2021 PCC Year-in-Review: Part I (January – April)
WINTERVILLE—With campus closed to the public, nearly every class and student support service taking place online, and most employees teleworking due to the pandemic, Pitt Community College continued to fulfill its educational mission in 2021.
There were many highlights for PCC in the first four months of 2021, including honors for outstanding faculty and staff, students earning awards for academic excellence, and new partnerships focused on training the region’s workforce. Perhaps the most significant bright spot came in March, when PCC celebrated 60 years of excellence in higher education.
As 2022 approaches, the following is the first of three installments recapping the past 12 months at PCC.
- PCC Small Business Center Counselor Debbie Hathaway’s efforts to guide restaurant owner Richard Williams through the economic turmoil created by COVID-19 earn a “Centers of Excellence Award” from the N.C. Community College System (NCCCS) Small Business Center Network.
- The 9th Annual MLK Scholarship Tribute takes place virtually, featuring remarks from Greenville Mayor P.J. Connelly, a keynote speech by businessman, author and community mentor Garrett Taylor, and scholarship presentations to students Jessica Schroeder, Makole Sichone and Ben Craven.
- VISIONS Director Rebecca Warren is selected for a 40 Under Forty Leadership Award from East Carolina University (ECU). She becomes the third Pitt employee to earn the prestigious recognition, joining John Carrere (2020) and Katrina Arnold (2018).
- The U.S. Department of Education announces PCC as one of 95 finalists in its $750,000-Rethink Adult Ed Challenge, a national competition to advance pre-apprenticeships for adult learners.
- College administrators welcome the results of a study conducted in the fall, showing PCC’s campus climate has become increasingly more positive over the past five years.
- Instructor Daniela Long’s commitment to creating learning environments that establish clear pathways for student success pays off when her MAT 143 Quantitative Literacy course earns the Quality Matters Certification Mark, an internationally-recognized symbol of course excellence.
- To further development of a skilled regional workforce in high-demand career fields, PCC signs several agreements with nearby Martin Community College regarding transfer into Pitt’s Associate in Engineering, Biotechnology, Computer Integrated Machining and Mechanical Engineering programs.
- The college celebrates Black History Month with a series of virtual events, including presentations on noted black composers and a student panel discussion.
- PCC Student Ambassador Joshua Furlough is one of the first North Carolina community college transfers selected to participate in ECU’s Honors College.
- VIQTORY, an organization dedicated to serving the nation’s military community, once again includes PCC on its list of “Military Friendly Schools.”
- PCC administrators and new NCCCS President Thomas Stith III meet virtually with legislators to discuss budget priorities they hope the General Assembly will address in 2021, including employee salary increases and full funding for community colleges to help the state recover economically from the pandemic.
- PCC holds a weeklong celebration to commemorate its 60th Anniversary. Festivities include a video featuring current President Lawrence Rouse and former presidents Charles E. Russell and G. Dennis Massey sharing thoughts on their service at Pitt and the college’s growth and achievements.
- For the second straight year, VISIONS provides laptops to 80 new participants, thanks to the generosity of Altice USA and Durham’s Kramden Institute.
- State Board of Education members join N.C. Department of Public Instruction officials on a visit to the PCC campus for a closer look at the successful PCC-Pitt County Schools Technical Academy.
- PCC signs an agreement with ECU’s College of Business, establishing a new pathway for Pitt grads to earn bachelor’s degrees in business.
- Though he’s been on the job less than a year, PCC graduate Tyler Brooks receives a PHIL Award from the Family and Caregiver Education and Support Foundation for his work as a registered respiratory therapist at Vidant Medical Center.
- The PCC Foundation raises $9,200 for student scholarships through a two-day Food Truck Fair at the Pitt County Fairgrounds.
- During its annual Women’s History Month celebration, Vice President of Institutional Advancement Marianne Cox receives the 2021 Woman of Substance Award for going the extra mile to assist students, colleagues and the community.
- In response to the state’s critical shortage of qualified teachers, PCC announces it is adding a pair of new associate degree options to give more students an opportunity to become licensed elementary, middle and high school educators.
- The PCC Foundation’s Outdoor Living Tour & “Chair-ity” Auction combines three fundraisers—outdoor living tour, plant sale and chair auction—into one to raise more than $17,000 for student scholarships and educational activities.
- PCC participates in #CCMonth, a national campaign by the Association of Community College Trustees to highlight the economic, academic and equity advantages of community colleges and dispel longtime stigmas wrongly associated with the schools.
- NCCCS President Stith visits PCC’s campus as part of an effort to learn more about each of the 58 institutions he oversees. His tour includes stops in biotechnology and industrial systems as well as Pitt’s simulation hospital. At each stop, Stith hears from faculty about the importance of having proper facilities and equipment to train a skilled workforce.
- The first group of students participating in a pilot program for nursing assistants graduates. The program stems from a partnership between PCC and Vidant Medical Center to meet the hospital’s growing need for skilled Nurse Aide IIs.
- PCC honors five faculty members – Tamara Flynn, Christopher Harrison, Jennifer Leigh, Daniela Long and Ryan Spruill – for teaching excellence. From the group, Long receives the school’s highest honor for instructors — the Joseph E. Downing Award for Excellence in Teaching.
- To address local need for skilled masons, the N.C. Masonry Contractors Association helps the college restart masonry training.
- PCC’s Psi Beta National Honor Society for Psychology for Community and Junior Colleges chapter inducts 24 new members.