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College Update

December 2017


As a skate's heel sweeps smooth on a bow-bend: the hurl and gliding

Rebuffed the big wind. My heart in hiding

Stirred for a bird, – the achieve of, the mastery of the thing!

                                     -Gerard Manley Hopkins, “The Windhover”


Just as the falcon in this famous poem impressed the poet Hopkins, I hope that our students are distinguishing themselves in these final weeks of the fall semester with their progress and ability to persevere in times of challenge and obstacles in their lives.  I appreciate your efforts to bring out the best in others, even when it manifests itself in ways we do not always anticipate.

A few weeks ago I was in the new parking lot on the west side of campus near the pond, and what a sight it was to view the new Williams Building with the walkway to the Russell Classroom.  Construction has progressed swiftly on the new Early College High School building, which will be ready in Fall 2018.  It is such a change to look at the campus from this point in Warren Drive, and I recommend you take in the campus from this perspective if you have not done so already.

It was no surprise to me that the Walter and Marie Williams Science Building received the Building North Carolina Award for best “Public Project” for 2017.  Thanks to all of you who contributed to the mighty effort to pass the bond referendum to Pitt County voters and to JKF Architecture, Contractor Farrior & Sons, and to everyone who made this project such an attractive success.  What a great addition to our campus!

The Accelerating the Future capital campaign to build the Smith Student Advancement Center builds upon this momentum to provide more programming space for student programs & activities.  We know how busy the Goess Student Center is, and this will be a great space for a variety of purposes.  It will be a great addition at the north side of campus and invite learning in different ways that connect campus and community.

In November Student Government leader Maurice Northern had to step away from this position and Blake Simpkins assumed the SGA Presidency and Board of Trustees roles.  Fortunately, we have a strong set of SGA officers and the momentum that Maurice initiated has move forward smoothly under Blake’s leadership.  He has been busy handling these duties as well as assisting with the search process for a new Vice President of Student Development Services.  We hope to have an appointment announcement before spring semester begins.

Connections with Pitt County Schools are stronger than ever with a record number of high school students taking classes on campus and at all of the high schools, plus the Early College has grown to over 200.  These students are positive contributors; however, they are almost totally part-time.  Year-round Pell grants in Summer 2018 will provide a way to attract and retain more full-time students as well as to build summer enrollments.  Students do not need to be enrolled full-time in fall or spring to be eligible, and instruction in 12-month programs can be maintained continuously, resulting in enhanced completion rates.  Please pass this information on to students.

Recognitions and Accomplishments

*Katrina Arnold (Developmental Studies) has completed the requirements for the Ed.D. degree in Educational Leadership from East Carolina University.

*Deans Stephanie Rook and Dan Mayo plus Scott Temple (English/Humanities) presented at the WorldView UNC conference on “Highlighting Innovation in Global Learning.”  Temple has received an NC Humanities Council grant collaborating with AMEXCAN.

*Akia Little is a GED graduate of Transitional Studies who has earned his Career Readiness Certificate, completed Project Skill-Up, received several certifications through the WIOA NextGen program, worked at Ann’s House of Nuts, and plans to enroll at PCC in January.  His success story was featured publicly.

*Vice President Thomas Gould was recommended to serve in President Margaret Spellings’ “My Future NC” initiative by Interim System President Jennifer Haygood.  It is an honor to have a PCC leader part of this distinguished group.

*Dean Kristin Braswell was selected a Director At-Large for the Pitt County Chamber of Commerce in 2018.

*Assistant VP Jasmin Spain and Admissions Rep Jermaine McNair (Student Services) received the WNCT’s Southern Star Awards in October and November.

The Bulldogs Men’s Basketball team is off and running with a 5-2 record to date with their next home game on December 9 at 3 PM against Louisburg.  An NBA scout called me after their recent loss at Richard Bland College and remarked how well the players conducted themselves when three were sidelined by questionable calls.  Dignity under fire is never easy!  Good job, Coach Mullins.

Best wishes for a great holiday season after exams – rest up for a strong start in January!

                                                            G. Dennis Massey, President