News and Features

What's going on in the Central Piedmont community and what Central Piedmont is doing in the community.

  • Central Piedmont, community partners help package food for residents in need

    Central Piedmont Community College’s hospitality education program partnered with Sysco Foods and the Piedmont Culinary Guild on March 25 to package and deliver 500 boxes of food to local restaurant employees who have been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

    Sysco Foods donated 250 cases of food to the community outreach project. The cases consisted of frozen chicken, produce, fresh fruits and vegetables, and dairy products, such as milk and butter.

    Representatives from Central Piedmont, Sysco Foods, and the Piedmont Culinary Guild were on site at Central Piedmont’s Culinary Arts Center to receive the cases of food, sort and package the individual boxes, and deliver them to 25–30 restaurants located in Mecklenburg County and beyond.

    Each box included three to four major food group items, providing local restaurant workers with a nutritious meal for their family during this unprecedented time. Restaurants needing employee assistance signed up to participate in the community outreach project online through the Piedmont Culinary Guild’s website.

    Thanks are extended to Central Piedmont's Richard Kugelmann, division director of the college's hospitality education division; Ross Howard, director of business resources and marketing for Sysco Foods; and Kris Reid, co-founder of the Piedmont Culinary Guild for spearheading the initiative.

    View WSOC-TV's coverage of the community outreach project.

  • College loans Chromebooks, WiFi hotspots to students and employees in need

    Recognizing not everyone has access to technology while they learn and work remotely during this unprecedented time, Central Piedmont has loaned a limited number of Chromebooks and WiFi hotspots — at no cost — to approximately 250 students and employees in need. A distribution point, staffed by Central Piedmont employees, has been set up behind the North Classroom building, located on the college’s Central Campus.

    In the weeks and months ahead, students in need will be able to use their assigned device as long as they are enrolled in classes and until the college is able to resume traditional, in-person classes. At that point, computer labs will reopen. Employees will be able to use their loaned equipment until they are able to return to on-campus work.

    “Our internal community is our top priority, we understand that everyone may not have the technology needed to complete their studies or work,” said Dena Shonts, associate dean for student engagement at Central Piedmont. “Our job is to help them succeed and providing them with the tools to do that is essential.”

    To be considered for the program, students and employees had to apply online or call the college’s Single Stop office.

  • Chef Robert Marilla medals at the Culinary Olympics in Germany

    When Chef Robert Marilla’s students look back on their culinary arts education at Central Piedmont, they can say they learned their craft from an Olympic champion.

    Chef Marilla recently returned from the IKA 2020 International Culinary Olympics in Stuttgart, Germany, and brought home gold (team), silver (individual), and overall bronze (team) medals at the event.

    On the first day of competition, Chef Marilla, who is captain of the Regional Team for Team USA, was awarded the gold medal for his “Cold Food Table” display. Two short days later, he was recognized with a silver medal in the individual program for his “Five-Course Menu for One Person and Finger Foods for Six People” submission, a display that also featured the talents of Central Piedmont culinary arts student and Regional Team apprentice Liam McCall, who assisted him in the kitchen.

    The icing on the cake came at the closing ceremonies when Chef Marilla, together with his Regional Team teammates, learned they had been awarded the overall team bronze medal, finishing third in the world.

    The overall team bronze medal not only set Team USA apart from the 29 other teams who competed, but also marked the first time since 1976 that an American Regional Team finished on the podium at the Culinary Olympics.

    Congratulations, Team USA and Chefs Marilla and McCall on your many accomplishments.

  • 2020 MLK Challenge a success

    Service-Learning organized the 16th annual MLK Challenge on Jan. 20, 2020, the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday. One hundred and eleven Central Piedmont students, faculty, and staff chose to celebrate the holiday by providing more than 700 hours of service at eight community agencies, and one group performed “random acts of kindness” around uptown Charlotte.

    Teams embraced unique and diverse challenges at Ada Jenkins Center, Carolina Raptor Center, KIPP Charlotte, Leah’s House of Refuge Community Center, Matthews HELP Center, Promising Pages, Renaissance West Community Initiative, Samaritan House, and throughout the city.

    Members of the Central Piedmont community arrived early on campus to enjoy breakfast together, while Dr. Tracy Moore presented about the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and led a discussion about civil rights, social justice, poverty, and civic engagement. Afterward, groups were formed, presented a challenge, and were given $100 to complete their projects.

    Those challenges included repairing and replacing perching on the Raptor Trail, creating banners with quotes about historical African Americans, beautification and organizing of facilities that are frequently used, and sorting books for children to encourage reading. The group providing random acts of kindness made care packages of toiletries and food, and they passed them out on the city bus and the streets of uptown.

    Afterward, groups gathered back at Central Piedmont, to share their experiences with the larger group.

    Learn more about Service-Learning at Central Piedmont.

  • Central Piedmont kicks off the spring semester

    Students from Mecklenburg County and beyond are converging at Central Piedmont Community College this week, as the college kicks off its 2020 spring semester.

    Student Life representatives and other staff members are busy working multiple information tables across all six Central Piedmont campuses to help ease students’ first day of class.

    Representatives are guiding students to classes, answering their questions, and providing them with important college information, such as valuable campus resources, parking guidelines, and available extracurricular activities.

    Also welcoming students this week is Central Campus’s new 154,100-square-foot North Classroom Building. The largest facility ever built by Central Piedmont, it opened its doors just in time for the start of the semester.

    Learn how you, too, can earn a real-world, affordable, hands-on education that will transform your life at Central Piedmont. Visit cpcc.edu/admissions/enroll.

  • CODA Site Visit to Central Piedmont

    The Dental Assisting and Dental Hygiene programs at Central Piedmont Community College will undergo a comprehensive evaluation visit from Tuesday, April 7 through Thursday, April 9 2020, by a team representing the American Dental Association's Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA).

    CODA is nationally recognized by the U.S Department of Education as the sole agency to accredit dental and dental–related education programs conducted at the post-secondary level.

    Submit Comments by Feb. 9

    Third parties, including faculty, students, program administrators, specialty and dental-related organizations, patients, and consumers are invited to submit comments. Signed or unsigned comments will be accepted. Names and/or signatures will be removed from comments prior to forwarding them to the program. All comments must pertain only to the standards relative to the particular program(s) being reviewed, or policies and procedures used in the accreditation process. A copy of the accreditation standards and/or the commission’s policy on third party comments may be obtained by contacting the commission at ada.org/en/coda.

    Public comments must be received by Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020 and submitted to:

    Commission on Dental Accreditation
    211 East Chicago Avenue
    Chicago, IL 60611

  • Small Business Center to Partner on ‘53 Ideas Pitch Competition’

    The Fifth Third Bank Foundation has announced its 2019 Strengthening Our Communities Fund grants for North Carolina. The awards benefit local nonprofit programs that support small business development. The Fifth Third Foundation awarded Central Piedmont Community College a $50,000 grant to support entrepreneurship through a pitch competition.

    Central Piedmont designed the “53 Ideas Pitch Competition” to help address income inequality and equity through entrepreneurship. The competition will provide underserved individuals who participate with access to the capital, training resources, and social connections needed to remove barriers, and allow individuals to take an idea and turn it into a viable business. The top prize winner of the competition will receive $10,000 in seed money for a start-up business.

    “Fifth Third Bank is committed to strengthening our communities, and we cannot do it alone: it takes strong and engaged partners like Central Piedmont to truly make a difference,” said Lee Fite, regional president for Fifth Third Bank in the Mid-Atlantic. “The ‘53 Ideas Pitch Competition’ addresses an essential link between economic mobility and entrepreneurship. The work our partners like Central Piedmont are doing to increase access to capital for entrepreneurs will directly benefit our community.”

    “Studies show that four out of five entrepreneurs do not access bank loans or venture capital. Rather, their sources of funding are personal net worth, family wealth, or connections to networks,” said Renee Hode, executive director of Central Piedmont’s Small Business Center. “Unfortunately, this leads to inequality in entrepreneurship. The ‘53 Ideas Pitch Competition’ seeks to expand opportunity for everyone in the greater Charlotte region, especially those populations who may experience barriers or have limited access to resources to start a business.”

    The “53 Ideas Pitch Competition” is an open call for business ideas from residents across the region. Individuals will have 53 seconds to pitch their idea in the form of a video submission uploaded to 53ideas.com. The submission deadline is Feb. 20, 2020. For open, inclusive access to the needed technology, Central Piedmont’s Small Business Center will be hosting pop-up recording events throughout the community. Visit 53ideas.com for pop-up dates and times.

    Judges will review the submissions and select the top 53 pitches. Top entrants will advance in the competition and receive a $50 award. Over the following 53 days, the participants will work to refine their ideas and master their pitch before another selection process.

    Training and coaching on pitching, marketing, financing, forecasting, and business law will be available to participants, regardless of whether they advance in the competition. Free resources will be offered by Small Business Centers located at community colleges throughout the region, including Central Piedmont, Cleveland, Gaston, Mitchell, Rowan-Cabarrus, South Piedmont, and Stanly.

    After the 53-day training period, the top 53 entrants will participate in a closed pitch event where the judges will narrow the field down to 15. The top 15 will receive $200 each and go on to compete on stage for the top awards: first place receives $10,000; second place earns $5,000; and third place receives $2,500 in seed funding to help turn their ideas into a viable business.

    The 38 participants who did not advance can still showcase their ideas at an expo before the final pitch event. This gives these participants visibility with event attendees, as well as an opportunity to share their ideas and increase their social networks.

    “53 Ideas Pitch Competition” is made possible by the support from the Fifth Third Bank Foundation and the Central Piedmont Foundation, and also the City of Charlotte’s Economic Development Office.

    Learn more about the “53 Ideas Pitch Competition” at 53ideas.com or upload a video submission by the Feb. 20 deadline.

  • Large gift will help establish Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence

    A donor who wishes to remain anonymous has made a significant gift commitment to Central Piedmont Community College to support the creation of a new Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence. The center will advance the best practices of impactful teaching at the college to inspire, guide, and support instructors in the key areas of pedagogy, course content and information delivery.

    The Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence at Central Piedmont will facilitate the professional development of the college’s full- and part-time faculty, with the goal of enriching students’ learning and overall educational experience, motivating them to persist and complete their programs of study.

    The gift to help create the center comes as part of Central Piedmont’s ongoing “Powering a Stronger Future” campaign. The five-year fundraising effort seeks to raise $40 million – the most ambitious and comprehensive campaign in the college’s 56-year history. The campaign will run through June 2022, and has raised more than $23.5 million to date.

    The center’s focus areas will include:

    • developing pedagogy that is inclusive, equitable, and centered on student learning and success,
    • using technological tools and resources to enhance classroom teaching,
    • encouraging and supporting instructional innovation,
    • furthering the continued growth and instructional effectiveness of all faculty,
    • fostering and disseminating strategies that improve classroom experiences for students,
    • promoting the ongoing assessment of teaching strategies and student learning, and
    • developing instructional content and methods that promote critical thinking and skills needed for careers and further education.

    Current programming plans for the center include:

    • conducting workshops for instructors,
    • sponsoring guest speakers to share best practices,
    • providing semester-long orientation and training programs for new instructors and skills-refreshment programs for established faculty,
    • establishing mentoring relationships for new instructors with successful classroom instructors,
    • conducting training sessions focused on the needs of part-time instructors, and
    • sharing scholarly research and articles related to best practices in classroom teaching and learning.

    “The Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence will be a permanent resource and catalyst for instructional excellence at Central Piedmont,” said Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer, Central Piedmont president. “The center will be based on Central Campus, but it will serve instructors and offer programming at all of the college’s campuses.  The center will be critical to ensuring outstanding classroom instruction and learning for all of our students.”

    The college will hold a ceremony to dedicate the center during the 2020 spring semester. 

  • College launches JA Finance Park® and JA BizTown® storefront

    Representatives from Central Piedmont Community College and Junior Achievement of the Central Carolinas gathered at the organization’s JA Finance Park® at the JA TowneBank Opportunity headquarters in Camp North End to participate in a special ribbon-cutting event to welcome Central Piedmont to the space.

    JA Finance Park® and JA BizTown® are two programs spearheaded by Junior Achievement USA to prepare young people for the real world by teaching them how to follow a monthly budget, understand the actual “costs of living,” and think critically and solve problems. In addition, students are asked to make decisions regarding housing, transportation, education, insurance, and more.

    JA of the Carolinas recently launched these two programs in the Charlotte area, creating a simulated town that helps students (grades 4-12) connect the dots between what they learn in school and the real world. During their visit to the “town,” students have the opportunity to visit a variety of storefronts, including  SunTrust, Publix, AT&T, Equifax, and many more.

    The Central Piedmont space is overseen by part-time Central Piedmont employees who are on-site to not only educate students on the different educational paths available to them, but also to help high school students apply to the college for free and assist them with filling out their financial aid applications.

    This is an exciting partnership with Central Piedmont and the Junior League. Central Piedmont is the first community college in the country to participate in these national programs, which strive to instill sound financial literacy and money management skills in today’s youth so they may succeed in the future.

    Learn more about JA Finance Park® and JA Biztown®.

  • Students Attend Model UN Event, Named Outstanding Delegates

    Last month, Central Piedmont Model United Nations Club members attended the UNCC Carolinas Conference, together with high schools and colleges from across North Carolina. The event gave the college’s first-time and returning Central Piedmont Model United Nations delegates the opportunity to further develop their negotiating, problem solving, and public speaking skills within each committee. 

    Students researched, debated, and wrote mock UN resolutions at the conference about a variety of current global topics, such as gender and the role of women in disarmament, the effects of global warming on human health, the rising tensions between China and the U.S., and preventing spillover violence from the Sudan conflict.

    “I learned about topics I otherwise would not have been aware of beforehand,” said Returning Model UN member Yasmine Outtara.

    Three of the newer members of the Central Piedmont Model UN team – Katherine Beekman, Emma Hoff, and Christopher St. Hilaire – were named Outstanding Delegates for representing South Africa in the Security Council and General Assembly 1st respectively.

    How to join the Central Piedmont Model UN team
    Any Central Piedmont student is welcome to join the Model UN Club. Club meetings are:

    Central Campus: Mondays, 2:30 - 4 p.m., in Zeiss, Room 3120

    Levine Campus: Fridays, 1-2 p.m., in Levine II, Room 1307

    Learn more here.

    Upcoming Conferences
    Central Piedmont students will be attending two more conferences in spring 2020: the Harvard National Model UN Conference in February and the Southern Regional Model UN Conference in Charlotte in March.