SANFORD -- Central Carolina Community College has been nominated for the 2015 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award.
"By employing members of the North Carolina National Guard and other Reserve Components, you join a patriotic group of American employers who willingly share our greatest National resource -- the men and women who voluntarily and devotedly serve our Nation," wrote Ron Bogle, State Chairman, N.C. Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve. "These Great American Patriots who serve as Citizen Soldiers deserve our unwavering support! They are truly on the front lines defending our freedom."
CCCC was one of 65 North Carolina employers nominated for the award.
Among those Citizen Soldiers is Lisa Baker, CCCC's Dean of Health Sciences. Baker, who came to CCCC in August 2008, was active duty in the Air Force for 13 years and has been in the Air Force Reserves for seven years.
"I am incredibly excited that Central Carolina Community College is being recognized as one of the nominees for the Freedom Award," said Baker, who is a First Sergeant in the Air Force Reserves. "I think it is a testament to the support that we have for the military -- employees, as well as our student population."
Baker said that joining the military allowed her to serve her county while providing for her education. "I've been incredibly fortunate," said Baker, noting that the Air Force gave her the opportunity to attend dental hygiene school. She later received her Master of Science in Dental Hygiene Education from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
"The opportunities that I have been able to obtain because of my military experience are just vast," said Baker, who added that the experience includes the values taught by the military.
"The core values are integrity first, service before self, and excellence in all we do. Those core values really have sustained me and helped me multitask in all the different things that I've been able to do as far as education and my career," she said.
"I definitely credit the Air Force with everything I've been able to accomplish since entry into military service," said Baker.
CCCC President Dr. T.E. Marchant expressed the college's thanks for the recognition. "Central Carolina Community College is proud to support the military, especially all of those individuals who have dedicated themselves to the cause of serving our great country," he said.
Central Carolina Community College is proud to be a Military Friendly(R) School as designated by Victory Media. The Military Friendly(R) Schools designation is awarded to the top 15 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools in the country that are doing the most to embrace military students, and to dedicate resources to ensure their success in the classroom and after graduation.
In addition, CCCC is host to the Veterans Upward Bound (VUB) program for veterans in Chatham, Harnett, Johnston, Lee, and Wake counties.
VUB is a program funded by the U.S. Department of Education to assist veterans in preparing to enroll and be successful in college. The program provides veterans with free services such as academic refresher courses, career counseling, skill-building workshops, assistance with securing services from other agencies that serve veterans, assistance with college admissions and financial aid applications, and assistance entering into postsecondary education.
For more information about Central Carolina Community College, visit www.cccc.edu.
Lisa Baker, CCCC's Dean of Health Sciences, was active duty in the Air Force for 13 years and has been in the Air Force Reserves for seven years.
Lisa Baker is CCCC's Dean of Health Sciences. She has been with the college since August 2008.