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UNCP’s DuPont scholars attend leadership academy

September 26, 2006

Two UNC Pembroke business students were among 32 students from across the U.S. who attended the prestigious Pioneer Student Leadership Academy in Lexington, Ky., thanks to scholarships from DuPont Fayetteville Works.

UNCP’s 2006 DuPont scholars are Michelle Mathis, a management major from Pembroke, N.C., and Amanda Strickland, a finance major from Lumberton, N.C. Both are third year students.


Michelle Mathis


Amanda Strickland

“This was a very diverse group of students who attended the camp at the University of Kentucky,” Mathis said. “We worked on interpersonal business skills mostly.”

“We had seminars in resume writing and interviewing skills,” said Strickland. “It was 100 hours of training over two weeks.”

“One of the most interesting seminars was on personality typing,” Mathis said. “They told us about our personality styles and how we would relate in groups.”

The UNCP pair received $1,000 scholarships through DuPont Fayetteville Works facility, which also funded the $5,000 tuition per student.

Dupont is a world leader in producing a wide range of innovative products and services for markets including agriculture, nutrition, electronics, communications, safety and protection, home and construction, transportation and apparel. The company is a corporate sponsor of the Pioneer Student Leadership Academy.

Barbara Knight, Senior Human Resources Specialist for DuPont Fayetteville Works, coordinated the community outreach project with UNCP and instructed a class in behavior-based interviewing at the academy.

“This is the second year that we have partnered with UNCP in sending students to the academy,” Knight said. “One of our key initiatives is partnering with education and preparing our students for the world of work.  The academy gives students an opportunity to strengthen their leadership skills and prepare for a competitive job market.”

The academy is sponsored by the Pioneers in Education Alliance and is a public-private education consortium dedicated to preparing underserved and underrepresented college students to lead the 21st century workforce. Its goal is to create a pipeline of skilled workers and high-quality leaders ready to face the challenges of the new millennium.

Mathis said the program proved valuable.

“I made a lot of good contacts with students, entrepreneurs and heads of companies,” she said.

Strickland said students may continue their relationship with the academy.

“We can continue participation next year as group leaders,” she said.

The academy offered the UNCP pair a look at their futures, said Cammie Oxendine, assistant dean of UNCP’s School of Education.

“This program is valuable for our students because they receive training and have an opportunity to look into the larger world of business,” Oxendine said. “I would like to thank DuPont for supporting our future business leaders.”

For more information about the DuPont scholars program at UNCP or about the School of Business, please phone 910.521.6214 or email