HAMLET — Three Richmond Community College employees were recognized at the Board of Trustees meeting on Tuesday for awards they recently received.
Business and Information Technology instructor Donna Tedder has been named Faculty of the Year for 2020, and Director of Distance Learning Katelynn Arner has been named Staff of the Year. Tedder is also advisor for RichmondCC’s largest club, Campus Crusade for Christ, and is a “mother hen” for many of her students, according to Dr. Dale McInnis.
The College president also sang the praises of Arner, who was instrumental in helping faculty members and students make the sudden transition to all online classes in the spring due to COVID-19, and has continued to provide exceptional support as the college has continued to adjust many of its offerings in response to the virus.
McInnis also recognized the person he selected for the President’s Award, Gaye Clark, who is director of Human Resources at RichmondCC. McInnis said Clark works hard behind the scenes, but especially this year when COVID has raised so many questions and concerns for people’s continued employment.
Small Business Center Performance Report
Director of the Small Business Center Butch Farrah also has had a busy year providing valuable support to small businesses in Richmond and Scotland County.
“We went into high gear helping restaurants survive and be able to operate under the restrictions handed down by the health department, and we helped the churches open back up and be able to remain functioning,” Farrah said.
In the spring, the Small Business Center had 53 churches and 27 restaurants attend seminars for assistance with the reopening process, as well as get help securing emergency funds and loans from state and federal resources.
“Even before the pandemic, we were seeing a significant increase in the number of people we serve through the Small Business Center,” Farrah said. “Last year, we had about a 300 percent increase in the number of people and businesses we provided counseling for as compared to three years ago.”
Other performance metrics included:
- 9 new businesses started
- 29 jobs created
- 39 jobs retained
- 844 attendees of a Small Business Center event
- 147 counseling hours
Summer Graduation Added
The Board voted to allow the College to add an additional commencement ceremony at the end of the summer semester, allowing only those students in programs with summer completion time frames, such as Practical Nursing and Dialysis Technology, to participate. Vice President for Student Services Sharon Goodman said this change clears up the challenge of allowing some students to “walk only” during the May graduation ceremony and yet still have one more semester to complete their studies.
“This is not meant to punish any students, but to celebrate the accomplishments of all of our students in more meaningful graduation ceremonies,” Goodman said.