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New Awards Highlight Student Club Success

PCC's Katelynn Speas, Dr. Donald Spell, Jasmin Spain, left to right, and Dr. G. Dennis Massey (fourth from right) present the Dr. G. Dennis Massey Mark of Distinction Award to NEXT Level member Maurice Northern, NEXT Level Advisor Kenneth Joyner and NEXT Level members Jassan Bennett and Caleb Benson, left to right.


WINTERVILLE—Pitt Community College held the 1st Annual Student Talent and Recognition (STAR) Awards last week to honor student clubs and organizations for their service to the campus and community.

The inaugural STAR Awards—a joint effort by the college’s Center for Student Activities and Office of Student Mentoring, Conduct and Academic Progression—took place April 26 and featured award presentations in five categories.

PCC Student Activities and Recruitment Coordinator Katelynn Speas, who helped develop the awards program, said Pitt offers more than 40 student organizations. They represent a wide variety of interests, she said, from service groups and social organizations to music and entertainment clubs and faith-based groups.

“We have so many students who truly are stars by making a positive difference on campus and in Pitt County through their efforts with our student clubs and organizations,” Speas said. “The STAR Awards were created to honor and she light on those achievements, and we are looking forward to growing the event in the future and expanding the award categories.”

In welcoming attendees to the Craig F. Goess Student Center for the awards ceremony, PCC President G. Dennis Massey noted that student clubs play a positive role in higher education.

“Student clubs and organizations promote involvement by students outside of the classroom, which augments and stimulates achievement in the classroom,” he said.

Jasmin Spain, PCC director of Student Mentoring, Conduct and Academic Progression, worked with Speas to establish the STAR Awards and said six faculty and staff members served as judges to select the recipients of this year’s honors.

The two premier awards—the Dr. G. Dennis Massey Mark of Distinction and Distinguished Merit awards—went to NEXT Level, which is part of PCC’s Minority Male Mentoring Program. NEXT Level helps participants develop skills needed for success in life and instills in them the importance of civic and community involvement.

The Dr. G. Dennis Massey Mark of Distinction Award that NEXT Level received bears the name of PCC’s current president and recognizes a club or organization for its overall commitment to serving members, PCC and the community through events and programming.

The Distinguished Merit Award, which was also presented to Phi Theta Kappa and Circle of Sisters, is given to the top three organizations that have demonstrated an ongoing commitment to excellence in all programming and development areas. It recognizes each recipient’s commitment to programming that utilizes the college’s mission and incorporates various leadership responsibilities to grow.

Like NEXT Level, the PCC Drama Club also took home a pair of honors. The group, which has contributed money and food donations to the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina, won the Outstanding Philanthropic Program of the Year Award for dedication and financial contributions toward the welfare of those in need.

Fittingly, the Drama Club was also named the Outstanding Social/Entertainment Program of the Year. The award recognizes a program that is geared toward student interests and provides social opportunities for students to interact in a fun and safe environment.

The 2016 Outstanding Academic/Educational Program of the Year Award went to the PCC Student Veterans Association. The honor is given to a club that focuses on a specific topic of interest to further knowledge and encourages dialogue and learning among those in attendance.