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Melissa DeCarlo Recknor Earns Doctorate

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Surry Community College Director of Student Success and Academic Advising, Melissa DeCarlo Recknor received a Doctorate of Education in Student Affairs Administration and Leadership from the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse on May 11.

With 12 years of experience in higher education, DeCarlo Recknor has dedicated the past eight years to Surry Community College, where she currently serves as the Director of Student Success and Academic Advising. Previously, she held roles as the Surry Early College High School (SECHS) College Liaison and Student Services Administrative Assistant. She credits her time at Surry Early College as the inspiration for choosing her dissertation topic. Before her tenure in North Carolina, she worked at the University of Kentucky in the School of Music.

DeCarlo Recknor’s dissertation, titled “My Voice Matters: Latinx Students’ Experiences in Dual Enrollment Programs in Rural North Carolina,” explores how Latinx students perceive and navigate the Career and College Promise (CCP) program. The findings confirm the need for educational personnel, in both K-12 and higher education institutions, to build more inclusive and intentional relationships with Latinx rural high school students enrolled in college classes. The study reinforces the importance of family support in the educational pursuits of Latinx students.

“We couldn’t be prouder of Dr. Melissa DeCarlo Recknor for earning her doctorate degree. Her passion for academic excellence and her deep commitment to our students’ success are truly inspiring. Dr. DeCarlo Recknor is an asset to Surry Community College, enriching our community with her vast knowledge and expertise. Her leadership and dedication touch the lives of everyone here, motivating both students and colleagues to reach their fullest potential,” said Forrest Lineberry, SCC Vice President of Student Services.

DeCarlo Recknor is an alumna of John Jay High School in Cross River, N.Y., and holds a Bachelor of Music in Music Education from the University of Kentucky. She earned a Master of Arts in Higher Education and Education Specialist degrees and graduate certificates in International Leadership and College and University Teaching from Appalachian State University.

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