The Robeson Community College Alumni Association invites you to the upcoming Professional Development Series offered through the Human Resources Development Department. The workshops, with dates and descriptions, are located on the right side of the attached flyer. There is NO FEE for those individuals meeting eligibility requirements.
The mission of the Robeson Community College Alumni Association is:
- To provide a method for communication and interaction among Robeson Community College alumni, students, faculty and staff;
- To actively participate, as alumni of the College, in campus activities and within the community as supporters of the College promoting the mission and values of Robeson Community College;
- To provide philanthropic support to Robeson Community College and the Robeson Community College Foundation, Inc., assist in the recruitment and retention of students, and to assist with general development and advancement of Robeson Community College; and
- To encourage and practice advocacy for the College in the business, industry, government, and community arenas.
The purpose of the Robeson Community College Alumni Association is:
- To constitute an association of alumni with membership composed of graduates of Robeson Community College;
- To support and advance the growth and development of the College; and
- To promote the personal, educational, and professional development of its members, and to encourage mutually supportive relationships among alumni, students, the community, and the college.
To become a member of the Robeson Community College Alumni Association, you must be a graduate of Robeson Community College (degree, certificate, and diploma program). If you have a vested interest in the college and have been associated with Robeson Community College or the Robeson Community College Foundation, Inc., but do not meet the requirements to become a member, you can join the Alumni Association as an honorary member (must be approved by the Robeson Community College Foundation, Inc. Director).
You can also stay connected to us through the RCC Alumni Association Facebook page, follow us on twitter @RobesonAlumni and the Robeson Community College Alumni Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/rccalumni/
Robeson Community College Alumni Executive Committee:
President- Patricia Locklear
Immediate Past President – Tim Sampson
President-Elect- Kristy Blue
Public Information Officer- Ashleigh Windley
Secretary- Rebekah Lowry
Recruiter- Angela Locklear
Foundation Director- (Ex-officio) Mrs. Jessica Bullard
Faculty Association Chair (Ex-officio)- Mrs. Loretta Allen
RCCAEOP President (Ex-officio)- Mrs. Sybil Boone
RCC SGA President (Ex-officio)- Ms. Keshena Butler
Patrick McMurray’s personal theme for the 2020 year of the nurse and midwife is “Nursing Outside the Box!”, and his passion is to aid in creating nursing champions. Patrick hails from a nursing legacy that began with his mother who is a 2000 Nursing Graduate from Robeson Community College. Patrick is from Robeson County and graduated Magna Cum Laude at 17 years old from Lumberton Senior High School in 2010. Patrick was dually enrolled at Robeson Community College during this time. Patrick’s choice to attend Robeson Community College was made after a time of reflection. Patrick shared that he weighed the pros and cons of attending a 4-year university versus a community college and determined that his overarching goals and plans for the future would be better served attending a community college. He spoke candidly about weighing out the debt associated with 4-year university tuition and fees versus a community college’s tuition and fees and decided to become an RCC student. Patrick stated, “I realized I would graduate with no debt or minimal debt if I attend a community college.”
When asked why he chose nursing over other health services fields, Patrick shared nursing aligned with his personal goals and he knew he would be able to focus on healing through the lens of the natural and social sciences. Patrick shared many wonderful memories during his time at Robeson Community College including being National Technical Honor Society President, being active in Phi Theta Kappa, receiving the Nursing Leadership Award and completing a preceptorship at the Heart Center with Southeastern Regional Medical Center where he worked for 2 years after he graduated from RCC.
Patrick moved to Raleigh after working 2 years in the Heart Center and attended Western Governors University receiving his Bachelor of Science in nursing. He worked at UNC REX Healthcare and Wake Med Health and Hospitals. He has served as an Adult Float Pool Nurse at UNC Medical center in Chapel Hill for the last 3 years and is now attending Western Governor’s School obtaining his Master of Science in Nursing Education, with plans to pursue a doctorate in nursing in the future.
Patrick describes Robeson Community College as an institution that successfully prepared him for the Bachelor’s Degree experience, that he was immersed in evidence based-practicum, developed the necessary leadership skills to excel at the higher education level, and totally prepared for the next steps in terms of educational advancement due to his experience at Robeson Community College.
Patrick has a social media following which enlisted the interest of the Academic Journal of Teaching and Learning in Nursing. Patrick has been asked to join the journal’s editorial board and has also co-authored a peer-reviewed article for the journal discussing cultivating diversity in schools of nursing.
Patrick truly believes in investing in the affordability of the community college system, supporting minorities, and diversity and strengthening mentorship for students to assist in early exposure higher education pipeline from the community college institution to the 4-year university.
Patrick truly believes in the value of mentorship and has formed a strong bond with Dr. Eva Meekins, Director of Nursing at RCC. Dr. Meekins speaks highly of Patrick and his dedication to the nursing field in terms of mentorship and educational leadership. Patrick has truly traveled down the educational pipeline now serving as an adjunct faculty in the Nursing Department teaching Pharmacology and shared that the first students he taught were graduating this year. In his spare time, Patrick manages a blog talking about various topics surrounding nursing at PatMacRN.com
Patrick in an invaluable asset to the Robeson Community College family and is certainly a NURSE CHAMPION!!!!!
Rob Jacobs shares Robeson Community College was the CLEAR choice for him.
Why did you choose Robeson Community College? After a 6-year stint in the U.S. Air Force and Air Force Reserves, I knew that I wanted to further my education, but I wasn’t sure where to begin. After weighing the educational options in my community, clearly RCC was the clear choice for several reasons.
- It provided the best financial value for the use of my GI Bill®
- It allowed me to brush up on my foundational skills due to the amount of time that surpassed since I graduated high school.
- It afforded me the ability to work a full-time job while taking courses due to their wide array of day and night class offerings.
- It had a cutting-edge Information technology program with top notch I.T. professionals as professors
Your favorite memories at RCC: I look back at my time at Robeson Community College with very fond memories, but the best memories I have are of the staff. From the late John Oxendine, who taught basic computing and would entertain us with stories of his classmate Michael Jordan while at UNC, to Ms. Ivey, who taught many of my networking classes and never allowed us to give up, to Ms. Pam Locklear in the business office who always offered a warm smile and a caring spirit, I will never forget how they made me feel as a student.
A few accomplishments you have achieved and where are you now: After leaving RCC, I worked at a few computer repair shops in the region but I found my passion in helping the youth of the Lumbee tribe through my volunteer work at the N.C. Indian Cultural Center. Using that passion, I formed the Lumbee Tribe’s Youth Program with the help of some excellent people, including your very own, Rebekah Revels Lowery. I then brought the Boys and Girls Clubs of America program to the Lumbee tribe and also founded the Lumbee Spring Powwow, which is the largest on the East Coast today. After working in the tribal youth program, I transferred over to the tribe’s housing program to learn additional skills. I then brought the 184 Indian Loan guarantee program to the tribe through a chance encounter at a conference and I became the #1 loan processor for HUD’s Office of Native American Programs in the entire country, helping dozens of Lumbee families achieve the American dream.
After a few years in Lumbee tribal housing, I had the opportunity to move to Connecticut to work for the richest tribe in the country, the Mashantucket Pequot, at Foxwoods Casino in the casino host/ player development department. As a casino host, my job was to take care of the wealthiest of our players and keep them coming back to the casino. This had many benefits, one of which was the chance to sit down and pick the brain of these very successful people. These conversations changed my thinking and I’ve used this new-found power of positive thinking over the years to create a pretty interesting career.
From Connecticut, I moved to Philadelphia to become a player development executive at Harrah’s, and from Philly I moved to Florida to become the manager of player development for the Seminole Tampa resort/casino. During my time at Seminole, a chance Facebook post by one of the leader’s in Indian Country business, Gary Davis, regarding a new Tribal Business magazine led me to see a job posting that would change my life. I applied and became the national manager of business development for the Tribal Business Journal, the only tribally focused business magazine in America at the time.
During my 2 yrs. with the journal, I met and befriended most every major mover and shaker in Indian Country business circles. Using those connections, I’ve been able to create multiple business opportunities for tribes and native business owners. Fast forward 4 yrs. in Indian Country business and I now work for an Alaska Native Corporation as their national tribal business development executive from my home in Orlando, Florida and I’m also an advisor to President Trump regarding Native American issues of importance.
The Perfect Stepping Stone
The Perfect Stepping Stone
Heather Hunt Oxendine knew since the 9th grade that she wanted to be an electrical engineer. She shares fond memories of Mr. Jerry Shooter, her 9th-grade Physical Science teacher who made learning fun. “We built circuits and pneumatic labs. We would turn the lights off and count revolutions on a wheel with a strobe light, and that was every day,” stated Heather. Mr. Shooter told Heather stories about the real work of engineers, which stuck with her. In those early years, Heather also worked alongside her Grandfather, who owned Oxendine Heating and Air. She can recall her uncles telling her she could be an engineer, and her response to them was, “I don’t like trains.”
Heather began working with her Grandfather when she was only ten years old. She would help work on the service trucks, servicing air conditioning units. “That’s probably where I developed the initial idea that I didn’t have to go the traditional path for my career,” said Heather. “That’s where those seeds were planted. My Grandfather gave me just as much option to work alongside him as he did my brothers. He didn’t treat me like I didn’t have the aptitude.”
Heather shared, “In ninth grade, I learned about engineering and the wide range of options and majors within engineering and how high of demand those majors were. You’re going to get a job with an engineering degree. If you wanted to go to medical school, you could go for biomedical engineering and then go to medical school. It’s the perfect stepping stone.”
Heather graduated early from Purnell Swett High School and entered UNCP in the spring of that year. She took the introductory courses needed to transfer to NC State University in the fall of 2001. In December of 2001, Heather learned she was expecting her first child and moved home. She understood the importance of motherhood and taking full responsibility to care for her daughter.
Choosing Robeson Community College
After taking some time off, Heather decided to go back to school and enrolled at Robeson Community College in the Fall of 2003. She enrolled in the Electrical Electronics Program because she knew that would be similar to engineering. Heather decided not to attend a four-year university because she wanted to do something in the electrical engineering field. She assured her mother that she would be the best student RCC has ever had in the program. Heather also realized that she had a child to provide for, and the two-year program would work for her as a single mom.
Heather spoke about how Danford Groves, a former Robeson Community College employee, helped her with child care services and scholarship opportunities. After graduation, Heather’s first job was with M&W Electric as a project manager and estimator in May 2005; she was introduced to the company’s owner while attending a job fair at Robeson Community College.
Heather feels it is crucial to dispel the stigma associated with community colleges. While at Robeson Community College, Heather learned how to study, take the next level courses, and handle herself.
A Lifelong Career
Heather has made a distinct path for herself in the engineering industry serving in Assistant Project Manager’s capacity with Metcon and Project Manager/Designer with Coastal Plains Engineering. Additionally, she has served in numerous positions by way of promotion with Duke Energy, including Engineering Technologist, Project Manager I and II, Work Management Support Supervisor, and now Initiative Management Manager, Capital Investment Strategy, which focuses on customer delivery capital planning.
Heather attended the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in their two-plus-two program and graduated in August 2016, all while focusing efforts in work and raising her three children. When asked about how she felt when she graduated from UNC-Charlotte, Heather stated, “I still could cry thinking about it. I was so happy that I didn’t have a test to study for while working and taking care of my kids. It was such a relief.”
Heather expressed the need to educate the community about how great the community college experience can be in terms of seeking an educational career. Heather speaks to youth groups about an engineering career and the importance of STEM. She also understands the importance of creating lasting partnerships with industry and community organizations.
When asked to share some of her favorite memories of her time at Robeson Community College Heather responded, “The Electrical Electronics Program is a tough program and a lot of people come in thinking this is a community college and they will be able to breeze through the courses but they are challenging. The cohort I was in started with 30 students, but we ended up with seven. I was the only woman in the class, which prepared me for what my work life would eventually be like. My classmates and I spent a lot of time together, and we were very close. This closeness drove friendship and accountability. The two-year Electrical Electronics Program was challenging and taught me how to be resourceful and successful.”
Heather shared she realized that she had to focus on what gave her the greatest sense of satisfaction. She wanted to put herself in the position that she feels will allow her to contribute to her company and customers.
Heather lives with her husband John and their three beautiful daughters in Pembroke, NC.