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PCC Holds Employee Appreciation Evening

Freedman, Chauncey Receive Top Staff and Faculty Awards, Respectively

Alex Freedman, left, and Samantha Chauncey were honored for their exemplary performance during the 2015-16 academic year. Freedman, PCC's media relations specialist, received the college's top honor for staff while Chauncey earned the top award for faculty.


WINTERVILLE—Pitt Community College celebrated employee achievements this month with the 33rd Annual Employee Appreciation and Recognition Evening at the Hilton Greenville.

The April 15 program featured PCC administrators presenting service awards to 87 employees with a combined 775 years of service. Recent retirees were also honored, and the recipients of several special awards were announced.

“This is a time to celebrate, honor and show appreciation for you, who have helped continue a strong tradition of service to our students, our community and county, and all of eastern North Carolina,” PCC President G. Dennis Massey told employees gathered for the event. “I thank you for your dedication, perseverance and special achievements, and I look forward to moving forward in the coming year to … strengthen our core focus on student learning and student support.”

The 2016 Joan and Ed Warren Staff Employee of the Year Award was presented to Alex Freedman, who serves as the college’s media relations specialist. PCC Vice President of Administrative Services Rick Owens announced Freedman as the winner, citing his positive attitude, exceptional customer service, excellent communication skills and dedication to PCC success.

Freedman, a 2010 East Carolina University graduate who worked as a reporter/anchor at WNCT 9 for more than four years before moving on to Pitt, produces PCC InSight each month to feature the college’s students, employees, programs and services. PCC instructors have noted that the segments he produces have been helpful with recruiting new students.

“Alex has been an outstanding addition to our media relations team,” said PCC Media Relations Director Rob Goldberg. “He is a very talented videographer, editor and journalist, who works really well with local media and makes valuable contributions to the college’s social media efforts.”

Along with a plaque commemorating his achievement, Freedman will receive $400 and up to $1,500 to attend a regional or national professional development activity.

Freedman was one of five Staff Excellence Award recipients this year, along with Sidette Brown, Margie Harris, Ken Peel and Billie Woolard.

Five instructors—Kim Barber, Mitch Butts, Samantha Chauncey, Valentina Holder and Krystal Sugg—received Faculty Excellence Awards during the employee appreciation event. Of the five, Chauncey was named this year’s recipient of the Joseph E. Downing Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Chauncey, a biology instructor and environmental biology coordinator, is well respected by her students and fellow employees. In presenting the Downing Award, PCC Vice President of Academic Affairs Tom Gould said Chauncey actively engages her students, teaching them about the impact humans have on the environment and their role in the planet’s sustainability.

“By helping to coordinate events, such as Earth Day and hands-on learning in the field at the local water treatment plant and River Park North, she is teaching our students that being good citizens means caring for our community with a knowledge of and appreciation for scientific methods that can help us solve local and global environmental problems,” Gould said.

Chauncey is also helping prepare the community’s next generation of scientists through visits to K-12 students in Pitt County. She has visited six schools within the past few years and was actively involved in a long-term project with a local kindergarten class.

Like Freedman, Chauncey will receive a monetary award as the Downing Award recipient along with funding for a professional development activity. She will also serve as PCC’s nominee for the N.C. Community College System’s teaching excellence award.

Also honored during this year’s employee appreciation program were 13 employees who have either already retired or will soon retire. Among them, Hilda Barrow and Marcia Lambert-Heins were presented with the Cardinal Award, which the State of North Carolina created in 2014 to honor public servants who have worked 30 or more years in state and/or local government.