The faces of administration at Sampson Community College will change Thursday, as leaders take the helm in their new roles.
Dr. Bill Starling will officially serve in his new position of president, after the retirement of Dr. Paul Hutchins. With Starling’s move, the position of vice president of academic affairs opened, and former division chair for health programs, Wanda Capps, will transition into that role.
Veronica Stevens, longtime nursing instructor at the college, will assume the duties of division chair for health programs.
Starling is no stranger to SCC, he has been with the educational institute for almost four decades, serving in a number of administrative positions.
“I have had the unique opportunity to work in my hometown with so many wonderful coworkers who work to give Sampson County adults access to education and training opportunities that could lead them to a more secure economic future and help them better understand the world around them,” Starling noted.
According to a press release, Starling began his career at SCC in 1980, serving as the president’s assistant to Dr. Bruce Howell. His earliest responsibilities included writing grants and developing policy and institutional planning and accreditation documents. In 1984, he was appointed as the dean of administrative services, working in business and facility services.
In 1992, he transitioned to the dean of educational programs focusing upon new program development and accreditation issues. A decade later, he was named vice president of administration and later taking on much broader responsibilities as vice president of academic affairs and administration.
“For me, this is a special time in my career,” Starling said. “The trustees have provided me the rarest of opportunities, to be able to lead a group of very talented faculty and staff through a period when so many changes are happening here at SCC. While I have served a number of presidents over the years, I anticipate the unique challenges of actually serving as president. I look forward to continuing my work here for the people of Sampson County.”
Starling is an active part of the community, serving on the Sampson Arts Council, Clinton Kiwanis Club and the Clinton City Schools Board of Education. He holds a degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a master’s degree in educational administration from East Carolina University and a doctorate in education from N.C. State University.
Capps, who brings three decades of experience to the table, will now take the role as vice president of academic affairs, focusing on curriculum programs and academic support.
“I am extremely humbled and excited to move into the vice president of academic affairs position,” Capps said. “It provides me with the opportunity to give back to an institution which does so much good for students, faculty, staff and our community in a different role.”
Capps received her bachelor’s degree in nursing in 1985 and followed with her master’s degree in nursing education at East Carolina University and her graduate certificate in community college teaching from N.C. State University.
Under her leadership, the nursing program at Sampson Community College achieved National Accreditation for the Practical Nursing and Associate Degree Nursing Programs by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing.
“My hope is to continue to move the college forward in meeting the needs of our students, our community as well as the needs of the faculty and staff,” Capps stressed. “As part of the SCC team, I hope to bring enthusiasm which fosters and focuses on building what has already been established while initiating new programs.”
Serving as a nursing instructor at SCC for more than two decades, Stevens has seen the front lines of many successful nursing careers and now she will have a much broader role in creating them for students at the college.
Stevens will begin serving as the division chair for health programs Thursday.
Stevens received a bachelor’s and master’s degree in nursing from East Carolina University and followed with a family nurse practitioner certificate and graduate certificate in community college teaching. She received another bachelor’s degree in 2015 in doctor of nursing practice.
“I hope to add to the long legacy of nursing excellence that has been established,” she says about her work at the college. “Our programs must continually evolve to address the increasingly complex health needs of a changing population.”
Stevens has served several health care organizations in the area, including Sampson Regional Medical Center, Sessoms Medical Practice, Duplin County Health Department, Clinton Women’s Clinic and Clinton Urgent Care.
Reach Kristy D. Carter at 910-592-8137, ext. 2588. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd. Like us on Facebook. Dan Grubb, public information officer with Sampson Community College, contributed to this article.