Magazine article Diverse Issues in Higher Education

Vance-Granville Community College President Honored

Magazine article Diverse Issues in Higher Education

Vance-Granville Community College President Honored

Article excerpt

Through her experiences as president, professor and community partner, Dr. Stelfanie Williams has leveraged the power of collaboration to make Vance-Granville Community College (VGCC) in North Carolina a transformational place for students.

Williams, VGCC's sixth president, was recently named President of the Year by the North Carolina State Board of Community Colleges for her leadership and commitment to the community college mission within the state's community college system. She is the first leader at VGCC to receive the honor.

The award "is an honor and reflects the collective contributions of the team at Vance-Granville Community College," Williams said. "My thoughts immediately went to my colleagues at the college who have dedicated themselves to our mission of educating, inspiring and supporting students."

Danny Wright, chair of the VGCC Board of Trustees, called the recognition "a well-deserved honor for Dr. Williams" that "reflects positively on the entire Vance-Granville team."

"My fellow trustees and I are delighted that the State Board of Community Colleges has recognized Dr. Williams for her visionary leadership. Our entire region has been blessed to have Dr. Williams lead Vance-Granville Community College to new heights of excellence. She serves our institution, our community and the state of North Carolina with warmth, humility and a passion for student success," said Wright.

Williams' presidency has been filled with innovations at the college and strong community partnerships due to the implementation of a five-year "Vanguard Vision" plan begun in 2013. The plan helped VGCC add seven new curriculum degree programs and increase student support services, student achievement and completion, in addition to creating workforce partnerships for students to have experiential learning.

"We established goals that address educational excellence, continuous improvement, employee and student engagement in college life and institutional stewardship," Williams said. "Every department in the college set strategies and worked to attain them for the benefit of our students."

"Our approach is seamless education that provides students access to college pathways while in high school, to work-based learning experiences, and to integrated university programs," Williams added.

With additional "support and generosity" from community businesses and industries, educational systems, organizations and donors during her tenure, Williams said that VGCC secured the largest grant in the college's history, the second-largest private donor gift and hosted six high-yielding annual golf tournaments for student scholarships. …

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