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PCC 2014 Year-in-Review Part I: January-April

By Rob Goldberg Jr.
PCC Media Relations Director

Student achievement, slick dance moves, and a few too many contributions from Old Man Winter are just some of the highlights from the first four months of 2014 at Pitt Community College.


WINTERVILLE—Student achievement, slick dance moves, and a few too many contributions from Old Man Winter are just some of the highlights from the first four months of 2014 at Pitt Community College.

As another year draws to a close, the following is the first of three installments that look back on the events that took place at North Carolina’s seventh-largest community college in 2014.


• Administrators cut the ribbon on a new home for the Tutoring and Academic Success Center. Comprised of a pair of new trailers, the center features an academic skills lab and math and writing centers.

• The Multicultural Activities Committee presents its first-ever scholarship to Automotive Systems student Tutaw, a Myanmar (formerly Burma) native who overcame 12 years in a refugee camp in his homeland.

• A scholarship is established with the PCC Foundation to honor Dr. Robert Shaw’s longtime service as medical director of the Respiratory Therapy program.

• PCC raises funds for a new student scholarship during a program that pays homage to the life and legacy of civil rights pioneer Martin Luther King Jr.

• Dr. Dan Mayo, Karen Carpenter and Mitch Butts receive grant funding through UNC-Chapel Hill’s World View program to globalize their courses.

• Longtime PCC supporters Kenneth and Phyllis Ross contribute $15,000 to the PCC Foundation’s scholarship endowment program. The Ayden couple first established an endowed scholarship with the PCC Foundation in 2011.

• Ice and snow leaves administrators searching for ways to make up missed instructional time. Ultimately, they announce that at least part of the time will be made up by reducing spring break for students and faculty.


• “Dancing with the PCC Stars” teams begin practicing routines. Chosen to participate are WCTI’s Les Still and Anna Bulszewicz, The Daily Reflector’s Natalie Sayewich and Nathan Summers, realtor Rob Hall and his wife, Sarah, Attorney Ashley-Nicole Russell and PCC instructor Mitch Butts, BMX professional Mike Mancuso and Chikako Massey, and fiddler Kellie Brown and Joey Cuellar.

• PCC InSight, a series that spotlights programs and services, returns. Under the new format, a new segment is posted on the college’s YouTube channel monthly.

• The State Board of Community Colleges and University of North Carolina Board of Governors sign a revised Comprehensive Articulation Agreement to improve transfer between the state’s public higher education systems. The revised agreement will reportedly help students and their families save time and money.

• La’Quon Rogers, a student ambassador and Student Government Association president, is selected as PCC’s recipient of the N.C. Community College System Academic Excellence Award.

• PCC selects Greenville native Bryant Waters to oversee its fire and emergency services training programs.

• Spring enrollment data shows the curriculum headcount is 8,686 students – 67 more than at the same point a year prior. Community College Week notes that PCC ranks 17th nationally in terms of enrollment growth for schools with enrollments between 5,000-9,999 students. No other North Carolina community college ranks within the top 50 of that category.

• President G. Dennis Massey takes part in the first Greenville Community Summit to discuss the city’s college town dynamic and the challenges that come with it.

• Students put their driving skills to the test against a drunk/distracted driving simulator as part of a distracted driving awareness event on campus.

• PCC celebrates the Chinese New Year with a program featuring Chinese food and a variety of entertainment.


• Dance teams perform their routines and fans begin voting to help determine the winner of the PCC Foundation’s “Dancing with the PCC Stars” fundraiser. Judges select Kellie Brown and Joey Cuellar as their winning team. Fans will also have a chance to vote on their winning team.

• The annual Academic Excellence Awards program honors 50 top students for excellence in the classroom, on campus and in the community. Elena Sandina receives the $500-President’s Award while La’Quon Rogers receives the President’s Scholarship worth $1,000.

• Goess Student Center Phase II construction begins. The project will result in an additional 15,000 square feet to house a bookstore and a variety of services, including a career center, conference rooms, computer lab and student lounge.

• Administrators remove the interim label from Scuffleton native Thomas Forrest’s title, officially making him director of law enforcement training.

• The college celebrates the many cultures of its English as a Second Language students. In addition to displays and food, the event features students wearing traditional clothing from their homelands, a tea ceremony and dancing.

• PCC pledges its support to construction of a planetarium at Grifton’s A Time for Science Nature and Science Learning Center. The college agrees to provide an inflatable dome for the planetarium that will be available to astronomy students.

• Chris Hemingway, a jazz saxophonist, speaks with students about his many musical experiences in New York City and around the world.

• Marguerite Stephens receives the N.C. Comprehensive Community College Student Government Association’s (N4CSGA) Karen Yerby Award for dedication to student leadership and helping the organization reach new heights.

• Career Services and the Women's Resource Center organize an event to illustrate the do's and don'ts of dressing professionally. The program also includes tips on how students can make good impressions during job interviews.

• Will Pack, a 2007 PCC graduate, is named department chair of Building Construction Technology.

• PCC celebrates Women’s History Month with a panel discussion on women of character, courage and commitment. Raleigh Police Chief Cassandra Deck-Brown, Dr. Kelly Philpot and IRS Officer Linda Taft serve as panelists. 

• Vice President of Institutional Advancement Susan Nobles is named the 2014 Woman of Substance Award recipient for demonstrating outstanding campus and community involvement, attitude of service, commitment and caring, and willingness to 'go the extra mile.'

• La’Quon Rogers is elected N4CSGA president and will serve for one year as an ex-officio member of the N.C. State Board of Community Colleges.


• With a majority of the fan vote, the team of Mitch Butts and Ashley-Nicole Russell is named winner of the 2014 Dancing with the PCC Stars competition.

• PCC holds the 31st Annual Employee Appreciation and Recognition Evening at Rock Springs Center. During the program, Jessica Sides receives the 2014 Joan and Ed Warren Staff Employee of the Year Award while Kelly Jones is named the 2014 Joseph E. Downing Award for Excellence in Teaching recipient.

• During Alumni Weekend, the PCC Alumni Association holds a 5K fundraiser and Bulldog Beauty Contest and honors Tony Brinkley, Bobby Perkins and Lisa Elmore for their accomplishments professionally, in the community and in service to their alma mater.

• The PCC Drama Club presents “The Last 24 Hours of Lincoln,” which is written by instructor Mitch Butts.

• Recent biotechnology graduate John Tate is selected as one of 75 American students to participate in the prestigious Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange program in Germany.

• East Carolina University football coach Ruffin McNeill speaks with high school students participating in “College Bound: Here We Come.” Started in 2007, College Bound is part of PCC’s commitment to removing barriers that may make it difficult for minority males to continue their studies after finishing high school.

• PCC Global Director Jessica Jaimes receives a scholarship to attend the National Association of Foreign Student Advisers Annual Conference & Expo in San Diego.

• Nursing student Rebecca Haislip receives the Greenville Morning Rotary Club’s 2014 Sen. Ed N. Warren Scholarship worth $1,000.

• The Men’s Resource Center reports its “Best Foot Forward Professional Clothing Drive” is a major success. Employees and members of the community donate nearly 500 professional men’s clothing items as part of the drive, which is part of MRC’s effort to assist PCC male students who are searching for employment.

• The college celebrates Earth Day Fair with an event that features sustainable products from local businesses and recycled arts and crafts.