Donica Receives Scott Leadership Award
WINTERVILLE—Jason Donica, a 2012 Pitt Community College graduate, received the N.C. Community College System’s Robert W. Scott Leadership Award Saturday night, during a N.C. Comprehensive Community College State Government Association (N4CSGA) Conference in Wilmington.
A Winterville resident, Donica served two terms as president of the PCC Student Government Association (SGA) before earning an associate degree from the college’s university transfer program in May. He is currently enrolled at East Carolina University, where he is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in education with plans to become a middle school teacher.
The Scott Leadership Award Donica received Saturday was established in 2004 to honor a former North Carolina governor (1969-1973) and N.C. Community College System president (1983-1995). The $1,000-award is presented annually to North Carolina community college students who have demonstrated leadership on a statewide level, active campus involvement, and the characteristics of a future community leader.
“Throughout my life, I have enjoyed serving in various leadership positions,” Donica stated on his award application. “In my roles as a restaurant manager, as a father, as a non-traditional college student, and with various organizations on and off campus, I have developed and continue to enhance my leadership skills.”
Donica, who came to PCC in the fall of 2008 after 15 years in the restaurant business, recorded a 3.957 grade point average at the college and earned Dean’s List honors in each semester of his enrollment. He was chosen to deliver the student response speech during graduation in May.
An Indiana native, Donica completed the N.C. Community College Student Leadership Institute in 2011 and was a two-time Academic Excellence Award honoree. He represented the college at the N.C. Community College System’s “Great within the 58” academic excellence program in 2011 and received the National Society of Leadership and Success’s “Award of Accomplishment” for going above and beyond normal membership commitments earlier that year.
After leading his fellow SGA members to a victory in the coveted ‘Spirit Stick’ competition at the N4CSGA Conference this spring, Donica received the organization’s Daryl Mitchell Award for demonstrating its six pillars of character: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship.
PCC President G. Dennis Massey nominated Donica for the Scott Leadership Award in April, noting that he served “the college and community with dedication and integrity.”
Massey, who presented Donica with the prestigious PCC President’s Award in 2011, said the former SGA president took his responsibilities as an ex-officio member of the college’s Board of Trustees seriously and was an effective advocate for students as a result.
“Through his active involvement on campus, he truly embraced and achieved the ‘student leadership’ component of the higher education experience,” Massey said.
PCC Student Activities Coordinator Marguerite Stephens worked closely with Donica while he was SGA president. She, too, recommended him for the Scott Award, stating that he related well to students of all ages and had been an excellent role model.
“Jason truly represents the students and their interests,” Stephens stated on her nomination form. “He is an effective leader in getting other students involved on campus. By interacting with many students on a daily basis, he has gotten to know their needs and concerns and has gone to great lengths to help them get answers.”
Donica, who was a member of PCC’s Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society chapter and Gamma Beta Phi Society, is also dedicated to serving the community. In addition to helping coordinate and carry out numerous activities on the PCC campus, he coordinated the “Carry Your Cross 5K Run” to support American troops overseas. His volunteer service also includes serving as a Sunday School teacher, raising money for Greene County tornado victims and tsunami victims in Japan, and work with Relay for Life, ALS Walk, United Way and American Red Cross.
“I have gained the knowledge I needed to grow as a leader, as a citizen, and to make a positive impact on campus and in the community in which I live,” Donica said. “We each have skills and talents that God has given us, and when we use them in leadership roles with a servant heart, we can make our community a better place.”