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May 27, 2024 9:04 am

Wayne Community College Cybersecurity student earns Dallas Herring Achievement Award

GOLDSBORO – Wayne Community College’s 2024 Dallas Herring Achievement Award recipient is Jeannine Cone, a Cybersecurity student at the College.
The award honors the late Dr. Dallas Herring, one of the earliest champions of the North Carolina Community College System. The winner is selected based on an essay that describes how the student embodies Herring’s philosophy of “taking people where they are and carrying them as far as they can go.”

Cone was raised in the foster care system following the deaths of her parents until the age of 14. At 27, Cone became a widow and single mother; the following years were filled with homelessness, abuse, and relational and financial hardship. “The tragedies I faced shaped me, but they have not defined me,” Cone stated in her essay.

Her daughter was born prematurely and spent four months in the NICU before eventually needing open heart surgery at the age of five. “As I stayed with her every day of her journey, it taught me perseverance,” Cone wrote about the experience.

When Cone found her way to WCC, she says it became “a staple” in her life. After successfully graduating from the College’s High School Equivalency program, Cone decided to pursue an associate degree in Cybersecurity. She plans to transfer to East Carolina University to study Information and Cybersecurity Technology.

Cone is vice president of the Student Government Association, a member of the WCC Science Club, and a certified peer tutor through the National Tutoring Association. Additionally, she has started her own business and volunteers at her church.

“Though I have fought for everything I have, it is truly WCC that has helped me stay in school to pursue my academic and professional dreams,” she said. “I know that I will continue to move forward to get as far as I can go.”

Cone will receive a plaque for the award at WCC’s Student Recognition Ceremony.

Finalists for this award and their programs are Makaya Artis – Business Administration, Sean Hammon – Artificial Intelligence Engineer, Joshua Mozingo – Mechanical Engineering Technology, and Erica Tasker – Associate in Arts in Teacher Preparation.