PCC Recognizes Employee Service, Distributes Special Awards

Trish Gaither and Becky Godley holding their respective employee recognition awards outside of PCC's Eddie & Jo Allison Smith Center for Student Advancement.


WINTERVILLE—Pitt Community College held its annual employee recognition program Monday to honor outstanding faculty and staff members and celebrate employees who have achieved various milestones with regard to years of service with the college.

Three employees – John Carrere, Michelle Daniels and Becky Godley – received Staff Excellence Awards for their extraordinary contributions during the 2023-24 academic year. From that group, Godley was selected to receive the 2024 Joan and Ed Warren Staff Employee of the Year Award — the top honor for PCC staff members.

“I was really surprised to even be nominated for a Staff Excellence Award and even more so to move on and receive the actual Warren Staff Employee of the Year Award,” Godley said. “I really appreciate the nomination, and receiving the award hopefully confirms that I was able to help someone who needed help and hopefully carried it out in a professional manner.”

Godley has worked in PCC’s Payroll Department since September 2008, when she was hired by the college as payroll technician. The Pitt County native says she enjoys meeting and getting to know people, working with numbers, and assisting others, which makes her job at PCC an ideal fit for her personality.

“What gives me the greatest joy is the opportunity to help someone,” she says. “It may be helping someone understand their paycheck, their contract, why their taxes increased or decreased, assisting with completion of a timesheet or paperwork, explaining how or when they are paid, or it could be as simple as assisting someone in the hallway with directions.”

Earlier this year, the PCC Faculty Senate presented Sociology Instructor Trish Gaither with the Joseph E. Downing Award for Excellence in Teaching, which is the college’s top honor for faculty members. She was one of four Faculty Excellence Award winners this year, along with Glynis Mullins, Dr. Borgella Saint-Ulysse and Christopher Young.

Gaither, a Newton native, began working at PCC as an adjunct sociology instructor in August 2015, after moving to Greenville with her husband. She was hired full-time two years later and named Lead Sociology Instructor in January 2023.

Gaither says receiving the Downing Award “means a lot” to her and that she is grateful her students “acknowledge the effort and enthusiasm” she puts into her classes and their success.

“There is nothing more rewarding than to be recognized for your hard work in a field in which you are passionate,” she said. “I am humbled by this honor, because I know so many at PCC who are doing wonderful things, and it is because of their influence that I have earned this achievement. My department is great, and I deeply appreciate all their support and comradery.”

In addition to teaching sociology, she is an academic advisor for Associate in General Education students and, for the past six years, faculty advisor of the college’s LGBTQ student club. She is also a certified equity coach for the N.C. Community College System, having completed training for that role in 2021.

Gaither says the best part of working at Pitt is the administration’s emphasis on professional development. She says attending UC-Berkeley’s “Othering and Belonging Conference” in 2022 changed her “core teaching values,” and she credits the Effective College Instruction certification she earned from the Association of College and University Educators with helping her view decisions she makes as an instructor through “a lens of student success.”

“My main goal is for all my students to feel like they belong here at PCC, which shapes the fundamental ways in which I interact with them,” Gaither said.

In addition to special awards, this year’s employee recognition program included the presentation of 65 service awards to employees with a combined 745 years of service to PCC, including Math Instructor Vandana Srivastava with 30 years.