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HCC’s Palmer earns doctorate

Halifax Community College (HCC) Dean of Continuing Education and Community Services Vera J. Palmer completed the requirements July 21 for a Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership—Higher Education Administration degree from East Carolina University (ECU).


“I always had it in the back of my mind, hoping that one day I would be able to reach that goal,” explained Palmer. Although it had never seemed the right time before, when an ECU doctoral cohort began almost eight years ago on HCC’s campus, she decided to apply.


“This proves that you are never too old to learn,” continued Palmer, who credited God and the support of family and friends with her success. Although she was supported by many with HCC affiliations, she is especially appreciative of the support provided by the Continuing Education staff, HCC President Dr. Ervin V. Griffin Sr., former Vice President of Instructional Services Dr. Laura Buffaloe, who now sits on the University of North Carolina’s Board of Governors, and Jean McGee.


“I hope that this degree will help me to continue to make a difference in the Roanoke Valley. This should help me to serve our clientele in a more informed manner,” she added.


In addition to the doctorate, Palmer holds a bachelor’s degree from Winston-Salem State University, master’s degrees from Appalachian State University and North Carolina State University as well as a sixth year certificate from North Carolina State University. Her doctoral dissertation was titled, “A Comparative Study of the Academic Performance of Community College Transfer Students and Native Students at Selected State Universities in North Carolina.”


An employee of HCC for more than seven years, Palmer started her tenure at the college in 2004 as associate dean of Continuing Education and was promoted to the helm in 2005 as dean when Lyndal Williams, who previously held the position, retired.

  Dr. Vera J. Palmer  
  Dr. Vera J. Palmer