Wilson Community College is proud to celebrate Women’s History Month during the month of March.
Women Leading the Way at Wilson Community College
In celebration of Women’s History Month (WHM), the College’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee nominated women in various leadership positions at WCC, to be recognized for their accomplishments and contributions. We also hope you’ll learn about their roles at the College and find inspiration in their stories.
Leigh Goroski, Director of Admissions and Student Success
Leigh Goroski began her career at WCC in 2014, as the STARS Center Coordinator. She has since served as Director of the STARS Center and then advanced to Director of Admissions and Student Success in 2019. During her time in the NC Community College System, Leigh’s singular focus has been supporting students and promoting their success. Leigh has been influenced by many women who have inspired and taught her along the way. In reflecting on the women who she’s found inspiring, Leigh says, “It’s every woman that has taken the time to impart wisdom, give advice and create opportunities for other women. Those are the women that I notice and strive to emulate…” Read More
Jessica Jones, Vice President of Finance/Administrative Services
Growing up as one of 12 children in a hard-working family, Jessica Jones had many examples of what success looked like for others. She was unsure of her own career path until an Accounting teacher inspired her to pursue a profession that would allow her to use her love of math to earn a living. After earning a Bachelor of Science in Accounting, Jessica started working at WCC in 1999, as Assistant Controller. She was promoted and went on to serve as Controller for 15 years, before becoming VP for Finance and Administrative Services. For sources of inspiration, Jessica credits her family and the dedicated employees who work in the College’s business office and auxiliary services. The same dedication, hard-work, and passion that helped her advance, continue to be the things that drive her to succeed… Read More
Jennifer Gonyea, Director of Enrollment Services/Registrar
Jennifer Gonyea started as a graduate of Wilson Community College, and has advanced from an entry-level position, to serving as Director of Enrollment Services/Registrar for the College. Her experiences as a student directly contributed to her educational beliefs and values. Jennifer understands the challenges of working full-time, being in school, and caring for a family because she’s walked that path herself. Through hard work and determination, she went on to earn a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (2011), a Master of Arts in Adult Education and a Graduate Certificate in Community College Instruction (2015), and is scheduled to graduate in May 2022, with a Doctorate in Higher Education Leadership. Jennifer’s role at the College allows her to pursue what she describes as a passion for helping others obtain an education… Read More
Dr. Sheril Roberts, Dean of College Transfer and Public Services
Dr. Sheril Roberts is a lifelong learner, with a “habit” for learning and a deep desire to help others. Her diverse background and previous leadership experiences provided a strong foundation to help her lead as the College’s Dean of College Transfer and Public Services. In addition to her Doctorate in Higher Education Administration, Dr. Roberts holds dual Master’s degrees in Human Services/Marriage and Family Therapy; and Counseling Psychology, as well as a Bachelor’s of Social Work. She credits strong female leaders with similar backgrounds and a passion for supporting students in any way that they could, as her primary motivators. Following the examples set by her family and her mentors, Sheril has dedicated herself to making a quality education more accessible and appealing to people in the community… Read More
Darlene Hall, Director of Law Enforcement Training
As a young girl growing up in rural Northampton County in the 1960’s, Darlene Hall saw little of the world beyond the small town where she was raised by her grandparents. Working to help the family at a young age was a necessity, and future prospects for young women of color were limited to working in manufacturing or industrial labor. As an avid reader, Darlene learned that there was a world of possibilities beyond her experience, but not beyond her reach. She quickly understood that education was the pathway to that larger world. Her amazing and inspiring journey started with one suitcase and a bus ticket to start freshman year in college and spanned over 2 decades of an impressive law enforcement career as a police officer and detective in Cincinnati, Ohio. During which time she raised children, worked full-time, and earned a Master’s degree in Criminal Justice. When considering a post-retirement career, Darlene gravitated to the field of education because it had always driven her decisions. Her experience and qualifications were ideally suited to her current role as WCC’s Director of Law Enforcement Training. She is now in a position to shape and guide the careers of others in law enforcement. She has seen how the Basic Law Enforcement Training (BLET) Academy is life-changing and provides completers with careers instead of jobs. The students she’s seen enroll in the Criminal Justice Technology degree program have been able to advance professionally and don’t have any regrets about continuing their education. Darlene credits her grandmother (who never graduated high school herself) for making education a priority and motivating her to do better and be better… Read More
Susan Weekley, Director of Information Technology
Susan Weekley has been an Information Technology professional for over 25 years and serves as Director of IT for Wilson Community College. Since joining the College in 2016, Susan has implemented many new systems and overseen growing technology in uncertain times. She also gained experience as an adjunct IT faculty member for WCC, which motivated her to further her own education by earning a Master of Science in Network Technology, concentrating in computer networks and a Cybersecurity Professional Certificate. She also holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in Management Information Systems. In addition to her formal education, Susan’s parents taught her to persevere and overcome any obstacle. She also strives to be a good role model for her own children, with the hope they will follow her example of hard work and dedication in pursuing their own careers… Read More
- Mary Anderson was granted a patent for the windshield wiper in 1903. It would become a standard requirement for cars in 1916. Women have invented many things including industrial lathes, white out, bras, non-reflective glass, the dishwasher, disposable diapers, petroleum refining methods, etc. Read more at https://lemelson.mit.edu/resources/mary-anderson.
- Jeannette Rankin from Montana was an American politician and the first woman elected to serve in Congress. She was elected in 1916 and 1940. While in Congress, she introduced legislation that led to granting unrestricted voting rights to women across the nation. She fought for women’s rights and civil rights throughout her career. Read more at https://history.house.gov/People/Listing/R/RANKIN,-Jeannette-(R000055)/.
- Kamala Harris made history when she sworn in as the 49th U.S. Vice President on January 20, 2021. She was the first woman, the first African American, and the first Asian American to serve as vice president in the United States. Before being elected to vice president, she served in the US Senate and as the attorney general for California. Read more at https://www.britannica.com/biography/Kamala-Harris.
- Bessie Coleman was the first African American, and the first Native American, female pilot. She was known for performing flying tricks. Her goal was to encourage women and African Americans to reach their dreams. Unfortunately, her career ended with a tragic plane crash, but her life continues to inspire people around the world. Read more at https://www.womenshistory.org/education-resources/biographies/bessie-coleman.
- Mary, Queen of Scots (Mary Stuart) was Queen of Scotland from December 14, 1542 to July 24,1567. She was known for her turbulent life and eventual execution for treason in 1587. One fact many do not know is she is reported to be the first woman to play golf in Scotland. Despite the fact it was uncommon for women at the time, she made it a hobby. It is even rumored she went out to play golf a few days after her husband, Lord Darnley’s murder. Read more at https://www.npg.org.uk/take-another-look/mary-queen-of-scots.
- Empress Dowager Cixi served as China’s last and arguably most famous empress. She started as a favored concubine to Xianfeng Emperor, the eighth emperor of the Qing Dynast in China. When the Emperor died, his son was poised to be the next emperor. However, he was killed in a coup. This left Empress Cixi a powerful, but unofficial head of Imperial China until her death in 1908. Read more at https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/cixi-the-woman-behind-the-throne-22312071/.
- Antoinette Brown made history as the first woman to be ordained a minister of a recognized denomination in the United States. She began to speak at meetings of the Congregational church to which she belonged at an early age and pursued her future as a minister. Read more at https://www.womenhistoryblog.com/2012/11/antoinette-brown-blackwell.html.
Check back throughout the month for more facts.
The A. Dwight Johnson Learning Resource Center has a variety of print books, eBooks, articles, databases, and government resources showcasing Women’s History Month. Visit the Library today to check out one of our titles or view the electronic resources (electronic resources only available to current students and employees).