PCC to Host Annual Business Expo/Job Fair


Flyer for PCC business expo


September 14, 2017


An enjoyable time is expected when the local business, restaurant and music talent sectors are spotlighted at the 2017 SPOTLIGHT Pamlico Business EXPO & Job Fair, scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 19, from 4 to 7 p.m. at Pamlico Community College’s Delamar Center.


The event is a combined effort between Pamlico Community College’s Career Center, Pamlico County Chamber of Commerce and Pamlico County Economic Development.


“Everyone from job-seekers to shoppers to those looking for an enjoyable evening are invited to come out and enjoy the free event. It will showcase what we have available here,” said Lisa Thompson, treasurer of the Chamber of Commerce, one of the event’s primary organizers.


Beth Bucksot, Director of Economic Development for Pamlico County, another key event partner, added: “Businesses, restaurants, musicians and non-profits will be showcasing their goods and services. We also welcome businesses and organizations from outside our county who serve our citizens.”


More than 30 businesses and organizations are currently signed up to take part in the event’s EXPO portion, which has 11 sponsors. Organizers expect the usual late comers to fill the few remaining spots.


Meanwhile, 15 other businesses and non-profit groups have signed up to take part in the Job Fair. As part of that, the college’s Career Center is featuring a series of workshops on obtaining a job, and job-seekers are encouraged to bring their resumes to the Sept. 19 event.


The event’s overall theme is “Spotlight Pamlico,” and organizers have been working for months to ensure everyone who attends the EXPO/Job Fair has fun, learns something about local commerce and potentially finds a great new job.


“We invite people to come and have an enjoyable time while supporting and becoming educated about what is available in their community,” said Bucksot. “You can sample food from our amazing restaurants. Add the variety of music to the food samples and the smiling faces of our friendly businesses and non-profits, and the fun begins! Last year’s event attracted lots of attendees who reported really enjoying the event, and participating businesses were very pleased with their outcomes.”


Organizers say the event’s other features include health checks, door prizes, classic cars display, $100 Shop Local drawing, a 50-50 raffle plus a Judges and Taster’s Choice competition between the restaurants that are providing samples of their tasty menu items.


They encourage attendees to donate diapers to support the River Time Civitan Club diaper drive, “No Child Wet Behind.” The club will accept donations of disposable diapers at the Pamlico Partnership for Children booth.


Organizers also pointed out that residents will be able to see what local businesses have to offer the community, particularly in this era of online shopping.


“We need to educate ourselves about what is available in our area and support the businesses in our communities that provide local and regional jobs, support our schools and non-profits, and add to the tax base that provides revenue for necessary public services,” Bucksot said.


“The Business EXPO and Job Fair is exactly the kind of event we enjoy hosting at Pamlico Community College,” said PCC President Dr. Jim Ross. “The college’s Career Center, the Chamber of Commerce and the county’s Economic Development Office all have worked hard on this for several months, just as they work hard every day to make our community better. I feel confident that everyone who comes out for this community-minded event will be glad they did.”


For more information, call 252-745-3008 or 252-745-3081.

Noted Toy Developer Will Speak at PCC


Toy developer Dexter Liu set to speak at PCC


September 14, 2017


A successful toy designer and entrepreneur will share his insights on business and product development during a series of lectures at Pamlico Community College – and that’s not child’s play.


Dexter Liu, 63, who has more than 30 years of involvement in private enterprise, will discuss his experiences in hard work, perseverance and creative thinking.


“I would love to impart some knowledge to bright, young, entrepreneurial-thinking students,” he said. “I will be talking about the various disciplines needed for starting a business. I want to share my experience.”


The first lecture will take place Wednesday, Sept. 20, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at PCC’s Grantsboro campus. A second session will be held Tuesday, Oct. 31, from 9:30 to 10:50 a.m. at the college’s Bayboro Center, and the third lecture will be offered Wednesday, Nov. 15, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at PCC’s main campus.


The lectures are free and are open to students, PCC employees and the general public.


“This series provides students and community members with a great opportunity to hear from someone with 30-plus years of incredible success in product development,” said PCC Business Instructor Terri Fesmire-Kennedy, who is helping to organize the events. “They can expect to come away feeling inspired and encouraged after hearing from a speaker with Mr. Liu’s experience and knack for innovation.”


Liu, who lives in Pamlico County, studied Industrial Design at the Rhode Island School of Design and began his career designing vacuum cleaners for Eureka. A roommate employed at a nearby toy manufacturer suggested he try his hand at designing something fun, and Liu was hooked.


Liu went to work at Castle Toys, a successful Rhode Island toy company, as a designer in 1978.


“We had a ball,” he said. “We did some good stuff.”


Liu went to work as senior product designer for General Mills’ toy division in Michigan, which included Kenner, Lionel Trains and others. He then took a job in Connecticut as manager of preliminary design for another toy producer.


In 1986, Liu went to work as creative director for The Sullivan Organization, a Rhode Island toy invention firm, and later founded LCD International, a toy invention and design enterprise in Rhode Island that developed toys for clients such as Mattel, Kmart and Walmart.


While there, he developed toy cars to boost a branding campaign by Chevron.


In 1999, he launched an Internet company, Kid Kids Inc., that served clients including Toys ‘R’ Us, Universal Studios and DreamWorks, and two years later began a product development consultancy that worked with clients including Crayola, Fisher-Price and others.


Additionally, Liu has served as an adjunct professor and graduate student advisor at his alma mater. He holds more than a dozen patents, and his products have generated more than $500 million in wholesale earnings for his clients.


Liu and his wife moved to Pamlico County about a year ago.


“We look forward to welcoming Dexter Liu to campus,” said PCC President Dr. Jim Ross. “It’s wonderful that our community has so many experienced professionals willing to share their experiences, advice and expertise with students.”


Fesmire-Kennedy said each of Liu’s lectures will feature different material, meaning attendees do not have to attend all three sessions to get some valuable information and inspiration.


“His passion for inspiring others in the world of entrepreneurship is infectious,” she said. “Our campus is lucky to host someone with Mr. Liu’s extensive background and enthusiasm.”


For more information about Liu’s lectures, contact Fesmire-Kennedy at 252-249-1851, ext. 3009.



Recent PCC Graduate Wants to Help Others


PCC graduate Kayla Thomas smiles for the camera


August 31, 2017


Kayla Thomas of New Bern believes she has found her life’s work: She wants a career in medicine so she can help people overcome health problems and sickness.


The 35-year-old Harkers Island native says she came to that realization after her best friend died following a lengthy battle with cancer.


“Medicine has always intrigued me, and I find the human body fascinating,” Thomas said recently. “Some years ago, my best friend got very sick, and I took care of her in her home while she battled cancer.”


The hours spent with her friend in and out of hospitals and doctors’ offices initially left Thomas disenchanted with medicine, but eventually time would rekindle her interest in health care and her passion for helping others.


“We spent so much time in and out of hospitals and dealing with medical problems that I honestly didn’t think I would ever have any desire to do anything medical again after she passed away,” she said. “After some years passed and I had time to grieve over the loss of my friend, my desire to help people dealing with sickness and health problems returned. I honestly just believe it is part of what I was born to do.”


Thomas found a way to reach her goals through Pamlico Community College’s Medical Assisting program. She graduated in May, and has traded the long hours and late nights of restaurant work for a rewarding new job at CarolinaEast Urology Center in New Bern.


“Kayla Thomas is a great example of someone who decided to pursue her true passion with us at Pamlico Community College,” said PCC President Dr. Jim Ross. “Now she is in a position to improve her life and the lives of her patients. Success stories such as Kayla Thomas help to show why PCC has been ranked as the top community college in America.”


Thomas said she decided to check out PCC because of its location and its reputation. However, the way she was treated when she enrolled proved right away that she made the right decision.


“I chose PCC at the time because I had heard great things about the college and it was close to where I was living,” Thomas said. “I remember walking in the front office, and the first person I met was Vanessa Bryant. She was very encouraging and extremely helpful in getting me headed in the right direction. She made me feel welcome.”


Bryant suggested Thomas meet with Jessica Boomer, a registered nurse who oversaw the Medical Assisting program at the time. The program was a perfect match for her, and Thomas was on her way.


The kindness, support and encouragement Thomas received from the instructors and staffers at PCC meant a lot, she said.


“One of the best things about PCC is the faculty,” Thomas said. “They are all approachable, humble, skilled at their craft, and so very encouraging. They are willing to help any way possible to make sure you succeed and reach your goals.”


She continued: “There is no doubt that the atmosphere the staff sets at the campus is what I admire most about Pamlico Community College. They all make you feel like you are a part of something great – and who doesn’t want that?”


Thomas became one of PCC’s Student Ambassadors, a post that enabled her to represent the college at campus activities and community events.


“I took the position seriously and, in the short time I was at PCC, I learned everything about the college I could,” she said. “I still enjoy being able to encourage people I meet to go back to school. I also tell them that Pamlico Community College would be an excellent choice. I tell people they could not get a better education or experience anywhere.”


Thomas is enjoying her current job, but is exploring the idea of becoming a nurse. She says she feels prepared to take on new challenges at work and elsewhere, thanks in large part to PCC.


“Each of my instructors were more than experienced and knowledgeable enough to help teach me and prepare me for Medical Assisting,” she said. “I believe their own love and passion for the field had everything to do with being able to equip me for the job. It has been life changing, to say the least.”


For more information about the Medical Assisting program, contact Tina Hardison at or 252-249-1851, ext. 3044.



Bate Foundation Awards $30,000 Grant to PCC


Dr. Jim Ross accepting grant from the Bate foundation


August 28, 2017


Pamlico Community College’s new Dental Laboratory Technology program recently received a significant boost from the Harold H. Bate Foundation.


The New Bern-based foundation awarded PCC a $30,000 grant to help launch the new, two-year associate’s degree program, which trains students to create dental appliances such as dentures, partials, bridges, crowns and other prostheses.


The program’s first classes began this semester. Program graduates will be qualified to work in denture clinics, dental labs and similar settings.


“We are extremely appreciative for the Bate Foundation’s support, which will help us to create a first-class program,” said PCC President Dr. Jim Ross said. “Like PCC, the Bate Foundation is committed to seeing area residents improve their lives and circumstances. We thank them for their support of this program and our students. Our entire region of our state is much better because Mr. Bate was such a caring and generous man and has left this magnanimous legacy through his foundation to making our communities better.”


The new Dental Laboratory Technology program, which received state approval earlier this summer, is unique in this area. In fact, PCC is the only N.C. community college east of Interstate 95 to offer the degree program.


The program is led by Kathy Nicodemus, who has more than 30 years of combined experience teaching Dental Laboratory Technology and working in the dental prostheses industry. The program consists of classroom teaching and hands-on work in the lab. There also is online instruction.


“We are very excited to offer a new career option for students,” Ross said. “We believe this program will create wonderful opportunities for students to have great careers and improve their lives.”


For more information about the program, contact Nicodemus at or 252-249-1851, ext. 3017.



Learn New Skills With Continuing Education


CNA students practicing their skills


August 28, 2017


Pamlico Community College’s Continuing Education division can help you learn the valuable skills you need for a great new career or to move up at your current job.


These low-cost, short-term courses are ideal for men and women who need additional training or who want to explore their career options.


“It enhances your marketability and it opens up your horizons,” said Greg Skelly, PCC’s interim chair of Continuing Education. “We have a lot to offer this semester.”


Program options ranging from health care and hospitality to hands-on trades and drawing will be available at PCC before the end of 2017.


Classes are forming now, so it’s important to contact the college soon to save your seat in the course that interests you. For health care-related courses, please call Marianna Adkins at 252-249-1851, ext. 3031. For all other courses, please call Michelle McGuire at 252-249-1851, ext. 3124.


“Continuing Education programs are critical to our mission of serving this community and helping residents improve their lives and their circumstances,” said PCC President Dr. Jim Ross. “We encourage our neighbors to check into these courses. They might be exactly what they’re looking for.”


Program offerings this semester will include the following:


* Drawing – PCC’s Introduction to Drawing course will be taught by Lee Hood, a talented local artist who will teach you the essential skills needed to make beautiful drawings.


* Food & Beverage Service – Get to know the important “dos and don’ts” for safe food service.

* Food Preparation – Learn the skills you need to work at the “back of the house” in local restaurants and cafeterias.


* Horticulture – Students in this introductory course will learn about plant science, pesticides, pruning and other skill areas needed to grow a great garden or maintain an attractive landscape.


* HVAC III – Students interested in heating and air conditioning systems will continue their training through the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) curriculum.


* Motorcycle Maintenance – Learn to keep your motorcycle running smoothly with this informative course.


* Notary Public – The complete course to become a commissioned Notary Public is available on the third Saturday of each month at the college’s Bayboro Center. Topics include legal, ethical and procedural requirements of the Notary Act. Upon completion of this course with a passing exam grade of 80 percent, a person is eligible to apply to the N.C. Secretary of State’s office.


Upcoming classes are slated for Sept. 16, Oct. 21, Nov. 18 and Dec. 16.


* Nurse Aide I – Students interested in taking PCC’s popular Nurse Aide I course are invited to attend an Orientation Session on Thursday, Aug. 31, at 1 p.m. at the college’s Grantsboro campus. Day and evening classes are scheduled to start Sept. 7. A Nurse Aide Refresher course also is planned. For more information, call Marianna Adkins at 252-249-1851, ext. 3031.


* Ophthalmic Assistant – New this semester is a specialized course designed to train men and women to work as assistants in ophthalmology offices. Students interested in this new course offering are invited to attend an Orientation Session on Thursday, Aug. 31, at 1 p.m. at the college’s Grantsboro campus. For more information, call Marianna Adkins at 252-249-1851, ext. 3031.


* Pharmacy Tech – This course is designed to teach men and women the skills needed to work in pharmacies. Students interested in this new course offering are invited to attend an Orientation Session on Thursday, Aug. 31, at 1 p.m. at the college’s Grantsboro campus. For more information, call Marianna Adkins at 252-249-1851, ext. 3031.


* Phlebotomist – Learn how to safety draw a patient’s blood for testing. Students interested in this course offering are invited to attend an Orientation Session on Thursday, Aug. 31, at 1 p.m. at the college’s Grantsboro campus. For more information, call Marianna Adkins at 252-249-1851, ext. 3031.


* Welding – Students of all skill levels are invited to take part in this Continuing Education course, which will be offered at the college’s Grantsboro campus.


Courses in Boat Construction, Marine Propulsion, Small Engine Repair and others also are under development. There also are specialized classes available to area firefighters, emergency medical technicians and emergency managers.


For more information on these and other Continuing Education programs, please call Michelle McGuire at 252-249-1851, ext. 3124, or visit




Free Courses Available to High School Students


Derek Godwin instructing a class of high school students


August 18, 2017


You don’t have to take on a huge debt to get a college education. If you’re a high school student, you don’t have to pay at all!


Local students are eligible to take college courses – at no cost – while they are in high school, thanks to the N.C. Career & College Promise program.


The credits earned by passing the free courses offered by Pamlico Community College can be applied to an Associate in Arts degree or Associate in Science degree and can transfer to all public – and many private – colleges and universities in North Carolina.


That helps students get ahead and save money.


“I don’t know of a better deal anywhere,” said PCC President Dr. Jim Ross. “You can’t beat free, transferrable college courses from the top-ranked community college in the United States. This is one of the best things we offer at Pamlico Community College.”


Interested high school students and their parents can learn more about the Career & College Promise program by visiting PCC’s booth at Pamlico County High School’s Open House, which is set for Thursday, Aug. 24, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the high school’s A.H. Hatsell Memorial Auditorium.


“I will be there to answer questions and to explain the options available to high school students and their parents,” said Derek Godwin, PCC’s Director of Career & College Promise. “It’s a tremendous opportunity to enroll in free college courses while in high school. Students can save thousands of dollars in college-related costs by taking advantage of this opportunity.”


There are two college pathways:


• College Transfer Pathway (CTP) requires the completion of at least 30 semester hours of transfer courses including English and mathematics.


• Career and Technical Education Pathway (CTE) leads to a certificate or diploma aligned with a high school career cluster.


Recent PCHS graduate Ashleigh Deditch took PCC courses while she was a high school student. She is starting college this fall with roughly a year of college credits already in hand.


“I have recommended Career & College Promise to others,” said Deditch, who plans to study Medical Assisting. “It will help them figure out what they want to do after high school and help them get a head start.”


Additionally, exposure to college-level coursework has shown Deditch how to manage her time and how to be prepared to do well in college.


“Now that I’ve taken college classes, I know what I’m going into,” she said. “Even though it seems like a lot of work, it’s definitely worth it.”


Kara Ireland graduated from East Carolina University in May. Taking and passing PCC courses while in high school went a long way in helping her complete her bachelor’s degree.


“It was one of the best routes to go,” she said. “It made me want to strive to go further.”


Registration for high school students who want to enroll in PCC courses will be held Monday and Tuesday, Aug. 28-29, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the college’s Bayboro Center, which is located beside the PCHS campus on N.C. 55.


Qualified students from PCHS, Arapahoe Charter School, Pamlico Christian Academy and local home schools are eligible to enroll.


For more information about Career & College Promise, please contact Derek Godwin at 252-745-7349 or




PCC Ranked No. 1 Community College in America by SmartAsset


SmartAsset's logo alongside the PCC logo


August 11, 2017


Pamlico Community College is ranked No. 1 on SmartAsset’s list of the Best Community Colleges in the United States.


The list, released Aug. 9 by the New York-based personal finance technology company, places PCC in the top spot in the nation based on a review of 2015-16 federal data on 808 community colleges throughout America.


PCC received exemplary scores for its graduation/transfer rate of its students of 84%, compared to the national average of 40%; its student-instructor ratio of 9-to-1; and its comparatively low cost and affordability.


“Originally founded in 1962 as an industrial education center, Pamlico has matured into the best community college in the country,” SmartAsset’s list states. “According to our research, Pamlico has one of the highest graduation and transfer rates in the country with 84 percent of its students either graduating or transferring.”


PCC President Dr. Jim Ross enthusiastically welcomed the honor as a way to recognize not only PCC but also the outstanding community it serves. He said it is very humbling to be recognized as the very best community college when there are so many outstanding community colleges in our region, state and nation and said this award is a direct result of the commitment and hard work by the college’s faculty members and staff.


“This listing reflects the extraordinary faculty and staff we have here at PCC,” he said. “Our instructors and staff members are heroes in what they do, consistently going well above and beyond the call of duty, to help students succeed.”


Ross credited the personalized attention that students receive at Pamlico as a key factor in the college’s exceptionally strong performance.


A.J. Smith, SmartAsset’s vice president of financial education, said this was the fourth year the company had studied community colleges. Information from the National Center for Education Statistics’ Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System from 2015-16 was used to evaluate 808 community colleges, she said.


All community colleges that had data available on student-faculty ratio, graduation/transfer rate and cost were evaluated in the study, with community colleges from all 50 states represented, Smith said.


“This is purely looking at the data, and the data tells that story,” she said.


News of the No. 1 ranking by SmartAsset comes just as registration for the Fall 2017 semester got underway at the Grantsboro-based institution. It also comes on the heels of several other state and national honors PCC has received this past year.


PCC was ranked as the third-best community college in the nation on WalletHub’s 2016 list of Best Community Colleges in America, and the college was ranked No. 8 among the Top 50 colleges and universities for Best Online Associate Degree Programs for 2017 by


The college has been recognized for having one of the highest graduation rates in the country. Pamlico leaders also are proud that its students who go on to University of North Carolina system institutions achieved the highest grade point average among transfer students last year.


Pamlico Community College also has been awarded a Gold Medal for being a Military Friendly community college, and its Medical Assisting program recently was ranked No. 1 in America by the website


In addition to Pamlico, four other N.C. community colleges were ranked among the Top 10 on SmartAsset’s list of the Best Community Colleges.


To see SmartAsset’s 2017 list, visit



New Year Brings Big Changes for Instructor


PCC business instructor poses in her new office


August 11, 2017


August is shaping up to be a pretty significant month for Terri Fesmire-Kennedy and her 5-year-old son, Tucker. That’s because both of them will be starting the academic year at new schools.


Tucker is starting kindergarten this month at a primary school in Morehead City, while his mom begins a new job as Business instructor at Pamlico Community College.


Fesmire-Kennedy is taking over as PCC’s full-time Business instructor from Rebecca Pesko, who recently accepted the job as the college’s Director of Institutional Effectiveness.


Pesko has no worries about her replacement, saying the 32-year-old Carteret County woman will do a great job.


“We are so happy to have Terri join our family at Pamlico Community College,” Pesko said. “Over the past week, I have enjoyed discovering her extensive experience in the community college system, her passion for students and her enthusiasm for growing the Business and Accounting programs. She is a wonderful addition to our faculty.”


Fesmire-Kennedy comes to PCC from Carteret Community College, where she was an adjunct Business instructor. She also served in that college’s registrar’s office and worked for a time in the Carteret County’s Planning and Inspections office.


Fesmire-Kennedy grew up in Pine Knoll Shores and graduated from West Carteret High School in 2003. She went on to college, but wasn’t immediately certain what she wanted to study.


“It took a while before I figured out what I wanted to be,” Fesmire-Kennedy said.


She thought about pharmacy and even gave middle school education a try, but nothing quite fit. That’s when she decided to study business, figuring that the field could lead to career options in a variety of areas.


“It’s so broad, as far as what you can do with it,” Fesmire-Kennedy said.


She went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from East Carolina University and an MBA from Ashford University. Fesmire-Kennedy is now back at ECU working on a master’s degree in Adult Education.


She encourages men and women to consider studying Business because of its versatility.


“Most of the students I have run into are looking to start their own businesses,” Fesmire-Kennedy said. “You can do that, you can run a business, and you can consult for businesses. There are lots of options. I like the well-roundedness of it.”


Business and Accounting courses also introduce students to real world skills, including managing account books and preparing tax documents, she said.


PCC President Dr. Jim Ross said students who enroll in the college’s academic programs can discover many career pathways.


“Some students who enroll at the college know exactly what they want to do, while others are searching for their passion,” he said. “Our instructors can help them find the right educational path.”


Fesmire-Kennedy says she’s excited about the new academic year and her new opportunity at PCC. She is scheduled to teach seven courses, some seated and some online. They include classes in Business Administration, Accounting, Economics and Banking.


So whose upcoming first day of school is Fesmire-Kennedy more nervous about? Young Tucker’s, of course.


“His, for sure. He’s so small,” she said with a smile. “It makes me want to cry.”



Duke Energy Awards $4,000 Grant to PCC


a representitive poses with Dr. Ross and Rebecca Pesko as she awards a large grant check


August 11, 2017


Millie Chalk, center, government and community relations manager for Duke Energy, presents a $4,000 grant to Pamlico Community College President Dr. Jim Ross, left, and Rebecca Pesko, the college’s director of institutional effectiveness.


The funds will be used for a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) day camp for middle school students next summer.


“We are thankful for Duke Energy’s support of our college, and we look forward to offering a wonderful learning experience for rising sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders next summer,” Ross said.




PCC to Offer Dental Lab Technology Program


PCC employee Kathy Nicodemus smiles for the camera


July 26, 2017


Pamlico Community College will offer a new program in Dental Laboratory Technology starting this fall.


The two-year associate’s degree program, which recently received state approval, will train students to create dental appliances such as dentures, partials, bridges, crowns and other prostheses.


Program graduates will be qualified to work in denture clinics, dental labs and similar settings.


PCC’s program will be led by Kathy Nicodemus, who has more than 30 years of combined experience teaching Dental Technology and working in the dental prostheses industry.


“We are very excited to offer a new career option for students,” said PCC President Dr. Jim Ross. “We believe this program will create wonderful opportunities for students to have great careers and improve their lives.”


The new Dental Laboratory Technology program will be unique in the area. In fact, PCC will be the only N.C. community college east of Interstate 95 to offer the degree program.


The program will consist of classroom teaching and hands-on work in the lab. There also will be online instruction.


Students who complete the program will have the skills they need to begin a great career, one with good earning potential and job security, Nicodemus said.


“This is a hands-on career that can appeal to both men and women,” she said. “It is very rewarding to know that your work can help someone improve their appearance, their confidence and their outlook.”


Months of study and research went into the forthcoming launch of the new program.


The college also received a significant boost from the New Bern-based Harold H. Bate Foundation, which recently awarded the college’s Foundation a $30,000 grant to help support the new program.


“We are extremely appreciative for the Bate Foundation’s support, which will help us to create a first-class program,” Ross said. “Like PCC, the Bate Foundation is committed to seeing area residents improve their lives and circumstances. We thank them for their support of this program and our students.”


Registration for the upcoming fall semester is scheduled for Aug. 9 and 10 from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., but prospective students who are interested in Dental Laboratory Technology are encouraged to contact PCC now.


For more information about the program, contact Nicodemus at or 252-249-1851, ext. 3017.




Looking Good: PCC Cosmetology, Esthetics Departments to Host Open House


PCC instructors pose in the cosmetology building


July 13, 2017


Pamlico Community College’s Cosmetology and Esthetics departments will host an Open House for prospective students and community members on Saturday, July 22, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.


The free event, which will be held at the PCC Cosmetology Building located at 703 Main St. in Bayboro, will feature demonstrations of the latest hair styling and color methods, skin care regimens and makeup tips by the college’s Cosmetology pros.


There also will be demonstrations of manicures, pedicures and nail design.


Over in the Esthetics area, visitors will learn about skin care, including facials, hair removal, body treatments and much more. They’ll also see the specialized equipment needed to make skin look and feel its best.


“We’re inviting the entire community to stop by our Cosmetology Building in Bayboro and see the high level of quality instruction available there,” said PCC President Dr. Jim Ross. “The Cosmetology and Esthetics programs offer area residents a valuable opportunity to learn the skills they need to begin a great career. We have outstanding local salons in Pamlico County, and our job is to help fill the need these important businesses have for talented individuals.”


PCC offers both a diploma and a certificate program in Cosmetology. Both programs can be completed in four semesters. The college’s Esthetics program offers a certificate option that can be completed in two semesters.


Event organizers are encouraging women and men who might be interested in either Cosmetology or Esthetics to come out to the event, tour the facility, meet the instructors and get their questions answered.


“I want them to see what they can learn and the fun they can have learning it,” said Cosmetology Instructor Christy Laney, who will host the event with fellow Cosmetology Instructor Debi Fulcher and Esthetics Instructor Shanna Lewis. “I want people to see that if you put in the work, you can succeed.”


Students who are already enrolled in the programs will be on hand to show their skills and to offer advice.


Fulcher, who leads the Cosmetology program, has been with PCC since 2007. She said her interest in helping people look their best began when she was a preteen.


“I started when I was 12 years old cutting my brother’s hair,” she said. “I just enjoy making people feel better about how they look and more confident about themselves.”


Like Fulcher, Laney, who joined the PCC faculty in 2014, enjoyed working with hair and makeup when she was younger, but didn’t get serious about it as a career until she was enrolled as a nursing student at a neighboring community college.


She decided to trade her scrubs and stethoscope for a smock and a pair of shears and never looked back.


Meanwhile, Esthetics is a perfect fit for Lewis, who said she was attracted to a career with a relaxed, unhurried pace.


“I don’t like running around,” she said, adding that many Esthetics treatments require calm, quiet and a gentle touch.


The women say their programs feature small class sizes and individualized attention. High school students are eligible to begin the programs even before they graduate.


Graduates of the programs are eligible to test for their respective state licenses and embark on a career path that can be both potentially lucrative and personally satisfying.


For more information on the Open House, contact Fulcher, Laney or Lewis at 252-745-5537. Their email addresses are, and




New Controller Worked in Local Government


Susan McRoy smiles in front of her new office


July 6, 2017


Pamlico Community College is starting the 2017-18 fiscal year with a new Controller to handle accounting and financial reporting for the college.


Susan McRoy began work earlier this month. She comes to PCC after serving for seven years at the Pamlico County Health Department, first as Budget Officer for three years and most recently as Administrative Officer for the last four years.


Before working there, the 43-year-old Aurora resident served as Assistant Finance Director for Pamlico County.


“I think my experience at the Health Department and the county will help me with my responsibilities here,” she said.


McRoy takes over at PCC for former Controller Sherry Raby, who recently was promoted to another post at the college.


Like her predecessor, McRoy said she was attracted to the fields of accounting and budgeting through her love of numbers.


“I like numbers. I like to play with numbers,” McRoy said with a chuckle. “Everything has to balance.”


McRoy grew up in the area and graduated in 1992 from Ruth’s Chapel Christian School in New Bern.


She went on to East Carolina University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in administration with a focus in accounting.


PCC President Dr. Jim Ross said the college is fortunate to have highly qualified people come to work at the college.


“Susan McRoy is a familiar face to many here through her service in local government,” he said. “She impresses us with her knowledge, positive attitude and eagerness to excel in this role at Pamlico Community College.”


McRoy is married, and she and her husband have two children, ages 13 and 9.





Career Center Can Help You Get Back to Work


Eric Cedars takes a moment to smile for a picture while at his desk


July 3, 2017


Sometimes finding a new job requires learning some new skills. That’s where Pamlico Community College can help.


The college’s Career Center in Bayboro can help unemployed and low-income adults attain the education and training they need to land a good job, even if they’ve been out of the workforce for a while.


PCC’s Career Center helps to administer programs through the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) that enable low-income and displaced job-seekers to learn the skills they need.


“The goal is to get them trained and get them working,” said Eric Cedars, who manages the PCC Career Center, which is located behind the college’s Bayboro Center and Cosmetology building near Pamlico County High School.


Matching training and education programs with unemployed and low-income adults is another way PCC can help area men and women improve their lives and their outlook.


“The economy is always changing, and Pamlico Community College is here to help local residents respond to those changes,” said PCC President Dr. Jim Ross. “A good-paying, secure job is a key component to a family’s well-being. Eric can help people get started.”


Assistance from the WIOA Dislocated Worker program is available to men and women who have been laid off through no fault of their own, Cedars says. They can be currently drawing unemployment insurance or could have exhausted their 13 weeks of benefits, he said.


They also must be unlikely to return to work in their former career or field, Cedars said.


WIOA also offers assistance to low-income men and women through its Adult program, he said.


WIOA assistance programs can pay for tuition, fees and cover some of the cost of books in either two-year classroom programs or in short-term workforce training programs. Recipients are eligible for up to $4,000 of assistance per year, and they can receive help for up to two years.


PCC is among several area community colleges participating with the Eastern Carolina Workforce Development Board in the effort. Eligible program options range from Business Administration and Information Technology to health care offerings such as Medical Assisting.


To qualify, participants must take reading and math assessments to determine their current skill levels.


“Contact me and we’ll see if they meet the qualifications,” Cedars said. “We’re here to help.”


For more information about WIOA programs, contact Cedars at 252-745-9934 or



PCC's Ol' Salty Charts a New Course


Ol' Salty takes a moment from his busy schedule to strike a pose

Update: July 24, 2017


Pamlico Community College’s longest enrolled student has started his yearlong apprenticeship at the Pamlico County Heritage Center in Grantsboro – but he hasn’t had much to say about it.


Ol’ Salty, a 5-foot-tall wooden statue of a mariner, was delivered to the museum earlier this month.


The Heritage Center won the honor of hosting Ol’ Salty for a year after its representative came the closest to guessing the wooden seafarer’s weight at the Croaker Festival in Oriental on July 1.


The museum’s guess was 195 pounds. Ol’ Salty weighed in at a surprisingly scrawny 124 pounds.


“We’ve had a good time trying to find a temporary home for Ol’ Salty,” said PCC President Dr. Jim Ross. “We commend him for the perseverance he showed as a student here for about 15 years. We know he’ll do a good job this year at the Heritage Center. We think Ol’ Salty is a good fit for the museum and its work.”


The Pamlico County Heritage Center is located at 10642 N.C. 55 in Grantsboro. The center includes a museum, a county visitors’ center, a genealogy library and a heritage village highlighting the history of Pamlico County.


Museum Executive Director Pat Prescott has decided the best place for Ol’ Salty is near the center’s exhibit on commercial fishing. When last seen, the old mariner was standing stately and stoically beside the display.


Ol’ Salty had been a prominent feature of the college’s parade float and vendor booth at the Croaker Festival earlier this month. The business that came the closest to guessing his weight got to have him for a year.


Meanwhile, the individual who had the best guess received a scholarship for a free Cultural & Life Enrichment course at the college. That winner was Tara Howard, whose guess was 143 pounds.


June 26, 2017


Pamlico Community College’s longest enrolled “student” is about to spend a year abroad – or at least a year somewhere else.


Ol’ Salty, a 5-foot-tall wooden sculpture of a grizzled old mariner that has stood watch in the college’s Johnson Building for years, is about to sail away for a while.


In just a few days, the popular “little man on campus” will be featured prominently on PCC’s parade float and at its vendor booth at the 37th annual Croaker Festival in Oriental.


Ol’ Salty will ride the college’s parade float on Saturday morning, July 1, and then will take his place at the college’s booth later that afternoon.


Visitors to PCC’s festival booth will be invited to size up Ol’ Salty and guess how much he weighs.


At 2 p.m. Saturday, Ol’ Salty will hit the scales. The area business that comes the closest to guessing Ol’ Salty’s weight will get to keep him in a prominent place at its office, store or workshop for a year, while the individual who comes the closest to guessing the mariner’s weight will win a scholarship for a PCC Cultural Enrichment class.


“This is going to be fun,” said PCC instructor Kathy Nicodemus, who has been leading the college’s Croaker Festival participation committee. “People who stop by our booth will be asked to fill out a quick survey on what they’d like to see the college offer. On that paper, they can put down their guess for Ol’ Salty’s weight. At 2 p.m., we’ll see who wins.”


PCC President Dr. Jim Ross said the college’s participation at the Croaker Festival is part of its mission to stay involved in the community and to support it. The festival is also a good place for the college to share information about its program offerings and to gather ideas from residents, he said.


“It’s important for all of us at the college to stay engaged with the community we serve,” Ross said. “Participating in the Croaker Festival is a fun way to do just that.”


For his part, Ol’ Salty has remained silent about his involvement in the college’s plans for the Croaker Festival, although his enthusiasm is clearly etched all over his face.


“The business that gets Ol’ Salty will have a fun conversation piece for a year, while someone will get to take a free Adult Enrichment class with us,” Nicodemus said. “And, of course, Ol’ Salty gets an unpaid internship. We’re looking forward to a great time this weekend. We invite everyone to stop by and see us.”




Scholarships Available at PCC; Apply Now!


Student Services employees take time for a picture


June 19, 2017


Sometimes money is the only thing stopping a prospective student from enrolling at Pamlico Community College.


But thanks to the generosity of private donors, clubs, civic organizations and even weekend golfers, the college is able to offer scholarships so many students can continue their educational endeavors and improve their lives.


“A lot of the scholarships we have are locally funded,” said Meredith Beeman, a Student Support and Engagement Specialist at PCC. “We are fortunate.”


Scholarship applications now are being accepted for the upcoming 2017-18 academic year. Current and prospective students are encouraged to come by Student Services for an application or to visit the college’s website – – to access the scholarship applications page.


The deadline to apply is Aug. 9.


About 80 percent of PCC students receive some type of financial aid. Much of that aid comes in the form of federal Pell Grants.


While need-based Pell Grants help a large number of students attend college, not everyone qualifies for them, PCC officials say. That’s where private dollars raised through the Pamlico Community College Foundation and its scholarship funds can help fill the gap.


“There are some students who don’t receive federal aid, so without these scholarships, they would not be able to attend,” said Melissa Whitman, PCC’s Director of Financial Aid.


PCC President Dr. Jim Ross said the college is very appreciative to all of the individuals and groups who generously support students through gifts and scholarships, but wishes to let the community know there is still a greater need.


He recently told golfers at the PCC Foundation’s 17th annual Pepsi Cup Golf Tournament that their participation in the May 20 event would directly aid students.


“Your money is going for a great cause,” Ross said at the event, which this year set a record for proceeds raised. “Last year, we had 18 students dropped who could not pay. We don’t ever want that to happen.”


Because of that, Ross has established a goal to double the number of scholarships the college currently receives from generous community citizens, businesses and foundations.


Both Beeman and Whitman say the first step that current and prospective students should take when applying for financial aid is to complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) form, even if they believe they won’t qualify for federal help.


The FAFSA form helps PCC Student Services staffers determine a student’s need so they can match them with possible scholarship opportunities or other federal or state financial aid options.


“We’re available to help them complete the FAFSA,” Whitman said.


Once that’s complete, current and prospective PCC students are encouraged to complete the college’s scholarship application. Don’t leave any lines on the form blank, Beeman and Whitman said, and don’t put off starting the process.


Current and prospective students should know if they’ve received a scholarship to attend PCC before the start of the new academic year in August.


For more information about scholarships or financial aid, contact Beeman at 252-249-1851, ext. 3023, or Whitman at 252-249-1851, ext. 3026.





Phillips Receives Rotary Transfer Scholarship


Asheton Phillips poses for a picture in her office


June 8, 2017



As a loan officer at State Employees Credit Union in Grantsboro, Pamlico Community College graduate Asheton Phillips helps customers secure the funds they need for their future.


Now, thanks to the Oriental Rotary Club, the 26-year-old Pamlico County native has some money she needs for her own future.


Phillips recently received the club’s transfer scholarship, which is awarded to a PCC student who is moving on to a four-year college or university.


She will be using the money at the University of Mount Olive in New Bern, where is she working to complete her bachelor’s degree.


“I’ve never applied for a scholarship until now,” Phillips said recently. “It certainly helps.”


Support from private donors such as the Oriental Rotary Club and others are critical to helping PCC students to pay for their courses at the college and to move forward in their academic endeavors.


“The college is fortunate to have support from generous individuals and groups such as the Oriental Rotary Club,” said PCC President Dr. Jim Ross. “The Rotary members are caring and amazingly-involved community leaders who make Pamlico County better in many ways, including by providing life-changing scholarships such as this one for Asheton. It helps us to provide opportunities for hard-working students here in Pamlico County to improve their lives.”


Phillips learned she had received the scholarship on May 31. She said the money will help her complete her bachelor’s degree at Mount Olive, thereby enabling her to continue her career at the credit union.


Phillips has worked at State Employees Credit Union since December 2013. She has worked her way up in the company, but said she needs a bachelor’s degree to continue advancing in her career. She is scheduled to graduate from UMO this fall.


Pamlico Community College has played a pivotal role in her career path, Phillips said.


“It basically started my journey to success,” she said, adding she began taking PCC classes when she was a student at Pamlico County High School. She went on to earn an associate’s degree at the college and utilized transfer credits she earned at PCC at Mount Olive.


“PCC opened doors to more opportunities for me,” she said. “It was local, and I wasn’t one who wanted to go off far away.”


The road to a bachelor’s degree has not been straight or easy. In addition to her job at the credit union, Phillips also works at Charlie’s Restaurant in Bayboro on Saturdays.


Phillips quickly adds the hard work has paid off, and she encourages others, including high school students, to see how Pamlico Community College can get them started on a great career or a four-year degree.


 “The reward is worth it,” she said. “Push through it – your hard work is worth it.”




Raby Takes on New Role at PCC


Sherry Raby poses for a picture


June 1, 2017


With a bachelor’s degree in accounting and a master’s degree in business administration, Pamlico Community College’s Sherry Raby knows her way around numbers.


As a part-time minister, she also is very familiar with the Word.


Raby, who has worked as Controller in the college’s Business Office for nearly seven years, recently became the college’s Director of Institutional Effectiveness.


In her new position, Raby will ensure PCC complies with the accreditation requirements of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. She also will participate in strategic planning, collect and analyze college data and look for ways PCC can better serve its students and community.


“I like the fact that this position impacts the college on a larger scale,” Raby said recently. “I understand the importance of accreditation. I want to be able to do the best job I can.”


She also plans to continue her work at Word of God Christian Center in New Bern, a 200-member church she helps to pastor with her husband. That position, of course, is more of a calling than a job.


Taking on new challenges is something Raby has always done. The Indiana native, who was ranked No. 10 in her high school class, enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps shortly after graduating.


She spent about 20 years in the service, excelling in the jobs she was assigned. Raby also met and married her husband, fellow Marine Holly Raby, while both were stationed in Okinawa.


While serving in the Marine Corps, she completed her bachelor’s degree in accounting through Park University and enrolled in a master’s degree program in business administration at Campbell University, commuting weekly from Cherry Point to Buies Creek for class.


Along the way, she and her husband raised four sons, all of whom currently serve in the U.S. Armed Forces – two in the Air Force and two in the Army.


In addition to her jobs at PCC and at the church, Raby now is helping to raise her 10-year-old granddaughter.


So where does her drive to excel come from? Raby believes it stems from lessons learned from her parents.


“At home, I just had a drive – a drive to always do better,” she said. “I like to continue to grow.”


Raby’s energy and willingness to take on new challenges make her an excellent choice to oversee PCC’s institutional effectiveness, said PCC President Dr. Jim Ross.


“Sherry Raby is an extremely impressive professional as well as an outstanding human being,” he said.


“Her enthusiasm and commitment to the college will serve her well in her new post. We’re fortunate to have her at Pamlico Community College.”


Raby said Ross has been extremely helpful to her.


“I’m really grateful to Dr. Ross,” she said. “His willingness to mentor me makes me feel better about going into this position.”


Raby said she will miss working closely with her friends in the Business Office, but she finds comfort in knowing that her new job relies heavily on data and on numbers.


“Numbers make sense to me,” she said with a laugh. “Numbers I love.”







Golf Tournament Sets Record


golfer competing in the PCC golf tournament


May 31, 2017


The Pamlico Community College Foundation’s 17th annual Pepsi Cup Golf Tournament was a tremendous success, setting a record for proceeds and adding some exciting prizes to energize the competitors.


Twenty-six businesses and individuals agreed to support the popular event, which was held Saturday, May 20, at the Minnesott Golf & Country Club.


Fifty-seven golfers took part in the “superball” tournament, which featured prizes for the first-, second- and third-place teams in both a Men’s Division and a Mixed Division.


There also were prizes for longest drives and for “closest to the pin” contests on several holes, including a $500 “closest to the pin” prize on Hole No. 9, generously donated by Andy Vestal of BB&T Scott & Stringfellow. Michelle Noevere, the organizer of this year’s event, said, “I am grateful to Mr. Vestal for adding this prize to the tournament. It was entirely his idea. It added an attractive element to the tournament because, unlike the hole-in-one competition which may or may not have a winner, you know somebody is going to walk away with that closest to the pin prize at the end of the day.” Bob Dillard of Pamlico County took that prize.


The Pepsi Cup Golf Tournament, which is named in honor of the Minges Bottling Group of Ayden for its contributions to PCC, is the Foundation’s largest annual fundraiser. Proceeds are used to fund student scholarships at the college.


In the 2016-17 academic year, the Foundation awarded more than 60 scholarships totaling more than $50,000 to students, including funds raised annually by the golf tournament. Proceeds from this year’s tourney are still being tallied.


“Your money is going for a great cause,” PCC President Dr. Jim Ross told golfers. “Last year, we had 18 students dropped who could not pay. We don’t ever want that to happen.”


Weather for the tournament was fantastic, with sunny skies and mild temperatures. The pleasant weather, coupled with a field of skilled players, led to some impressively low scores.


The four-man team of Henry Rice, Dick Riddick, Eddie Taylor and Reg Piland won the Men’s Division. Micki Campbell, Tommy Campbell, Joanne Harrell and Rex Horne finished first in the Mixed Division.


Nine teams – one with five players – participated in the Men’s Division, while five teams competed in the Mixed Division.


Noevere said she was extremely grateful for the response from sponsors, particularly Beth and Jerry Walker of The Walker Group Architecture, Inc., the tournament’s Pacesetter Sponsor.


She also thanked the players, volunteers, donors and others who made the 17th edition of the tournament one to remember.


Pacesetter Sponsor

  • The Walker Group Architecture, Inc.
  • Platinum Sponsors

    • The Pamlico News
      Pamlico Community College Small Business Center
      CarolinaEast Health System
      Andy Vestal of BB&T Scott & Stringfellow

Gold Sponsors

  • Pamlico Quick Lube and Tire Distributor
    Jim and Michelle Krauss
    Nationwide Insurance
    Piedmont Natural Gas
    Robinson & Stith Insurance


Silver Sponsors

  • Garland F. Fulcher Seafood
    Lori’s Golf Shoppe, Calabash, N.C.
    Hardison Tire & Towing
    Superior Cranes
    Century 21 Sail/Loft Realty – Janice Cox


Hole Sponsors

  • Ashwood Turf
    Delamar & Delamar
    Farm Bureau – Brian Ellenberg
    Harbourside Garden Company
    Henry Hale
    Hollowell & Hollowell
    Pamlico Packing Co.
    Pinedale Food Mart
    Scott Plumbing & Heating
  • Other Sponsors
  • Andy Vestal BB&T Scott & Stringfellow for $500 Closest to the Pin prize on Hole No. 9
    Sue Fore
    Sandy Johnson-Clark
    Redfish Seafood
    Cuts & Styles by Flo
    M & M’s
    Travel Blue Star
    Piggly Wiggly – Grantsboro
    From the Heart Florist
    Food Lion


In-Kind Sponsors

  • Ed King
    PCI Horticulture Class
    Inland Waterway Provision Company
    Karen Dodd/The Quilting Mandarin
    Snap Fitness – Daniel Banks
    Albert Krelie
    Wanda Anderson
    Carol Erwin
    Pamlico County Fireman’s Association/Mary Kirk
    Terry Bobbin
    Cherry Point Sound of Freedom Golf Course
    Carolina Colours Golf Club
    Ironwood Golf & Country Club
    The Country Club of the Crystal Coast
    The Emerald Golf Club
    Taberna Golf & Country Club
    Kinston Golf & Country Club
    Minnesott Golf & Country Club



Non-Profits Honored at Historic Event


representitives from non-profit organizations gather at PCC


May 25, 2017


More than 170 Pamlico County leaders braved a steady rain May 23 to attend the first-ever Non-profit Leadership Breakfast held at Pamlico Community College’s Delamar Center.


Nearly 70 organizations were represented at the historic event, in which all Pamlico County non-profit organizations for the first time ever were invited to be celebrated and honored together. This event brought together non-profits ranging from local churches and volunteer fire departments to service organizations, food banks and health clinics.


PCC President Dr. Jim Ross conceived of the event as an opportunity to recognize non-profit groups in Pamlico County and to thank them for the important work they do to improve lives here.


“Today is a day to celebrate,” Ross told the crowd in his opening remarks. “This is simply a way to say thank you. You are the foundation of what makes this community great.”


Event participants enjoyed a complimentary breakfast catered by Brantley’s Village Restaurant of Oriental. They also got the chance to interact with each other, compare missions and – most importantly – learn about the wide variety of help and resources available to people in need in Pamlico County.


Members of the Pamlico Chorale opened the program by leading the crowd in singing “The Star Spangled Banner.”


Ross then publicly thanked the non-profit organizations for their work by asking for a robust round of applause. He also introduced county and college officials, representatives of CarolinaEast Health System and the Harold H. Bate Foundation and members of the local media.


Ross explained how he and the college have acted to help non-profit groups by waiving the Delamar Center’s rental fees for non-profit groups and causes. Ross said the initial suggestion to waive those fees came after discussions with Senator Norman Sanderson and his wife, Linda Sanderson.


Gloria Cowell, whose 4-year-old grandson, Colt Cowell, has been undergoing treatment for a brain tumor, then told the crowd that her family and church raised $12,000 for Colt’s care because they were able to have a dinner-dance event March 18 in the Delamar Center with no rental fees.


“Thank you doesn’t quite seem enough,” Cowell said. “We are very blessed to have this facility.”


Ross then invited representatives of each non-profit group in attendance to introduce themselves and to share information about their work and their passion. Many of the groups were well known by attendees, while others have been serving others in near anonymity for years.


Brantley Norman Jr., who, with his crew, prepared the breakfast, told the crowd about his mother’s recent health scare and about how the local rescue squad and emergency medical technicians came to her aid.


In the spirit of the event, Norman donated $150 of his catering fee to a non-profit group in attendance. The winner was chosen by raffle, and the money went to the Pamlico County Community Foundation.


In closing, Ross told attendees that the world’s hardships often can lead to hopelessness and despair, but that non-profit organizations can counter those things with service, love and partnership to build a spirit of hope, optimism and confidence throughout our society.


“My personal belief is that we’re all here to do God’s work on earth,” Ross said. “You’re appreciated. Your hard work is appreciated. Thank you.”




PCC Presents Top Annual Awards at Commencement Ceremony


PCC student receives an award for student of the year


May 23, 2017


Pamlico Community College presented some of its most prestigious annual awards to a student, an alumnus and several employees during the Commencement ceremony held May 12 at the Delamar Center.


“Commencement is the ideal time to honor people who have excelled in the classroom, on campus and on the job,” said PCC President Dr. Jim Ross. “This year’s list of honorees is very impressive.”


The first honoree to be recognized was Raydeijah N. Morning, who received the 2017 Academic Excellence Award and was named Student of the Year.


Morning, who also graduated with her associate’s degree in Human Services Technology at the event, appeared surprised by the honor.


The Aurora resident was selected from among six nominees. Vice President of Student Services Jamie Gibbs presented her with a plaque and a medallion.


As the recipient of the Academic Excellence Award, Morning becomes Pamlico Community College’s 2017 honoree in the N.C. Community College System’s “Great within the 58” list of high-achieving students.


Rick Miller, who teaches English and Humanities, received the college’s Instructor of the Year Award. The award, which recognizes outstanding teaching, is voted on annually by students.


“Rick Miller is an excellent instructor,” said Michelle Willis, the college’s vice president of instructional services and chief academic officer. “He brings a high level of knowledge and experience to the job. Students might find him demanding, but they know he wants to see them succeed.”


History instructor Joshua Gaskill received the Adjunct Faculty Member of the Year Award, which also is voted on by PCC students.


Adjunct instructors work part time at the college, but are critical to students’ success. Gaskill also works for the Pamlico County Schools.


“Joshua Gaskill has distinguished himself as an instructor,” Willis said. “His students appreciate his teaching ability and knowledge of history.”


Willis presented both Miller and Gaskill with their awards during the ceremony.


Tammy Riggs Spain, the college’s registrar, accepted the Staff Member of the Year Award, which is voted on by college employees. Spain also is a PCC graduate.


Commencement was a special night for Spain. Not only did she receive an award, her son also graduated with an associate in arts degree. Vice President of Administrative Services Mark Pullium presented Spain with her award.


Andrew Krelie of Swansboro was named the Alumnus of the Year. Krelie, who was unable to attend the ceremony, studied Environmental Science Technology at PCC. He now works at Cherry Point.


Ross presented the inaugural President’s Award to Herman Turnage, who works in the college’s maintenance department. The award, which recognizes productive employees who display a positive attitude and a can-do spirit, is a perfect fit for the upbeat Turnage, Ross said.





Turnage Receives Inaugural President's Award


Herman Turnage smiles for a photo wile working on an electric motor


May 15, 2017


Herman Turnage doesn’t believe the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. He says it’s plenty green right where he is.


But if you happen to find some greener pastures somewhere, the upbeat Turnage would likely mow it and keep it looking nice, all with a smile on his face.


Turnage, who has worked in Pamlico Community College’s maintenance department for about 8 years, is the recipient of the college’s inaugural President’s Award.


PCC President Dr. Jim Ross established the award to honor a college employee who has a positive attitude, works with others as a good teammate and does his or her best to improve the college and its services to the community. Turnage formally received the award during last week’s Commencement ceremony.


“Herman Turnage is undoubtedly one of the most pleasant, good-natured and hard-working people I’ve ever met,” Ross said. “He exemplifies the kind of positive, can-do attitude that employees of any high-achieving organization have, and I am very pleased to salute him by presenting him with the college’s first-ever President’s Award.”


The ever-optimistic Turnage often can be spotted aboard a mower keeping the college grounds looking sharp or in a flower bed making sure the plantings are healthy and the mulch is fresh.


“I get to cut the grass, and I love my flowers,” he said with a chuckle. “I’ve been cutting grass since I could push a mower, and I’ve always loved working with flowers. Grass doesn’t ever complain. You can scalp it, it doesn’t complain. You can leave it alone and let it grow, it doesn’t complain.”


Turnage doesn’t complain, either. He said there’s no purpose in doing so, and besides, what does he have to complain about anyway?


“You don’t have to look far and you’ll see people that’s got it worse than us,” he said. “The worst day I’ve had wasn’t that bad. I made it through it.”


Turnage’s family has deep roots in Pamlico County. He grew up here and attended the county’s public schools.


He left Pamlico County after joining the U.S. Coast Guard at age 17. During his career, Turnage was stationed as close as Hobucken and Cape Lookout and as far away as Mississippi.


Even though the work often was hard, he kept a positive attitude, thankful that he was able to be outdoors and do what he wanted.


Over the years, Turnage held a number of jobs, including working in The Washington Post’s maintenance department and spending some time at a local factory that made aluminum fishing towers for boats.


He says he approached all of his jobs with the same upbeat spirit he displays today. Ask Turnage how his day is going, and he will tell you, “outstanding.” Put in a maintenance request, and he’s right on it.


“I’m thankful for my attitude,” Turnage said. “I just try to be upbeat. Who wants to talk to someone who’s nasty all the time?”


George Willey, who also works in the maintenance department, said Turnage always gives his best efforts on the job.


“Herman always puts the college’s needs first, whether it’s the grounds or helping the staff and faculty members,” Willey said. “He has no problem spending some of his own time making sure the college’s plants are watered on the weekends. He is one of the most positive people I have ever worked with.”


Turnage and his wife, Paula, have been married for more than 41 years. They have two grown children and seven grandchildren.



State Higher Education Leader Visits PCC

Jennifer Haygood visits with Dr. Ross at PCC


May 10, 2017


Jennifer Haygood, right, chief of staff for the N.C. Community College System, visited Pamlico Community College recently.


She spent the morning with PCC President Dr. Jim Ross, left, who gave Hay­good a tour of the campus and introduced her to faculty members, staff members and students.


Ross praised PCC employees to her and credited them with the impressive array of accomplishments this past year which he reviewed with her.


Ross thanked Haygood for the com­mendable support PCC receives from System President Dr. Jimmie Williamson, Haygood, Senior Vice President/Chief Academic Officer Dr. Lisa Chapman, and the system as a whole.


He also thanked Haygood for her “outstanding professionalism” in assisting PCC throughout his service as president.




PCC's Commencement Exercises Set for May 12

Image showing graduation details


May 10, 2017


One of the largest graduating classes in recent Pamlico Community College history is eligible to participate in the college’s 2017 Commencement Exercises on Friday, May 12, beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the Ned Everett Delamar Center on the college’s Grantsboro campus.


In all, 119 men and women have qualified to graduate from Pamlico Community College over the last year, including those who completed their coursework in the current Spring 2017 semester, the Fall 2016 semester and the Summer 2016 session.


Those students have earned a combined 177 academic credentials, including 64 associate’s degrees, 16 diplomas, 92 certificates and five Continuing Education credentials.


PCC President Dr. Jim Ross, who assumed the college’s top job last July, will preside over his first commencement as the college’s fifth president. State Sen. Norman Sanderson of Arapahoe will give the commencement address.


“Commencement is an exciting time for everyone at Pamlico Community College, particularly for our graduates and their families,” Ross said. “We commend the students for their hard work and many sacrifices to become graduates of our college, commend the PCC faculty and staff who have worked hard to assist them throughout their time with us, and look forward to the Delamar Center filled with lots of happiness and pride.”


Vice President of Student Services Jamie Gibbs expects the evening to be emotional for many.


“Commencement allows each graduate, family member and employee to see the fruits of their labor,” he said. “Seeing the students achieve their goals and embark on new paths provides me great joy. To the graduates, I say, ‘thank you for choosing Pamlico Community College.’”


During the ceremony, the college’s Academic Excellence Award/Student of the Year winner will be announced. The college also will honor its Instructor of the Year, Adjunct Instructor of the Year, Staff Person of the Year, Alumnus of the Year and President’s Award recipient.


Members of the college’s Board of Trustees and Foundation Board are expected to attend, and there will be a reception with cake and punch following the ceremony.




ECU Graduate Got Her Start at PCC

ECU graduate graduation portrait

May 8, 2017


Kara Ireland’s higher education journey began at Pamlico Community College when she was in high school. It culminated – at least for now – when the motivated 22-year-old Arapahoe resident graduated from East Carolina University recently with her bachelor’s degree in psychology.


“It’s been a journey,” Ireland said recently. “They say start strong and finish stronger. That’s what I’ve tried to do.”


Ireland got a head start on her bachelor’s degree in 11th grade when she enrolled in college courses offered at PCC’s Bayboro Center. After graduating from Pamlico County High School, she began attending Pamlico Community College full time, earning her associate’s degree in only one year, thanks in large part to the free college credits she had already earned.


Ireland then transferred to ECU, commuting to Greenville for classes when she wasn’t working in the office at Camp Seafarer in Pamlico County.


She excelled at ECU, and was able to complete her bachelor’s degree for a fraction of the cost she would have encountered without PCC and the free college courses offered through the Career & College Promise program.


“It was one of the best routes to go,” Ireland said with a smile before last week’s commencement at ECU.


Students are eligible to take college courses at PCC – at no cost – while they are in high school, thanks to the N.C. Career & College Promise program. The credits earned by passing the free college courses can help students get ahead.


“Offering high school students an opportunity to earn college credit at no charge is one of the best things we do at Pamlico Community College,” said PCC President Dr. Jim Ross. “Students who pass these courses save themselves both time and money, but they don’t sacrifice quality instruction.”


Ireland said she would recommend high school students enroll in free college courses offered by PCC while they can. Ireland also said attending PCC for a year after graduating high school got her ready for the often-demanding life of a university student.


“It has prepared me, that’s for sure,” she said. “It made me want to go strive to go further.”


Ireland said she got a lot of support and encouragement from PCC instructors and staffers while enrolled at the college. She singled out Michelle Willis, the college’s vice president of instructional services, as someone who was especially helpful.


PCC counselor Cristy Lewis Warner, who was among those who helped Ireland make sure she had everything in place to transfer to ECU, said the college can help others reach their educational goals.


“Kara is a perfect example of what Pamlico Community College can do,” Warner said. “We are not always someone’s final answer, but we can be a partner in a student’s pathways to success. We were there at Kara’s side during her high school years through the Career & College Promise program, during her associate’s degree and also during her transition to ECU.”


Ireland said her educational journey is not yet complete. She will begin studying for the GRE soon, with plans to pursue a master’s degree in psychology. Her career ambition is to help children.


 “Kara was dedicated to her dream early on, and we were happy to assist her along the way,” Warner said. “We could not be happier to see her graduate from East Carolina University.”




PCC Librarian Trades Books for Boots

Jane Whitley poses in the PCC library

May 5, 2017


After more than 23 years in public education, Jane Potter Whitley is trading her books for boots.


Whitley, who retired last month as director of library services at Pamlico Community College, is going to work for her 80-year-old father at R.E. Mayo Seafood in Hobucken.


“I’m going back in my boots, as they say,” she said with a laugh.


Whitley will be handling the company’s books and helping with some of the day-to-day operations of the commercial fishing and marine supply business. She said she will miss working in education, but feels a need to assist her parents with the demanding enterprise.


Whitley grew up in Pamlico County and is a 1984 graduate of Pamlico County High School. She went on to graduate from East Carolina University.


Whitley has worked in several jobs in the local education sector, including in the Pamlico County school system as a teacher, a media coordinator, a technology assistant and an assistant principal.


She took the job as the college’s director of library services about two years ago. In that job, Whitley also has been in charge of the college’s Cultural Enrichment offerings.


“I was interested in making a difference at a higher level of education,” Whitley said.


College leaders say Whitley has made a difference on campus.


“Jane did an outstanding job for PCC,” said President Dr. Jim Ross. “She constantly worked for new and better ways to serve our students. She will be missed.”


Whitley said she will miss her co-workers at the college, but will particularly miss working with students, especially those she recognizes from her days in the public school system.


“It’s been rewarding to be able to help them again,” Whitley said.


Whitley and her husband, who is an educator in Beaufort County, live in Bayboro. They have three children.





Spring Semester Book Buyback 5/4/17

Flyer for the spring semester book buyback



A representitive from Follett will be on campus Thursday, May 4th from 9:00am until 4:00pm (with an hour break for lunch) in the student lounge area of the Johnson Building.


Bring in your unwanted textbooks in order to sell them for cash!








Graduate Returns to Lead Medical Assisting Program

Jessica Boomer poses with the new medical assisting director, Tina Hardison

April 27, 2017


At Pamlico Community College, the student really has become the teacher.


Tina Hardison, a 2015 graduate of the college’s Medical Assisting program, started work April 3 as the new director of the popular two-year program, which trains students to work with patients in doctors’ offices, health care clinics and other facilities.


The 46-year-old Pamlico County native is taking over for Jessica Boomer, a registered nurse who will be leaving the college May 15 to move with her husband and son to Mississippi.


Boomer, who has led the program for about three years, said Hardison will be a fantastic successor.


“I know the quality of student she was and the quality of worker she was,” Boomer said, adding that Hardison graduated from PCC’s Medical Assisting program in just three semesters with a 4.0 grade point average.


For her part, the modest Hardison said Boomer has been a great help to her as she learns the new job. She also said the new position is the latest chapter in a life spent working to better herself and to improve her circumstances.


Hardison grew up in Pamlico County and graduated from Pamlico County High School. She intended to become a nurse, but things didn’t work out, so she took a job working in a medical office.


At first, she worked as a receptionist, then transitioned into the insurance and billing department. All along, Hardison soaked up as much knowledge about the medical field she could.


Her career took a turn into the restaurant industry. Hardison went to work for Tands, a Kinston-based owner of Bojangle’s restaurants, as a corporate trainer. She was working with Tands when she made a decision “out of the blue” to return to school at age 42.


Hardison enrolled at PCC in the Medical Assisting program, where she excelled. A self-described “nerd,” she loved everything about being in college and the Medical Assisting program.


“I loved school,” Hardison said. “I was on fire for it. That was my world.”


With a full-time course load, a full-time job and a family, she stayed busy, but she completed the program with flying colors.


One morning, she was working at a Tands-owned Bojangle’s in James City, where she was training an attendant at the drive-through window. A female customer drove up, and Hardison noticed she was wearing a Coastal Carolina Health Care (CCHC) uniform.


The two struck up a conversation about medical assisting and job opportunities, and the next thing Hardison knew, she was working at CCHC as a medical assistant – a job she held until she decided to return to her alma mater and lead the program she had once attended.


“I’ve always loved teaching,” Hardison said, adding she hopes to instill a love of learning and a strong work ethic in her students.


“They need to learn and recognize that you have to work really hard for what you want,” she said.


PCC President Dr. Jim Ross said the college is fortunate that Hardison decided to return.


“Tina Hardison will do a wonderful job with our Medical Assisting program,” he said. “She is a product of Pamlico Community College and has a love for this college and this community. Tina Hardison’s story illustrates the opportunities available right here at PCC.”


Boomer said Hardison’s journey as a non-traditional student should serve as an inspiration and motivation for others.


“I leave a good program in good hands,” she said, to which Hardison shot back: “And she’s leaving her cell phone number behind with me, just in case!”






High School Juniors Learn About PCC Programs

High school student learning about programs offered at PCC

April 20, 2017


More than 50 juniors from Pamlico County High School traveled to Pamlico Community College recently to see what the college can offer, both while they’re in high school and after they graduate.


The 11th-graders visited with instructors from nearly a dozen career programs, including Accounting, Business Administration, Cosmetology, Criminal Justice, Early Childhood Education, Electroneurodiagnotic Technology, Esthetics, Environmental Science Technology, Medical Assisting, Medical Office Administration and Welding.


They also heard from PCC Math and Humanities instructors about their courses and university-transfer opportunities.


Perhaps most importantly, the students who participated in PCC’s “Junior Day” learned that they are eligible to take college courses – at no cost – while they are in high school, thanks to the N.C. Career & College Promise program. The credits earned by passing the free college courses can help students get ahead.


“Junior Day is funded by our GEAR UP grant in an effort to encourage students to attend college,” said Rebecca Pesko, PCC’s chair of general studies and a key organizer of the event. “We hope high school juniors at PCHS will consider PCC as a preferred option for their college path. In addition to marketing our career and university-transfer programs, instructors encouraged students to consider Career & College Promise in their senior year, which is a wonderful opportunity.”


Participating students were divided into small groups so they could take part in several hands-on activities across campus. For example, students who had their parents’ permission were able to try welding.


Over in the Delamar Center, juniors worked on an experiment to collect their own DNA, which they learned was useful in the college’s Criminal Justice program.


Cosmetology and Esthetics instructors and students offered the students eyebrow waxing and paraffin treatments, while the Medical Assisting and Medical Office Administration programs highlighted the career opportunities available in health care.


The groups rotated from station to station, which allowed all of the juniors to see each of the college’s featured programs.


“We enjoy having visitors on campus, especially when we can show them all of the great options that are available at Pamlico Community College,” said PCC President Dr. Jim Ross. “High school students are eligible to earn college credit by taking our courses free of charge, which is an outstanding opportunity. PCC has been rated as the third-best community college in the country, and we are proud to be able to offer high-quality career and university-transfer programs close to home.”


For more information about the Career & College Promise program, contact Derek Godwin at PCC’s Bayboro Center, 252-745-7349 or






Dr. Ross Meets With All Of PCC's Full-Time Employees

PCC President, Dr. Ross meets with an employee

April 19, 2017


When Dr. Jim Ross became president of Pamlico Community College last July, he decided to solicit ideas and suggestions from the college’s full-time employees – every single one of them.


Over the last eight months, Ross has met for an hour – one on one – with all of PCC’s roughly 75 full-time faculty members and staffers.


He wanted to get to know them, to hear their recommendations for the college and for him, and to begin building a team that would do great things to improve the college, the community and the lives of students and their families.


“I feel great now that it’s complete,” Ross said recently. “It’s been extremely rewarding. I’m very humbled to be one of only a very few community college or university presidents in our great nation to have done this.”


The employee meetings were just part of Ross’ efforts to reach out to the community. During his time at PCC, he also has met with civic leaders, government officials, the non-profit sector, media members and citizens to spread the word about the college and to look for ways it can help residents improve themselves and their circumstances.


Ross, who came to Pamlico after serving as a vice president at Piedmont Virginia Community College, said he decided to undertake the ambitious meeting schedule even before he accepted the top job at PCC.


“I came to PCC because I felt I could do more as a president than I could as a vice president,” he said. “I thought that, as one who values organizational leadership, this was something that would make our organization much better.”


Creating a sense of teamwork was the first, most important reason for the employee meetings, Ross said.


“I have worked with high-achieving teams to accomplish great things to make people’s lives better. I wanted to build that team here,” he said.


Any successful team needs a shared vision to do something great, Ross said. By getting to know PCC’s full-time employees and hearing their input, he was able to rally them behind a bold, shared vision.


“We want to move forward aggressively to make the college better, to make our community better and to make lives better,” Ross said. “That’s the shared vision that’s been created by these one-on-one sessions.”


A third rationale for the employee sessions was to salute employees for their efforts and to let them know how important their contributions are to PCC.


And, of course, the input received from employees yielded some great ideas, Ross said.


“I received extremely valuable information from them,” he said. “I gained insight into the value of programs and how they could be improved.”


One such instance involved a suggestion from instructor Leslie Jones to add Anatomy and Physiology to the prerequisites for students in the Electroneurodiagnostic Technology (EDT) program. Doing so would improve students’ performance and chances for success, she suggested.


Ross agreed, the change was made, and the program’s accreditation agency was impressed.


“Dr. Ross told me at that time he supported the needs of the program and would put the change in effect,” Jones said. “By his leadership and experience, I see the EDT program and its students reaching new heights.”


Cristy Lewis Warner, a student success coach, said she welcomed the opportunity to discuss her program with Ross and to show him the important role it plays in reaching students who are at risk of dropping out.


“Our conversation was centered on our students, their needs and how we can be what the community needs,” she said. “We discussed success coaching, student retention and how to best serve our students.”


Warner said that while she appreciated the one-on-one meeting with the president, she was most heartened to see Ross sitting down to talk with a student during registration.


“I was thrilled to see his engagement one on one with students,” she said. “This was my first insight into his dedication to student success. I actually took a photo of him talking to one of our students because it impressed me with how approachable he is to our students. They have valued their ability to be heard by our president as well.”


Greg Skelly, the college’s coordinator of health occupations and emergency services, said he was pleased the new president understood employees were more than their job titles and performance reviews.


“I once worked for a corporation in which I was one of 50,000 employees,” he said. “I was the proverbial ‘cog in the wheel.’ I was a position, not a person.


“Dr. Ross listened to me, not my resume, not performance reports, not much about my job.  He wanted to know who I am.  Our conversation lasted a good while, but it’s not over.  Clearly, it continues every time I am with the man. That feels very good.  As a result, I feel greater loyalty and commitment to him, to our college team, to our students and to our community.”


Ross said the one-on-one meetings were time-consuming, but worthwhile.


“It’s been a highly effective way to show respect to each employee,” he said. “We got a chance to chat, and they got a chance to know me a little better. People told me they like the approach.


“It was something that I greatly enjoyed. I know I’m a much better president for having done this.”


Environmental Science Program Offers Career Versatility

PCC Environmental science students on a field trip

April 10, 2017


For Pamlico Community College instructor Zac Schnell, going outside to work is a lot like going outside to play.


Schnell leads the college’s Environmental Science Technology program, which prepares graduates for good-paying jobs in the growing field of environmental testing, consulting, remediation and other related fields.


He says one of his favorite parts of the program is the wide variety of career options it creates for students who are interested in the environment.


“You can use it in many different ways,” the energetic, 28-year-old Wilmington native said. “It just depends on what you have an interest in.”


PCC is one of only four community colleges in North Carolina now offering the Environmental Science Technology program. Courses for the versatile program can be taken on campus or online.


PCC’s Environmental Science Technology offers a two-year associate’s degree that appeals to men and women who enjoy the outdoors and who are eager to work in careers that help keep their surroundings – and ours – clean and safe. The program also offers a number of valuable, career-enhancing certifications for people who manage wastewater treatment plants or who work in natural resource conservation.


“Environmental Science Technology is one of the programs that sets Pamlico Community College apart from its peers,” said PCC President Dr. Jim Ross. “We are proud to offer this program, and we are fortunate to have an innovative, well-educated and well-liked instructor like Zac Schnell to lead it.”


Schnell has been drawn to outdoor activities since he was a boy. Growing up in coastal North Carolina, he has always enjoyed boating, kayaking, hiking, surfing and scuba diving.


He earned a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Technology and Management from N.C. State University in Raleigh, and he went on to earn a master’s degree in Natural Resources from NCSU.


Schnell spent two years in the Peace Corps, working on coastal management projects in the Philippines. Not content with exposure to only coastal environments, he also worked for a while at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park Institute at Tremont.


At PCC, he and his students can often be found in the field, collecting water samples, examining the effects of pollution or touring municipal facilities.


The Environmental Science Technology program is not without challenges: Students seeking the two-year degree must take and pass Chemistry and Biology.


But Schnell urges prospective students not to be intimidated. “Don’t let that scare you,” he said.


Students now enrolled in PCC’s Environmental Science Technology program are as varied as the environments they study. Some live in Pamlico County or neighboring areas, while others are distance education students who live in the mountains, Charlotte and the Raleigh-Durham area.


Some students are high schoolers, while others currently work in environment-related fields and want to advance their education.


“We are very fortunate to live in a beautiful place,” Ross said. “It’s only appropriate that Pamlico Community College offers a program to train men and women to understand, protect and enhance the environment.”


For more information about PCC’s Environmental Science Technology program, contact Zac Schnell at or call 252-249-1851, ext. 3115.


Instructor Travels to Meet with Online Students

PCC instructor meets with online students

April 4, 2017


Talk about a special delivery: Pamlico Community College instructor Leslie Jones recently traveled to the Charlotte area to meet with five students who are enrolled in the college’s online Electroneurodiagnostic Technology (EDT) program.


Gathering in the breakfast area of a Pineville hotel, Jones, the college’s EDT instructor, went over some head-measuring techniques and other course material with the students.


During the 2½-hour, Saturday evening session, the distance education students got a rare chance to meet with their instructor and their classmates face to face.


“My granddaughter had a karate tournament for that weekend, and I thought this would also be a great opportunity for students who were in that area to come and meet me and have a session with me,” Jones said about her Charlotte class meeting. “We really had a great time. I learned that two of the students – Kathryn Musselwhite and Merilyn Ellis – are sisters!”


This wasn’t Jones’ first trip to meet with distance education students, and it wasn’t the first site visit by a PCC instructor. But it does illustrate the level of commitment that PCC faculty members have to their programs and their students’ success.


“Leslie Jones is an excellent example of the outstanding instructors we have at Pamlico Community College who have outstanding knowledge and teaching skills,” said PCC President Dr. Jim Ross. “Leslie’s visit to the Charlotte area, however, demonstrates the kind of personalized attention students receive from our dedicated faculty and staff, which is an important reason our college is recognized as one of America’s best community colleges,” he said.


Jones believes it’s important to meet with her program’s online students, if possible.


“If a student, within the state or close by, asks to meet me, I make every effort to arrange it,” she said. “For this meeting, we met in the breakfast lobby of the Comfort Suites in Pineville. They were so hospitable and willing to help our EDT program. They allowed us the use of the facility as long as we felt needed.”


Musselwhite traveled from Kannapolis for the “class,” while her sister, Ellis, came from Troutman. They were joined by classmates Clotilde Fleurime and Cori Fowler of Charlotte and Stephen Miller of Asheville.


While together, the classmates also took their midterm exam.


Most of the classmates are moving from jobs in the medical field into EDT, Jones said. Fowler even gave Jones a pink crocheted brain as a show of appreciation for the program.


PCC offers a wide range of courses and programs in both seated and online formats. The college’s EDT program, which recently received national accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP), is available entirely online.


For more information about PCC’s Electroneurodiagnostic Technology program, contact Leslie Jones at or 252-249-1851, ext. 3043.





PCC's Welding Program Offers Valuable Job Skills

PCC student welding for a class project

March 28, 2017


“It is just as honorable for workers to pursue careers working with their hands as it is working with their minds,” states Pamlico Community College President Jim Ross. “In fact, numerous vocational careers are now in great demand, pay very good salaries, and make our society stronger,” he said.


One good example is PCC’s Welding program, which can prepare students for high-paying job opportunities that are in demand. The college offers a two-year associate’s degree in Welding, as well as a diploma option and a certificate option in the fast-growing field. Continuing Education classes in Welding also are available.


At PCC, students learn the skill – and art – of joining metal to metal through a variety of processes, including the SMAW, GMAW, FCAW and GTAW methods.


Along the way, program participants learn about important safety procedures and OSHA requirements. They also learn how to cut metal, read blueprints and inspect welds, and they gain valuable, hands-on skills that will serve them well on virtually any job site.


“It’s a great opportunity,” said Joe Flynn, a full-time PCC instructor who leads the college’s curriculum programs in Welding. “There are thousands of jobs available in the welding field in the United States. They are everywhere.”


Welding jobs can be lucrative for people who attain high levels of skill and experience. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median hourly wage for a welder in 2015 was $18.34 per hour.


In addition, the American Welding Society and other industry advocates say that as the welding workforce ages and retires, more positions will become available, offering high pay and opportunities for advancement.


Flynn says that’s already happening, with some welders earning more than $100,000 per year, depending on their position and experience. Job postings for welders are plentiful online, and there are opportunities locally, around the region and around the world.


Flynn has been welding since he was a teenager. He learned the essential skills while working construction jobs in New York City.


“I was building skyscrapers when I was 17, 18 years old,” he said. “It was on-the-job training.”


Lured by a lower cost of living, Flynn followed his brothers south to North Carolina several years ago. After working several jobs, he enrolled at Pitt Community College to hone his welding skills and to earn certifications. Flynn later joined the Pitt CC faculty as an adjunct instructor, and he worked there and at nearby Craven Community College for several years before coming to Pamlico CC last August as the college’s full-time curriculum instructor in Welding.


He brings a lot of experience, from both on-the-job and academic settings, to the post. Flynn says he can train students to spot sloppy welds and to listen to the noises a welding machine makes to determine if it’s working properly.


“Not everybody can weld,” he said. “There’s a skill set to it, but it’s also an art.”


Welders and welding students must be patient, pay attention to detail and be ready to accept criticism. With those qualities, plus the skills available at Pamlico Community College, students can go on to earn good money and work in a $34 billion per year domestic industry where job opportunities abound.


Pamlico Community College will be offering a Cutting Processes course and an Introduction to Welding course this summer. For more information about these classes or the Welding program, contact Joe Flynn at or at 252-249-1851, ext. 3058.




New Face on the Beat at PCC

Campus security Officer Bill W poses near his office

March 24, 2017


Bill Wichrowski has a big job ahead of him.


The 48-year-old New York native started work March 1 as Pamlico Community College’s chief of campus security and safety.


He is tasked with developing the college’s new on-campus security office.


“You’re starting from nothing,” Wichrowski said recently. “The ultimate goal is to provide for the safety and security of the school and everybody therein.”


Wichrowski has spent his first few days on the job reaching out to his colleagues across the N.C. Community College System, particularly those who, like him, were hired to develop security offices or upgrade to campus police departments.


PCC’s establishment of a dedicated security office means that all of North Carolina’s 58 community college have campus security forces in place. Wichrowski is stationed in room 183 of the Johnson Building, which is the former public information office.


“We take seriously our commitment to campus security,” said PCC President Dr. Jim Ross. “That’s why we’re pleased that Bill Wichrowski has joined our team. We feel certain Bill has the knowledge, experience and temperament to be an effective campus security chief.”


Wichrowski comes to PCC after a 22-year career with the New York Police Department. He formerly lived on Long Island, N.Y., before moving with his family to Oriental.


Wichrowski said he and his family were drawn to the area by the low cost of living and good quality of life. He said his in-laws and other extended family members already live in the area.


Wichrowski has been married for 25 years and has three grown children.


In addition to speaking with his campus security colleagues, Wichrowski is reviewing the college’s plan of action for emergencies. He also is asking for employees, students and others who have campus security issues, concerns or suggestions to meet with him.


Wichrowski is reachable in person, and his phone number is 252-249-1851, ext. 3047.


“I want to get to know everyone,” he said.








OSHA Course Available at PCC

Workers on construction site

March 15, 2017


PCC’s Continuing Education division soon will be offering a 10-hour Construction Safety course through its OSHA Outreach Training Program.


The course is designed for construction workers, employers and others. It will include instruction on the recognition, avoidance, abatement and prevention of safety and health hazards on the job.


The program also will provide information about workers' rights, employer responsibilities and the procedure for filing a complaint.


The course will be taught by OSHA-authorized trainer Glenda Vestal.


Cost for the course is $139, which includes materials and a wallet-sized OSHA card.


Participants can choose to take the two-day course either Friday and Saturday, March 31 and April 1, or Friday and Saturday, April 28-29. Hours will be Fridays from noon to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.


The course will be held at PCC’s Grantsboro campus.


For more information about this course, please contact Michelle McGuire-Egan at 252-249-1851, ext. 3124.






EDT Program Receives National Accreditation

EDT students performing classwork

March 7, 2017


Students at Pamlico Community College not only learn how to use their brains, they also can learn how to test what’s happening in someone else’s brain.


Pamlico Community College is one of two community colleges in North Carolina offering the Electroneurodiagnostic Technology associate’s degree program, which trains students to conduct sophisticated tests on the electrical waves in a patient’s brain and spine.


Those tests, which are conducted in hospitals and other health care settings, can be critical in the diagnosis and treatment of seizures, strokes and other neurological problems, including dementia and ALS.


Now, thanks to the hard work of faculty members, staffers and administrators, PCC’s Electroneurodiagnostic Technology program has received continuing accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). The accreditation is valid to 2026.


“We at Pamlico Community College are very proud of our Electroneurodiagnostic Technology program, and we are especially pleased with the news of the accreditation,” said PCC President Dr. Jim Ross. “We believe this program builds on our commitment to this community and puts Pamlico Community College in a position to offer a unique degree program that will set our college apart.”


Earning the accreditation was not easy. It required a lot of self-study and data collection, plus a stringent site visit by a CAAHEP team last September. But the work has paid off with a program that not only complies with nationally established accreditation standards, but also helps students discover new possibilities in health care.


Tests involving the brain and spine might sound painful, but they’re not. According to PCC instructor Leslie Jones, electroneurodiagnostic technologists use a series of electrodes that are placed on a patient’s head to collect data on the electrical waves generated by the brain and spine.


Before setting up the tests, technologists assess a patient’s symptoms and medical history, and then carefully measure the person’s head to ensure the electrodes are placed the correct distance apart, she said.


The patient’s scalp is then cleaned with alcohol to remove any oils or hair care products, and the electrodes are put on. As the patient follows a series of commands, the electrodes collect data on his or her brain activity.


“It looks like something a 2-year-old would draw,” Jones said, referring to the series of squiggly lines produced by a successful test, or “electroencephalogram.” Within those lines, doctors and others look for patterns that can help find problems in a patient’s brain and determine the correct treatment regimen to correct them.


Jones said she was drawn to a career in Electroneurodiagnostic Technology after her 12-year-old sister suffered a brain injury in an accident and developed seizures. Many of her students say they also were attracted to the field by the neurological difficulties suffered by family members.


Tiarra Jones-Nickeson, a second semester student from New Bern, said she enrolled in the program after seeing a beloved aunt struggle with seizures.


“I don’t want other people to go through what I had to go through,” she said.


Pamlico’s online Electroneurodiagnostic Technology program is a great option for working adults who are interested in health care. The program include a clinical component, meaning students work on their skills in health care settings.


PCC offers its entire two-year associate’s degree program in Electroneurodiagnostic Technology online, something no other community college in the United States does.


“It’s the only one of its kind in the country,” said Sandra Mathis, director of the program.


The two-year program takes commitment and discipline, but can lead to a versatile career with jobs in hospitals, doctors’ offices, clinics and labs. Work by electroneurodiagnostic technicians can help improve the lives of stroke and dementia patients, those with sleep problems and athletes and others who have suffered concussions.


“That’s awesome,” Mathis said.


For more information about PCC’s Electroneurodiagnostic Technology program, contact Leslie Jones at or 252-249-1851, ext. 3043.



Oyster Revival/Chili Cookoff Benefits Students

Oysters being enjoyed at the Oyster Revival


UPDATE: Around 150 people attended Pamlico Community College Foundation’s 7th Annual Great Oyster Revival Saturday, Feb. 25, the largest attendance yet. Maybe the weather brought folks out; with a beautiful blue sky and temps near 80, it was too pretty to stay indoors. This year’s event once again featured a chili cook off and music by The Pamlico Flutes. An addition to the festivities were the yard games: horseshoe, corn hole and giant Jenga.


Attendees’ tickets went into a drawing box for door prizes: 5 lbs. of local shrimp from Garland Fulcher Seafood; two of instructor Zac Schnell’s photo art on canvas; a Corksicle insulated tumbler from Nautical Wheelers gift shop; and a Thirsty Bruins gift certificate donated by Brandi McCullough. We thank those prize donors!


Patrick Bucksot, husband of Trustee Beth Bucksot and son-in-law of Foundation President Carla Byrnes, won the 50/50 raffle and very generously donated his winnings of $115 right back to the Foundation. Thank you, Patrick!


Our esteemed panel of chili judges, Brandy Fillingame, Gary Hardison, Shawn Lyon and Bev Fruhling, in a blind tasting, awarded the first place Golden Spoon Award and a Nautical Wheelers gift certificate, to our very own Denise Meyerson, coordinator of Instructional Services and Cultural Enrichment, for her vegan chili. The Silver Spoon runner-up award went to Janice Cox for her chicken chili. Many thanks to Kathy Nicodemus for her role as Chili Chief, and thank you to those who donated chili just to help, not caring whether they won the contest!


From making tea to keeping the cocktail sauce topped up to cleaning up afterwards, these fundraising events would not be possible without the help of many hands, and we thank them all. In addition to those already mentioned: Jennifer Paul; Patrick Rohrman; Michelle Schafer Egan; Brandy Fillingame and son Nicholas; Michelle Montgomery; Wyatt Cutler; Carla Byrnes; our Student Ambassadors Anthony Raisch, Olivia Stalcup, Kayla Thomas and Mikayla Minally; our Fab 4 oyster cookers Judge Ragan, Chuck Forrest, Reg Piland and Ricky Miller; George Willey and Herman Turnage; Denise Meyerson; and a special thank you to Brandi McCullough, former events coordinator, who advised and helped throughout, and postponed her move to Raleigh to assist at the event, and to Bruce Lupton, who was the very last person to leave the campus that night.



January 11, 2017


As we pursue a healthier lifestyle in this era of Fitbits and Paleo diets, keep in mind what researchers already know:  helping others lowers stress levels, makes us feel happier and live longer. As John Andrew Holmes said, “There is no better exercise for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up.”


That’s what Pamlico Community College Foundation’s 7th Annual Great Oyster Revival is all about. Helping others. What do a Certified Nursing Assistant, a public school teacher, and a future substance abuse counselor have in common? They “Discovered Tomorrow’s Possibilities” at Pamlico Community College with the help of Foundation scholarships. That’s where you come in. Spend a leisurely Saturday afternoon in February feasting on all-you-can eat freshly-steamed oysters and gourmet chili while listening to pop, classical and Irish tunes by the Pamlico Flutes, and  you’ll be making it possible for deserving students to discover tomorrow’s possibilities. Tickets are just $30 for all you can eat, live entertainment, fun and fellowship. And - to honor educators--with an ID educators pay just $25.


Not crazy about oysters? Let’s talk about the chili. We’re not talking your average ground beef slathered with chili powder. Last year there were 12 pots of chili--bear chili, venison chili, Argentinian-style, something called Snake Bite Chili, Texas Chili, black bean chili, veggie chili. Rumor has it this event doubles as a chili cook-off with a prize and trophy, so it is sure to attract a smorgasbord of exotic, world-class chilis. More details on the cook-off will be forthcoming.


Or give your ticket to a friend. Or consider making a donation to the Foundation. Help lift people up.


Mark your calendars for Saturday, February 25, 3-5 p.m. at Pamlico Community College for all-you-can-eat oysters and chili, live entertainment, fun and fellowship while helping others achieve their dreams. Call 252-249-1851, ext. 3084 for more information on the event or how to make a donation. Tickets will be available at the college bookstore at 5049 Highway 306 South, Grantsboro, the Chamber of Commerce office on Highway 55 in Grantsboro, Bayboro Pharmacy, and Nautical Wheelers and Oriental Deli and Subs on Broad Street in Oriental. Tickets can also be held at the gate with a credit card by calling the above number.


As one attendee said, “Whatever you do, don’t miss this Pamlico County tradition. There is not a better time to be had in the Western Hemisphere!”


PCC Extends Hours for Spring 2017 Registration

December 21, 2016


Good news. There is still time to enroll for the spring 2017 semester at Pamlico Community College, even though classes start in just a few weeks.


Pamlico Community College is hosting a two-day registration event dedicated to helping all students apply and register for the upcoming spring 2017 semester.


This registration event is a one-stop enrollment for registration, financial aid, testing, and scheduling classes, and PCC is extending its hours for two days this week in an effort to make this one-stop enrollment available to everyone.   


The special registration days will be Wednesday, January 4 from 8:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and Thursday, January 5 from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.  The extended hours and services are designed to help all students register, even if they cannot make it to campus during normal working hours. 


“At Pamlico Community College it is our mission to serve our community. We understand that our students can have other responsibilities that make coming to campus during normal working hours difficult. We extend our hours every semester because we want to be available to anyone and everyone who wants to come learn more about our programs, apply, or register for the spring 2017 semester,” says Jamie Gibbs, vice president of student services.


At this two-day registration event, students can:

  •         Fill out an application
  •         Meet with an advisor about academic goals
  •         Get help with class registration
  •         Sign up for new student orientation
  •         Get help with financial aid
  •         Review financial aid status and payment options
  •         Pay tuition; start tuition payment plan
  •         Purchase or rent books at the PCC bookstore


This two-day registration event is not just for current students. Prospective students and their families are encouraged to attend.


Spring semester classes begin Tuesday, January 17, with online classes starting Monday, January 30. PCC is located at 5049 NC Hwy 306 S. in Grantsboro. Normal registration hours are Monday- Thursday 7:30am – 4:30pm and Friday 7:30am-1pm. Visit or email to learn more.





PCC Named Gold-level Award Recipient Military Friendly®

PCC receives Military Friendly Gold Award

December 14, 2016



Pamlico Community College announced today that it has been named a Gold-level Military Friendly® School Award recipient in the category of Community Colleges for 2017.


For more than a decade, Military Friendly ratings have set the standard for companies and colleges demonstrating positive employment and education outcomes for veterans and their families. This past week, they published its awards for 2017 Military Friendly Schools and Employers with a special addition.


New this year, Military Friendly Awards showcase the most powerful and effective programs of more than 1,200 post-secondary schools that were designated as “Military Friendly” in November. These higher-education institutions have been recognized for exhibiting leading practices in recruiting and supporting post-military students.


Of those designated, 154 employers and 541 schools have been recognized for excellence in different categories, highlighting not only “Are you Military Friendly?” but “How Military Friendly are you?”


Only two out of the 58 community colleges in North Carolina and only 55 community college’s in the nation received the Gold- level Military Friendly award.


“Pamlico Community College is honored to receive the Military Friendly designation for the second year in a row and even more honored to receive the Gold-level status this year,” says Dr. Jim Ross, president of Pamlico Community College. “At PCC, we value our military, and this designation highlights that value and dedication to serve our veteran community from classrooms to careers.


In order to qualify, schools must have successfully completed a 2017 Military Friendly survey and, as a result, been designated as a 2017 Military Friendly School.


Rankings were determined by a how well an institution’s military recruiting program does in three primary areas:


  1. Engages the prospective military student or employee in a recruiting environment.
  2. Educates the military student or employee once he or she is part of the company or school.
  3. Employs the military student or employee in meaningful employment.


The evaluation process includes public data public data from government sources, including the U.S. Departments of Veteran Affairs, Labor, Defense and Education, along with proprietary data collected through the school’s Military Friendly survey.


To learn more about how Pamlico Community College serves our military or to register for the spring 2017 semester, please contact PCC’s student services at 252-249-1851 or visit





PCC Launches Mariner's Club Campaign

Scholarship recipients pose with instructor at PCC's scholarship ceremony

December 7, 2016

By: Michelle Noevere


At this blessed time of year, it is appropriate for us to give thanks. We, at Pamlico Community College, are thankful for all of the past donations to PCC and the scholarships for deserving students, made possible by our caring community.


Spring 2017 registration is underway, and with it a promise to each student—a better life.  A quality education at PCC can mean learning a new skill or trade, getting a better job, making more money, or improving the quality of life for themselves and their families.


PCC’s late president, Dr. Cleve H. Cox, was a champion for students. He knew that education changes lives; that education is something that, once attained, can never be taken away.


It is because of this reason and many others that the PCC Foundation 2016-2017 annual Mariner’s Club campaign is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Cox.


The Cleve H. Cox Memorial Scholarship, made possible by community donations, has been established. The first two scholarships from this fund have been awarded this semester. A gift to this new fund provides deserving, goal-oriented, Pamlico County students with the means to attain something valuable. It is something so valuable that once earned, can never be taken away—education.


Fall 2016 scholarship recipients met their scholarship donors, some for the first time, at PCC’s annual scholarship ceremony yesterday. The room was filled with big smiles and big hearts because our county recognizes the importance and value of education. PCC wants to continue giving the gift of education to our deserving students, but we cannot do it without the support from donors in the community.


“I would not be where I am today without the scholarship I received from the PCC Foundation,” says Olivia Stalcup, Human Services Technology student and PCC Ambassador. “I have been given hope and a renewed sense of purpose because someone I did not even know believed in my future.”


Donations help students dream big. From occupational training to curriculum classes, PCC offers scholarships to dedicated, qualified students, but these scholarships need donations to survive. Certified Nursing Assistant, Emergency Medical Technician, Small Engine Repair, Gerontology, Substance Abuse Counseling—these are a few examples of training and educational programs for which scholarships are available.


Many potential students earn too much to qualify for grants or state assistance, but not enough to cover tuition or registration costs. These scholarships bridge that gap, making life-changing education possible.


Please, take a moment to make your gift this blessed holiday season. You can support the Cleve H. Cox Memorial Scholarship, another area of your choosing, or unrestricted—everything makes a difference.


If you would like to learn more about the Mariner’s Club campaign, or make a donation, please contact Michelle Noevere, Development Officer for the PCC Foundation, at or 252-249-1851 x 3084.



PCC to Waive Delamar Center Rental Fees for Pamlico County Non-profits

PCC Delamar Center

November 30, 2016


Dr. Jim Ross began his tenure as Pamlico Community College President in July with a bold promise—to meet individually with all full-time PCC employees and community leaders to ask their ideas on how the college can serve the community even better. These past five months have seen him work at a feverish pace, with employees and community leaders alike expressing high marks for Ross’ eagerness to sincerely listen to their ideas and his willingness to take creative actions for positive change for Pamlico County.


These one-on-one meetings have become the foundation for a spirit of innovation at PCC, where new ideas are being embraced to move the college forward in partnership with the community. Now, while we enter into the holiday season of thankfulness and generosity, PCC has a special announcement for all nonprofits in Pamlico County to make our community even better.


“We are thankful for our nonprofits, who play an essential role in making our community prosperous, healthy, and safe,” says Ross. “Having given careful thought to ways we can be better partners with our nonprofits, PCC will permanently waive fees for all Pamlico County nonprofits for use of the Delamar Center starting immediately.”


Ross credits this idea to a suggestion made by Mrs. Linda Sanderson during a meeting with her and her husband Senator Norman Sanderson during his first few weeks as president. During that meeting, Mrs. Sanderson said it was a shame to have such a beautiful building as the Delamar Center that was used so rarely by the community because of rental fees, asking Ross if he would look into increasing the community’s ability to use this center.    


With a leadership background in higher education, business, and nonprofits, Ross wanted to help. It was decided to waive all usage fees for county non-profits for this center as the ideal solution. In a letter he will send to all non-profit organizations, he will cite four main reasons for making this dramatic change.  

  • Community is the College’s middle name for a reason. PCC wants to act in every reasonable way in partnership with our community to make it even better.  
  • Taxpayers funded the construction of the Delamar Center, so it is only right to allow nonprofits to rent the space free of charge.
  • PCC encourages the community to visit campus, because it’s truly the community’s campus. By coming to campus more often, we hope many more citizens become more aware of our course offerings and thus decide to take a class or pursue a degree.   
  • Most importantly, PCC respects all that nonprofits mean to the county and understand the financial challenges they have. We realize that every dollar they raise is precious to their missions serving senior citizens, vulnerable children, disabled citizens, veterans, and nearly all our community in one way or another. They make the community stronger, and they deserve to be appreciated.

 “Through this act, we hope it will dramatically strengthen Pamlico Community College’s partnership with the community. While it lives up to our middle name and our mission statement, it’s being done because it’s the right thing to do,” says Ross.


If you are representing a nonprofit in Pamlico County and are interested in using the Delamar Center, please contact Dr. Jim Ross by phone at 252-249-1851 x 3084 or by e-mail at


The Pamlico Community College Delamar Center is located on its main campus at 5049 NC Hwy 306 S. in Grantsboro.  



PCC Hosts First County STEM Day

Pamlico County Middle School students participating in a lab during PCC's STEM Day.

November 23, 2016


Pamlico County has ‘kicked-off’ its grant-funded “Pamlico STEM Pathways to Job Initiative” in a fun, interactive way.


Earlier this month, PCC hallways were filled with Pamlico County Middle School and Arapahoe Charter School students for one simple reason—teach them about various careers in the science, technology, engineering, and math fields.


From aerodynamics research labs to stethoscopes, this event was full of hands-on activities for the students.


“It is important for students to be introduced to STEM related careers at an early age,” says Michelle Willis, vice president of instructional services at PCC. “It is a county-wide effort because we, as educational organizations, want to help educate and train the future leaders of tomorrow.”


PCC’s STEM-related programs, consisting of the College’s medical, electrical, math, and technical programs, attended the event. Cherry Point’s engineering and biotechnology team, equipped with a mobile lab, were there to promote partnerships with the College’s electrical, welding, and biology programs.


While this event centered on the students in Pamlico County, it serves a much greater purpose.


Pamlico County’s STEM day is the first of many, and it has been made possible because of the $1.2 million grant from the Golden Leaf Foundation.


This past summer, Pamlico County was awarded a $1.2 million grant from the Golden Leaf Foundation as part of the organization’s community-based grantsmaking initiative. According to the grant application, the purpose of the grant is to provide funding to Pamlico County and its partners, Pamlico County Schools, Arapahoe Charter School, and Pamlico Community College, to create seamless educational pathways to jobs in the science, technology, engineering, and math fields.


All of PCC’s STEM related programs are open to high school juniors and seniors, offering tuition-free, transferable college credit through the Career and College Promise Program. It’s a viable cost-effective alternative, saving many tens of thousands of dollars.


If you are interested in learning more about PCC’s programs, please visit, call 252-249-1851, or email


PCC’s spring 2017 registration is open now, with classes beginning January 17. Financial aid and scholarships are available.





Pamlico Paid it Forward

Pamlico Community College employees help sort the donations for flood victims

November 9, 2016


A few days after Hurricane Matthew, representatives from Pamlico Community College, Pamlico County Government, Pamlico County Sheriff’s Department, Pamlico County School Systems, and Pamlico County Chamber of Commerce met to discuss ways in which Pamlico County can help those impacted by Hurricane Matthew and its lasting effects on our region.


Pamlico Community College noticed there was a need for donation drop-off locations in this area. Instead of working alone as separate organizations, Pamlico County decided to come together as one to help coordinate the County’s disaster relief effort, naming the effort, “Pamlico Pays it Forward.”


From October 18 to November 12, specified drop-off locations were collecting donations of diapers, food, clothes, and more. These drop off locations were: Pamlico Community College, Pamlico County Chamber of Commerce, Pamlico County Sheriff’s Office, Town of Oriental, and Bayboro Pharmacy.


Acting as the central drop-off location, when the donations began to pile up, Pamlico Community College organized a pick-up effort to help the other locations get the donations to the College.


The effort shown by the organizations involved and the citizens that donated is undeniable.

On Thursday, November 3, volunteers from Pamlico Community College and the Pamlico County Sheriff’s Office sorted and organized all donations—two large classrooms worth.


Two hours and many trips to the trucks later, all the donations were organized and packed in the trucks to be delivered to those impacted by the flood. 


“At first, we did not know how many vehicles we were going to need. However, as the donations began to pile up and the vehicles began to fill up, we realized we were doing to need more than what we had,” says Jamie Gibbs, PCC vice president of student services.


“PCC employees donated their vehicles to help, and we ended up with five trucks taking donations to two different places. It was amazing to see the desire to help others in PCC employees.”


As the holiday season approaches, it is important to remember the power of giving and helping others. After witnessing this donation effort, Pamlico County needs no reminder. Pamlico County came together and paid it forward.


Thank you to all who donated to the County’s relief effort.



Local author to visit PCC

November 7, 2016

Almost everyone has heard of the ‘left-brain’ vs ‘right-brain’ myth. You’re either creative-right or analytical-left. However, if you take a look at Karen Dodd’s background, you would find that myth to be just that—a myth.


From school administrator to financial advisor, Dodd never thought she would one day become an author of eight published books and many magazine articles, including some published in Our State Magazine.  


“Back in the 80’s, I was working as a school administrator at East Carolina University, where I wrote grants and ran workshops. In the 90’s, I was a school teacher and later worked for the school board in Carteret County, so I guess I have always had a career where I needed to write” says Dodd.

But when Dodd retired, she began reflecting on her time and history in eastern North Carolina. With such happy, positive memories, she knew she needed to do something to preserve them for her family.


“I wanted my grandchildren and great grandchildren to know the way we grew up. I wanted them to know their family in a way that was just not possible. If I preserved our family’s memories, then they would always know who they are and where they came from.”


A passion for preserving memories turned into a love of story-telling. Now, eight published books later, Dodd has stopped publishing her books, but still believes in giving back to the community. She wants to help other writers publish their own books.


Karen Dodd has teamed up with Pamlico Community College’s Cultural and Life Enrichment program. Together, they will be offering series on writing and publishing. The first series is titled, “So you want to write a book?”


In this series, Karen Dodd will discuss the trials and tribulations of self-publishing.


“There are many dangers of doing it yourself. You need to know how to avoid ‘phishing for your money’ ads, poor editing, sloppy formatting, blurred photos, and under marketing,” says Dodd.


Dodd’s advice will help you publish your book in 12 months or less, without the hassle normally associated with self-publishing.


This interactive seminar will be held on Thursday, November 10 at 6pm in PCC’s library. The cost to attend this event is $10.

To reserve your seat at this informative program, or if you have any questions, please contact Denise Meyerson at 252-617-1376.


Pamlico Community College is located at 5049 NC Hwy 306 S. in Grantsboro.




Pamlico Community College does not discriminate in its educational programs, activities, or employment on the basis of sex, age, disability, race, color, national origin, sexual orientation or religion.