Central Piedmont Seeks Nominations for 2020 Alumni Awards

Do you know a Central Piedmont Community College graduate who is making a tremendous difference in the community? Nominations are currently being sought for the 2020 Richard H. Hagemeyer Educational Advancement Award and the 2020 Young Alumni Award of Excellence. These awards recognize Central Piedmont graduates who have significantly benefited from their experiences at Central Piedmont and whose efforts have helped the community.

Nominations are being sought for individuals who have:

  • demonstrated community involvement/professional involvement, social responsibility and impact
  • acquired scholastic and learning skills that have led to continued personal and educational growth
  • improved his or her economic status and social capital as a result of attending Central Piedmont
  • invested in the lives of others and is seen as a role model
  • graduated within the last 10 years (Young Alumni Award of Excellence only)

Individuals interested in applying should note:

  • attendance at graduation is preferred
  • political candidates may not be selected or honored in a year in which they are actively pursuing election or re-election

The college will recognize this year's winners at Central Piedmont's commencement ceremony on Thursday, May 14, 2020, and a one-year scholarship will be granted to a Central Piedmont student in an area of study reflective of the winner's background.

Nomination forms are available on the Central Piedmont website.

Completed nomination forms should be submitted online; or mailed to Christa Newkirk, Office of Alumni Relations, P.O. Box 35009, Charlotte, NC, 28235. The deadline for nominations is Feb. 28, 2020, at 6 p.m. For more information, contact Christa Newkirk at alumni@cpcc.edu or call 704.330.6808.

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Posted in Alumni, Announcements, Community, Foundation News.

Fifth Third Bank Donates $50K to Central Piedmont

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.

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Posted in Announcements, Community, Foundation News, Resources.

Alumni Spotlight: Kiara Palmer '11

Despite high school success, Kiara Palmer wasn't ready for the rigors of a four-year university. Therefore, she chose to begin her higher education journey at Central Piedmont in the fall of 2008.

While at Central Piedmont, Palmer demonstrated exemplary leadership skills both as part of the college's Phi Theta Kappa honor society and as a peer advisor in Career Services. She also gained hands-on experience by learning the inner workings of the television industry through an internship at CPCC-TV (now WTVI PBS Charlotte).

This experience helped her learn more about her area of study in journalism and mass communication. It opened doors at other radio and television stations, including WFAE, where she served as an intern. Soon after, Palmer graduated in May 2011, earning an Associate in Arts degree and transferred to UNC-Chapel Hill, where she hit the ground running.

"Because of my time at Central Piedmont, I was ready for the rigors of UNC-Chapel Hill," she said. "I was confident in my abilities to do the work and anything that was required of me."

Since graduating from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2013, Palmer served as a TV assignment editor for WRAL-TV (Raleigh, NC) and WSOC-TV (Charlotte, NC).  She then transitioned from broadcast news and worked for the National Institutes of Health as a communications specialist. 

In May of 2019, Palmer earned her Master of Arts degree in strategic communications from American University in Washington, D.C., and is currently working as an account supervisor at Ogilvy Health, an international integrated public relations agency.

Palmer says she owes much of her success and personal development to Central Piedmont. Without the professors, college staff, and academic programming, Palmer says her journey wouldn't have been as fruitful.  

 "Central Piedmont has truly provided me with a solid foundation," she said. "This foundation has allowed me to not only to succeed academically but socially, mentally, and personally. I'm a better person because of Central Piedmont and wouldn't trade this experience for anything," says Kiara. Read more

Posted in Alumni. Tagged as alumni spotlight, alumni success.

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 $23.8 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.

For updates on the progress of Powering a Stronger Future, visit our campaign updates page.

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Posted in Announcements, Community, Foundation News. Tagged as Campaign.

Your Gift Empowers Students

Raven Bell is pursuing her dream of becoming a pediatrician at Central Piedmont. Your gift this #GivingTuesday helps empower students like Raven to reach their full potential and create #aStrongerFuture for all of us.

To donate, visit www.cpccfoundation.org/donation.
To learn more about Powering A Stronger Future, visit www.cpccfoundation.org/campaign.


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Posted in Alumni, Foundation News, Scholarships, Students.

Central Piedmont Alumnus Wins Food Network's Chopped

Congratulations to Central Piedmont alumnus and 2018 Hagemeyer Award winner Chris Coleman for winning Food Network's Chopped!

We are so proud of our alumni and all that they are doing to #ConquerPossibility.

Read the full story via the Charlotte Observer.

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Posted in Alumni, Announcements, Foundation News.

Students Named Outstanding Model UN 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.

Learn more here.

To support Model UN at Central Piedmont, click 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.

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Posted in Announcements, Campus, Foundation News, Students.

Alumni Spotlight: Brian LaBombard '15

After graduating from Hopewell High School, Brian LaBombard took a semester's worth of classes at Appalachian State. Twice. Both times, he realized that he wanted to be independent but was not quite ready to pursue a degree. Instead, he enlisted in the Army. When his enlistment ended four years later, he immediately applied to Central Piedmont and focused on his goal of earning a college degree. Now, Brian is both a United States Army veteran and a college graduate with an A.A.S. degree in Computer Engineering Technology.

Brian chose to attend Central Piedmont because he wanted a personal learning experience with classes that worked around his schedule. He also wanted to be part of a community dedicated to personal improvement and community contribution. He says, "Central Piedmont provided me with an amazing professional foundation to build upon. I enjoyed learning alongside great individuals and having outstanding professors. I also loved working in the Engineering Lab with state of the art equipment." 

Dave Ross, one of Brian's former instructors at Central Piedmont, nominated Brian for an Outstanding Student award in 2015, describing Brian as, "a detail oriented student who produces high quality work and works hard to understand material beyond what is required." 

One of the hallmarks of Central Piedmont's Electrical, Electronic, and Computer Engineering Technology programs is that they are all ABET accredited. Central Piedmont is one of three community colleges in the state that earns this designation; only 17 institutions statewide do so. This accreditation ensures a high quality of education and enhances future employment opportunities for program graduates. As a graduate of Central Piedmont, Brian has benefitted from this accreditation, securing a position in his field even before he finished his degree. Brian explains, "I was able to land a position at Red Ventures while completing my final semester at Central Piedmont and have been with them since." He is currently a Desktop Support Engineer II. 

He offers encouraging advice to prospective students, especially those that have not followed a traditional path to higher education. "Every assignment, quiz, and test you take is another brick in your professional foundation. Treat all of your work with a high level of importance; doing so will bring value to yourself and an appreciation for the dedication you've put into bettering your future. We can all become discouraged at times, but do not allow your failures to define you. Instead, let the solutions that you create become a beacon of inspiration to guide your future." 
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Posted in Alumni. Tagged as alumni spotlight, alumni success.

C-STEP New Transfer Program Expands to Central Piedmont

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill launched C-STEP (the Carolina Student Transfer Excellence Program) in 2006 to enable more community college students to transfer to and graduate from Carolina. This year, UNC Chapel Hill  has expanded C-STEP to include a partnership with Central Piedmont Community College and Guilford Technical Community College, and has launched a new component of the program, Pathways to STEM Success. The additions to the program were made possible by a $1.13 million grant from the North Carolina GlaxoSmithKline Foundation.

As part of UNC Chapel Hill's mission to provide a high-quality education to North Carolinians of all backgrounds, C-STEP is used to identify high-achieving high school seniors and community college students whose household incomes fall at or below 300 percent of the federal poverty guidelines. Once accepted in C-STEP, students are guaranteed entry to UNC Chapel Hill following the completion of an associate degree with cumulative grade-point averages of at least 3.2 at a partner community college such as Central Piedmont and the 12 other partner schools. Student also receive transition and support services, such as dedicated advising, mentoring, networking opportunities, and special seminars. This support contributes to the program's success. C-STEP students earn their bachelor's degree at a rate of over 85 percent, as opposed to only 17 percent of students completing their bachelor's degree outside of the program.

In addition to the expansion of C-STEP, the new Partners to STEM Success initiative aims to train the next generation of STEM and health professionals. Students in this part of the C-STEP program will receive specific mentoring to prepare them for graduate study or careers in STEM and health professions, and have opportunities for immersive experiences such as summer internships and lab assistantships. Read more

Posted in Announcements, Foundation News, Resources.

Central Piedmont announces campaign goal of $40 million

CHARLOTTE, N.C. Central Piedmont Community College has launched the public phase of its "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.

Powering A Stronger Future: The Campaign for Central Piedmont Community CollegeThe campaign will run through June 2022, and has raised $23.5 million during its two-year quiet phase.

"The Powering a Stronger Future campaign is about students and addressing the upward mobility challenges in Mecklenburg County," Central Piedmont President Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer explained. "For those who want our community to thrive and want to make an investment education is a game changer. Central Piedmont is a great place to help students thrive and be successful in our community. I think there is no better investment for Mecklenburg's future."

The Powering a Stronger Future campaign priorities include:

  • $15 million to fund student scholarships and support the student emergency fund;
  • $9.5 million for student support services, such as academic and career advising, leadership opportunities, out-of-classroom experiences, enhanced disability services, and the Summer Bridge program that helps students prepare for their first semester of college;
  • $9.5 million to further instructional excellence through support for programs, equipment and other resources and faculty;
  • $5 million for specific programs that foster economic mobility, such as the Accelerated Career Training program for under- and unemployed adults, the early childhood education program that trains pre-K teachers, and strategic workforce partnerships; and
  • $1 million for the college's annual fund to respond to evolving priorities and needs.
Pat Rodgers, president and CEO of Rodgers Builders and a Central Piedmont alumna, is serving as the honorary campaign chair. The campaign chairpersons are Weston Andress, regional president, PNC Financial Services; Linda Lockman-Brooks, president, Lockman-Brooks Marketing Services; and Carl Showalter, president, Showalter Construction.

"Central Piedmont is a solid investment for donors because you see the results. You see the results in the lives of Central Piedmont graduates," Rodgers shared. "What they carry with them from Central Piedmont is the education of a lifetime, and it changes their lives and the lives around them.

"My time at Central Piedmont was life changing. It meant so much to me to have the opportunity to go to the Central Piedmont of my day. When I look at what Central Piedmont is now and the impact it makes, it is just amazing. I know the impact it had on my life, and I think it's fair to say, if you live in this community, Central Piedmont impacts your life as well," Rodgers added.
student in cap and gown at graduation
For more information about the Central Piedmont's Powering a Stronger Future campaign, see http://www.cpccfoundation.org/campaign, or call the Central Piedmont Foundation at 704.330.6869.

"Central Piedmont is a trusted entity," Deitemeyer said. "When this community considers the number of people we need going into the workforce and how we're going to move this great city to the next level that offers prosperity to all, it's going to take an education provider like Central Piedmont. So this campaign is about people and providing pathways to opportunity and greater economic mobility and personal success."

For updates on the progress of Powering a Stronger Future, visit our campaign updates page.

About Central Piedmont
Central Piedmont Community College is highly accessible and convenient to people of all ages who seek a real-world, affordable, hands-on education that will transform their lives and strengthen the economic, social, and cultural environment of Mecklenburg County. Central Piedmont is also a smart investment. At a fraction of the cost, students learn by doing, receiving a combination of technical and soft skills training from quality faculty who prepare them to enter the workforce and make a difference in their family, business, community, and world. Founded in 1963, Central Piedmont Community College has eight locations throughout Mecklenburg County, offering nearly 300 degree, diploma, and certification programs; customized corporate training; market-focused continuing education; and special interest classes. For more information, visit cpcc.edu, or connect with the college on social media at cpcc.edu/social. Read more

Posted in Alumni, Announcements, Community, Foundation News, Gift Planning, Scholarships, Students. Tagged as Campaign.

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