Stanly Community College recognizes graduate for Dallas Herring Award

Hannah Barnhill, a 2021 Stanly Community College graduate, has received the college’s 2023 Dallas Herring Award, becoming the school’s nominee for state recognition.

Herring is considered the “father” of the North Carolina Community College System, having championed the organization of colleges to provide technical and career training during his tenure in the 1960s as chair of the state board of education.

The award was established by the system to recognize his philosophy that a community college should be affordable, accessible and dedicated to taking a student as far as possible toward success in a career.

Each of the system’s 58 colleges can nominate a graduate from the past two years who exemplifies that philosophy.

Hannah Barnhill, a recent graduate of Stanly Community College and now in an accounting position with Mec-Tric Control Company in Charlotte, was recently named the college’s recipient and nominee for the North Carolina Community College System’s award that was established to recognize the work of Dallas Herring, known as the “father” of community college development in the state. (Contributed)

Barnhill originally obtained a cosmetology license.

“That training served me well for nine years, but I maintained my dream of being an accountant,” she said.

Various circumstances gave her the opportunity to return to SCC in 2019 to work toward an Associate in Applied Science degree in Accounting and Business Administration.

“Despite the financial challenge of going back to college while raising a family, I decided, as the saying goes, it was ‘now or never’ for me,” she said.

While a student, she received grade point average honors each semester and was SCC’s recipient of the Community College System’s Academic Excellence Award in 2021.

“I also realized I wanted to move beyond entry-level positions, so I took advantage of leadership development opportunities through the SCC Future Business Leaders of America Collegiate (formerly Phi Beta Lambda) chapter, serving as chapter president for the 2020-21 year,” she said.

In the organization’s competitive events program, Barnhill led the chapter to state and national Gold Seal Chapter designations and won first place at the state level and was one of the 15 national finalists in the Future Business Executive event. She remains active in the organization as a member of the state’s Professional Division-Foundation support group.

The COVID-19 pandemic’s interviewing restrictions delayed immediate employment in the field, but she soon became an accounting clerk with Mec-Tric Control Company in Charlotte, where her accounts payable responsibilities include expense reports, credit cards, freight and driver logs.

“The work and patience paid off, and my dream has come true, thanks to my education and leadership development at SCC,” she said. “I can never thank the instructors and staff enough for their help and the way they helped me begin thinking of myself as a professional. I look at my framed license and the Associate degree and realize I am where I am today because of the opportunity to attend Stanly Community College. I was a proud student, and I am a proud graduate. I am also very honored to receive the Dallas Herring Award as an example of the many students whose education at SCC made their dreams come true as well.”