UNCP welcomes its newest VISTA volunteer


UNC Pembroke welcomed its fifth AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer in July.

Derald DrymanDerald ‘Banjo’ Dryman will work with UNCP’s Office for Community and Civic Engagement. He will plan and implement opportunities for community service and recruit student volunteers.

Aubrey Swett, director of Community and Civic Engagement, praised the 45-year-old national program and what it is doing for UNCP students and the community. Swett is pleased to have another hand in the office too.

“Banjo is a young professional who brings great energy and student leadership experience to UNCP,” Swett said. “He will be a great asset to the Office for Community and Civic Engagement effort to engage students in service and civic responsibility.

“We are excited that he chose UNCP for his AmeriCorps VISTA experience,” he said.

VISTA volunteers like Dryman commit to one-year terms of service in communities, including college communities. Dryman comes to UNCP via the North Carolina Compsact, a consortium of colleges and universities that promotes community service.

He graduated from Western Carolina University in 2010 with a degree in communications, concentrating in public relations.

“I’m excited to be here working with a program with the potential to do a lot of good for this community,” Dryman said. “AmeriCorps’ broader goal is to end poverty and to recruit volunteers to build sustainable programs.

“For me, I hope to get as many students involved as possible to help them understand the importance of giving back to their community,” he continued. “I will find ways to connect with students to do that.”

More college campuses are breaking down the barriers between campus and community.

“As a VISTA volunteer on a college campus, it is important for me to bridge the gap between college and community,” Dryman said. “Even students who grew up here can learn to help make this a better place.”

An Asheville, N.C., native, Dryman was very involved in campus activities at Western Carolina. He was a resident adviser, Student Government Association senator, student worker in the financial aid office, volunteer team captain in Relay for Life and a fraternity member.

In all of these activities, he served in key leadership positions in the Residence Hall Council, Relay for Life and with his fraternity. Dryman continues as an assistant alumni adviser for his chapter of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity.

He likes what he sees so far at UNCP.

“This is a nice place and a pretty campus,” he said. “I’m already planning fall events like the 9/11 Day of Service. It’s a national event that will be a first for us this year.”

Dryman has a full schedule of events for the year. He will also help to plan and carry out numerous other campus and community programs for the Office for Community and Civic Engagement.

For more information about VISTA at UNCP or about the Office for Community and Civic Engagement, please call 910.521.6163 or e-mail cce@uncp.edu.