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PCC Employees Assemble for Convocation

Student David Taylor shared his story of success at PCC, saying the pride his Pitt experience instilled in him gave him the strength to stay in school as he battled a serious thyroid issue. Taylor said he missed just one day of classes while battling the illness and earned a 3.8 GPA that semester.



WINTERVILLE—Pitt Community College employees met for convocation Thursday to look back on the previous academic year and prepare for the one that begins Monday with the start of fall classes.

Held in the Charles Coburn Center, the annual meeting featured remarks from several college administrators and new Student Government Association President Lee Shaver, who will serve as an ex-officio member of the PCC Board of Trustees throughout the 2015-16 academic year.

During his annual “State of the College” remarks, President G. Dennis Massey, now in his thirteenth year with Pitt, said PCC has been successful in its efforts to guide students toward completion of their studies.

“We are so proud of what our graduates accomplish,” he said. “… Statistics show we’re seeing more graduates, certificate completers and people reaching their educational goals, in general.”

Massey said one significant change PCC instituted this year was to make orientation mandatory for new students. Administrators made the move to help students get off to the right start at the college as opposed to getting behind in their studies early and never being able to catch up.

“(Orientation) has been a tremendous success,” Massey said. “I have been very impressed by the turnout of students, and I think the results [of making attendance mandatory] will be positive.”

With plans for a satellite campus in Farmville moving along, Massey said PCC is striving to extend learning opportunities to all areas of Pitt County and meet its strategic goal of student and community engagement. He said the college would soon occupy and renovate the former Bank of America Building on Main Street to offer programming.

Convocation was also an opportunity for student David Taylor to share his PCC experience with employees. A Human Services Technology/Substance Abuse major, he said he enrolled at the college because his life had gone astray.

“I had fallen by the wayside,” he said. “I experimented with some of the sins of this world, looking for meaning to life in all the wrong places …. The only thing I knew for sure was that my life was worth more than the way I was living.”

As a PCC student, Taylor said he has learned a great deal about the field of human services and, to his surprise, himself. His coursework, he said, has helped him develop effective communication skills, operate the latest computer technology, and find a new direction in life.

Taylor has excelled academically—he has a 3.67 GPA and was one of 50 students to receive a PCC Academic Excellence Award earlier this year—and personally, having overcome a serious thyroid issue while maintaining his student obligations.

“Earlier, I said it takes a village to raise a child,” Taylor said. “Well, it took this small community college with the heart of a major university to develop this boy into a man.”

Following convocation, employees participated in professional development workshops ranging from course globalization and student conduct to work wellness tops and a website that can be used to check for plagiarism.