WINTERVILLE, N.C. — Pitt Community College celebrated employee achievements April 28 with a luncheon that featured the presentation of staff and faculty excellence awards.
PCC President Lawrence Rouse said it was “an opportunity to honor and thank faculty and staff for their commitment to serving students with excellence.” He added that the event “underscored the importance of all team members” – faculty, staff and administrators – to Pitt’s success.
“PCC has a long history of providing great service to students, the community, county and eastern North Carolina,” Rouse said. “It’s because of the skill and dedication of the individuals we honored today that this standard of excellence continues.”
The 2022 Joan and Ed Warren Staff Employee of the Year Award — the top honor for PCC staff members — was presented to Scott Chauncey, inventory control and courier services manager with the college’s Mail and Courier Services Department.
In announcing Chauncey as the recipient, PCC Director of Human Resources Operations Kerry Bruner said he “gives generously of his time and resources to benefit the college.” He has a strong work ethic and makes certain that members of his department feel appreciated, she said.
“If you were to look up ‘positive culture,’ ‘customer service’ and ‘loyalty to an organization,’ you would find Scott Chauncey as the definition,” Bruner said. “He’s an excellent leader with a heart for mentoring and promoting others, which has allowed him to build a team of employees who embrace his approach to service and working with every PCC division, department and employee.”
Chauncey was also recognized for the work his department puts in to provide work-based learning opportunities for students through the Pitt County Schools Transition to Employment and Postsecondary Education Program. The program encourages students to continue pursuing education while helping them develop interpersonal skills and gain valuable work experience.
Chauncey was one of five Staff Excellence Award recipients eligible for this year’s Warren Award, along with Academic Affairs Programming Coordinator Pamela Baldwin, Financial Aid Director Lee Bray, Media Relations Director Rob Goldberg and Lead Counselor Kimberly Williamson.
Five instructors — Renee Dawson, Lara Smith, Ashleigh Walker, Christy Weeks and Ashleigh Weir — received Faculty Excellence Awards. From the group, Weeks was selected as this year’s recipient of the Joseph E. Downing Award for Excellence in Teaching, which is the top honor for faculty members.
PCC Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs and Student Services Tom Gould noted Weeks’ ability to forge collaborations across the state and region and her extraordinary talent to teach and mentor students who make an immediate impact on the local workforce. In addition to her instructional duties, Weeks chairs the PCC Biotechnology Department and serves on several committees, including the college’s SACS Planning and Student Achievement Subcommittee for accreditation.
Weeks has gone to great lengths to promote pharma careers and increase community awareness of biotechnology educational opportunities. She’s also had an integral role in developing educational pathways and training partnerships between PCC, Pitt County Schools, East Carolina University and the local pharma industry.
For Weeks, teaching is more than explaining to students the procedures for working in laboratories. It’s also about developing close relationships with them to understand the barriers they must overcome to achieve success and helping them find the resources to address those issues and focus on their studies.
“Working in the community college for so long, I have come to recognize that most of our students do not have the guidance and support I did as a student, or the guidance I have provided for my children,” she said. “I help these students in the same way I would want my children’s instructors/advisors to help them in my absence.”
PCC Car Show Turnout Surpasses Organizers’ Hopes
Organizers of the 5th Annual PCC Car Club Car Show say participation in the April 30 fundraiser surpassed their expectations.
“It’s what we hoped for but didn’t quite expect,” said Richie Alligood, a PCC automotive instructor who helped coordinate the show to raise money for the college’s Automotive Systems Technology program.
Despite the possibility of rain, Alligood said “well over 200” people entered the competition, which took place outside of PCC’s Craig M. Goess Construction & Industrial Technology (CIT) Building. The event featured awards in several categories, including “Best of Show” and honors for the top car, truck, engine, paint, interior and motorcycle.
“We had high hopes for the show, and the weather held out for us,” Alligood said. “In fact, the threat of rain probably kept a lot of people from coming out to participate, and we still had the biggest show we’ve ever had.”
Alligood said Winterville’s Robert Coggins claimed the competition’s “Best of Show” honors with his 1956 Chevy 210. Robert Toler won “Best Truck” with his 1930 Ford panel truck, and Mike Genesse won “Best Car” with his 1974 Dodge Charger.
Seeing a Charger named “best car” likely put a smile on the face of special guest Tom Wopat. The actor, known for his role as “Luke Duke” on the TV series “Dukes of Hazzard,” signed autographs for approximately 500 fans during Saturday’s event. Many brought photos and diecast replicas the “General Lee,” a 1969 Dodge Charger that had a prominent role in the show, for Wopat to sign.
“Tom was very impressed with our campus, the car show and our automotive facilities,” Alligood said. “He also mentioned how friendly everyone was and that he really enjoyed the interaction with fans while signing autographs.”
Alligood said the money raised Saturday will be used to fund student scholarships and help the program build a 1966 Ford Mustang to use in parades and other events to promote automotive systems enrollment. He added that he’s already turned his attention to next year’s event.
“I want this car show to be the one people in the area look forward to each year, and I want it bigger each year,” Alligood said.