GTCC PRESIDENT RECEIVES N.C. STATE DISTINGUISHED ALUMNI AWARD
JAMESTOWN, N.C. — Guilford Technical Community College President Randy Parker received the NC State College of Education’s 2017 Higher Education Distinguished Alumni Award on Thursday (May 25) in recognition of his outstanding contributions to higher education and his impact on North Carolina.
“Dr. Parker exemplifies what we hope for our alumni: he has committed his career and life to advancing the college’s mission to ensure the educational success of all North Carolinians and reduce achievement gaps,” says Mary Ann Danowitz, College of Education Dean at NC State. “Specifically, Dr. Parker is doing everything he can to ensure the student success in North Carolina for four-year degree completion and the workforce and to improve communities in North Carolina. The impact of his work and efforts has been remarkable and extraordinary and will touch generations to come.”
Parker has been the president of GTCC since 2011, and has served as an associate professor of practice in educational research and policy analysis in NC State’s College of Education since 2015.
In his six years as GTCC president, Parker has brought financial stability to the college, implemented strategies to increase financial literacy, centralized academic programs, and created cross-sector partnerships that have become statewide models. One such partnership is a co-admission program between GTCC and North Carolina A&T State University’s engineering school in which students are admitted to both schools simultaneously. The students study their first two years at GTCC before moving seamlessly to the upper-level coursework at N.C. A&T State. The program is the first of its kind in the state.
“Dr. Parker’s emphatic drive for students to succeed in the classroom and in the real world is infectious,” says Susan Alt, chair of GTCC’s Board of Trustees. “His business model ensures that the faculty has the tools — and the data — to maintain or develop programs to meet regional economic challenges in North Carolina.”
Other cross-sector partnerships also driving economic growth include the Union Square Campus, Inc. (USCI), a collaboration between GTCC, N.C. A&T State University, UNCG and Cone Health to train and educate health care professionals, particularly in the field of nursing; and GTCC’s Center for Advanced Manufacturing (CAM), which will house expanded programs in transportation, machining, and welding when it opens next year in Greensboro.
Before joining GTCC as president, Parker was the president of Vance-Granville Community College for seven years and worked for 23 years at Lenoir Community College, where he held a variety of positions before becoming its vice president of instruction and student services. He began his career as an engineer.
In addition to completing his doctorate in higher education administration from the NC State College of Education, Parker earned his associate degree in mechanical drafting and design technology from Lenoir Community College, bachelor’s in mechanical engineering from UNC-Charlotte, and master’s in mechanical engineering from NC State.
Guilford Technical Community College is the fourth largest of 58 institutions in the NC Community College System. GTCC serves more than 35,000 students annually from five campuses and a Small Business Center. Learn more at www.gtcc.edu.