Simmons nominated for prestigious community college governor leadership award

Southeastern Community College electrical engineering and mechatronics engineering technology student Maurice Simmons was nominated for the N.C. Community College System Governor Robert Scott Leadership Award. As the Student Government Association President, an SCC Student Ambassador and member of Campus Crusade for Christ, Simmons said he demonstrated leadership skills through his heavy involvement on campus, patience, welcoming of ideas and goal-setting skills. 

I believe in setting clear goals and creating a collaborative environment where everyone can grow,” Simmons said. “Two key aspects of my leadership style are supporting the team and stepping up when challenges arise.” 

Simmons recalled his leadership skills showing up at a student orientation event, where he assisted the SGA vice president with providing new students with information about clubs and engagement opportunities on campus. He toured the new students around campus and answered their questions.  

“Similarly, at an ambassador’s event, I took the lead in engaging children in arts and crafts activities; this inspired fellow Ambassadors to follow suit,” Simmons said. “In my Auto Cad class, I set the example of supporting fellow students and creating study groups in the class. This caused other students to pay it forward and to assist and support other students in the class.” 

According to Simmons, a leader is reliable, smart and helpful. A leader makes people feel more comfortable in stressful situations.  

“Academically, being in a leadership role has made me more comfortable speaking out and requesting help from instructors,” Simmons said. “With this newfound confidence, I am creating relationships that will help me throughout my educational and professional journey.”   

Student Engagement Coordinator and SGA Advisor Katie Floyd said she was confident that Simmons’ “outstanding leadership and dedication” made him an “exemplary candidate” for the governor leadership award.  

“One of Simmons’ notable strengths is his capacity to effectively communicate and collaborate with diverse groups of individuals,” Floyd said. “Whether engaging with fellow students, faculty or community members, he consistently exhibits strong interpersonal skills that create an atmosphere of unity and shared purpose.” 

Electrical Engineering Instructor Josh Smith said that Maurice stands out as a “beacon of leadership” in his classes.  

“Whether it’s through organizing lab groups, initiating intellectual conversations or offering guidance to his peers, Maurice exemplifies the essence of leadership,” Smith said. “His ability to effectively communicate complex concepts, coupled with his willingness to lend a helping hand, fosters an environment of camaraderie and academic excellence. Maurice’s dedication to his studies and his capacity to inspire others make him a standout leader in his field of electrical engineering technology.” 

In addition to his involvement in student organizations and academic excellence, Simmons landed part-time work with SCC’s maintenance team thanks to the NCWorks Career Center. The career center’s executive director, Ruth High, explained that Simmons started through the work experience program which later transitioned into a regular part-time job due to his strong work ethic and dependability.  

“Not only is he trustworthy, but you can also depend on him,” High said. “He really is a commendable guy and deserves that award.”   

At work, Simmons helps maintain the grounds, assists with repairs and electrical work and transports heavy equipment across campus. Simmons’ supervisor, Jeff Murphy, said he was dedicated, respectful and skilled.  

“He’s working part-time and being a full-time student,” Murphy explained. “His work schedule depends on when he’s not in class. No one is assigned to a certain job type, and he does it all.” 

SCC President Dr. Chris English said he was proud of Simmons’ accomplishments on campus with having a 3.1 GPA while balancing his on-campus activities with his work life. 

“It’s not an easy track with being in both the electrical engineering and mechatronics engineering fields,” English said. “Maurice exemplifies the definition of leadership, and he represents everything the college is about. He has a great career ahead of him.” 

In 2004, the North Carolina Association of Community College Presidents created the Governor Robert Scott Leadership Award to recognize student leadership on a statewide level while also honoring former Gov. Scott. Gov. Scott served as the state’s chief executive from 1968‐1972, and he was president of the N.C. Community College System for 12 years from 1983‐1995.  

Gov. Scott died in January 2009. This award, named in his honor, is designed to highlight outstanding curriculum student leadership and service.