Michael Brown has been an inspiration to students, administrators and professors at NCC. With his seeing eye dog, Riley, at his side, he has made a great impression as a leader in the classroom and in the residence halls.
“Michael is an exceptional student with a wonderful sense of humor,” say two professors. “Professors say they have become better teachers by having him in their classes.” He is described as hardworking and dedicated, giving 110% to everything he does. Through his conscientiousness, he has earned a GPA of 3.84.
“His outlook on life is refreshing, and he makes a lasting impact on all around him,” says Krista Trout of Disability Services.
In a video made by NCC media students, Brown describes his partnership with Riley, who replaced a cane a year-and-a-half ago: “Riley is my guide, friend and companion. He gets me where I have to go, and has taught me how to treat another living being. I am Riley’s parent and caretaker. Together, we make an efficient team.”
Brown, a secondary education major who plans to be a school librarian, looks forward to continuing his education at Kutztown University.
Na-Quasia Dickerson overcame the trauma of homelessness to graduate from NCC with a 3.7 GPA.
She loves the sciences and at first planned to become a doctor. Classes at NCC persuaded her that teaching is her passion; she will continue her education at East Stroudsburg University toward a dual degree in elementary education and English with a concentration in secondary education.
While acknowledging that science courses are demanding, she says that “my advice to anyone pursuing a science degree would be to stay on top of your work and don’t be afraid to ask for help. The most unique thing about the program is the amount of care the professors have and how well they work with you to make sure you succeed.”
A recipient of the Phi Theta Kappa USA scholarship, she participated in the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society; was on the Shadow Step and Dance team, where she helped choreograph routines; and was president of the Black Student Union, hosting and planning multiple events on campus. She was also involved in the Student Success GPS campaign as a spokesperson for the biological sciences department and starred in the NCC holiday e-card.
“Being at NCC has indeed changed me for the better. I broke out of my shell and saw my full academic potential.”
“I want to help people that are going through the same things I did when I was growing up,” says Jonique Pace, a social work major. She plans to complete her bachelor’s degree in social work at Cedar Crest College and follow a career focused on children and youth.
While working full-time, she maintained a high GPA and has been awarded scholarships from Cedar Crest College and the National Society of Leadership and Success.
For her, the best feature of NCC was the staff and faculty who helped her complete her Northampton journey. “The faculty and staff are amazing,” she says. “They truly do care about students.”
In addition to her job and studies, Pace has been active in the Social Work Club, where she is secretary; the National Society of Leadership and Success; and the Phi Theta Kappa international honor society.
She tells students: “Even if it gets hard, do not give up.”
Emma Thomas, a secondary education major, believes that “this country needs qualified, caring educators for the upcoming generation. “The best thing about my program is the caring faculty members who have truly made a difference in my educational experience. I feel that they are fully preparing me for my career, and I hope to be as effective and as continuously passionate as they are.”
From NCC, Thomas will transfer to Moravian College, where she will pursue a bachelor’s degree in history, with a certification in secondary education. Her ultimate goal is to be a high school social studies teacher.
NCC, she says, has given her a solid foundation. “NCC taught me to handle a large amount of responsibility and to do so successfully. I have developed both professionally and socially. I feel comfortable advancing in my life, my schooling and my profession from the skills I have developed in my time here.”
Outside the classroom, her experience at NCC has included membership in the Phi Theta Kappa international honor society, the Discipline Hearing Committee and a position as an Admissions Ambassador.
She wants present and future education students to remember that they are molding lives. “Make sure you remain optimistic, caring and self-reflected.”
Roosevelt Totaye’s journey brought him from war-torn Liberia, to a refugee camp in Ghana, and finally to the United States and NCC’s registered nursing program.
Even though he faced great hardships, including having to be separated from his daughter for six years, and enduring the death of another child, Totaye remains optimistic and resilient. His motto is “The shadow of every problem is the solution.” He believes that until you can see beyond the problem, you will never see the shadow, which is the solution. He tells other NCC students: “Don’t let your problems weigh you down. If I made it, you can make it.”
His nursing faculty note that Totaye is a strong advocate for his patients, and is driven to help others.
The faculty and staff at NCC, he says, were the best thing about his experience and made NCC feel like a home. “The people running the nursing program, the professors, the lab technicians, clinical instructors, and everyone involved, it’s like a huge family in a small house.”
Totaye, a member of the Phi Theta Kappa international honor society, has transferred to East Stroudsburg University, where he is pursuing a bachelor of science in nursing.