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Alumni AssociationCOA Foundation


COA Alumni

College of The Albemarle (COA) alumni, we want to hear from you!

Let us know when your contact information changes and about new jobs, promotions, accomplishments, recognitions or retirements.


Memberships fees are $15 annually, or you may send a $100 or $200 one-time pledge. Members will receive a decal; a quarterly newsletter; discounts on ticket purchases to Foundation events; access to resources at COA campuses, including the renovated Charles H. Ward Library and Knowledge Commons; and a discount card for use at businesses in the seven-county service area. Questions? Email

    How to Join

    Step 1: Submit Your Program of Study and Graduation Year


    Step 2: Choose a Membership and Submit Payment

    Board Members

    Alumni PresidentRobert Pippen is retired after spending 45 years in the wood products industry. The last 28 years he worked at J.W. Jones Lumber Co. in Elizabeth City as the Vice President of Operations and Sales.

    He enrolled at COA in the fall of 1966, transferred to North Carolina State University (NCSU) in 1968, and received a Bachelor of Science in Forestry in 1971.

    He has served on numerous boards of directors including North Carolina Forestry Association, NCSU Alumni Association, Pasquotank County Planning, and Skills, Inc. Robert has also been active in various civic organizations including the Improved Order of Red Men, serving as Great Sachem of North Carolina in 2009 – 2010. He also served as a District Governor of Rotary International in 2015 – 2016.

    He currently serves on the COA Board of Trustees where he is a member of the Finance Committee. He is the recipient of The Order of the Long Leaf Pine, the highest award for state service granted by the Office of the Governor.

    He attributes the two years at COA to helping him grow in maturity and discipline to pursue his college degree and to work while staying at home to help financially with college costs.

    He and his wife, Charlene, have two sons and five grandchildren.

    Deborah Malenfant moved to Elizabeth City with her family when she was four. She grew up in Elizabeth City and considers herself a local. She is a proud product of the local public school system and community college system. She has an associate degree from COA, a Bachelor’s in Human Resources Management and Labor Relations from Old Dominion University and a Master’s in Business Administration from Wake Forest University.

    Deborah has worked in numerous small businesses throughout her career, most notably the City Wine Sellar, Bakery and Deli in downtown Elizabeth City. She currently serves as Executive Director of Elizabeth City Downtown, Inc. (ECDI). The non-profit’s goal is to beautify and revitalize downtown Elizabeth City, while maintaining its historic integrity.

    David Harris is a native of Elizabeth City and graduated from COA with an Associate in Arts degree. He graduated from East Carolina University and first worked nine years for Virginia Electric and Power (now Dominion Resources) in Virginia Beach, Virginia and in Elizabeth City. He served as Pasquotank County manager for nine years before joining J.W. Jones Lumber Company, Inc. where he served as Vice President for administration retiring in 2014 after 28 years.

    He has served on various community boards including the Pasquotank County Planning Board, Albemarle Hospital Board of Trustees, COA Board of Trustees, Vidant Medical Center Board of Directors, Wells Fargo Bank local advisory board, North Carolina Forestry Association board and on the Christ Episcopal Church vestry.

    David received the COA Distinguished Alumni award in 2007, and in 2010 he was awarded the Order of the Long Leaf Pine.

    David and his wife, Jane, have two sons.

    Rena began a five-year career working with students in 1987 at Messiah Lutheran School. She also worked in a New Jersey state-owned facility for seven years with teenagers who were wards of the state.

    In 2009, Rena began her employment with COA. She was employed in various positions that include Front Desk Assistant, Secretary for Continuing Education, Computer Lab Coordinator at COA – Edenton-Chowan, and in her current role as Computer Support Technician with Management Information Services (MIS).

    Rena graduated from COA in 2010 earning dual degrees including an Associate in Computer Programming and an Associate in Computer Information Technology. Without delay, Rena continued her education by earning her Bachelor’s in Information Systems Digital Forensics and a Master’s in Information Technology Enterprise Networking from Strayer University.

    During her academic years at the COA, Rena served as the SGA President for COA – Edenton-Chowan. Currently, she continues to serve as the President of the Staff Council, as an Advisor on the National Society of Leadership and Success, as a member on the Scholarship Committee and as the Communications Officer for the Alumni Association.

    Employed by COA since 2016, Chris Masiello has served in multiple positions in the course of her service. Prior to her current position as Administrative/Resource Assistant at COA – Currituck, she worked as a Proctor for the Testing Center, and as a Professional Tutor for the Learning Lab in Elizabeth City.

    In 2010, she graduated from COA with an Associate in General Education and an Associate in General Occupational Technology. Afterwards, she transferred to Elizabeth City State University (ECSU) where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in English. While a student at ECSU, she published a scholarly research article entitled “Romanticism: New Waves of Imaginative Thinking,” Volume VII, 2012, Explorations, housed at UNC Wilmington.

    During her academic years, Chris was inducted into Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, Sigma Tau Delta International English Honor Society and The National Society of Leadership and Success.

    Currently Chris proudly serves as the Membership Secretary for COA’s Alumni Association.

    COA Foundation Newsletter


    December 2020

    May 2020

    February 2020

    November 2019