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Cresenzo family creates Jennifer Tulloch memorial scholarship

Cresenzo family creates Jennifer Tulloch memorial scholarship

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WENTWORTH – Relatives of a well-loved former Rockingham Community College health education employee have established a scholarship in her honor with the Rockingham Community College Foundation.

The late Jennifer Tulloch joined RCC as Director of Phlebotomy and Surgical Technology in 2018. Following a year-long battle with lung cancer, she resigned in July 2019, and died from complications of her cancer treatments just a few weeks later.

Tulloch attended Eden City Schools and graduated from John Motley Morehead High School. In 1987, she graduated from Elon University with a bachelor's degree in English.

“I was living in Charlotte and she moved in with me and managed a nice restaurant on Tryon Street. She was really good at that too,” said her sister, Julie Tulloch Cresenzo. “Then she came home (to Rockingham County) and switched careers.”

Tulloch obtained her Surgical Technology diploma from RCC in 1999, and then became certified as a surgical first assistant.

When health issues, especially with her back, led to her realization that she would not be able to sustain such a physically demanding career, Tulloch became an educator, according to her sister. That’s when she came to work at RCC.

“She was a great teacher. She definitely had the personality and loved teaching,” Cresenzo said.

RCC Dean of Health Sciences and Public Services Vickie Chitwood agreed.

“This is where she belonged, standing behind the operating table teaching students,” Chitwood said, standing in the simulated operating room in RCC’s Owens Health Sciences Building.

Eventually, the requirements for teaching and directing programs changed, leading Tulloch to obtain her associate's degree in Applied Science in Surgical Technology from RCC in December 2017, according to RCC Director of Human Resources Joy Chappell. She continued working for another 19 months, during which time her health declined.

Following Tulloch’s passing, it was Cresenzo’s husband Randy who decided the family would make a monetary gift to the RCC Foundation to establish the Jennifer Tulloch Memorial Endowed Scholarship.

The Cresenzos ask that recipients of the annual scholarship demonstrate financial need and be residents of Rockingham County. They may be traditional or non-traditional students, and must have been accepted into a health science program of study. The applicant must be in good academic standing, and maintain at least a 2.75 grade-point average. Priority is given to students pursuing a Surgical Technology degree.

“The applicant must possess a giving and kind character marked by empathy and an earnest desire to serve others in seeking relief from illness and pain,” according the scholarship details.

The Cresenzo’s twin sons are both in the health field working as a doctor and a nurse.

“I have a profound respect for those in the field, who are selfless and not money-oriented, and use their hands to act as the hands of God with selflessness,” Randy Cresenzo said. “Maybe through this scholarship process, what Jennifer conveyed to others can be carried on.”

Students seeking additional information on the Jennifer Tulloch Memorial Endowed Scholarship should contact RCC’s Financial Aid Office at 336-342-4261 ext. 2203 or, or visit

Additional gifts may be made to the scholarship at any time by anyone interested. Donors wishing to do so, or to establish their own scholarship, should contact Foundation Office at 336-342-4261 ext. 2201 or, or visit

“There’s no doubt that the needs of our students are great and that their lives are forever changed because of the gift of education,” said Kim Pryor, RCC Foundation executive director. “We are grateful to all donors and we are committed to helping them provide scholarships that assist our students and as a result improve the quality of life in Rockingham County.”

Gerri Hunt is director of public information at Rockingham Community College. She can be reached at or 336-342-4261 ext. 2170.

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