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Community Invited to share thoughts on next PCC president

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University Transfer student Sandra Argomaniz-Reyes, left, is all smiles upon receiving the 2017 PCC Multicultural Activities Committee Scholarship from PCC Marketing Director Jane Power, a MAC member, during the Sixth Annual MLK Scholarship Tribute Breakfast on campus Thursday.


PCC News Service

Sunday, January 14, 2018

WINTERVILLE — Community members can share their thoughts on the kind of leader they would like to see as Pitt Community College’s next president at a Thursday meeting.

PCC President Dennis Massey announced in September that he is stepping down from the college this summer so representatives with RPA Inc., a search firm, is hosting a forum at 5 p.m. in room 153 of the William E. Fulford Building to take notes on the traits people think PCC’s next president should possess.  A similar program for employees will take place earlier in the day, said PCC Human Resources Director Ina Rawlinson.

Massey, who PCC Trustees hired in May 2003, is the fourth president in the college’s 57-year history; following Lloyd Spaulding, William Fulford and Charles Russell.

 “We’re hoping for a great turnout from the community,” Rawlinson said. “Their attendance and engagement are very important in the overall hiring process.”

Whoever becomes PCC’s next president will have big shoes to fill, said Dr. Peter Kragel, a PCC trustee since 2004 and currently the board’s chairman.

“Under (Massey’s) leadership, we have expanded the campus, achieved objective measures of student success, been responsive to the workforce needs of the county and region, and truly ‘educated and empowered’ our students,” he said.

In terms of student credit hours, PCC currently is North Carolina’s sixth-largest community college. More than 23,000 students take part in credit and non-credit programs each year, which is roughly twice as many as when Massey took over as president.

In August, Pitt dedicated the Walter and Marie Williams Building, a 78,000-square-foot home for STEM programming. It was the 18th building on PCC’s main campus and ninth constructed with Massey as president.

Career services, Lowe’s team for hiring event 

PCC students and members of the community will have a chance this month to interview for jobs with a Fortune 500 retail home improvement and appliance company.

On Friday, PCC Career Services will team with Mooresville-based Lowe’s Companies, Inc., on a hiring event in the college’s Craig F. Goess Student Center. The program will take place in the Davenport Multipurpose Room from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Those planning to participate are encouraged to dress professionally and come prepared for an onsite interview. They are also asked to bring a valid identification to the event and, if possible, complete an online application prior to the program.

Applications can be submitted at any Lowe’s store. The can also be transmitted electronically from a home computer or smartphone device by visiting Lowes.com/Careers.

MLK event aids student’s dream

Pitt Community College celebrated the life of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. Thursday with a breakfast program that featured the presentation of a $500-scholarship to student Sandra Argomaniz-Reyes.

Each January, the PCC Multicultural Activities Committee organizes a scholarship fundraiser as a tribute to King, whose birthday is Jan. 15. The event generates revenue for the college’s MAC Scholarship, which is presented annually to a student who shares King’s ideals.

Reyes, a 2016 graduate of North Pitt High School, is a second-year college transfer student planning to pursue a four-year degree in communications. The 19-year-old Greenville resident says she wants to explore cultures and share stories of the interesting people she meets.

“I want to be able to travel and educate people from all over …,” she says. “I truly believe that everyone deserves to have an amazing life, and that starts with education. If we help others and make them aware of what is out there, this could be a world filled with extraordinary people.”

Reyes’ says her views on multiculturalism have been taking shape since grade school. She explained that as a youngster, she’d never noticed any differences between herself and her classmates, until some students began pointing out different skin colors and how others couldn’t speak fluent English.

“That was the day that it occurred to me how others viewed people differently than I did,” Reyes says, adding that her Hispanic heritage made her a target of ridicule.

“I honestly felt bad for them bullying me, because they were uneducated and had no idea how their words hurt others for a lifetime,” she said. “As a Mexican-American, I did get bullied in school and outside of school because of my accent, skin color and for the stereotypes that many people have about my culture.”

The key to embracing people from different backgrounds, says Reyes, is education. And the United States offers many opportunities for people from different cultures to interact and “gain knowledge that cannot be obtained through a textbook.”

“Education is key to being a well aware person in this society,” she says. “Because without knowledge, your doors to opportunities could be very small.”

Along with scholarships from PCC’s VISIONS Career Development and Scholarship Program and the PCC Foundation, Reyes says her MAC Scholarship funding is making her dream of a college degree a reality.

“Growing up with a single mother, it seemed that college was not going to be an option for me or my siblings,” she said.

PCC Assistant Vice President of Institutional Advancement Marianne Cox has worked with Reyes through the VISIONS program for the past several years and says she is making the most of her opportunities at Pitt.

“Sandra is committed to her studies, driven to succeed and grateful for the opportunity to pursue a college education and for the financial assistance she has received,” Cox said. “She’s one of those people who’s going to make a difference no matter what career path she chooses.”

Reyes is already making a positive impact in her community through volunteerism. She assists with the art campus at Greenville’s Emerge Gallery and Art Center, serves food at Bethel Fire Department fundraisers, interacts with residents at Golden Living Center, and has helped out with Special Olympics annually for the past four years.

“My dream is to be able and help people succeed no matter their skin color, ethnicity or religion,” Reyes says.