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Outstanding Grads Receive Alumni Awards

This year's PCC Alumni Award recipients were Dana Parker (Human Services Technology '87), Happy Gingras (Human Services Technology '99) and David Laney (Architectural Drafting Technology '90), left to right.


WINTERVILLE—The Pitt Community College Alumni Association honored outstanding graduates last month for their accomplishments professionally, in the community and in service to their alma mater.

During the program, which took place on campus May 20, the organization presented an Outstanding Alumni Award to David Laney and Employee Alumni Awards to Happy Gingras and Dana Parker. PCC Alumni Relations Director Ashley Smith said three honorees have achieved success through hard work and determination.

“Honoring our alumni though our awards program is one of the highest honors we can bestow upon them,” Smith said. “We value the road that they have taken, from starting at PCC to where they are now.”

Laney, a 1990 Architectural Drafting Technology graduate, is the president of C.A. Lewis, Inc., a Greenville-based general contracting business. He began working at the company as a construction laborer part-time while earning his associate degree from Pitt.

Following a brief stint as a draftsman at the former Burroughs Wellcome pharmaceutical facility in Greenville, Laney returned to C.A. Lewis in 1995 as an assistant estimator and draftsman. He was promoted to chief estimator by 2000 and was selected to join the firm’s board of directors four years later. He was unanimously named president last year.

“David is level-headed, deliberate and decisive in his approach and has excelled in his leadership,” said Tony Lewis, chairman of the board at C.A. Lewis. “PCC should be beaming with pride at his accomplishments; I know I am.”

Gingras, a 1999 Human Services Technology (HST) graduate, teaches sociology at the college. She was nominated for her award by PCC Psychology Instructor Patricia Adams, who called her “one of the most talented, hard-working, creative and personable people I’ve ever had the honor to call a colleague.”

After earning a bachelor’s degree in sociology and master’s in education at East Carolina University (ECU), Gingras started working at Pitt in 2007 as placement testing coordinator. In addition to her current role with the college, she has led students on a study abroad trip to Belize, presented at national conferences and published numerous articles. Just last week, she received an Excellence Award from the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development.

A 1987 HST graduate, Parker went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in sociology/social work from Elizabeth City State University and a master’s in education from ECU. She began working at PCC full-time in 2001 and is now chair of the Associate of General Education (AGE) Department.

Don King, an AGE instructor and advisor at Pitt, nominated Parker for her award, citing her active involvement on numerous college committees and leadership in organizing PCC’s participation in the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation-funded “Completion by Design” initiative.

“Dana is a very engaged leader who genuinely cares about her employees and the college, in general,” King said.

PCC Arts and Sciences Dean Stephanie Rook said Parker is an enthusiastic supporter of students.

“She truly takes into consideration where our students come from and helps them carefully map their journey to academic and economic success,” Rook said. “It is my belief that she does such an excellent job because she has been in the very same place as they are, striving to make a difference in the lives of others.”

Each of this year’s alumni award recipients was nominated for the honor and selected by a special committee based on established criteria.