Challenging the Paradigm Conference


Challenging the Paradigm Conference - 2022

UNCW/3C is pleased to announce the annual Challenging the Paradigm Conference, to be held on April 7-8, 2022, focusing on Partnerships for Success in a Changing World.

The Challenging the Paradigm Conference will focus on collaborative best practices and future trends from a national and international perspective to share with North Carolina Community Colleges.

Call for Proposals >

Keynote Speaker

Dr. Stelfanie Williams
Vice President for Durham and Community Affairs for Duke University

As the Vice President for Durham and Community Affairs for Duke University, Dr. Stelfanie Williams leads and coordinates Duke’s diverse and innovative community efforts in areas such as neighborhood partnerships, community health, education, and talent development, addressing issues of concern to the community including affordable housing and infrastructure, early childhood education and school readiness, college and career readiness, food security and nutrition, and nonprofit capacity.  In this role since 2018, Dr. Williams also builds connections between Duke and Durham Public Schools, Durham Technical Community College and North Carolina Central University, local government, businesses and nonprofit organizations.

Williams has more than 20 years of higher education experience and is engaged in professional and civic organizations. Prior to Duke, Williams served as president of Vance-Granville Community College, guiding the college through significant developments in academic programs and partnerships, fundraising, and capital improvements. Stelfanie is a member of the board of directors for NC IDEA and the corporate Board of Directors for the North Carolina State Employees’ Credit Union (SECU) as well as the SECU Foundation Board, and she is a past director of Union Bank & Trust.  In addition, Williams serves on the boards of Durham Children’s Initiative, Durham Public Schools Foundation, GoTriangle, Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce, Made in Durham, and United Way of the Greater Triangle, among other organizations.

In 2018, Dr. Williams was selected as Community College President of the Year by the State Board of NC Community Colleges. Also, in 2014 she was awarded by N.C. State the I.E. Ready Distinguished Leadership Award, and in 2019 she was selected as a Distinguished Alumna by North Carolina State University. Williams was appointed to the Governor’s Commission on Sound, Basic Education and to MyFutureNC, a commission focused on educational attainment in North Carolina. Williams earned a dual baccalaureate degree in Public Policy and Spanish from Duke University and also holds a doctorate in education from North Carolina State University.

Dr. Scott Ralls
President, Wake Technical Community College

Dr. Scott Ralls became the fourth president of Wake Technical Community College in April 2019.

Before coming to Wake Tech, he served as president of Northern Virginia Community College, one of the largest and most diverse colleges in the U.S.  He has more than 20 years of experience in community colleges, including seven years as president of the NC Community College System. He has also served as president of Craven Community College and has worked for the NC Department of Commerce, the U.S. Department of Commerce, and the U.S. Department of Labor.

A native of Charlotte, Dr. Ralls grew up in western North Carolina. He holds a bachelor’s degree from UNC-Chapel Hill, and master’s and doctorate degrees in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from the University of Maryland.

He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Distinguished Public Service Award from the North Carolina Chamber, and the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, North Carolina’s highest civilian honor.

For more information

Please contact UNCW 3C Coordinator Denise Henning at

April 7-8, 2022
Cost for Registration is 150.00 and includes meals and snacks
Register online >

Hotel Information

  • Hampton Inn (off Racine) 910-791-9899 – accepts government rates
  • Courtyard by Marriott (off College) 910-390-6422 – accepts government rates