Central Piedmont holds spring 2023 commencement
Central Piedmont Community College held its 2023 spring commencement ceremonies on Thursday, May 11, in Charlotte. Approximately 900 students “marched” and received their college credentials during the morning and afternoon ceremonies. More than 1,500 students were eligible to graduate.
During the morning festivities at the Bojangles Coliseum, Maria “Fernanda” Moreno Tovar, a 2023 graduate, addressed her peers by delivering the commencement address. RaeDeja Sawyer, also a 2023 graduate, spoke at the afternoon ceremony. It has become Central Piedmont’s tradition to have graduating students serve as commencement keynote speakers. Both Maria and RaeDeja were graduating with associate in arts degrees.
Maria shared her experiences and challenges as an immigrant from Mexico. She concluded her address by saying, “As I am standing here today, I am confident that Central Piedmont gave me the right tools to continue chasing my academic goals. I am also confident that just like mine, your struggle can make magic if you take the leap of faith.”
RaeDeja recounted how she had lost loved ones during her time at Central Piedmont and how the college provided her much needed support. “This journey has been charged with intense emotion. I have experienced elevating highs and depleting lows, but seeing it through has been most valuable and unforgettable. And the truth is, graduation today does not mark the end of our studies, nor does it mark the end of deadlines, decisions, or expectations,” she explained.
Students graduating from Central Piedmont with a degree, diploma, or certificate had the option of participating in either the morning or afternoon ceremony. Central Piedmont combined its for-credit and non-credit program conferrals into both ceremonies, giving graduates the choice to “walk” at the time that best fits their families’ schedule.
Central Piedmont and Partners Host Free Dental Clinic
Central Piedmont Community College, the North Carolina Dental Society Foundation Missions of Mercy, the Charlotte area Dental Society Foundation Missions of Mercy (MOM), and other members of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg dental community came together to offer a free dental clinic on April 29.
The joint clinic treated 85 patients who received more than $57,700 in free dental care. Held at Central Piedmont’s dental clinic teaching labs, located in the Leon Levine Health Sciences Center, on the college’s Central Campus, the goal of the nine-hour clinic was to provide essential dental services, such as restorative dental care and extractions, for underserved, in-need community members. Many of the patients had been treated by Central Piedmont dental hygiene students but needed additional treatment they could not afford.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this was the first free dental clinic held in Charlotte since 2019. In the past, such clinics have been held at Bojangles Coliseum or the Charlotte Convention Center. The college opened the Levine Health Sciences Center and its dental clinic facilities in 2020. The college approached Charlotte MOM about the possibility of hosting a free clinic in the new, state of-the-art facilities. This was the first time in Charlotte and perhaps North Carolina that dental educational facilities were used to provide care to those in the community with no other care options.
“This was truly a collaborative effort between the college and the Charlotte-area dental community that brought this clinic to fruition,” explained Linda Polito, dentist and associate dean of outpatient programs at Central Piedmont. “We thank North Carolina Dental Society Foundation MOM and Charlotte MOM for collaborating with the college and working together to provide care to community members in need.”
Clinic organizers say the event partnerships and operation could become a pattern for other communities to follow. “We feel like the clinic was a great success and believe this kind of partnership and utilization of educational facilities could become a statewide and perhaps a national model,” said Dr. Evan Miller, Charlotte MOM ambassador.
Central Piedmont offers a one-year dental assisting program and a two-year dental hygiene program. For more information, visit the college's healthcare career page, inquire by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 704.330.6496.
Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer included in the ‘Power List’
Central Piedmont Community College President Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer has been recognized as a member of Business North Carolina magazine’s 2023 Power List.
According to Business North Carolina, “the annual report on the state's most influential business leaders is divided into 18 categories. These are the power brokers with an extraordinary ability to lead their enterprises and influence North Carolina's direction.”
Deitemeyer is one of only two community college presidents included in the 2023 list.
Review the Education Power List 2023.
Lisa Schlachter to Join Central Piedmont as Vice President of Institutional Advancement
Lisa Schlachter of Charlotte will join the leadership team at Central Piedmont Community College as the new Vice President of Institutional Advancement. Schlachter will serve the college as its chief fundraising officer and as director of the Central Piedmont Foundation.
Schlachter comes to Central Piedmont from the YMCA of Greater Charlotte, where she serves as vice president of financial development. She has more than two decades of experience in fundraising and alumni relations. She began her career in alumni relations at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, and she held several roles at Belmont University including capital, donor relations, foundation relations, and stewardship.
“We are delighted to welcome Lisa Schlachter to Central Piedmont,” said Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer, college president. “Lisa brings a deep connection to our community through her great work at the YMCA. With her previous experience in higher education and the energy and passion she possesses, she will be a wonderful addition to our team.”
In addition to earning a master’s degree in institutional advancement from Vanderbilt University, she worked on Vanderbilt’s Alumni and Development team. She also served as the assistant head of school for advancement at St. Paul Christian Academy in Nashville, TN, where she led the annual campaign, a capital campaign, and major gifts.
“We are very excited about Lisa Schlachter joining Central Piedmont as its new Vice President of Institutional Advancement,” said Weston Andress, Central Piedmont Foundation board president. “Lisa’s energetic personality and her experience at the YMCA of Greater Charlotte and other non-profits will help take Central Piedmont’s already successful advancement efforts to a new level.”
Central Piedmont completed its “Powering a Stronger Future” campaign in June 2022. It was the most ambitious and successful campaign in the college’s history, raising $66.3 million and surpassing its goal by more than $26 million.
In addition to her master’s degree from Vanderbilt, Schlachter earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, graduating Magna Cum Laude. She will begin her tenure at Central Piedmont on May 5.
“I am thrilled to return to higher education as a member of the Central Piedmont Community College leadership team, and I am eager to combine my passion for education with my commitment to serve our community through this role,” Schlachter said. “It is very exciting to come in following an extremely successful campaign and build on the college’s reputation of strong community service and support.”
Central Piedmont Honors Leon Levine
Central Piedmont Community College celebrates, honors, and remembers the life of Leon Levine, who died April 5, 2023, at age 85.
At age 22, Levine started the first Family Dollar store on Central Avenue in Charlotte, and built the company on the value of customer service, expanding to thousands of stores and nationwide success. In 1980, Levine, along with his wife Sandra, turned his attention to philanthropic efforts through the Leon Levine Foundation.
Levine’s life and legacy in our Charlotte-Mecklenburg community was one of great philanthropy to education, healthcare, Jewish families, and children, among many other entities bearing their name. At Central Piedmont, a 2002 gift from the Levines was the largest the college had received to date, prompting Central Piedmont to rename a campus in their honor.
Their generosity did not stop there, as the Levine Campus in Matthews continued to expand, student scholarships were endowed, and Central Campus named two more buildings in their honor: the Levine Information Technology building, and most recently, the Leon Levine Health Sciences Center. The Levine Health Sciences Center creates state-of-the-art learning environments with hospital simulations and virtual anatomy classrooms, and is the home base to Central Piedmont’s newest healthcare programs.
Levine’s legacy lives on, not just in the buildings, but in the lives forever changed by education, as students become healthcare professionals and leaders in our region. We honor Mr. Levine for the positive impact he made through the entire Charlotte community, and to all the students supported at Central Piedmont through his decades of generosity.
- Nov. 2002: South Campus in Matthews renamed and dedicated as Levine Campus
- Sept. 2004: Levine II on the Levine Campus opened
- Nov. 2014: Levine Information Technology building dedicated at Central Campus
- Jan. 2019: Levine III on the Levine Campus opened
- Oct. 2021: Leon Levine Health Sciences building opened and dedicated at Central Campus
Central Piedmont truck driver program receives grant from NC Trucking Association, NC Community College System
Grant program addressing local and state demand for truck drivers and heavy equipment operators
Central Piedmont students honored as Coca-Cola Academic Team Scholars
Two Central Piedmont Community College students have been named 2023 Coca-Cola Academic Team Scholars, in partnership with Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. Each will receive a scholarship.
Ashton Leswing has been named a Coca-Cola Academic Team Gold Scholar and will receive a $1,500 scholarship. Letrell Grady has been named Coca-Cola Academic Team Bronze Scholar and will receive a $1,000 scholarship.
The Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation sponsors the Coca-Cola Academic Team program by recognizing 50 Gold, 50 Silver, and 50 Bronze Scholars across the nation with nearly $200,000 in scholarships annually. Each scholar also receives a commemorative medallion.
“The Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation has a long history of providing financial assistance to outstanding students at community colleges,” said Jane Hale Hopkins, President of the Coca- Cola Scholars Foundation. “We are proud to partner with Phi Theta Kappa to make it possible for more deserving students to achieve their educational goals and support tomorrow’s leaders of the global community.”
Students are nominated for the academic team by their college administrators. Selection is based on academic achievement, leadership, and engagement in college and community service, and this year winners were chosen from more than 2,400 applicants.
Coca-Cola Academic Team members will be recognized in both local and statewide ceremonies and will also be recognized internationally during Phi Theta Kappa’s annual convention, PTK Catalyst, to be held in Columbus, Ohio, April 20-22.
Central Piedmont Archives Opens ‘Parallel Lives’ Exhibition
Learn about Central and Second Ward high schools.
Central Piedmont to Establish Honors Program
Through a generous gift from Truist Bank, Central Piedmont Community College will establish an Honors Program, opening with the start of the 2023 fall semester.
The Honors Program will seek to develop excellence in students by providing high quality enrichment experiences that are intellectually challenging and result in deeper learning. The Honors Program will engage students in meaningful academic, personal, and social development experiences to create independent thinkers and life-long learners through the construction of knowledge.
“The Honors Program is an example of how Central Piedmont is committed to elevating student success,” said Dr. Deninne Pritchett, Honors Program faculty director. “The Honors Program will create additional opportunities for students who want to attend Central Piedmont while enhancing the experiences of current students. Students in the Honors Program will be challenged and gain transferable skills that add value to the credits or degree earned at Central Piedmont resulting in better marketability.”
Students will actively participate in course sections aligned with the Honors Program foundations emphasizing experiential learning, research, civic engagement, global learning, leadership, and reflective thinking. The Honors Program will include a variety of transformational learning experiences for students planning to transfer, earn a degree, or enter the workplace.
Students in the Honors Program will be referred to as Honors Program Scholars. They will be required to complete 15-credit hours in Honors Program course sections, a 30-hour immersive experience, and 10 activities or events including interview and résumé sessions that emphasize the Honors Program foundations.
Students can apply for scholarships that will cover tuition and course materials as well as travel, events, and immersion experiences aligned with at least one of the program foundations. The Honors Program will be open to students from all courses of study offered at the college. The college will provide alternate methods for acceptance into the program outside of GPA requirements to ensure the program is equitable and inclusive.
“Research shows honors program students have increased retention rates, higher graduation rates, and increased pathways to honors programs at four-year institutions,” Pritchett added. “As a champion of students and catalyst for opportunity, Central Piedmont continues to be at the forefront of a changing student population and the need to prepare students for the future.”
Students and parents who want to learn more about Central Piedmont’s new Honors Program can review the program webpage or contact Dr. Deninne Pritchett at email@example.com.
Central Piedmont to Offer Teacher Licensing Certificates
Bachelor degree graduates who are considering a career in the elementary school classroom will soon be able to receive teacher licensing at multiple North Carolina community colleges, including Central Piedmont Community College.
The new program makes teacher licensing more affordable and convenient with classes at local community colleges. The seven institutions approved thus far to offer the new licensing program are Alamance, Blue Ridge, Central Piedmont, Fayetteville Technical, McDowell Technical, Wayne, and Western Piedmont community colleges.
Central Piedmont will launch its program in August, with the beginning of the fall 2023 semester. The Elementary Education Residency Licensure Certificate program will offer instruction and coaching for residency elementary teachers seeking licensure. This program will help support students with classroom observations and one-on-one sessions, and assist with the creation of their portfolio in preparation for licensing from the state.
This new path to elementary licensure will expand Central Piedmont’s current teacher preparation track, which prepares students to transfer to a bachelor degree education program through completion of an associate in arts or associate in science degree.
For more information about Central Piedmont’s new teacher licensing certificate program, email Jennifer Perkins, chair of the Teacher Preparation Pathway Program.