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.

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.

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.

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."

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.

Central Piedmont Students Excel in Dental Hygiene Program

Central Piedmont alumna, Omba Marilyn Thomas found success through the college's Dental Hygiene Program. Hear the story about her pathway to achievement and economic stability via her studies at Central Piedmont.



Central Piedmont's dental hygiene program offers a two-year associates degree as well as a one-year Dental Assisting diploma. Learn more about Central Piedmont's Dental Hygiene program. Read more

Posted in Alumni, Community, Foundation News, Students.

Alumni Spotlight: Christina Clothier '15

As an unemployed adult exploring her career options, Christina Clothier drew inspiration from the things in her life that she enjoyed. A positive experience with a high school laboratory internship led her to the field of Medical Laboratory Technology (MLT). She chose to attend Central Piedmont because it was affordable, convenient, and accessible. She summarizes her decision, "MLT seemed like a good fit that I could be satisfied doing, and Central Piedmont had such an approachable path that I could get there in two years."

Christina graduated with an AAS in MLT in May 2015 and has been working in her degree field since. Regarding the quality of her education at Central Piedmont, she says, "I am amazed by the peers I meet with BA degrees in my field whose education does not hold a candle to mine. I am so grateful and shocked by the quality of the education I received in my MLT classes and how well-prepared it made me for my career." This is not unusual for the MLT program at Central Piedmont, which has been in operation for over twenty years. In fact, graduates of the program have a 100% pass rate on the American Society of Clinical Pathology Board Certification exam. 

In addition to the outstanding education Christina received at Central Piedmont, she was also able to take advantage of enrichment and social activities through campus clubs and organizations. One particularly memorable experience was the medical service learning trip to Peru. Not only has she benefitted personally and professionally from her involvement in campus activities, she has also received a scholarship at her current university through her involvement with Phi Theta Kappa, an honor society for students of two-year colleges.

Christina is currently working towards her BA in Allied Health and is on track to graduate this fall. As a first generation college student, she will be the first person in her family to reach this milestone accomplishment. Her long-term career goal is to work in a public health laboratory.

Christina encourages others to pursue a higher education at Central Piedmont as well. She says, "My education prepared me very well for real life situations. You will be so glad you did this. The work may be hard, but it is so worth it to build your career and find your place." 

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Posted in Alumni, Foundation News. Tagged as alumni spotlight, alumni success, scholarships.

$1 Million Gift Establishes Scholarship for 49erNext Program

Peggy and Bob Culbertson of Charlotte have committed $1 million to Central Piedmont Community College to provide scholarships for financially needy students. The college will use a significant portion of the gift to establish the Peggy and Bob Culbertson 49erNext Scholarship Program to assist students in the newly created 49erNext Program. The Culbertson gift also will fund scholarships for Central Piedmont students pursuing career-focused technical degrees and preparing to enter the workforce.

49erNext is a new co-admission program to facilitate degree completion and student success by creating a seamless pathway for individuals who want to start their degree work at Central Piedmont and complete their degree at UNC Charlotte. This innovative co-admission approach allows both Central Piedmont and UNC Charlotte to engage in a fully integrated, proactive advising model, ensuring students' progress toward the timely completion of a baccalaureate degree. As participants in the 49erNext Program, students are eligible to transfer into more than 75 undergraduate degree programs (130+ majors) at UNC Charlotte, as long as they earn an associate degree at Central Piedmont with a minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA.

The Peggy and Bob Culbertson 49erNext Scholarship Program will provide two-year, full-tuition scholarships to full-time students with financial need who are in the 49erNext Program. News of both 49erNext and the Peggy and Bob Culbertson 49erNext Scholarship was shared today at a signing ceremony held by UNC Charlotte and Central Piedmont at UNC Charlotte's Center City Building. John Culbertson spoke at the ceremony on behalf of his parents.

"We are big on upward mobility and believe education is absolutely the best answer," Culbertson said. "Our goal is to give those who need financial assistance the opportunity to attend school. Central Piedmont is the perfect place for our gift because we can help students training for a vocational career and college transfer students.

A pilot class of 111 students opened the 49erNext program in August. This past year, about 4,000 transfer students enrolled at UNC Charlotte--69 percent came from a North Carolina community college, and 29 percent of those came from Central Piedmont.

"Central Piedmont is excited about the 49erNext program because it offers students a direct pathway to a four-year degree as well as an avenue to greater economic mobility," said Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer, Central Piedmont president. "Institutions the size of Central Piedmont and UNC Charlotte sometimes can be challenging to navigate for students. Those students in the 49erNext program will have a clearly marked map leading from one institution to the next. This program will serve the Charlotte-Mecklenburg community well as we seek to produce more individuals with bachelor's degrees to meet our growing workforce demands.

Students interested in learning more about the 49erNext program should visit cpcc.edu/49erNext or email 49erNext@cpcc.edu.

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Posted in Alumni, Announcements, Community, Foundation News, Resources, Scholarships.

Central Piedmont, UNC Charlotte Announce Co-Admission Program

UNC Charlotte and Central Piedmont Community College today announced a new co-admission program to facilitate degree completion and student success by creating a seamless pathway for individuals who want to start their degree at Central Piedmont and complete their degree at UNC Charlotte.Central Piedmont President Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer with UNC Charlotte President Dr. Phil Dubois

This innovative co-admission program, called 49erNext, allows both Central Piedmont and UNC Charlotte to engage in a fully integrated proactive advising model, ensuring students' progress toward the timely completion of a baccalaureate degree. As participants in the 49erNext program, students are eligible to transfer into more than 75 undergraduate degree programs (130+ majors) at UNC Charlotte, as long as they earn an associate degree at Central Piedmont with a minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA.

"UNC Charlotte admits the most transfer students of all universities in the UNC System so this partnership with Central Piedmont will ensure that we are meeting students' academic, financial aid, and career planning needs while making the transfer experience more seamless," said UNC Charlotte Chancellor Philip L. Dubois. "Nearly 60% of students in the inaugural 49erNext class are from underrepresented populations, and this program is designed to produce a greater number of workforce-ready, qualified graduates at a significant cost savings to them."

In addition to proactive advising, students enrolled in the program will also have access to:

  • a coordinated set of support services in critical areas like career planning and financial aid; 
  • free student privileges on UNC Charlotte's campus including admission to select Charlotte 49ers athletic events, library access, and admission to campus events;
  • discounted CATS all-access light rail and bus pass;
  • discounted access to UNC Charlotte recreational facilities.

For fall 2019, 111 students are enrolled in the 49erNext program. This past year, about 4,000 transfer students enrolled at UNC Charlotte--69 percent came from a North Carolina community college and 29 percent of those came from Central Piedmont Community College.

"Central Piedmont is excited about the 49erNext program because it offers students a direct pathway to a four-year degree as well as an avenue to greater economic mobility," said Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer, Central Piedmont president. "Institutions the size of Central Piedmont and UNC Charlotte sometimes can be challenging to navigate for students. Those students in the 49erNext program will have a clearly marked map leading from one institution to the next. This program will serve the Charlotte-Mecklenburg community well as we seek to produce more individuals with bachelor's degrees to meet our growing workforce demands."

Both institutions have agreed to make collective institutional decisions and implement policies and processes that commit to:

  • Put students first -- enable students to earn a quality degree in a timely manner;
  • Foster success -- ensure and expect all students to achieve their full potential;
  • Ensure equity -- ensure that all students, regardless of gender, race, income or family educational history, have equal opportunity.

Building on the partnership with Central Piedmont, UNC Charlotte hopes to expand 49erNext to other North Carolina community colleges.

Students interested in learning more about the 49erNext program should visit cpcc.edu/49erNext or email 49erNext@cpcc.edu.

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Posted in Alumni, Announcements, Community, Foundation News.

Alumni Spotlight: Ricky Brown Jr. '09

Ricky Brown Jr.When describing Ricky Brown Jr.'s educational journey, the word "traditional" doesn't immediately come to mind.

Raised by his grandparents, he didn't attend college directly after high school graduation. Instead, he began a full-time career at Goodyear where he slowly but surely climbed the corporate ladder.

Even though he was making strides at Goodyear and building a successful career with the company, Ricky wanted more, for both himself and his family. He no longer wanted to live paycheck to paycheck or be embarrassed to have to say "no" when asked about his education status on applications, forms, etc. He decided it was time to earn a college degree.

Unfortunately, before he could take that next step in his life plan, he was involved in a serious motorcycle accident. To make matters worse, doctors discovered a congenital heart disorder during recovery that would require him to undergo countless surgeries, therapy sessions, and more.

Despite this setback, he enrolled in college, choosing Central Piedmont because its multi-campus footprint was convenient for his lifestyle and its robust Comprehensive Articulation Agreement with surrounding four-year colleges would ensure all of the credits he earned would 100 percent transfer to East Carolina University, where he planned to complete his B.S. in Communications (ECU).

Upon enrolling in 2007, he was awarded a Levine Scholarship, which to Ricky, was the largest blessing of all. "The Levine Scholarship was extremely beneficial," he says. "It helped partially offset the medical expenses I incurred during college, allowing me to focus more on obtaining my Associate in Science degree and less on my finances."

Thanks to Central Piedmont's flexible learning schedule, Ricky started back to school slowly, choosing to take online courses because they could easily fit in-between his physical therapy sessions. Focusing on his studies helped him keep his mind engaged while his body recovered.

During his time at Central Piedmont, Ricky fostered a variety of relationships with peers and faculty alike, and generated a number of professional connections as well. "I still communicate with Dr. Anne McIntosh, one of my instructors from Central Piedmont. In fact, she continues to support my professional and academic endeavors to this day."

Since graduating from Central Piedmont in 2009, Ricky earned his bachelor's degree from ECU, continues to work at Goodyear in Internal Audit, was accepted into the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE), and is attending graduate school at East Carolina University, pursuing an MBA, which he is projected to complete in spring 2020. After graduate school, he's considering earning a Ph.D. 

"My goal is to continue to grow and develop into the best version of myself," he says. "I would love to one day give back to Central Piedmont -- the institution that gave me the foothold I needed to succeed in all areas of my life."

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Posted in Alumni, Foundation News, Scholarships. Tagged as alumni spotlight, alumni success, scholarships.

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