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NC Community College System President Tours ECC

Thomas Stith III (left), president of the North Carolina Community College System, recently toured Edgecombe Community College, hosted by ECC President Dr. Greg McLeod (right). They are shown in the Center for Innovation Simulation Lab on the Tarboro campus.

Thomas Stith III, president of the North Carolina Community College System (NCCCS), recently toured the campuses of Edgecombe Community College, hosted by ECC President Dr. Greg McLeod and Student Ambassador Eren Exum.

“We were pleased to welcome President Stith to Edgecombe Community College,” said Dr. McLeod. “His visit demonstrates his commitment and that of the NCCCS to our college and community. We appreciate his support and interest in our programs and students.”

Stith began his post as president of the NCCCS in January. He has been visiting community colleges across the state to learn more about each institution and their unique programs and initiatives. To date, he has toured about half of North Carolina’s 58 community colleges.

In addition to visiting several facilities at Edgecombe Community College, he also participated in typical learning activities for students.

As part of a tour of the Cosmetic Arts Building on the Tarboro campus, he used a layering process to trim a manikin’s hair, following instruction by Carolyn Sherrill, chair of cosmetology.

In the Center for Innovation Simulation Lab, Stith combined lessons in electrical theory and additive manufacturing by making a simple LED circuit and placing it inside a small pumpkin made with a 3D printer, guided by Rebecca Stamilio-Ehret, instructor of physics and industrial technology.

Also in the Center for Innovation, Merdikae Williams, manufacturing technology instructor, demonstrated the fully functional manufacturing line.

On the Rocky Mount campus, Stith toured the Lamm Building, which houses a majority of the college’s programs in health sciences. He spoke with radiography students and Desiree Duncan, program chair, and observed students administering x-ray on a patient simulator.

He then explored the Operating Room Lab, where he spoke with Suzi Shippen-Wagner, chair of surgical technology.

His next stop was the Respiratory Therapy Lab, where he commended students for choosing ECC and investing in themselves and their futures, and he listened as Tim King, program chair, wrapped up a lecture on understanding ventilator graphs.

Stith also toured the training area for EMTs and paramedics.

“I have visited about half of the 58 community colleges in North Carolina, and the passion and purpose of those at Edgecombe as well as others who are engaged with community colleges has been consistent across the state,” he said. “The remarkable men and women who work at our community colleges are truly invested in their students and want to impact lives.”

Stith is committed to serving students and supporting the colleges as they develop the workforce and extend affordable education to residents.

“My vision for the North Carolina Community College System is guided by the principle that education translates into opportunity,” he said. “The North Carolina Community College System will lead our state’s economic recovery by providing education and training for our diverse population. The system will become a national model for educational excellence.”

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