2012 Year-in-Review: Part II (May-August)
Hard work paid off in the form of graduation, grants and a new campus police headquarters during the spring and early summer at Pitt Community College. It also resulted in life-saving action by nursing student Chelsea Gibbons, who called upon her PCC training to save the life of a 19-year-old athlete, after he nearly died in a July 4 accident.
What follows is part two of a look back at the news taking place at PCC between May and August of 2012.
• Administrators cut the ribbon on the new Construction and Industrial Technology Building and Facilities Services Complex. The buildings add more than 90,000 square feet of instructional space, offices and storage areas to the west side of campus at a cost of $10.2 million.
• A group of students and employees travel to Belize to learn about the coastal nation’s cultures and traditions as part of a study abroad program.
• Students Allison Paige Chappell, Caroline Killmon, Mark Loomis and Olivia Steward receive the Pitt Golden K Kiwanis/Clifton E. Boyd Nursing Scholarship.
• The Men's Resource Center organizes the first-ever Division Domination Flag Football Tournament to give students a chance to relieve stress before exams. Eighty-eight participants battle for bragging rights before a team from the Health Sciences Division claims the top prize.
• Members of PCC’s Class of 2012 turn their tassels during spring commencement in East Carolina University’s Minges Coliseum. Out of 1,197 graduates, 484 take part in the ceremony. SGA President Jason Donica speaks on behalf of the graduating class.
• During graduation administrators present a Distinguished Service Award to the retiring Susan Everett, Vice President of Administrative Services.
• VISIONS celebrates the graduation of 52 student participants representing each of Pitt County’s six high schools.
• Basic Skills receives a $26,557-English Literacy/Civics Education Grant from the U.S. Department of Education to develop online resources that will expand civics instruction for English as a Second Language students.
• Preliminary data from the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics shows PCC was among the nation’s top institutions when it came to awarding associate degrees to African-Americans during the 2010-11 academic year.
• With a time of 18 minutes and 16 seconds, Pink Hill’s Oscar Gutierrez crosses the finish line 19 seconds ahead of second-place Edgar Bautista to win the 2nd Annual Pitt Community College Bulldog Run. The event raises $5,170 for the PCC Foundation.
• Student Development Services personnel overhaul the new student orientation process and hold 10 sessions throughout the month to provide students with important information on services available at the college and educational requirements of their respective programs of study. The sessions also give newcomers a chance to meet with academic advisors and sign up for fall classes
• For the second straight year, a PCC pre-engineering student receives a Community College STEM Scholarship through the N.C. Space Grant program when Joseph Warner is selected for the award.
• Health Information Technology’s (HIT) Kay Gooding and Carol Walston take part in an invitation-only meeting at the White House on how HIT can improve health care quality and patient health.
• President G. Dennis Massey writes a letter-to-the-editor in The Daily Reflector stressing the need for full community college funding in the General Assembly’s 2012-13 state budget.
• PCC turns to a new automated system for processing financial aid applications, and the result is amazing. Before the automated system, it took four to six weeks to process files. With it, processing takes as little as a week or two.
• The PCC Foundation announces that Ayden’s Brandon Garris is the first-ever recipient of the Timothy Oakley Scholarship, an award for future fire/rescue personnel created to honor a student who died in a 2006 automobile accident.
• A little more than two months into their studies, Forestry Equipment Operator students send their first load of pulpwood to Plymouth’s Domtar paper mill.
• Campus expansion west of Reedy Branch Road prompts the college to purchase a pair of Global Electric Motorcars to help employees continue providing campus services efficiently.
• Basic Skills receives approval of an $8,204-Project IDEAL grant to begin a distance learning program for select English as a Second Language students.
• PCC’s partnership with China’s Wuxi Institute of Technology passes an important milestone when 35 students from the Chinese vocational school receive degrees and/or certificates through the collaboration.
• The PCC Alumni Association sells “Bulldog Bites” cookbooks to raise money for student scholarships and educational activities at the college. The book features 168 recipes submitted by PCC alumni, employees and retirees as well as friends of the college.
• PCC nursing student Chelsea Gurganus calls on her training to assist Duke University football player Blair Holliday after he nearly dies in a jet skiing accident on Lake Tillery. Her skill and quick reaction to administer CPR keeps the 19-year-old athlete alive until he can be taken to a nearby hospital.
• PCC administrators announce that Andrew Walker will serve as director of Career and Academic Planning. In his new role, is responsible for overseeing implementation of the college’s Quality Enhancement Plan, which is an integral part of PCC’s pursuit of reaccreditation from the Southern Association of Schools Commission on Colleges.
• PCC Police move into a new 3,000-square-foot building on campus that features a processing area, interview room, locker room and offices for the department’s chief, captain and sergeant. Each officer has a work station in the new facility and computer access. In addition to more working space for officers and staff, the lobby area of the new headquarters makes it easier for the department to assist students registering for parking passes and ID cards.
• PCC announces Juan Pimienta, a native of Uruguay, will teach at the college through the prestigious Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant Program (FLTA). Pimienta becomes the third instructor to teach at Pitt through the program, following in the footsteps of Valeria Guerra and Xiu-Wen Lin, who taught Spanish and Mandarin, respectively, during the 2011-12 academic year.
• President G. Dennis Massey announces that Donald Heisey has been chosen to take over as vice president of administrative services when Susan Everett retires at the end of September.
• Massey sits down for an interview to discuss his one-year term he has just completed at the helm of the N.C. Association of Community College Presidents (NCACCP). For 12 months, he presided over numerous N.C. Community College System (NCCCS) functions and convened monthly meetings with the state’s 58 community college presidents—all while continuing to carry out his duties with PCC.
• New student ambassadors participate in three days of intensive leadership training to prepare for their duties during the academic year.
• PCC employees meet for convocation to reflect upon the previous 12 months, introduce new workers, catch up on the latest news and events, and prepare for the academic year ahead. The event features President Massey’s “State of the College” remarks in which he thanks employees for their efforts to support students and improve college services and reminds them that PCC is playing a key role in helping Eastern North Carolina recover economically.
• Roads on campus are given names in order to establish addresses for campus buildings in Pitt County’s E-911 system. The road between the Vernon E. White and Robert Lee Humber buildings is named Spaulding Street in honor of the college’s first president, Lloyd Spaulding. The street connecting Fulford Drive and Reedy Branch Road is named for ardent PCC supporter Eddie Smith Street, and the road running between the Craig F. Goess Student Center and the main student parking lot is called Bulldog Run.
• PCC and N.C. Wesleyan College sign a memorandum of understanding that will allow Wesleyan to begin teaching business administration courses on the Pitt campus in January. President Massey says that having N.C. Wesleyan offer courses at Pitt to the college’s graduating students so they are able to remain in Greenville while pursuing bachelor’s degrees is “positive news” and will likely stimulate a higher associate degree completion rate at PCC.
• The State Employees’ Credit Union Foundation presents scholarships to Polysomnography student Tammie Taylor-Graham and Fine Arts student Margaret Storck. Each student will receive $5,000 ($2,500 per year for two years) through their awards to be used toward tuition and other educational expenses.