Alumni Association Honors Seven Graduates
WINTERVILLE—The Pitt Community College Alumni Association honored seven outstanding graduates this month for their accomplishments professionally, in the community and in service to their alma mater.
Held April 13 in the college’s Craig F. Goess Student Center, the alumni awards program was part of an overall “PCC Alumni Weekend” that included a party at the Hilton Greenville Saturday night and the annual Bulldog Run Sunday afternoon.
During the awards ceremony, PCC’s top alumni honor – the Distinguished Alumni Award –was presented to Dan Nichols. The Outstanding Young Alumni Award went to Justin Smith while Carolina Moreno (Health Sciences), Will Pack (Construction and Industrial Technology) and Thomas Stanfield (Business) earned Outstanding Alumni Awards through their respective academic divisions. PCC instructors Elizabeth Allen and Rosalie Hutchens were named the very first Employee Alumni Award recipients.
A Greenville native, Nichols is a 1977 accounting graduate who is now president of SCA Collections, an accounts receivable collection, management and consulting firm he founded in 1980. Though he could not attend this month’s ceremony, he recorded a video in which he called the Distinguished Alumni Award a great honor.
“In 1975, I came to Pitt Technical Institute unsure of the degree or career I was searching for,” Nichols said. “Two years later, I graduated with an associate degree in accounting and took with me business skills that I have used throughout my career.”
PCC Trustee Don Mills nominated Nichols for the award, calling him “an outstanding community volunteer and a successful businessman.”
In addition to his work with SCA Collections, Nichols has served six years on the Greenville-Pitt County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and was elected its chairman in 2011. He also serves on the N.C Collectors Association Board and has spent time on executive committees for the East Carolina University (ECU) Educational Foundation and the Uptown Greenville Association.
A loyal supporter of PCC Foundation fundraisers through the years, Nichols has also served on the PCC Alumni Association Board of Directors.
“… Our school is a valuable asset to this community,” Nichols said. “It has partnered with business and industry to spawn economic development and train a skilled workforce. We can all be proud of the accomplishments of our school – Pitt Community College.”
Smith, a 2006 PCC Business Administration graduate and former PCC Student Ambassador, has also completed Fayetteville Technical Community College’s Funeral Service Education program. Two years ago, he opened Smith Funeral and Cremation Services in Greenville, an accomplishment that came as no surprise to one of his former instructors, Karen Mozingo.
“Justin’s dedication to his education and career were immediately obvious to me,” Mozingo said. “He was attending classes at two community colleges and working as many hours as possible at (S.G. Wilkerson and Sons Funeral Home and Crematory).
“His grades were excellent,” she continued. “He was always in class and on time. For a young man who was 18 years old at the time, you knew he was going to do great things.”
Moreno received a degree in radiologic technology from PCC in 1988. Though she had a full-time job with ECU’s Leo Jenkins Cancer Center, she still chose to pursue her goal of becoming a radiation therapist in 2003 and eventually earned a diploma in radiation therapy from PCC two years later.
Now retired from ECU’s Brody School of Medicine, Moreno still gives back to her alma mater by providing instruction to students at clinical facilities and serving as an occasional guest lecturer.
Pack, a 2007 Building Construction Technology graduate, transferred to ECU after completing his studies at Pitt and went on to graduate magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in construction management in 2009. For the past two years, he has worked as the building superintendent of Habitat for Humanity of Pitt County.
A branch manager of Woodforest National Bank, Stanfield is a 1999 graduate of PCC’s Business Administration/Marketing & Retailing program. His manager, Charles Pelfrey Jr., called Stanfield “genuine, hard-working and dedicated” and added that his marketing and business knowledge make him one of Woodforest’s top performers each year.
Hutchens, a 2005 therapeutic massage graduate, has served as administrative secretary of Pitt’s Occupational Therapy and Massage Therapy Department since 1995. She is also the owner of Greenville’s Touch Matters Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork and has been an adjunct instructor with PCC’s Therapeutic Massage program.
Wendy Perrini, department chair of PCC’s Occupational Therapy Assistant program, nominated Hutchens for her award and called her “someone you can count on to get the job done.”
Turnage is PCC’s lead study skills instructor. She received an associate in arts degree from the college in 1996 and transferred to ECU, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology.
Foundational Studies Dean Hilda Barrow says Turnage is dedicated to student success and meeting the department’s needs.
“She is highly regarded by colleagues and can be counted on to pitch in whenever needed,” Barrow said. “I am so happy that she decided to become part of our developmental studies team. She is a treasure to us.”