PTC Announces Recipients of NISOD Excellence Awards

Piedmont Technical College (PTC) is proud to announce its recipients of the annual National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) Excellence Awards. This year’s honorees from PTC are Lakeya Jenkins in the Faculty Division and Kendra Lagreca in the Staff Division. 

About Lakeya Jenkins

Lakeya JenkinsA Greenwood resident, Jenkins is the English Department Chair at PTC and has been teaching full-time at the college since 2011. She earned her bachelor’s in English from the University of South Carolina Upstate and her master’s in English from Clemson University. Her story is inspiring.

When Jenkins learned that her great grandmother, Rose (born in 1902), had neither attended school nor learned how to read or write, she made a promise to achieve literacy in honor of her “Granny,” who passed away just a few months before Jenkins graduated from college. 

“I will read and write enough for both of us,” Jenkins vowed. “I am a first-generation college student, and I am committed to lifelong learning and to helping others with similar interests.”

Jenkins is a familiar face at meaningful events and observances, constantly paying it forward across campus and community. Her many extracurricular contributions include volunteering in The Hope Pantry food bank at PTC, mentoring 5th graders at Woodfields Elementary School, serving on campus committees, presenting Student Success Workshops, serving food at college events, as well as tutoring at the college’s Writing Center. Jenkins also chairs the college’s annual Writing Contest and assists the campus library in selecting publications and databases that are most useful to students. 

Quite deservedly, Jenkins has been recognized with numerous awards over her career at PTC, including Teaching Educator of the Year (2016-17), PTC’s Presidential Medallion (2018), Faculty Excellence Award (2019), Professional Excellence and Service Award (2021), Teaching, Advising, and Committee Excellence Award (2022), and the Leadership Greenwood Award (2023).

“Lakeya is a great instructor with strong knowledge of pedagogy. Her English 101 and 102 classes are invigorating and keep students engaged,” said PTC Head Librarian Lola Bradly, who nominated Jenkins for the award. “She routinely invites a librarian to speak to her students because she recognizes the importance of information literacy that promotes the development of critical thinking skills.”

About Kendra Lagreca

Lagreca has served as Student Life Coordinator at PTC since 2021. Before arriving at PTC, she worked in a similar capacity for about four years at Erskine College. In her relatively short time at the college, she has achieved much.

Kendra Lagreca“Since Kendra joined our team in 2021, she has grown the number of events within the program and increased participation. Kendra recognized the need for online students to have access to activities, and she boosted the number of virtual events as well as added a virtual component (adding quizzes and discussions in PTC 101) to Greenwood events,” Student Success Center Administrative Specialist Patsy Garcia noted in her nomination of Lagreca for this recognition. “She also has built strong relationships with the county campuses and their student life activities. I strongly feel — and see — the results of Kendra’s efforts in our effort to build a sense of belonging not only on the Greenwood campus but also on our county campuses.”

The numbers don’t lie. Student life involvement increased from 2,288 in 2020-21 to 3,090 in 2021-22. Also, in her short time at PTC to date, Lagreca has revamped a previously existing program, called the PTC Cup, for all campuses. Inspired by the friendly rivalries of the college’s annual Spring Activities Day, Lagreca created an academic year-long competition across divisions and campuses. 

Garcia noted that Lagreca played an instrumental role in engineering the 2023 opening of The Hope Pantry in Greenwood and the subsequent establishment of smaller pantries on PTC’s county campuses. The initiative also provided an internship opportunity and two federal Work-Study positions to teach important career skills.

“I had the immense pleasure to work with Kendra to realize a mutual goal of establishing The Hope Pantry (THP),” she said in her nomination. “It became a reality during the summer term and has shown steady growth in addressing food insecurity on our campuses.”

As a result of THP’s success, other technical colleges in the state have contacted PTC to explore possible replication on their campuses. 

“Kendra personifies PTC’s goal to develop and enhance a culture of care among faculty and staff,” Garcia added. “She is a team player and truly adds a wonderful spirit to the office.”

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