Board for Student Success

NC State’s Board for Student Success is a volunteer advocacy and fundraising advisory board, operating in support of the Division of Academic and Student Affairs. Through active involvement and engagement, the Board for Student Success promotes the welfare and development of the division through advocacy, fundraising, and service. Our members serve as liaisons for generating interest in division programs and initiatives, playing a crucial role in helping to develop the private financial resources necessary to support and strengthen our exceptional programs and units.

Mike Holmquist, Chair

Mike Holmquist is Managing Director for Enterprise Strategic Initiatives at Bank of America. He has garnered nearly twenty years of leadership experience at Bank of America, including in his role as a Subsidiary Governance Executive and through management of a legal team responsible for the legal affairs of key components of the Investment Bank, Corporate Treasury, and Trustee business. Prior to Bank of America, Holmquist was a corporate/securities attorney at Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney and an Audit Manager with KPMG.

Holmquist holds a B.S. in Accountancy from Ohio’s Miami University (‘86) and a J.D. from Case Western Reserve University School of Law (‘94). His daughter Peyton is a 2017 NC State graduate who participated in Exploratory Studies and intramural sports, and served as a Chancellor’s Aide and Student Ambassador during her time on campus.

Why did you decide to support NC State and the Division of Academic and Student Affairs by joining the Board for Student Success?

“NC State and the Division of Academic and Student Affairs have positively influenced our daughter Peyton and in turn, she has assumed many leadership positions and served NC State. NC State has also allowed us as a family to be involved in many ways including volunteering in many capacities. We appreciate all that NC State does. We wanted to get more involved and help with the continued success of NC State.”

How do you define student success?

“Limitless opportunities and coaching for all students allowing them to succeed and pursue their passion in all areas of academic, social and personal achievement.”

Michael Anthony

Michael Anthony serves as the Vice President of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management at a Rochester, MN area community and technical college. He is an NC State alumnus (‘03) and holds a B.A. in Business Management with a concentration in Marketing. During his time on campus, Anthony was involved in Student Government and with the Nubian Message, and the African American Student Advisory Council, and was a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Inter Residence Council, the Order of Omega, and the Society of Afrikan American Culture. He also participated in an internship with the Center for Student Leadership, Ethics, and Public Service and worked as a House Manager for University Theatre.

Why did you decide to support NC State and the Division of Academic and Student Affairs by joining the Board for Student Success?

“NC State was one of the most formative experiences in my life, in no small part due to the influence of Division of Academic and Student Affairs programs and initiatives. It was an easy decision for me to give back in this way.”

How do you define student success?

“Student success is when a student can first identify and clarify his or her goals, and then achieve them. Those goals are varied, and may include preparation for graduate study, earning a degree or credential, or preparing for work immediately following college.”

JoAnn Emerson Barnhill

JoAnn Barnhill is a human resources and recruitment professional with Physician Services. She is an alumna of NC State and holds a B.A. in Business Management (‘90). Barnhill’s daughter Emerson Anne Barnhill is part of NC State’s Class of 2019 and is majoring in Sustainable Materials and Technology. She is a member of the women’s varsity swim team. Barnhill serves on the Board for Student Success with her husband Kelly.

Why did you decide to support NC State and the Division of Academic and Student Affairs by joining the Board for Student Success?

“It’s an opportunity to give back to NC State, and I’m a firm believer in promoting a holistic approach to student success.”

How do you define student success?

“Striving for personal growth and development in the areas of service, leadership, academics and health/wellness.”

Robert Kelly Barnhill, Jr.

Kelly Barnhill is president of Hendrix-Barnhill Co., Inc., a general contracting firm specializing in heavy civil construction. He also has professional experience as a consulting engineer overseeing the design of infrastructure projects. Barnhill earned a B.S. in Civil Engineering from NC State (‘89). During his time on campus, he was a member of the men’s varsity swim team. Barnhill’s daughter Emerson Anne Barnhill is a member of NC State’s Class of 2019 and is majoring in Sustainable Materials & Technology. Barnhill serves on the Board for Student Success with his wife JoAnn.

Why did you decide to support NC State and the Division of Academic and Student Affairs by joining the Board for Student Success?

“I was compelled to participate based on my positive experience attending a breakfast event that was hosted at the chancellor’s residence during the 2015 Parents & Families Weekend.”

How do you define student success?

“Student success is an outcome whereby the student achieves a degree which advances them towards a career or lifetime goal in tandem with his or her holistic development.”

Connie L. Carson

Connie Carson serves as Vice President for Student Affairs at Furman University. Her career in higher education spans nearly 30 years. In addition to Furman, she has held leadership roles at NC State University and Wake Forest University. She has previously served as president of the Association of College and University Housing Officers – International, as well as president of the organization’s foundation. Additionally, she has served as board president of the Shepherd’s Center of Greater Winston-Salem and as an elder within the Presbyterian church in both Winston-Salem and Greenville, SC.

Carson holds B.S. degrees in Biological Sciences and Science Education, as well as an M.A. in Counselor Education (NC State, ‘83, ‘86) and an MBA (Wake Forest University, ‘96). During her time at NC State, she was a Resident Advisor, Upper-class Advisor, Senior Staff Advisor, and Graduate Residence Hall Director. She was also Vice President of Metcalf Hall Council and participated in intramural sports.

Why did you decide to support NC State and the Division of Academic and Student Affairs by joining the Board for Student Success?

“NC State has made an incredible impact on my life and I wanted the opportunity to ‘pay it forward’ by giving back to the students NC State serves today. I am of the belief that it is not enough to be educated, but to use that education to make a difference for others. Therein lies the key to what makes NC State special — it is a place that nurtures the intellect while developing the soul by ensuring we apply what we learn.”

How do you define student success?

“Students combining and strengthening their passions and gifts in order to become the best of themselves while continuing to learn and make a difference for others.”

Alison Levinson

Alison Levinson has 30 years of professional experience as a CPA. She earned a B.A. in Accountancy from Wake Forest University (‘86). Levinson’s daughter Abigail Levinson is a rising sophomore at NC State and member of Alpha Delta Pi sorority. Levinson is serving on the Board for Student Success with her husband Jack.

Why did you decide to support NC State and the Division of Academic and Student Affairs by joining the Board for Student Success?

“I want to be engaged at the institution where my daughter is attending school. When this opportunity presented itself, I knew it would be an ideal fit.”

How do you define student success?

“A student who is engaged academically and socially at NC State.”

Jack Levinson

Jack Levinson is Senior Vice President of Lat Purser and Associates, overseeing commercial real estate and development and acquisitions of multifamily, retail, and mixed use projects. He has 31 years of experience in the commercial real estate industry. He earned a B.A. in Risk Management from the University of Georgia in 1985. Levinson’s daughter Abigail, ‘20, attends NC State and is enrolled in the Exploratory Studies program. She is a member of Alpha Delta Pi. Levinson serves on the Board for Student Success with his wife Alison.

Why did you decide to support NC State and the Division of Academic and Student Affairs by joining the Board for Student Success?

“This is a wonderful opportunity to engage and learn more about NC State for and with my daughter.”

How do you define student success?

“Student success includes, but is not limited to: Cultivating a sense of purpose; a qualitative education and balanced experiences to contribute in work, social and the broader community.”

Rebeccah “Catherine” Rehder

Catherine Rehder is a clinical genetics laboratory director, responsible for the performance and interpretation of genetic testing ordered as part of the medical care of a patient. She holds a B.S. in Biochemistry and a B.A. in Multidisciplinary Studies, both from NC State (‘99). During her time on campus, she was engaged in the Scholars Council, Ladies in Red acapella group, the Chamber Singers, the Caldwell Fellows program, and as a Jefferson Scholar, CALS Ambassador, and Resident Advisor.

Why did you decide to support NC State and the Division of Academic and Student Affairs by joining the Board for Student Success?

“As a student at NC State, I definitely benefited from interactions with alumni in my career field, and learned the importance of maintaining relationships within the NC State community — I want to continue to support my NC State community.”

How do you define student success?

“A successful student and graduate are engaged in their learning process, choosing to make the most of every opportunity, and ready to be independent and contributing members of their community.”

Kyle Rehder

Kyle Rehder is a Pediatric Intensivist in a pediatric intensive care setting. He also directs a pediatric ICU fellowship training program for pediatric intensivists. Additionally, he is a Physician Quality Officer designated as a quality and safety expert for health systems. Rehder holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering, a B.S. in Biochemistry, and a B.A. in Chemistry, as well as a B.S. in Multidisciplinary Studies (NC State, ‘99, ‘00). During his time on campus, he was engaged in the University Scholar, Ben Franklin Scholars, and Caldwell Fellows programs; intramural swimming and club water polo; and the Order of Thirty and Three, Golden Chain Society, Park Scholars Planning Committee, and Chancellor’s Advisory Board.

Why did you decide to support NC State and the Division of Academic and Student Affairs by joining the Board for Student Success?

“I elected to join the Board for Student Success because of my own positive experiences at NC State and interest in supporting young adults.”

What does student success mean to you?

“Academic success – successful completion of degree program in good standing;
Personal growth – Exposure to new experiences, concepts, and cultures leading to broadening of perceptions and a well-rounded mind;
Career preparation – gaining knowledge and skills that set up the student for future career success and for ongoing learning;
Well-being: Development of social skills, coping strategies, and behaviors that will help maintain strong mental and physical health.”

Lisa VanBuhler

Lisa VanBuhler has more than 25 years of experience in education and is the founder and CEO of XOOM Tours, an educational travel business focused exclusively on middle and high school student domestic and international tours. She holds an M.A. in K-12 Educational Administration from Michigan State University (‘93). VanBuhler has two children currently attending NC State. Christopher, ‘18, is a Finance major in the Poole College of Management and Megan, ‘20, is a student in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Why did you decide to support NC State and the Division of Academic and Student Affairs by joining the Board for Student Success?

“I am a fan of traveling, especially internationally, and want our students to be aware that there is so much to experience by learning and exploring beyond the classroom. Alternative Service Break trips, studying abroad and international travel, when embraced, have a profound impact on the development of the ‘whole person’. My favorite quote: ‘Of all the books in the world, the best stories are found between the pages of a passport.’”

How do you define student success?

“Student success is developing as a ‘whole person’ by experiencing different relationships and cultures, learning to be independent, to adapt, adjust, improvise and to develop new global perspectives that will stay with them for a lifetime.”

Vernon A. Wall

Vernon Wall holds more than 30 years of professional higher ed student affairs experience. He currently serves as a consultant with One Better World and as Director of Business Development with LeaderShape. He is also a founder of the Social Justice Training Institute. Wall holds a B.S. in Political Science (NC State, ‘81). During his time on campus, he was an Orientation Assistant, Resident Advisor, and served on the NC State University Judicial Board.

Why did you decide to support NC State and the Division of Academic and Student Affairs by joining the Board for Student Success?

“I was seeking a connection to the academic mission of the institution coupled with growth and development through co-curricular experiences.”

How do you define student success?

“Student success is students growing and changing through their college experience, which is wondrous to see.”

Cody Williams

Cody Williams is Vice President of Sales and Marketing for The Roberts Group, a full service promotional products, apparel, and printing distributor. He is an NC State alumnus and holds a degree in Agricultural Business Management (‘07). During his time as a student, Williams served on the Inter-Residence Council and the Student Centers Board of Directors, and participated in Student Government.

Why did you decide to support NC State and the Division of Academic and Student Affairs by joining the Board for Student Success?

“I thoroughly enjoyed my experience as an NC State student. It was mainly my out of classroom experiences that helped me with my career path and success after graduation. When I think back about my time at NC State, it is the areas that the Division of Academic and Student Affairs covers that I remember and the friends I met while doing them. I believe in giving back for that which you have been given, so supporting the Board for Student Success is a natural fit.”

How do you define student success?

“Student success is making sure that someone graduates with a well-rounded education, which takes place inside and outside of the typical classroom. Graduates today face a challenging marketplace for jobs and I think it is the experiences that they had outside of the classroom that help set them apart.”

Darryl D. Willie

Darryl Willie is an Executive Director with Teach for America. He has 15 years of  professional experience as an educator through roles in elementary education and higher education. He holds a B.S. in Textile Management (NC State, ‘02). During his time at NC State, Willie served as Student Body President. He also participated in Residence Life, Student Government, and intramural sports.

Why did you decide to support NC State and the Division of Academic and Student Affairs by joining the Board for Student Success?

“This university gave me a foundation that I am still building upon today. If I can help in creating that foundation for current students then I have done my part.”

How do you define student success?

“Student success is defined by the ability to choose a desired path.”

Lawrence “LJ” Wobker

LJ Wobker is a Principal Engineer with Cisco. He has 20 years of professional experience in the field of computer networking. Wobker earned a B.A. in Computer Engineering from NC State (‘99). During his time on campus, he was engaged in the University Scholars Program, as a Benjamin Franklin Scholar, and was an Intramural Athletic Director.

Why did you decide to support NC State and the Division of Academic and Student Affairs by joining the Board for Student Success?

“The University Scholars Program was incredibly important to my experience at NC State and I feel it’s important to help the program—and similar programs—continue to support NC State students.”

Michelle Staben Wobker

Michelle Staben Wobker is a Senior Project Manager at Humacyte, Inc. with over ten years of experience in pharmaceutical and biologics research and development. She earned a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from NC State (‘99) and M.S. and PhD. degrees from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Wobker was extremely engaged during her time at NC State. She participated in the University Scholars Program, Engineers’ Council, Omega Chi Epsilon, club tennis, and club Ultimate Frisbee. She was named IM-REC Sports Residence/Sorority Intramural Athletic Director of the Year, co-led Sullivan Residence Hall to win the Residence/Sorority Championship in 1996-97, earned the John F. Miller Award, was a finalist for the Leader of the Pack award, and is a founding member and president of NC State’s chapter of Beta Omicron.

Why did you decide to support NC State and the Division of Academic and Student Affairs by joining the Board for Student Success?

“I know how important it was for me to have older and wiser adults helping me during my college years and I want to pay those contributions forward to today’s generation of students.”

How do you define student success?

“To me, ‘student success’ is best defined as helping students learn to understand themselves and use that knowledge to make good decisions about how they spend their time and energy, both in the short term at NC State and in the long term in their lives as a whole.”