Camp graduate achieves dream

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 14, 2002

Paul D. Camp Community College has a new assistant to the president of the college, a Franklin woman who’s worked at the learning facility since 1976.

JoAnne Russell replaces Kay Meditz, who retires this month.

Russell is described as &uot;a shining example of what the community college is about,&uot; and she readily affirms how her life has been transformed by her affiliation with PDCCC.

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Since 1976, Russell has held the positions of clerk typist to the Title III Coordinator, stenographer for the Technology, Science and Mathematics Division, secretary senior for the Suffolk Academic Programs, executive secretary to the dean of financial and administrative services and most recently, fiscal technician of the payroll department.

A Summa cum Laude graduate with certificates in clerk stenographer and data processing, Russell also has an A.A.S. degree in secretarial science and an A.A.S. degree in business management with a specialization in computer information systems. She was named to &uot;Who’s Who Among Students in American Junior College&uot; and holds the prestigious Certified Professional Secretary designation. She is also a member of the Kiwanis Club of Franklin and the Fellowship Around the Word Church.

Russell said she is extremely excited about her new position and she looks forward to new challenges.

&uot;Working in the president’s office is a goal, a dream coming true,&uot; said Russell. &uot;It’s like going from the pit to the palace, the bottom to the top, and the lowest to the highest. PDCCC has allowed me to achieve this goal. Taking advantage of the community college system has been a plus for me educationally, socially, and economically. I started school and found employment at PDCCC. It is a blessing to work here. The people are great; we are a family. When one person hurts, we all hurt.&uot;

Russell also had some advice to offer on how to become successful. She explained that it takes confidence and faith in yourself, your co-workers, and your natural and church families.

&uot;When opportunity presents itself, you take it,&uot; she added. &uot;You also need to be an upbeat person, focusing on the positive versus the negative. And you never give up your goals and dreams. You’re never too old. I’m a good example! The community college is the way to go! You don’t have to start at a four-year institution.&uot;

Russell’s daughter, Nickelle Russell-Baker, who works in J.P. King Elementary School’s computer lab, is also a PDCCC graduate and holds a B.S. degree in human services from the Old Dominion University Teletechnet Program.