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NC State Honors Vance-Granville President: Outstanding Community College Leadership

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Group with Williams

North Carolina State University named Dr. Stelfanie Williams, President of Vance-Granville Community College, the recipient of the I. E. Ready Distinguished Leader Award for 2014, which was presented by the College of Education last night.

“Our ability to really thrive is treating education as a system,” said Dr. M. Jayne Fleener, Dean, College of Education. “The partnerships the college has with the community colleges is crucial and we are proud of our legacy of preparing excellent community college leaders like Dr. Williams.”

The award ceremony took place during Education Week and followed a lecture by Dr. Williams on Reflections on Effective Community College Leadership. “For every endeavor, especially in education, you have to be willing to do the work,” said Williams.

WilliamsShe highlighted three types of work she uses in leadership: homework, framework and teamwork. Williams explained by discussing self-improvement, leading from set principles and the power of collaboration. A question and answer session with current graduate students continued the conversation, specifically around leadership in a community college setting.

The evening closed with the presentation of the I. E. Ready Distinguished Leader Award. “Dr. Stelfanie Williams is a highly intelligent and thoughtful executive who thinks strategically, anticipates and prepares for change, yet maintains a steady focus on students’ success. I am simply in awe of her focus as a leader,” said Dr. Tuere Bowles, associate professor in adult and community college education.

Selected by a panel of faculty, Dr. Williams’ excellent leadership roles and impact during her presidency at Vance-Granville was recognized along with her graduate faculty service as an Adjunct Assistant Professor in NC State’s College of Education.

The award was established in memory of Ready, the first president of the N.C. Community College System, and is presented annually to a leader who has rendered distinguished service in the community college sector.  The recipient is recognized for innovation in the community college system and for the impact a single motivated leader can exert on the regional community in support of the initiatives of the Department of Leadership, Policy and Adult and Higher Education at North Carolina State University.

Williams attended Duke University, where she received bachelor’s degrees in Public Policy and Spanish, and Western Carolina University, where she earned a master’s degree in Project Management. In 2011, Williams completed her doctorate, Ed.D., in Adult and Higher Education, from North Carolina State University. She has been active within the North Carolina Community College System since beginning as an instructor in 1998. She continuously has risen in leadership roles and became President of Vance-Granville Community College in February 2012.

I.E. Ready Distinguished Graduate Award Past Recipients:

2012: Dr. Randy Parker, ’10
2011: Dr. Deborah Lamm, ‘03
2010: Dr. Garett Hishaw, ‘04
2009: Dr. Stephen C. Scott
2008: Dr. Donald Reichard
2007: Dr. Diane Honeycutt, ‘95
2006: Dr. Sharon Morrissey, ‘03
2005: Dr. Phil Wynn, ‘77
2004: Dr. Delores Parker, ‘77
2003: Dr. Robert Templin, Jr., ‘76
2002: Dr. Ann Rhea Britt, ‘76
2001: Dr. Mary P. Kirk, ‘00
2000: Dr. Mary T. Woods, ‘93