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PCC Holds Employee Appreciation Evening

By Rob Goldberg Jr.
PCC Media Relations Director

Jessica Sides, left, received the 2014 Joan and Ed Warren Staff Employee of the Year Award while Kelly Jones received the 2014 Joseph E. Downing Award for Excellence in Teaching.


WINTERVILLE—Pitt Community College celebrated employee achievements last month with the 31st Annual Employee Appreciation and Recognition Evening at Rock Springs Center.

During the program, which took place April 25, the college presented 53 service awards to employees with a combined 590 years of service. PCC also honored recent retirees and announced the recipients of several special awards.

The 2014 Joan and Ed Warren Staff Employee of the Year Award was presented to Jessica Sides, who serves as administrative secretary to the English and Humanities Department. A PCC graduate, she plays an integral role in her department, including assistance with contracts, grades, attendance reports and registration.

Those who nominated Sides for the Warren Award stated that “she organizes her tasks so well, she seems to be completing several at once.” They also noted her intelligence, “ready smile” and “sure-I-can-help attitude.”

Sides says the award has made her aware that her contributions to the college are appreciated. “Regardless of our role on campus, we can all play a part in helping students realize their goals,” she said, adding that she was both “stunned and honored” to receive the recognition.

Sides was one of five Staff Excellence Award recipients this year along with Mistie Butler, Marianne Cox, Mike Shreves and Jody Venters.

Five instructors—Jaysen Arno, Gina Cox, Kelly Jones, Michael Nicholson and Allyson Woolard—were presented with Faculty Excellence Awards during the employee appreciation event. Of the five, Jones was named the 2014 Joseph E. Downing Award for Excellence in Teaching recipient.

Students have stated that Jones’s communications classes are “fun and enjoyable” and that they truly look forward to going to class. Others noted that Jones encourages her students to think for themselves.

Jones, who received a bachelor’s degree from Meredith College before earning a master’s in communication studies from East Carolina University, says that oddly enough, teaching found her.

“I was asked to teach a course during my graduate studies, and after my first semester of teaching, I knew I was where I belonged,” she said. “The communication discipline is one that all individuals will use every day for the rest of their lives.”

Jones said receiving the Downing Award was an honor. It shows that a “combination of hard work, dedication and passion will truly pay off in the end,” she said, adding that “it signifies that my student-centered pedagogical practices and an engaging, supportive classroom environment are making an impact on the lives of students.”

As this year’s Downing Award recipient, Jones will now serve as PCC’s nominee for the N.C. Community College System’s teaching excellence award.

Also honored during this year’s employee appreciation program were six employees who have either retired or will soon retire. Mary Daughtry, Bob DeSoto, Betty Foreman, Kay Gooding, Bill Hill and Donnie Lee were given the Order of the Long Leaf Pine – one of the highest honors North Carolina’s governor can bestow upon a citizen of the Tar Heel State – for contributing more than 30 years of dedicated and enthusiastic service to the State of North Carolina.