2023 Grad Earns N.C. State’s Goodnight Scholarship

Portrait of Liz Edwards with black background.

WINTERVILLE—Recent Pitt Community College graduate Liz Edwards has been selected to participate in the prestigious Goodnight Scholars Program at N.C. State University, starting this fall.

Edwards, who will pursue a bachelor’s degree in horticulture science with a concentration in plant breeding and biotechnology at N.C. State, graduated from PCC this month with an Associate in Science. She was one of 50 recipients, representing 21 North Carolina counties, selected to be part of the scholars program’s transfer class of 2026.

“I am extremely grateful and honored to receive such a coveted and generous scholarship,” Edwards said. “As well, I am excited to meet and connect with my fellow 2026 Transfer Scholars. This scholarship offers not only financial compensation but access to like-minded individuals in STEM and offers amazing resources, such as mentorship, to help me achieve not only my academic but life goals.”

Established in 2008, the Goodnight Scholarship is valued at $23,000 per year for up to three years ($69,000) for transfers. As PCC’s second Goodnight Scholar within the past three years, Edwards will have access to a comprehensive student development initiative that includes weekly programming, exclusive travel opportunities, and enrichment grant funding. She will also receive transfer specific programming and instruction to aid in the successful transition from Pitt to N.C. State.

“After receiving my bachelor’s degree, I plan to continue on and get a master’s degree,” Edwards said. “Once I am done with my education, I plan to work in either cannabis research or cultivation/production.”

Born in Memphis, Edwards grew up in Winston-Salem and graduated from Forsyth Country Day School in 2013. At PCC, she excelled academically and was a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and the National Society of Leadership and Success.

Edwards says she enjoyed her time as a Pitt student, particularly the smaller class sizes, hands-on educational experiences, and opportunities to personally connect with instructors. She added that her chemistry classes with instructor Ken Pearce were her favorites, calling them “intellectually challenging” and “interesting.”

“For the duration of both classes, I was lucky enough to be able to have Mr. Pearce as my professor,” she said. “His immense knowledge of chemistry allowed him to be able to explain abstract concepts extremely well. Mr. Pearce was not only knowledgeable but personable as well, and he was definitely my favorite professor throughout my time at PCC.”

Pearce says Edwards was a solid student who provided leadership in the classroom. He noted that she managed to maintain good grades throughout her time at PCC while holding down a job as a server at a downtown New Bern establishment.

“I have known Liz Edwards for nearly a year as chemistry student, and she has been a natural leader, rallying her fellow students to perform the best they can in a difficult subject, such as chemistry,” Pearce said. “She has formed and led study groups and had a positive impact on PCC.”

Created by N.C. State alumni Jim and Ann Goodnight, the Goodnight Scholars Program provides financial assistance to North Carolina students from low- and middle-income families who are studying STEM disciplines or affiliated education majors. It is NCSU’s largest full-tuition scholarship program.

Edwards and her fellow scholarship recipients participated in a thorough selection process during the spring semester, which included an application and interview with a volunteer committee comprised of current and former N.C. State faculty, staff and alumni, as well as industry representatives from SAS.

Former student Jonah Ghebremichael became PCC’s first-ever Goodnight Scholar in 2020.