Rebecca Pendergrass loves to cook. So last November when she won a scholarship to obtain a certificate in culinary arts from Livingstone College, she was elated.
“Being a participant in Livingstone College’s culinary arts program has really opened a lot of doors for me,” said Pendergrass of Salisbury. “There was a lot that I had learned on my own about cooking before starting the program, but now I’m learning so much more.”
In what was billed as a Thanksgiving Extravaganza, Livingstone College’s staff, faculty and students served a Thanksgiving meal to 25 area families last Nov. 20 and gave two lucky recipients a scholarship with the promise of a job at an area restaurant or hotel with which the college has a relationship. The Thanksgiving Extravaganza was the brainchild of Livingstone College President Dr. Jimmy R. Jenkins, Sr., and Pendergrass has been working as a cook at The Country Club of Salisbury since Aug. 9.
“She is absolutely working out,” said Antwaun Thompson, Country Club general manager. “She’s a natural and knows what she’s doing. She’s kind of taking on a leadership role, which is what the chef’s looking for. She’s training a new employee…which is an indication of how quickly she learns.”
Thompson said he’s glad Livingstone has the Hospitality Management and Culinary Arts Program, which is run by Vivian Ray, a veteran in the hospitality management industry.
“Without question, Livingstone has a good program,” Thompson said. “Vivian Ray has done a great job. We hope we’ll have a long-lasting relationship with the college. It’s good when students learn not only in class but also get to apply what they’ve learned in the real world. We’re very fortunate to have Rebecca and hope she’s here with us for a long time. All the staff love her, and they especially like her go-getter attitude. She’s the first employee to come in under our new executive chef, David Thomas, and he’s taken personal responsibility for getting her trained…”
Ray said she’s proud of Pendergrass, who is on target to become the first graduate of Livingstone College’s Hospitality Management and Culinary Arts Program, which offers degrees and certificates. That Pendergrass is already getting kudos for the work she’s doing at The Country Club of Salisbury doesn’t surprise her.
“Rebecca has demonstrated a willingness to learn from day one,” Ray said. “Although she’d already worked in the food industry prior to winning the scholarship, she didn’t come to our program acting as though she knows everything. She’s dependable and hardworking, and I’m just thankful that Dr. Jenkins had the foresight to offer her a scholarship because I have no doubt as word gets around about Rebecca and about our program, more students are going to want to come to Livingstone to be a part of it.”
Pendergrass, a mother of three, cried last November when her name was announced as one of the scholarship recipients. She had lost her husband, Nathan Pendergrass, just 16 months earlier.
“Hearing my name called out that night is something I’ll never forget,” Pendergrass said. “I remember the exact date and everything. It has been a life changer for me and my children, ages 11, 7 and 5. I’m scheduled to graduate from the program and receive my certificate in May 2014. So far I have a 4.0 GPA, and hopefully I can finish with that.”
Though cooking is her first love, Pendergrass was working at a Rent-A-Center before getting hired at The Country Club of Salisbury. She credits Livingstone and Ray with helping her land a job in her chosen profession and said Thompson “is amazing to work for.”
“Being enrolled at Livingstone College has opened a lot of doors for me,” Pendergrass said. “And there are just so many good things I can say about Mrs. Ray. She’s helped me network myself, and I actually did a radio interview back in June here in Salisbury and she was there with me for that. They were asking me questions about the program and my scholarship and how I’ve developed.”
Cooking is nothing new to Pendergrass. She prepared her first meal, spaghetti and garlic bread, at age 9.
“I started cooking in earnest after leaving home at age 17,” Pendergrass said. “I had just had my daughter, and that’s when I really started cooking because I was on my own. People always tell me my food is good, and hearing that makes me feel good about myself. I consider food a gateway that brings people together.”
Originally from Georgia, Pendergrass said her specialty is soul food but she also enjoys cooking Italian cuisine.
Since she enrolled in Livingstone’s culinary arts certificate program, she has gotten some good experience. Earlier this year she was among several Livingstone students who worked a benefit concert for Rowan Helping Ministries on St. Patrick’s Day.
“I had to come up with a menu,” Pendergrass recalled. “I had to assign people their jobs and do food planning and prep. There were so many things I had to do just for that specific event.”
And the menu? Irish cream chicken stuffed potatoes, Irish potato salad, Brie cheese and stuffed baby redskin potatoes.
Pendergrass, 28, said if she wasn’t enrolled in Livingstone’s culinary arts certificate program she’d probably be doing hair and makeup. But she’d much rather be working with food.
“My ultimate goal is to be an executive chef in my own establishment,” she said. “Of course I know that’s a long-term goal, but by this time next year I hope to be a chef at someone’s restaurant.”
By Laurie D. Willis
Livingstone College News Service
It seems Livingstone College students Shari Albury and Anna Kay Edwards were destined to become friends — and leaders.
“During my freshman year, one of the RAs in Babcock Residence Hall told me she liked my accent, and then she said there was somebody else here with an accent like mine,” said Albury, who’s from Nassau, the Bahamas. “She brought Anna Kay to the first floor of the lobby for us to meet, and we hit it off. That’s unique because usually in our cultures Jamaicans and Bahamians don’t get along. But we became friends because we had similar goals and are very driven.”
Albury, 21, is a senior education major who plans to obtain a master’s degree in actuarial science “because we need that in the Bahamas.” Edwards, 22, is a senior biology major who plans to attend medical school.
Albury is the Student Government Association president at Livingstone, and Edwards is Miss Livingstone College. Both women have GPAs of 3.85 or higher. And if you’re walking on Livingstone’s campus and see one of them, chances are the other is close by.
The women have shared a close bond since that day they met as freshmen. And for the past three years they’ve been suitemates, both living in the Honors Residence Hall. But Miss Livingstone traditionally has a room in Goler Residence Hall, so this year for the first time they won’t live in the same dorm.
“After we met each other we saw some of the potential at Livingstone College and we wanted to make it better for international students as well as for the entire student body,” Edwards said. “We didn’t want to run the school, but we wanted to make a difference.”
Most people who know Edwards and Albury know they’re very close. And few are surprised they have assumed leadership roles on campus. Recently, they were among a group of about 70 Livingstone students who helped build a Habitat House in Spencer. And they will each have specific duties because of their respective roles as Miss Livingstone and SGA president that will require them to sometimes meet with Livingstone College President Dr. Jimmy R. Jenkins, Sr.
“Anna Kay and Shari are the epitome of exemplary college students,” Jenkins said. “They apply themselves academically and serve as role models for other students. Each of them is involved in extracurricular activities, in addition to their leadership roles, but they manage to maintain high GPAs despite their busy schedules. They are committed to helping make Livingstone College a better place, and I have no doubt they will do just that. I look forward to working with them during the 2013-2014 academic year.”
Going to college isn’t easy for many students, particularly those who attend college in foreign countries, but Edwards and Albury serve as a great source of support for each other.
“I think we bring the best out of each other,” Albury said. “My friendship with Anna Kay is one of the most genuine or authentic relationships I’ve ever been in with someone who’s not a family member. Anna Kay tells me what I need to do to be a better student, a better friend and a better person, and I definitely do the same for her.”
Although their tight bond is evident, the women have had their moments.
“You know females always tend to have differences, and I was hoping nothing would go wrong,” Edwards said. “But during our freshman year we had a big fight and it happened again during our sophomore year.”
The friends argued because Albury grew tired of trying to persuade Edwards to socialize and occasionally leave her dorm room except to go to class or to the library.
“I’d try to get her to do campus stuff like parties, workshops or other events,” Albury said, “but she always said no.”
Edwards wasn’t trying to be a party pooper or to annoy her friend. She said her parents, Allen and AnnMarie Edwards, sheltered her when she was younger.
“My parents didn’t really allow me to go anywhere, so after a while I adapted to that lifestyle,” Edwards said. “I was always inside my house and didn’t really go anywhere unless I had to. When I came to college I didn’t know anything. I wasn’t used to going out and having fun, and Shari was the total opposite.”
Gradually, Edwards emerged from her shell and started accepting Albury’s invitations. Today she’s quite comfortable attending college functions and participating in them, which is good because as Miss Livingstone College she’ll be required to.
Albury and Edwards say they plan to make the most of their senior year. In a meeting with Jenkins, they expressed their desire to help raise the standards of excellence at the college — a goal he welcomes with open arms.
“A lot of times when student leaders meet with the college president they discuss what they feel the institution is lacking without offering any concrete solutions to make things better,” Jenkins said. “These young ladies told me they want to foster a sense of pride among the Livingstone College student body and they said they want all students to strive to make good grades. I think those are excellent goals.”
Both women are doing exceptionally well academically. And Edwards spent the majority of her summer at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the institution’s Medical Education Development Program. The rigorous program was designed to mimic a medical school curriculum for aspiring doctors and dentists, and she thanks Dr. Alexandra Proctor for encouraging her to apply to it.
The women say they’ve had a lot of help along the way. Edwards credits her success, in part, to her parents. And she said Helen Turner “has become her mother away from home.” She also said Dr. DaVaughn Miller, chairman of the college’s music department and director of its Concert Choir, and Dr. Da’Tarvia Parrish, an English professor, have been helpful to her.
Albury said her parents, Vaughn and Vonya Albury, have helped her, as well as Dr. Charmion Rush in the education department and Tameka Moody in the Success Center.
The women said after they graduate in May, they hope to be remembered for raising the standards at Livingstone.
Odds are they will be.
The Livingstone College football team will hold a scrimmage on Saturday, August 24 at 9:00 a.m. The scrimmage will take place at Alumni Memorial Stadium on campus. It will be free and open to the public.
The Blue Bears enter the 2013 season at the number 11 spot in the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA). Livingstone will kick-off their season with a home opener against the 7th pick Johnson C. Smith University, as they go head-to-head in the Commemorative Classic on September 7.
With only one All-CIAA preseason selection, linebacker Kenneth White, Jr., (Jr, Southport, NC) the Blue Bears are looking to play “alignment and assignment” football according to interim Head Coach Daryl Williams.
Coming off a 2-8 record last season, with Drew Powell being named the CIAA Offensive Rookie of the Year, Kenneth White being named to the All-CIAA first team and Tyheim Pitt being named to the All-CIAA second team, the Blue Bears will also be looking to play more fundamentally sound.
Just a reminder that this is: CATARACT AWARENESS WEEK
Please have your eyes checked: www.aao.org
Dear Perspective Blue Bear,
The next important step in the enrollment process is the mandatory New Student Orientation/Registration for all students that did not report to the June and July Summer Orientation. Your report date for these events and to move-in for the semester is Monday, August 12, 2013 at 9:00 am on the campus of Livingstone College. We strongly encourage that you arrive to the campus no later than 8:45am. You will be directed to your location. We look forward to seeing you!
Tony A. Baldwin
Associate Vice-President for Operations of Student Affairs
- Date: August 14th and 22nd
- Time: 9:00am
- Place: Room 203 & 204 in the Tubman Building
- Cost: $35 per test
To receive entrance, please contact the Office of Admissions at 704-216-6001. We strongly encourage that you arrive for the test no later than 8:30am on the scheduled dates.
Tony A. Baldwin
Associate Vice-President for Operations of Student Affairs
Former Blue Bears defensive backs coach Rodney Hughey has transitioned into the defensive coordinator position while Livingstone College adds two assistant coaches to interim Head Coach Daryl Williams’ football staff. The Blue Bears hired Brian White as offensive line coach and Rodney Simmons as defensive line coach.
“Moving Hughey into the role of defensive coordinator is a great transition for him and the program being that he knows the players quite well and is very knowledgeable of the program we are instituting,” said interim head Coach Daryl Williams. “With Hughey as defensive coordinator I’m 100 percent confident we will be able to stop people and play good defense with his leadership. Hughey brings enthusiasm and energy to the players and the coaches.”
Hughey enters his fourth season with the Blue Bears. During the 2010 season, Hughey coached the Blue Bear defensive backs to the top pass defense in the CIAA while ranking in the NCAA Division II top 25. In 2011 Hughey’s back field defense led the CIAA in interceptions while finishing in the NCAA Division II top 10. Under Hughey’s guidance as defensive backs coach, his players have gained national recognition and gained various honors within the CIAA.
Along with transitioning Hughey into the defensive coordinator position, the Blue Bears received another facelift with two additions to their staff.
Prior to coming to Livingstone College, White was the run game coordinator at St. Francis University in 2011.
White’s coaching career also includes stops at Texas Southern University (2008-2010), Kentucky State University (2006-2008), Lock Haven University (2005-2006) and his alma mater, Youngstown State University (2002-2004). He also coached in the high school tanks at Shaw High School (1998-2000) in Cleveland, Ohio.
“Coach White brings with him a wealth of knowledge, unbridled passion and genuine concern for the well-being of the student-athletes he comes across. He is a devoted family man and coach,” said Williams.
As an undergraduate offensive lineman, White earned three varsity letters and was a member of two NCAA Division I-AA national championship teams (1991 and 1993), as well as one team that finished as the national runner-up (1992) at Youngstown State.
A native of New Kensington, PA, White earned his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Youngstown State.
Simmons joins the Blue Bears staff after spending the past six seasons on the coaching staff of Morehouse College.
“Coach Simmons has unmatched energy and is a detailed oriented professional. He is inspiring to our athletes and I am excited to have him as part
of our football family,” said Williams.
A native of Atlanta, GA, Simmons moved to Tennessee to attend and play football for Lane College in Jackson, TN. Simmons was a four-year letter winner as a defensive end at Lane from 1995-1999, and later served on the coaching staff for Lane.
As a player for Lane, Simmons was team captain and a first team All-Conference selection for two years.
The Blue Bears open the 2013 season with the Commemorative Classic against Johnson C. Smith University, Sept. 7 at 4:00 p.m.