February 3, 2017
You on campus have received word from Ms. Regina Garcia of the Multicultural Affairs Committee (MAC) about many engaging and inspiring events going on at Pitt Community College in February during Black History Month. I hope that everyone considers seeing how our students and staff bring Dr. King's example to life in various ways. Notices on our website and through press releases communicate these activities. We had a strong running start in January to this month of celebration with two important community events involving a number of campus personnel.
Wednesday, January 11, was the date of this year's MLK Scholarship Breakfast sponsored by MAC, with Ms. Garcia presiding and supported by many MAC members. The event was dedicated to Mr. Earl T. Brown, a dear friend of PCC who tragically passed away this past fall. Former PCC Trustee Judge James A. Wynn, Jr. delivered the address and members of Mr. Brown's family presented a scholarship to Ms. Briana Boone and other students. Dr. Garrie Moore, former PCC VP and ECU Vice Chancellor, another close friend of PCC, introduced Judge Wynn.
On January 16th the local Community Unity Breakfast was held at East Carolina University with a big crowd in attendance, including a number of PCC employees and alumni. Significantly, the speaker at this year's event was Mr. Jermaine McNair, who delivered a powerful message of personal commitment and transformation along with a call for active support of underserved citizens in our area. Mr. McNair is a PCC College Recruitment Specialist and a major resource in connecting many with opportunities on campus and elsewhere. He is an example to us all, especially young people who are eager to move forward in a positive way with their lives.
January also brought the beginning of spring semester and I thank many faculty and staff who helped make this a successful launch of the term for students. Ms. Shakeena White, Director of Academic Advising and Career Services, reports that the Success Navigators surpassed their goal for retention of new students to 77.3%. Strong increases in high school student enrollment were also recorded. However, overall student headcount dropped by 5.3% to just under 8000. To achieve our strategic goals and serve our community, we need to increase these numbers, and the Student Success Action Council, with support from Title III funding, is moving forward with initiatives to respond.
At their January meeting, Board of Trustees members heard about plans for the Student Advancement Center on the corner of Reedy Branch and Warren Drive. They also celebrated the announcement of the NC Community Colleges Staff of the Year award is going to Vice President Susan Nobles, who has been a leader on campus, the region and state in Foundation leadership, marketing and public relations for many years. Director Ina Rawlinson reported on responses to the HR Survey which will aid employees, including improving training and the onboarding experience, increasing confidentiality and personal service, and recognizing HR staff to better serve all full and part-time faculty and staff.
Accomplishments and Recognitions
Anna Pittman (Research and Planning) will participate in the Association of Institutional Research Dada and Decisions Academy thanks to a competitive scholarship.
Christina Weeks (Biotechnology) reports that fall graduate Brandy Doscher received a Fulbright scholarship from NC Central University for study in pharmaceutical sciences, the third PCC student to be so honored.
Craig Carico and Candace Norris (Emergency Medical Services) had a successful accreditation visit with positive signs for full recognition - it has been a long path with many people, especially Dean Donna Neal, needed to record this progress.
Eleanor Willard (Graphic Design) has completed her doctorate in Education with a concentration in Cultural Studies from UNC-Greensboro.
With Valentine's Day rapidly approaching and many other activities, don't forget the Spring Scholarship Fundraiser, "A Taste of mardi Gras," at the Rock Springs Center on February 24. Many students will benefit from your participation.
G. Dennis Massey, President