CCCC's Isaac Phillips is nominee for Great Within the 58 Award
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Isaac Phillips has been chosen as Central Carolina Community College's nominee of 'The Great Within ... (more)
SANFORD - Isaac Phillips has been chosen as Central Carolina Community College's nominee for "The Great Within the 58" academic excellence award sponsored by the North Carolina Community College System.
Phillips, of Chapel Hill, is a U.S. Army veteran. His plans are to graduate from CCCC this May with an Associate degree in Science, and then attend the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to work toward a biomedical engineering degree.
Here is Phillips' story, in his own words:
"At the age of 31, I decided to become a civilian and leave my Army life behind. Unfortunately, my skills at firing missiles were not in demand outside of the military. I needed more education and training to achieve my goal of becoming a biomedical engineer. Central Carolina Community College has fostered a wonderful learning environment for me to achieve that education and training.
"At first, I felt overwhelmed adjusting to college. I had not taken a math class in 14 years. The first day in my pre-calculus class, I thought my teacher was speaking a foreign language.
"With the services Central Carolina Community College provides, along with my effort and motivation to achieve my goals, I now feel comfortable in school. The tutoring, Writing Center, and the level of attention and care of the faculty and staff are essential to my academic success.
"I have turned many of my educational deficiencies into academic strengths, thanks to a little hard work and the wonderful students and staff that make up Central Carolina Community College."
Ashley Tittemore, CCCC's Director of TRiO programs, nominated Phillips for the award. "Isaac has been a leader in his community for quite some time as a former Sergeant in the United States Army," said Tittemore, adding that Phillips has been part of the college's Veterans Upward Bound program since March 2014, four months after he left the Army.
Veterans Upward Bound is a free program designed for veterans like Phillips who could use some support in transitioning from the military to a college environment. VUB offers individualized services for veterans to help them brush up on their academic skills, apply for college admissions and financial aid, and prepare for a successful career in the civilian world. "Veterans Upward Bound is proud to be a part of Phillips' journey and that of many other veterans who are returning to college after serving in the military," said Tittemore.
Phillips has received high reviews from several of CCCC's teachers.
"Isaac has an impressive work ethic. He comes to class prepared, both physically and mentally," said CCCC Math instructor Charity S. Turner. "Isaac is not satisfied by the minimum requirements for the course, but works through solutions to recommended problems and previews upcoming material. He is genuinely interested in understanding the underlying mathematical concepts we cover."
Dr. Amy Kennedy, CCCC biology instructor, said Phillips has shown a keen interest in all topics broached and eagerly participated in all class activities. "Isaac always comes to class well prepared and with a very positive attitude," said Kennedy. "He grasps new information and concepts quickly and is able to help his fellow students to understand the sometimes more difficult concepts of the course by presenting them from a different point of view. Isaac has always been able to carry very logical and informative conversations about scientific issues."
Phillips is married to Andrea Godwin Phillips, a native of Dunn. He is a graduate of Hoggard High School in Wilmington. His mother, Faye Cartwright, lives in Wilmington.
For more information on Central Carolina Community College, visit www.cccc.edu.
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