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Students Honored for Classroom Excellence and Service to Campus and Community

PCC President G. Dennis Massey says the annual Academic Excellence Awards program represents "a special day on the college calendar" in which Pitt's "mission and goals are tangibly displayed in the students being recognized" during the event.


WINTERVILLE—Pitt Community College recently presented Academic Excellence Awards to more than 50 of its best and brightest students for excellence in the classroom, on campus and in the community.

The annual ceremony took place March 31 and featured remarks from PCC President G. Dennis Massey, who said the student honorees represented “new thinkers” and future employees for area businesses and industries. Based on the accomplishments the students have already achieved, he said Pitt County’s future is bright and PCC employees can take heart knowing their efforts are paying off.

“Student success is our success,” Massey said, adding that the college had witnessed a significant increase in the number of students graduating within the past few years.

All of the students honored last month were nominated by PCC employees. During the ceremony, they received special medallions crafted by the college’s Machining Technology students to commemorate their achievement.

In addition to medallion presentations, the program included remarks from Academic Excellence Award recipient Angel Andrade, who described what PCC has meant to him as a student.

A Robersonville native, Andrade said he had intended to play NCAA Division I football out of high school. But when his football plans didn’t work out, he enrolled at Pitt to begin his higher educational journey.

After a bumpy start, Andrade said he found people at Pitt who cared about his classroom success. He began utilizing the many support services offered at PCC and saw his grades improve dramatically.

“I met friends, important instructors and mentors,” he said.

Now a Dean’s List student with a 3.65 GPA, Andrade says he plans to pursue a four-year degree in economics for a career in the financial industry. Earlier this spring, he was named PCC’s recipient of the N.C. Community College System (NCCCS) Academic Excellence Award.

“Angel is a very driven and focused student,” said PCC Next Level Advisor Kenneth Joyner, who was one of several faculty and staff members to nominate Andrade for his NCCCS honor. “… He exemplifies leadership and academic excellence.”

This year’s Academic Excellence program also featured the presentation of several special awards by the PCC Foundation.

William Norville, a Dean’s List student with a 3.74 GPA, received the 2017 President’s Scholarship worth $1,000 to help pay for tuition and fees as he pursues a degree in Information Technology: Computer Programming and Development. Away from the classroom, Norville volunteers with several worthy causes, including the Farmville Soup Kitchen, and organizes a group study program for students at the PCC Farmville Center.

Dana Morgan, a Paralegal Technology student with a 3.62 GPA, received this year’s President’s Award worth $500 for outstanding academics, leadership, volunteerism and service to the college. Also a Dean’s List student, he is a community outreach volunteer and member of the PCC Paralegal Association, Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and PCC’s chapter of National Society of Leadership and Success.

Division Awards were presented to students Cassandra Suedbeck (Arts and Sciences), Mary Buck (Business), Gustavo Smith (Construction and Industrial Technology), Allison Lennon (Health Sciences) and Orisha Cooper (Public Services and Fine Arts). Each received $250 through the award.

Special awards were also given to several students for excellence in Developmental Studies courses. This year’s recipients were Hyunsuk Lee, Aaliyah Smith and Shaima Alamari. Lee and Smith received $125 for their awards while Alamari was awarded $250, since she was also an Academic Excellence Award recipient.

A pair of PCC student-athletes received recognition for outstanding classroom success. Softball player Haley Wright, an Associate in Arts major with a 3.92 GPA, received the 2017 Female Student-Athlete Award, in addition to an Academic Excellence Award. Billy Bodette, a basketball player and Associate in Arts student, received the Male Student-Athlete Award. Both athletes received $250 through the honor.

Lennon was named PCC’s nominee for NCCCS’s Gov. Robert W. Scott Leadership Award. Morgan was announced as PCC’s nominee for NCCCS’s Dallas Herring Award, and Andrade was nominated for the 2017 All-USA Community College Academic Team.