Twenty-one new graduates of Vance-Granville Community College’s two-year Radiography program were honored in a May 9 pinning ceremony in the college’s Civic Center.
The Radiography Class of 2016 included Preston Lin Verble of Bahama; Christian Chaney, Ashley Nichole Keith and Canon O’Briant, all of Durham; Jessica Lynn Loera and Hannah Marie Wyatt, both of Franklinton; James Hinks of Henderson; Elizabeth Nichole Cooper, Brian Holmes, Jake Kiley and Courtney Michelle Mitchell, all of Louisburg; Jonathan Wayne Robbins of Oxford; Sarah Elizabeth Sutton and Brian Heath Winslow, both of Raleigh; Anna B. Filyaw and Candace Leigh Gentry, both of Roxboro; Elizabeth Rose Twisdale of Townsville; Nicholas LaMont Kemp and Haley Elizabeth Watkins, both of Wake Forest; Taylor Marie Goubeaux of Wise; and Terrell Johnson III of Youngsville.
In welcoming remarks, VGCC Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs Dr. Angela Ballentine congratulated the graduates and, as a colleague in the field of radiologic technology, former instructor and former program head, welcomed them to the imaging profession. She shared some information about the diverse class, noting that six graduates had been raising children during their studies, eight had earned Dean’s List or President’s List honors, and six already held college degrees in other fields.
Ballentine expressed best wishes to at least 13 graduates who are planning to continue their education in fields such as CT, MRI, mammography and radiation oncology. She also thanked the faculty and staff who had “educated, inspired and supported these students.”
Elizabeth Twisdale was presented with the Academic Achievement Award for having the highest GPA in the class. Nicholas Kemp received the Mallinckrodt Award for outstanding clinical performance. Elizabeth Cooper received the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT) Student Award of Excellence.
The students voted for Patrick Castro of Duke University Medical Center as the top technologist at the clinical sites in which they received their 900 hours of practical training, while Ashley Lorbacher of Southpoint Triangle Orthopaedic Center received the JRCERT Award of Excellence for Clinical Educators. The Clinical Affiliate Award of Excellence went to Duke Regional Hospital.
The guest speaker for the ceremony was Carla Williams, the lead PET-CT technologist at the VA Medical Center in Durham. Williams is a U.S. Air Force veteran and Pitt Community College Sonography graduate. “As you look back, you will see that you paid for this achievement tonight with dedication, focus and grit,” she told the graduates. “So, for the simple fact that you are sitting here, you do have what it takes to succeed.” Williams also urged the new graduates to “walk in compassion” as professionals. “In health care, where there is no compassion, there is no success,” she said. “Even with all the technological advancements known to man, compassion is still the driving force behind the word ‘care.’”
Class president Nicholas Kemp gave a response on behalf of his fellow students. He thanked the Radiography faculty and clinical site staff, his classmates for their spirit of collaboration and encouragement, and class treasurer Hannah Wyatt for her attention to detail. Kemp also thanked the graduates’ family members and friends for their support. “You all gave us the courage to take the first step, and you have been along with us for the twisty, bumpy ride,” he said. “Know that although the pin is worn upon our chests, it is also worn on all of your hearts.”
He and other class officers then surprised faculty members Angela Thomas, Stacey Soles, Anthony Twisdale and Lewis Daughtry with gifts from the class to show their appreciation.
Graduates received pins from Dean of Health Sciences Angela Thomas and recited the Radiographer’s pledge as the ceremonies concluded.