by: Cassie Williams Jones (434) 791-5684,


On March 29, 18 student teams from Averett University, Danville Community College (DCC) and Piedmont Community College (PCC) presented their community engagement work at the Second Annual Student Engagement Showcase. Hosted by Averett University at the Violet T. Frith Fine Arts Center, students from the three schools showcased their contributions to the communities of Danville and Pittsylvania, Caswell and Person counties.

2015 Student Leader Jeanean Bustamente with 2016 Student LeaderTrenton Istre and Edna Brown, PTK advisor Students and faculty members from service-learning courses and community volunteer projects demonstrated their work through visuals and storytelling with 10 tables from Averett, six from PCC and two from DCC. The program also included a student leader, faculty leader and community engagement or service-learning spotlight award from each school, as well as an overall community leader award.

“This showcase demonstrates that community engagement and experiential learning are hallmarks of higher education in our region,” said Alexis Ehrhardt, executive director for the Center for Community Engagement and Career Competitiveness at Averett University. “We celebrate the strong institutional support provided by our presidents, as well as the accomplishments of our students. Our faculty and staff members understand the value of service-learning and volunteerism for their students, for their community partners, and for themselves, and have set the highest examples of engaged teaching and learning.”

The biggest award of the night, the Community Leader Award, was presented to the Danville Life Saving Crew by the Advanced Public Relations Class at Averett University, which provided PR assistance to the organization. The student team, with guidance and oversight from their professor, Dr. Susan Huckstep, developed a PSA, conducted media outreach, wrote press releases, created a new website,, and set up a Facebook page and Twitter feed for the organization. The class provided a presentation on their service-learning project, and PCC’s Phi Theta Kappa Chapter presented about their community engagement projects.

Other award winners included Trenton Istre from PCC, Jeri Wilson from DCC and Damion Bishoff from Averett for the Student Leader Award. Faculty Leader Award recipients included Edwin Moye from PCC, Martha Tucker from DCC and Dr. Michelle Liu from Averett.


The event was planned by the Engage Coalition, a network of community organizations made up of professionals from the three schools, working towards the advancement of community engagement through volunteerism and service-learning in the Dan River Region.

2016 PCC Faculty Leader Recipient Ed Moye with last year's PCC recipient, Robin McLean. Jason Pulley with Community Garden display












Top Right: 2016 PCC Student Leader Recipient Trenton Istre (center) with 2015 Student Leader Jeanean Bustamente (left) and Edna Brown, PTK advisor (right).

Bottom Left: 2016 PCC Faculty Leader Recipient Ed Moye with last year’s PCC recipient, Robin McLean.

Bottom Right: Jason Pulley with Community Garden display. This garden is part of the Caswell Campus’ Week to Engage Project. The whole campus helps with the garden on Spring and Fall volunteer days. Pulley maintain the garden with PCC students in his program. All items from the garden are donated to the Senior Center in Yanceyville.

More photos available on PCC’s Facebook page,


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