Keeping Up with CPCC Alumnus 2nd Lieutenant Chris Reith

Here's the latest from Chris Reith-

I had the honor to graduate with the Class of 2012 from the Air Force Academy on 23 May 2012. I graduated from the Academy in the top 20% of my class academically and overall and was humbly promoted to the rank of 2nd Lieutenant. I was humbled to have President Obama as our commencement speaker. Shaking the hand of a US president is something that I will cherish forever.

In February of this year, I was informed that I was pilot qualified and that I would be a pilot trainee in the Air Force. My first duty assignment would be Naval Air Station Whiting Field (near Pensacola, FL) for Undergraduate Pilot Training (UPT). Following the good news, I asked the love of my life to marry me, and we got married in June. Currently, we both reside in Pensacola.

The road to becoming an Air Force pilot is a long one. The first step for all pilot trainees, is to go to Pueblo, CO for Initial Flight Screening (IFS). This program screens pilot trainees to see if they can survive the rigors and stress of UPT. It's about 3 weeks long and mimics pilot training in almost every way. I showed up in last September and we had about 1 week of ground academics. This consisted of basic aviation knowledge: airspace, weather, aircraft systems, aerodynamics, emergency procedures, airport operations, etc. After that, we hit the flight line and learned to fly the Diamond DA-20 aircraft. The program was stressful due to the "fire hose" of information being given so rapidly. Overall, each pilot trainee gets about 14 hours of flying time and a solo flight. I completed the program in mid-October and returned to Pensacola, only to hear news that the Air Force will no longer be training pilots at Whiting Field. In January, my wife and I will be heading off to Enid, Oklahoma to Vance AFB, where I will train for about 2 years to get my wings.

I cannot overstate how important your support and the support of CPCC has been over the past few years. Keeping in touch with my first alma mater has provided me with the determination to continue giving my best everyday and to never give up. I get chills just thinking about everyone who helped me, inspired me, and encouraged me to shoot for the stars. Not many people get a chance to do what I'm doing and I'd like to say thanks for the support for getting me here.

CPCC Alumnus- 2nd Lieutenant Chris Reith

Historical Background- Chris attended CPCC for 2 years to prepare for acceptance in the Air Force Academy.  Here's what he said about his "prep" time at CPCC. (edited for clarity)

Prior to attending CPCC, I was immature, undisciplined, and naive. Attending CPCC for 2 years broke me of that and set a foundation for the years to come. I learned to become more self-sufficient and to have more personal responsibility when it came to being where I needed to be and getting done what needed to be done. My instructors taught me not only academic knowledge, but study skills and techniques that made learning more enjoyable. If I could do it all over again, I'd do it in a heartbeat.

Posted in Alumni, Announcements, Campus, Community.

CPCC Alumni Relations- Celebrating 50 Years of Legacy and Promise.

CPCC Alumni Relations- Celebrating 50 Years of Legacy and Promise.

Don't miss your chance to be famous! CPCC Alumni Relations is hosting a photo show of alumni on the Alumni web-page. If you'd like to have your photo displayed please send it in jpeg format to along with your name, course of study and graduation date.

Here's the link to the current slideshow: CPCC Alumni Relations- Celebrating 50 Years of Legacy and Promise

Posted in Alumni, Announcements, Community.

CPCC Alumnus Chef Gene Kato Opens Sumi Robata Bar in Chicago

CPCC Alumni Relations recently heard from CPCC Alumnus and Chef Gene Kato.  Chef Kato has been involved in the Chicago restaurant scene since 2002. Chef Kato, an innovator of Japanese cuisine in the U.S., will introduce the traditional takumi, or artisan experience of robata grilling at his new Sumi Robata Bar located in Chicago. Sumi is a distinct Japanese white charcoal that is used for grilling in the Japanese tradition.

Chef Kato, who was raised in Charlotte in a traditional Japanese household, loves the blend of traditions and values of his unique life experience. Part of that life experience was his culinary arts education at Central Piedmont Community College. Chef Kato credits his passion and drive for success in part to the mentoring he received while attending the CPCC culinary arts program.  Chef Kato speaks  fondly of his mentor Jeff LaBarge and the positive influences he had on Gene while he was a student at CPCC.

Chef Kato's CPCC experience, coupled with his own dedication and passion to refine his talents, have helped Chef Kato garner national and international attention for his Japanese cuisine.

View video about what inspires Chef Kato of Sumi Robata Bar

Posted in Alumni, Announcements, Community, Entertainment.

CPCC Completes $9M Project at Harper Campus

Central Piedmont Community College has completed a $9 million construction and renovation project at its Harper Campus.

The 12-month project, led by Rodgers Builders, added 34,422 square feet of new construction. Roughly 21,000 square feet were renovated.

It was funded through proceeds from a 2005 Mecklenburg County bond referendum.

The campus, located at 315 W. Hebron St., opened in 1999 to serve CPCC's Applied Technologies Division and Construction Technologies Division programs. Read more

Posted in Announcements, Campus, Community.

Meet CPCC Alumni Success--Business Owner Laura Downs

Laura Downs came to CPCC to hone her business and technical skills for running her ITS business. A great story about success!

Watch it here

Posted in Alumni, Announcements, Community.

At CPCC, Students Find Circle of Support

Communities in Colleges gives those who struggled in high school tools to conquer college

Communities in Colleges, the group that led the children on a campus tour, is made up of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools graduates who got their diplomas with the help of Communities in Schools. The dropout-prevention group supports students with family, financial, academic and other challenges and those issues don't vanish after "Pomp and Circumstance" plays.

Read more here

CPCC Scholarship Honors Memory of Volunteer

The Victoria A. Bowler Memorial Scholarship has been established at CPCC to provide scholarship assistance on an annual basis to deserving CPCC paralegal students who need financial assistance to accomplish their career goals and aspirations.

From left, Bob Bowler (Victoria's father), Mary Herold, and Marilynn Bowler
(Victoria's mother) at the 1st annual Victoria Bowler Memorial
Scholarship Fundraiser event on Sept. 11 2012

Posted in Alumni, Announcements, Community.

Ever Wonder What You Would Do with an Associate of Applied Science in Geospatial Technology?

Meet CPCC Alumnus Kitty Kolb, a Geographer with the U.S. Geological Survey North Carolina Water Science Center. Kitty recently received her Associate of Applied Science degree in Geospatial Technology at Central Piedmont Community College.

What do you see as the most valuable part of your work?

The most valuable part of my work is that I help protect people's lives and property.  After Hurricane Irene in 2011, I made a Google Earth map of the high water marks that resulted from Irene's storm surge, which were collected by USGS staff. This was exciting for me. The USGS uses the storm surge data to understand the effects of past hurricanes, which eventually allows for the development of tools and methods to help predict the effects of future hurricanes. These data also allow scientists to better understand local effects of the storm on the environment like flood extent, erosion, or vegetation changes. During this process, USGS field teams were measuring the high water marks and sending me information in almost real-time, and I was able to update the maps as their data came in. Afterwards I was shocked and honored to find that my maps were used by agencies such as at FEMA and Homeland Security! They were using our storm surge information as well, for damage assessments and impact assessments. Without GIS, all the agencies involved wouldn't have been able to respond as quickly to help residents and businesses rebuild. Read more about Kitty's career...

Posted in Alumni, Announcements, Community.