Holding considerable expertise in continuing education and curriculum, Christie Neill McLeod, EdD, retired as the senior vice president of student services at Wake Technical Community College in 2005 after a long and successful career. She first earned a Bachelor of Arts from the Women’s College of the University of North Carolina, now known as the University of North Carolina Greensboro, in 1957. After spending time in the field, she went on to join the College of Education at North Carolina State University, where she obtained a Master of Science in adult and community college education in 1972 and a Doctor of Education in community college leadership in 1974.
Dr. McLeod began her career working with the Girl Scouts of the United States of America, including the Girl Scouts of Greater New York and the Pines of Carolina Girl Scout Council, where she was the training director and the director of personnel and public relations. It was her time with the Girl Scouts training program that opened her eyes to the field of continuing and adult education. A very service-oriented person, Dr. McLeod was driven to help adult learners succeed, flourish and gain the skills they need to support their families and improve their communities. Drawn to community colleges for their focus on nontraditional and skills-based learning, she subsequently found her place with the North Carolina Community College System.
Serving as the senior vice president of continuing education, curriculum and instruction for the North Carolina Community College System for 32 years, Dr. McLeod made a number of historic firsts over the course of her tenure. She was the first female director of student activities, the first female dean of continuing education, the first female vice president of instruction and student development, and the first female associate executive vice president of the North Carolina Community College System Office. Active with the individual colleges in the system as well, she became the first female community college president in the state of North Carolina at Martin Community College and served Wake Technical Community College as vice president of student services until her retirement in 2005.
Alongside her primary career responsibilities, Dr. McLeod has also contributed her skills to a number of other professional and civic endeavors. She notably worked for the governor of North Carolina from 1987 to 1995. On a more local level, she spent 10 years active with her neighborhood advisory committee and volunteered as a professional with the Girl Scouts of the United States of America in addition to the work she did early on in her career. Presently, she holds the position of chair of the oral history project at Meredith College, which is focused on the equal rights amendments.
Dr. McLeod attributes much of her success to hard work, as well as to the help from others that she received over the course of her career. In November of 2020, her alma mater, North Carolina State University presented her with the College of Education Distinguished Alumnus Award. She was also recognized with a Legacy Award from the USCG in 2018. Above all these accolades, she considers the highlight of her career to be her appointment as the first female vice president at Martin Community College. To young and aspiring professionals in the field, Dr. McLeod would advise always trying to do your very best.