Vance-Granville Community College honored 16 students who have completed the Pharmacy Technology program with a pinning ceremony, held on July 23 in the Civic Center on the college’s Main Campus.
The 2014-15 graduates included Bayle Hall and Nicole Salzman, both of Creedmoor; Alyssa M. Cole of Franklinton; Jacqueline P. Burton, Sherica Evans, Jordan Garrison, Julie Newton, Harley Owen, Cristal Puga Gomez and Tiarah Taylor, all of Henderson; Brandy Lynch of Hollister; Arnika L. Bullock and Lakeisha Hartsfield, both of Louisburg; Schnail M. Bynum-Daniel and Melissa Chappell, both of Oxford; and Leigh Ann Satterfield of Warrenton.
In welcoming remarks, Dr. Angela Ballentine, VGCC’s vice president of academic and student affairs, congratulated the students on their success. She reported that at least twelve of them, having completed the three-semester Pharmacy Technology diploma program, are planning to continue their education to earn an associate in applied science degree in the field. VGCC added that option to the program in the fall of 2013.
Likewise, VGCC Dean of Health Sciences Angela Thomas applauded the support systems and discipline that allowed students to complete the program. “This is just the beginning of new opportunities,” Thomas said to the new graduates. “Ask yourselves, ‘If I have done this, what else can I do?’ Keep your momentum going.”
Kristi Kirkland of Butner, a member of the first class to graduate from VGCC with an associate degree in Pharmacy Technology in 2014, served as the guest speaker for the pinning ceremony. She said that the graduates’ hard work would pay off. “The Pharmacy Technology field is a broad one, and even I did not know all of the jobs and opportunities available with the degree until I had it,” Kirkland said. “The most important advice I can give you is to stay professional and to network with everyone you meet in the pharmacy field.” Kirkland has continued her own education and is now working toward a bachelor’s degree from UNC-Greensboro so she can pursue a career in pharmaceutical research.
Pharmacy Technology program head Dr. Erica Fleming presented several awards to members of the class. Academic Achievement Awards went to students who maintained a perfect 4.0 grade point average throughout the program: Burton, Bynum-Daniel and Puga Gomez. Owen received the Clinical Award as the student who had shown the most growth from the beginning to the end of her clinical rotation, as judged by professionals at the clinical sites. Lastly, Bynum-Daniel won the Student Excellence Award in recognition of her outstanding service to classmates and instructors.
Each graduate received a pin from Fleming and a mortar and pestle from instructor Brenda Harvey, to signify her achievement, as instructor Leah Abbott read biographical statements from each one. To conclude the ceremony, Harvey led students as they recited the “Oath of a Pharmacy Technician.”
For more information on the Pharmacy Technology program, call Dr. Fleming at (252) 738-3482.