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ECC Leadership Group Meets in Raleigh

A group of about 30 faculty and staff from Edgecombe Community College met in Raleigh this week for a bird’s eye view of leadership in action.

Members of the Edgecombe Leadership Initiative (ELI) convened in the state’s capital for a two-day retreat June 4-5. ELI is a two-year institute for selected faculty and staff who are interested in improving their knowledge of the community college system.

The program features workshops and seminars during the first year and an internship within a division of the college during the second year. All full-time faculty and staff are eligible to apply. To date, three cohorts of Edgecombe Community College employees have completed ELI training.

The group gathered on June 4 at the NC Community College System (NCCCS) Office to meet state community college leaders and to hear their views on legislative advocacy. Meeting with the ELI cohorts were NCCCS personnel Kennon Briggs, executive vice president and chief of staff; Sharon Morrissey, senior vice president and chief academic officer; Jennifer Haygood, vice president and chief financial officer; and Jennifer Willis, director of government relations.

“I came away with a broader sense of just what ‘advocacy’ truly entails and what my role as a representative of the college/community is in continuing to promote advocacy,” observed ELI member Samanthia Phillips, student services counselor.

On June 5, ELI members met Edgecombe NC House and NC Senate representatives and attended sessions of the NC General Assembly. Rep. Angela Bryant, Rep. Jean Farmer-Butterfield, Sen. Clark Jenkins, and Rep. Joe Tolson ate lunch with ELI members and discussed the importance of collaboration and cooperation in the legislative process.

“The state community college officials and legislators helped me understand the procedures and protocol in the formation of state policies and laws,” said ELI member Leigh Moore, assistant director of financial aid.

ECC President Dr. Deborah Lamm noted, “The ELI retreat gave our employees an opportunity to see how decision-making in Raleigh impacts the local community college and the local county.

“We were recognized by the House and Senate, which was very special for our employees,” she added. “Also, we were able to see the Cherokee Gambling Bill debated and passed and the Eugenics Bill passed - two key pieces of legislation.”