Central Piedmont student writer’s work featured in Teen Vogue
Central Piedmont student Michael-Michelle Pratt, a student in the college’s Associate in Arts degree program, recently had an op-ed piece featured in the June issue of Teen Vogue called, “Growing Up Black Between Trayvon Martin and George Floyd Has My Generation at a Boiling Point.”
When Pratt began sharing her thoughts on systemic racism and the Black Lives Matter movement on Twitter earlier this year, she had no idea her comments would attract the attention of the political editor at Teen Vogue, who began following her online.
In her online musings, Pratt discussed that while the recent death of George Floyd was causing a resurgence in the Black Lives Matter movement, no one was talking about how the tragedy had impacted her generation — Generation Z, a segment of the population that had largely grown up between the deaths of Trayvon Martin in 2012 and George Floyd in 2020. She pitched the article topic to the editor at Teen Vogue, and they accepted.
“I wanted my article to explain to readers that the events of Trayvon Martin, George Floyd and others are not isolated incidents that happened in a bubble,” said Pratt. “I wanted to explain that everything that is happening today is a combination of past and present frustration — that it has all built up to this critical moment, a boiling point that we’re about to see spill over.”
In the op-ed, Pratt discusses first learning about the Trayvon Martin shooting; the impact it had on her adolescence/family; how the incident inspired her to begin following strong female, African-American writers (Toni Morrison, Audre Lorde, Alice Walker); and how it propelled her to seek out leadership opportunities that would allow her to not only fight back against oppression, but to also find her voice.
Thankfully, Pratt has discovered an outlet for her voice at Central Piedmont’s Levine Campus in Matthews, NC, where she participates in the campus’s Student Writers Assembles Guild (SWAG), a student creative writing club formed in 2016 that provides individuals with a creative space to write poetry, short stories, articles, screenplays and more.
“Michael-Michelle is a talented writer and poet,” said Elizabeth West, an associate instructor and faculty advisor for Central Piedmont’s SWAG.“She has a strong voice and is brave enough to use it to enact change in our community. She has a sweet, quiet demeanor in person, but her words ring loud and strong on the page. She is a wonderful SWAG member and we are all so proud of her accomplishments.”
Pratt plans to graduate from Central Piedmont in August 2021 and pursue a career in journalism or film to become a director/screenwriter. “While I love being able to discuss my opinions on the cultural climate in which we all live in articles, I love being able to create my own world in a screenplay,” said Pratt.
'The Hammer' Student Art and Literature Magazine Spring 2020
The spring 2020 issue of "The Hammer" magazine is now available.
A Message to the College Community
A message to all Central Piedmont students and employees from Dr. Deitemeyer:
Since early March, our college, city, state, and nation have been focused on the unanticipated effects of COVID-19. Our primary objective has been to keep our students, faculty, and staff safe and to determine the best path forward as we return to campus. That work continues, and we remain steadfast in ensuring our college and campuses can provide educational, social, and emotional support for our community. What our college means to so many is vital, and we must be more vibrant and ready to serve with new exceptional standards of excellence.
These months have been unprecedented in so many ways. I never imagined as we wrapped up the academic year our college, community, state, and nation would be immersed in more devastating circumstances that give us great pause about the care, safety, treatment, and concern for our fellow man: George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor. In the last few weeks COVID-19 has been in the forefront of our minds, but in the last few days, we have been reminded that there is more than a healthcare pandemic impacting our nation, our state, our community.
Central Piedmont is troubled and saddened by the events in Minneapolis and other cities around our nation, including here in Charlotte. The college acknowledges the pain, anger, fear, and other emotions felt deeply by those involved and even those watching from afar. The college knows these events affect many of our students and employees. It is our hope and prayer that everyone stays safe, that wise and peaceful actions win out over violence, and justice prevails for all involved.
This college has always condemned racism and bigotry and the unfair treatment of minorities, and will continue to do so. You will recall Central Piedmont champions equity as an institutional value and an institutional goal, and we do not take that lightly. Our college is committed to breaking down barriers to student access and achievement and providing pathways to family-sustaining careers or to further education. We embrace diversity and respect all individuals and the journeys they make to reach our college. Our work on equity is so important, and the courage we are showing as an institution will be even more important as our community heals and moves forward.
As leaders in our community, we must demonstrate our willingness to discuss our differences, share our perspectives, grieve together, and question how such events continue to occur. While we do, I ask that we continue to champion our mission and be a catalyst for opportunity in our community and move forward with intentionality to identify and address the inequities and systemic racism we see in our community. As an institution of higher learning, we must be a safe haven for our students, faculty, and staff. As one college, we need to acknowledge members of our college community are hurting, and they need us more than ever.
If you are feeling concern, stress, or anxiety, the college reminds you counseling services are available to students and employees. Students simply need to complete the online Counseling Services form, and a college counselor will respond.
Our Central Piedmont Cares team members are here to assist students and employees. Visit the Central Piedmont Cares website for more information.
Surgical Technology Students Earn 100 Percent Pass Rate on Certification Exam
The surgical technology program is pleased to announce that the May Class of 2020 successfully obtained a 100% passing on the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA) CST exam. The certification demonstrates the individual meets the national standard for knowledge associated with a surgical technologist and surgical first assistance practice.
By earning this designation, students show potential employers they possess a mastery of a broad range of skills related to surgical procedures, aseptic technique, and patient care. And, because certification is voluntary, the choice to become certified exhibits a pride in the profession, the desire to be recognized for mastery of scientific principles, as well as an ongoing commitment to quality patient care.
Please join us in congratulating the following surgical tech students: Daniel Castaneda, Brandy Brown, Hali Burnette, Rachel Dumford, Alexis Scarborough, Samantha Marangone, Alizaya Thomas-White, Dustin Truong, Evelyn Brinkley, and Tatyana Shykal.
Two Central Piedmont students to matriculate to Ivy League schools in fall 2020
Central Piedmont Community College is excited that two of its 2020 graduates — Koichi Takara and Christopher St. Hilaire — will matriculate to Ivy League schools in fall 2020. Both Takara and St. Hilaire overcame a number of obstacles to reach this milestone in their academic journey.
After living in Japan for the majority of his childhood, Takara moved to California and graduated from one of their highest-rated public high schools. His résumé was padded with an outstanding SAT score, 4.2 GPA, and an abundance of extracurricular activities. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough, as he was rejected from six of his top seven college choices. To make matters worse, he could not afford the one school that accepted him. As a result, he moved to Huntersville, NC, and enrolled at Central Piedmont where he flourished. During his time at Central Piedmont, he served as president of the Student Government Association and was an active member of the college’s Rotaract, Phi Theta Kappa chapter, and the NC Scholars of Global Distinction. After graduating from Central Piedmont on May 14, Takara plans to attend Cornell University as a junior on a full scholarship. He’ll major in industrial labor relations. Says Takara, “coming to Central Piedmont was the best decision of my life.”
Christopher St. Hilaire
St. Hilaire felt isolated in high school and dropped out at just 15 years of age. He later completed his studies, earning his GED from Central Piedmont in 2015. He immediately joined the workforce, working as a server at Ballantyne Country Club. A club member recognized St. Hilaire’s potential and urged him to go back to school. Thankfully, St. Hilaire heeded his friend’s advice and enrolled where he was most familiar: Central Piedmont. Back on campus, St. Hilaire decided to be a part of everything the college community had to offer – Student Government Association, Rotaract, Model UN, and Phi Theta Kappa. He excelled at Central Piedmont, and will graduate this week with an associate (transfer) degree. This fall, St. Hilaire will move to New Jersey, where he will study philosophy at Princeton University on a full scholarship as one of only 13 community college students in the country to be admitted to the Ivy League school for the fall term. “Central Piedmont welcomed me back with open arms and getting involved in its many student life and leadership activities made it all worthwhile,” says St. Hilaire.
For more Central Piedmont student success stories, please visit the college’s Facebook page.
Congratulations Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society Spring 2020 Inductees
Congratulations to the newest members of the Phi Lambda chapter of the Central Piedmont Phi Theta Kappa honor society. Induction into Phi Theta Kappa is an honor and an accomplishment, with eligible students who have a 3.5 or higher GPA invited to apply to join.
Phi Theta Kappa is an international honor society, recognizing excellence, hard work, good grades, leadership, and commitment. It is America's most prestigious scholarly organization for two-year colleges and the largest student organization at Central Piedmont. The Central Piedmont Phi Lambda chapter is dedicated to local community service and service to our college community through education and hands-on activities. Our chapter is celebrating 50 years this year.
Visit the Phi Theta Kappa honor society page to learn more about the spring 2020 inductees and how to join.
Engineering students help develop face shield prototype for healthcare workers’ use
Dr. Jacob Garbini, chair of Central Piedmont’s engineering program, continues to produce components for healthcare workers’ face shields, using the 3D printers in Central Campus’s Advanced Technology Center.
Dr. Garbini received more 3D printing material on April 20, and, since that time, he has printed approx. 1,000 face shield parts. He delivered the parts to Charlotte MEDI on April 28.
While dropping off the parts, he learned from one of Charlotte MEDI’s representatives and a few healthcare workers, that an issue with the current design of the face shields is cutting into the heads of users. Considering a nurse’s shift is 12+ hours, this was unacceptable to Dr. Garbini.
As a solution, Dr. Garbini suggested he design his own face shields/masks, independently of Charlotte MEDI’s design, using only Central Piedmont equipment in the engineering lab. His design would address the practical nature of the shield. His request was approved!
Beginning this week, Dr. Garbini will work virtually with a design team, consisting of five personally-selected Associate in Engineering students studying civil, mechanical, and electrical engineering. They are: Alexander Stephenson, Bailen Huggins, Lauran Echols, Laurick Amadi, and Luke Sewing.
The design team will meet virtually to develop a prototype based on utility, which includes comfort, cleaning, and assembly, by May 1. It will be tested by Atrium Main Hospital nurses by the end of the week so the team can receive feedback on its design/fit and make any necessary adjustments before Dr. Garbini mass produces the units in the college’s Engineering Lab.
One of the student volunteers, Lauran Echols, also serves as president of Central Piedmont’s Society of Women Engineers. She and her peers are on standby, waiting to contribute to the effort as well.
Dr. Garbini will need the assistance of as many individuals as possible as he strives to meet the demand created by in-need Atrium Main Hospital oncology nurses, local dental hygiene clinics, SC hospitals, and the Medical University of South Carolina.
“It's exciting to think about the number of people we are helping with our innovation, effort, and collaboration — especially in this time of need,” said Dr. Garbini.
Central Piedmont Engineering Students Place Third at Siemens Engineers' Week
Congratulations to seven Central Piedmont Associate in Engineering students who placed third out of six teams at Siemens' Engineers' Week. The Central Piedmont group was the only educational institution represented at the competition.
The students were given one week to collaborate on a given objective, assign tasks, and build their machine before presenting their work at Siemens on Feb. 21. Their objective was to "create a device that will deliver payloads of ping pong balls into the targeted cups and score more points than your opponent in a head-to-head competition."
Great work, Central Piedmont students Carlos Anzola, John Dale Ardiosa, Timer Colen, Stefan Johansson, Mark Khodan, Jairen Propst, Eslam Shaalia, and Chancellor Toledo!
The college's Associate in Engineering program will help these students transfer to a four-year school to pursue their interests in electrical, computer, mechanical, civil, or systems engineering.
Central Piedmont contributes $1.2 billion annually to Mecklenburg economy
The results of an economic impact study conducted for Central Piedmont found the institution contributes $1.2 billion annually to the Mecklenburg County economy, an amount equal to one percent of the county’s gross regional product.
Central Piedmont’s measured annual $1.2-billion economic impact includes $155.4 million in operations spending, $36.5 million in construction spending, $42.1 million in student spending, and a $919.5-million impact made by college alumni who live and work in Mecklenburg County.
“For more than 56 years, Central Piedmont Community College has established a record and reputation for making a positive impact in Mecklenburg County,” said Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer, Central Piedmont president. “We know generations of students and hundreds of employers have been benefitted from having a comprehensive college and workforce development partner such as Central Piedmont serving Charlotte-Mecklenburg. We also know Central Piedmont makes a significant impact as an economic engine, boosting the county’s economy and generating an excellent return on the investment made by students and taxpayers.”
The economic modeling firm Emsi conducted the study, looking at college data from the 2017-18 fiscal year. The study found that for every dollar students invest in their Central Piedmont education they receive $3.20 in future earnings for an annual rate of return of 15.5 percent. For every dollar of public money invested in the college, taxpayers receive $1.70 for an average rate of return of 4.5 percent.
For more details about the economic impact study, review the economic impact fact sheet (PDF).
Allstate apprenticeship program moves the upward mobility needle
Central Piedmont’s Work-based Learning department recently partnered with Allstate on the “Good Hands College Apprenticeship,” a paid program that gives students the opportunity to obtain hands-on work experience at Allstate while completing their associate degree or certificate in cybersecurity.
More than 20 Central Piedmont students applied for the 30-hours/week apprenticeship program; however, job offers were extended to only three candidates – Sabrina Carr, Rushit Patel and Joshua Pierce – who began working for Allstate on Jan. 21, 2020, and joined Central Piedmont student Shanelle Keels, who was already on staff.
As apprentices, Central Piedmont’s students will work in teams to catch real-time hackers, attempting to break into Allstate’s systems; help monitor and create best practices for how to keep Allstate’s customers – and their data – safe; and gain valuable leaderships skills by participating in a variety of mentoring programs. For their efforts, the students will be paid to learn – $18.64/hour to be exact.
“Allstate’s model of learn and earn is the perfect example of a program that is creating upward mobility in the lives of others,” explains Ed Injaychock, director of work-based learning at Central Piedmont. “It’s helping bridge the gap, providing our students with the training and funding they need to secure a better-paying job or family-sustaining career in the future.”
“We are thrilled for the opportunities this will provide to Central Piedmont’s students and the Allstate Corporation,” added Dave St. Clair, vice president of security operations, hosting services, and the Charlotte Talent Center for Allstate Insurance Company.
Learn more about Central Piedmont’s Work-based Learning programs.