PCC Holds Employee Appreciation Evening
WINTERVILLE—Pitt Community College celebrated employee achievements this month with the 28th Annual Employee Appreciation and Recognition Evening at the Greenville Convention Center.
During the program, which took place April 15, the college honored recent retirees and presented a total of 63 service awards to employees who had a combined 685 years of service to the college. A number of special awards were also announced as part of the event.
The 2011 Joan and Ed Warren Staff Employee of the Year Award was presented to Rick Owens. As the college’s Assistant Vice President of Information Technology and Services, he is responsible for providing vision, leadership and coordination for information technology across campus.
A Pitt County native, Owens began working at Pitt in May 2006 as a systems administrator in the Administrative Computing Department. Two years later, he became Director of Infrastructure Services before eventually assuming his current role in January 2010.
“I'm honored to receive the award on behalf of my entire team,” Owens said. “It is through the effort of everyone within the IT Department that we received this recognition.
“Over the past couple of years, we have put in a lot of effort—teaming with many great people outside of our department—to assist PCC in reaching its goals and serving our community. I'm honored and lucky to work with such a great group people on a daily basis.”
Owens was one of five Staff Excellence Award recipients this year along with Catherine Cahoon, Happy Gingras, Brandy Maxwell and Kathryn Minnick.
Five instructors—Samantha Chauncey, Cara Herrington, Michael Knight, Jeff Rorer and Wanda Tenpenny—were presented with Faculty Excellence Awards. Out of the five, Rorer, a full-time PCC science instructor since 2004, was named the 2011 Joseph E. Downing Excellence in Teaching Award recipient.
A Winterville resident, Rorer teaches chemistry at PCC, where he began working part-time in August 1999. A world-class marksman away from the classroom, he will now serve as the college’s nominee for the N.C. Community College System’s teaching excellence award.
“I am very appreciative of this award,” Rorer said. “It is a real honor that students and other faculty value my work in the classroom as much as they do. I hope to represent the college well at the state competition.”
For the fourth straight year, college administrators recognized employees for designing and implementing new concepts to improve the delivery of education. This year’s Innovations Award went to Gingras, PCC's Placement Testing/Early Alert Coordinator, and Jasmin Spain, the college's VISIONS & HORIZONS College Coordinator/Early Alert Counselor, for their Financial Aid Probation Initiative (FAPI).
Gingras said FAPI, which is part of the college’s Early Alert System, is a series of workshops created to support students in jeopardy of losing financial aid benefits. She said the seminars help students understand financial aid rules and regulations, develop skills to become more successful in the classroom, and create individual plans to return to satisfactory academic progress.
"This creative approach offers timely intervention to at-risk students through a series of online and face-to-face meetings,” Gingras said. “It is designed to enhance the quality of the student’s education, is cost effective, and could be easily replicated at other institutions.”
After piloting FAPI during the Fall 2010 Semester, Gingras said 76 percent of students who completed the series maintained or increased their grade point averages while 88 percent of them enrolled in classes this spring.
Approximately 1,000 students were invited to participate in FAPI this semester, Gingras said.