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Cresenzos create Jennifer Tulloch memorial scholarship

Feb 4, 2021

A scholarship has been established with the RCC Foundation in memory of a former Rockingham Community College employee.

Jennifer Tulloch joined the College in 2006, serving as Director of Phlebotomy and Surgical Technology. Following a year-long battle with lung cancer, she resigned in July 2019, and died from complications of her cancer treatments just a few weeks later.

Jennifer attended Eden City Schools and graduated from John Motley Morehead High School. In 1987 she graduated from Elon University with a BA in English.

Jennifer Tulloch
Jennifer Tulloch

“I was living in Charlotte and she moved in with me and managed a nice restaurant on Tryon Street. She was really good at that too,” said her sister, Julie Tulloch Cresenzo. “Then she came home [to Rockingham County] and switched careers.”

Jennifer obtained her Surgical Technology diploma from RCC in 1999, and then became certified as a surgical first assistant.

When health issues, especially with her back, led to her realization that she would not be able to sustain such a physically demanding career, Jennifer became an educator, according to her sister. That’s when she came to work at RCC.

“She was a great teacher. She definitely had the personality and loved teaching,” Julie said.

RCC Dean of Health Sciences and Public Service Technologies Vickie Chitwood agreed.

“This is where she belonged, standing behind the operating table teaching students,” Chitwood said, standing in the simulated operating room in RCC’s Owens Health Science Building.

Eventually, the requirements for teaching and directing programs changed, leading Jennifer to obtain her Associate in Applied Science Degree in Surgical Technology from RCC in December 2017, according to RCC Director of Human Resources Joy Chappell. She continued working for another 19 months, during which time her health declined.

Scholarship Established

Following Jennifer’s passing, it was Julie’s husband Randy Cresenzo who decided the family would make a monetary gift to the RCC Foundation to establish the Jennifer Tulloch Memorial Endowed Scholarship.

The Cresenzos ask that recipients of the annual scholarship demonstrate financial need and be residents of Rockingham County. They may be traditional or non-traditional students, and must have been accepted into a health science program of study.

The applicant must be in good academic standing, and maintain at least a 2.75 grade-point average. Priority is given to students pursuing a Surgical Technology degree – Jennifer’s focus area.

“The applicant must possess a giving and kind character marked by empathy and an earnest desire to serve others in seeking relief from illness and pain,” according the scholarship details.

Julie and Randy’s twin sons are both in the health field – a doctor and a nurse.

“I have a profound respect for those in the field, who are selfless and not money-oriented, and use their hands to act as the hands of God with selflessness,” Randy said. “Maybe through this scholarship process, what Jennifer conveyed to others can be carried on.”

Students seeking additional information on the Jennifer Tulloch Memorial Endowed Scholarship should contact RCC’s Financial Aid Office at 336-342-4261 ext. 2203 or finaid@rockinghamcc.edu, or visit www.rockinghamcc.edu/admissions-aid/finanancial-aid/.

Additional gifts may be made to the scholarship at any time by anyone interested. Donors wishing to do so, or to establish their own scholarship, should contact Foundation Office at 336-342-4261 ext. 2201 or pryork@rockinghamcc.edu, or visit www.rockinghamcc.edu/about/foundation/.

Scholarships may be endowed by individuals, families, estate bequests, community organizations, civic clubs and friends. Donors can start a scholarship with a minimum give of $1,000, and have five years to endow it to $18,000.

The Foundation’s endowed scholarship program invests the principal amount and uses 75 percent of the interest earned annually to provide scholarships. The remaining 25 percent is reinvested in an effort to assure fund growth will keep pace with increasing education costs.

“There’s no doubt that the needs of our students are great and that their lives are forever changed because of the gift of education,” said Kim Pryor, RCC Foundation executive director. “We are grateful to all donors and we are committed to helping them provide scholarships that assist our students and as a result improve the quality of life in Rockingham County.”


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