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PCC Holds Ceremony to Honor Top Students for Academic Excellence and Volunteerism

Each year, PCC holds a program on campus to honor some of its top students for excellence in the classroom and community.


WINTERVILLE—Pitt Community College presented Academic Excellence Awards to some of its best and brightest students this month for excellence in the classroom, on campus and in the community.

The annual ceremony, which took place March 18, featured remarks from PCC Vice President of Academic Affairs Tom Gould, who said the college is producing high-quality students and graduates to fill jobs in eastern North Carolina.

Gould noted that 70 percent of PCC alums remain in Pitt County after graduation. “(PCC) is producing the workforce and citizens of Pitt County,” he said.

PCC President G. Dennis Massey was unable to attend this year’s ceremony due to a scheduling change. But through a recorded video, he told students that their Academic Excellence Award recognition was “a mark of achievement, not only for you but for the faculty and staff that selected you.”

All of the students honored during the program were nominated by PCC employees. During the ceremony, the honorees received special medallions crafted by the college’s Machining Technology students to commemorate their achievement.

In addition to the medallion presentations, the program included a speech by Academic Excellence Award recipient Mary Gardner, who described what PCC has meant to her as a student. A Greenville native, she enrolled at the college in the spring of 2013 at age 46 with no real direction and an intense fear of failure.

In the three years since, Gardner has joined several paralegal clubs and organizations, received Pitt’s Caitlin Faulkenberry Scholarship, and recorded a cumulative 3.79 GPA. This spring, she was named PCC’s recipient of the N.C. Community College System (NCCCS) Academic Excellence Award.

During her remarks, Gardner said that behind her success story is a “community” of family, faculty, staff and students that helped her get to where she is today.

“When I think of PCC, I think of a place of reinvention and redemption, a place where the impossible becomes possible, a place where the ordinary can become extraordinary,” she said. “And, ultimately, I think of a community, a community that has positively influenced the course and the direction of my future.”

This year’s program also featured the presentation of several special awards.

Jill Berry received the 2016 President’s Scholarship worth $500 to help pay for tuition and fees as she pursues Associate in Arts and Paralegal Technology degrees. Berry has recorded a 3.59 GPA and is a PCC Student Ambassador, Student Government Association (SGA) treasurer and member of the college’s Visions Career Development and Scholarship Program.

Victoria Privette, an Advertising and Graphic Design student with a 3.83 GPA, received this year’s President’s Award worth $500 for outstanding academics, leadership, volunteerism and service to the college. Privette is SGA’s public information officer, a member of the PCC Graphic Design Club, and part the Visions and Horizons programs.

Division Awards were presented to students Shara Chilcoat (Arts and Sciences), Rasheda Abrams (Business), Caleb Knott (Construction and Industrial Technology), Crystal Campbell (Health Sciences) and Mandy Robinson (Public Services and Fine Arts). Each student received $250 through the award.

Special awards were also given to several students for excellence in Developmental Studies courses. This year’s recipients were Shaima Alamari, Abraham Diosdado and Razan Habal. Alamari and Habal received $125 for their awards while Diosdado was awarded $250, since he was also an Academic Excellence Award recipient.

A pair of PCC student-athletes received recognition for outstanding classroom success. Volleyball player Shaelyn Clift, an Associate in Science major, received the 2016 Female Student-Athlete Award while Gabe Tippett, a baseball player and Associate in Arts student, received the Male Student-Athlete Award. Both athletes received $250 through the honor.

Hannah McCormick. an Associate in Science major with a 3.73 GPA, was named PCC’s nominee for the NCCCS’s Gov. Robert W. Scott Leadership Award. Accounting student Tera Lowder was announced as PCC’s nominee for NCCC’s Dallas Herring Award, and Abrams and John Calero were nominated for the All-USA Community College Academic Team.