Seventeen students graduated from Surry Community College as Scholars of Global Distinction in May, which is the largest class of Global Scholars in North Carolina.
students participated in The Scholars of Global Distinction program
that started at SCC in the fall of 2018. The program is open to all
students. Scholars complete 15 credits of globally intensive courses,
attend eight “passport” events, complete an immersion project, and
deliver a capstone presentation. Participation in the program fosters
increased global awareness and skills to compete in a globally diverse
Sarah Wright, Lead Instructor of Languages and Humanities
and Faculty Advisor for the Scholars of Global Distinction program says
this was the largest graduating class of Scholars of Global Distinction
in the state.
“Surry is certainly not among the largest community colleges, so that is a particular source of pride,” she explains.
The program has grown to 90 students in the past two years.
first year, we had six graduates; it was impressive for these students
to complete the program in one year. Since then, we have had a meteoric
rise in interest and participation. I credit the students with being
both enthusiastic and dedicated to learning more,” says Wright.
17 of these graduates committed to complete the program, and they did,
many of whom had to finish up a project during a pandemic,” Wright said.
“They continued to attend events virtually, and they also did their
capstone presentations online without skipping a beat.”
adds that, “Part of the North Carolina Community College System mission
is to ‘develop a globally and multi-culturally competent workforce.’ We
are certainly doing our part at Surry Community College. I know these
students are among the best and brightest. I also know they have the
skills to transfer and later enter the workforce and collaborate with a
variety of people from a diverse background. Their futures are bright,
but so is ours because they are our future.”
Row, L-R: Rebecca Kreh, Manuel, Scenna, Lisa Handy. Middle Row, L-R:
Mario Hernandez, Erykah Arvizu, Karlie Marion. Bottom Row, L-R: John
Billos, Kevin Rivera, Leslie Hernandez.
Row, L-R: Alejandro Mayorga, Beulah Gullion. Middle Row, L-R: Anahi
Espinoza, Anayeli Garcia Villa, Brennan Day. Bottom Row, L-R: Devon
Moore, Erika Hernandez, Alex Urquiz.
Mauricio Alejandro Mayorga Munoz (Alejandro) of Mooresville; Anahi
Espinoza and Leslie Hernandez of Yadkinville; Beulah Gullion of Ararat;
Brennan Day of Siloam; Devon Moore of Pilot Mountain; Erika Hernandez,
Erykah Arvizu, Anayeli Garcia, Kevin Rivera, Mario Hernandez and Polly
Kreh of Dobson; Alex Urquiza, John Billos, Karlie Marion and Lisa Handy
of Mount Airy; and Manuel Scenna of Lewisville.
Mauricio Alejandro Mayorga Munoz (Alejandro) of
Mooresville earned an Associate in Science and plans to become a
computer engineer. He will be transferring to Weber State University.
When asked what his favorite thing about being in the Scholars of Global
Distinction program, he replied: “Learning about different countries
and sharing about mine.”
Alex Urquiza of Mount
Airy graduated from the Surry Early College and received an Associate in
Arts. He plans to major in Mass Media and Communications/Journalism at
Appalachian State University or the University of North Carolina at
Chapel Hill. As a scholar, his favorite thing was: “Learning about new
and different cultures around the globe.”
Anahi Espinoza of
Yadkinville graduated from the Yadkin Early College with an Associate
in Arts degree, as well as an Associate in Science degree. She plans to
pursue being a nurse with a bachelor’s degree in nursing and possibly a
graduate degree. She will be attending Appalachian State University. She
says, “One of my favorite things about being a Global Scholar is being
able to hear and learn that about people in my own community that have
such amazing stories to tell. Being a Global Scholar has really helped
me understand what being a global citizen is.”
of Dobson graduated from Surry Early College, with an Associate in Arts
and an Associate in Science. She plans to major in chemical engineering
at Johns Hopkins University. While at Surry, she was the president of
National Society of Leadership and Success. Garcia says her favorite
memory as a Scholar of Global Distinction was the trip that the group
took to Atlanta in 2018. “I had so much fun with my friends, and I
realized how much I love Indian food.”
Beulah Gullion of Ararat
earned an Associate in Arts degree. She plans to pursue a Bachelor in
Arts in History, with a concentration in secondary education, and a
master degree in Education Administration, with the ultimate goal of
working in a small community to give the chance that she was given to
small town kids who are afraid to dream. She will be transferring to
Guilford College. While at Surry, she was a member of the National
Society of Leadership and Success, History Club, Trail Club, and other
“Being a part of Global Scholars was the best decision I
made in my time as a student at SCC. There are many things that I loved
about the program but if I had to narrow it down I’d say there are three
main ones. First, the flexibility. The Global Scholars program makes
it so that every single student can mold it to their life. Students can
become leaders and work within the program to build it and make it
stronger, or they can simply attend events. This sounds simple, but this
pretense is what lead me to join and attend my first event. Secondly, I
have memories that don’t just make me smile, but remind me of all I
have learned. Global Scholars doesn’t have just random classroom
meetings where you try to make your ideas matter. It gives us a place to
actively make a difference. From the DREAMS event, to writing letters
to students in Rwanda, to running the table at Knight’s Fest or Dobson’s
Latin Festival, the life and educational lessons I learned as a Scholar
of Global Distinction are physical memories. Thirdly, Sarah Wright.
Truly, she is the light and gift that makes Global Scholars what it is
today at SCC. She personally has shown many of us what true leadership
looks like, how empathy and love are actions not feelings, and that no
matter how small your circle of influence feels that each of us can make
an impact on our community, county, state, country, and most
importantly our entire globe.”
Brennan Day of
Siloam earned an Associate in Arts degree and plans to attend the
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to study communications.
While at Surry, she was a member of the Phi Theta Kappa honor society, a
Junior Ambassador, and made the President’s list for outstanding
grades. “Some of my favorite things about being a Scholar of Global
Distinction were being able to attend awesome presentations and writing
to my pen pals from Rwanda.”
Devon Moore of Pilot
Mountain received an Associate in Science, as well as an Associate in
General Education. He plans to attend Forsyth Technical Community
College and study dental hygiene and eventually dentistry. While at
Surry, he was a Junior Ambassador. He said, “I’ve always loved Spanish
and Spanish culture. This wonderful program allowed me to further my
education in Spanish culture, and culture globally, along with make many
new friends. I appreciate Ms. Wright for such an amazing program!”
of Dobson graduated from Surry Early College, with an Associate in Arts
degree. She plans to attend Appalachian State University to pursue an
education in environmental studies. While attending Surry, she was a
member of the LEO Club for Criminal Justice students and the Rotaract
Club, which is associated with the Sunrise Rotary Club in Mount Airy.
favorite from this program was being able to expand my perspectives on
different cultures, especially when I went to Europe. I also enjoyed
listening to cultural presentations and learning about ways to avoid
cultural bias,” she said.
Erykah Arvizu of Dobson
graduated from Surry Early College with an Associate of Arts. He will
be attending University of North Carolina Wilmington to double major in
psychology and sociology. He then plans to obtain a graduate degree in
psychology. Arvizu says, “My favorite thing about being a Scholar of
Global Distinction was being part of a group that enjoys learning about
the many different cultures around the world.”
John Billos of
Mount Airy graduated from Surry Early College with an Associate of Arts
and an Associate of Science. He plans to attend Wake Forest University
to obtain a Bachelor of Science in computer science.
thing about being a Scholar of Global Distinction is the global
competence and cultural understanding I gained from it,” says Billos.
“Attending cultural events and holidays has opened up my mind to a
realm of information and traditions that I never knew existed. I firmly
believe that this program has made me a more well-rounded person and has
greatly improved my character.”
Karlie Marion of
Mount Airy earned an Associate in Science. She plans to major in
architecture with a minor in engineering at University of North Carolina
at Charlotte. She says her favorite thing about being a Scholar of
Global Distinction was learning about different countries and their
Kevin Rivera of Dobson graduated from
Surry Early College with an Associate in Arts. He plans to major in
psychology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He will
be the first person in his family to go to a four-year institution to
receive higher education for which he is grateful.
thing about being a Scholar of Global Distinction has definitely had to
have been participating in a DACA night for our local Latino/Hispanic
community. This experience was super rewarding and awesome for our local
community who benefitted from this resource,” says Rivera. “I also
found that presenting our cultural immersion projects was one of the
greatest experiences I’ve had throughout this whole process.”
of Yadkinville graduated from Yadkin Early College with an Associate in
Arts. She plans to major in political science with a concentration in
global affairs, and minor in Women and Gender Studies at the University
of North Carolina at Greensboro.
Hernandez says, “One of my
biggest accomplishments thus far has been attending the Yadkin Early
College and being the first in my family to graduate with a high school
diploma and an Associate in Arts for free,” She adds that, “One of my
favorite aspects about Surry’s Scholars of Global Distinction is that
I’ve learned about different foods, traditions, and cultures from around
the world within the college campus. I joined to broaden my knowledge
and understanding about different cultures and their people.”
of Mount Airy earned an Associate in Arts. She plans to attend
Appalachian State University to study Career and Technical Education and
teach Family and Consumer Science.
“I have absolutely loved being
in the Scholar of Global Distinction Program, and the program has
motivated me to want to visit places and be a lifelong learner,” says
Handy. “One of the things I enjoyed was helping Beulah Gullion make
shoes for the children in Uganda. That was a fun day and fulfilling day.
I would recommend Global Scholars to everyone. I want to thank Ms.
Wright, for always keeping things interesting and being so helpful.”
Manuel Scenna of
Lewisville graduated with an Associate in Science. He plans to attend
North Carolina State University and study Aerospace Engineering. When
asked what his favorite part of being a Scholar of Global Distinction,
he replied: “It is beautiful to share my culture and learn about others.
It’s very interesting to learn how cultures have been shaped by
societies and immigrations. Every country is unique, but the humanity of
the people that live in it is the same everywhere.”
of Dobson graduated from Surry Early College with an Associate in Arts
and an Associate in Science. He plans to attend North Carolina State
University and then go on to medical school to become a doctor. While at
Surry, he was named to the President's and Dean's Lists and was an SCC
Ambassador. He says his favorite thing about being a Scholar of Global
Distinction was: “The research involved with capstones. I did a topic
that really interested me, and I loved doing the research for it.
Finding out more about it made me interested in other topics related to
Polly Kreh of Dobson graduated from
Surry Early College with an Associate in Arts and an Associate in
Science. She plans to major in biology at a UNC Asheville and then
attend graduate school. She says, “My favorite thing about Global
Scholars is that it exposes us to cultures in many ways, leading us to
be more aware of the diversity around us.”
For more information
about the event or the Scholars of Global Distinction program, contact
Sarah Wright, Lead Instructor of Languages and Humanities, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (336) 386-3439.
Choosing a college is an important decision, and we’re pleased that you’re interested in Surry Community College.