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Alumni Inspire College Advisory Boards

ECC Alumni

From left are Theresa Peaden, Thomas “Bo” Biermann, and Cynthia Jenkins, graduates of Edgecombe Community College who shared their success stories at the college’s Advisory Board Night.

Surgical Board

Representing Surgical Technology at ECC’s Advisory Board Night are (from left) Bob Wagner, Suzi Shippen, Julie Sutton, Eleanor Armstrong, and student Stephanie Clemmons.

Three Edgecombe Community College alumni inspired area leaders last night through their personal stories of success crediting the positive influence of ECC mentors and experiences.

More than 200 local business, industry, and health care leaders and college faculty gathered on the Tarboro campus for the annual Advisory Board Night. The ECC graduates were the keynote speakers.

ECC advisory boards consist of professional leaders, community members, and faculty who are experts in the subject area of their board. More than 70 businesses and organizations are represented on the boards.

Thomas “Bo” Biermann, a graduate of the college’s Respiratory Therapy program, already held two baccalaureate degrees when he made the decision to enroll at ECC, a move based largely on his wife’s positive experiences in ECC’s Nursing program. She, too, had made a decision to change careers.

Biermann, who worked in sales before attending ECC, said the college’s environment “felt like home, it felt like a family. I loved it here.” A respiratory therapist at Halifax Regional Medical Center, Biermann said his instructors “were interested in showing me what do to and how to get a job, and I was able to get a job fairly easily.”

Cynthia Jenkins, planning director for Edgecombe County, began her journey in higher education at ECC, earning a degree in administrative office technology and completing college transfer courses. She also holds a bachelor’s degree from East Carolina University and a master’s degree from North Carolina Central University.

“I learned how to study at ECC and how to speak up for myself,” she said. “I always remembered the lessons I learned at Edgecombe Community College.”

Theresa Peaden, director of the Small Business Center at Wake Technical Community College, dropped out of high school when she was 16 years old. After working in retail for some years, she wanted a fresh start and enrolled in the college’s GED program to earn a high school credential.

Peaden went on to earn an associate degree at ECC and a baccalaureate degree at Barton College, graduating magna cum laude.  “This college gave me what I needed to be successful and believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself. I am so very thankful for Edgecombe Community College.”

Advisory boards are in place for 27 program areas of the college, such as health occupations, information technology studies, and barbering. Six to 10 members sit on each board.