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PCC Presents Academic Excellence Awards to 50 of Its Best and Brightest Students

By Rob Goldberg Jr.
PCC Media Relations Director

PCC presented Academic Excellence Awards to 50 of its best and brightest this month in recognition of their classroom achievements and volunteerism.


WINTERVILLE—Pitt Community College held its annual Academic Excellence Awards program this month to honor 50 top students for excellence in the classroom, on campus and in the community.

The ceremony, which took place March 21 in the Craig F. Goess Student Center, featured remarks from PCC President G. Dennis Massey, who said the student honorees represent future employees and leaders who will bring new ideas to the region.

“… I have seen firsthand the high quality of our current students as well as our alumni, who are assuming vital roles in Pitt County, eastern North Carolina and beyond,” Massey said. “These students being honored today demonstrate the power of talent, example and creativity on our campus.”

All of the students recognized were nominated by PCC faculty and staff. During the ceremony, they received special medallions crafted by the college’s Machining Technology students to commemorate their achievement.

In addition to the medallion presentations, the program featured a speech by Academic Excellence Award recipient Elena Sandina, a Medical Office Administration student from Moldova.

In nominating Sandina for her award, Sociology Instructor Happy Gingras said she deserved the honor because she is hardworking, respectful and “a shining example of the American success story.”

Sandina, who has a 3.67 GPA, said coming to the United States and studying at PCC has been a dream come true. She said she and her husband, Alex, had been given a warm welcome and that she is grateful for the support she has received from PCC faculty and staff.

A Sunday school teacher at Greenville’s Oakmont Baptist Church who supports many worthy causes with her time, Sandina also received this year’s President’s Award worth $500 for outstanding academics, leadership, volunteerism and service to the college.

Several other special awards were also presented during the academic excellence program.

La’Quon Rogers, president of the PCC Student Government Association and a PCC Student Ambassador, received the President’s Scholarship worth $1,000 to help pay for tuition and fees as he pursues a two-year university transfer degree.

An Ayden native, Rogers also received an Academic Excellence Award from PCC as well as the N.C. Community College System Academic Excellence Award, which is given annually to a student at each of the state’s 58 community colleges in recognition of outstanding achievement in the classroom and volunteerism. Greenville’s Scott Shook, a member of the State Board of Community Colleges, presented Rogers with his award on behalf of the N.C. Community College System.

Division Awards were presented to students Samantha Gurganus (Arts and Sciences), Russell Maysey (Business), Randy Allen (Construction and Industrial Technology), Tarena Scott (Health Sciences) and Brian Hill (Public Services and Fine Arts). Each student will receive $250 through the award.

Special awards were also given to several students for excellence in Developmental Studies courses. This year’s recipients were Amanda Alnadesh, Olivia Davis and Heidi Pilgreen.

Alnadesh, an Associate in Arts student with a 4.0 GPA, was also an Academic Excellence Award recipient.

A pair of PCC student-athletes received recognition for outstanding classroom achievement. Volleyball player Jordan Woolard, an Associate in Science major, received the 2014 Female Student-Athlete Award while Zachary Holton, a baseball player and respiratory therapy student, received the Male Student-Athlete Award. Both athletes received $250 as part of their award.