yanceyThe Virginia Western Educational Foundation is pleased to recognize Deborah A. Yancey, Class of ‘97 and ’98, as its 2015 Distinguished Alumni.  The award was presented at the Virginia Western Community College Educational Foundation Annual Awards Ceremony, held March 25.  Yancey received the award from the 2014 Distinguished Alumni award winner, Virginia Western Police Chief Craig Harris.

Established in 2006 by the Virginia Western Alumni Association, the Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes Virginia Western Community College alumni and former students who have attained extraordinary distinction in their professional field or life and serves to honor all the men and women whose attendance at Virginia Western helped them achieve their educational and professional goals allowing them to better serve their communities.

“Debbie is well-known for the constant, compassionate dedication displayed toward her students,” said Dr. Angela Falconetti, Vice President of Institutional Advancement and Executive Director of Virginia Western’s Educational Foundation.  “Debbie has always been a favorite teacher and valued colleague, and is a courageous, creative and graceful leader. She embodies the true spirit of service, scholarship and accomplishment that defines a 2015 Distinguished Alumni.”

Yancey’s relationship with Virginia Western began in 1996, when she became a student as well as a part-time tutor.  She completed an associate’s degree in Accounting with cum laude honors in May 1997, receiving another associate’s degree in Management, again cum laude, in December of that same year.  She received a third AAS in Banking & Finance from VWCC in 1998.   She received her BA in Accounting from Radford University in 2000, and she achieved a Master’s of Business Administration from Averett University in 2003.

Yancey became an adjunct faculty instructor in 2003, moving to full time within a few years.  She continued to teach until 2014, and currently serves the College as Dean of Business, Technology and Trades.

Her commitment to student success is nowhere more evident than in her Suits for Students initiative.

Striving to best prepare students for their futures, Yancey had her students undergo “mock real-world interviews.”  The exercise required students to actually prepare and present themselves for an appointment with a new employer.

Knowing that dressing for success is not always possible for everyone, Yancey collected suits for the students to borrow if needed.  To do so, she gathered donations or purchased the suits herself. These suits have since been donated to the Hall Associates Career Center on campus to continue to help Virginia Western students make the transition to real-world success.

For more information about the Distinguished Alumni nomination process or Alumni Relations, contact Amanda Mansfield, Donor Relations Coordinator, at (540) 857-6926 or amansfield@virginiawestern.edu.