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Nash Community College Alumni

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The Nash Community College Alumni Association exists to create a spirit of loyalty between alumni and the College and encourage alumni activity, interaction, engagement and support. NCC Alumni Association membership is open to all who attended Nash Community College. All Alumni Association members receive all membership privileges and benefits. Student memberships are also available.

If you wish to receive alumni communications or would like to update your contact information and profile, call us at the number below. We would love to hear about your successes.

Plus (click or tap to expand) + Alumni Association Spotlight: Kabryn Mattison

This summer I am honored to have the opportunity to spend eight weeks as a research assistant at Churchill Northern Studies Centre in the Subarctic.

The Churchill Northern Studies Centre is a nonprofit field station and research center. The center provides research facilities to aspiring and experienced scientists alike, as well as educational opportunities to the public for the purpose of enhancing the understanding and appreciation of the ecosystems and cultures of the North.

This opportunity would have been impossible without the continued support of the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, which, through their Summer Internship Stipend program, funds students to participate in unpaid internships and research opportunities at Non-Governmental Organizations. In many fields, competitive and engaging undergraduate experiences are often unpaid, leaving these invaluable experiences out of reach to people from low-income backgrounds. Growing up under the poverty line in the Twin Counties, I believed opportunities like this were always out of reach, like something that could only happen to “other people.” With its support, the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation has leveled the playing field and allowed me to break a glass ceiling as a first-generation college student and woman in science.

During my time in Churchill, I will work to measure the amount of methyl-mercury in the local ecosystem by collecting and processing vegetation and animal tissue samples. This research is important because methylmercury is a potent neurotoxin that is known to cause developmental issues in children, as well as neurological issues in adults.

Humans are most often exposed to methylmercury by the consumption of fish.

Methylmercury makes its way up the food chain through a process called biomagnification. Elemental mercury in an ecosystem can be transformed to toxic methylmercury by microorganisms. Small animals then consume plants like algae that have been exposed to methylmercury, and some of it accumulates in their bodies. When those animals are eaten by predators, the methylmercury then begins to accumulate in the predator, and the amount increases over time. This process is magnified up the food chain. Methylmercury biomagnification can have serious consequences for human health if fish with high levels of methylmercury are ingested by humans, specifically by women of child bearing age. This is why there are sometimes warnings against consumption of top predatory fish like tuna and swordfish. The larger and longer lived the predatory fish, the more likely they are to have toxic amounts of methylmercury in their bodies.

Due to human induced climate change, the Arctic is warming at a rate twice that of the global average. This has large impacts both for the local ecosystem, and globally. Frozen in the Arctic permafrost is the largest pool of naturally occurring mercury on the planet, estimated to be larger than all the mercury that has currently been released by human activities like mining and the burning of fossil fuels combined. Melting permafrost could potentially release significant amounts of mercury into the Arctic ecosystem, where it could make its way up the food web to humans. There are currently limited records of mercury accumulation in the subarctic region, so my study will be the first to measure baseline levels, so future research can track if there has been a change over time.

I am eager for this experience to add to my understanding of the challenges these precious ecosystems are facing so that I may become a strong, reliable voice for the environment in the future. I am forever grateful for my time at Nash Community College in Dr. David Beamer’s Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution Lab. My hands-on research experiences at Nash have snowballed into opportunities for both self and scientific inquiry I never thought possible. I am reminded almost daily of how special and rewarding my time in Dr. Beamer’s lab at Nash Community was, and can’t wait to see what the future holds as I get to explore the world through an ecological lens.

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Plus (click or tap to expand) + Alumni Association Spotlight: Michael Bolton

Michael Bolton was born and raised in Nash County and graduated from Southern Nash High School in 2005. Like many high school graduates, he went directly into the workforce. It was not long before he found himself unable to advance his career and provide for his family in a way that he wanted. He felt trapped in his job and did not have a lot of options. Nervous and unsure about his future, he knew he had to return to school.

Michael was unable to qualify for financial assistance and did not have enough money to pay for classes. Also, his current job was not willing to be flexible with a class schedule. Then something unexpected happened at his job. Corporate announced that the company was closing. Now, Michael had no choice but to return to school.

He was very interested in NCC’s Computer-Integrated Machining Program because it lined up directly with his career goals. After researching the program, Michael was ecstatic to learn that the credits he earned at NCC were transferrable to a four-year university, which would enable him to complete his degree.

In the spring of 2012, Michael started the CIM program. During his time at Nash, he was afforded the opportunity to start a career part-time with Cummins Rocky Mount Engine Plant based on the Nash/Cummins partnership. Upon graduation, he was hired full-time, and Cummins supported him in continuing his education at East Carolina University. He graduated from ECU in 2017 with a BS in Industrial Technology.

Today Michael is still with Cummins as an Industrial Engineering Technician supporting improvements to the production process and maintaining their electrical change management process. Michael adds, “At a time when my family was in need, Nash Community College was there to equip me with knowledge and experience that I needed most. NCC’s partnerships with local industry helped me to secure my job and the articulation agreement ensured that my education could continue while pursuing my bachelor’s degree. Nash Community College prepared me and presented me with the opportunities that were integral to my success.”

In his spare time Michael enjoys spending time with his friends and family, working on cars, fixing computers and playing video games. He is part of the RMEP STEM-Robotics group. This group is responsible for going to area schools and teaching students about robotics and engineering. Michael’s words of advice for students is “To become successful, you must be persistent. To remain successful, you must be consistent.”

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Plus (click or tap to expand) + Alumni Association Spotlight: Takyla Smith

Takyla Smith is a proud alumnus of Nash Community College and has recently opened her own business, Key Insurance Solutions.

In 2004 she received her Associate Degree in Business Administration.

She was a member of the Young Professional Network of Rocky Mount (YPN) from 2006 through 2009 and served as president. She’s been a member of the Nash-Rocky Mount Rotary Club since 2009, served as the president-elect and currently serves as the publicity chair. She also has served on the Community Fellows Advisory Committee for the Down East Partnership for Children and graduated from the Leadership Rocky Mount Program in 2008. She continues to be involved in community events and attends events held by the Rocky Mount Jaycees, Rocky Mount Chamber of Commerce and Young Ambassadors Circle. She’s also a member of the National Association of REALTORS, Rocky Mount Area Association of REALTORS (RMAAR) and will join the Board of Directors from 2019 - 2021.

Takyla is dedicated to making sure her clients are taken care of and that their needs are met. She brings many years of experience helping her clients. The many referrals she gets from previous clients and colleagues are strong testaments to her commitment. After two great experiences in buying homes she wanted to bring that same joy to as many people as she could, so in June 2017 she became a REALTOR and joined Keffer Reams Team Realty. In that short amount of time she was able to help numerous individuals and families sell and buy homes (not just houses but homes). Most of her clients were first-time home buyers and providing that experience sparked a flame in her.

It was this fire, this joy of helping others that sparked the founding of Key Insurance Solutions. For Takyla, relationships are KEY and the foundation for her business.

“It’s our goal to help you understand your benefits, your options, your choices because, let’s face it, insurance can be difficult,” she said. Whether it’s life, health, Medicare Supplement Part D, Dental Vision or Long-Term Care insurance. We’re here!

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Contacts

Denise Beamer
Coordinator, Alumni Relations
Denise Beamer
Phone: 252-428-7327
Email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Location: 1110

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