Two TNCC Students to Receive High Honors During May 16 Commencement

Published: May 15, 2012

Thomas Nelson Community College (TNCC) named Michelle A. Robinson and Benjamin L. Jordan as recipients of the 2011-2012 President’s and Vice President’s Awards, respectively. In acknowledgement of the two summa cum laude graduates’ exceptional academic performance, the awards will be presented during TNCC’s 43rd commencement exercises on Wednesday, May 16 at 7 p.m. at the Hampton University Convocation Center.

Robinson and Jordan are among over 700 students who applied to graduate during the 2011-2012 academic year. This figure includes students who completed their curriculum requirements in summer 2011, fall 2011, and those who applied for graduation in spring 2012. Graduating students will receive Associate’s degrees, certificates, career studies certificates, or a combination of these academic credentials. Criteria for the President’s and Vice President’s awards include attaining the highest cumulative grade point average, completing at least 60 semester hours of course work and receiving an Associate’s degree for the current year, among other criteria.

Robinson enrolled at TNCC in 2009 and has completed requirements for an Associate of Science degree in Business Administration. She is enrolling at Old Dominion University this summer to pursue a degree in finance.

Influenced by her current career as a criminal clerk with the Hampton Circuit Court, she ultimately sees a future in law. “Once I get my bachelor’s degree, I’m looking at going into a three-year master’s program majoring in business. But, my long term goal is to be an attorney,” she said.

While attending TNCC, Robinson was inducted into the College’s chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa International (PTK) Honor Society, the honor society for two-year colleges. She sums up her educational journey at TNCC as a positive phase in life. “I had great professors who challenged me beyond the scope of the classroom. I came to college after being out of school for 10 years and they made the atmosphere very welcoming. Getting that acceptance as a nontraditional student really helped me explore beyond my normal expectations,” she said.

A native of Jamaica, Robinson moved to Hampton, Virginia from Brooklyn, New York with her husband, Randy. “He wanted to come home after his 20 years of service in the [U.S.] Air Force and this is where we will stay,” she said. Raised by a single parent, she credits her mother, Alisha Bryan, for providing the foundation for her success.

Also a Hampton, Virginia resident, Jordan enrolled at TNCC in fall 2009. He has completed the requirements for an Associate of Arts degree in Liberal Arts. He plans to continue working on the staff of Newport News, Virginia-based GF Remodeling, Inc. for the next year while mapping out a plan to enter seminary to study theology.

“I am a Christian and I believe that God wants me to become a pastor. I don’t know how or where yet, though. I know it’s in my future,” said Jordan. A member of Calvary Assembly of God in Hampton, he has spent most weekends for the past six years volunteering at the church. In church outreach efforts, Jordan worked on landscaping projects at several public schools in the city. Since 2008, he also participated in the church’s missionary travels to El Salvador, Alaska, Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C.

Jordan was active on campus as well, having been a member of TNCC’s Campus Crusade for Christ, a student organization established in spring semester 2012, and played on the College’s 2011 soccer team. He was also inducted into TNCC’s PTK chapter.

He attributes his success thus far in life to his parents, Lloyd and Hope Jordan, of Hampton, Virginia. And, he credits the faculty members he encountered at TNCC for helping him maintain high academic standards. “[Thomas Nelson] is a really good place to learn. All of my instructors were great and they definitely knew what they were doing in the classroom. I think TNCC is definitely a good place to start,” he said.


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