PCC Global Finds Ways to Promote International Learning Despite Pandemic

Photo of Warren Cupola with autumn leaves in the foreground.

WINTERVILLE—Pitt Community College’s efforts to provide opportunities for international learning continued unabated this year, despite travel limitations and restrictions on in-person gatherings as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Utilizing virtual technology, PCC Global organized a variety of programming throughout 2020 to bring global perspectives to students, employees and the community.

For faculty, PCC Global teamed with the college’s Teaching and Learning Department to offer instructors one-on-one assistance with globalizing courses. It also secured scholarships for several faculty members to attend professional development opportunities offered by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s World View program.

In October, PCC Global held “Fire at the Crossroads” live on YouTube in collaboration with East Carolina University’s (ECU) Ethnic Studies and English Department and Pitt’s English & Humanities Department and Multicultural Activities Committee. The program featured live commentary and a poetry reading by N.C. Poet Laureate Jaki Shelton Green in addition to a panel discussion by PCC and ECU students.

“Using the vehicle of literature, we were able to discuss a variety of diverse themes, including intersectionality, social justice and ethnic disparities,” said Regina Garcia, a PCC English instructor who also serves as PCC Global programs coordinator.

More recently, Garcia said PCC Global organized a virtual celebration of International Education Week 2020 (IEW2020). The events, she said, took place Nov. 16-20 on Facebook and were open to the public.

“PCC faculty and staff, including President Lawrence Rouse, played a key role in our International Education Week celebration by providing personal travel stories, perspectives, and photo and video images of their cultural interactions around the world,” Garcia said. “Each day of IEW2020, we made multiple posts on the PCC Global Facebook page to engage visitors and promote the importance of international education and travel.”