2017 PCC Year-in-Review: Part III (Sept.-Dec.)

WINTERVILLE—The announcement of President G. Dennis Massey’s departure this summer, a unique NASA training experience, fundraising and jobs highlighted the final four months of 2017 for Pitt Community College.

As a new year begins, the following is the final of three installments recapping the events that took place at North Carolina’s sixth-largest community college in 2017.

• PCC holds “Bethel Business Before Hours” to show members of the Bethel business community how the college can serve them through a combination of curriculum programs, customized training and recruitment services.
• A Financial Wellness Expo at the start of a new semester gives students a chance to meet face-to-face with representatives from the financial services industry to learn about money management.
• PCC trustees welcome three new members to their ranks when the Governor’s Office appoints Shirley Carraway and Charles Ellis to the board, and Pitt County Commissioners select Gary Evans to serve.
• A little more than 14 years after his first day on the job at Pitt, President G. Dennis Massey announces that he will be officially stepping down from his role with the college in the summer of 2018.
• The N.C. Chamber Foundation presents PCC officials with a certificate stating that Pitt County has met Work Ready criteria, which includes a commitment to workforce excellence, improved high school graduation rates, achieving a target number of National Career Readiness Certificates (NCRC), and gaining assurance from employers that they will utilize NCRC assessments in their employment practices.
• Through a new Foreign Language Department initiative, American Sign Language and French students participate in a peer teaching exercise.
• The PCC Foundation celebrates student scholarship recipients and thanks donors for their generosity during a reception on campus in which it was reported the organization had already awarded $286,075 in scholarships during the 2017-18 academic year.
• Hundreds of students take advantage of the opportunity to talk jobs with representatives from area business and industry as part of CareerFest. Attendees gain valuable insight on local employment options and the skills, education and training needed to obtain and succeed in them.
• The PCC Foundation’s annual Fall Golf Classic takes place at Greenville Country Club. Sunny skies and warm temperatures greet the 144 golfers who participate in the tournament and help raise more than $18,000 for the benefit of Pitt students.
• Employee Zachary Cleghorn is honored by his alma mater, when he receives the David J. Smith Leadership Award from East Carolina University. A former Marine who served in Afghanistan, Cleghorn receives $1,000 through the award, which was established in memory of an ECU student who died in Afghanistan in 2010 while serving as a sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps.
• Representatives from the Greenville Golden K Kiwanis Foundation present a $1,000-scholarship to Automotive Systems student Joshua Sweezy in memory of former Golden K member Ed Ricks.
• Staff members Jasmin Spain and Nicholas Vick share their thoughts on classroom management and student conduct in relation to retention outcomes and student success with ECU faculty.
• Having successfully completed a five-week online orientation session, student Liam Hutchins gets a firsthand look at the daily life of a NASA engineer and what he hopes will one day be his future when he visits the Langley Research Center as part of the NASA Community College Aerospace Scholars program.
• PCC Athletics holds its “Bulldog 150” fundraiser to generate revenue for the college’s four intercollegiate sports teams.

• The PCC Alumni Association honors four outstanding graduates—Jessica Yelverton, Lisa Owens, Jennifer Smith and La’Quon Rogers—for their accomplishments professionally, in the community and in service to the college.
• Representatives from the Pitt County American Legion Agricultural Fair present a $3,000-donation to the PCC nursing program that will help pay for its May 2018 pinning ceremony for 85 students.
• Students, faculty and staff participate in “Stomp It Out Walk,” a Truth Initiative event that raises awareness of a potential smoke-free PCC campus.
• A trio of professionals from Pitt County nonprofit organizations, including PCC Vice President of Institutional Advancement Susan Nobles, completes a week of training at Duke University to earn the prestigious Duke Executive Certificate in Nonprofit Leadership.
• PCC’s Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Honor Society chapter welcomes 83 new members to its ranks for demonstrating high academic achievement at the college.
• Students, faculty and staff from the PCC Public Services and Fine Arts Division collect hundreds of stuffed animals for N.C. State Highway Patrolmen to use when comforting children they may encounter when responding to incidents.
• WITN-TV News Anchor Lynnette Taylor is the keynote speaker at a TRiO Works conference on campus.

• The 16th Annual Down East Holiday Show features a record 191 vendors selling various foods, art, music, jewelry, decorations and accessories to draw 11,460 shoppers through the doors of the Greenville Convention Center and raise more than $141,000 for the PCC Foundation.
• Retired Marine Maggie Weder speaks to attendees gathered for the 20th Annual PCC Veterans Salute, recounting details of a remarkable life highlighted by an exemplary 22-year military career and courageous, 25-year battle with multiple sclerosis.
• The PCC Science Department hosts a Chemistry Boot Camp to help eight Parrott Academy juniors prepare for the 2018 N.C. Science Olympiad.
• Having generated more than $250,000 for student scholarships and educational activities through three fall fundraisers, PCC Foundation officials count their blessings during a time of thanksgiving.
• “Advanced Manufacturing and STEM Awareness Day” takes place at the college, giving more than 100 Pitt County high school students a firsthand look at a number of STEM careers, including welding, architecture, construction, electronics engineering and biotechnology.
• PCC’s commitment to professional development for employees continues with the 14th installment of the college’s annual Leadership Institute. The program features seminars and activities that foster interaction among 35 participants and encourage them to find ways of contributing their leadership qualities to the college’s educational mission.
• PCC’s chapter of the National Society of Leadership and Success (NSLS) earns the Founder’s List Award for the very first time by completing nine of the organization’s 10 Pillars of Success through community service and events focused on leadership, success and networking.
• Business North Carolina magazine highlights a partnership between PCC and ECU to provide pharmaceutical and laboratory services training to employees at Mayne Pharma, Thermo Fisher Scientific and other biotech companies.

• After parking their razors for an entire month, several of PCC’s ‘No-Shave November’ participants are on hand to present a $390-check to the American Cancer Society’s McConnell-Raab Hope Lodge. All told, 18 faculty and staff members participate in the fundraiser, in which they were asked to donate money they would have normally spent on haircuts and grooming in November to Hope Lodge, which provides free lodging to hundreds of cancer patients undergoing treatment each year.
• PCC Career Services organizes a career fair to give area employers a chance to meet and interact with Construction and Industrial Technology students. The event features 19 employers speaking with more than 80 students about their companies, available jobs, and internship opportunities specifically related to skilled trades.
• For the second year in a row, the PCC Farmville Center opens its doors for tours, music and refreshments as part of “A Taste of Farmville,” a community gathering that gives Farmville merchants and businesses a chance to thank customers for their patronage.
• The Tutorial and Academic Success Center adds a new certification from the College Reading & Learning Association’s International Tutor Training Program Certification team to its growing list of accomplishments.
• Students are encouraged to participate in CompePITTch’in, a contest that will take place in February to give prospective business owners an opportunity to pitch business ideas for cash grants, practice delivering pitches, and network with other entrepreneurs.
• Early Childhood Education student Amira Ali is selected as North Carolina’s sole recipient of the Society State of Mind Award from NSLS.
• The State Employees’ Credit Union Foundation awards $5,000-scholarships to health sciences students Hope Jones and Alexandra Woolard through its “People Helping People” program.
• Cleghorn speaks with local Crisis Intervention Team members about mental health issues facing the nation’s military veterans.
• More than 200 students participate in “Exam Jam,” an event that features tutoring assistance, test-taking tips, study groups and pet therapy to help them prepare for finals.
• PCC hosts the 6th Annual Association of Mexicans in North Carolina Community Leadership Awards. Several PCC employees and groups receive awards for their work with AMEXCAN, which is committed to “fostering the appreciation, understanding and prosperity of the Mexican and Latino community through advocacy, culture, education, health and leadership.”
• The inaugural “Males Addressing Issues and Needs” program brings an impressive group of professionals from the region to campus in order to help Pitt County high school seniors prepare for the future. Organized by PCC’s Steffen McGhee and Jasmin Spain, this year’s M.A.I.N. Man Award was dedicated to the memory of former PCC student Edward Turner, a co-founder of the college’s NEXT LEVEL Minority Male Mentoring program who died in a car accident in August.