LUMBERTON — Robeson Community College’s trustees set Oct. 1 as the date for hiring a replacement for the college’s outgoing president, Kimberly Gold.
The date was chosen after discussion during a second closed session at Monday’s regular meeting.
The board accepted Gold’s resignation, which takes effect at the end of June, after she announced on March 11 that she was going to work for the North Carolina Community College System. She will be the vice president of programs and chief academic officer. In her announcement, Gold said she did not seek the position, but was recruited.
Gold started her tenure as RCC president in January 2017, filling a vacancy created when Pamela Hilbert left.
Also during Monday’s meeting, the trustees learned that the nursing program’s request for a program expansion was approved by the N.C. Board of Nursing. The program’s current student capacity is 82. The new capacity will be 120.
Nursing Director Eva Meekins said in January that with the addition of the paramedic to registered nurse and the licensed practical nurse to RN programs, the enrollment was at capacity. The program has had a 100 percent student pass rate for the National Council Licensure Examination from 2015 to 2017, surpassing the national average of 90 percent.
“Thank you for your support on behalf of Eva Meekins and the department,” said Petrena Elliott, RCC’s vice president of Instruction and Student Support.
In other business, Keshena Butler, recently elected Student Government Association president, was sworn in as the student representative on the trustees board. Butler took the place of Samantha Lewis, who will be moving on to Fayetteville State University to study Biology..
The trustees applauded Lewis.
“Thank you. It was my pleasure,” Lewis said.
Butler, of the Saddletree community, is an early college student. After RCC, she hopes to receive her degree in biomedical engineering and go to ophthalmology school and research glaucoma and its prevalence in American Indian communities.
“We need more people like that,” Board Chairman Sammy Cox said.
“I’m really thankful for the opportunity,” Butler said.
The trustees were introduced during Monday’s meeting to Robert Villanueva, this year’s recipient of the Academic Excellence Award. Villanueva, 30, is a Marine Corps veteran and maintained a 4.0-grade-point average throughout his two years at the college. During the meeting, he spoke about how the college helped him get on track and find purpose in life after leaving the military.
“Robeson Community College helped me shape and re-sculpt the young man that I was five or six years ago in the U.S Marine Corps and helped me find myself,” he said.
Villanueva is one of two students who will be going to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill through the C-Step program. The program is a bridge that guarantees RCC students transfer to the university.
“Robeson Community College didn’t help me to just transition to Chapel Hill, it helped me turn my life around and essentially saved my life,” Vilanueva said. “What more could you want from an academic institution? My answer to that is nothing.”
Tomeka Sinclair can be reached at [email protected] or 910-416-5865.