Monday, July 28, 2014

Veteran educator, farmer chosen to head BCCC’s new Agribusiness Technology Program

William Askew, pictured above in his office in Building 3, is the new head of Beaufort County Community College’s Agribusiness Technology Program. The first classes in the program begin this month.
Veteran educator William R. Askew who grew up on a Beaufort County farm has been chosen to head the new Agribusiness Technology Program at Beaufort County Community College.
Askew, a 1989 graduate of BCCC, said he is prepared for the challenge of beginning the program, which will offer its first classes when the fall semester begins this month. Since joining the BCCC faculty, Askew has recruited students for the program, ordered textbooks, organized a laboratory and established coursework for his classes.
“I have envisioned an agricultural program here for more than 15 years,” Askew said. “And as a product of the college, I know what a value it is. It is a tremendous resource for the community.”
A native of Beaufort County, Askew graduated from Bath High School and enrolled in general education courses at BCCC. He transferred to East Carolina University where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Biology and Science Education. He subsequently entered N.C. State University where he studied to become certified to teach agriculture programs. In 2003, Askew earned a master’s degree in agriculture education from N.C. Agricultural and Technical State University and completed additional certification in school administration from ECU in 2009.
Askew comes to BCCC after a 12-year career as a teacher at Northside High School and, most recently, after serving as an assistant principal at John Small School.
Courses in the new Agribusiness Technology Program will be offered through BCCC’s Arts and Sciences Division.
Students in the program will need two years to complete the course work, after which they receive an associate in applied science degree in agribusiness technology. An associate’s degree in the program will require coursework in agricultural chemicals, soil science, animal science, plant science, animal health management, business and economics, among others. The first classes offered will be Sustainable Agriculture, Soil Science and Agricultural Chemicals.
The program will prepare graduates for a variety of jobs in agriculture such as equipment, chemical, feed and agricultural supply sales, store management, farm operations and office management of agricultural products marketing firms, according to Askew.
“Or they can go home and be better prepared to manage the family farm,” he said.
Askew and his wife, Penny, met while both were students at BCCC. They have two children. He is chairman of the Beaver Dam Drainage District and a member of the Belhaven 509 A.F. and A.M. Lodge. Askew also serves as minister for the Terra Ceia Church of Christ. In his spare time, he enjoys gardening and fishing.

For more information about the Agribusiness Technology Program at BCCC, contact Askew at 252-940-6304 or by email at For information about enrolling in classes at BCCC, contact Daniel Wilson, director of Admissions, at 252-940-6233 or visit the BCCC website at

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Gerard named Vice President of Continuing Education

Stacey Gerard, new Vice President of Continuing Education at Beaufort County Community College, is pictured above in her office in Building 8 on the BCCC campus.
As a student at Chocowinity High School, Stacey Cole Gerard was inspired by her business teacher, Judy McRoy.
But after entering East Carolina University as a North Carolina Teaching Fellow, she began to question her career choice. Her parents encouraged her to stick with it and today, she is glad she did.
“I get a lot of personal satisfaction from helping others,” she said. ”It just makes me feel good.”
After 15 years as an educator – first as a classroom teacher and later as a school administrator and program director - Gerard has been named Vice President of Continuing Education at Beaufort County Community College. She succeeds Chet Jarman who retired earlier this year.
A native of Blounts Creek, Gerard graduated from Chocowinity High School in 1995. She earned a bachelor’s degree in business education from East Carolina University graduating magna cum laude. She holds master’s degrees in vocational education and school administration and has applied to enter the educational leadership doctoral program at ECU.
Gerard has experience as a teacher – at D.H. Conley and Southside High Schools and Pitt Community College – and as a school administrator – serving as an assistant principal at Southside High School.
Before joining the BCCC administration, she served as Director of Career and Technical Education and Coordinator of the K-12 Instructional Technology Program with Beaufort County Schools. In that position, Gerard oversaw programs including Agriculture, Business, Health Science, Marketing, Technology Engineering and Design and Trade and Industrial Education.
As Vice President of Continuing Education at BCCC, Gerard will oversee the different programs of the division - high school equivalency classes, truck driver training, Small Business Center workshops, College for Kids, and knitting, cake decorating and other leisure pursuits classes, among others.
“I want the Continuing Education Division to be a shining star on our campus and in the state,” she said. “I enjoyed my time working with K-12 education but I look forward to a new challenge and continuing to have a positive impact on the community.”
A self-described “multi-tasker,” Gerard said she will enjoy being involved in the division’s many activities.
Gerard’s family roots are deep in education in the community. Her brother, Dale Cole, is Principal at Southside High School; her mother, Paulette Cole is a bookkeeper at Chocowinity Middle School and a cousin, Ben Cole, is an instructor at BCCC.

Gerard and her husband, Josh, have a two-year-old son, Gavin. They live in Blounts Creek and attend Ephesus Free Will Baptist Church. In her spare time, Gerard enjoys running, gardening and traveling to the beach.

Monday, July 21, 2014

BCCC helps Belhaven man “create his own job”

Donald Collins works on a lawnmower in his new business, A.J.’s Small Engine Repair in Belhaven.
Belhaven resident Donald Collins was ready for a change.
The Hyde County native had worked for many years in the marine construction business along the North Carolina coast.
But after moving to Belhaven, he wanted to take another career track. That’s when he met Julian Goff, a member of the Beaufort County Community College Board of Trustees.
For some time Belhaven needed a business dedicated to repairing lawn mowers, weed eaters, chain saws and other small engines, local community leaders believed. They realized that if the community could attract such a business, its residents and those who lived in neighboring Hyde County would not have to make the long drive to Washington to get those repairs done.
After meeting Collins, Goff encouraged him to take small engine repair classes offered through the Division of Continuing Education Community Partnerships Program under the direction of Clay Carter.
Collins had a background in automobile repairs and said he found the transition to small engine repair easy – learning from his instructor, Tom Rogers, and his fellow students.
Once he obtained the needed repair skills, his next step was to open a business.
Lentz Stowe, director of BCCC's
Small Business Center, meets with
center client Donald Collins at
Collins' new business.
For that help, he turned to BCCC’s Small Business Center and its director, Lentz Stowe. Stowe helped Collins enroll in the center’s Entrepreneurial Core Curriculum of classes – covering subjects that range from small business financing to advertising and marketing and record-keeping – and worked with him to begin a business plan.
Three months ago, Collins opened A.J.’s Small Engine Repair – named after his daughter - on Pamlico Street in a building formerly occupied by an automobile dealership.
“Donald Collins is an excellent example of the type of entrepreneurship we need to promote in eastern North Carolina,” said Stowe. “The community recognized an unmet need in his community and Donald Collins created his own job to meet that need.”
Collins said that since opening the business he has had a steady stream of customers.
“Almost every day, somebody brings me something,” he said.
It hasn’t always been easy, Collins said.
Through trial and error, Collins has learned what to charge for his time, where to locate a reliable supply of parts for the motors he is repairing and whether to charge a deposit to his customers. Collins also said he needs to be prepared for business to slow when the weather turns cold.
Stowe said these are all questions that he can help Collins address through seminars and counseling offered by the center.
As part of a statewide network of centers, the Small Business Center at BCCC helps the over 1,600 small businesses in Beaufort, Hyde, Tyrell and Washington counties like Main Street Eatery survive, prosper, and contribute to the economic well-being of the area, according to Stowe
Small Business Centers provide a variety of seminars and workshops, one-on-one counseling, a library of resources, and referrals to other sources to prospective and current owners and operators of small businesses; plus, the services are at no cost to clients and attendees.
Despite the challenges of owning his own business, Collins said he is glad he made the move.
He said he sees his new business as a chance to achieve success and improve the life of his family.

“I’m working for myself,” he said. “And I know every morning when I wake up that I have work to do.”

Sunday, July 20, 2014

New BCCC practical nursing graduates pinned
in ceremony on July 16

Twenty graduates of the Practical Nursing Program at BCCC received their nursing school pins recently. Those receiving pins are, front row, Bernetta Dunbar, Erin Matthews, Lisa Whitley, LeAnn Beddard, Josh Piegols, Demetrice Jones, Ashley Carrow, Joy Bennett, Shaneka Little and Jenna Sadler; back row, Krystal Thompson, Sherri Johnson, Meka Daniels, Adriana Herina, Quannie Lee, Amy Blake, Meta Gilliam, Gorditra Anderson, Tiara Jordan and Marie Wetherington.
Twenty graduates of Beaufort County Community College’s Practical Nursing program received their nursing school pins Wednesday, July 16, in a ceremony, which is a traditional rite of passage for nursing school graduates across the country.
Jenna Sadler receives her pin.
The ceremony was held at on the BCCC campus before an audience of about 250 college administrators, faculty and staff as well as family and friends of the graduates.
In her faculty address, Aino Jackson, lead Practical Nursing instructor, told the class members that they had changed from their first day as new nursing students to graduates who are confident in their skills.
“You accomplished it all and today. . . is about celebrating you and your success,” she said. “From now on you are not just an individual, you are a nurse.”
In student comments, Demetrice Jones, class president, thanked the instructors and family members for their support.
“After today, we will go our separate ways,” she said. “Wherever life takes us and wherever we work, we will be great nurses.”
Pinning ceremonies in their currently recognizable form began in 1893. The pin is awarded to the nurse to recognize the achievement of entering the profession and to signify a nursing school graduate’s affiliation with a specific nursing school.
The graduates are now qualified to take the state licensure examination. 
They are Gorditra Anderson, LeAnn J. Beddard, Joy Bennett, Amy Green-Blake, Ashley Carrow, Shametria D. Daniels, Bernetta Dunbar, Meta Gilliam, Adriana Herina, Sherri Johnson, Demetrice M. Jones, Tiara C. Jordan, Quannie Lee, Shaneka Little, Erin Matthews, Joshua Piegols, Jenna Sadler, Krystal P. Thompson, Marie Wetherington and Lisa Whitley.
Three students received awards during the ceremony. Johnson was the recipient of the Academic Performance Award; Jones, the Clinical Excellence Award, and Beddard, the Leadership Award.
For more information about the Practical Nursing program at BCCC, contact Aino Jackson at 252-940-6395 or visit the BCCC website at

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Martin returns as president of BCCC Faculty Senate for 2014-2015

Jeanne Martin, an Associate Degree Nursing instructor, will begin her second term as President of the BCCC Faculty Senate in the 2014-2015 Academic Year.
Jeanne Martin, an instructor in the Associate Degree Nursing Program at Beaufort County Community College, who served as President of the Faculty Senate at BCCC for the 2013-2014 Academic Year will serve a second year as the organization’s President in the 2014-2015 Academic Year. She is joined in the Faculty Senate leadership by Michele Mayo, vice president; Dana Sauls, secretary, and Lynne Modlin, treasurer, who are also serving in those offices for a second year.
A North Carolina native, Martin graduated from West Rowan High School in 1981 and earned her bachelor's degree in nursing from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1985. In 2011, Martin earned her master’s degree in nursing education from East Carolina University. Martin has 28 years’ experience in nursing and nursing education, with the bulk of her experience in adult critical care nursing in a variety of settings. In 2012, she became a Certified Nurse Education. She and her husband, Jay, live in Washington. They have four sons. In her spare time, Martin leads and participates in Bible study classes, is a volunteer in the public schools and enjoys walking and reading.
Mayo is a member of the BCCC Business Division faculty and teaches Medical Office and Office Administration classes. A North Carolina Teaching Fellow, Mayo earned a bachelor's degree in education from East Carolina University in 1990 with concentrations in science and French. In 1994, Mayo earned a master's degree in education with a science concentration from ECU. She has been active in education and civic organizations in the community for many years. She enjoys playing tennis and spending time with husband, Will, and their five children.
Sauls, a Washington native, earned a bachelor’s degree in education and a master’s degree in reading education from ECU. She has worked at BCCC since 1999, currently as Lead Development Reading and English Instructor. She and her husband, Kris, have two sons. She attends Snowd Branch Church of God and teaches Children’s Church there. Sauls serves as secretary of the Bath Recreation Department and as a member of the Bath Booster’s Club, the Northside Booster’s Club and the Northside Air Force Junior ROTC Booster’s Club. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, fishing, swimming and attending her sons’ basketball and baseball games.
Modlin, of Jamesville, joined BCCC’s faculty as an instructor in the Associate Degree Nursing Program in 2007 and was named Faculty Member of the Year for 2014. A Martin County native, she graduated from Williamston High School in 1989 and earned a bachelor’s degree from East Carolina University in 1994 and a master’s degree in nursing education from Walden University in 2011. She is specially trained in the operations of high-fidelity simulators. Modlin and her husband, Michael, have two children. She is a member of Cedar Branch Baptist Church where she is Chairman of the Personnel Committee. In her spare time, Modlin enjoys spending time with her family and gardening.
The officers are joined in leading the Faculty Senate by three committee chairmen – Kimberly Mullis, Instructional Affairs chairman; Thomyka Holloman, Faculty Affairs chairman, and Donna Dunn, Student Affairs chairman.

The purpose of the Faculty Senate is to aide communication among BCCC faculty and between its members and the college administration. It also makes recommendations on college policy and governance issues of concern to faculty, advocates for faculty viewpoints on pertinent issues and works to develop cooperation among faculty in various instructional programs at the college, among other activities.

Monday, July 14, 2014

BCCC schedules entrepreneurial core curriculum classes

Business and Industry Services at Beaufort County Community College announces a schedule of upcoming classes this fall that serves as the core curriculum for potential and existing small business owners.
The classes are designed to help entrepreneurs understand the basics of starting, advertising, financing and keeping records for their existing and potential small businesses as well as business plan development.
Those students who complete all five of the core courses will receive a certificate that acknowledges their studies. Students can use the certificate to help prove to potential business lenders and investors that they have the skills to successfully operate a small business or they can use the certificate to bolster their resumes when applying for positions as small business employees.
Participants can register to attend one or more of these classes. All classes will be 3 to 5 p.m. in Room 828 of Building 8 on the BCCC campus and will be taught by volunteers from SCORE unless otherwise noted.
The classes are as follows:
How to Start a Business, Monday, Aug. 4. This workshop is designed to help budding entrepreneurs start their own businesses. The topics to be discussed include the following: Advantages and disadvantages of owning a business; factors to be considered in starting a business; how to obtain permits and licenses; where to find tax information, and how to know if you are ready to start a business.
How to Write a Business Plan, Monday, Aug. 18. This workshop will help students create a plan for their small businesses. A business plan is the foundation for success when future business owners are deciding whether to start a new business or buy an existing business. Some of the topics to be discussed in the seminar are writing the executive summary of a plan, describing the business, developing a marketing plan and writing a financial plan.
Financing Your Small Business, Monday, Sept. 15. This workshop will teach participants ways to finance their small businesses including information on grants and loans available to help. It will also provide information on where entrepreneurs can obtain good, solid and reliable financial advice.
Advertising and Marketing for Small Businesses, Monday, Sept 8. This workshop is designed to teach participants low-cost advertising and marketing strategies and methods. Students will learn to create a marketing plan and score greater sales with current customers.
Recordkeeping and Taxes for Your Small Business, Monday, Sept. 29, 6 to 9 p.m. This seminar will help participants understand the financial aspects of their businesses including financial statements, working with bankers, filing federal and state reports and financial terms that may be confusing. The instructor is Keith Kidwell, a tax professional with H & R Block in Washington.
Attendance is free of charge for all of these seminars but pre-registration is recommended in order to reserve seating and to allow the college to adequately prepare materials.
To pre-register, contact BCCC’s Business and Industry Services at 252-940-6375 or email Eva Peartree at or Lentz Stowe, director of BCCC’s Business and Industry Services at 252-940-6306 or by email at
The workshops are co-sponsored by the Washington/Beaufort County Chamber of Commerce and SCORE, a national nonprofit organization that provides professional guidance and information that improves the success of America’s existing and emerging small businesses.

For more information about other services offered by BCCC’s Business and Industry Services’ Small Business Center, including targeted seminars for business owners, visit BCCC’s Website at Business/workshops.htm or contact Stowe or Lauren Spruill, customized training coordinator, at 252-940-6311 or by email at

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Gail Ambrose is new BCCC Staff Association President

Gail Ambrose, BCCC Staff Association President for 2014-2015, prepares
to check out a book for a client in the Learning Resources Center.
Gail Ambrose, technical services coordinator for the Learning Resources Center at Beaufort County Community College, has been chosen to head the BCCC Staff Association for the 2014-2015 Academic Year. Other Staff Association officers are Pauline Godley, vice president; Sue Gurley, secretary, and Sherry Stotesberry, treasurer.
A long-time resident of Beaufort County, Ambrose has served as technical services coordinator in the BCCC Library for almost 20 years. A graduate of Bath High School, Ambrose earned an associate’s degree in Business Administration from BCCC and served as one of the college’s ambassadors. Ambrose and her husband, Galin, have two daughters and live in the Bath area. Ambrose attends Everetts Church of Christ and serves as secretary for the Goose Creek State Park Board of Directors, a position she has held for five years. In her spare time, she enjoys gardening to attract butterflies and hummingbirds, spending time with her horses and reading.
Godley, administrative assistant for BCCC's Law Enforcement Programs, has been employed at the college for 24 years. She has been an active member of the BCCC Staff Association and has held all major offices in the association, most recently serving as Secretary of the association during the 2010-2011 Academic Year. Godley holds a bachelor's degree in business administration from Mount Olive College. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree. In her spare time, Godley enjoys reading, family time, and socializing with friends. She is a native of Washington and has one son.
Gurley is coordinator of BCCC's Nurse Aide Programs. A 1984 graduate of BCCC's Associate Degree Nursing Programs, Gurley was named to her current position in 2012 after serving 10 years as a teacher for BCCC’s nurse aide classes. A native of Chocowinity, Gurley graduated from Chocowinity High School. She has a life-long interest in history, having studied colonial food preparations as an intern with Tryon Palace in New Bern. She is a member of Second Baptist Church in Washington and, in her spare time, enjoys gardening, salt-water fishing and reading. Gurley and her husband, Dennis, live in Chocowinity.
Stotesberry is equipment coordinator at BCCC. She joined the BCCC staff about 28 years ago as a part-time cashier in the college's cafeteria. She began working at BCCC full-time as an assistant to the cafeteria and bookstore managers and, later, as an inventory and receiving clerk. Stotesberry attended BCCC and is a licensed cosmetologist. A native of Beaufort County, Stotesberry and her husband, Ernie, live in Swan Quarter and have one daughter. In her spare time, Stotesberry enjoys reading, cooking and fishing. Stotesberry served two terms as President of the BCCC Staff Association - first, during the 2005-2006 Academic Year and, later, during the 2009-2010 Academic Year.