Federal judge to address PDCCC grads

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Federal judge Brenda Branch will be the speaker for Paul D. Camp Community College’s graduation exercises at 7 p.m. May 15 at the college’s Regional Workforce Development Center in Franklin.

From apprentice school and maintenance mechanic to law school and a prestigious judgeship, she &uot;presents a wonderful role model for students,&uot; college officials said.

Branch is a U.S. District Court judge for Judicial District 6-A in North Carolina,

Her educational credentials, all earned in North Carolina, include a law degree from North Carolina Central University School of Law in Durham; a master of public administration degree from East Carolina University Graduate School in Greenville; a bachelor of arts degree in public policy from North Carolina Wesleyan College in Rocky Mount; and a certificate of apprenticeship, &uot;A: Class Maintenance Mechanic,&uot; from Halifax Community College in Weldon. She also earned credits in business administration and ROTC from Saint Augustine College in Raleigh.

Her work experience includes assistant district attorney for Judicial Districts 6-B and 6-A, where she evaluated cases for trials or plea and prosecuted in Juvenile Court, Traffic Court, Misdemeanor Court and Felony Superior Court.

She was also legal intern for the Halifax County Department of Social Services, where she assisted the staff attorney in preparing court orders and attended and participated in case intake and court sessions.

And before that, she was an &uot;A&uot; Class maintenance mechanic for Champion International Paper Co., where she rebuilt, replaced and maintained pumps and cylinders; operated a pump shop; and facilitated and participated in company-sponsored programs and projects.

She holds the distinction of being the first black woman to enter the maintenance program.

In 2007, she was named Citizen of the Year for the State of North Carolina, Civil Liberties Department, North Carolina Elk.

Her extensive community involvement includes serving on the Lawyer Effectiveness and Quality of Life Committee, appointed by the NC State Bar Association; motivational speaker for churches, youth groups, and other civic and community organizations across NC and Virginia;

and serving on the Halifax County Domestic Violence Task Force and the Halifax County Citizen Advisory Team.

At Roanoke Chapel Missionary Baptist Church in Jackson, where she is an active Sunday School member, Branch also serves as Youth Advisor for the Youth Choir and Praise Team and Community Outreach Adult Missionary.

She and her husband, George, have a daughter and a son, who currently are university students.