A group of ladies gathered at the Baltimore Center in Council on Friday morning for a program called Women Making a Difference. The guest speaker was Bladen Community College President, Dr. Amanda Lee.
Before Dr. Lee spoke, the group sang the hymn Leaning on the Everlasting Arms.
BCC Trustee Dennis Troy introduced Dr. Lee.
“Women do make a difference,” said Troy.
He recounted how the Trustees had the task of hiring a new president for the college. Troy said it was narrowed down to four candidates. He said the Trustees chose Dr. Lee, who is the first female president of Bladen Community College (BCC).
“I am humbled to be the first woman in this role as President at Bladen Community College. I was also the first female president at Cape Fear Community College and I was actually the first female vice-president of the corporate company I worked for back in Roanoke Rapids,” said Dr. Lee.
She stated that sometimes being the first person in a particular role, it is a unique experience. Dr. Lee said as a member of the American Association of University Women she has heard many stories of women who are making a difference.
She also recounted how there are female students who have attended schools and taken courses where there had never been a woman enrolled prior.
“I talked to one woman who had a career as an architect and she ended up in her first class to study architecture and it turns out she was in there because she had a name that the professor thought was a young man,” said Dr. Lee. “When he saw her, he said you don’t belong.”
She recounted how the the woman stated that the professor told her she wasn’t smart enough to major in architecture. Dr. Lee said the young woman not only completed the major, she did very well in the courses and earned her degree.
Dr. Lee said that much has changed over the years because of the women who have come before us. She said those women helped to make way for the current generation of women.
She also spoke about BCC and its programs. BCC now has over 100 full-time employees. Dr. Lee said the staff at Bladen Community College are making plans for future programs and classes. She said there are three principles they allow to guide their decisions: is it good for the students, is it good for the college, and is it good for the community.
Dr. Lee said new programs are coming to the college. She said there is a new program called Mechatronics that the college will begin offering. She said currently that program is helping employees at Smithfield Foods to improve their skills and helping to make them better at repairing and working on equipment. Dr. Lee said the college make Mechatronics available to everyone as an associate degree program.
Dr. Lee also said the college is looking at adding a Public Safety Administration degree. She explained that until recently public service employees have been issued a certificate when they completed their courses. Dr. Lee said now the college can use those classes and the student can take other required courses and earn an associates degree in Public Safety Administration.