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PRIMA Conference draws over 60 people to RCC, Lumberton

Robeson Community College hosted the 2022 PRIMA Conference from September 14 to September 16. PRIMA, which stands for Public Relations, Information, and Marketing Association, serves marketing professionals from all 58 community colleges in North Carolina.

“We loved being able to bring the PRIMA conference to Lumberton this year,” stated Cheryl Hemric, the public information officer for Robeson Community College. “The conference featured 30 speakers from across the country, as well as fun events to get conference goers out and about in Robeson County so they could experience our culture and all that our community has to offer.”

Among the speakers for this year conference was globally recognized business and marketing innovator, Ekaterina Walter who served as the keynote speaker. Walter is an international speaker and author of the Wall Street Journal Bestseller Think Like Zuck and co-author of The Power of Visual Storytelling and The Laws of Brand Storytelling.

“Ekaterina is a pioneer in social media and digital marketing,” stated Hemric. “She has a great deal of knowledge in marketing, so this was a great opportunity for everyone to learn from her experiences in the industry.”

The conference featured presenters from Robeson Community College; Coastal Carolina University; NC State University; Fayetteville State University, and Guilford Technical Community College, as well as experts from the corporate world who work in SEO, digital marketing, and graphic design.

Among those from Robeson Community College presenting included –

  • RCC President Melissa Singler, who served on a Presidential Panel discussion about the future of community colleges and was joined by Roanoke-Chowan Community College President Dr. Murray Williams; Alamance Community College President Dr. Algie Gatewood; and Pitt Community College President Dr. Lawrence Rouse.


  • Kenneth Bowen, the director of institutional planning and research, gave two presentations on social media titled What are you #tweeting? and Leveraging LinkedIn.


  • The Director of IT, Derek Miller and Chief Information Officer and Vice President of IT, Dustin Long, gave a presentation centered around cybersecurity for marketing professionals, titled Zero Trust C.Y.A (Cover Your Assets)

  • The RCC Counseling Department presented during the conference, offering a workshop titled Self-care for Creative Professionals. Attendees had a chance to design pinwheels, which serve as reminder to take a moment to breath, especially in stressful situations. The pinwheels also became a work of art.  The workshop was delivered by Samantha Oxendine, Cynthia Quintero, and Susan Moore.


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  • Several students from RCC’s Associate Degree Nursing program also served on a marketing student panel discussion. Panelists were Brian Histed, Judith Tolentino, Michaela Mickles, Alexia Simmons, and they were joined by Jordan Alexandria Majette, a senior at UNCP studying business administration.


“It was an absolute pleasure to attend, to network within our community college system, enjoy delicious prepared lunches together, and also such a privilege to hear from the fantastic leaders invited to speak,” stated Jackie Woodruff, a member of the marketing and communications team at Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute in Hudson. “The PRIMA conference was so beneficial and made me love my job and department even more.”

In addition to fine tuning their craft in marketing, PRIMA members had a chance to learn about the Lumbee Tribe, the largest tribe East of the Mississippi River, and also tour historic downtown Lumberton.

“The PRIMA conference turned out to be a real treat with what seemed like the whole town showing us Lumberton’s hospitality,” said Gretchen Baugh, a marketing specialist at Pitt Community College in Greenville. “The Lumbee Tribe shared not only their dinner with us, but also gave us an amazingly rich history lesson. We were fortunate that RCC’s president Melissa Singler could join us and share the history of “Strike at the Wind,” an outdoor drama I hope to see one day.”

 “We had a private viewing of the Carolina Civic Center Historic Theater and Robeson County History Museum which was full of curious pieces. And, we walked along the peaceful Lumber Riverwalk, its scenic views are just waiting for canoe or kayak adventure,” Baugh added. “I must admit that I was pleasantly surprised and will encourage anyone who’s near to stop in or visit Lumberton. Thank you, PRIMA, RCC, and the town of Lumberton for hosting a wonderful event.”

Twenty-three of the 58 community colleges were represented during the conference and was sponsored by the generous support of CLARUS Corporation, compulseEDU, VisionPoint Marketing, Springer Studios, Aperture Content Marketing, the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina, and Robeson Community College.

“We thank our sponsors for their generous support and for the value that they see in community colleges and the educational opportunities that we provide,” stated Hemric.


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