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.
PNC Foundation $25,000 grant supports college’s Single Stop program, Emergency Fund
The PNC Foundation has awarded Central Piedmont Community College a $25,000 grant to support the college’s Single Stop program, an initiative that connects students to the support services they need to succeed in college and administers the college’s Emergency Fund.
“Our entire community has been affected by COVID-19, and the pandemic has been particularly difficult for students who have lost employment and income ― and who depend on campus resources for access to learning and technology,” said Weston Andress, PNC regional president for Western Carolinas and a Central Piedmont Foundation board member. “During this challenging time, we want the Central Piedmont student community to know that we understand and are committed to helping address some of the hardships they are facing.”
Since 2016, Central Piedmont’s Single Stop program has served as a free, on-campus resource, removing barriers for students with critical needs by connecting them with resources to help them flourish academically, obtain good jobs and achieve financial stability ― through one-on-one meetings with experts representing the financial, tax and legal fields.
In addition to matching qualifying students with specific tools to help fuel upward mobility in their lives, Single Stop administers monies available through the college’s Emergency Fund, which provides one-time support of up to $500 for students who have emergency needs related to housing, utilities, medical expenses, food, technology and more.
The PNC Foundation’s gift is timely. The college will use the grant to help purchase the following items, which have been identified as students’ most pressing needs during the coronavirus pandemic:
- Grocery/food gift cards. These items will allow students to purchase food, medicine and other essential products.
- Technology access (laptops and Wi-Fi hotspots). The college has witnessed a surge in students needing laptops and Wi-Fi hotspots since it moved much of its course instruction online.
- Resources for budgeting during a crisis. Single Stop's financial counselors are implementing and delivering online and virtual sessions for individuals and groups who need crisis budgeting assistance. Each emergency grant recipient is contacted by a financial counselor with tips on dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic from a financial perspective.
“As a result of the pandemic, the college has witnessed an increase in the number of students needing resources to sustain their everyday lives in addition to their studies,” said Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer, president of Central Piedmont. “Many agencies in the Charlotte area have had to close temporarily, limiting the resources students can turn to for emergency crisis assistance. The PNC Foundation’s gift will help us streamline the connectivity process, ensuring resources such as nutrition assistance, technology support and financial aid reach the students who need them most in a critical time of need.”
Learn more about Central Piedmont’s Single Stop program. If interested in supporting the college’s Emergency Fund, visit https://secure.cpccfoundation.org/donation/.
- Grocery/food gift cards. These items will allow students to purchase food, medicine and other essential products.
Central Piedmont to offer expanded evening, Friday and Saturday courses at three campuses
Beginning this fall, Central Piedmont Community College will offer expanded course offerings of some of its most in-demand classes on weekday evenings, Fridays, and Saturdays at its Central, Harris, and Levine campuses. The added course sections give students more options so they can complete a two-year, college transfer degree more quickly.
Central Piedmont’s new course offerings are comprised of more than 70 class sections of 20 high-demand, general education college transfer courses. The classes will be offered in sequential order and focus on a variety of subjects, ranging from biology and public speaking, to psychology and business.
“We’re excited about our new course offerings and how they will have a positive impact on our students’ lives,” said Edith McElroy, dean of Central Piedmont’s Levine Campus. “By offering more courses in the evenings, and on Fridays and Saturdays, we’re able to better accommodate our students’ busy schedules, setting them up for success both inside and outside of the classroom.”
This is the first time the college’s Harris Campus has offered high-demand college transfer classes to residents, giving individuals more options to complete an associate degree. In the past, its course offerings were specific to an academic program, such as baking & pastry arts, dental assisting, early childhood education, and others.
In addition to offering more high-demand classes at Harris Campus, Central Piedmont will boast Saturday-only courses for students interested in earning a general Associate in Arts degree or an Associate in Arts degree in business administration in two years. Students seeking either of these degrees will be placed on a learning track that will require them to complete two to three courses, every eight weeks.
The additional courses and weekend accessibility will also give residents the opportunity to experience Central Piedmont — a college that believes in providing individuals with an affordable, hands-on education that will prepare them for the real world so they can make a difference in their community and beyond.
To learn more about Central Piedmont’s expanded weekday evening, Friday, and Saturday classes, please visit our transfer degree page or contact Suzanne Marcoux at 704.330.4278 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
College launches 'community' ad campaign
Central Piedmont understands there are so many traditional age students and adults in Mecklenburg County with questions about the future. “Will they be able to go back to or start college?” “Is it time to make a career change to something with greater consistency and stability?”
With this in mind, the college’s Communications, Marketing, & Public Relations team worked with the Charlotte marketing and advertising agency, Mythic, to produce 60-second, 30-second, and 15-second “community” commercial spots.
The team asked faculty, staff, and students to submit content showing how they were coming together while apart during this unprecedented time.
Communications, Marketing, & Public Relations received a number of responses and submissions, which were incorporated into the ads that will run across Charlotte, on network and cable tv, as well as on digital/streaming platforms, YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook.
The ad's message is simple. It highlights Central Piedmont’s sense of community, and that when a student chooses to attend Central Piedmont, they immediately become a part of something bigger – an institution, a community, that will help them conquer possibility.
May 20, 2020 Message to the College on Coronavirus: NC Moves into Phase Two of COVID-19 Reopening
North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper on Wed., May 20, signed an executive order moving the state into “Phase Two” of its COVID-19 pandemic reopening plan. The state’s ongoing stay-at-home order will end on Friday, May 22, at 5 p.m.
Phase two allows restaurants, which had been limited to take-out or delivery service, to open at 50% capacity for dine-in customers. Personal care services, like hair salons, can open at 50% capacity. Swimming pools can also open at 50% capacity. Summer camps, including overnight camps, also may reopen with restrictions. Childcare centers may reopen to all families.
Bars, nightclubs, indoor fitness facilities, public playgrounds and indoor entertainment facilities like movie theaters and bowling alleys will remain closed. Mass gathering restrictions allow no more than 10 people indoors and no more than 25 outdoors.
Professional and college athletes may resume training as long as they adhere to the mass gathering restrictions. Cooper said religious services are exempt from the order, which will run through June 26.
Central Piedmont’s summer 2020 classes began May 20. The vast majority of these classes began online and some will be part online, part in-person. Most summer students should not come to campus over the next few weeks. All summer classes with scheduled meeting dates at a campus location will begin as fully online courses. Instructors will let their students know the exact dates for any on-campus activities later in the semester.
Students with any questions about classes should contact their instructors.
The vast majority of Central Piedmont employees will continue to work remotely. College leaders are working on plan for a phased-in return to campus work. The plan will be shared with all employees as soon as it’s completed.
To see the college’s most recent communication about the return of some on-campus classes, visit May 8, 2020 message to the college on coronavirus: some on-campus classes resuming.
Visit coronavirus information for all of Central Piedmont's updates on the pandemic.
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, student 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.
$15,000 AT&T grant to support Central Piedmont’s Emergency Fund
AT&T has awarded the Central Piedmont Community College Foundation a $15,000 grant in support of the college’s Emergency Fund to provide immediate, short-term, financial support to students and employees who have emergency financial needs related to housing, utilities, medical expenses, food, technology and more.
“Thanks to AT&T’s gift, the college is better positioned to respond to the growing financial needs of its internal community during this unprecedented time in our history,” said Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer, president of Central Piedmont. “This gift will help us purchase the technology our students, faculty, and staff need to successfully learn and work remotely and provide them with the financial assistance they need for tuition, books, child care, transportation, medical care, and other needs.”
Given the extraordinary disruptions created by the COVID-19 pandemic, the college has seen an increase in requests for assistance from students facing a variety of pressing challenges. The pandemic has significantly exacerbated these challenges. AT&T’s support expands the college’s ability to help students in need at this critical time.
“Just as all our lives have been impacted by COVID-19, everyone can play a part in helping neighbors and communities through these days,” said Kathleen Evans, regional director of external affairs for AT&T. “We are pleased to be able to support Central Piedmont in making a difference for students and their families.”
Individuals interested in making a gift to Central Piedmont’s Emergency Fund can visit cpccfoundation.org/donation.
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.