Stars align for RCC student, veteran

Dennis Watts | Robeson Community College Today

April 19, 2014

Choose your favorite cliché: Variety is the spice of life, or the only constant in life is change. Either would go a long way in describing the life of soon-to-be Robeson Community College Industrial Systems Technology graduate Joshua Adams.

Adams recently received the news that he has been accepted into the North Carolina Space Grant Undergraduate Scholarship Program to support his ongoing education towards a bachelor’s degree, which he plans to pursue at East Carolina University this fall.

According to the grant’s website, the North Carolina Space Grant is a consortium of academic institutions that have gathered together to promote, develop and support aeronautics and space-related science, engineering and technology education and training in North Carolina. Partnering with NASA, nonprofits and state government agencies, the North Carolina Space Grant conducts programs that are designed to equip the current and future aerospace workforce in North Carolina.

Adams grew up in Daytona Beach, Fla., where he witnessed a number of space shuttle launches. He joined the United States Army after graduating high school in 2001. Almost everyone older than 20 years of age remembers 9/11, and Adams’ 82nd Airborne unit was among the first to invade Afghanistan in 2002 when the United States responded to the terrorist attacks. When that response expanded to include Iraq, Adams’ unit performed tours of duty there in 2003 and 2005.

After completing his obligation to the military in 2006, Adams returned to Daytona Beach, where he worked in construction for a couple years and met his wife, Kassie Coe, in 2007.

By 2009 the couple was married and had their first child. In 2012, the family moved to Lumberton where their second child was born and Adams enrolled in the Industrial Systems Technology program at Robeson Community College.

Josh wasted no time making his mark at Robeson Community College. He was elected as the first president of the Advanced Manufacturing Club, which is the first club of its kind in the North Carolina Community College System. He serves as president of the National Technical Honor Society and is a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. During past semesters, Josh worked as a tutor for the Campus Alliance for Native American Student Achievement program and he was a STEM scholar. The STEM program recognizes students who excel in science, technology, engineering and math.

Josh was also the recipient of several scholarships at Robeson Community College, including the Tupac Amaru Shakur Foundation’s Rosa Belle Williams Endowed Scholarship, the James A. Comstock Memorial Annual Scholarship, a Golden Leaf Scholarship, and a Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant.

No doubt that Josh’s achievements at Robeson strengthened his application for the North Carolina Space Grant award. According to the grant’s website, applicants should have an academic background that demonstrates a strong interest and ability in STEM, reflected by the completion of a significant number of these courses with high achievement.

The student should have the necessary academic coursework and preparation to be successful in a STEM major at the institution. Applicants should also possess a strong interest in a STEM-related career demonstrated by participation in extracurricular activities and prior school projects in STEM.

Josh not only found all of these opportunities right here at Robeson Community College, he parlayed them into a bigger opportunity. If an astronaut like Col. Bill McArthur can begin his journey from Wakulla in Robeson County, there is no reason a rocket scientist can’t begin his or her journey from Robeson Community College.

For information about science, technology, engineering, and math offerings at Robeson Community College, contact Louis McIntyre at or 910-272-3381. For information about Industrial Technologies programs, contact Harvey Strong at or 910-272-3472.

Dennis Watts is the public information officer at Robeson Community College. For questions about RCC or suggestions for future articles, email Watts at