SPCC recently recognized graduates of excellence winners. The criteria for this honor considers graduates who have a GPA of 3.5 or higher, participate in community service, involvement in student government or program clubs, and a completion of an ePortfolio.
Hannah Haynes is being recognized as the 2020 Academic Excellence Award recipient and one of “The Great Within the 58” by the North Carolina Community College System.
Haynes, a Union County resident, was recognized by the NCCCS for her academic excellence. She graduated in May with her degree in nursing. “I feel that nursing is my calling,” said Haynes, “and I look forward to a lifetime of caring for others.”
She is currently working as a CNA in the Neuro ICU at Presbyterian Medical Center (Novant Health). She’s grateful that her class portion was completed prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of her clinical time had to be made up through online simulations which her instructors made as real-life as possible. “What drove me to do well in school was to think that I’m not studying for a quiz or test,” explained Haynes, “but I’m studying to take care of my future patients.”
Haynes found her way to SPCC when she was still in high school. She appreciated the small class size and one-on-one with instructors. She will always remember the feeling of family at SPCC.
When she’s not in class, you might find Brianna McCollum volunteering at a local camp, Special Olympics, tutoring, or Relay for Life. As a freshman at Anson County Early College McCollum was invited to choreograph a dance to provide entertainment at Relay for Life. She has continued to grow this effort for the past four years. She enjoys giving back in whatever way she can because she’s been given so much. In the summer of 2012, McCollum’s father passed away leaving her mother to raise her and her sister. She feels the community has always supported them.
McCollum graduated this year with an Associate in Arts and Science. She also joined Phi Theta Kappa and the National Society of Leadership and Success. She plans to attend UNC Chapel Hill in the fall to continue her education. Apart from academics she will also be a member of the UNC Dance Team. Ultimately, she hopes to continue on to medical school to become a Pediatric Radiologist.
Spending much of her time in Academic Support studying chemistry, McCollum feels SPCC has allowed her to find the best way to learn, study, and respond to difficult tasks. Many of her faculty have encouraged her every step of the way.
Mary McKenzie was working at a child development center when she found out she had to take a class at SPCC in order to maintain her employment. She enjoyed learning so much that she continued to earn her two-year degree in Early Childhood Education through the Educational STARS program. When she is not in the classroom you can probably find her at church working as the treasurer or volunteering for their children’s ministry.
Her favorite part of being at SPCC is meeting colleagues from other centers and learning how different centers compare as well as sharing ideas. McKenzie will miss SPCC and the professors who have been so helpful but she looks forward to getting in her classroom and working with her young children. One of her greatest joys is knowing she’s making an impact on a child’s life by working with them and watching them grow and develop.
Hanna Martynovich found SPCC when searching for a medical sonography program. She remembers her life prior to graduation of juggling two toddlers, sleepless nights studying, thousands of flashcards, and even tears. But when she weighs the struggle with the reward, there’s no comparison knowing that you can help save someone’s life!
Martynovich also enjoys volunteering for Meals on Wheels as well as tutoring. She’s ready to spend some time with her family but appreciates the time she spent at South Piedmont. She recalls that it was very difficult, but if it wasn’t she wouldn’t have thought it was a good program. She’s grateful for the support of her teachers.
Written by Misty McMillan