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Kuykendall to Speak to PCC's Class of 2011

Dr. Judith KuykendallWINTERVILLE—Pitt Community College will hold its annual spring commencement May 13 with Dr. Judith Kuykendall addressing members of the school’s 2011 graduating class.

Kuykendall, who worked at PCC for 30 years before retiring in 2000, played a key role in developing the college’s health science offerings. She began in 1970, teaching students in the practical nursing program before eventually becoming dean of the Health Sciences Division.

“I was so blessed to be (at PCC) during such a time of growth,” Kuykendall said. “It was an exciting time as we expanded to give more students the opportunity to have careers in the health profession.”

A Greenville native, Kuykendall had 20 students in her first class at PCC, 17 of whom graduated. She helped the college develop an associate degree nursing program in 1974 and became the program’s first director.

Kuykendall also worked with Pitt County Memorial Hospital (PCMH) to create a number of medical specialty programs at PCC, including respiratory care, medical sonography and nuclear medicine.

“I was privileged to be involved in the growth and development of health sciences programs at PCC,” Kuykendall said, adding that she enjoyed having the opportunity to “help people understand that they can make their lives better through education.”

While working at PCC, Kuykendall also served nine years on the N.C. Center for Nursing, which was created to ensure the state’s nursing workforce could meet the needs of its citizens. As part of her work with the center, she helped establish an articulation between North Carolina’s four-year institutions and community colleges regarding the transfer of nursing classes.

A 1970 East Carolina University nursing graduate, Kuykendall also earned a master’s from the school in 1975. She received a doctorate in education from N.C. State University in 1995 and was inducted into the ECU College of Nursing Hall of Fame on Feb. 25.

For the past 10 years, Kuykendall has worked for University Health Systems of Eastern North Carolina as an internal consultant at PCMH and several regional hospitals.

Kuykendall and her husband, Bill, a retired math teacher and high school coach, have three children: 37-year-old Jay, a chemist; 35-year-old Lori, a middle school teacher; and 29-year-old Mark, an architect.

Next month’s PCC graduation ceremony will begin at 7 p.m. in Minges Coliseum on the East Carolina University campus.