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Nellis Earns Criminal Justice Scholarship

Student Jessica Nellis (third from left) receives the 2015 John Minges Criminal Justice Scholarship from Dan Mayo, dean of PCC's Public Services and Fine Arts Division. On hand for the presentation were PCC criminal justice faculty members Phil Baggett, Sherry Joyner, Mike Nicholson and Dawn Vaughan, left to right.

WINTERVILLE—The Pitt Community College Public Services and Fine Arts Division honored student Jessica Nellis for academic excellence last month by presenting her with the 2015 John Minges Criminal Justice Scholarship.

Nellis, a Williamston resident with a 3.23 GPA, is working toward a career as a juvenile court counselor. She will receive an Associate in Arts Degree from PCC during graduation this week but will continue pursuing an associate degree in Criminal Justice Technology at the college for two more semesters.

Through the Minges Scholarship, Nellis will receive $500 to help offset the cost of her educational expenses. She plans to transfer to N.C. Wesleyan College for a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice upon completing her studies at Pitt this fall.

“I am honored to have received this scholarship,” Nellis said. “I have worked very hard these past two years since returning to Pitt Community College, and I’m glad to be acknowledged for my growing accomplishments.

“I also hope to continue on and achieve many more things in my educational career,” she continued. “I feel more fulfilled knowing that I have made my parents and my son proud.”

PCC Criminal Justice Instructor Dawn Vaughan said the 23-year-old Nellis was an ideal selection for the Minges Scholarship. She called her a “role model for her peers” and noted her positive attitude, eagerness to learn and dedication to meeting classroom responsibilities while holding down a job.

“Jessica puts forth much effort to do her best in the criminal justice program,” Vaughan said. “Her unique view on the topics we discuss and enthusiasm for learning how to advance her career makes her stand out as a student.”

Vaughan said Nellis, an honor roll student and member of PCC’s Gamma Beta Phi chapter and Criminal Justice Association, gained confidence in her academic potential at Pitt and views education as the key to achieving her future goals.

“The criminal justice program has reassured me that there are still teachers that care and make it their job to teach you real world skills and knowledge to help in the future,” Nellis said. “I am more sure than ever that this is the field I need to be in, because I have learned from teachers that have ignited that passion in me again to go farther.”

Applicants for the Minges Scholarship must be second-year students with a minimum 3.0 grade point average and at least 24 credit hours earned from PCC’s Criminal Justice Technology program. They must also submit a completed application accompanied by two letters of recommendation and a writing sample.