Local News

Methodist University wins Military Friendly gold medal ranking

8Methodist University proudly serves those who serve at the highest level – and once again, it has the designation to prove it.
Today, the Military Friendly® ratings program officially named Methodist University a Military Friendly® university with a gold-level ranking for the 2024-25 academic year. The ranking is a recurring honor for the University, which was also listed as one of the Military Times’ “Best for Vets” schools in November.
“Receiving this recognition is important for Methodist University,” said Dr. Doris Munoz, assistant provost of student retention and persistence initiatives at MU. “We have amazing services and resources in place to support all military-connected students. It is an honor for us to receive this recognition, but it’s even more of an honor to be able to provide military-connected students with the services we provide. After all they have done for us, this is the least we can do for them.”
The Military Friendly® program utilizes public data sources and responses from a proprietary survey to determine the rankings.
Located only a few miles away from Fort Liberty and Pope Army Airfield, Methodist University is uniquely positioned with several students, faculty, staff, and alumni who are serving or have served. For active-military student Ryan Lucas, the Military Friendly® ranking for Methodist University is well earned.
“At Methodist University, they adapt to my mission in expanding my education,” said Lucas, a U.S. Army critical care flight paramedic who is studying MU’s online Advanced Paramedicine program. “Flexibility meets dedication as they synchronize with my military schedule, ensuring I’m successful both in the field and in the classroom.”
With a Fort Liberty Office, Methodist University is dedicated to serving active-duty military, veterans, and their family members with personal assistance on general inquiries, admission, registration, academic and career advisement, and tuition assistance.
Methodist University also offers more than two dozen 100-percent online degree and certification programs – allowing active-duty military the flexibility they need to take the steps in their education or career.
Online undergraduate and graduate programs include Advanced Paramedicine, Business Administration, Criminal Justice, Health Administration, Marketing, Psychology, Social Work, and more.
To learn about all of the advantages offered to active-duty military, visit Methodist University’s Fort Liberty Office web page.
Methodist University is an independent, four-year institution of higher education with approximately 2,000 students from across the U.S. and more than 50 countries.
MU offers more than 80 undergraduate and graduate degree programs, including doctoral-level options, on campus and online. MU has been ranked as the “No. 1, Most Diverse University in North Carolina (2021-22 and 2022-23)," features more than 75 student clubs and organizations, plus 20 NCAA intercollegiate sports with nearly 40 team national championships.
To learn more about Methodist University, please visit methodist.edu.

Deployed Love celebrates military children


Deployed Love, a national nonprofit organization, will be hosting a celebration for military children at Fort Liberty in honor of April, the Month of the Military Child.
Military families will be able to join Deployed Love at Sprout Springs Church Community Playground on April 20 for a fun afternoon. Children will be able to play on the playground, get their faces painted, jump in a bounce house, and dance to music.
As the kids have fun, there will be a special appearance from Leo the Lion, the Food Lion mascot.
Several food trucks will be available on-site for families to purchase food and drinks. The New Growth Cafe, which is partnering with Deployed Love to host the event, will also be open. Their menu includes a variety of espresso, coffee beverages and a selection of non-coffee drinks and seasonal flavors.
The event will begin at 1 p.m.
With help from volunteers from the community, Deployed Love will be able to provide 50 military families at Fort Liberty with free professional photos.
“I am so excited for this event, as it gives us the opportunity to recognize the military kiddos and the sacrifices and changes they make everyday.
"They are asked to follow their parents where they go, even if that means leaving behind friends, family, sports and schools. They have experienced certain things other children will never understand, but they also get to explore more than most children! Our military kids are the strongest group affiliated with the military and they deserve the world,” said Co-coordinator Katrina Belvin.
Anyone interested in volunteering, donating items and food for the event, or sponsoring the event can email communicationmanager@deployedlove.org.
About Deployed Love
Deployed Love is a non-profit based out of Fayetteville, North Carolina and currently has 6 chapters nationally.
It is a fully volunteer-run organization providing a community for military families.
Deployed Love strives to unite deployed military members and their families by serving the military community with events that bring connection and joy to the families involved.
The purpose of Deployed Love is to create and share events that allow families separated by military deployments a chance to connect. To learn more, visit DeployedLove.org or follow @DeployedLove on Instagram and Facebook.

Club welcomes Skye Linkous and Ann Marie Chao as co-directors of the Fury Futures Program

8Fayetteville Fury is excited to announce the appointment of Skye Linkous and Ann Marie Chao as the new Co-Directors of the Fury Futures Program.
Their combined expertise and passion for soccer will play a pivotal role in shaping the future of young athletes in our community.
Skye Linkous brings a rich background in sports, coaching, and community involvement. Hailing from Watertown, New York, her diverse experience spans across dance, Tae Kwon Do, and multiple school sports, leading to her profound involvement in soccer as a parent and coach.
Skye's move to North Carolina in 2010 marked the beginning of her significant contribution to local soccer, including coaching stints at NZone and Freedom Christian Academy.
A certified first aid, AED, and a National Federation of State High School Associations coach, Skye’s commitment to nurturing young talent and fostering a love for soccer is unwavering. Her personal journey with the sport and her desire to create a positive impact make her an invaluable asset to the Fury Futures Program.
Ann Marie Chao's journey in sports is equally inspiring. Raised in Syracuse, New York, she was a multi-sport athlete from a young age, participating in soccer, lacrosse, competitive swim, and more.
Ann Marie’s leadership skills were honed through her roles at various camps and as a veteran of the United States Navy stationed in San Diego, where she continued to engage in competitive sports. Moving to North Carolina brought her closer to family and the local soccer community, where she has been coaching youth teams with dedication.
As a NFHS certified coach with U.S. Soccer Grassroots, CPR, and First Aid certifications, Ann Marie’s extensive experience and commitment to youth development are set to enrich the Fury Futures Program.
Together, Skye and Ann Marie will lead the Fury Futures Program with a focus on developing homegrown talent, fostering a culture of excellence, and ensuring soccer is accessible to all.
Their leadership will enhance the mission to provide a nurturing environment for young athletes to grow, compete, and embrace the beautiful game.
Fayetteville Fury is proud to have Skye Linkous and Ann Marie Chao join the team. We look forward to their contributions and the bright future they will help build for our young athletes.
For more information about the Fury Futures Program and the new Co-Directors, please visit Fayetteville Fury's official website.
The Fayetteville Fury is a professional indoor soccer team in Fayetteville, North Carolina dedicated to the community, personal development of the players, and to the growth of soccer among the youth by providing them with the skills and knowledge they need to excel in the sport.
As a proud member of the United Premier Soccer League, the team is poised to make its mark on the national stage, epitomizing the spirit of competition and sportsmanship.

Ruth Pauley Lecture Series: NASA and the Cosmos

7On Thursday, April 25, at 7 p.m. the Ruth Pauley Lecture Series will present the fifth in its 36th consecutive season of free lectures from renowned thinkers, statesmen, and arts and entertainment figures. This lecture will feature Dr. Anne E. Weiss on the topic “Explore NASA: Sailing the New Cosmic Sea to Reveal the Unknown for the Benefit of Humanity.”
Dr. Weiss is a NASA STEM Engagement & Educator Professional Development Collaborative Specialist at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia – the nation’s first aeronautic laboratory. She earned a B.S in Vertebrate Physiology from Pennsylvania State University, an M.D. in Physiology from Arizona State University, and her Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration also from Pennsylvania State University.
In her quest to fulfill a lifelong dream of flying in space, Dr. Weiss originally trained as a neuroscientist, including research work at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico.
For the past 28 years she has merged her scientific training with her passion for education as a middle school, high school and undergraduate science educator.
Since 2010, she has also contributed to various NASA STEM Engagement (Education) projects, including the NASA Educators Online Network, NASA/NSTA Teacher Learning Journeys, and NASA’s Aerospace Education Services Project.
Now more than 50 years after the Eagle landed at Tranquility Base, Dr. Weiss will discuss NASA’s preparation to send the Artemis II crew further than ever before into space aiming to establish a permanent base of operations at the Moon’s South Pole.
This foundational outpost on the shores of a vast cosmic sea will allow humans eventually to follow the trailblazing robotic missions that explore our Solar System and beyond, some of which look back nearly to the beginning of the Universe itself.
The Ruth Pauley board is excited to announce that for this lecture and in collaboration with Dr. Weiss, the Series’ Lyceum Scholars program and the program’s participating high schools, the Ruth Pauley Lecture Series will be awarding a scholarship. A high school student will be able to attend NASA’s Space Camp in “The Rocket City” of Huntsville, Alabama – a camp based on NASA astronaut training focused on teamwork and leadership skills. At her lecture, Dr. Weiss, herself a Space Camp alumna, will announce the winner of the scholarship competition and present the award.
Advance registration is required for Ruth Pauley Lectures. Get free tickets (no tax/no charge) by visiting www.ruthpauley.org, or by using the following link: www/ticketmesandhills/organizations/ruth-pauley-lecture-series.
The lecture will begin at 7 p.m. in Owens Auditorium at the Bradshaw Performing Arts Center on the Sandhills Community College campus. The lecture will be preceded with a cash bar in the auditorium lobby, and will be followed by a Q&A session and then an informal gathering with the speaker and refreshments in the lobby.
All Ruth Pauley lectures are free and open to the public. For more information, visit www.ruthpauley.org or contact Robert Hughes at rhughes44@nc.rr.com or

FTCC Foundation invests in students’ futures


College can be expensive, but it doesn’t have to be expensive for you. The financial aid experts at Fayetteville Technical Community College will help you find a scholarship that is just right for you. The best thing about scholarships is that, unlike loans, you don’t have to pay back scholarship funds.
Are you a North Carolina resident who doesn’t have enough money to pay for college? A scholarship from the Golden LEAF Foundation can help! It provides up to $2,250 per year to students living in one of the qualifying counties (listed on the application). You can use this scholarship to pay for tuition, books, child care, and even transportation to help you get to school and be able to focus on your classwork.
Would you like to get paid to attend functions, events, and college celebrations? The prestigious Tom McLean Ambassadors Scholarship program allows students to represent FTCC on and off campus by serving as a student ambassador. Student ambassadors reflect a positive image and help share the good news about FTCC and how FTCC benefits students and the community. Throughout the journey, student ambassadors build positive relationships with community leaders, develop personal leadership skills, and experience unique opportunities that enhance personal growth. Student ambassadors must have excellent academic grades, submit a written essay and demonstrate exceptional communication skills during a panel interview. The scholarship amount awarded to each student ambassador is $1,300.
Do you need a little help completing your degree? Apply for the Finish Line Grant if you have completed at least 50 percent of your coursework and are faced with a financial emergency that occurred through no fault of your own, which could impair your ability to continue your academic program. Students pursuing the Finish Line Grant may receive up to $1,000 to help them complete their academic training.
Don’t enjoy filling out applications? FTCC’s Corporate and Continuing Education programs no longer require applications for some scholarships. These scholarships can be used for a wide variety of programs including welding, veterinary assistant, accounting clerk, medical billing, and more. Some courses can be completed online. Scholarships are available on a first-come, first-served basis, so it’s important not to delay in contacting FTCC’s continuing education staff.
FTCC student Heather Aicher, also a recipient of the Malcolm Nickelson Memorial Scholarship, recently expressed her gratitude for how the FTCC Foundation helped her: “As the widow of an Army veteran, it has warmed my heart to encounter support from the military-connected community in places I hadn’t thought to look. This scholarship has enabled me to continue my education in the field of IT, which I will use to secure a career that can provide a sustainable wage to support the family in my husband’s absence.” Comments such as these expressed by Heather represent the reason the FTCC Foundation exists: to clear roadblocks along the pathway of education for students pursuing a better quality of life.
Ready to learn more? Contact the FTCC Foundation today at 910-678-8441 or by email at foundation@faytechcc.edu. More information can be found at https://www.faytechcc.edu/scholarships or by visiting the campus at Harry F. Shaw Virtual College Center, Room 114, 2201 Hull Road.


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