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RCC hosts Employee Appreciation Day for faculty and staff

“Today and every day, I am filled with a deep sense of gratitude and appreciation for each and every one of you,” stated RCC President Melissa Singler as she welcomed employees to the recognition ceremony on Wednesday. “Your dedication, hard work, and unwavering commitment to our college community have not gone unnoticed, and I am incredibly proud to stand before you as your President.”

During the recognition ceremony, employees were recognized for their years of service and several were honored for their commitment, dedication, and hard work during the year that made a difference across campus and in the lives of students. Earlier in the day, faculty and staff enjoyed breakfast, professional development opportunities, and were treated to lunch in the student center before a live band, Mark McKinney & Co., which played a range of hits from the 80’s, 90’s, and today during the “Rodeo” themed event.

“To our esteemed faculty, thank you for your passion for teaching and your commitment to excellence,” stated Singler. “To our dedicated staff, thank you for your behind-the-scenes work that keeps our college running smoothly from ensuring our facilities are well-maintained to providing administrative support, your hard work and commitment to our college and community do not go unnoticed.”

Guest speaker, Mike Krause

During the ceremony, those gathered had an opportunity to hear from guest speaker, Mike Krause. Krause, who works with the John M. Belk Endowment, has visited Robeson Community College many times with his team and colleagues.

“He is one of our greatest supporters,” Singler said. “Mike joined the John M. Belk Endowment team after 15 years in various public policy and higher education leadership roles, including serving as a state higher education executive officer and as the founding director of Tennessee Promise.”

As a proud adult learner, Krause attended college as a non-traditional student and understands the challenges that community college students face.

“Just to share a little bit of a personal note, I did not go to college after high school,” Krause said. “My path to college ran through a detour known as the US Army. Being in the Army gives you a lot of time to think about doing things that aren’t the Army.”

“I knew pretty early on that the Army wasn’t going to be my full-time, 20-year mission, I was going to do it for a couple of years and then go to college,” Krause said. “So I showed up to college as a 24-year old freshman.”

Krause shared his testimony of what his journey felt like, coming back to school after having served in three separate wars while enlisted in the military, saying at times he felt like an outsider looking in.

“I felt on the outside, you better believe it,” Krause said. “College through the eyes of an adult learner looks a lot different than as a traditional student.”

“But Robeson is the complete opposite,” Krause said. “And I will tell you right now…I would take that journey at Robeson any day.”

After multiple visits to the campus, Krause says that he could feel the difference in leadership and amongst the faculty and staff. 

“Every time I have been here, every time I walk on campus, I think of something you may have heard President Singler say, which is that this is a sacred space. I feel that, I see it,” Krause continued. “There is no other campus in the State that creates an environment where an adult learner feels welcome from day one…there’s a family aspect here that’s really special. I think it has to do with the fabric of community.”

As Krause came to a close, he reminded faculty and staff of why they serve and how important their roles are not just at RCC, but in the community.

“I have had times in my careers in my past, where my jobs were not as purpose driven, and the purpose driven job always wins,” Krause said. “I hope you all know that as we celebrate people’s milestones here… you should never question the purpose behind what you do. We have all seen the stats about what happens over the course of a lifetime if a person graduates from a college… none of that happens without a team.”

“You should never be wondering about your purpose driven impact of what it is that you do… because of the special way that Robeson sits in this community, you’ve helped your neighbor,” Krause said. “You’ve helped someone today.”

Krause was presented with a gift of pottery, crafted by RCC continuing education students.

“Thank you, Mr. Krause, please accept this gift as a token of our appreciation for your time today,” President Singler said before stepping aside to start the recognition of employees for 1, 5, 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30-plus years of service.

As the Executive Team joined her on stage, employees were recognized one by one.

 One Year of Service

  • Braxton Ballard
  • Whitney Blanks-Hunt (not pictured)
  • Alyssa Britt (not pictured)
  • Kristin Collins
  • Laticia Daniels-Black
  • Matt Dimery
  • Jody Dyson
  • Christine Elliott
  • Guy Forsberg (not pictured)
  • Jessica Hammonds (not pictured)
  • Cynthia Herndon
  • LaNora Hunt
  • Tiffany Hunt
  • Jessica Johnson
  • Kelsey Lambert
  • Devon Locklear
  • Julie Locklear
  • Latosha Locklear
  • Cheyenne Lowery
  • Asia Muhammad
  • Lindsey Norris
  • Candi Oxendine
  • Jordan Oxendine
  • Kaylee Ransom
  • Jessica Revels
  • Thomas Revels
  • Heather Seibles (not pictured)
  • Annette Straub (not pictured)
  • Kenneth Stubbs (not pictured)
  • James Thomas
  • Joni Thomas

Five Years of Service

  • Kenny Locklear
  • Stephanie McNeill
  • Carla Oxendine
  • Lionel Sweat (not pictured)
  • Heath Worriax

Ten Years of Service

  • Melissa Britt
  • Saralene Britt (not pictured)
  • Scott Lamm
  • Margo McRae
  • Erick Mitchell
  • Briana Rodriguez
  • Eric Whicker


Fifteen Years

  • Phoebe Chavis-Harris
  • David Gavaci
  • Lisa Hunt (not pictured)


Twenty Years

  • Kelli Heustess


Twenty-Five Years

  • Loretta Allen (not pictured)
  • Banessa Williams

Honorable Mention 30-Plus Years

  • Glenda Durden (not pictured)
  • Betty McIntyre (not pictured)

Employees were also honored for excellence through a series of special “Rodeo Recognition Round Up” awards.

Those individuals are:

RCC Go-Getter Award

These employees showed the most initiative and desire to go above and beyond the outlined duties of their job description. As their nominator stated, these employees are always there for their co-workers, lending a helping hand, and just making everyone’s lives easier across the campus.

Faculty Award – Joni Thomas

Staff Award – Vanessa Singletary

Lasso Award

These employees were honored for how their ability to leave the most positive impression on stakeholders through exceptional care. These employees goes above and beyond the call of duty to ensure the satisfaction of all stakeholders (students, employees, community members, business and industry partners, etc.).

Faculty Award – Tim Bryant

Staff Award – Purcell Hunt

Rookie of the Year 

These employees have been employed at RCC for less than a year, however they have performed remarkably well while joining Robeson Community College. They were nominated for having shown outstanding performance in their current position.

Faculty Award – Donte McDowell

Staff Award – Decarius McKeithan

After the ceremony, faculty and staff had a chance to settle down and enjoy line dancing from the Robeson Rockers, but before that, RCC President Melissa Singler had one more thing to say.

“As we look ahead to the future, I am confident that together, we will continue to achieve great things,” stated Singler. “Thank you, once again, for everything you do. Your contributions to our college community are invaluable and I am deeply grateful for each and every one of you.”



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