ACC honors

Student award recipients are (from left): Kamira Naidoo, Dallas Herring Achievement Award and NC Governor Robert W. Scott Student Leadership Award recipient; and Anna Peterson, Academic Excellence Award recipient.

Alamance Community College alumni, faculty, staff, and students were honored by the College Thursday evening, May 27, at the 2021 Celebrating Excellence Awards, hosted by the ACC Board of Trustees and the ACC Foundation Board of Directors.

New CDC guidelines allowed the event to be staged in-person, limited to college hosts, award recipients and their immediate family members. 

The annual event, held at the Alamance Country Club for the first time since 2019, honors those who have achieved distinction through hard work and dedication.

Among those who spoke at the event were Dr. Algie Gatewood, ACC President; Dr. Connie Wolfe, Executive Vice President; Charles Canaday, President of the ACC Foundation Board of Directors; and Carolyn Rhode, Vice President of Institutional Advancement and Executive Director of the ACC Foundation.



Reagan Chandler Gural is a graduate of ACC’s Business Administration program. She took evening classes at the College while working during the day at MidCarolina Bank. Between 2003-2011, Reagan received promotions including Relationship Development Associate. In 2011, Reagan was hired by the Alamance Chamber as Vice President of Membership Development where she designed and implemented programs focused on recruitment and retention. In 2015, she became Vice President of the Chamber. She serves as a member of ACC’s Small Business Center Advisory Council.

The Distinguished Alumni Award is for an alumnus who has achieved a significant level of success as a direct result from the education gained at ACC. 

At the Celebrating Excellence event, Reagan Gural was awarded the Presidential Medallion. The medallion was designed by the late Jesse Vaughn, Mechanical Drafting Technology instructor, and crafted by the Computer-Integrated Machining Department at ACC. Made of brass, the medallion features the college seal and a blue ribbon.



Rolanda Long Stanfield is a 1989 graduate of ACC where she studied for her degree in Early Childhood Education while working part-time at Wee Care Child Development Center in Burlington. She continued her career at Wee Care for more than 20 years in many capacities, including as Center Director until the business was sold in 2018. In 2005, Rolanda earned her bachelor’s degree in Child Development from UNC Greensboro. In early 2019 she began a new career at the state-affiliated Children’s Development Services Agency. In 2020, she was promoted to Early Intervention Service Coordinator. Her current role allows Rolanda to use her expertise and extensive knowledge of child development while working with community agencies, professionals, and families of young children.

Other nominees for the Distinguished Alumni Award were:

Heather Atkins, Network Administrator at Engineered Controls International (ECI), Elon

Belinda Barrett, Department Manager/Biotechnology-Developmental Biology, Carolina Biological Supply, Burlington

Emily Bell O’Dell, Human Resources Manager at Elevate Textiles, Burlington

Travis Pysar, Operations Strategy Director at Thermo Fisher Scientific, St. Louis, Missouri

Sadie Howard-Stanfield, AT&T Communications (Retired)

Brian Woodard, Assistant Director of Admissions/CSTEP at UNC Chapel Hill Office of Undergraduate Admissions

Also recognized were:

Donna Pruitt,Dental Assisting Instructor, as Excellence in Teaching Recipient

Valerie Whitley, Computer Information Technology Instructor, as Adjunct Faculty Member of the Year

Chief David Prevatte, Director of Public Safety, as Staff Member of the Year

Carrie Russell, High School Equivalency Online Instructor, as Workforce Development Instructor of the Year


Student Academic Excellence Award Recipient:

Anna Peterson earned an Associate in Applied Science degree in Early Childhood Education on May 14. After a career as a photographer, she enrolled at ACC to pursue a new career because she wants to make a difference for young children with needs. During her time as a non-traditional student at ACC, Anna says she has learned how to better a child’s learning through positive and imaginative hands-on learning. “Seeing how the children in ACC’s childcare center respond to how I talked, interacted, and played with them has been rewarding,” she says. Anna volunteered her photography skills to document the Early Childhood Education department during an all-day ACC Open House College to Career Festival in early 2020.


Dallas Herring Achievement Award & NC Governor Robert W. Scott Leadership Award:

Kimera Naidoo is the first ACC student to be selected as recipient of both these awards in the same year. Kimera is working toward an Associate in Arts with a secondary major in an Associate in Fine Arts - Visual Arts. She hopes to transfer to Appalachian State University to study communication sciences and disorders. A native of South Africa, Kimera came to North Carolina in 2018 where she immersed herself in education to study speech language pathology. She credits her ACC experience and the leadership roles she has been provided with gaining self-confidence and understanding for others. Kimera solidified her leadership skills as SGA President by serving as student representative to the ACC Board of Trustees, facilitating presentations and helping plan and implement virtual and drive-through events for ACC students.