2023 Executive Partners Forum

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Executive Partners Forum

North Carolina
October 6, 2023 11:00 a.m. Vaughan Auditorium, Marks Hall Chowan

Reason to Celebrate

This year, we are celebrating the 175th anniversary of the founding of Chowan University, which occurred on October 11, 1848. Chowan’s demisemiseptcentennial* is a time to commemorate the institution, honor our heritage, and applaud the people who accomplished and are accomplishing extraordinary things by creating positive change in the lives of others.

Chowan is a Christian educational institution founded by Baptist families and named Chowan, “people of the south” --to honor the Native American Algonquin Chowanoke tribe. In the spring of 1848, a group of fathers gathered at the home of Dr. Godwin Cotton Moore, moderator of the Chowan Baptist Association. These men were determined to have an institution that would give their daughters a well-rounded education; and, they presented a resolution to the Association. The Association appointed the first trustees for the “female high school” to be called Chowan Female Institute. Dr. Archibald McDowell of South Carolina was elected first principal, and the Institute opened on October 11, 1848 with eleven students.

Thus began the institution which now boasts with over 15,000 alumni who live around the world. These alumni, friends, students, families, faculty, and staff are held in high regard. They are transforming the world by solving problems, sharing talents and spreading Chowan University’s rich story.

*Demisemiseptcentennial is literally one-half (demi-) x one-half (semi-) x seven (sept-) x 100 years (centennial).

Executive Partners Forum

Friday, October 6, 2023 at 11:00 a.m.

Welcome ............................................................................. Andy Wilson

Vice President

Development & Admissions

Introduction of Moderator ........................................... Zachary Cooper President Alumni Council

Introduction of Panelists........................ Pamela Woodard, Moderator Chair, Department of Criminal Justice

Barry Bradberry, 1973

Misty Buren, 2004

Zachary Cooper, 2017

Takaylia Mason, 2021

Panel Discussion

Questions from Students

Barry Bradberry

Class of 1973

Known as “Mr. Elon University,” Barry Bradberry currently serves as a Special Assistant to the President and Associate Dean of Admissions. He has worked at Elon primarily in Admissions for over 40 years (since 1975) and is award winning for his expertise and success record.

Mr. Bradberry graduated from Chowan University in the Class of 1973 with an Associates Degree and then was awarded his BA degree from Elon University in 1975. In 1983, he earned his M.Ed from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He began at Elon as an Admissions Counselor in 1975 and was named Associate Dean of Admissions and Financial Planning in 1983.

Known for his renowned recruiting skills, he was named Administrative Staff Member of the Year at Elon in 1997 and Chair of the Southern Region of the College Board in Atlanta, GA in 2003. Mr. Bradberry was recognized as the Southern Association of Admissions Counselor Recipient of the 2010 William Bill Starling Mentorship Award in memory of Bill Starling, former Dean of Admissions, Wake Forest University. He was inducted into the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society at Elon University in 2014.

A native of Virginia Beach, VA, he graduated from Kellan High School in 1971. He is married to Martha Bradberry and lives in Gibsonville, NC.

Mr. Bradberry says that he enjoys working at a university because, “no day is the same, so staying stagnant in admissions has not been possible. He views the journey as one he would not change if given the chance.”

The Chowan University

Executive Partners Initiative

Our students are going to work and lead. Chowan University’s newest initiative goes beyond the classroom to support the students’ transition into the real world. The Executive Partners initiative brings career advice, networking opportunities, and real-life experiences to our campus. Active or retired, these alumni leaders have been there and done what many of our students plan to do.

Our Executive Partners speak from deep experience. You’ll find them sharing their expertise in the classroom, with student clubs, serving on career panels, sharing some advice, and helping put together resumes.

Life Skills Provides Real World Readiness

Chowan University is evolving into a Life Skills institution. Students, while pursuing your degree at Chowan, faculty and staff will guide students to master today’s most in-demand employment skills. Our supportive community will equip students with career planning, coaching, and a strong spiritual foundation to complement their academic experience.

Misty Buren

Class of 2004

Misty Ricks Buren is a 2004 graduate from Chowan College who received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration with a dual concentration in Small Business Management and Marketing.

Misty is a Conway native who attended Northeast Academy Christian School from kindergarten until graduation in May 2000.

Misty now lives in Woodland with her husband and two boys. For the last three years, she has been serving as Branch Manager at the State Employees’ Credit Union in Murfreesboro. Misty began her career with SECU in May 2006. She started as a Member Services Representative and then worked as a Loan Officer for many years before her promotion in 2020.

During her time with SECU, Misty has obtained Personal Lines, Life & Health, and Long-Term Care Insurance Licenses through the NC Department of Insurance as well as Series 6, 63, and 65 Investment Licenses. Misty also has certifications from the Mortgage Loan Officer Certification Program and the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education earning her the title of Accredited Financial Counselor.

Zack Cooper

Class of 2017

Zack Cooper graduated Summa Cum Laude in 2017 from Chowan with a Degree in Criminal Justice and a Minor in History. While at Chowan, Zack also played for the baseball team, earning All-CIAA honors in 2016 and D2CCA Third Team All-American honors in 2017.

After Chowan, Zack attended law school at the Robert Khayat School of Law at the University of Mississippi. He graduated with his Juris Doctor in the fall of 2019. Upon passing the North Carolina Bar Exam in 2020, Zack opened his own estate planning and probate law practice: Zachary A. Cooper Law. As an attorney, it is Zack’s goal to help young families secure their family’s future through estate planning by making it easy and affordable to them now, while also saving their loved ones time and money in the future.

In his free time, Zack enjoys traveling with his wife, Megan, and playing golf. Zack is also an active member at Fairview Baptist Church in Apex, NC. Through Fairview, Zack and Megan have been able to serve on short term missions teams, most recently to Hungary and Ukraine. Finally, Zack serves Chowan as the President of the Alumni Council, where he works alongside other alumni and staff to promote the university, plan alumni events, and raise support on Giving Day.

Takaylia Mason

Class of 2021

Takaylia Mason graduated in 2021 with a BS in Criminal Justice. She was named the most outstanding female criminal justice student.

Takaylia began her career in law enforcement with the Petersburg Police Department. She served as the Class Chaplain for the 97th BLE Academy Class. She is certified in Rape Aggression Defense and is working on a Masters in Human Services.

Officer Mason is a Police Officer for Virginia State University.

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