What began 15 months ago with the start of a branding and marketing study -- and journeyed through the opinions and ideas of more than 3,000 existing and prospective students, parents, faculty and staff, and community members -- culminated today in a college-wide celebration, on all six campuses, as Central Piedmont Community College launched its new branding, which includes new college colors, logo, and website.
"We hope this brand transformation will excite all of those in our Central Piedmont family, energizing and propelling them forward to do the passionate work needed to help our students not just wonder, 'what if,' but set an academic goal and achieve or surpass it," said Central Piedmont President Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer. "Central Piedmont calls on all its employees, students, board members, and community supporters to now be brand ambassadors, helping to tell the college's story to the community."
The college's "brand" is the emotional and psychological connection people have with Central Piedmont; its personality. The college's logo, website, marketing materials, faculty, staff, and students all are important parts of its brand.
The brand study results also emphasized the need for Central Piedmont to elevate its visual standing in the marketplace to match the caliber of education and services it provides. The "Central Piedmont green" has been replaced with a new color scheme: gold and gray. The old "green box" logo is gone and replaced with a cleaner, more collegiate and modern design. During the logo-design process, multiple students groups expressed their desire for a logo that stands well with the corporate and other institutional marks in Charlotte and conveys the seriousness in which Central Piedmont students approach their programs of study and pursue life-changing credentials.
As the final piece of the branding/marketing process, the college has launched a totally new website to focus more on its visitors, mainly future Central Piedmont students and their families, inviting them to easily explore and connect with the college.
The college partnered with Pittsburgh-based Barkley REI to create the new website at cpcc.edu. More than putting a new face put on the old website, Central Piedmont teams plowed through the nearly 30,000 pages of content on the old website to create a thoroughly modern, audience-focused way to present the information site visitors need to know. The look and feel, functionality and voice of the new website were created with intense input from hundreds of faculty, staff, students (prospective and current) and community members.
At a celebration event today on Central Campus that was streamed live to all campuses, the college revealed the new branding including the new logo, college colors, initial advertising campaign concept, and redesigned website and also had "reveal" parties for students at every campus.
To see the new brand and website, please visit cpcc.edu.
During its spring commencement on May 16 at 10 a.m., at Bojangles' Coliseum, Central Piedmont Community College will present Adam S. Brooks, senior manager of learning and development for Charter Communications, with the 2019 Richard H. Hagemeyer Educational Advancement Award, and Brandy R. Garrett, science department chair for Blenheim Elementary Middle School, in Bennettsville, S.C., with the inaugural Young Alumni Award of Excellence. The awards recognize a former Central Piedmont student who has benefited significantly from experiences at Central Piedmont and whose efforts have helped the community.
Adam S. Brooks
Brooks graduated from Central Piedmont in 2004 with an associate degree in business administration. Since that time, he has built a successful career, working in a variety of fields, including instructional technologies, training management, new media communications, marketing, and many others. A consummate servant leader, Brooks seeks to place the needs of the local community first. As a result, he can be found volunteering on a number of boards for area nonprofits and economic development teams, including the Matthews Economic Development Advisory Committee, The Red Brick Partnership, and The Armed Forces Museum and Archives of the Carolinas, or helping Charlotte men in need by gifting them a pair of quality, vintage dress shoes that he personally restores through his shoe ministry. A passionate entrepreneur, Brooks is a frequent guest speaker, writer, and contributor who has founded a number of community events in the Queen City that highlight innovation and startups, including THE Geek Fest at Central Piedmont, BarCamp Charlotte and EdCamp Charlotte.
Brandy R. Garrett
Since graduating from Central Piedmont in 2009 with an associate in arts, Garrett has earned a bachelor's degree in psychology from UNC Charlotte, and a master's degree in education from Francis Marion University. Today, she is married, a mom to five children by adoption, and a proud middle school teacher, who works to ensure the in-need children she teaches are well loved. She routinely raises money for her students, to guarantee they have the supplies they need to learn, and was among the first to raise her hand to help those impacted by Hurricanes Florence and Michael in fall 2018. Her commitment extends well beyond her classroom; in fact, each year she returns to Central Piedmont to volunteer at the college's annual Phi Theta Kappa induction ceremony, an event that honors the academic achievements of current Central Piedmont students.
The Hagemeyer Award takes its name from Dr. Richard H. Hagemeyer, CPCC president for 23 years, who led the college from its beginnings as a trade school with 1,200 students to one of the largest N.C. community colleges. View the previous award recipients at cpccfoundation.org/alumni/hagemeyer-award-honorees. To learn more about the Richard H. Hagemeyer Educational Advancement Award and its requirements, please visit www.cpccfoundation.org/hagemeyer.
This is the first year the college has awarded a Young Alumni Award of Excellence. To be considered for the award, the recipient must not only meet all of the Hagemeyer Award requirements, but also must have graduated from Central Piedmont within the last 10 years. To learn more about the Young Alumni Excellence Award, visit www.cpccfoundation.org/youngalumni.
Central Piedmont culinary student, Desiree Kinker, has been chosen as the 2019 Central Piedmont commencement speaker. Desiree is a Merancas Technical Careers Scholar as well as a Ruth G. Shaw Scholar.
Desiree Kinker first started at Central Piedmont in 2010. Dealing with the day-to-day college grind can be challenging by itself, but Desiree dealt with another situation many college students don't have to face homelessness.
"I started at Central Piedmont in 2010 and have been homeless almost the entire time," she said. "I lived in a homeless shelter for a year, left college for five years and currently live in transitional housing. I haven't had a place to call my own, so that's why I came back to Central Piedmont, because it truly felt like a home."
Since her return to college, Desiree is confident and making the most of her opportunities. She received two scholarships - Ruth G. Shaw Scholarship and Merancas Technical Careers Scholarship which, according to her, allowed her to "relieve some of my financial fears."
She is enrolled in the college's culinary arts degree program, an active participant in culinary club and a Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) international honor society member. "I chose to resume my studies because I want a better life," Desiree said. "I have been able to interact and learn from mentors and form bonds with female business leaders around Charlotte. The faculty and students here have really had my back and pushed me to be better. I hope to be a light in the darkness for those who may be struggling."
Last year for the first time in the history of Central Piedmont, a student was selected as the commencement speaker. Patsy Montesinos, also a Ruth G. Shaw Scholar, was the 2018 speaker. Patsy is completing her first year at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she is majoring in broadcast journalism.
This year's graduation ceremony will be held at Bojangles' Coliseum on Thursday, May 16, at 10 a.m.
Some seniors are finding that their taxes are going up despite a more generous standard deduction. This is true because of a tax provision that requires seniors 70 ½ and older to take money from their retirement accounts even if they don't need the cash.
Many individuals who itemized in the past may find that taking the now-higher standard deduction is a better tax move. However, if you take the standard tax deduction on your tax return, you can't itemize and claim certain deductions such as charitable contributions.
But there is a way for some seniors to still get credit for their giving, thereby reducing their taxable income even if they don't itemize.
One often over-looked tax break is the Qualified Charitable Deduction (QCD). If you transfer funds directly from you IRA to a 501©3 organization such as the Central Piedmont Community College Foundation, those dollars count toward your Required Minimum Deduction (RMD) for the year and are not counted as income. The net effect: You are getting a tax deduction for charitable giving without itemizing deductions. If you normally make charitable contributions, this is a great way to help the College and receive a benefit yourself.
For more information on giving through your IRA or other retirement assets, please contact
Director, Planned Giving
(Portions of this article taken from THE WASHINGTON POST, Michelle Singletary, 03/25/19)
The U.S. Department of Education Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE) has awarded Central Piedmont Community College a two-year, $94,266 cybersecurity grant to purchase and install new equipment for the college's NETLAB, an online lab solution that provides students with access to live IT infrastructure to perform technology related experiments from any Web-based computer.
The funding is being awarded through the U.S. Department of Education's Cybersecurity Education Technological Upgrades for Community Colleges pilot program, an initiative that seeks to improve infrastructure for cybersecurity education programs at community colleges. Select colleges must use the funds to make technological upgrades at its facilities, enhancing its ability to offer state-of-the-art cybersecurity education programs to students.
Central Piedmont will use the grant to modernize, enhance and expand the capacity of its NETLAB, located in the Levine Information Technology Building on Central Campus. Funds will help purchase equipment vital to the NETLAB's success, including a Cisco router and gigabit switch, two Dell Power Edge servers and the NETLAB+ Virtual Edition appliance. Doing so will enable the college to create a training environment in which students are afforded hands-on use of forensic software within a learning environment that reflects the industry standard.
"Cybersecurity has emerged as a significant federal priority. As a result, there is a growing need for quality cybersecurity education programs across the region," said Mike Hogan, associate dean of STEM at Central Piedmont. "By boosting the functionality of our NETLAB, we'll ensure Central Piedmont is well positioned to ensure low income student populations, as well as underrepresented minorities, will have access to in demand education that results in lucrative careers in cybersecurity."
To learn more about the U.S. Department of Education's FIPSE program, please visit https://www2.ed.gov/programs/ppcetucc/index.html. For more information on Central Piedmont's Information Assurance and Digital Forensics program, visit cpcc.edu/career/programs/cyber%20crime%20info%20system.