17 Doctoral Students to Represent College of Education at National Conferences Through Belk Center Fellows Program

When Amy Male’s 23EDD, head of the Rowan-Cabarrus Community College’s Occupational Therapy Program and doctoral student of the NC State College of Education’s leadership program, was selected as a member of the Squirrel Center in 2021, she was grateful for the opportunity to interact with peers and community leaders. from all over the country.

“Opportunity to listen, reflect and ask questions to senior executives [in community college education] it is valuable to improve my understanding of their experience and perspectives on the challenges facing the community college, ”Male said. “Their willingness to engage colleagues in open dialogue shows their commitment to the development of future leaders.”

This year, Male will participate in the national conference as one of 17 doctoral students who participated in the Belk Center 2022 Fellowship Program. Seven fellows will attend the DREAM 2022 Annual Meeting — Achieving the Dream’s Annual Convention — February 14-17, and the rest 10 fellows will take part in the Innovation League Innovation Conference at Community College from February 28 to March 3.

The Belk Center Scholarship Program began in the 2017-18 academic year through a partnership with Achieving the Dream – a non-governmental reform movement aimed at helping community college students get better economic opportunities – and creating a cohort of DREAM Fellows fellows. It has since expanded to include a partnership with the Innovation League at Community College.

The goal of the fellowship program is to bring together a select group of doctoral students to listen to and participate in national conversations around community colleges and student achievement.

“As part of the important work on leadership development conducted by the Belk Center, these scholarships provide a unique opportunity to teach our future leaders to link research and practice,” said Dr. Karen A. Stout, CEO and President of Achieving Dream and Chairman of the Advisory Board Belk Center. “Community colleges are a powerful stimulus for social mobility, breaking down barriers to justice and increasing opportunities for students and their families. The Belk Center Fellows program is a powerful development tool for the next generation of faculty who will be able to implement and share ideas about what works and how to enhance our colleges ’contribution to students and their community.”

“The League is pleased to welcome Belk Center Fellows fellows again at our Innovation Conference, and we welcome the Belk Center Fellows program to explore innovation as a hallmark of community college leadership,” said Rufus Glasper, President and CEO of the Innovation League. in a public college. “Innovation plays a strong role in community colleges, which in themselves are a great innovation as institutions that provide open access to higher education and the life-changing opportunities it offers. Community colleges embrace innovation in their work to ensure successful outcomes for students and contribute to the social and economic growth of the communities they serve, and the Innovation Conference is a major demonstration of that effort. ”

For many of the 2022 Belk Center Fellows, the program provides an opportunity to attend a conference to which they may not have access, and also provides the first opportunity to participate in a large-scale national conference.

Emanuela Martin ’24EDD, who will attend DREAM 2022, said she is delighted that her first national conference will focus on both college student success and racial justice, and looks forward to receiving new information she may return to his role as scientific advisor to Durham Technical Community College.

“This opportunity will open up to me so many great leaders who can help me become a strong leader of a public college who provokes change and who never ceases to stand up for our students,” Martin said. “I look forward to meeting with Dr. Karen Stout, president of the Achievement of Dreams campaign, and get an idea of ​​what it means to be a community college leader now.”

Reed Kirby ’22EDD, who works as the director of Learning Commons at the Public College of South Piedmont, said attending the Innovation Conference will help her better understand national movements and trends in academic support.

This increase in understanding will be crucial in preparing her to contribute and bring back the profession through research and action in the future.

“Attending the Innovation Conference will allow me to see firsthand how other colleges link best practices in student support and learning, thus providing greater access and student success,” Kirby said. “I recognize that there is a lot of innovation going on in public colleges, and collectively our students benefit when we share ideas and best practices.

Christine Ziemba-Tolbert ’22EDD, a lecturer at Gaston College, is delighted that she will be attending the Innovation Conference, although this is an opportunity she has hardly addressed.

In previous years, she had postponed her application to the Belk Center Fellowship Program as a student of the Community College Leadership program because she was worried that she might not be selected as a part-time student. But when her time in the program came to an end, she decided to take a risk and apply.

As a fellow, she is now looking forward to stepping out of her comfort zone and is grateful for the opportunities she has both as part of the Belk Center Scholarship Program and as a student of the College of Education.

“I am very grateful that the NC staff and the Belk Center are offering as ongoing support not only to me as a student of the program, but also to the development of our community colleges in North Carolina,” she said. “It’s just that the research and support they’re doing has been phenomenal, and I’m just excited to see where we’re going in the future.”

The following is a complete list of Belk Center Fellows:

Participants of DREAM 2022

  • Talita Butts, Director of the Center for Research, Policy and Impact of the National Institute for Minority Economic Development
  • Melissa Bryant, Chair of the Davis iTEC Center, Forsyth Technical Community College
  • Monica Clark, Director of Leadership Initiatives, Aspen Institute College Advanced Training Program
  • Bradley Davis, deputy director of student behavior at the University of North Carolina
  • Jennifer LaDu, full-time student, North Carolina State University
  • Amy Male, Program Chair of the Occupational Therapy Assistant Program, Rowan-Cabarrus Community College
  • Emanuela Martin, Adviser on Financial Assistance and Veterans Services, Durham Technical Community College

Participants of the Innovation Conference

  • Kelly Antonides, Director, Career and College Programs, Academic Programs, Rowan-Cabarrus Community College
  • Frank Belot, full-time student, North Carolina State University
  • Tiffany Farina, Director of Finance and Administration – North Carolina Institute of Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Robin Fusara, Education Specialist – DELTA, North Carolina State University
  • Kristen Johnson, Associate Professor of Biology / Science, Guilford College of Technology
  • Reed Kirby, director of the Southern Piedmont Public College
  • Shrell Lawrence, Head of the Justice, Internship and Scholarship Program, Hunt Institute
  • Chris Pierce, vice president of information technology, Forsyth Technical Community College
  • Britney Shawley, Institutional Effectiveness Coordinator, Johnston Community College
  • Chris Ziemba-Tolbert, Lead Instructor ACA 122 – Arts and Sciences, Gaston College

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