Attention Readers: As many of you knew, I had surgery to repair another hernia scheduled for Wednesday. On Monday evening, I ended up in the emergency room and have been in the hospital in Petersburg since. I will resume regular updates as I am able.  Thank You.

Current Weather Conditions

 
Seven Day Forecast for Emporia, Virginia
 

Community Calendar Sponsored By...

 

SVCC

Panther Prep Day Returns April 3, 2018

 
Panther Prep Advising Day is coming to all locations of Southside Virginia Community College on Tuesday, April 3, 2018.  This is a great time to meet advisors, learn about SVCC programs register for Summer and Fall Classes and just have some fun and food and fellowship.  The event will be held at the Alberta and Keysville Campuses from 10 until 6 p.m.  Other locations include Southern Virginia Higher Ed. Center in South Boston, the Center in Emporia, The Estes Community Center in Chase City, and Lake Country Advanced Knowledge Center in South Hill.  Also, plan to attend this event at the Occupational/Technical Center at Pickett Park in Blackstone from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.  Don't miss this chance to get the scoop on all you need to know about Southside Virginia Community College.  More information about the college can be seen at www.southside.edu

Panther Prep Advising Day Coming to SVCC Campuses and Other Locations

Panther Prep Advising Day, a semi-annual event sponsored by Southside Virignia Community College, is happening again on Tuesday, October 2, 1018 from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m.  The event offers students and prospective college students a chance to sign up for Spring classes,  meet with advisors and other college staff, learn about offerings at the college and relax with some food and entertainment. 

Panther Prep Day will be held on the Christanna Campus in Alberta, John H. Daniel Campus in Keysville, Southern Virginia Higher Education Center in South Boston, Southside Virginia Education Center in Emporia, The Estes Community Center in Chase City and Lake Country Advanced Knowledge Center in South Hill. 

If you have question, email them to student.services@southside.edu

Virginia’s Community Colleges expand FastForward workforce training in rapidly growing solar energy, heavy construction sectors

RICHMOND—Virginia’s Community Colleges today announced a $4 million economic investment over the next two years to support curriculum development and FastForward workforce training in the rapidly growing fields of utility-scale solar energy and heavy construction. Select community colleges will develop programs that can be expanded across the commonwealth as the demand grows for skilled workers in these fields.
 
VIRGINIA SOLAR WORKFORCE INITIATIVE
 
Southside Virginia Community College (SVCC) will receive funds to work with businesses in the energy industry to develop and deploy the Virginia Solar Workforce Initiative, a first-in-the-state curriculum and training program for the utility-scale solar industry. The need for utility-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) installers, who earn an average starting salary of $42,000-50,000, is emerging in Virginia, and the U.S. Department of Energy reports the solar energy sector is poised for robust growth.
 
“The Virginia Solar Workforce Initiative is an exceptional example of a public-private partnership,” said Dr. Al Roberts, president of Southside Virginia Community College. “These jobs represent an excellent opportunity for Virginians to be a part of this dynamic, high-growth industry, and we’re excited to partner with industry leaders in the utility-scale solar field, the Maryland-DC-Delaware-Virginia Solar Energy Industries Association, to create this program.”
 
VCCS HEAVY CONSTRUCTION PROGRAMS
 
The new grants also will increase access to FastForward training for workers in the heavy construction industry.  Lord Fairfax Community College (LFCC), Piedmont Virginia Community College (PVCC), and Germanna Community College (GCC) will team up to develop a curriculum and statewide training capabilities for courses that support Virginia’s development sector.
In partnership with the Heavy Construction Contractors Association (HCCA) and the Virginia Asphalt Association (VAA), the colleges will establish online access to training programs in the principles and practices of road building and other major infrastructure projects. 
 
“The expanded initiative provides an opportunity to truly create a pipeline of current and future employees who will reap the rewards of a well-paid and rewarding career pathway,” said Ken Garrison, Executive Director of the Heavy Construction Contractors Association. “We have worked collaboratively with LFCC to build the pilot program and our firms benefited from hiring the graduates.”
 
“We look forward to working in partnership with our sister colleges to scale and expand the program in order to serve more employers and give access to more job seekers to obtain these high demand industry credentials,” said Kimberly Blosser, president of LFCC.
 
The average starting salary in Virginia for heavy equipment operators is $43,000 a year. 
 
Since July of 2016, Virginians who trained in FastForward programs at community colleges have earned more than 11,000 valuable industry recognized workforce credentials. FastForward training programs are specifically geared toward the needs of local businesses and offer students affordable access to new careers in weeks or months instead of semesters and years.
 
“FastForward is benefitting both the individuals who earn credentials in high demand fields and the businesses that are eager to hire skilled employees,” said Glenn DuBois, chancellor of Virginia’s Community Colleges. “These strategic investments will bolster those talent pipelines feeding these emerging industries and prepare even more people for these good-paying careers.”
 
Find out more about FastForward at www.fastforwardva.org.

COLLEGE DAY AND FOUR YEAR COLLEGE TOUR SET FOR OCTOBER 3

Area eleventh and twelfth-grade high school students and their parents are invited to attend “College Day” at Southside Virginia Community College’s Christanna Campus in Alberta on Wednesday, October 3, 2018, from 2:00 – 3:00 p.m.  This is the Regional College Day program for Brunswick, Mecklenburg, and parts of Lunenburg and Nottoway counties.  Second-year students and graduates of two-year college degree programs are also urged to attend.  Over 40 colleges, universities and special schools will be represented.

Institutions that should be represented include Averett University, Barton College, Bluefield College, Bon Secours Memorial College of Nursing, Bryant and Stratton-Richmond, Campbell University, Chowan University, Christopher Newport University, College of William and Mary, Concord University, Eastern Mennonite University, Emory and Henry College, Ferrum College, George Mason University,  Hampden-Sydney College, Hampton University, James Madison University, Jefferson College of Health Sciences, Johnson & Wales University, Liberty University,   Mary Baldwin College, Mid-Atlantic Christian University, Norfolk State University, North Carolina Wesleyan College,  Old Dominion University, Old Dominion University On Line, Pfeiffer University, Radford University,  Regent University, Shenandoah University, Southside College of Health Sciences, Southside Virginia Community College, The Apprentice School, University of Mary Washington, Sweet Briar College, University of Lynchburg, University of Virginia, University of Virginia at Wise, Virginia Commonwealth University, Virginia Military Institute, Virginia State University, Virginia Tech, Virginia Wesleyan College and Winson-Salem State University.  Also attending will be a representative for the Virginia Tobacco Region Scholarship.  For more information about “College Day” contact the Admissions Office at SVCC’s Christanna Campus at 434-949-1014.

Back to School

By Dr. Al Roberts

Fall is in the air, and students are back to work. The hallways at Southside Virginia Community College teem with a mix of new and familiar faces as faculty members guide students who are taking the next steps along their education pathways.

Some familiar faces are absent, however. Last year’s graduates have moved on. Some entered the workforce and some are walking different halls, continuing their academic pursuits at other institutions. Follow-up surveys of graduates indicate that more than half of SVCC students use their time at the community college to prepare for transfer to a four-year, baccalaureate-awarding institution.

One former student, for example, continued his studies through the Art Institute’s Game Design program. He is now working full time as a game developer for a company in Florida. A recent graduate from the Governor’s School of Southside Virginia is currently enrolled in Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. SVCC graduates, including former dually enrolled students and traditional college students, are attending Virginia Tech, Harvard, Yale, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Radford, George Mason, VCU, VSU, Norfolk State, Old Dominion, Mary Baldwin, Hampden-Sydney, Ferrum, Lynchburg College, Liberty, Longwood, Clemson, University of North Carolina, Spelman …. The list goes on and on.

Matt Dunn, a transfer counselor, explains some of the benefits of beginning a postsecondary education path at a community college, “When it comes to successfully completing a bachelor’s degree, transfer students have a higher graduation rate.” He also notes, “All of the community colleges in Virginia have agreements with most of the state’s public and private four-year colleges and universities. In addition to these, SVCC maintains agreements with others. With sufficient GPA, in-state acceptance is virtually guaranteed at public and private colleges in the state.” This is because graduates who earn an Associate of Arts and Sciences degree and meet minimum grade point averages, which are set individually by the receiving institution, are guaranteed to be accepted as long as they meet application deadlines. Furthermore, they receive junior-class status, which satisfies all lower level general education requirements.

During their time at SVCC, Dunn says students learn about a variety of topics and discover the niches they find most satisfying. “They use their time here to cultivate and grow their interests. Students investigate college and career pathway options aligned with their strengths and personalities. Some discover aptitudes in areas they never previously explored.”

For students interested in transferring to four-year institutions, SVCC offers one-on-one or group transfer counseling, four-year college campus fairs and visits, and membership in the Transfer Club.  For more information on how to effectively streamline your educational journey and maximize your potential future opportunities, contact Matt Dunn, Transfer Counselor, at 434-736-2020 or matt.dunn@southside.edu.

Dr. Al Roberts is president of Southside Virginia Community College, an institution of higher learning that provides a wide variety of education opportunities to a diverse student population within a service area that spans ten counties and the city of Emporia. He can be reached via email at al.roberts@southside.edu.

 

Southside Virginia Community College Donates Bikes to Lawrenceville

Southside Virginia Community College(SVCC) recently donated some bicycles to the Lawrenceville Police Department(LPD) for use in their patrols.  The college used the bikes for awhile but saw a need at a local department and decided to donate them.  LPD Chief Everett Gibson said his department has three officers, plus himself,  certified through the International Police Mountain Bike Association to patrol with bikes and others will train as well.  The bikes will be used to patrol events and throughout the town.  The college also donated a Firearms Training Simulator to the Emporia Police Department.  Shown at the donation are(Left to Right) LPD Assistant Chief J.T. Stith, Chief Everette Gibson and Dr. Alfonzo Seward, SVCC Administration of Justice Associate Professor. 

Welding Class Beginning Oct. 8

Welders are in demand and Southside Virginia Community College is offering training through its Welding Skills Certification Program.  The class begins Monday,  October 8, 2018 at Southside Virginia Education Center in Emporia, Virginia. The class will run through January 16, 2019 and meet four days a week from 8:30 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. 

The class utilizes the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER).  Financial Aid may be available through FastForward and those completing the course receive credentials. 

Don’t miss this great opportunity to better your future job skills.  Call 434 634 9358 or email Erica.andrews@southside.edu

REMEMBERING REEKES BY PLAYING HIS GAME

Members of the Freddie Reekes Memorial Golf team are shown at the Southside Virginia Community College Foundation's Annual Golf Tournament at Lake Gaston Golf Club.  They are (Left to Right) Ken Peace, David Talbert, Ryan Henry and Shep Moss

Freddie Reekes was memorable.  The definition of the word memorable is ‘worth remembering or easily remembered, especially because of being special.’

Freddie was a coach, a mentor, a friend, a teacher, a golfer, a dad, a husband, a grandpa, an all-around good guy. Four men who share memories of Reekes renewed their bond at a 30th high school reunion.  They have continued their reconnected friendship and recently decided to honor Reekes by playing golf in the Southside Virginia Community College Foundation Golf tournament named for him.

In 2008, Bobby Wrenn of Emporia and Reekes of Lawrenceville coordinated the 1st Annual Foundation Scholarship Golf Classic.  Funds raised through the event support student scholarships.    The SVCC Foundation Board voted to rename the annual golf tournament the Fred "Freddie" Reekes Memorial Scholarship Golf Classic, after he passed away on May 7, 2017.  Freddie spent 40 plus years in education.  He taught in the Brunswick County Public Schools and later recruited students to SVCC. He was also a legendary basketball coach for both girls and boys at Brunswick.  In addition to being an educator, Freddie was an avid golfer and his team, "Old Coach", was a consistent participant in the Golf Classic.

Reekes was an integral part of making the tournament successful for many years, even helping after he retired from SVCC.

Shep Moss, Ken Peace, David Talbert and Ryan Henry were students of Reekes in driver’s education and played on the golf team at Brunswick Senior High School that he coached.  Interestingly, the high school golf team at the time played at the same course that now hosts the SVCC Tournament, the Lake Gaston Golf Club in Gasburg.

Moss remembers traveling to play and practice in the old, beat-up station wagon that served as the activity bus for the golf team.  He remembered that the late Donnie Bane Clary also coached the team. 

About their decision to play in this year’s tournament, “We wanted to do something to honor Freddie, he was our mentor and even after we got out of school, we kept the relationship with Freddie through the years,” Moss said. 

The team played in the 2018 tournament and, did not win but came close, Moss said.  The team played wearing baseball caps that honored Reekes by sporting a bulldog emblem (mascot of Brunswick High) and the name of the tournament; all in bulldog blue and gray, of course.

Another player, Henry noted, “I played in the tournament because I felt it was the least I could do to support the cause.  Freddie was a father figure and mentor to many of us growing up in Brunswick County.  His constant encouragement pushed us to want to be the very best at whatever we did in sports and more importantly…in life.”

The four men all celebrate or have celebrated their 50th birthdays this year.  They have tried to get together for those celebrations.  Moss now lives in South Hill, Talbert and Peace in Richmond and Henry in Virginia Beach.   They plan for this event to become an annual get together for them and a way to remember a man who made a difference in their lives.   

“Noël!” Christmas Is Coming!

Announcing the news that the Southside Virginia Community College (SVCC) Chorus will begin its fall rehearsals on Sunday, September 9, 2018 6:00-8:00PM at South Hill Presbyterian Church, 914 Mecklenburg Ave., South Hill, VA  23970. The SVCC Chorus concert will be held on Sunday, December 9th in South Hill and will also include another venue to be announced.

The music for this season is inspired by French Christmas carols using Noëls and Glorias of the angels. The Star lights the night sky for the Three Wise Men as they seek the way to the stable. Lighter holiday music is also included: such as, “Winter Wonderland” and “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” with other favorites. Instrumentalists will include cello, violin and flute. Other soloists and a variety of settings with instruments and voices will complete a delightful program. Carol Henderson is the director and Sally Tharrington is the pianist.

The SVCC Chorus appreciates the support of both the SVCC College and the SVCC College Foundation which allows this chorus to continue sharing music with the community. Most recently in April 2018, the SVCC Chorus presented two (2) exceptional concerts in South Hill and Clarksville, featuring a string quartet, string bass, flute, commissioned music and a visit from stringed instrument maker, Paul Becker of Chicago.

This musical variety of choral music provided by the SVCC Chorus is a welcome addition for the community in Southern Virginia. Comments from attendees in April 2018:

“ [I appreciate the] “diligence…to bring such a professional concert to our community,”

“the angelic voices of the ladies chorus accompanied by the strings created a sacred moment for me.”

“ [The SVCC Chorus is] truly bringing culture to Southside Virginia”.

“highlight [of the concert for me] was the variety of smaller groups…Sally playing…females singing…strings performing alone, solos, etc.”

Perhaps you would like learn some new holiday music and sing Noels and Christmas Glorias with the fine voices of the SVCC Chorus! The SVCC Chorus will begin its fall rehearsals on Sunday, September 9th at 6:00 PM at the South Hill Presbyterian Church. Registration is $20.00 payable to SVCC. For more info please contact: carol.henderson60@gmail.com.

“Noël!” Christmas Is Coming!

Southside Virginia Community College (SVCC) Chorus

Rehearsals Begin: Sunday, September 9th at 6:00

South Hill Presbyterian Church
914 N. Mecklenburg Ave
South Hill, VA  23970

Registration Fee due at your first Rehearsal: $20.00

No Auditions

All music included!

For more Info Contact: carol.henderson60@gmail.com or louise.ogburn@southside.edu

Microsoft Graduates First Group of Apprentices at Boydton, VA Datacenter

Anthony Putorek -Microsoft,Wendell Walker-DOL, James Rutherford-SVCC, Harley Ficke-DCC, Kelly Arnold-SVCC and Patricia Morrison-DOL

Inside Microsoft’s Boydton, Virginia, datacenter, cloud storage is racking up. While new expansion is flourishing outside, inside a new workforce training model is also racking up transformations. The datacenter adopted the apprenticeship model as the framework for training their network technicians. For the Microsoft datacenter network technicians, the apprenticeship model is producing results. The success of the apprenticeship model stems from the ability to marry educational instruction with on-the-job training (OJT).

Recently, two Microsoft datacenter employees, James Rutherford and Harley Ficke, successfully completed the two-year training program for Network Support Technician. In doing so, they completed six educational classes and worked 4000 hours of OJT. For their accomplishment, Microsoft held an awards ceremony where Patricia Morrison, Director of Registered Apprenticeship, and Wendell Walker, Apprenticeship Representative from the Department of Labor (DOL), spoke about James and Harley’s outstanding work. Both received a nationally recognized journeyman’s card, apprenticeship certificate, and a commemorative plaque from Microsoft.

Anthony Putorek, Lead Global Datacenter Field and Community Program Manager, spoke on Microsoft’s commitment to training. At the awards ceremony, Mr. Putorek stated, “This is the first datacenter facility to adopt the apprenticeship model for training. And because of the positive results we have seen here, we will replicate this program at our other US datacenters."

In the US, apprenticeship conjures the thoughts of skilled labor training, not a model of training for the high-tech computer world. So, when Microsoft looked locally for training programs, Southside Virginia Community College (SVCC) and Danville Community College (DCC) presented the apprentice framework as a solution. With an American Apprenticeship Initiative (AAI) grant from the DOL, funding for the educational component of the program was 100 percent covered. The objective of this grant was to train and up-skill the local workforce, which directly benefits Microsoft’s workforce - all 32 registered apprentices are working on completing the network support technician certification. 

Through the implementation process, Microsoft worked with Kelly Arnold, Apprenticeship Coordinator for SVCC, and Phil Baughman, DCC’s coordinator, to create a profile of the exact educational classes necessary for each apprentice. Through seated and on-line community college classes, each apprentice took classes that helped them achieve certifications in A+, Network +, Server + and Cisco.

Making recommendations and helping the employees select the correct coursework was necessary for them to be successful. As the program rolled out, Arnold stressed to each apprentice how these classes allowed them to receive college credit and industry recognized certifications, which easily builds into an Associate’s Degree in Networking. In the IT datacenter world, certifications are important. But for career pathways, small steps-six classes in this case, all enhance career potential.

For SVCC, Microsoft has helped build and outfit the new CITE (Center for Information Technology) lab in South Hill, VA. Microsoft donated racks of servers allowing the instructors who teach Networking classes to have real-world equipment to teach and clarify various scenarios. This lab now serves dual-enrollment high school students in the morning and adult learners, including apprentices, in the evening.

For many IT companies, mapping the bytes and bits necessary to train their employees can be a real challenge. Oftentimes, a simple plan can be overlooked, but for Microsoft, partnering with the community college and combining that with OJT, which is the apprenticeship model, was a logical choice.

Teachers Needed for Tomorrow

By Dr. Al Roberts

Nationwide, schools are experiencing a scarcity of qualified job candidates for teaching positions. Declining enrollment in programs that prepare students for licensure as teachers is one cause. According to a report issued by the Learning Policy Institute, enrollments in teacher education programs dropped by 35% between 2009 and 2014. This decline represents a decrease of nearly a quarter of a million potential teachers.The impact on school districts across the nation varies considerably. The Learning Policy Institute report noted, “Students in high-poverty and high-minority settings bear the brunt of teacher shortages. Considerable evidence shows that shortages historically have disproportionately impacted our most disadvantaged students and that those patterns persist today.”

These quandaries are very much apparent here in Southside Virginia. Data compiled by the Virginia Department of Education indicates that we have the highest percent of unfilled teaching positions. Paul Nichols, Superintendent of Mecklenburg County Public Schools, says, “We have classrooms of all subject areas that are difficult to find teachers to fill. However, our greatest need is in math and science. Close to 10% of the math and science classrooms in Southern Virginia are in need of a qualified teacher. Career and Technical teachers are also very hard to find.”

One proposed solution is to provide an opportunity for career professionals in other areas to obtain the credentials necessary to teach in Virginia’s classrooms. Virginia’s Career Switcher Alternative Route to Licensure Program is designed to do just that.  To help support this effort, Southside Virginia Community College has developed a list of the general education courses required for teachers. Potential teachers who have graduated from a four-year college but lack some of the required courses, can pick up their missing credits at SVCC.

Another potential solution is to encourage local high school students to consider careers in education.  With this in mind, the Virginia Department of Education developed a program called “Teachers for Tomorrow,” which provides opportunities for high school juniors and seniors to receive career information, pursue dual enrollment credits, and participate in field trips where they can observe classrooms and gain teaching experience before they head off to college.

For students considering the teaching profession, SVCC offers an Associate of Arts and Sciences degree in Education. The degree is designed for students who want to begin their academic journeys at a low-cost, close-to-home institution and then transfer to a four-year college or university to complete a baccalaureate program. In addition, for people interested in working with young children, SVCC also offers an Early Childhood Programs Career Studies Certificate.If you are interested in learning more about preparing for a teaching career, contact Dr. Dixie Dalton, SVCC’s Dean of Humanities, Social Sciences, and Business (dixie.dalton@southside.edu or call 434-949-1053).

Dr. Al Roberts is president of Southside Virginia Community College, an institution of higher learning that provides a wide variety of education opportunities to a diverse student population within a service area that spans ten counties and the city of Emporia. He can be reached via email at al.roberts@southside.edu.

Apprenticeship Builds People at Toll Brothers

Apprenticeship students were recently recognized at Toll Brothers' awards dinner.Apprentices in the front row: Steven Brown, Calvin Terry, Rene’ Gutierrez, Timothy King, and Chad Patton, SVCC Dean of Career and Occupational Technology. Back Row, Kelly Arnold, SVCC Apprenticeship Coordinator,Jerry Irby, Chris Johnson, Toll Brothers' Plant Manager, Rickey Hall, Maynard Stowe, Department of Labor, Mike Wells.

Toll Brothers, a luxury home builder, is not only building component parts in their Emporia production facility but also building and investing in their employees. For Toll Brothers, the investment in people is a priority, and one way they chose to build people is through the Apprenticeship model of training. Toll Brothers’ Chris Johnson, Plant Manager,  partnered with Southside Virginia Community College (SVCC) apprenticeship coordinator, Kelly Arnold, to implement the apprenticeship program for training machine operators with the end goal of helping them become Industrial Maintenance Technicians.

The college’s proposal to Toll Brothers was simple; begin educational training one night a week for one year and couple that with 2000 hours (1 year) of on the job training. Although a slow and steady process, this proved to be a doable training model for employees who work 40+ hours per week and have family commitments.

Conveniently, SVCC’s Southside Virginia Education Center location in Greensville County  was outfitted with electrical training equipment, and six eager employees became college students. As the need grew for training, Dr. Chad Patton, Dean of Career and Occupational Studies, and Erica Andrews, SVCC’s site coordinator, helped bring the training lab to life.

The Toll apprentices embraced the educational task with gusto and worked hard to learn. For some this was the first time taking a college level class. The students were determined to finish the three classes, complete the on-the-job component, and earn the Department of Labor credential for Machine Operator.

These students finished their goal and learned what they needed to learn.   Their accomplishments were recognized on Wednesday night, July 18, at the company’s award dinner. Johnson and Maynard Stowe, DOL apprenticeship representative, presented their certificates with family and friends cheering for them.

In Johnson’s opening remarks, he stated, “We have tried many training programs, but the apprenticeship program, by far, has been the most successful for our facility.”

Each apprentice logged the hours, studied, and worked hard, but the simple plan is producing results; results that make a difference to them individually and results that are making a difference at Toll Brothers. While each earned their certificate for machine operator, they immediately turned around and registered to begin the same simple process to earn their Industrial Maintenance Technician apprenticeship certifications.

Starting in the fall semester at SVCC,  the Toll students will walk into a newly outfitted Industrial Maintenance lab. This new lab is a partnership between CCAM in Richmond, SVCC, and a grant from Go Virginia along with Greensville County and the city of Emporia. State of the art trainers now occupy two rooms with wall to wall equipment all ready for students to roll up their sleeves and learn electrical, mechanical, pneumatics and hydraulics, the core of mechatronics training.

For Toll Brothers, let the building of luxury homes continue, but most importantly, for the people of Southside Virginia, let the building up of people be the cornerstone of what drives our community. If you are interested in learning more about the lab in Emporia or Apprenticeship, contactErica Andrews at 434-634-9358 erica.andrews@southside.eduor Kelly Arnold at Kelly.arnold@southside.edu 434-579-7260.

June, 2018 SVCC Truck Driving Graduates

Southside Virginia Community College Truck Driver Training School Graduates from the Emporia class on June 14, 2018 are

Front Row L-R:  Donnie Sisk (Instructor), Isreal Stith (Lawrencevile), Mark Shinn (Virginia Beach); Back Row L-R:  Doug Kemerer (Instructor), Wilson Treese (Instructor), Kyle Hornung (Virginia Beach), Kirtwood Squire (Gaston, NC), Ronald Tucker (Lawrenceville), David Porter (Kenbridge), Adam Hoffman (Guest Speaker and Recruiter for TMC), Duncan Quicke (TDTS Coordinator.  For information, call 434 292 3101.

SVCC Massage Therapy Class Coming to Chase City

Massage Therapy is being offered through Southside Virginia Community College beginning August 28, 2018 at the Estes Community Center in Chase City, Virginia.  Now is the time to sign up for this year-long class that leads to a rewarding career. 

Call today to register and learn more about possible financial assistance.  Classes will meet two nights a week, Tuesday and Thursday from 5 to 10 p.m.  Call Wanda Vaughan for more information at 434 736 2093 or email Wanda.vaughan@southside.edu

Power Line Worker Information Session

Power Line Workers are in demand and information about becoming one will be offered on Thursday, August 30, 2018 at 6 p.m. at the Officer’s Club at Pickett Park, 3951 Military Road, Blackstone.  Learn about admission requirements, schedule, cost, housing, job prospects and scholarships.  This has become a popular program and was the first PLW school in Virginia.  

Register at powerlineworker@southside.edu in order to attend.  Pizza will be served.

CITE Open House is August 2 ***Tomorrow***

Please note the change of date. This event is actually August 2.

Plan now to attend the Open House of the Center for Information Technology Excellence (CITE) on Tuesday, August 2, 2018 at the Lake Country Advanced Knowledge Center at 118 East Danville Street, South Hill, Virginia from 5 to 7 p.m.  Take this opportunity to view the state-of-the-art training laboratory enhancing workforce readiness for jobs in IT.

The lab offers both high school dual enrollment students and adult evening students the opportunity to train as IT technicians while earning both college credit and the ability to earn CompTIA certifications.

This field encompasses the application of computers to securely store, study, retrieve, transmit, and manipulate data or information, often in the context of a business or other enterprise. The lab simulates the work environment of large data centers such as Microsoft and Hewlett Packard.

Curriculum is based on a proven program that targets a gap between education supply and occupational demand.  The Career Studies Certificate received upon successful completion is Networking and Computer Support.  It is an 18-hour credit program.

For information, contact Chad Patton at 434-949-1038.

Walker Making The Most of Opportunity at SVCC

The often-used adage, life begins at 40 is something Angela Walker takes to heart.  Of course, she had a full life up to this point but at 41, she decided to complete her studies at Southside Virginia Community College (SVCC).  In December, she will receive dual degrees in Criminal Justice and Human Services, a payoff to her hard work and determination to succeed.

She embraces the fact that she is a non-traditional student.   Walker represents about half of the seven characteristics of a non-traditional student; which include, delayed enrollment into postsecondary education; attends college part-time; works full time; is financially independent for financial aid purposes; has dependents other than a spouse; is a single parent; or does not have a high school diploma.

Recently, she “starred” in a radio commercial for the college talking about her experience of going back to school.  She tells the audience, “It is never too late, my experience at SVCC has been fantastic and I have received work promotions since going back to school.”

Walker works at Greensville Correctional Center and has been there for 21 years.  She is the Executive Secretary to the Warden Senior.  Working full time, she is allotted education leave that enables her to work on some of her classes.    

A single parent, Walker has raised a son who now attends college and he will be graduating in May 2019 from Bluefield College. 

She advises others by reminding them that knowledge is the key to success.

Earning a degree is a milestone for anyone, she said. 

“Having this ability to grow in your career makes me proud and feel accomplished,” she said.

And, even though the end of these degrees is in sight, her educational goals will not end there.  Working towards a Bachelor’s degree is in her near future, she said.

There should be no barriers to people interested in furthering their education.  At SVCC, there are many people in place to make the pathway smoother despite age, financial situation, and other circumstances, so stop making excuses and make the first step to further your education. 

Keeping Your Cool

By Dr. Al Roberts

As temperatures outside rise, indoor thermostats often respond by calling for cooler air. This ability to control the indoor environment helps people be more comfortable. It protects infants, children, medically vulnerable individuals, and the elderly from heat-related illnesses. It enables workers to be more productive.

In our current age, air conditioning is something many folks take for granted. To address this blasé attitude, the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) industry observes Air Conditioning Appreciation Days every year from July 3 to August 15.

But how does one show appreciation to an air conditioner? One way is to learn how it works and how it all began.

The Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) offers a simplified explanation: A chemical (called the refrigerant) circulates through a closed system that includes three main components where the refrigerant is compressed, condensed, and evaporated. During the process, the refrigerant undergoes changes in pressure and temperature. This enables indoor heat to be absorbed and transferred to the outdoor environment.

The process of cooling the air also accomplishes other tasks. Filters can reduce allergens and other airborne particulates, helping people with allergies or other respiratory problems breathe more comfortably. Also, in addition to removing heat, the process reduces humidity. In fact, air conditioning was invented in 1902 by Willis Haviland Carrier originally as a means to reduce humidity in a printing plant. Cooling was a by-product.

Another way to appreciate your air conditioner is to keep it well maintained. Industry experts offer these tips: replace air filters on a regular schedule; use fans to help circulate air; cover windows with curtains or blinds; and run appliances that generate heat, such as ovens, washers and dryers, and dishwashers, during the evening.

When things go awry, you can call on qualified HVAC technicians, the superheroes of sweltering summer days. HVAC technicians are trained to restore your cool and help AC equipment to operate at peak efficiency.

The demand for HVAC technicians is high across our state and nation, and qualified job candidates can earn above-average wages. Southside Virginia Community College offers two fast-track career studies programs for students wishing to embark on careers in the HVAC industry, a Basic program and an Advanced program. Both are housed at the Lake Country Advanced Knowledge Center in South Hill. The HVAC curriculum offers students the opportunity to learn how to install and repair residential and commercial HVAC systems. A solar component teaches students how a heat pump powered by solar panels can cool a house and reduce homeowners’ cooling bills.

For more information about entry into HVAC or other technical career pathways, call Chad Patton, SVCC’s Dean of Career and Occupational Technology, at 434-949-1038.

Dr. Al Roberts is president of Southside Virginia Community College, an institution of higher learning that provides a wide variety of education opportunities to a diverse student population within a service area that spans ten counties and the city of Emporia. He can be reached via email at al.roberts@southside.edu.

SVCC Granted Reaccreditation by Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) has reaffirmed accreditation for Southside Virginia Community College.  The SACSCOC is the regional body for the accreditation of degree-granting higher education institutions in the Southern states. It serves as the common denominator of shared values and practices among the diverse institutions in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Latin America and other international sites approved by the SACSCOC Board of Trustees that award associate, baccalaureate, master’s, or doctoral degrees.

SVCC was notified recently that the SACSCOC Board of Trustees reaffirmed accreditation on June 14, 2018.   The notification stated, “No additional report was requested. Your institution's next reaffirmation will take place in 2028 unless otherwise notified.”

Dr. Al Roberts, SVCC President, said, “We are elated to receive the reaffirmation of accreditation for our college.  The reaccreditation process is a huge undertaking and we have been successful only due to the diligence and committed effort of the entire college community working towards one goal, one mission.”

Accreditation means that the institution has (1) a mission appropriate to higher education, (2) resources, programs, and services sufficient to accomplish and sustain its mission, (3) clearly specified educational objectives that are consistent with its mission and appropriate to the degrees it offers, and that it is (4) successful in assessing its achievement of these objectives and demonstrating improvements.  Accreditation by SACSCOC is a statement of the institution’s continuing commitment to integrity and its capacity to provide effective programs and services based on agreed-upon accreditation standards.  Accreditation is necessary for SVCC to participate in Federal Financial Aid programs and for transfer credit acceptance by other universities and colleges. 

SACSCOC has six core values which are integrity, continuous quality improvement, peer review/self-regulation, student learning, accountability and transparency.  The mission is to assure the educational quality and improve the effectiveness of its member institutions.

SVCC is a two-year institution of higher education established as part of the statewide system of community colleges created by the 1966 Virginia General Assembly.  The college serves the largest area of any of the community colleges in Virginia, a total of 4,200 square miles. The Christanna Campus in Alberta was opened in 1970 and the John H. Daneil Campus in Keysville was added a year later. The college operates off-campus sites also.

Focusing On The Positive Generates Positive Results for SVCC Graduate

Hilton Bennett, 12.5 K up on Mount Royal.  Avid climber, SVCC alum keeps climbing for the top.

 

According to John W. Gardner, Educator and Secretary of Health Education and Welfare under President Lyndon Johnson, “Life is the art of drawing without an eraser.”

There were times in life when Hilton Bennett could have used an eraser.  But since he could not erase some bad choices in his life, he made the best of a bad situation and turned his future around.

Incarcerated in Lunenburg Correctional Center in Victoria, Virginia, Bennett said that the trials he had in life made him rethink his next steps. 

“I could do nothing for the next seven years or I could do something positive,” he said.

Always a good student, he began teaching fellow inmates math, reading and other lessons mainly for something to do.   He enjoyed this positive activity and how it helped to pass the time.   Soon, he caught the attention of Ann Cavan, Regional Principal of the Department of Corrections School, who found him a job in the prison library and allowed him to tutor other inmates.

Southside Virginia Community College partners with the Virginia Department of Corrections to offer the Campus Within Walls program at the Lunenburg facility. The philosophy of the program is “We believe in the transformative power of education because we see it every day! With a college degree, men leaving prison are more likely to get good jobs and earn more money. Men who earn a degree while in prison are almost 50% less likely to return.”

“Within six months, I was enrolled in classes through SVCC,” Bennett said speaking of the program.   

It took about five years to complete his Associate’s degree from SVCC due to the scheduling of needed classes and funding availability.  Two years after his release, Bennett was invited to be the speaker at an SVCC Commencement ceremony at the prison.

Before he was incarcerated, he had a job, a house, a family and was prospering in life.    He said he realizes now that everything has worked out for the best and that he needed to have the experience of prison to arrive where he is today.

He currently holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) and is pursuing a Master’s Degree in Product Innovation from VCU’s da Vinci center.  He interns for a Biomedical Engineering firm designing Orthopedic Implants. He plans to start a PhD in Mechanical Engineering and Medicine soon. 

In this semester alone, VCU has filed four patents for which he has been the primary engineer on.  These include a device that make the epidural space visible to anesthesiologists and a device that effectually treats the second leading cause of preventable deaths in the Military which is Pneumothorax (collapsed lung).

In another collaboration, Bennett and others are working on a device to prevent the loss of guide-wires during surgery.

“If a wire is left behind, he said, “It’s a risky situation for the patient.  The patient must undergo an additional procedure to have it removed,” he noted.

Bennett said that the team’s current design, a clip with lights and a buzzer, attaches to the wire to serve as a constant reminder to the physician or clinician that the wire is inside the patient’s body. Over the summer, Bennett is working on designing the mold for the device and developing prototypes out of different materials,” according to Invention Seeks to Prevent Wires from Being Left Inside Patients, which appeared on the VCU College of Engineering’s website on August 9, 2017.

In the article, W. Paul Murphy, M.D., assistant professor in the Department of Anesthesiology in the VCU School of Medicine, said working with engineers and others outside his field to solve real-world problems has been an exciting experience.

“To have folks like Hilton and Ben Ward say, ‘If you do it this way, the problem could be avoided,’” he said, “that’s been a blast.”

An avid rock climber, Bennett also started his own company in 2016 designing Traditional Climbing Gear for indoor use.

Recently, Bennett was a guest speaker at Vera Institute of Justice Conference held in Detroit, Michigan. The mission of Vera is “to drive change. To urgently build and improve justice systems that ensure fairness, promote safety, and strengthen communities.”

Surprisingly, Dr. Al Roberts, SVCC President, and Lisa L. Hudson, SVCC Campus Within Walls Coordinator, were both in the audience.  And, duly proud of one of the college’s own.

Dr. Anne Hayes, formerly Coordinator of Campus Within Walls at SVCC, said, “completing an associate degree served as a ‘reset button’ for Mr. Bennett.  He graduated SVCC with a 4.0.(Grade Point Average)”

Bennett believes education behind bars is key to making it possible for inmates to thrive on the outside.  He knows many who went through the SVCC program with him and have made the successful transition since being released. 

Not only is Bennett making his life better, his diligence and interest in finding solutions to problems that affect others is a great way for him to continue his pursuit of the positive.  

Great Opportunity To Learn Welding Skills

The Welding Skills Certification program begins July 16, 2018 at the Southside Virginia Education Center in Emporia.  Offered by Southside Virginia Community College Workforce Development, the classes will meet Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursdays from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. through October 3, 2018.

Class will utilize the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER).  Fast Forward Credentials for a Career that Matters may help pay tuition and costs for qualifying Virginians.

Call today, 434 634 9358 and speak to Erica Andrews or email Erica.andrews@southside.edu.

Microsoft Offers Scholarships in Southside Virginia

 

Microsoft Scholarship recipients recognized recently are (Front Row, Left to Right) Kashawn Hilliard, Jermaine Jackson, Sandra Sanders, Neal Brown, Hailey Walker, Salvador Hernandez-Gonzalez, and (Back Row L to R) Susan O’Shea, Hassan Davis, Brenda Cross, Shanell Toone, Christian Jackson and Abdulah Bell.  Not pictured Darrick Hearns and Kansas Morrison.

With a mission to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more, Microsoft has reached out to Southside Virginia in a big way.  There are 14 current recipients of the Microsoft Datacenter Scholarship making it possible for the students to take classes in Information Technology. 

The recipients of these awards were recognized with a ceremony and dinner held at the Estes Community Center on June 11, 2018.   The students take classes through Southside Virginia Community College’s Center for Information Technology Excellence (CITE) at the Lake Country Advanced Knowledge Center in South Hill and the IT Academy (ITA) of the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center in South Boston.

In his remarks, SVCC President Dr. Al Roberts said, “Program development in higher education is often a very slow process; but our experience at Southside is that the development process can be accelerated when there is strong industry support.”

He added, “When recruiting students into a new program, there are usually two questions:  One – How am I going to pay for the training? And two – Does it lead to a good job with family-sustaining wages?  Microsoft has responded to both concerns, first through its Datacenter Academy Scholarship and, secondly, through the possibility of employment in a world-class IT organization.  What Microsoft has done is to remove the barriers that often hinder student success and allow students to focus on learning and networking – both IT and social – so that they can succeed.”

Anthony Putorek, Microsoft Global Datacenter Field and Community Program Manager, said, “The effort of these students to go to class, the desire to learn, the hunger to do more fuels us.  That is why Microsoft puts in the effort to provide these programs.”

In 2010, Microsoft announced their investment in bringing a data center to Mecklenburg County’s Boydton Industrial Park.  Now, the company is investing in training Southside people for jobs where IT skills are needed. 

“In addition to bringing well-paying jobs to Southern Virginia, Microsoft is empowering individuals through the scholarships to gain the skills required to qualify for these jobs. How wonderful is that!” said Dr. Betty H. Adams, Executive Director of the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center.

Scholarships are awarded to individuals from underrepresented populations in the IT field and covers tuition, books, and supplies.

Opportunities abound for students willing to work hard with the cutting-edge technology available locally, according to SVCC Dean of Career and Occupational Technology, Chad Patton.

The CITE and ITA labs are an example of how a partnership can make things happen for a community. The ongoing involvement of Microsoft is crucial for Southside Virginia. One amazing thing is that Microsoft wants every student to succeed whether they eventually come to the data center or attain employment elsewhere. 

SVHEC IT Academy Program Coordinator and Trainer Kelly Shotwell echoed his sentiment stating, “The partnership with Microsoft has been invaluable for the IT Academy. Microsoft donates equipment that enhances the hands-on experience of our training labs, a Microsoft team visits each class to talk with trainees about careers, and the Datacenter Academy Scholarships remove financial barriers to make training more accessible. But Microsoft is not just encouraging a pipeline to employment at the Boydton data center.  Instead, they believe that their partnership with the IT Academy benefits every trainee and every employer who hires an IT Academy trainee, thereby benefiting the Southside Virginia community.”

            Microsoft is dedicated to helping the community surrounding its data centers.  The Datacenter Academy Scholarship helps to increase diversity in the IT field by removing traditional barriers to education. In the fall, Microsoft will grant two diligent students the opportunity to experience a three-month paid internship at the Boydton facility.

Lealon M. Vassar Scholarship Established

Family and friends have established the Lealon M. Vassar Scholarship at Southside Virginia Community College in memory of and to recognize his contributions to the community, service to others, leadership skills, work ethic, and honesty. 

The fund will assist students from Charlotte County who attend SVCC.  Preference will be given to students exhibiting characteristics such as dedication to community service, hardworking, kind-hearted and willingness to help others as was Mr. Vassar’s legacy.  The scholarship will be used for tuition, fees and other related costs of the recipients. 

According to an article in the December 1, 2017 Southside Messenger, A Tribute To A Life Well Lived “The Vassars are not the first family or the last to lose a husband, a father, a grandfather, but this man was a shining light in a family and community lucky enough to have strong leaders and wonderful people who take care of each other.  Charlotte County and the surrounding areas are a different place now without Lealon Morris Vassar.”

The article continues, “ No one knows how many kids are playing baseball, softball, tennis, running cross country, participating in travel ball, shooting basketball, and more with uniforms they provided, travel expenses covered, land for fields, buildings for indoor opportunities, and on and on.  We have come to learn that there seem to be endless people he helped with extra work when they needed it, a hand up during tough times, loan of equipment, a vehicle to drive, maybe most impactfully, a listening ear, advice, and an honest course correction when necessary. A quote from someone these last few days was that he believed in people few others would; he gave second chances to people no one else would.”

Mr. Vassar, a resident of Charlotte Court House, passed away peacefully on November 22, 2017, surrounded by his family.  He loved supporting youth activities in the community, especially athletics, and enjoyed coaching his beloved Dixie Youth Charlotte Court House Red Midgets and Minors.  If he was not coaching, he was attending athletic events in the county, according to family.  He was devoted to New Hope United Methodist church serving in many capacities there.  He was a charter member and president of Knock Down Hunt Club since 1972, was known for his generous heart and was dedicated to the Truckers Parade Against Cancer and the American Cancer Society.  He was third of five generations in the logging business and was owner of R&V Mill, R&V Trucking and Pulpwood and Logging, Inc. 

Shannon Vassar Feinman, his daughter,  notes, “He was an extraordinary person in too many ways to count.  He has been quietly helping people through education and training for years and believed strongly that it changes lives.  We honor him now by formalizing that characteristic through this scholarship.”

For information about the newly established scholarship, contact the SVCC Foundation, Inc., at 434 949 1008.  Contributions in Mr. Vassar’s name may be made by in person, by mail or online at http://southside.edu/college-foundation.

An Alternative to the Traditional Four-Year Plan

By Dr. Al Roberts

The National Center for Education Statistics reports that the number of bachelor degrees conferred in the U.S. has increased by 125% since the early 1970s. A large part of the reason is the encouragement high school students receive from parents and guidance counselors to pursue a college education.

Getting a bachelor’s or advanced academic or professional degree is good advice for many students, but like a lot of other things, one size does not fit all. Going to a four-year college without a clear plan is an increasingly expensive proposition, and students’ choices can dramatically impact the financial rewards associated with degree attainment. Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce studied the difference in potential income based on a student’s major. Results were made available in a May 2011 publication, “What’s It Worth? The Economic Value of College Majors.” Findings demonstrated that bachelor degree holders who were employed full time earned annual salaries that ranged from $29,000 for students who had majored in Counseling Psychology to $120,000 for Petroleum Engineers.

In writing “High-Paying Jobs Go Begging while High School Grads Line Up for Bachelor’s Degrees,” for the Hechinger Report in April 2018, higher-education editor Jon Marcus reported, “The financial return from a bachelor’s degree is softening, even as the price—and the average debt into which it plunges students—keeps going up.”

At the same time, because so many young people are encouraged to pursue four-year degrees, employers now face shortages of qualified applicants for skilled jobs in professions such as nursing, welding, power line work, industrial maintenance, automotive repair, and advanced manufacturing. Compounding the situation is the fact that in many skilled trades, craft workers are older than their counterparts in other fields. Anticipated retirements are expected to exacerbate worker shortages.

Community colleges stand poised to provide a solution. Marcus’s research revealed that, “A shortage of workers is pushing wages higher in the skilled trades.” He added, “It’s not that finding a job in the trades, or even manufacturing, means needing no education after high school. Most regulators and employers require certificates, certifications, or associate degrees. But those cost less and take less time than earning a bachelor’s degree.”

The potential rewards are significant. An updated report issued last year from The Center on Education and the Workforce last year, stated “There are 30 million good jobs in the United States today that pay without a BA (bachelor’s degree). These good jobs have median earnings of $55,000 annually.”

For more information about the variety of opportunities afforded by a community college education, please visit southside.edu or call SVCC at 434-949-1000. Counselors can answer your questions about career pathways and programs designed to help you reach your goals.

Dr. Al Roberts is president of Southside Virginia Community College, an institution of higher learning that provides a wide variety of education opportunities to a diverse student population within a service area that spans ten counties and the city of Emporia. He can be reached via email at al.roberts@southside.edu.

Phi Beta Lambda Business Club of SVCC Donates Books

Pictured with some donated books are Phi Beta Lambda members from Southside Virginia Community College, Crystal Jones, instructor, Nirali Patel, Kenyada Baker, Ashley Jones, Drequan Robinson and Janet Wilson, along with VCU Health CMH’s Marah Michael, Marketing Administrative Assistant.

Green eggs and ham; one fish two fish, red fish, blue fish. These are very familiar refrains from some of Dr. Suess’s classic children’s books and thanks to the Phi Beta Lambda Business Club at Southside Virginia Community College, children who are in the new VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital or C.A.R.E. Building will be able to read them for themselves.

Crystal Jones, advisor for the group, explained, “We held a book drive from March12th -31st for new or gently used children’s books in celebration of Reading Month and Dr. Suess’s birthday.”

The club had drop-off sites at the Christanna Campus in Alberta, the John H. Daniel Campus in Keysville and the Lake Country Advanced Knowledge Center in South Hill and collected a total of 59 books that the group presented to VCU Health CMH in May.

“Anytime folks want to do something to benefit our patients and families, we get very excited,” said Ken Kurz, director of the CMH Foundation. “When Crystal called me and told me what they were doing, I just knew this was going to make a lot of kids happy.  We will place a sticker in the books letting people know they came from the Phi Beta Lambda book drive. We will place them in the C.A.R.E. Building and also in the hospital.”

He continued, “We want to express our sincere thanks to this fine group of students and everyone who helped them by donating books to this project. We are a community hospital and we have always enjoyed tremendous community support and this is another great example of that.”

Kurz added that others who might be interested in helping should contact the CMH Foundation at 434-774-2575.

New Greensville County CNAs

Greensville County High School students who completed CNA training through Southside Virginia Community College recently attended a graduation ceremony on the Christanna Campus.  The are

Front Row, Left to Right: Nialynn Lee, Kadaja Tennessee, Quaniyah Lewis, Ashlyn Sampson, Adrian Boney, Shaquella Stephens,Mrs. Harrison - principal Greensville County High School.

Back Row, L to R. Mrs. Rose CNA Instructor, Sharayquan Wood, Tiarria Thomas, Demona Stephens, Destini Banks, Chyna Harrison-Pegram

New CNAs From the Emporia Workforce Development Center

Students from Workforce Development who recently completed CNA training from Southside Virginia Community College and attended the graduation ceremony held on the Christanna  Campus are (Front Row, L to R) Melissa Laugois, Lakesha Claiborne, Crystal Gillus, Jermaras Cabbins, Sheena Kely, Dahnequa Kelly, Montia Gray,  Llinda Owen. 

FIRST LADY APPLAUDS SVCC GRADUATES

Group of Greensville County High School students attending SVCC graduation and receiving their degrees, diplomas and certificates.

Samantha Kery Dickens of Greensville County High School was among the graduates at SVCC.

Proud graduates from Southside Virginia Community College are (Left to Right) Ingrid Fogg of Kenbridge, David Evans of Lawrenceville, and Melissa Wood of Jarrett.

“You made it.  Give yourselves a round of applause,” said Virginia First Lady Pamela Northam as a greeting to the class of 2018 of Southside Virginia Community College at Commencement on May 12 at the John H. Daniel Campus in Keysville.  Under blue skies and what the Mrs. Northam called ‘Texas Heat’, SVCC celebrated 946 credit graduates along with 238 students receiving workforce credentials.

“I bring congratulations from the Governor.  We are proud of you as you finish this hard-won journey,” she said.  She noted that change takes courage and reminded the crowd that “Virginians have always been explorers, revolutionaries and innovators.”

“We are at our best when we challenge ourselves,” she said.

She also spoke of community colleges being a critical aspect of education and workforce training in the Commonwealth of Virginia. She noted that Virginia is a commonwealth instead of a state meaning that its citizens work for the common good of all. 

“When you began this journey, it may have seemed like a mission impossible.  I am so happy to celebrate with you…mission accomplished,” she said.

“Virginia has a history of leading the way, we have a chance to do that again, you are our best asset and greatest treasure,” she concluded.

Pamela Northam became the First Lady of Virginia when her husband, Governor Ralph Northam, was sworn in as governor of January 13, 2018.  Aneducator,environmentalist and longtimeadvocate,Mrs. Northam has taken a leading role in Hampton Roads and Virginiatoprotectwaterqualityandimprovethehealthof the Chesapeake Bay.

During the ceremony, the college awarded two Honorary Associate Degrees in Humane Letters.  These are conferred by the State Board for Community Colleges in recognition of distinguished achievement.  These were presented to Dietra Y. Trent, Ph.D., former Secretary of Education for Virginia and a strong advocate and true champion of education.  A native of Halifax County, she has a fondness for the college that serves her community.

Also awarded was Russell B. Clark.  In his role as County Administrator for Charlotte, he was on the job for 37 years, and worked collaboratively with SVCC, other county governments and many partners through the state for the betterment of the area.  He is a member of the SVCC Foundation Board of Directors, serves on the board for Virginia’s Heartland Regional Partnership, Virginia’s Growth Alliance and the Bank of Charlotte County. 

Honors program graduates were Katelyn Bryant and Emily Davis. Two students were nominated this year and named to the All-Virginia Academic Team sponsored by Phi Theta Kappa.  These students were recognized as well, Anesia Powell and Sara Ruotolo-Sarnataro.

Dr. Al Roberts, SVCC President, conferred the degrees on the SVCC students, shaking each hand as they crossed the stage.






City of Emporia/Greensville County
Robert Jeffrey Barrientos Emporia Presley Dakota Walton Emporia
Ashley Nichole Butler Emporia Adrian Simone Boney Emporia
TaNyla Niasia Evans Emporia Patrick Jerome Hamp Emporia
Markeisha Denise Green Emporia Ziaria Renee Dickerson Skippers
Lori Leigh Hafey Emporia Hunter Christian Smith Skippers
Chyna Lynette Harrison-Pegram Emporia Madison Drew Whitby Skippers
Evaughn Unique Hill Emporia Jaden DaVarius Young Skippers
Haley Sheree Jones Emporia Samantha Kery Dickens Skippers
Kimberli Michele Lawhon Emporia Leslie Elam Williams Skippers
Khalill E Lewis Emporia Destini Janea Banks Jarratt
Quaniyah Ta'Haven Lewis Emporia Kenneth Wayne Skipper Jarratt
Promise   Long III Emporia Melissa Elyse Wood Jarratt
Deborah A Mason Emporia Ronlecia Shanaye Tyler Jarratt
Tyrell Elizah Mays Emporia Gary Arlestus Bryant Jarratt
Fredrick Cordale Miles Emporia Hunter Steven Rae Jarratt
Shawn Elizabeth Miller Emporia Lindsey Makenah Gordon Jarratt
Dana Lashae Mitchell Emporia Ry'shawn Linwood Sykes Jarratt
Magda Ezzat Mohamed Emporia Kiara Videja High Jarratt
Dustin Wayne Moseley Emporia Samantha Lynn Richard Jarratt
Julie Thi Nguyen Powell Emporia Amber Lynn Lowe Jarratt
Kuldeep Kumar Mahesh Patel Emporia Lisa R Gillam Jarratt
Patricia Demetria Rice Emporia Rebecca W Adams Jarratt
Amy Arrington Sloan Emporia Brunswick County
Akia Sindrea Squire Emporia Kristen Nichole Baird Lawrenceville
Demona Ky'Asia Stephens Emporia Ahmed Abdelkarem Belghith Lawrenceville
Dymond Jamilla Sykes Emporia Kathy Marie Binarao Lawrenceville
Courtney Shakera Turner Emporia Kayla Marie Binarao Lawrenceville
Victoria Blaire Wright Emporia Tammy Nicole Cypress Lawrenceville
Kamareye YaQuell Sykes Emporia Albertina Patrice Drumgold Lawrenceville
Brittney Renee Mason Emporia Cadidra Denise Goodman Lawrenceville
Alice   Wong Emporia Travis W Jones Lawrenceville
Eboni Denise Layton Emporia Athena Marie Martin Lawrenceville
AuBiranna Nicole Mobley Emporia Jordan Nyjah McMillan Lawrenceville
Tatiyuana Lache Michael Emporia Elois Lorraine Morris Lawrenceville
Divinity La'Mae Pettaway Emporia Anesia LeNell Powell Lawrenceville
Qui'Meia Chante' Morrow Emporia Jamarcus Dion Reid Lawrenceville
Antoine Lavosier Price Jr. Emporia Ayanna Delmari Coleman Lawrenceville
Twanda Diane Dillard Emporia Bryana Latasha Murphy Lawrenceville
Shayana Daishanique Tanner Emporia Tyreese J. Fisher Lawrenceville
Stephon Caderra Cain Emporia David Dacoda Major Lawrenceville
Jarell Clinton Hines Emporia Justin Nathaniel Jackson Lawrenceville
Desiree Michelle Whitehead Emporia Aliyah Nicole Mangrum Lawrenceville
Preston   Battle IV Emporia Shawna Victoria Lee Lawrenceville
Tyler Mason Prince Emporia Jayvonte KaVon Elder Lawrenceville
Signora Quinae Wyche Emporia Gavin Ezekiel Rasner Lawrenceville
Hannah Claire Geist Emporia Shanice Danielle Jackson Lawrenceville
Nia'Lynn Alexis Lee Emporia Ashley Brooke Roberts Lawrenceville
Teryeja Monae Parker Emporia Dillion Jammal Preston Lawrenceville
Dawson T Coker Emporia Tyana Monique Strong Lawrenceville
Kyle Henry Rodriguez Emporia Destiny Shardaney Smith Lawrenceville
Taylor Michelle Powell Emporia Tiquan Malik Goode Lawrenceville
Savanna Alexis Jones Emporia Tracey Lee Edmonds Lawrenceville
Courtney Renee' Terry Emporia Cody Michael Marston Lawrenceville
Erikah Dy'Nequa Broadnax Emporia Maygan Effie Clary Lawrenceville
DeAndre Marquees Anderson Emporia Kenneth Cole Williams Lawrenceville
Fitzgerald   Marcelin Jr. Emporia Sabrina O'Keefe Burns Lawrenceville
Sarah Morgan Harvey Emporia Sterling Darrell Meade Jr. Lawrenceville
Lauren Michelle Totino Emporia Taniah Nichole Easter Lawrenceville
Stephanie Merritt Ferguson Emporia Colby Alan Crutchfield Lawrenceville
Laurie-Ashley Elizabeth Sampson Emporia David Tyler Evans Lawrenceville
Catherine Ann Weaver Emporia Grayson Shea Hudson Brodnax
Nidhi Milan Brahmbhatt Emporia Herbert Andrew Burgart Jr. Brodnax
Britney   Saleeby Emporia Angel Michelle-Renee Clark Brodnax
Sharayquan Marcellous Wood Emporia Jeremey Alexander Goss Brodnax
Makenzie Nicole Link Emporia Ashley Nicole Jones Brodnax
Mikayla Gabrielle Harrison Emporia Trinate Sad'e King Brodnax
Jayquan Arturo Simmons Emporia Stephanie Marie Morris Brodnax
De'Ja Alexis Mangrum Emporia Katelyn Marie Sharber Brodnax
Destiny TaLiscia Mangrum Emporia Janizha Kaleah Walker Brodnax
Omar Tyree Banks Emporia Regina M Warmouth Brodnax
Laticia Danielle Cain Emporia Dylan Franklin Weed Brodnax
Jada Denise Brown Emporia Jesse Dallas James Brodnax
Catherine Camille Robinson Emporia Eric Dwayne Brazeal Brodnax
Ziliko Zannelle Seldon Emporia Kelci Faith Spence Brodnax
Gabriel Lorenzo Drewry Emporia Katlyn Rose Sadler Brodnax
Amanda Leagh Huskey Emporia Danielle Angelica Valentine Brodnax
Jasmine Leneise Terry Emporia Christopher Wayne Chandler Brodnax
Kadaja Shante' Tennessee Emporia Kitiko Andrea Davis Jr. Broadnax
Tiarra Nicole Thomas Emporia Dynasia Margarite Holmes Brodnax
Brady Lamar Perkins Emporia Margarete Leane Davis Dolphin
Robert Todd Thorpe Emporia T'zharay Jahmiel Valentine Dolphin
Brooklyn Shayla Mason Emporia TaNeisha Mae Moore Ebony
Sabrina Genell Britt Emporia Kashayla Monea Macklin Ebony
Zaykeese L Dunn Emporia Jazmine Dominque Eccleston Ebony
Robert SeQuan Mullins IV Emporia Beth Holloway Elliott Freeman
Zariah Noel Powell Emporia Sherry D Wall Freeman
Khari Z Carr Emporia Aaliyadriah Love Cleaton Freeman
Tyshera Janae Bittle Emporia Kelita Arella Trotter Freeman
Tia Shawane Powell Emporia Corey Lamont Long Jr. Freeman
Shaquella Jenay Stephens Emporia Torri Marie Long Freeman
Willie Lee Valentine Emporia Tiara Shantelle Bobbitt Freeman
Akayla RaShay Benton Emporia Hailey Karissa Roberts Gasburg
Ziaire Sade Bynum Emporia Ethan Thomas Warwick Gasburg
Cheryl Kelly Moody Emporia Emily Elizabeth Watts Gasburg
Markel ShaCoy Threat Emporia Carli Marie Inge Gasburg
Aikayla Lyshelle Green Emporia Sussex County
Jermari O'Neal Walton Emporia Austin Blake Lewis Stony Creek
Jada Chantay Banks Emporia Carter Garnett Lewis Stoney Creek
Kailee Star Phillips Emporia Southampton County
Ja'Zona Le'Ann Spates Emporia Sateria Antonia Adams Capron
Trinitey Divine Myles Emporia
Nicholas Coletran Wells Emporia
Caroline Layne Taylor Emporia
Malik LaDarius Ellsworth Emporia
Rahmi-Iyl Imamm Jennings Emporia
Charles Isaac Gregory III Emporia

Phi Theta Kappa Honors Sutdents

The Phi Theta Kappa 2018 All-Virginia Academic Team Awards Program was held recently in Richmond, Virginia.  Two students from Southside Virginia Community College were among the nominees for this award and chosen for the All-Virginia Team.  These students are Anesia Powell of Greensville and Sarah Ruotolo-Sarnataro of Halifax.  Shown in the photo with her medal is Anesia (Center) and Dr. Al Roberts (Left) and Dr. Glen DuBois (Right), Chancellor of the Virginia Community College System.  

Anesia Powell is a senior at Greensville County High School.  She currently has a 4.1 GPA and class rank is 6 out of 177.  She has been a member of GCHS school’s Beta Club for 3 years and this year she had the honor to serve as president.  She is dually enrolled at Southside Virginia Community College and when she graduates from high school, she will also have an associate degree.   After graduation, she plans to double major in finance and marketing at Old Dominion University in the fall 2018.

State Board Sets Tuition for 2018-2019 Academic Year

RICHMOND —The State Board for Community Colleges established the 2018-2019 academic year in-state tuition and mandatory fees rate at $154 per credit hour today at its regular May meeting. Beginning this fall, in-state students will pay an additional $3.75 per credit hour – an increase of 2.5 percent – meaning the cost of a typical three-hour class will increase by $11.25, and the cost of a full-time load of classes for the year will increase by $112.50.

The new rate keeps community college tuition and mandatory fees at approximately one-third of the comparable costs of attending Virginia’s public four-year universities.

Virginia’s Community Colleges will use the tuition increase to pay a share of rising employee fringe benefit costs; strategic enrollment initiatives; costs associated with using various Virginia administrative systems; and facility maintenance and operating costs.

“Today’s decision requires us to find the balance necessary to advance two different priorities,” said Eleanor Saslaw, chair of the Virginia State Board for Community Colleges. “College affordability remains essential to the community college mission, and we’ve honored that. Meanwhile, resources are needed to increase student advising and other essential initiatives, like those identified in last fall’s JLARC report on our colleges, to help more students succeed and complete their programs of study. I believe we are honoring those needs too.”

Out-of-state tuition

The State Board increased the tuition rate for out-of-state students by $3.75 per credit hour to a total of $351.60 per credit hour.

Out-of-state students make up approximately five percent of the total enrollment of Virginia’s Community Colleges.

Tuition differentials

There were no differential tuition increase requests for fall 2018, meaning that the tuition differential rates remain unchanged from last year for the eight colleges that implement them  (Germanna, John Tyler, Northern Virginia, Piedmont Virginia, Reynolds, Tidewater, Thomas Nelson, and Virginia Western).

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - SVCC

Emporia News

Stories on Emporianews.com are be searchable, using the box above. All new stories will be tagged with the date (format YYYY-M-D or 2013-1-1) and the names of persons, places, institutions, etc. mentioned in the article. This database feature will make it easier for those people wishing to find and re-read an article.  For anyone wishing to view previous day's pages, you may click on the "Previous Day's Pages" link in the menu at the top of the page, or search by date (YYYY-M-D format) using the box above.

Comment Policy:  When an article or poll is open for comments feel free to leave one.  Please remember to be respectful when you comment (no foul or hateful language, no racial slurs, etc) and keep our comments safe for work and children. .Comments are moderated and comments that contain explicit or hateful words will be deleted.  IP addresses are tracked for comments. 

EmporiaNews.com serves Emporia and Greensville County, Virginia and the surrounding area
and is provided as a community service by the Advertisers and Sponsors.
All material on EmporiaNews.com is copyright 2005-2018
EmporiaNews.com is powered by Drupal and based on the ThemeBrain Sirate Theme.

Submit Your Story!

Emporia News welcomes your submissions!  You may submit articles, announcements, school or sports information using the submission forms found here, or via e-mail on news@emporianews.com.  Currently, photos and advertisements will still be accepted only via e-mail, but if you have photos to go along with your submission, you will receive instructions via e-mail. If you have events to be listed on the Community Calendar, submit them here.

Contact us at news@emporianews.com
 
EmporiaNews.com is hosted as a community Service by Telpage.  Visit their website at www.telpage.net or call (434)634-5100 (NOTICE: Telpage cannot help you with questions about Emporia New nor does Teplage have any input the content of Emporia News.  Please use the e-mail address above if you have any questions, comments or concerns about the content on Emporia News.)