Freshman Convocation and Candlelight Ceremony is September 28

Kesha Williams
September 22, 2008

Elizabeth City State University will hold its annual Freshman Convocation and Candlelight Ceremony at 6 p.m., on September 28 in the auditorium of the Mickey L. Burnim Fine Arts Complex. Mr. Derrick Wilkins, Chairperson of the Department of General Studies, will speak for the occasion. This event welcomes the freshman class, and provides them with a formal introduction into the university. Wilkins is a 1988 summa cum laude, honors program, graduate of ECSU. He began his career in higher education as a lecturer of Computer Science at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia. Wilkins returned to his alma mater in 1993 to serve as the manager of the Academic Computing Center. In this role, he was instrumental in acquiring and deploying desktop computers to every faculty member. He also implemented an ongoing technology training program, and led the migration of the e-mail system from the antiquated VAX VMS platform to a Windows platform. Additionally, Mr. Wilkins provided oversight in the development of the second generation of the ECSU website. Appointed interim chief information officer at ECSU in 2005, Mr. Wilkins provided strategic leadership by meeting the established goals for the Information Technology unit. In this role, he supervised the completion of the Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telephony project and directed the migration of the administrative system to SunGard Banner. In 2007, Mr. Wilkins was appointed to serve as the chairperson of the Department of General Studies, where he oversees the delivery of curriculum and instruction for the first two years of the university's academic program. He works collaboratively with other departmental units to ensure a nurturing environment for all students, especially the freshman class. During his tenure at ECSU, Mr. Wilkins has taught classes in the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science and has served on other programs and committees. Some of his responsibilities include: Campus coordinator and coach for the Honda Campus All-Star Challenge Program, chairperson of the Joint Council on Student Affairs, chairperson of the General Studies Advisory Board, and member of the Teacher Education Advisory Council. In addition to working at ECSU, Mr. Wilkins serves as the pastor of Back Swamp Church of Christ (Disciples of Christ) in Williamston, NC. He is the seventh spiritual leader of this 123 year-old congregation. In July 2005 and 2006, Pastor Wilkins led two evangelistic missions to Ghana, Africa. While there he taught and preached in several regions throughout the country. A proud alumnus of ECSU, Derrick has received numerous awards and honors: The Chancellor's Academic Scholarship, Charter Member of the University Honors Program; ECSU National Alumni Association Life Member; Office of Naval Research Graduate Fellowship; Dean's Award (Emory), International Who's Who Among Professionals; Who's Who Among America's Teachers; and Certified Conflict Resolution Mediator with The Justice Center of Atlanta. In addition to earning a bachelor's degree in Computer and Information Sciences at ECSU, Mr. Wilkins earned his master's degree in Computer Science at Clark Atlanta University (GA). He is presently pursuing a Ph.D. in Instructional Design and Technology with a specialization in Human Performance Technology at Old Dominion University (VA). He has done additional studies at The Candler School of Theology at Emory University (GA) and East Carolina University (NC). He is the son of William H. and Mary W. Wilkins of Roper, NC. For more information, please call Ms. Sherry Lewis, 335-3601.