CIC/UPS Scholarship Recipients at NC Private Colleges & Universities Announced

Thirty-six students at North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (NCICU) have each received CIC/UPS Scholarships in the amount of $3,000 for the 2020-21 academic year. The scholarships were made possible by a grant from the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) in Washington, DC, through the CIC/UPS Educational Endowment.

“UPS has been a valued supporter of independent higher education for more than 40 years,” said Hope Williams, president of NCICU. “The scholarships they provide to students at each of our 36 campuses are significant and help make it possible for students to meet their educational goals.”

Nationally, CIC provided more than $1.5 million in student scholarships through statewide offices of private higher education to make private colleges and universities more affordable and accessible to underserved students.

Recipients of the CIC/UPS Scholarships this year from NCICU are:

La’Haua Thomas of Charlotte, NC, a sophomore at Barton College majoring in Criminal Justice
Layla Figueroa of Gastonia, NC, a junior at Belmont Abbey College majoring in Psychology
Jessica Bolden of Durham, NC, a junior at Bennett College majoring in Psychology
Morgan Rice of Asheville, NC, a sophomore at Brevard College majoring in Health Science
Hannah Schelling of Midland, NC, a sophomore at Cabarrus College of Health Sciences majoring in Nursing
Elizabeth Moncerath Bucaro Vasquez of Sanford, NC, a senior at Campbell University majoring in Criminal Justice Pre-Law
Andrea Valeria Garrido Lecca of Salisbury, NC, a Freshman at Catawba College majoring in Political Science
Ulyses Orteg-Espino of La Grange, NC, a freshman at Chowan University majoring in Graphic Design
Airen Ellis of Greensboro, NC, a senior at Davidson College, major Undeclared
Ayana Paul of Waxhaw, NC, a senior at Duke University majoring in Biology
Kendra Johnson of Fuquay Varina, NC, a senior at Elon University majoring in  Acting and Art Administration
Brittany Ray of Morganton, NC, a freshman at Gardner-Webb University majoring in Chemistry
Teiko Joe’el Ruffin of Ramseur, NC, a freshman at Greensboro College majoring in Biology
Terry Dixon of Concord, NC, a sophomore at High Point University majoring in Business Administration
Chaz Gwyn of Winston-Salem, NC, a freshman at Johnson C. Smith University majoring in Business Administration
Jessica Cervantes of Spruce Pine, NC, a junior at Lees-McRae College majoring in Elementary Education
Aspen Bilal of Shelby, NC, a junior at Lenoir-Rhyne University majoring in Political Science
Shania M. Scott of Maxton, NC, a sophomore at Livingstone College majoring in Social Work
Tayari Allen of Raleigh, NC, a sophomore at Louisburg College University majoring in Business
India Staley of Gastonia, NC, a senior at Mars Hill University majoring in Integrated Health Sciences
Zanaiia Lynn of Garner, NC, a junior at Meredith College majoring in Interior Design
Jazanae Billings of Pittsboro, NC, a sophomore at Methodist University majoring in Social Work
Zyere Harris-Long of Statesville, NC, a senior at Montreat College majoring in Psychology
Thomas Clark of Cape Carteret, NC, a junior at N.C. Wesleyan College majoring in Criminal Justice
Tyquon Jackson of Lumberton, NC, a junior at Pfeiffer University majoring in Business Administration
Carla Lopez-Cervantes of Marion, NC, a freshman at Queens University of Charlotte majoring in Spanish
Jykeis McLean of Goldsboro, NC, a senior at Saint Augustine’s University majoring in Business Administrations
Melissa Cisneros-Damaso of Winston-Salem, NC, a sophomore at Salem College majoring in Business Administration
Damita Warren of Raleigh, NC, a sophomore at Shaw University majoring in Social Work
Asa Moretz of Taylorsville, NC, a senior at St. Andrews University majoring in Business Administration
Eian Hines of Elizabethtown, NC, a senior at University of Mount Olive majoring in Graphic Design
Frantasia T. Hill of Stella, NC, a junior at Wake Forest University majoring in Sociology
William Wilson of Valdese, NC, a junior at Warren Wilson College majoring in Outdoor Leadership
Brandi Bowers of Louisburg, NC, a junior at William Peace University majoring in Psychology
Tamiria Thomas of Conyers, GA, a junior at Wingate University majoring in Biology

“Independent colleges and universities in this country are remarkably effective at educating and graduating low-income and first-generation students in less time, with less student debt,” said Richard Ekman, president of CIC.

“Helping these students afford a private college education is a truly critical need in our society, and it is rewarding to be a partner with the UPS Foundation and NCICU as we help to support deserving students.”

The CIC/UPS Scholarships Program has made a private college education possible for more than 21,000 low-income, first generation, and minority students and has had a transformative impact on individuals, families, and communities across the country.

About the Council of Independent Colleges

The Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) is an association of nonprofit independent colleges and universities, state-based councils of independent colleges, and other higher education affiliates, that works to support college and university leadership, advance institutional excellence, and enhance public understanding of independent higher education’s contributions to society. CIC is the major national organization that focuses on services to leaders of independent colleges and universities and state-based councils. CIC offers conferences, seminars, publications, and other programs and services that help institutions improve educational quality, administrative and financial performance, student outcomes, and institutional visibility. It conducts the largest annual conferences of college and university presidents and of chief academic officers. Founded in 1956, CIC is headquartered at One Dupont Circle in Washington, DC.

About The UPS Foundation

Since its founding in 1907, UPS has built a legacy as a caring and responsible corporate citizen, supporting programs that provide long-term solutions to community needs. Founded in 1951, The UPS Foundation leads its global citizenship programs and is responsible for facilitating community involvement to local, national, and global communities. In 2019, UPS and its employees, active and retired, invested more than $123.8 million in charitable giving around the world. The UPS Foundation can be found at and @UPS_Foundation on Twitter.


NCICU Educator Prep Programs Make Strides in Implementing the Science of Reading

In April 2021, the North Carolina General Assembly enacted legislation requiring college and university Educator Preparation Programs (EPPs) to provide coursework in the Science of Reading, recognizing that reading and comprehension are keys to student achievement. In December the Goodnight Educational Foundation awarded North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (NCICU) $1 million over two years to support the implementation of this initiative – $500,000 in the first year and another $500,000 in the second year. NCICU is the statewide office representing 36 private, nonprofit colleges and universities, 31 of which have EPPs.

To implement this important curriculum, NCICU established a task force made up of representatives from nine colleges and chaired by Dr. Monica Campbell of Lenoir-Rhyne University and Dr. Mary Knight-McKenna of Elon University. The Task Force has been meeting monthly developing strategies to strengthen preparation in the science of reading, including holding a two-day Summer Faculty Institute in June.

NCICU recently disbursed a total of $248,000 in subgrants to the 31 EPPs to support the work of the faculty in each individual program. The work will include enhancing, redesigning, and developing effective literacy coursework, practica, and internships based on the Science of Reading.

Participating EPPs are at the following colleges: Barton College, Belmont-Abbey College, Bennett College, Brevard College, Campbell University, Catawba College, Chowan University, Duke University, Elon University, Gardner-Webb University, Greensboro College, Guilford College, High Point University, Lees McRae College, Lenoir Rhyne University, Livingstone College, Mars Hill University, Meredith College, Methodist University, Montreat College, Mount Olive University, NC Wesleyan University, Pfeiffer University, Queens University of Charlotte, Salem College, Shaw University, St. Andrews University, Saint Augustine’s University, Wake Forest University, William Peace University, and Wingate University

Each of NCICU’s 31 EPPs received $8,000 in grant funds following an application and review process. Subgrant funds are being used for faculty stipends, external reviewer costs, curricular revision, relevant teaching and learning materials, student evaluation, and other professional development supports. EPPs are also using their subgrant funds to support their local communities to use the Science of Reading when teaching young children. EPP faculty are offering virtual, onsite, and mobile tutoring programs and professional development sessions open to the public.

“Reading is the core concept and foundation for success in all levels of education,” said NCICU President Hope Williams, “We deeply appreciate the grant from  the Goodnight Educational Foundation to support this  critical work.”

Pending continued funding from the Goodnight Educational Foundation, each of the 31 EPPs will receive an additional $7,600 in 2023 to fully implement their projects.

EPPs will present the outcomes of their projects during the 2023 Summer Faculty Institute and will also submit a final report to NCICU in September 2023.

NCICU’s Science of Reading project managers are Denise Adams and Pasts Pierce.

NCICU Receives Scholarship Challenge Grant

NCICU has received a $25,000 grant that will establish scholarships for students who are pursuing teacher education at one of NCICU’s 36 colleges or universities. The scholarships have been funded through a Scholarship Challenge Grant from the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) and requires a match of at least $37,000.

“The Council of Independent Colleges is proud to support NCICU and its colleges through CIC’s Scholarship Challenge Grant Program,” said Marjorie Hass, president of the Council of Independent Colleges. “The grant will provide additional scholarship aid for students of second-year status or higher at NCICU’s four-year colleges and universities.”

“As part of the effort of independent colleges and universities to increase the pipeline of teachers in North Carolina, these scholarships will help support our students as they intern in classrooms as part of their degree requirements,” said NCICU president, Hope Williams. “We greatly appreciate CIC’s funding of this important initiative.”

NCICU expects to begin distributing the scholarships for the 2023-24 academic year.

If you would like to support scholarships for our future teachers, you can contact Colleen Kinser, [email protected], or go online and make a gift today

$3.9 Million Contributed to Independent College Fund

The Independent College Fund of North Carolina (ICFNC), the fundraising arm of North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (NCICU) received $3.9 million in cash and in-kind donations during its annual campaign which ended April 30, 2022. Of the $3.9 million, $2,401,493 will support NCICU programs, $1,022,669 came through in-kind gifts and services, and $508,496 was designated for scholarship support.

“I am excited about this year’s partnerships and the funds contributed for scholarships and student enrichment programs,” said ICFNC director, Colleen Kinser. “Thanks to the support of generous donors, NCICU will be administering new programs which address the significant challenges employers are facing in recruiting and retaining a diverse domestic and global workforce.”

One such program is the iBELONG MALE MENTORING PROGRAMSM, which was launched last fall, and is designed to increase the persistence, retention, and graduation rates of minority male students on campus.

Grant funding will also provide for a three-year Faculty-Student STEM Mentoring program which will launch in the fall of 2022. The program will seek to improve student retention and graduation rates among first generation college students, women, and students of color majoring in science, technology, engineering, or math.

In addition, grant funds will provide training and implementation strategies for faculty in the Science of Reading, a new legislative initiative impacting all Educator Preparation Programs in the state.

Program funds also support NCICU’s annual Ethics Bowl and numerous administrative group workshops provided each year for the 36 colleges and universities under the NCICU umbrella.

Hundreds of students will benefit from the scholarship funds, including 148 students who will receive named scholarships that have been established by donors.

These include:

  • Blue Cross and Blue Shield of NC
  • Bridgestone Firestone Trust Fund Scholarship
  • Broyhill Family Foundation Scholarship
  • CIC/UPS Education Endowment Scholarship
  • Clancy & Theys Construction Co. Scholarship
  • Dominion NC Power Scholarship
  • First Generation Scholarship
  • ICFNC Advisory Board Corporate Scholarship
  • Jeff and Jan Stoddard Scholarship for Hope
  • North Carolina Sheriffs’ Association Criminal Justice Scholarship
  • Thomas & Ashley Varnadore Scholarship of Optimism in Future Generations
  • Wells Fargo Scholarship

In-kind support received included Google Ad Grants and software support from SAS.

For more information about NCICU’s scholarships and programs.

NCICU receives $75,000 grant from Truist

The Independent College Fund of North Carolina (ICFNC), a division of North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (NCICU), announced it received a $75,000 donation from Truist Financial Corporation through its Truist Charitable Fund, a donor-advised fund at the Winston-Salem Foundation, for student scholarships.

“We are so grateful to Truist for their support and for making this important investment in students,” said Colleen Kinser, director of ICFNC. “The Truist scholarship has a direct impact on helping students achieve a college degree and improve their quality of life.”

The funds provided scholarships to 25 students at 25 private, nonprofit colleges and universities in North Carolina for the current academic year. The criteria for the scholarships included full-time undergraduate student status, minimum grade-point-average of 2.5, demonstrated financial need, and first-generation or of an under-represented population college student.

The recipients are:

Ms. Jhaydan Davis, Barton College, from Fayetteville, NC, majoring in Business Administration
Ms. Destinee Allen, a senior at Greensboro College, from Marshville, NC, majoring in Art
Ms. Amina Osman, a senior at Guilford College, from Charlotte, NC, majoring in Health Science & Psychology
Ms. Maranda Wallace, a senior at Lenoir-Rhyne University, from Gastonia, NC, majoring in Psychology
Ms. Ciara Moorman, a senior at University of Mount Olive, from Essex, MD, majoring in Exercise Science
Ms. Kiara Hemphill, a sophomore at Wingate University, from Blythewood, SC, majoring in Biology
Mr. Sambujang Conteh, a junior Belmont Abbey College, from Gastonia, NC, majoring in Psychology
Mr. Job Williamson, a senior at Chowan University, from Burlington, NC, majoring in History
Mr. Shauntrel Hendrix, a freshman at Louisburg College, from Batesburg, SC, majoring in Business
Mr. Camden Sanderson, a freshman at Pfeiffer University, from Kernersville, NC, majoring in Business Administration
Mr. Saiquan Bell, a sophomore at Warren Wilson College, from New Bern, NC, majoring in History
Ms. Anna Wei Peters, a junior at Lees-McRae College, from Charlotte, NC, majoring in Wildlife Biology
Ms. Rachel Gunnis, a senior at Brevard College, from Goose Creek, SC, majoring in Health Science
Ms. Catherine Smith, a senior at Methodist University, from Clinton, NC, majoring in Elementary Education
Ms. Lillie Siniard, a junior at Montreat College, from Brevard, NC, majoring in Communications
Ms. Kristin Cirone , a junior at Queens University of Charlotte, from Charlotte, NC, majoring in Elementary Education
Ms. Anyssa Lanier, a senior at Salem College, from Clemmons, NC, majoring in Education
Ms. Kandon Luquer, a senior at St. Andrews University, from Laurinburg, NC, majoring in Communication Studies
Ms. Danny Grace Jones, a senior at Meredith College, from Mount Olive, NC, majoring in Political Science
Ms. Regina Alexandra Mendoza Martinez , a sophomore at Campbell University, from Fayetteville, NC, majoring in Biology
Ms. Jenifer Castillo Pacas, a junior at Catawba College, from Salisbury, NC. majoring in Spanish
Ms. Christina Kennedy, a senior at Gardner-Webb University, from Lawndale. NC, majoring in Nursing
Ms. Jazmin Valdovinos, a junior at N.C. Wesleyan College, from Rocky Mount, NC, majoring in Psychology
Mr. Daniel Loredo, a freshman at Mars Hill University, from Marshall, NC, majoring in Computer Science
Mr. Chason Royal, a freshman at William Peace University, from Bailey, NC, major Undeclared

“Helping provide access to education is at the heart of Truist’s purpose to inspire and build better lives and communities,” said Chris Bell, Triangle regional president for Truist. “This grant will support new opportunities for higher education across North Carolina and is an investment in the futures of these students, their families, and our state.”

About Truist Charitable Fund
The Truist Charitable Fund is a donor-advised fund created by Truist and administered by The Winston-Salem Foundation.

 About Truist
Truist Financial Corporation is a purpose-driven financial services company committed to inspiring and building better lives and communities. Truist has leading market share in many high-growth markets in the country. The company offers a wide range of services including retail, small business and commercial banking; asset management; capital markets; commercial real estate; corporate and institutional banking; insurance; mortgage; payments; specialized lending; and wealth management. Headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, Truist is a top 10 U.S. commercial bank. Truist Bank, Member FDIC. Learn more at

NCICU Spring 2022 Newsletter

NCICU Spring 2022 Newsletter

Dominion Energy donates $25,000 to NC Independent College students, STEM mentoring program

The Dominion Energy Foundation has donated $25,000 to The Independent College Fund of North Carolina (ICFNC) for scholarships and program support. Twenty-one thousand of the gift is designated for student scholarships and four thousand will fund a career workshop for North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities’ (NCICU) Faculty-Student STEM Mentoring Program. ICFNC is part of NCICU, the statewide office for North Carolina’s 36 private colleges and universities.

Scholarship recipients must be full-time students majoring in Business, Engineering Technology, Liberal Arts, Construction Management or Environmental Sciences and hold a minimum grade point average of 2.5, that reside in Dominion Energy’s service territory.

Winnie Wade, External Affairs Manager for Dominion Energy, serves on the ICFNC Advisory Board. “We know these scholarships will lend the extra support to help make students’ educational goals a reality and create the pipeline of talent we need for our growing state,” said Wade. “Dominion Energy is proud to support these students that will become our next generation of leaders and problem solvers.”

Dominion Energy has supported North Carolina’s private, nonprofit colleges and universities for 60 years. The company has also started a scholarship fund for underrepresented minority students called the Dominion Energy Equity Scholarship.

Colleen Kinser, director of ICFNC, expressing appreciation for this support said “ICFNC is honored to partner with Dominion Energy to provide opportunities that have the potential to develop the capacity of the future workforce, especially in STEM and energy fields.”

PHOTO: (pictured l to r) ICFNC Assistant Director Lexie Daniels, , Winnie Wade, NCICU President Hope Williams, Colleen Kinser, and STEM Mentoring Project Director Marilyn Sutton-Haywood.

NCICU partners with UNC and NCCCS on Virtual Convening on Mental Health

North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities in partnership with the University of North Carolina System, and the North Carolina Community College System, will host its Virtual 2022 Behavioral Health Convening on March 30-31.

Sessions will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Registration is free and open to faculty and staff from all college campuses in North Carolina. Media are welcome to observe. Click here to register.

The 2022 Virtual Behavioral Health Convening is an opportunity for representatives from campuses across the state to develop ideas, share best practices, and learn about programs that help nurture healthy campus communities and resilient students.

North Carolina Secretary of Health and Human Services Kody Kinsley will join the 2022 convening as a special guest speaker. Kinsley, the former chief deputy secretary for health at DHHS, served as the operations lead for North Carolina’s pandemic response. His experience spans the public and private sectors, including positions at the White House, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and leadership operations for a behavioral health care service provider in western North Carolina. He also serves as an adjunct professor at the School of Government at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

The convening’s virtual sessions will examine COVID-19’s effects on mental health, promote mental health first aid, study the importance of on-campus collaboration and much more.

“Everyone deserves to work and learn in a place where they feel welcomed, supported, and hopeful about the future,” said UNC System President Peter Hans. “I’m enormously grateful to the thousands of people across our state who are working to create that environment for students and those in crisis. I’m glad we can come together to share what we’ve learned and how we can improve.”

“The increased stress on the mental health of students, faculty, and staff has been of growing concern over the past two years with the changes in traditional campus life — quarantines, isolation and social distancing — resulting from the pandemic,” said Hope Williams, president of NCICU. “The Behavioral Health Convening will provide insights, support, and resources for faculty and staff who are helping students every day who need assistance in managing these ongoing challenges. It is another example of our strong higher education partnerships in North Carolina that NCICU, UNC and the NC Community College System are working together to address these concerns for all our students.”

“Supporting the mental health of our students is paramount to their success,” said NC Community College System President Thomas Stith. “A recent report from the Mayo Clinic shows alarming statistics, such as up to 44% of college students reported having symptoms of depression and anxiety. The report showed that suicide is the third leading cause of death for college students. This indeed is a critical time for this convening and partnership to keep the health and wellbeing of students at the forefront of our efforts as we serve them.”

NCICU Holds Annual Ethics Bowl

NCICU will hold its annual Ethics Bowl virtually Friday, February 11. The theme of this year’s competition is Ethics in Democracy and Citizenship. Thirteen colleges will be participating in the Ethics Bowl.

Due to the virtual format, the event will be streamlined from the usual two-day schedule to three rounds of competition on Friday afternoon. Each Ethics Bowl team consists of four-to-six students. A campus coordinator works with the students to prepare them for the competition. A number of business and government leaders have volunteered to serve as judges and moderators for the matches. Because of the truncated competition, unlike the in-person event, an overall winner will not be declared this year.

“We are honored to partner with these campuses to present the Ethics Bowl for the 11th year,” said Rebecca Leggett, director of Programs for NCICU and coordinator of the Ethics Bowl. “The exploration of democracy and citizenship is as relevant today as any time in our history, and important to our students’ educational foundation.”

The NCICU Ethics Bowl is made possible by sponsorships that allow students to participate at no cost to themselves or their institutions. These sponsors have continued to support the Ethics Bowl despite the change in format. The Presenting Sponsor is Truist; Benefactors are Sarah West and Tom Dominick; Associate Sponsors are Duke Energy, McMillan Pazdan Smith Architecture, Mount Olive Pickle Co., TIAA, Wren Foundation, A. Hope Williams; and Friends are Cherry Bekaert, Coca-Cola Consolidated, CORT, Fidelity Investments, Gregory Poole, Piedmont Natural Gass, Southern Bank, Wegmans, Melanie Chrisp-Thorpe, Colleen Kinser, and Liz and Stephen Riley.

“Students consistently cite the NCICU Ethics Bowl as a highlight of their college experience,” said Hope Williams, president of NCICU. “We deeply appreciate the corporate and civic leaders who make this event possible through financial contributions and by volunteering their time as judges and moderators.”

NC Sheriffs’ Association Scholarship Recipients Announced

The North Carolina Sheriffs’ Association (NCSA) and North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (NCICU) have announced the recipients of a $2,000 scholarship provided by the Association who attend private colleges in North Carolina.

The recipients are:
Andrew Leggett, Barton College
Nathaniel Mahoney, Brevard College
Kaitlyn Damon, Campbell University
Daniel Harris, Catawba College
Calee Lance, Gardner-Webb University
Anna Wike, Lenoir-Rhyne University
Nicola Shelton, Mars Hill University
Isaiah Olive, University of Mount Olive
Zachary Scott, NC Wesleyan College
Alyssa Campbell, Pfeiffer, University

The NCSA created the Criminal Justice Scholarship Program to assist students who are dependents of law enforcement officials or who are studying in the criminal justice field and express an interest in pursuing a career in law enforcement. The scholarship is provided for the current academic year with the potential to be renewed.

“The North Carolina Sheriffs’ Association, on behalf of North Carolina’s 100 constitutionally elected sheriffs, is proud to partner with the North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities to provide an annual college scholarship to one student in the criminal justice program at each of the independent colleges and universities that have such a program,” said NCSA president, Sheriff Ed McMahon of New Hanover County.

“NCICU is deeply appreciative of this outstanding support by the North Carolina Sheriffs Association to establish annual scholarships which will benefit students majoring in criminal justice,” said NCICU president, Hope Williams. “NCICU has worked closely with the Sheriffs Association on a number of law enforcement issues over the years and these scholarships expand and strengthen that important partnership.”

“Helping our future law-enforcement professionals with their education will benefit not only those students but it will also benefit the entire law enforcement profession as well as the citizens of our great state,” said McMahon.

“We have many students who look to their local Sheriff’s Office for employment upon graduation and these scholarships will encourage even more students to consider this service for their county and State,” Williams added.

NCICU Fall 2021 Newsletter

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