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PCC Notes: Student participating in NASA summer course


In addition to taking classes at PCC, Liam Hutchins, the son of Charles and Joni Hutchins, has worked as a computer lab technician in Pitt's Craig F. Goess Student Center since 2015.


PCC News Service

Sunday, June 4, 2017

WINTERVILLE — Pitt Community College student Liam Hutchins has been selected to participate in the NASA Community College Aerospace Scholars program this summer.

Designed for community college Science, Technology, Engineering and Math students, the program provides participants with an authentic NASA experience and encourages them to finish a two-year degree or transfer to a four-year university to pursue a NASA-related field or career.

Hutchins, a 2014 Farmville Central High School graduate from Greenville, is on track to graduate from PCC’s Electronics Engineering Technology program in December. He plans to transfer to N.C. State University for mechatronics upon completion of his studies at Pitt.

The program begins with a online orientation session from June 7-July 12. Upon successful completion, he could be selected to visit a NASA facility for a four-day engineering design workshop.

Hutchins, 21, says he hopes the information he learns through the program will help him reach his career goal of working with NASA to develop drone and related technologies.

The NCAS program is part of NASA’s efforts to better serve groups historically underrepresented in STEM fields.

June 21 expo for nontraditional students

PCC will hold an informational program this month for nontraditional students considering returning to higher education or enrolling in college for the first time.

The second annual Adult College Expo will take place June 21 in the Craig F. Goess Student Center’s J. Paul and Diana S. Davenport Multipurpose Room, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

“The Expo is an informational opportunity for adults in our community who are considering higher education but aren’t quite sure where to begin,” said John Carrere, Recruitment and New Student Orientation coordinator. “Whether they are hoping to gain employment with a local business or wanting to complete professional training they started but didn’t finish, we’ll provide them with the information they need in order to get started on the pathway to success.”

Carrere says those who attend the Adult College Expo will have an opportunity to meet with various PCC faculty and staff members, along with representatives from local businesses seeking to fill positions they currently have open.

“We want to show everyone who comes out for the Expo how Pitt Community College’s academic programs can help them prepare for employment or improve their chances of finding better jobs,” Carrere said. “We’ll have multiple local industries with needs for specialized training paired with our academic divisions during the program, so they’ll be able to see the connection between the degrees and certifications PCC offers and gainful employment.”

As part of the Expo, Villa Verde will be offering attendees an opportunity to taste the authentic flavors of their Dominican Republic cuisine. The restaurant’s owners, Yordanys and Eridania Bastardo, are a PCC Small Business Center success story, having utilized its services to turn their food truck operation into a successful brick-and-mortar restaurant on 10th Street in Greenville.

Carrere encouraged those planning to attend the Expo to arrive early, since the Goess Student Center parking lots are expected to fill. He also asked them to visit the PCC website and complete a simple contact form letting college staff know of their intention to attend. The form can be found by clicking on the “Adult College Expo” banner on the home page of Pitt’s official website, www.pittcc.edu.

“We're excited about the opportunity to share information with the community about our programs and services, and we’re looking forward to seeing everyone who comes out for this event,” Carrere said, adding that those seeking additional event details can contact him by email at jcarrere@email.pittcc.edu or by calling 493-7380.

College piloting course for students with autism

The PCC Transitional Studies Department has been selected to participate in a pilot program in partnership with the University of North Carolina TEACCH Autism Program and Vocational Rehabilitation Services in Greenville.

According to PCC Transitional Studies Director Laurie Weston, the TEACCH School Transition to Employment and Postsecondary Education Program (T-STEP) will serve young adults, 17-21 years old, with autism spectrum disorder who have received a standard course of study high school diploma. She said those who take the class will learn strategies and skills needed for college and career success.

T-STEP, Weston said, covers six transition skills modules that are grouped into three intervention areas: organization and executive function skills, emotion regulation skills and social skills. She said instruction will include group practice, video modeling and role play and added that students will practice the skills they acquire in class at a volunteer internship site each week.

Weston said students will also receive career, higher education and self-advocacy counseling.

There is no cost to participate in T-STEP at Pitt, which is one of only three North Carolina community colleges that will take part in the pilot program, along with Wake Technical Institute and Central Piedmont. Program funding, Weston said, comes through a $12,900-grant awarded to Vocational Rehabilitation Services.

Individuals interested in taking part in the program may contact Weston at 252-493-7439 or Elena Lamarche with the UNC TEACCH Autism Program at 919-962-3303.