McCraney becomes third PCC student to win Scott leadership award
PCC News Service
Sunday, May 19, 2019
WINTERVILLE — For the third time in seven years, a Pitt Community College student has received the N.C. Community College System’s (NCCCS) prestigious Gov. Robert W. Scott Student Leadership Award.
Last month, NCCCS announced that Markus McCraney, a PCC associate of arts student also taking entrepreneurship courses, was selected for the 2019 Scott Award from a group of nominees representing community colleges across the state. McCraney, who has a 4.0 GPA, follows in the footsteps of PCC graduates Jason Donica and La’Quon Rogers, who received the honor in 2012 and 2015, respectively.
Established in 2004 to honor a former North Carolina governor and NCCCS president, the $1,000 award is presented annually to a North Carolina community college student for demonstrating leadership on a statewide level, active campus involvement, and the characteristics of a future community leader.
Though surprised when he learned he’d won the award, McCraney says he is passionate about everything he sets out to do and was happy to have been chosen. He said good leaders “embody the characteristics” they want to see in their followers and “recognize their place among” their team members, not above them.
“A good leader positively engages their team, motivating them to fulfill their goals to the best of their abilities, and challenges them to push higher,” he said.
On track to receive an associate in arts degree as well as a degree and certificate in entrepreneurship at the conclusion of the 2019 fall Semester, McCraney received an Academic Excellence Award from PCC this spring in recognition of classroom achievement and volunteerism. He is a Dean’s List student and president of the college’s Phi Beta Lambda chapter of Future Business Leaders of America — an organization he helped restart from scratch. In September, he assisted victims of Hurricane Florence with cleanup.
McCraney said his future educational plans involve working toward a doctorate after completing a bachelor of finance and master of business administration. He wants to pursue a career working with financial technologies.
“I’m extremely interested in ‘fintech’ and would like to help advance our country’s research on blockchain and related technologies; we’re falling behind,” he said. “Eventually, I’d like to be a serial entrepreneur with businesses spanning several diverse sectors.”
Prior to enrolling at Pitt in 2017, McCraney, who was born in Hawaii and grew up in Tennessee and Virginia, was a petty officer first-class in the U.S. Navy. An aircraft electronics technician, he specialized in repairing communication and navigation equipment on the SH-60B Seahawk, P-3C Orion, F/A-18 Hornet and C-130 Hercules.
During his eight years of military service, McCraney deployed to the Persian Gulf aboard the USS Harry S Truman in 2010. He received the Navy-Marine Corps Achievement Medal in 2013, Junior Sailor of the Quarter in 2014, and Senior Sailor of the Quarter in 2015 before he medically retired in 2016.
Taylor Miller receives Minges Criminal Justice Scholarship
The PCC Public Services and Fine Arts Division honored Taylor Miller for academic excellence this month by presenting her with the 2019 John Minges Criminal Justice Scholarship.
Miller, a criminal justice technology student with a 4.0 GPA, is on track to receive an associate degree from PCC next spring. Through the Minges Scholarship, she will receive $500 to help offset the cost of her educational expenses as she pursues a law enforcement career.
“I want to thank (everyone) who was a part of the scholarship,” Miller said. “I’m overwhelmed by the generosity offered at Pitt ….”
A Grimesland resident, Miller said law enforcement runs in her family. While one grandfather served as a deputy with the Craven County Sheriff’s Office, another was the sheriff of Pamlico County. She said she also has an uncle who is the director of federal prisons on the East Coast.
“This decision to pursue law enforcement didn’t come easy,” Miller said. “It was always a childhood dream of mine, especially with my family's large background in law enforcement …. However, despite my family's involvement, I was always aware of the troubles police officers went through as a daily challenge, such as finances and life-threatening situations.”
Miller said it wasn’t until the fall semester, after taking part in a ‘ride along’ with the Pitt County Sheriff’s Office, when she realized she had a “passion for helping others” and began taking steps toward a career in law enforcement. Her goal after completing her studies at PCC is to obtain a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from East Carolina University.
“After that, I will return to Pitt for the BLET program and, hopefully, earn my requirements to become a police officer for either the Greenville Police Department or Pitt County Sheriff’s Office,” she said. “From there, I aspire to move up to the state or federal level [of law enforcement].”
Applicants for the Minges Scholarship must be second-year students with at least a 3.0 GPA and a minimum of 24 credit hours earned from PCC’s criminal justice program. They also must submit an application and letter of recommendation along with a 500- to 750-word essay.