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“We must all do more.”

Welcome to Awake58!  If you missed last week’s reflection, click here. If you were forwarded this newsletter, please click here to subscribe.

Durham Tech and Southeastern CC announced new presidents… We are hosting our first Awake58 virtual town hall next week. We hope you will join us… The State Board approved a $100,000 investment in police training and education… 

I just want to say thank you to the many, many readers who shared their reflections with me last week. Over the next few days, we will be publishing several pieces that various members of the community college system have written recently. If you are interested in sharing your own piece, please reply directly to this email.

Pamela Senegal, president of Piedmont Community College, offered up the first piece that we have published. She speaks to the role of her college moving forward and challenges us all:

“At Piedmont Community College (PCC), we’re working to increase access to higher education so that more members of our community have options for their lives.

“But we must all do more.

“If riots are the language of the unheard, as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. believed, what more can we do to ensure that every member of our community is heard, seen, acknowledged, and supported?

“We must create deliberate spaces to genuinely interact with one another. Sniping at one another in social media posts is not genuine interaction. Far too often communications in that space give unearned permission to leave civility and manners out of the conversation. The more polarizing the comments, the more they are viewed.”

Read her full piece for more.

The State Board of Community Colleges also took action as they approved $100,000 for police officer training in subjects such as de-escalation, relationship-based policing, and community interaction. 

What is on your mind this week? What do you think of Senegal’s call for us all to do more and to create safe spaces? Text COLLEGE to 73224 to join the conversation or reply directly to this email.

Thank you for reading!

Have a great week,


Director of Growth,

Join us next week for our Awake58 Virtual Town Hall on the CARES Act

EdNC has received many questions from readers about the months ahead for community colleges during the COVID-19 crisis.

Our first Awake58 virtual town hall will focus on the decision points facing college staff, as well as statewide decision makers, for community college funding in the months ahead, including the institutional portion of CARES funding for postsecondary institutions.

We will convene a 75-minute virtual town hall via Zoom on Monday, June 15 at 3:30 to lift up some answers. 

Our guest speakers will include:

Kandi Deitemeyer, Central Piedmont CC President

Garrett Hinshaw, Catawba Valley CC President

Lawrence Rouse, Pitt CC President

David Baime, Senior VP, Government Relations and Policy Analysis, American Association of Community Colleges

To sign-up, click here! And be sure to spread the word to your friends.

New presidents named for Durham Tech and Southeastern CC

JB Buxton, a member of the K-12 State Board of Education and long-time education leader in a variety of roles across the state, was named the new president of Durham Technical Community College to replace Bill Ingram. JB also once served on the board of

Chris English, who currently serves as the interim vice president for economic and workforce development at Blue Ridge Community College, was named the new president of Southeastern Community College. 

For the full report from the State Board, check out my colleague Alex Granados’ story.

The system office issued a press release with more details, as did Durham Tech for Buxton’s appointment and Southeastern Community College for English’s selection.

Three questions for the new president of Durham Tech — JB Buxton.

The State Board of Community Colleges announced JB Buxton’s appointment as the fifth president of Durham Tech last Friday. Buxton has worked on education issues for much of his career both in North Carolina and beyond. The press release from Durham Tech points out that he worked closely with the community college system beginning in 2001 when he led the effort to roll out early college high schools across the state.

We caught up with Buxton on Monday. In the weeks ahead, we look forward to speaking with Chris English about his appointment as president of Southeastern Community College.

NH: What led you to having an interest in moving more fully into the community college space at this moment in time?

JB: I have been fortunate to work with community colleges in North Carolina and elsewhere since the early 2000s — and have long understood the role they play as pathways to individual opportunity and drivers of regional prosperity. I think that role is as critical in this moment as it has ever been.

NH: You are stepping into the role at a complex time during a pandemic, economic downturn, and more. What are some of your priorities in the first six months of your tenure?

JB: At this time, I believe Durham Tech’s priorities – as is usually the case – reflect the needs of its community: find ways to reopen safely and maintain broad accessibility; innovate to increase rates of student success; be a force for progress on issues of racial discrimination and equity; and help people and employers get back to work.

NH: What do you see as the role of Durham Tech, and community colleges more broadly, during this tumultuous time?

JB: To lead. There is no institution with a greater understanding of the needs of a community or a greater capacity for impact than the community college. In a time that demands a commitment to equity and inclusion, adaptation, and innovation, community colleges like Durham Tech are positioned to lead.

The FAFSA push is on

The priority deadline for completing the FAFSA is June 30. College Advising Corps is partnering with CFNC and NCSEAA to offer live FAFSA question and answer sessions during the month of June. Click here for details about how to join a live Zoom session to learn more about the FAFSA and ask specific questions. Click here for a guide on how to fill out the FAFSA, and click here to visit the FAFSAFrenzyNC website.

For our full FAFSA series, check out our website.

Around NC 

Gaston College’s new president, John Hauser, has officially kicked off his tenure.

The Triangle Business Journal shares the news of Durham Tech’s presidential transition. WECT shares the news of Chris English taking over as president of Southeastern CC.

Wake Tech is joining the Achieving the Dream National Student Success Initiative.

Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute is adding three new degree programs including a 2-year Associate Degree in Biopharmaceutical Technology.

Lenoir Community College announced students will have the choice of face-to-face instruction or virtual learning this fall. 

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Nation Hahn

Nation Hahn is the chief of growth for EducationNC.