Stanly Community College employees earn doctoral degrees

Stanly Community College has announced that Dr. Carmen Nunalee and Dr. Kara Finch are the two latest employees to earn their doctoral degrees.

Nunalee received her Doctor of Education in Adult and Community College Education from North Carolina State University. She joined SCC in 2017 and is the vice president of strategy and performance and the dean of the Crutchfield Education Center in Locust.

Carmen Nunalee

Before moving to Stanly County, Nunalee began her career in higher education at Edgecombe Community College, located in her hometown of Tarboro.

She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology, with a minor in Chemistry from Meredith College in Raleigh before going on to receive her Master of Science in Microbiology-Immunology from Northwestern University.

Nunalee also received a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Virginia. She is certified in Lean Six Sigma as a Green Belt.

“Community colleges provide life-altering opportunities for our students. I am grateful every day that I can be part of that,” said Nunalee. “Plus, I credit the support of everyone at SCC for my own professional growth as a lifelong learner. Together, we are making a meaningful difference for our community.”

Currently, Nunalee also serves on the boards of both the Stanly County Chamber of Commerce and the West Stanly Rotary Club.

Finch, SCC’s dean of public services and human services program head, earned her Doctor of Education in Higher Education Executive Leadership from Wingate University. A native of Union County, Finch began her educational journey at SCC in 2002 where she earned her Associate in Applied Science degree in Human Services.

Kara Finch

“I truly believe I would not be where I am today were it not for my experience as a student here at Stanly Community College,” said Finch.

Continuing her path in Human Services, she later earned her Bachelor of Science degree from Gardner-Webb University and her Master of Arts in Gerontology from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

During her professional career, Finch has worked as a medical social worker, in-home aide program coordinator, retirement community administrator and adult protective services social worker. While at SCC, she was named Faculty Member of the Year in 2019 and later received the League of Excellence Award from the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) in 2020.

“I’m thankful for the opportunity to work at the best community college in our state,” added Finch. “I love what I do so much that this is far more than a job to me. Developing and fostering relationships with students, providing guidance and encouragement, and seeing them reach success make every day so meaningful.”