Central Piedmont Selects Artists to Design Mural for New Student Union
Central Piedmont Community College has selected two local artists, Rosalia Torres-Weiner and Felicia Sky Sutton, to create a large-scale mural honoring the past history of the college, documenting the present, and reflecting the aspirations of Central Piedmont students for the future.
Torres-Weiner and Sutton, former Central Piedmont students, were chosen from a highly skilled pool of applicants to work collaboratively with students, faculty, and staff to create an interactive mural. The art work will be located in the dining area of the college’s new student union, a part of Central Piedmont’s new Parr Center complex, located on the Central Campus. The Parr Center will serve as the student services hub and include a new campus library, a 430-seat theater, a rooftop terrace, a 1,100- square-foot art gallery, and a maker’s space for students to explore careers and creativity. The Parr Center will open to students and the public later this year.
According to the project’s request for proposal, the mural’s graphic design will span an 8-foot by 90-foot wall on the first floor of the 184,000-square-foot building. Its placement will benefit from the nearby dining space, which is flooded with natural light thanks to the floor-to-ceiling glass windows that overlook the Charlotte city skyline. The mural will demonstrate the college’s commitment to the fine arts and its support for the creative culture of its surrounding community.
Rosalia Torres-Weiner is an artist, activist and community leader in Charlotte. Her art captures the themes, colors and rich symbolism of her native home of Mexico. She took her first steps toward a creative career by taking graphic design courses at Central Piedmont. After operating a successful interior arts business, Torres-Weiner shifted the focus of her work from commercial art to art activism in 2010, by using her art to document social conditions and to raise awareness about issues affecting immigrant communities such as family separation, access to public education, racism, and moving beyond common stereotypes. Her work is featured in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian Anacostia Museum and has been exhibited in a variety of venues, including the McColl Center for Arts and Innovation, Levine Museum of the New South, the City of Raleigh Museum, the Latin American Center for Arts Gallery, the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, and the Mexican Cultural Institute at the Mexican Embassy in Washington D.C. Her story “The Magic Kite” was adapted by The Children’s Theatre of Charlotte.
Felicia Sky Sutton is an educator, muralist, and multimedia artist who believes art creation and art education are an important pathway to self-empowerment. Working with paint, video, digital illustration, and most recently animation, She captures the essence of her subjects and tells stories through colorful portraiture, symbolism, and visual metaphors. Sutton is passionate about the use of public art to empower, build, and strengthen communities, and to bring new life to forgotten spaces. She attended Central Piedmont’s dual enrollment program before transferring to and graduating from Appalachian State University with a bachelor’s degree in art and visual culture. Her work has been in a number of group and solo exhibitions in Boone, N.C.; Charlotte and, most recently, in Philadelphia. In addition, she has been published in multiple publications and magazines.
College hosts EDI event with community partners
In celebration of Black History Month, the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Council at Central Piedmont Community College hosted a virtual panel discussion today featuring prominent leaders from some of its key partner organizations in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg community. The panel was comprised of:
- Kieth Cockrell, president, Bank of America Charlotte
- Chiquitha Lloyd, director of diversity and inclusion, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools
- Dr. Dana McDonald, vice president of talent development, Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont
- Fernando Little, vice president and chief diversity officer, Atrium Health
During the event, Central Piedmont employees and students had the opportunity to hear the group discuss their personal stories as they relate to equity, diversity, and inclusion; and most importantly, learn about each individual’s professional experiences with actively advocating for and promoting opportunity, access, and fairness within their organizations and in the community-at-large.
“I’d encourage all of you, no matter how you classify yourself or what you think about this campus, to speak up,” said Cockrell during the event. “We all have a voice and we all need to show a willingness to make things better.”
Over the last 18 months, Central Piedmont has hosted a number of EDI related events for both its employees and students to attend. Examples include: inclusive leadership trainings, inclusive teaching practice sessions, examining best EDI practices from other institutions, courageous conversations, and more.
Central Piedmont is offering the events to foster the growth of its employees and students, as well as the institution as a whole. The goal is to deliver a superior collegiate experience for students that supports their success both personally and professionally, while embedding an enhanced EDI philosophy and awareness in the college’s daily practices and processes.
College welcomes students to spring 2022 semester
More than 15,000 students from Mecklenburg County and beyond converged at Central Piedmont Community College on Monday, Jan. 10, as the college kicked off its 2022 spring semester.
Throughout the day, Student Engagement representatives and other staff members were stationed at information tables across all six Central Piedmont campuses to help ease students’ first day of class.
Representatives were on site to guide students to classes, answer their questions, and provide them with important college information, such as valuable campus resources, parking guidelines and available extracurricular activities.
The college offers nearly 300 programs to get students real-world ready, providing them with an affordable and hands-on education that can help them fast track into a career pathway or lay the foundation for a four-year degree.
Registration for the spring term remains open. Enroll today!
College Honors James W. Allison
Central Piedmont Community College recognized James “Jim” W. Allison, a long-time Central Piedmont benefactor and respected Charlotte lawyer, by naming Room 1221 of the Zeiss Building on the college’s Central Campus, the "James W. Allison Classroom” in honor of his 17-year relationship with the college.
The college will use Room 1221 for paralegal technology instruction beginning in 2022, when its paralegal program relocates from Cato Campus to Central Campus. The classroom naming aligns perfectly with Mr. Allison’s professional interests – he dedicated his career to working as a business lawyer, working primarily for Johnston, Allison & Hord PA. There, he helped counsel a number of clients representing the higher education, real estate, and healthcare fields – including Central Piedmont Community College.
Over the years, Mr. Allison has served as the college’s legal counsel, helping its leadership acquire facilities/property across the county to help expand its footprint to meet the needs of students and the community.
However, his contributions to the college’s growth extend beyond his legal work. He and his wife Judy – a Central Piedmont Board of Trustees member since 2010 – have generously donated their time and resources to Central Piedmont, establishing the Judith N. & James W. Allison Endowed Scholarship to support students in the paralegal program (with a veteran preference), and the Johnston, Allison & Hord Scholarship to support students in the college’s paralegal program.
“Jim and Judy have been generous supporters of the college, establishing endowed scholarship funds to extend opportunities to financially-needy students in our paralegal program,” said Kandi Deitemeyer, president of Central Piedmont. “This generosity has made it possible for numerous students to prepare for meaningful careers as paralegals. The gift to name this classroom will increase available scholarship resources and provide additional life-transforming financial assistance to students.”
2020-2021 Annual Report Now Available Online
The Central Piedmont Annual Report is ready to view online at cpccfoundation.org/annualreport.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic during 2020-2021, the college continued to serve as the community’s college, providing the support services, courses, and career training its students needed to stay on track, within an environment that fostered a culture of care.
We are grateful for the continued support of our donors, industry partners, and friends who believe in our vision of providing learning experiences that transform lives and strengthen the local community.
Please enjoy this interactive reading experience, while learning more about our 2020-2021 accomplishments and celebrating our many successes with us through videos, photos, and more.
Esparza, Rhodes appointed to Central Piedmont Board of Trustees
Gabriel J. Esparza and Khalif J. Rhodes, both of Charlotte, have been appointed by the Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners to the Central Piedmont Community College Board of Trustees.
Esparza is a seasoned executive with more than 25 years of experience leading businesses spanning both large corporations and nimble start-ups. He serves as both advisor and investor in a variety of entrepreneurial ventures. In one notable example, he played an integral part of the success story at RapidSOS – a gov-tech platform that radically transformed the way people communicate with 911, making it a data-driven experience that transmits precise location and other critical information to first responders.
Esparza’s term on the Central Piedmont board runs through June 2023. He holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA in International Relations and Psychology from Stanford University.
Rhodes is an attorney and founder of The Rhodes Firm, PLLC. He established the firm in 2012, after earning his J.D. and LL.M., from Thomas M. Cooley Law School. During his tenure at The Rhodes Firm, he has assisted various small to medium-sized businesses in the areas of mergers and acquisitions, corporate compliance and due diligence. In 2017, he was appointed the Chief Magistrate of the 26th Judicial District. Under his guidance, Mecklenburg County attempted to address the significant disparities in the criminal justice system. He was a part of a team that re-wrote Mecklenburg County's bail policy.
Rhodes’ appointment as a Central Piedmont Trustee runs through June 2025. In addition to his law degrees, he earned a BA in Political Science from Pennsylvania State University.
“I am excited to welcome Mr. Esparza and Mr. Rhodes to the Central Piedmont Board of Trustees,” said Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer, Central Piedmont president. “This is an important period in the history of the college as we endeavor to help so many Mecklenburg County residents rebuild their careers or start their higher education journeys in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. The college will rely on its Board of Trustees for experienced insight and wise counsel."
College dedicates the Leon Levine Health Sciences Center
Central Piedmont Community College today dedicated the Leon Levine Health Sciences Center on the college’s Central Campus. The naming is in recognition of a $2.5-million grant from The Leon Levine Foundation to support health sciences education and health careers preparation at Central Piedmont.
College leaders and community partners including Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer, president, Central Piedmont; Linda Lockman-Brooks, chair, Board of Trustees, Central Piedmont; Weston M. Andress, president, Board of Trustees, Central Piedmont Community College Foundation; and Thomas W. Lawrence III, president and director, The Leon Levine Foundation were in attendance at the 11 a.m., ribbon cutting event.
“Not many partnerships last 20 years and yet today, we write the beginning of another chapter in this amazing story [between Central Piedmont and The Leon Levine Foundation],” said Lawrence. “What has happened in this particular 20-year partnership? Hundreds of students educated, thousands of lives transformed, and now, with this grant, the crossing of $10 million of investment entrusted to Central Piedmont by The Leon Levine Foundation.”
The Leon Levine Health Sciences Center opened its doors in August 2020, and boasts 74,450 square-feet of space. The facility was designed by Creech & Associates, working with Morris-Berg Architects; was constructed by Rodgers; and provides a home base for multiple health professions programs, including:
- dental assisting
- biomedical equipment technology
- surgical technology
It also hosts a state-of-the-art virtual-anatomy classroom.
The Leon Levine Foundation grant comes to the college as part of its ongoing “Powering a Stronger Future Campaign,” which seeks to raise $40 million to support students, programs, and faculty development.
Civil rights icon, former mayor visits college
The Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Council at Central Piedmont brought civil rights icon and former Charlotte Mayor Harvey Gantt to Central Piedmont’s Halton Theater stage on Oct. 14, to serve as a panelist during its EDI event titled, “A Story of Perseverance in Driving Change.”
Mr. Gantt was joined on stage by moderator Dr. Charles Mitchell, equity and opportunity presidential fellow at Central Piedmont, as well as panelists Dr. Tracie Clark, vice president for strategy and organizational excellence, and Dr. Chris Cathcart, vice president for student affairs, at Central Piedmont.
During the event, Central Piedmont employees and students had the opportunity to hear the group discuss the power of collaboration and allyship in creating change and moving the EDI needle in a positive direction, and how Central Piedmont can continue pushing forward in supporting its students and the Charlotte community.
“Central Piedmont is a very special place. This institution - at its most critical level - allows folks from all circumstances in life to get on a ladder of mobility upward,” explained Gantt. “I like the word ‘transformation.’ Central Piedmont makes a difference in the things that students can do. It puts individuals on a ladder, that can be built as high as they want it … and that’s why the college is a very important place. I’ve tried over the years to understand its value to the community and to be as supportive of it whenever I can.”
Mr. Gantt was Charlotte's first African-American mayor and the first African-American student enrolled at Clemson University. His visit is one of the enrichment opportunities the college is using to help advance its EDI strategy, which college leadership has identified as mission-critical work. Over the past year, Central Piedmont has hosted a number of EDI related events for both its employees and students to attend. Examples include: inclusive leadership trainings, Black History Month events, inclusive teaching practice sessions, examining best EDI practices from other institutions, courageous conversations, and more.
Central Piedmont is offering such events to foster the growth of its employees and the institution as a whole. The goal is to deliver a superior collegiate experience for students that supports their success both personally and professionally, while embedding an enhanced EDI philosophy and awareness in the college’s daily practices and processes.
Past Central Piedmont EDI Events/Initiatives:
- Central Piedmont, Bank of America Virtual Events Seeks to Support Racial Equity in Higher Education, Strengthen Local Workforce and Community
- Wells Fargo Announces Significant Grants focused on Advancing Economic Mobility and Racial Equity in Charlotte
- Lowe’s Foundation Grant Supports Opportunity Scholarship Initiative
- Bank of America Commits $1M to College for Jobs Initiative
College dedicates Ruth G. Shaw Advanced Technology Center
Central Piedmont Community College dedicated the Ruth G. Shaw Advanced Technology Center, located on the college’s Central Campus, on Sept. 24. Dr. Shaw served as the college’s second president from 1986 to 1992. She attended and spoke at the dedication ceremony.
The 79,194 square-foot Advanced Technology Center is a cutting-edge, state-of-the-art advanced manufacturing, engineering, logistics, and energy-related careers training facility that opened in 2018. Its prominent location on Central Piedmont’s Central Campus points to its importance in developing a highly-skilled workforce in Mecklenburg County and the college’s ongoing efforts to provide opportunities for increased economic mobility.
Constructed by Rodgers Builders, the $25.5 million facility was designed by FWA Group with LTArchitecture and features:
- Mechatronics and Automation Labs
- Virtual Reality Labs
- An Engineering FabLab
- A CNC Machining Lab
- Electrical and Mechanical Engineering Labs
- 13 Computer Labs
- 11 Specialized Equipment Labs
- Faculty and Staff Offices
- An accessibility bridge to the next door Levine IT Building
“The Ruth G. Shaw Advanced Technology Center has become the cornerstone of our technology driven advanced manufacturing and engineering programs. It is a state-of-the-art training facility with which the college is proud to honor Dr. Ruth Shaw’s legacy,” said Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer, Central Piedmont president. “From our two-year associate degree students to the incumbent workers who come here to learn new skills, the Ruth G. Shaw Advanced Technology Center is helping advanced manufacturing, engineering, and logistics expand their importance to the Mecklenburg County employment base and overall economy.”
New Pathway for Teachers Created from Community Colleges to UNC
North Carolina education leaders signed an agreement on Aug. 23, to address the critical teacher shortage in the state. President Thomas Stith of the North Carolina Community College System and President Peter Hans of the University of North Carolina System made a joint announcement of their new Comprehensive Articulation Agreement that will increase opportunities for community college students to transfer to teacher education programs within the UNC System. It is effective beginning fall 2021.
The “Uniform Articulation Agreement in Teacher Education / Educator Preparation” is focused on developing a seamless transfer pathway for students who begin teacher preparation studies in the Associate in Arts in Teacher Preparation (AATP) and the Associate in Science in Teacher Preparation (ASTP) programs at a community college and then transfer to one of the educator preparation programs within the UNC System to complete a bachelor’s degree and become a licensed teacher in the K-12 system.
The agreement includes 52 of North Carolina’s “Great 58” community colleges – including Central Piedmont – and 15 universities within the UNC System. Additional community colleges will offer the new transfer degrees for fall 2022.