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Panther Prep Day is Apri 16, 2019

Panther Prep Advising Day is coming back to Southside Virginia.   This event, sponsored by Southside Virginia Community College, will be held Tuesday, April 16, 2019 at various locations.  This is a chance for students to meet their advisors, register for classes, learn about all the programs and services the college has to offer.

Event hours at Christanna Campus in Alberta, John H. Daniel Campus in Keysville,  Southern Virginia Higher Education Center in South Boston, Estes Community Center in Chase City, and  Lake Country Advanced Knowledge Center in South Hill are from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m.

The Southside Virginia Education Center in Emporia will host the event from 2 p.m. until 6 p.m.

For more information on the event, call 434 736 2022. 

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

SVCC Students to Benefit As State Board Holds the Line on Community College Tuition for Upcoming Academic Year

RICHMOND —Southside Virginia Community College(SVCC) is among the 23 colleges to benefit from a recent vote by the State Board for Community Colleges.   By a unanimous vote, the Board elected to maintain the current in-state tuition and mandatory fees for the 2019-2020 academic year. The Board’s decision means tuition will remain at today’s rate of $154 per credit hour, and keeps community college tuition and mandatory fees at approximately one-third of the comparable costs of attending Virginia’s public four-year universities.

Dr. Al Roberts, Southside Virginia Community College president, said, “Maintaining the current tuition rate for attendance at SVCC is a boost to help students continue their educations at affordable rates.  We are grateful for this move to keep prices low.”

“The Virginia General Assembly deserves a great deal of credit for helping us avoid a tuition increase,” said Robin Sullenberger, chair of the State Board for Community Colleges. “Their decision to increase General Fund appropriations gave us the resources necessary to meet the inevitable operating expense increases without asking our students to pay more. We applaud their efforts during the 2019 legislative session.”

Further, the State Board maintained the existing tuition rate for out-of-state students, which is $351.60 per credit hour. The Board approved a technical fee increase for capital cost recovery that applies only to out-of-state students who make up approximately five percent of the total enrollment of Virginia’s Community Colleges.

Established in 1970 as a part of the 23-college Virginia Community College System, SVCC is a two-year institution of higher education.  The college operates under the guidance of a local board and is financed by state funds, supplemented by contributions from the participating localities.  The college serves ten counties and one city in southern Virginia.  SVCC is dedicated to the belief that each individual should be given a continuing opportunity for the development and extension of skills and knowledge along with an opportunity to increase his/her role and responsibility in society.

Transferring Success

 

By Dr. Al Roberts

In March of this year, 250 representatives from more than 60 educational institutions across Virginia met to discuss potential obstacles facing students with plans to transfer to baccalaureate-awarding colleges and universities after beginning their postsecondary educational journeys at two-year institutions. Existing pathways involve an assortment of articulation agreements that can be complex to navigate. The Virginia Community College System maintains agreements with more than three dozen public and private colleges and universities. These are supplemented with hundreds of additional agreements between individual institutions.

Legislation addressing this concern led to the development of Transfer Virginia, a three-year initiative to reform the Commonwealth’s transfer system. Goals include improving communication and collaboration among institutions of higher education, more closely aligning academic expectations, and streamlining agreements that facilitate transfers.

Removing barriers to transfer success offers significant financial benefits. When compared with the cost of beginning academic pursuits directly at four-year institutions, students who begin their postsecondary education at a community college can save an estimated $17,000 on the cost of obtaining a bachelor’s degree. Part of the savings can be lost, however, if students are unable to apply all earned credits toward their degrees.  According to some estimates, the current system can cost improperly prepared students the equivalent of an extra semester in time, tuition, and fees.

To address these concerns, SVCC offers resources to help guide and prepare students. Transfer Clubs on both main campuses give students opportunities to explore options. Four-year college campus fairs and visits highlight opportunities. Transfer counselors provide one-on-one and group guidance. Added to these efforts, SVCC is playing an active role in the work of Transfer Virginia to develop consistent and uniform transferability between all of Virginia’s community colleges and baccalaureate-awarding institutions. Specific tasks include developing transferrable programs where all courses satisfy lower-division general education requirements, mapping degree program requirements from two-year to four-year programs, ensuring common student learning outcomes in all transfer courses, and exploring dual admission and co-enrollment.

The VCCS Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic and Workforce Programs, Sharon Morrissey, explains Transfer Virginia’s anticipated results: “Virginia will be better off for the effort, with a higher education system that is more affordable, more efficient, more equitable, and more relevant for students in the 21st century marketplace.” Transfer Virginia estimates that it will result in the Commonwealth’s ability to award more than 6,000 additional baccalaureate degrees annually to transfer students.

SVCC already has a strong record for preparing transfer students for success. The top five destinations for transferring graduates are Old Dominion University, Longwood University, Liberty University, Virginia Commonwealth University, and Virginia State University. For more information on how to structure your educational journey with the most efficiently, 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.

Practical Nurses Pinned at SVCC

Southside Virginia Community College students who recently completed the Practical Nursing Program were recognized with a Pinning Ceremony on May 7, 2019.  Those completing from the program on the Christanna Campus are (Left to Right)Patricia Arthur, instructor, Candis Joyner of Victoria, Kristen Rollins of South Hill, Ashely Mason of South Chesterfield, Lavon Hayes of Victoria, Phyllis Konrath of Blackstone, Samantha Hudson of Crewe, Amber Thornton of Victoria, Dylan Pahe of Victoria, Sa'da Garnes of Kenbridge, Jennifer Gibson of Rawllings, Jackie Ware of Blackstone, Brittany Patterson of Blackstone, Amber Gaddy of Hopewell, Alfreda Wilson of Blackstone and Macey Taylor of Blackstone.  

Register Your Team for the Reekes Memorial Tournament

The Southside Virginia Community College Foundation presents the Fred “Freddie” Reekes Annual Memorial Golf Classic on Wednesday, June 5, 2019 at the Lake Gaston Golf Club.  Sign up now to participate in this highly anticipated event.  This year, Honorary Tournament Chairs are Shep Moss, Ken Peace, David Talbert and Andy Walker, all of whom were influenced by  Reekes when he taught at Brunswick High School.

The event is a Captain’s Choice Format with three flights awarded, first, second and third.  For more information or to register a team or become a sponsor contact

Donna Worley at 434 939 1008, donna.worley@southside.edu Bobby Wrenn at 434 594 4149 or Mary Elkins at 434 949 1051 or Mary. Elkins@southside.edu

2019 SVCC Diesel Tech Graduates

Southside Virginia Community College's Diesel Technician program celebrated graduates for 2019 recently   They are Front L-R:  Alex Payne (DE Student Powhatan), Paul Elliott (S. Prince George), Cody Lynn (Crewe), Corey Taylor (Charlotte CH), Antonion Uribe (Lawrenceville), Wilson Treese (McKenney) Bryan Lewis (Instructor)

Back L-R:  Billy McGraw (Instructor) Russell Hicks (Instructor), Tyler Pattison (Chesterfield), Malik Gentry (Roseland), Tyler Foore (Amelia Courthouse), Ethan Eggleston (S. Chesterfield) and Jacob Guill (Red Oak)

Southside Virginia Community College Truck Driver Training Graduates from Pickett Park on April 18, 2019

Front: L-R: Zachary Phillips (Kenbridge), Shaun Bragg (Warrenton, NC), Grego Coleman (Chesterfield), Juan Garcia (Alberta), A J Spino (Ebony) Bobby Doyon (instructor)

Back L-R:  Reggie White (Instructor), Doug Kemerer (Instructor), Zach Williams (Clarksville), Tom Jones (Crewe), Jonathon Folz (Rice), Mike Turner (South Hill) Duncan Quicke TDTS Coorinator, Nikki Weaver , ATA Road Team Captain and Driver for Fed Ex Freight.

SVCC Dual Enrollment Students Collaborate with Microsoft and Schneider Electric

Those who worked on the prototype insulator project are(Left to Right)Desmyn Owens, Tiffany Broadnax-Bacon, Jordan Wesson, Bryana Murphy, Philip Poole,  Ayanna Coleman, Ronnie Boyter, John Mize, Kiman McCarthy, Seita McCarthy, Justin Stansell, Vincent Brown and Scott Edmonds.

Southside Virginia Community College’s dual enrollment program is taking the student learning experience to the next level. Over the past few months,the students have been collaborating with Schneider Electric and Microsoft to rapid prototype an insulator for a DC terminal block. For these Park View High School students, this involvement has been an invaluable real-world experience.

The proposed project idea started when John Mize, Electrical Maintenance Lead for Schneider Electric, a facility management company for Microsoft, could not find an electrical cover for a high voltage electrical junction box at the Boydton datacenter. When nothing fit the specifications, he recommended working with SVCC to 3D print the part. Philip Poole, Schneider’s Critical Facility Manager drafted the design parameters and Justin Stansell, an electrical engineer for Microsoft, worked to ensure all electrical insulating properties were achieved.

The next step was involving the Advanced Manufacturing dual-enrollment students who attend class at SVCC at Lake Country Advanced Knowledge Center (LCAKC) in South Hill. 

Vincent Brown, Professor of Industrial Technologies, presented the challenge to the students.

“Simply put, I asked each student to see how they would write the code for the program and how they would solve this problem” stated Brown.

Each one quickly analyzed and researched how they would design a 3D printed electric cover. Utilizing the Autodesk Inventor program, each student inputted their design. Once this task was complete, the parts were sent to one of the 3D printers housed at the LCAKC.

Students and brothers, Kimani and Seita McCarthy, each described how they tackled the challenge.

“I measured the gap holes and then factored in an extra ½ inch gap, but this left a large gap, which was a safety issue” added Kimani.

“My approach was similar” quotes Seita, “but my overall design had to be tweaked to fit properly.”

Ronnie Boyter, and Brianna Murphy, each contributed but stressed the importance of measuring for accuracy after printing. Our main goal was to make sure our designs were safe, precise and ergonomically compliant for Schneider, they said.  

In a classroom setting producing a realistic workforce project is difficult, but when you have the opportunity to work directly with local companies the classroom training morphs into vibrant work experience. Once the fabricated prototypes were tested and modifications made, the part was approved for installation.

Recently, the students met with  Mize, Poole, and  Stansell, and explained their design methodology. As Stansell listened, he encouraged the teams to learn from each other’s design and collaborate to enhance the overall design.

Both Kimani and Seita have been accepted at Virginia Tech and will pursue degrees in engineering. Murphy has been accepted to Longwood where she is pursuing a Science degree. Boyter plans on attending SVCC in the fall to complete his degree in Industrial Maintenance. This is just a sampling of the outstanding young minds learning and growing with SVCC.

Brown, explains, “The graduates from Southside Virginia’s dual enrollment program, walk away prepared to enter the workforce or to attend four-year university. Many of the former students are now employed with Dominion Energy, Army Corp of Engineers, NASA, Newport News, MC Dean, and Rolls Royce and many local industries.  It’s exciting to be a part of a program that has such a positive impact on the lives of students .”

 “Over the course of a year, we start with students who are unsure of what direction or career path they want to pursue, but after exposure to our programs, teachers and training facility, they finish with a clear picture of the direction they want to follow,” said Tiffany Broadnax-Bacon, LCAK Center Director.

One of the goals of SVCC is to prepare students for the local workforce.  With small classroom sizes and dedicated teachers, these goals are being met. Whether you call it career, vocational, or workforce training, these dual enrollment students are immersed in technologies of the future. And that is Real World!

Graduate to deliver SVCC Address May 11

Stephen Franklin has accomplished much in his life and graduation speaker will be added to his resume on May 11, 2019 as he delivers the graduate address at Southside Virginia Community College in Keysville at 9:30 a.m. 

Franklin will graduate from SVCC as a nursing student along with more than 1,200 other eligible students from the Class of 2019.  A native of  Bossier City, Louisiana,  he is an Armed Forces Veteran with over a decade of experience in Navy Special Operations as a Search and Rescue Swimmer/Aircrewman.

He is a proud husband to wife, Celena, and father of two beautiful girls (Ava and Adelyn). He is a volunteer youth Soccer and Volleyball Coach in Halifax County and a member of the American Legion. He has an Associate’s Degree (RN) in Business Management and after completion of the SVCC Associate Degree Nursing Program plans to work in Emergency and Critical Care Medicine while continuing pursuit of advanced nursing education.

Jones Awarded Scholorship

Summer Dawn Jones senior at Greensville County High School and Southside Virginia Community College was selected to receive a scholarship in the amount of $1,000.00 from Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative.

She will be attending Virginia Commonwealth University in the fall to study nursing.

She is the daughter of Melissa and Paul Wozniak.

Community College Philanthropists Honored with 2019 Chancellor’s Award for Leadership in Philanthropy

Joining Microsoft representative, Anthony Putorek, Senior Lead Workforce Development Program Manager, at the Leadership in Philanthropy Luncheon were (left to right), Kelly Arnold, SVCC Apprenticeship Coordinator, Dr. Al Roberts, SVCC President, Dr. Glenn DuBois, VCCS Chancellor, Mr. Putorek, Jeanette Putorek and Dr. Chad Patton, SVCC Dean of Career & Occupational Technology.

Richmond – The Virginia Community College System and Chancellor Glenn DuBois has presented Microsoft represented by Anthony Putorek, Senior Lead Workforce Development Program Manager,  of Boydton, Virginia, with the 14th Annual Chancellor’s Award for Leadership in Philanthropy. Microsoft was nominated for the award by Southside Virginia Community College.

Mr. Putorek was recognized along with two dozen other individuals, families, and businesses from around Virginia for their exceptional support of Virginia’s Community Colleges. The awards were presented at a luncheon sponsored by the Virginia Foundation for Community College Education in Richmond on Tuesday, April 16th, 2019. As part of the award, each college will be given funds for the Commonwealth Legacy Scholarship, to be named in honor of the college’s 2019 Chancellor’s Award recipient.

Now in its 14th year, the Chancellor’s Award for Leadership in Philanthropy recognizes outstanding leaders who have helped support Virginia’s Community Colleges and their respective foundations. This year, among those to be honored are four members of VCCS faculty, all of whom have made contributions that have helped their colleges and their students grow. This year’s class of distinguished philanthropy leaders has contributed a combined total of more than $18 million dollars to Virginia’s Community Colleges.

Microsoft’s corporate mission is to empower every person and organization to achieve more.  SVCC is a direct benefactor of the company’s efforts through a partnership that includes the donation of data center equipment, the establishment of a scholarship program, and ongoing externships for students.

According to SVCC president Dr. Al Roberts, “This relationship with Microsoft has become a driving force for SVCC’s fastest growing information technology program.  Microsoft’s generosity extends beyond hardware and financial donations to include personal interest in student success.  The company’s employees tutor, coach, advise, and mentor, fulfilling their mission in our community.”

 

 

Donald Graham, keynote speaker and Chairman of the Board at Graham Holdings Company and Co-Founder of TheDream.US, spoke about the importance of Virginia’s Community Colleges and the ways that the philanthropists have contributed to the Commonwealth.

“We are in this room today to tell you, whether you work for one of the colleges or have given to one of the colleges, that what you are doing is absolutely right,” Graham said during his remarks. “I am so proud of this crowd for what you’re doing, and I hope you are proud of yourselves and your fellow donors and of the leaders and teachers at the community colleges you serve.

Recipients of the 2019 Chancellor’s Award for Leadership in Philanthropy:

 

  • BLUE RIDGE: Dr. and Mrs. Kenneth D. Bowman
  • CENTRAL VIRGINIA: Donna Schewel Clark Charitable Lead Annuity Trust
  • DABNEY S. LANCASTER: Stephen and Donna Vaughn
  • DANVILLE: Danville Kiwanis Club Foundation, Lions Club of Danville Foundation
  • EASTERN SHORE: Tom and Page Young*
  • GERMANNA: Mary Jane Pitts O’Neill
  • J SARGEANT REYNOLDS: Mitchell F. Haddon and Sabine Neumann
  • JOHN TYLER: Amsted Industries
  • LORD FAIRFAX: The Jenkins Family – Russell, Elta Rae, Rodney and Karen
  • MOUNTAIN EMPIRE: Ralph T. and Shirley M. Fisher
  • NEW RIVER: Dr. and Mrs. Lee Wheeler
  • NORTHERN VIRGINIA: Dr. Glenn Fatzinger
  • PATRICK HENRY: The Harvest Foundation
  • PAUL D CAMP: Charles R. Henderson, Jr., Bank of America Foundation     
  • PIEDMONT: H. Gordon* and Mary Beth Smyth
  • RAPPAHANNOCK: Rick and Sue Farmar
  • SOUTHSIDE VA: Microsoft                               
  • SOUTHWEST VA: Mary W. Lawson
  • THOMAS NELSON: Newport News Shipbuilding
  • TIDEWATER: Stanley Black & Decker
  • VIRGINIA HIGHLANDS: David and Schéry Collins
  • VIRGINIA WESTERN: Maury and Shiela Strauss Family
  • WYTHEVILLE:  Floyd and Hilda Jonas
  • VFCCE: The Petters Family Foundation

 

*honored posthumously

  •  

Correctional Officers Honored at 11th Annual Banquet

Southside Virginia Community College recently hosted the 11th Annual Corrections Awards Banquet at the Christanna Campus in Alberta to recognize Officer and Employee of the year from area correctional facilities.  The event was sponsored by Lawrenceville Correctional Center and the guest speaker was Mr. Harold W. Clarke, Director of the Virginia Department of Corrections.  Those receiving recognition are (Front Row, Left to Right) Officer Shelyne Smith of Lunenburg Correctional, Christine Watkins of Lunenburg Correctional, Shelia Booker of Diillwyn Correctional, Officer Daphne Andrews of Lawrenceville Correctional, Officer Myesha Gaines of Buckingham Correctional, Officer Michael Boone of Deerfield Correctional, Lt. Ronald Gallimore of Halifax Correctional, Lt. Aaron Benny of Greenville Correctional, Officer Milicent Clayton of Nottoway Correctional and Dr. Alfonzo Seward, Associate Professor of Criminal Justice at SVCC and (Back Row, L to RO)Tiffany Robinson of Lawrenceville Correctional, Officer Edward Tolbert of Dillwyn Correctional, Sandra Garner-Coleman of Halifax Correctional, Linda Peete-Pierce of Greensville Correctional, Veesa Gough of Buckingham Correctional, Destiny Johnson of Nottoway Correctional.  Those who were unable to attend are Officer Jennifer Ksor and Dennis Yohe or Baskerville Correctional and Sandra Banty of Deerfield Correctional.

SVCC FBLA Members Compete at State Leadership Conference

Southside Virginia Community College students Janet Wilson(Right) of Farmville and Kimberly Solomon(Left) of South Hill are in the Administrative Support Technology program. These students attended the FBLA-Phi Beta Lambda State Leadership Conference in Glen Allen on April 6, 2019 and competed against students from two- and four-year colleges across the state. Wilson placed first in Computer Applications. Solomon placed first in Administrative Technology and third in Business Communications. 

In addition to the competitions, the students and advisers participated in informative and engaging workshops on topics that included Keys to Getting the Job You Really Want, Emotional Intelligence, and Beyond Networking. 

Students were accompanied by PBL advisers, Crystal Jones and Elizabeth Burns.

VCU School of Nursing opens accelerated path to a bachelors to Rappahannock and Southside Virginia Community Colleges

RICHMOND, Va. (April 16, 2019) — The Virginia Commonwealth University School of Nursing has partnered with Southside Virginia Community College and Rappahannock Community College to offer accelerated coursework to registered nurses who are students at both community colleges, providing them a faster path to obtaining a bachelor’s degree. Students will be enrolled concurrently at VCU and their respective community colleges.

“We’re looking forward to offering SVCC and RCC nursing students a more efficient path to earn a bachelor’s of science degree in nursing, which subsequently will help to increase the number of baccalaureate-prepared RNs in Virginia’s health care workforce,” said Jean Giddens, Ph.D., dean of the VCU School of Nursing.

The partnerships are in line with a national push to enhance academic progression for nurses. In 2010, the Institute of Medicine released “The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health” report, which recommended that 80 percent of the nursing workforce be educated at a baccalaureate degree in nursing or higher by 2020. Reduction in medication errors, lower mortality rates and positive patient outcomes are linked to nurses being educated at baccalaureate and higher degree levels, according to a recent position statement by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. 

Enrollment will open on May 1 to nursing students at both community colleges and classes will start in fall 2019. Enrolled students will complete six credits of baccalaureate courses during their last year at either community college and subsequently complete the remaining credits online through the VCU School of Nursing.

Both VCU and SVCC aim to increase the number of baccalaureate-prepared nurses who might seek employment at VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital in South Hill, Virginia, and other health care facilities in Southside Virginia, said Michelle Edmonds, DNP, dean of nursing, allied health and natural sciences at Southside Virginia Community College.

“This partnership brings world-class baccalaureate education to the communities of Southside Virginia,” Edmonds said. “Additionally, the partnership will increase the number of baccalaureate-prepared registered nurses to Southside Virginia. I am certain that SVCC and VCU will together advance the health of this region.”

The agreement with Rappahannock Community College will provide nursing students in eastern Virginia with more extensive educational opportunities, said Ellen Koehler, an associate professor of nursing for Rappahannock Community College.

“This concurrent enrollment agreement with VCU School of Nursing is an extraordinary opportunity for the students of the Northern Neck and Middle Peninsula region,” Koehler said. “This affords our students the opportunity to enhance their career goals toward a bachelor’s degree in nursing from a prestigious school that values advancing the profession of nursing.”

Springtime in Paris From SVCC Chorus

The acclaimed Southside Virginia Community College (SVCC) Chorus, is bringing “Springtime in Paris” with Harpist, Winifred Garrett to Southside Virginia on Sunday, April 28th at 3:00 PM at the South Hill Presbyterian Church at 914 N. Mecklenburg Ave, South Hill, VA 23970. Admission is free.

The Chorus of the Southside Virginia Community College is fully supported by SVCC, your local community college, and its Foundation. SVCC realizes the value of bringing quality choral music to you in Southside Virginia. Because of the valuable support of the SVCC Foundation, harpist Winifred Garrett from Durham, NC will be performing this Spring with flutes, Dee Pinnell and Laurel Sciortino, both from Boydton. This exceptional concert will be offered at South Hill Presbyterian Church’s accessible space at no cost to you.

Winifred Garrett last played with the SVCC Chorus in December 2015. She is a noted harpist from Durham where she teaches and performs within a full concert and recital schedule. With a career of over thirty years, Winifred has had the privilege of being the first African American harpist to grace the stage in countless performance venues and settings. The Founder/Artistic Director of “The Harp Studio” based in Durham, North Carolina, highlights from her performance career includes appearances with Stevie Wonder at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City, performing with Marvin Gaye at Radio City Music Hall, playing the wedding of singer/actress Whitney Houston, and performing with the Boys Choir of Harlem and for the Dance Theater of Harlem. She continues to maintain a heavy performance schedule and is the Principal Harpist for the Fayetteville Symphony. She presently plays for the Umstead Hotel and Spa, one of the prestigious four star/five diamond hotels of North Carolina.

“Springtime in Paris” features a Romantic selection of music for Harp, Chorus, Piano and Flutes with a French accent, composed by Gabriel Fauré, Aaron Copland, and even a Claude Debussy harp solo. Fresh arrangements of, “Angel Band”, tunes by George Gershwin and Irving Berlin, “Goin’ Home” by Antonin Dvořák, popular love songs,  and music from “Les Miserablés”, are just a sampling of the repertoire to be presented on April 28.

The SVCC Chorus has been under the direction of Carol Henderson of Buffalo Junction since 2014. And through the support of pianist Sally Tharrington of Boydton, and the inclusion of its great singers, the chorus is growing in vocal beauty. Rehearsals are conveniently located at the crossroads of Highway 58, Route 1, and Interstate 85 at the South Hill Presbyterian Church. The chorus, now 42 members, continues to attract new singers from the surrounding Southside areas. Rehearsals for Fall 2019 will begin on the Sunday following Labor Day, September 8th at 6:00 PM at South Hill Presbyterian Church.

Thorough continued support by SVCC and its Foundation, we are looking forward to plans for 2019-20 season which include brass and carols for Holiday Concerts 2019,  and  a special presentation of  Handel’s MessiahPart 2 with chamber orchestra for Spring 2020. For more information on the SVCC Chorus: NEW! visit:www. southside.edu/svcc-chorus

The SVCC Chorus promises to bring you a concert of excellence and beauty,…and what better inspiration than with music of the classical harp and music from France! Presented on Sunday, April 28, 2019 at 3:00 PM at South Hill Presbyterian Church, fully accessible, the concert includes a reception. Church lot parking is available, and also, across the street at Benchmark Bank and the neighboring parking lot. You are invited to bring your families, friends and neighbors for “Springtime in Paris”!

Dr. Quentin R. Johnson Hired as the Next President Southside Virginia Community College

RICHMOND– Dr. Glenn DuBois, chancellor of Virginia’s Community Colleges, announced today that Dr. Quentin R. Johnson, currently of Mooresville, North Carolina, will become the next president of Southside Virginia Community College. He will assume the role at the beginning of July. Johnson’s selection marks the end of national search that attracted 81 applicants.

“Quentin Johnson brings to the table a strong student services background, and a deep understanding of the needs of nontraditional students – a group that we need to focus on,” said Glenn DuBois, chancellor of Virginia’s Community Colleges. “And he believes deeply in what we do. In fact, his son is currently attending one of our community colleges.”

Johnson has worked in higher education senior leadership roles for more than 20 years. That includes, beginning in 2004, serving as the president’s chief of staff and acting vice president for Student Life and Enrollment Management at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. In 2011, he became senior vice president for Enrollment and Student Services at Fairmont State University and Pierpont Community and Technical College in West Virginia.

Johnson moved to Guilford Technical Community College in North Carolina in 2012 to become the vice president of Student Support Services, the position he holds today. He also has some Virginia experience, previously serving as the assistant dean for Enrollment Management & Student Services at the UVa School of Nursing.

Johnson earned a doctorate from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore; a master’s degree from Bowling Green State University; and a bachelor’s degree from Defiance College in Defiance, Ohio.

"After a thorough and fruitful search process, our board is delighted that Dr. Quentin Johnson will be the next president of Southside Virginia Community College.  He brings an energy and insight that will prove to be invaluable in taking SVCC to the next level of service in our communities," said Betsy Sharrett, chair of the Southside Virginia Community College local board.

Johnson will succeed Dr. Al Roberts, the college’s fifth president, who announced last fall that he was retiring at the end of June, having served as president for five years.

SVCC serves one small city and spans ten rural counties across southern Virginia. The college offers 23 degrees at the associate level, a host of shorter-term academic and workforce development programs, opportunities for dually enrolled high school students, adult basic education, and other transitional services for non-traditional students.

Let’s Get REAL about Education for Inmates

By Dr. Al Roberts

I believe in the transformative power of education.

Earlier generations considered high school completion the key to success. Many viewed postsecondary education an extravagance because folks with high school diplomas could secure good-paying jobs. Today, that is no longer the case. Finding a job with family-sustaining wages often requires education beyond high school, whether it be the completion of a certificate program, the attainment of industry-recognized credentials, or earning an Associate’s or higher academic degree.

When it comes to recognizing the benefits of education, incarcerated people are often overlooked. This lapse may be counterproductive. A study completed earlier this year by the Vera Institute of Justice and the Georgetown Center on Poverty and Inequality revealed that inmates who received college-level education were much more able to reenter communities successfully upon release. The report concluded, “Expanding access to postsecondary education in prison is likely to reduce recidivism rates, resulting in a decrease in incarceration costs across states of $365.8 million per year.”

Lisa Hudson, Coordinator of SVCC’s Campus Within Walls program, has seen compelling evidence regarding the value of education for inmates. “Our prison college program not only benefits Virginia and makes fiscal sense, it also positively impacts our students. We believe that human beings have value and are capable of making positive life changes. We know that 95% of people in prison will eventually be released.  In Virginia, the 13,000 people released annually from prison represent an opportunity.  Through college classes, we prepare incarcerated Virginians to reenter our communities as educated, employable, and taxpaying neighbors.”

Accessing postsecondary education in prison can pose a challenge, however. Individuals with substantial financial need often receive Pell Grant assistance, but in 1994, federal lawmakers instituted a ban on Pell Grants for inmates. Without funds for tuition, the number of education programs available to people behind bars plummeted. A recent trial program, the Second Chance Pell Experimental Sites Initiative, lifted the ban on Pell Grant eligibility among incarcerated populations at 67 sites across the nation. Data indicate that when inmates access higher education in prison, they are 43 percent less likely to reoffend after release when compared with inmates lacking a similar opportunity.

The 116th Congress is preparing to consider the legislation “Restoring Education And Learning (REAL) Act of 2019” to reinstate Pell Grant eligibility for incarcerated individuals. Because education is one of the best and most cost-effective means of helping former inmates avoid a subsequent term behind bars, its potential is as REAL as its name.

Education remains key in efforts to transform lives, families, communities, and the local economy. SVCC remains committed to the belief that all people should have educational opportunities, and that includes the incarcerated people in our service region.

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.

Truck Driver Training Classes

Southside Virginia Community College is offering Truck Driver Training in May at locations in Emporia, Virginia and South Boston, Virginia.  The Emporia class will begin May 6, 2019.  Classes run for six weeks.  The South Boston class begins May 13, 2019.

For information, call Susan Early at 434-292-3101.

SVCC Nursing Programs Tops In State According to RegisteredNursing.org

RegisteredNursing.org has just released its list of 2019 Best RN Programs in Virginia, and Southside Virginia Community College's RN programs have been ranked among of the best in Virginia! 

The Christanna Campus program was ranked #3, while the South Boston and Daniel Campus programs were ranked #8 and #9, out of 62 RN programs assessed.

Nursing programs were assessed on several factors which represent how well a program supports students towards licensure and beyond.

Dr. Michelle Edmonds, SVCC Dean of Nursing, Allied Health, and Natural Sciences, said, “This designation is certainly an honor.  It validates all the hard work our faculty and staff do to insure student success.  Our program is very rigorous and this clearly demonstrates our success.”

According to the website RegisteredNursing.org, “Graduates from Southside Virginia Community College in Alberta, Virginia are given five core values throughout the education process including patient-centered care, professional identity, nursing judgement, collaboration and safe and effective care.  These values are what makes the graduates an exceptional addition to the nursing field.”  Christanna Campus scored 97.63 out of 100.

The site also stated, “Southside Virginia Community College’s South Boston campus offers and ADN degree to prepare students for a career in registered nursing. The curriculum includes coursework and clinical learning experiences arranged within the community to give students a complete nursing education.”  The South Boston overall score was 95.55.

And this was noted about the final site, “Southside Virginia Community College’s John H. Daniel campus in Keysivlle offers students an exceptional Associate of Applied Science nursing program.  The dedicated faculty guide students to deftly perform the duties of a registered nurse with confidence.”  Their score was 95.32.

For information on the program at SVCC, contact Rebecca Laben, Health Sciences Counselor, at 434 736 2214.

Clary’s Cool Job Keeps Her Down On The Farm

Bridgette Clary’s job is cool because it allowed her to follow her heart into farming, something she was raised on and dearly loves. She started her new job on March 6 and is the Virginia Territory Sales Representative for Zeigler's Distributor, Lebanon, Pennsylvania.

“I am responsible for overseeing existing accounts and generating new sales for my territory. Zeigler's is a family-owned pet food and supply distributor that distributes several high- quality brands,” she said.

An SVCC alumnus with an Associate of Applied Sciences with specialization in Agribusiness, she said, “When I first started college I was on a totally different career path than Agribusiness, but growing up on the farm and being involved with it my whole life, eventually my heart led me 'home'.”

She notes that she grew up on her great grandparent’s farm near Alberta where they raised beef cattle, tobacco and small grains. She spent her childhood on the farm and her parents often had to beg her to come home. This is also where she was introduced to cattle or ‘moo cows’ and continues her love of raising these animals.

“I currently live on a beef cattle and small grain farm with my fiancé, David, where we breed and raise Sim/Angus and Black Angus cattle along with wheat and soybeans. When I'm not working or showing dogs, I enjoy spending my time riding my horses and working cattle,” she said.

After her graduation from SVCC, Clary continued to work in the agriculture field with a sales job at E.E. Vaughan and Sons in Lawrenceville and, with animals, at Brunswick Veterinary Clinic in Lawrenceville.

“My biggest piece of advice to any new student, or any student for that matter, would be to never give up on your dreams. It was important for me to be able to study the field I wanted to major in and remain close to home on the farm,” she said. 

“I compete in AKC dog shows across the country all throughout the year and being able to remain close to home and study my field of choice while being home on the weekends to attend shows was ideal. I have been involved with competition hunting and showing Coonhounds since I was 13 and currently raise, breed and handle national winning UKC and AKC registered Treeing Walker and Bluetick Coonhounds,” she noted.

About her advisor and AGR instructor,  Dr. Dixie Watts Dalton, clary said she was a huge part of her success at SVCC.

“I will forever be grateful to her and SVCC for offering such an amazing program,” she said.   

In the future, continuing her education in anything that is agriculturally based is very important.  Her goal is to continue to be actively involved with the agriculture field through her current job and any future job as well as to continue to produce and raise beef cattle.

Mentoring for Success

By Dr. Al Roberts

Audrey Williams June, writing in the October 2018 issue of Chronicle of Higher Education, reported, "Having a mentor can make a big difference in student's academic success—particularly for members of underrepresented groups." Her comments were based on the result of a Strada-Gallup Alumni survey of more than 5,000 recent college graduates.

The National Mentoring Partnership explains that mentoring “guarantees young people that there is someone who cares about them, assures them that they are not alone in dealing with day-to-day challenges, and makes them feel like they matter.” Statistics reveal that young adults who were at-risk for falling off track but had a mentor were 55% more likely to enroll in college, 78% more likely to volunteer regularly, and 130% more likely to hold leadership positions.

According to the Strada-Gallup Alumni survey, nearly two-thirds of alumni who had a mentor during college said that person was a professor. College staff members were next on the list. Students benefited from mentors’ guidance regarding their educational studies, career plans, personal issues, and physical and mental health.

While the benefits of mentoring are well documented, the survey also pointed to national inequalities in access to mentors. It noted that although 72% of white alumni reported having been mentored by a faculty member, only 47% of alumni of color described the same experience.

At Southside Virginia Community College, faculty and staff work together to ensure that all students have the opportunity to receive guidance and encouragement. SVCC programs based on mentoring relationships include Make It Happen, Women in Search of Excellence, and Great Expectations.

Make It Happen (MIH) focuses on the academic success of rural young men of color, a group that often lags behind its white and urban peers. One cause is the lack of socioeconomic support, which can promote workforce entry over college. MIH provides an institutional climate supportive of the success of African-American males by providing mentoring, ensuring academic support services, and promoting academic achievement.

Women in Search of Excellence (WISE), a new program just entering its second year, has already amassed significant achievements. WISE participants receive coaching for success, work on building academic skills, explore career options, and plan for their futures. They also participate in team building activities and assist others through community service opportunities.

Great Expectations serves current and former foster youth. Participating young people receive active support as they explore career possibilities, locate sources of financial aid, and succeed in college.

SVCC faculty and staff give generously of themselves to enrich the lives of students—in and out of the classroom. If you’d like more information about mentoring programs or other student support services, please contact Bernadette Battle, Dean for Student Success, at 434-949-1063.

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.

Job Fair Planned for April 10, 2019

Job Fair 2019 will be held on Wednesday, April 10, 2019 from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Southside Virginia Education Center at 1300 Greensville County Circle, Emporia.  This event is open to all job seekers so dress to impress, bring resumes, a photo id and copy of your WorkKeys Career Readiness Certificate that will be a pass to get in at 12:45. 

This event is sponsored by Southside Virginia Community College Workforce Development and Student Development Services.  For information, call Courtney Starke at 434-949-6614 or email Courtney.starke@southside.edu

Employers that will be on site include:

Lake Country Area Agency on Aging

Greensville Correctional Center

Emporia VEC

Armor Correctional Health Services

Envoy of Lawrenceville

Walmart- Emporia

Penmac Staffing Services

Greensville Health and Rehabilitation Center

Avon

P&S Trucking

Lincoln Heritage Insurance

The GEO Group

Virginia Department of Corrections

Greensville/Sussex 1

Meherrin River Regional Jail

Learning House/Partner Plus

Heritage Hall Blackstone

Melvin L. Davis Oil Company

Southside Regional Jail

Walker Navigated to a Cool Job

Since people are not born with navigation systems installed, the road to success is not always straight, fast, and without bumps along the way.  Dixie Walker, who has a cool job as the new Tourism Coordinator for Brunswick County, took such a journey in her educational pursuit.

While attending high school, Walker enrolled in Dual Enrollment classes at Southside Virginia Community College as early as the ninth grade.  These classes, combined with summer and online courses, enabled her to complete an Associate degree in General Studies from SVCC along with graduating high school the same year.

After a brief stay at Virginia Tech, Walker decided to transfer her esteemed SVCC associate degree to Radford University where she earned two Bachelor of Science degrees which included a minor in Marketing. During her time at Radford University, Walker also served three years as a Radford University Ambassador.

Upon graduation, she returned to Southside Virginia where she utilized her creative talents. She has worked for locally owned small businesses in our surrounding community.  Walker used her creative skill set to help promote and market these businesses through several different medias. She’s held a job since she was fifteen serving the public and gaining customer service expertise.  Walker has also served as President of the South Hill Junior Women’s Club for two years and is still an active member.  She recently was recognized as “Member of the Year” by her fellow club members. After becoming a member of the club, she was able to further use her talents to promote the club through social media, raise money hosting special events for the community, and inspire her follow club members.

“It’s all added up to this,” she said recently from the new Brunswick Byways Visitor Center located on Christanna Highway 46 south of Lawrenceville.       

Completed in October 2017, the Center serves and informs the traveling public about Brunswick County’s Native American heritage, Colonial American “frontier” history, Civil War history, early American religious history, natural resources and assets, and agricultural economy.   Besides operating the Center, Walker works with other special events throughout the county including the Taste of Brunswick held in October and the Brunswick Stew Day at the capitol in Richmond.  She also coordinates volunteers at the Center and greets visitors to the county.

She is also proud to have taken advantage of the offerings at SVCC. “I liked the smaller class size at SVCC, the rural area and the one-on-one attention students received from the teachers.  The faculty and staff at SVCC care about you and your educational journey. They want to see you succeed no matter whichever path you may be on. Everyone seems pleased to be on campus and in the classroom, learning. It is a textbook learning environment for someone from a small town who doesn’t like to be distracted from reaching their goal. The paths are clear and straight at SVCC as to what’s needed to obtain your chosen goal, there are hardly any unexpected speed bumps or hurdles as long as you do your part” Walker said. 

SVCC Truck Driver Training to Start in March at Pickett Park

Truck Driver Training through Southside Virginia Community College will be offered in March of 2019.  Classes at the Pickett Park site in Blackstone begin March 11, 2019.  The South Boston site will begin a class on March 18, 2019.  Train now for a great well-paying job.   The classes will run for six weeks, Monday through Thursday from 7 a.m. until 5 p.m.   SVCC's program is an excellent school turning out qualified drivers that are in high demand.  Pre-registration is required so contact the school at 434 292 3101 or visit our website at www.southside.edu for more information.  There is assistance with tuition so call soon to register for this exciting program to put you on the road to success.

Reading across the Community

Reading is important. The One World Literacy Foundation explains, “Reading is how we discover new things and how we develop a positive self-image. The ability to read is a vital skill in being able to function in today's society. Reading is important because it helps to expand the mind and develops the imagination.”

Echoing these sentiments, popular author Neil Gaiman says, “Literacy is more important than ever it was, in this world of text and email, a world of written information. We need to read and write, we need global citizens who can read comfortably, comprehend what they are reading, understand nuance, and make themselves understood.”

The National Endowment for the Arts notes, “Literature inspires, enriches, educates, and entertains. It reminds us that there is beauty and joy in language, that others have insights worth paying attention to, that in our struggles we are not alone.” Furthermore, NEA cites scientific evidence confirming that reading for pleasure reduces stress, improves empathy, helps students achieve better test sores, slows the onset of dementia, and encourages citizens to become more active and aware.

To support all these benefits, and in conjunction with its own Quality Enhancement Plan, “iRead, iLead, iSucceed: A Commitment to Literacy,”  Southside Virginia Community College applied for NEA grant funding to conduct an NEA Big Read program across the communities in our service area. Through a competitive process, the SVCC was selected as one of 75 applicants representing institutions across the nation to receive an award.

The title chosen for SVCC’s NEA Big Read is A Lesson before Dying by Earnest J. Gaines. Set in Louisiana during the 1940s, the novel tells the story of a young, uneducated black man who has been incarcerated and sentenced to death for his alleged participation in the murder of a white storekeeper. A college-educated black man who teaches in a nearby plantation school befriends him. Together, both men search for ways to live with dignity.

SVCC’s NEA Big Read program is currently in full swing, and I’d like to invite you to participate in a book discussion and one of the slated special events. Here’s a sampling: A panel discussion will be held at the Robert Russa Moton Museum in Farmville on February 21, 2019 beginning at 5:30 p.m. A movie adaptation of the book, starring Cicely Tyson, Mekhi Phifer, and Don Cheadle, will be shown at the Brunswick County Library in Lawrenceville on March 11, 2019 at 6:00 p.m. The Longwood University Jazz band will present a concert of songs related to the book and time period at SVCC’s Daniel Campus in Keysville on March 26, 2019 at 5:00 p.m. For more details and additional information, visit SVCC’s website at www.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.

Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative Donates to Southside Virginia Community College

Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative (MEC) donated a  a 2004 GMC truck to assist with training of future technicians through the automotive program at Southside Virginia Community College (SVCC). According to Jeremy Parenti, the lead instructor, “The donation of this truck helps to round out our fleet of vehicles allowing our students to have hands-on training in a variety of vehicle types.” Participating in the delivery are (from left) Kris Newcomb and Ray DeJarnette of MEC and Jeremy Parenti and Chad Patton of SVCC.

John Shepherd Has a Cool Job

John Shepherd’s job is cool because he practices the ancient art of farming using modern methods.  Recently, he and his wife, Lydia, of Nottoway County, were awarded third place in the 2019 American Farm Bureau Federation Young Farmers & Ranchers Achievement Award.

According to the Virginia Farm Bureau news release, “The Achievement Award honors young farmers who are successful in production agriculture and provide leadership on and off the farm. State-level winners from Farm Bureaus across the nation compete for the award, and judges narrow the field to 10 finalists.”

The Shepherds called the recognition “pretty amazing” and said the competition had been an exciting process. The Shepherds serve on the VFBF Young Farmers Committee and raise wheat, rapeseed, corn and soybeans on their farm near Blackstone.

            John is a Southside Virginia Community College (SVCC) graduate who attended a full two years before transferring to Virginia Tech (VT) where he received a degree in Agricultural Science.  He received minors in Biology and Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences.  He planted his first crop in the fall of 2007 while finishing his last semester at VT. 

About his SVCC experience, he said, “I am excited that SVCC now offers Agribusiness as part of the curriculum.  The community college helped me to mature and prepare for a four-year school.  Also, I saved a bunch of money and I would recommend community college to everyone.”

The Shepherd’s started their farm from scratch and said in the VFB article, “the fact that we built from the ground up without inheriting a farm” helped them place so high in the national competition. 

After graduating from VT, he was working full-time as a seed and fertilizer representative when he began buying land for his future farming career.  Shepherd serves on the Nottoway Country Farm Bureau board of directors and Lydia teaches at Kenston Forest School in Blackstone.  They were recipients of the 2011 VFBF Young Farmers Environmental Stewardship Awards and the 2012 Bayer Crops Science Young Farmer Sustainability Award.  The couple uses conservation practices in their farming business.

The Shepherd’s truly are a farm family as their days are spent raising crops and three children!!

Tammy Ezzell Receivs Scholorship

Tammy Ezell (Center) of Brodnax, a resident of Brodnax, is the recipient of the K. George Verghese Memorial Academic Merit Award for Southside Virginia Community College (SVCC).  This award recognizes her academic achievements.  The award was established by the Arts and Sciences faculty at the Christanna Campus of SVCC and supported by the Verghese family to commemorate the instrumental role played by Dr. Verghese in the establishment of both the Registered Nursing and Practical Nursing programs at the college.  Leigh Moore (Left), Associate Professor of Nursing, and Felicia Omick (Right), Associate Professor of Nursing, are shown with Ms. Ezell.  

Microsoft Donates to Southside Virginia Community College

Shown with the donation from Microsoft to Southside Virginia Community College are (Left to Right) Kelly Arnold, SVCC Apprenticeship Coordinator, Dr. Al Roberts, SVCC President, Anthony Putorek, Senior Lead Workforce Development Program Manager for Microsoft, and Mary Jane Elkins, Dean of Institutional Advancement for SVCC.

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.  Anthony Putorek, Senior Lead Workforce Development Program Manager for Microsoft, said simply, “We are investing in people and developing communities.”

The company recently donated another $45,000 towards student success and has invested in the community by providing 14 scholarships to students in the past.

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.

Dr. Al Roberts said, “Microsoft has been a true partner in our community and has provided valuable support for this IT program offering.  We appreciate their investment in the future of Southside Virginia.”

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

The CITE and ITA labs are an example of how a partnership can make things happen for a community. Microsoft and their involvement impacts Southside Virginia and those seeking a future with a career in IT.

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