated with a Master’s degree in clinical psychology. I started my career at Johnston County Mental Health Center working with the adult mental health population, both inpatient and out. After being invited to guest speak in an abnormal psychology class, I began teaching part-time and through that, found a love for educating students at the community college. After 17 years in that position, I moved into the position of Secondary Partnerships Director in 2016, primarily helping high school students access dual enrollment college credit for free and advising students, parents, and school staff about the program.

I’m inspired every day by students’ journeys to navigate their personal challenges and their desire to persevere. If I can be a small piece of support along the way that made their path in life a little easier, then I will be grateful for my journey.

photo of Zi'Yea SmithZi’Yea Smith

I am a first-generation college student and received my bachelor’s in psychology from North Carolina Central University. As a former TRiO Educational Talent Search and Career and College Promise participant, I knew I wanted to give back what was instilled in me from a few phenomenal educational leaders, Sylvia Draughn, Dr. Felita Carr, Mrs. Candice Faison, and Mrs. Jackie Newton to other students that were in my shoes. These women held me accountable and made sure I was ready to tackle college and my current role. What inspires me the most about my job is developing relationships with students, building their confidence, and developing individualized action plans to help students meet their goals and graduate on time. Student success stories are truly my motivation.

photo of Lee Anne DaughtryLee Anne Daughtry

As a child, I was always interested in nature and science, spending many hours observing all the tiny creatures I could find in the woods, creeks, and ponds near my home. In the 10th grade, I took my first biology class, and met my teacher, who would become my mentor and dear friend, Mrs. Debbie Daniels. She had a love for the sciences, and a natural curiosity that inspired me. She also believed in me and pushed me to excel. I attended NC School of Science and Mathematics in Durham, NC for 11th and 12th grades, where my interest in science only grew. After high school, I received the NC Teaching Fellows Scholarship to [attend] NC State University. While there, I earned degrees in biological sciences and science education. I did not know for sure back then what I wanted to do with my biology degree, but I planned to teach high school science for 4 years after college, to honor my scholarship agreement. While in college, I also worked as a tutor at Sylvan Learning Center, teaching all subjects from basic skills to SAT prep. I began my career teaching high school chemistry and working part-time teaching GED classes at local community colleges and prisons. I learned I was an encourager, and that I enjoyed helping my students meet and even exceed their own expectations. I earned my graduate degree from NC State by taking classes in the evenings. Once I was qualified to teach at the college level, I began to teach biology classes in the evenings. This led to a full-time position, and I have been teaching college biology ever since. I taught in the NC Public School System as a high school science teacher for 7 years, then began teaching full-time with the NC Community College System. February 29, 2024, officially marked 28 years of teaching with the state of NC!

photo of Sandy PittmanSandy Pittman

From a young age, I’ve always had a desire to be an educator. I vaguely remember lining up my stuffed animals and teaching them math and singing. Little did I know how much these two disciplines have in common.

As I was growing up, my parents always encouraged my brother and me to pursue hobbies and extracurricular activities that interested us.  Mine always revolved around music. I spent many hours each week in dance lessons, piano lessons, band, and church activities, including music and missions. I believe that through this, I developed my love for music and for serving others.

When it was time for me to choose a career path, my dad strongly encouraged me to pursue nursing as my profession. I remember him saying, “you can’t make a living in music.” I didn’t mind the advice. I enjoyed serving and helping others, and a career in nursing would be just that. So I enrolled at Atlantic Christian College (now Barton College) to receive my BS in Nursing, but God had other plans. My love for music persisted, and I changed my major to piano performance. It was one of the best decisions I made.

 In 1987, after completing a BA in Piano Performance, I began my journey toward an MA in Church Music at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. During that time, I was offered the opportunity to teach a Children’s Music class at Wilson Community College. That marked the beginning of my journey as an educator. As more music and religion classes became available, I found myself fortunate enough to share my knowledge and passion with students. Each class was not just an opportunity to share knowledge but also a chance to inspire and uplift those around me.

 In 2001, when I was offered a full-time faculty position, there was only one response – a resounding YES. It was a culmination of years of dedication, perseverance, and unwavering faith in my abilities. Today, as I reflect on my journey, I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to work in a field that aligns perfectly with the degree I received and God’s call for my life. I am blessed to wake up each day knowing that I am making a difference in the lives of others through the power of education and music.

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Severe Weather Alert

Due to the threat of severe weather, the college will be closed on Friday, September 7, 2023.