SMITHFIELD – Nancy Stearns Bercaw is Johnston Community College’s new senior director of communications and marketing.
She comes to JCC from her prior role as senior advisor for communications and marketing at Ajman University in the United Arab Emirates. During her three-year tenure at Ajman, Bercaw helped the institution attract significant global visibility and earn recognition as having the third most international student body in the world. Previously, she served the University of Vermont in multiple communications capacities over a period of 15 years, which included the initial creation of UVM’s Center on Rural Addiction funded by a $6.6 million federal grant.
“I look forward to bringing my experiences from Ajman and Vermont to the work of JCC here in Smithfield,” she said. “Every community deserves to be celebrated and promoted for its own unique and compelling story. What impresses me most about JCC thus far is the overall sense that everyone belongs here.”
Dr. David Johnson, JCC president, noted that Bercaw offers an “out of the box” approach to marketing and communications. “Nancy’s creative storytelling skills and her work with diverse populations will help leverage JCC’s special place in North Carolina’s higher education landscape as well as our own strong commitment to inclusion and impact,” he said.
Bercaw has written for publications around the world including The New York Times, Huffington Post, Korea Herald, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, CBS 48 HOURS, MariaShriver.com, and U.S. News & World Report. She is the author of two published memoirs: “Brain in a Jar” and “Dryland.”
In 2009, Bercaw was inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame at the University of South Florida where she swam on scholarship from 1982-1986 while earning a B.A. in English Education. She is a 17-time All-American, National Champion and Olympic Trials qualifier.
From 1988-89, Bercaw served as United States Peace Corps volunteer in rural Kenya. She continues to support the school there and visits periodically.