CVCC announces 2021 Distinguished Alumni Awards

Catawba Valley Community College has announced its recipients for the 2021 Distinguished Alumni Awards.


Alumni Award News 2021

Catawba Valley Community College has announced its recipients for the 2021 Distinguished Alumni Awards.

Each year, CVCC recognizes alumni who have brought distinction to themselves, credit to the college and genuine benefit to their communities. 

Alumni who have been awarded a degree, diploma or certificate from Catawba Valley Community College and who have made outstanding contributions and exceptional accomplishment in their chosen field; exceptional service in local, state or national affairs; and/or exceptional service in support of Catawba Valley Community College are eligible for nomination.

Winners are selected alumni from the School of Academics and Educational Opportunities, the School of Workforce Development and the Arts and the School of Health and Public Services at CVCC.

This year’s recipients are: Bryan C. Norris, owner of Backstreets Bar & Grill, for the School of Workforce Development and the Arts; Mistie Hoosier, Registered Nurse at Catawba Valley Medical Center, for the School of Health and Public Services; and Vidal Sipe, Chief of Police for the city of Newton, School of Academics and Educational Opportunities.

Here is a little bit about each recipient:

Mistie Hoosier

Mistie HoosierMistie Hoosier had been in the field of healthcare as an LPN for over a decade and her journey to becoming an RN wasn’t without challenges. Her experience at CVCC not only helped her achieve her dream of becoming an RN, but also exposed her to nursing care on a global level. 

Mistie served on the Hands to Honduras Medical mission trip with other CVCC nursing and respiratory therapy students. This experience sparked a passion in her for helping others abroad. Since graduating in 2019, she has served on another mission trip to Africa. CVCC also helped catapult Mistie forward on her life-long learning journey. 

Since graduation, Mistie has earned her BSN and has started her Family Nurse Practitioner Master’s Degree. Her practice passions are the areas of Pediatrics, Obstetrics, and Nursery, but she has transitioned to medical/surgical nursing to expand her talents and extend her skills across the hospital during the pandemic. 

Her story of perseverance in both learning and nursing during the pandemic is just one example of how CVCC empowers its students to make a difference not only in their own professional career trajectory but also in the lives of everyone they encounter in our community and beyond.

Vidal Sipe

Vidale SipeChief Sipe graduated with honors from Catawba Valley Community College in 2010 with an Associate in Applied Science degree in Criminal Justice Technology. Following his graduation from CVCC, he went on to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice from American Military University in Charles Town, West Virginia.

Chief Sipe has enjoyed a long and distinguished career in our nation’s military and in our local law enforcement agencies. He is a 22-year veteran of the US Army, serving as a military police officer and quartermaster during seven years of active duty service from 1990 to 1997. He continued his military service in the US Army Reserves until 2012. Upon release from active duty, Chief Sipe began his now 23-year law enforcement career with Morganton Public Safety in 1998. He joined the Hickory Police Department in 2000 where he eventually rose to the rank of Captain, becoming the first African American to have achieved that honor within HPD. In 2019, he was hired as the Chief of Police for the Newton Police Department where he continues to serve today.

His former HPD Commander and CVCC instructor Steve Hunt, remembers Chief Sipe as an excellent and conscientious individual who was very eager to assist his fellow student in the classroom and those around him in the community. Chief Sipe continues this emphasis on the importance of community in his role today, as he advocates and champions community policing to, in his words, “maintain and build public trust … treat[ing] everyone … with dignity and respect without prejudice or favor to any specific group or individual.” He has regularly given back to CVCC and to the community by hosting interns and hiring other graduates from our criminal justice program.

Chief Sipe is the father of four children with his wife Michelle, who also joins us today.

Bryan Norris

Bryan NorrisBryan Norris has lived on his own since the age of 16. Through immense determination and grit, he has experienced tremendous success as a self-taught restaurant owner and chef. As a student at CVCC, Norris competed on the only athletic team in CVCC history to win a Division II Championship - Golf.

Norris’s Hickory-based restaurant has earned a reputation of distinction in the area and just celebrated their 25th year in business in Hickory. Two years ago, Norris and his family opened a second Backstreets location in Columbia, SC.

Norris’s success in his chosen career has come from his willingness to work long and arduous hours. A typical day calls for him to manage, cook, and host, all of which have earned him the reputation as a great businessman. He is admired by all of his patrons and respected for his dedication to the city. When asked, he is always willing to support charitable causes and he is one of the first to respond when someone in the community is experiencing a difficult life-situation.

Norris is proud of his CVCC education. In 2019, he was inducted into the CVCC Sports Hall of Fame. Currently, Bryan is planning to sponsor an out-of-state student so that a future CVCC athlete has the opportunity to attend school, play a sport and rely on employment.

For more information on the CVCC Distinguished Alumni Awards, please visit the Distinguished Alumni Award page.

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