Students in the Social Services Program at New River Community and Technical College have established a scholarship in memory of Dr. Carolyn Browning, a beloved faculty member who passed away suddenly on Aug. 12.
Browning taught psychology at the Beckley Campus and had previously served as dean of the Mercer County Campus. In addition to her career as an educator, she was a licensed and ordained minister, most recently serving as associate pastor at New Beginning Christian Church in Winston-Salem, N.C., and Welcome Baptist Church in Beckley.
According to Social Services instructor Kelli White, the students have formed a social services club and named it Browning’s honor. They have opened the club to other students who may need to obtain community service hours or who just want to join to participate in community projects.
“I first met Dr. Browning in 2007 when I began teaching at New River,” White said. “Both of us had a strong desire to enable and empower the students at New River and teach them the skills of benevolence to bring change in their community.”
The club members voted to set up a scholarship fund in Browning’s memory, and they met on Oct. 10 to sign the formal scholarship agreement with the New River Community and Technical College Foundation.
This scholarship includes an annual award for a current student and one for a student leaving the program to pursue a four-year degree in social work at an accredited college or university. The members of the club developed the scholarship criteria.
“Dr. Carolyn Browning brought out the very best in her students. She was beloved by faculty, staff and students. She was a tireless advocate for students and social causes. She had a special talent and energy that was unmatched. She was authentic in her love for learning and teaching. We are so pleased that the Social Services Club has decided to honor her memory through the gift of this scholarship,” said Dr. Carolyn Sizemore, dean of the Beckley Campus.
The club is pursuing a number of activities to raise money for the scholarship, including a “Kiss a Pig” contest, which pitted several faculty members against one another to solicit donations. The unlucky instructor or dean who raised the smallest amount promised to kiss a pig on Dec. 12.
Anyone can donate to the Browning Scholarship Fund. Donations can be made to the New River CTC Foundation, P.O. Box 307, Ghent, WV 25843. Please note Browning Scholarship Fund in the memo line. Donations are tax-deductible, and Neighborhood Investment Program Tax Credits are available for donations of $500 or more.
For additional information, contact Lisa DeLilly at 304-929-5485.