WCC presents teaching award

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GOLDSBORO - Jenneth M. Honeycutt is the recipient of the 2020 George E. Wilson Excellence in Teaching Award.

It’s the highest honor bestowed upon an instructor at Wayne Community College.

The college’s lead software development instructor, Honeycutt was surprised during a meeting called as a ruse to get her on campus. The award was announced to faculty and staff during the college’s virtual convocation, since the COVID-19 pandemic cancelled the annual commencement ceremony.

Honeycutt’s peers in the Business and Computer Technologies Division nominated her for the award because of “her strong commitment to the teaching profession and the significant contributions that she has made to her students, to Wayne Community College and to our community," said Tracy Schmeltzer, dean of the BCTD.

Honeycutt has worked at WCC for three years.

Her achievements during that time are her creation of course content for eight mostly textbookless courses, leadership of a very active college committee; and active recruitment for her program, the Information Systems Technology Department and the BCTD. 

She continues to expand the number of certifications she holds in order to bring more courses to the campus and is currently taking Amazon Web Services courses to become an official AWS instructor.

Schmeltzer described Honeycutt as "highly energetic, enthusiastic and confident."

"She is definitely someone who co-workers look to for advice and guidance, not only in the academic setting but in handling difficult issues and overcoming obstacles," said fellow instructor Katharine Jarman.

Staff member Demarcus Reid called her "one of the most intelligent, kindest, considerate, patient and funniest people you will ever meet."

Students and alumni chimed in on Honeycutt's qualifications for the award.

"As a father, husband, veteran and Eagle Scout, I understand entirely what professionalism, dedication, sacrifice, love, and selflessness entail," said Lance Offield, a new graduate. "Mrs. Honeycutt not only embodies all these characteristics of excellence; she also radiates them outwards towards others. It has been an absolute pleasure being one of her students."

Graduate Chad R. Pickard agreed.

“She even took her time to talk with me and help me with ... my own projects that did not pertain to the course work, whether it be online or even come into her office and sit with me to help me ... for as long as it took for me to understand,” Pickard said. “You can tell she truly loves what she does and enjoys teaching and helping her students." Pickard noted that she still answers questions that arise in his new job.

Honeycutt's award includes a framed certificate and monetary stipend. The "teacher of the year" designation makes her Wayne Community College's nominee for the State Board of Community Colleges' 2021 Excellence in Teaching Award.

She also will be recognized with an Excellence Award from the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development and a Dale P. Parnell Distinguished Faculty Award by the American Association of Community College.

This is the 35th year in which the award has been presented. It was established with the Foundation of Wayne Community College by an anonymous donor to honor the late George E. Wilson. Mr. Wilson was known for his service to others and his contributions as a WCC trustee and civic leader in Wayne County and the state.

"A committee of community leaders strives to select a recipient who best honors Mr. Wilson's legacy," said Adrienne Northington, foundation executive director. “The committee definitely succeeded in its task this year."

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