Type your search keyword, and press enter

Virginia Western 2021 Distinguished Alumni Award Call for Nominations

The Virginia Western Educational Foundation and the Virginia Western Alumni Association are calling for nominations for the 2021 Distinguished Alumni Award.  The annual recipient or recipients will receive the award at a special Scholarship Awards Ceremony in the spring, and a plaque will be placed on the Virginia Western Distinguished Alumni Wall outside Whitman Theater.

For many, the road to lifetime achievement started at Virginia Western Community College.  The Virginia Western Alumni Association established the Distinguished Alumni Award in 2006 to recognize those alumni who have achieved outstanding success and made a lasting impact on their community. The prestigious award is intended to showcase the diversity of Virginia Western graduates and their range of influence on our region.

Prior honorees:  

2020 – Tony Pearman ’10

2019 – Deborah L. Petrine ’74

2018 – Elizabeth Testerman ’06

2017 – Dr. Carol Swain ’78

2016 – Mary B. Loritsch Ed.D., R.T. (R) ’74 and Michael A. Crawley

2015 – Deborah A. Yancey ’97 and ’98

2014 – Chief Craig S. Harris ’00 & J. David Wine ’73

2013 – Cheryl Cunningham ’86

2012 – Anne Hogan ’76

2011 – Carolyn Webster ’81

2010 – Russell H. Ellis ’80

2009 – Shirl D. Lamanca ’75 and Dennis R. Cronk ’72

2008 – Donna L. Mitchell ’81

2007 – Dr. Kent A. Murphy and Charlotte C. Tyson ’84

2006 – John B. Williamson III ’75

Anne Hogan (’76), serves as chairwoman of the Alumni Association. The Association fosters a mutually beneficial relationship and interaction between the College, its alumni, and the community; connecting with the college community to recognize and foster the diverse talents and successes of Virginia Western graduates.

Distinguished Alumni Eligibility requirements:

To be eligible for nomination, the candidate must:

  • Be a graduate of or have completed a minimum of two semesters at Virginia Western Community College.
  • Have attained extraordinary distinction and success in his or her profession or life.
  • Be a person of such integrity and stature that the College will take pride in his or her recognition.
  • Have attained regional, statewide or national prominence and significant involvement in civic, cultural or charitable affairs.

How to nominate:

Anyone may nominate a Virginia Western Community College alumna/us or former student for this award by completing a nomination form.  This form can be submitted online or downloaded from the College’s website at virginiawestern.edu/alumni.  Two letters of reference are also required. 


Nominations must be received by Feb. 28, 2021.

For more information, contact Amanda Mansfield, Philanthropy Director, Virginia Western Community College Educational Foundation, at amansfield@virginiawestern.edu or (540) 857-6962.

Educational Foundation announces new board leaders

William J. Farrell II, President of Berglund Automotive Group, has been named Chair of the Virginia Western Community College Educational Foundation Board of Directors. Russ Ellett, President of Excel Truck Center, also joins Board leadership as Treasurer.

Neil D. Wilkin Jr., CEO of Optical Cable Corp., will move to the position of Immediate Past Chair. Other officers include: Vice Chair Deborah L. Petrine, CEO and Chair of Commonwealth Care of Roanoke, and Secretary Tammy Moss Finley, Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of Advance Auto Parts. W. Heywood Fralin, Chair of Medical Facilities of America, will lead the Educational Foundation’s Nominating Committee.

Chris Carey, President of VACORP and Metis Holdings, joins the Board as an at-large member.

The volunteer Board of Directors guides the Educational Foundation’s mission of supporting student scholarships, faculty development and endowment initiatives at Virginia Western. Board members have been the driving force behind Virginia Western’s Community College Access Program (CCAP), a successful public-private partnership that provides up to three years of tuition to eligible students. Since its founding in 2008, CCAP has supported 3,124 students and is the largest College Promise program in Virginia. There is still time for students interested in CCAP to apply before the Feb. 1, 2021 deadline at: https://virginiawestern.edu/ccap/index.php.

Virginia Western announces Spring Semester plans

Virginia Western Community College will provide a full array of Spring Semester classes with a mixture of online and remote learning formats along with in-person technical training, clinical and lab instruction. The college strives to meet the safety, health and well-being of the entire community, and to continue its mission to provide quality educational and training opportunities.

Virginia Western will provide the majority of lecture and general education courses online and will be prepared to pivot its hybrid and hands-on courses to online should that be necessary. Some online courses are structured to meet at specific times on tools like Zoom, just like a traditional in-person class, so students can engage with their instructor and classmates together. Others offer a chance to learn material at one’s own pace, needing simply to complete assignments or take exams by specific deadlines. Our faculty stand ready to help students succeed, regardless of which mode they prefer.

Read more about Virginia’s Community Colleges and their system-wide plans in a letter from Chancellor Glen DuBois: https://www.vccs.edu/blog/a-letter-from-the-chancellor-to-our-students/.

New scholarship to help increase diversity in advertising fields

February’s Black History Month is an important time to recognize and honor the contributions African-Americans have made in the United States and to acknowledge the hardships they have faced. It is also a time to examine our institutions and advance ways to strengthen them through enhanced diversity.

The Virginia Western Educational Foundation is proud to launch new annual and endowed scholarships, with support from an area advertising agency, intended to create greater diversity in the communications and advertising fields. The Virginia Western BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) Annual Scholarship will be available to students in communications and advertising fields in Fall Semester 2021.

Interested students may apply for the scholarship beginning on March 1 at: https://virginiawestern.edu/foundation/scholarship/index.php.

 “We acknowledge that this scholarship is not a solution and is only one small step in welcoming new voices and new talent to our industry,” said Tony Pearman, President and CEO of Access Advertising & Public Relations which launched the fund with a lead gift. “Access, along with others, still has a lot of work to do; but our hope is that our peers will join us in creating opportunities to inspire BIPOC students to share their voices with the world through our industry.” 

“We are extremely grateful for this generous gift from Access to launch the BIPOC Annual Scholarship,” said Dr. Robert H. Sandel, President of Virginia Western. “Access understands the intrinsic value of higher education and we hope this scholarship will open doors for a diverse array of students to seek their careers in communications and advertising.”

The scholarship will provide tuition assistance to a student enrolled in at least six credits per semester in a communications/advertising program of study. Applicable coursework at time of establishment includes Visual Design, Communication Design, Management, Administrative Management Technology, Web Programmer and Management: Entrepreneurship.

Access Advertising & Public Relations has served clients both domestically and internationally from its Roanoke office for more then 24 years.

For more information on how you can support the BIPOC Annual Scholarship or others, contact:
Amanda Mansfield, Philanthropy Director
Virginia Western Community College Educational Foundation
(540) 857-6962

CCAP scholarship awards grow 12 percent

Virginia Western’s Community College Access Program (CCAP) is making college possible, tuition-free, this fall for 494 recent graduates of Roanoke Valley high schools. That number represents a 12 percent increase from the prior academic year’s enrollment. The number of first-year students alone jumped up 13 percent.

“We have always believed CCAP offers an incredible value for our students, with quality instruction and an affordable path to transferring to a four-year school,” said Neil D. Wilkin Jr., Chair of the Virginia Western Community College Educational Foundation. “When the COVID crisis hit, we responded by reaching out even more to applicants. We are heartened to see so many respond and take advantage of this program.”

CCAP provides up to three years of tuition for high school graduates who meet program requirements, as funding allows. Since 2008, more than 3,100 Roanoke Valley students have participated in the program.

The Virginia Western Community College Educational Foundation, a nonprofit affiliated with Virginia Western Community College, raises support for CCAP through a public/private funding partnership.

The 2021 CCAP application period opened Oct. 1 and closes Feb. 1, 2021. Families interested in learning more about CCAP are invited to attend upcoming ZOOM information sessions, scheduled for midday and evening times through January. Registration is required at virginiawestern.edu/CCAP.

They also can sign up for important CCAP updates about application deadlines, financial aid workshops and more by texting “CCAP2021” to 31996. (Reply STOP to cancel, HELP for help; message and data rates apply.)
For more information about CCAP, see virginiawestern.edu/ccap or contact Carolyn Payne, CCAP Coordinator: (540) 857-7544 or cpayne@virginiawestern.edu.

CCAP recipients for 2020-21 are:

Austin Allen, Caylie Allen, Brenna Alls, Isaac Brooks, Zeniyah Brown, Destiny Cash, Jonathan Church, Joseph Desai, Tia Franson, Kiah Hall, Steven Harris, Christina Hensley, John Hurley, Samuel Jamison, Heather Johnson, Aleah Johnston, Coby Kingery, Zander LeNoir, Jessica Link, Andrew Lucas, Peter Middleton, Kendra Puckett, Sierra Ray, Dakota Sparks, Jeb Thompson, Caleb Van Buren, Hannah Williams and Kelsey Williamson

Samantha Aldrich, Emily Bruno, Caitlin Campbell, Brody Cook, Craig Farmer, Jonathan Girard, Ashton Huddleston, Aimee Lowe, Trinity Martin, Randall McGee, Zachary Noel, Erin Peery, Jessica Rocha, Ariana Rochay, Hunter Williams and Caroline Wilson

3rd YEAR
Eric Filer, Kyle Hayslett, Aaron King, William McAllister, Daniel Peters and Riley Sartorius


Victoria Blevins, Jenna Bostic, Hunter Brizendine, Matthew Charles, Chase Huffman, Garrett Paitsel, Autumn Sarver and Andrew Wolfe

Ashlyn Bradley, Madison Hannah, Elizabeth Howard, Maggie Huffman, Taylor Huffman, Tyra Hutton, Sadie McAllister, Kaylee Pauley, Brandon Swingle, Laneley Taylor and Caleb Todd


Tyler Agee, William Akers, Heidi Austin, Natasha Barkovich, Laura Bartolo, Austin Behrendt, Alexis Bergman, Savana Bicking, Foster Bornstein, Jessica Bowman, Joshua Britts, Daulton Brooks, Ambria Brown, Emily Burgess, Claire Burnette, Hayley Carroll, Autumn Clingenpeel, Caleb Cokendolpher, Jennifer Cruz-Santos, Anna Decker, Lena Ferrell, Jacob Flora, Meagan Florio, Jazmyn Franklin, Evelyn Gordon, Bethany Graham, Zachary Green, Blake Greenway, Skylar Grigorieff, Bailey Haskins, Savannah Henderson, Casey Hodges, Nathaniel Hodges, Cieanna Holland, Emma Janney, Taylor Janney, Courtney Johnson, Noah Keen, Kathryn Kincer, Breanna LaBrake, Jacob Lemon, Sydney Light, Sophie Martin, Zoe Mills, Karly Mullins, Ethan Pagans, Kavyn Page, Brandon Passalacqua, Charlie Rickard, Sallie Rutrough, Phillip Smith, Tyler Strain, Aaliyah Torres, Lilyana Torres, Summer Turner, Julie Walker, Kateleigh Wampler, Cheyenne Warren, Isabella Watson, Keaton Wood, Madison Wright, Rebecca Wyatt and Robert Yanok

Braden Ashby, Emma Burrows, Justice Coleman, Hannah Collins, Matthew Conde, John Crandall, Emily Crowe, Easton Forbes, Dakota Grant, Jakob Greenway, Selena Harden, Ashley Hartmann, Katelyn Herlehy, Taylor Hill, Taylor McPherson, Valerie Meadows, Cheyenne Mullins, Breanna O’Neal, Kaylee Perdue, Lucas Richards, Andrew Robertson, Kaitlin Saunders, Nora Shanahan, Mackenzie Sisson, Dakota Smith, Hayley Smith, Alicia St Clair, John Turner, Daniel Tyree, Cheyene Williamson and Evan Yerkey

Elizabeth Burrell, Jesse Hodges, Savanna Reed


Ryan Albee, Caleb Anders, Grayson Angle, Charlotte Asende, Sapana Baniya, Jayden Basham, Quincy Brown, Xavier Brown, Gabriella Cheatwood, Erika Claros, Zachary Clemens, Daryl Cortes, Justin Craig, Hannah Cupp, Juliana Diaz, Jaiheem Dorsey, Sita Ferej, Troy Fitzgerald, Wendy Franco Mendoza, Janaina Frederique, Louis Garcia, Luis Garcia, Sabrina Givaudan, Arnaria Gray, Angie Guardado, Lizbeth Guardado, Tori Herndon, Antonio Hobson, Aya Ibrahim, Leonard Kennedy, Jacob Kreppeneck, Raven Laney, Catherine Mai, Timothy Martin, Katelyn Mathena, Va’Shay McColla, Imani McNeal, Josue Mejia-Vasquez, Quinn Mitchell, Madison Moore, Lenora Morgan, Caleb Morrow, Megan Musser, Abigail Nolasco, Gabriel Nordt, Jermiya Ollie, Jordan Palmer, Aaliyah Rasheed, Wardah Rasheed, Manali Ravalji, Adam Richardson, Haley Rosas, Haley Ross, Abigail Runyon, Vincenzino Salerno, Noah Scott, Christopher Sellers, Joshua Smith, Jordan Snead, Janeyah Thomas, Mollie Thompson, Nhi Tran, Callen Tumulak, John Wagner, Alesha Webb, Jakym White, Quinton Williams and Upoleon Williams

Anita Budathoki, Jeniya Calloway, Juliette CdeBaca, Nickolas Chu, Mackenzie Gilliam, Julianne Henny, Legend Howard, Gabrielle Jennings, Elizabeth Kasongo, Brianna Keeling, Brianna Kindzred, Emma Land, Brianna LeFlore, Brenda Lopez, Elissa Miller, Pamela Ngoy, Caitlin Oakes, Mark Overstreet, Kassandra Rodriguez, Steven Sawyer, Kira Shelor, Jacob Snellings and Jonathan Stanley

William Angle, Tyler Burns, Rebecca Drumheller, Alissa Edwards, Madeline Jones, Evelyn Martinez, Yasmin Roiter, Sheridan Saunders, Somina Som and Elliot Woodrum


Merima Adanalic, Christian Adkins, Jordan Alexander, Zain Almajali, Amber Arthur, Jeremy Austin, Satchel Avila-Goodman, Kirsten Bailey, Ethan Bane, Logan Belcher, Grace Blackwell, Clarissa Blankenship, Sophia Bone, Jared Bowles, Skylar Brady, Ryan Cass, Taylor Clark, Elizabeth Coleman, Jonathan Collins, Sarah Collins, Alexa Crosier, Sophie Currier, Matthew Duncan, Katlyn Ferguson, Peyton Fernatt, Jayden Glass, Jasia Green, Andre Ha, Kevin Ha, Chelynn Hairston, Bethany Hale, Cassidy Hall, Michelle Harris, Haley Hartz, Alexis Hensley, William Holland, Makayla Hopkins, Jade Horton, Logan Howard, Rachel Hutchins, Farah Iqbal, Mason James, Kristin Johnson, Landon Johnson, Colin Jones, Grace King, Amanda Kline, Christopher Kunc, Savanna Lear, Maia Lemore, Makenzie Littleton, Kaitlyn Logan, Chloe Lovelace, Calvin Loverude, Joshua Mabry, Andrew Manor, Kirsten Markham, Shiann Mathis, Conner McKinney, Levi Meadows, Ian Merritt, Kendall Moore, Nathan Moore, Hunter Morris, Nicholas Mort, Logen Mowles, Orion Murray, Lucas Musselman, Malaina Mutter, Ky Nguyen, Ethan Nichols, Josiah Nucamendi, Nathan Patrick, Caitlin Phillips, Jack Phillips, Elizabeth Phipps, Rebecca Picard, Robert Pickelsimer, Ariana Pineda, Michael Presley, Michael Prillaman, Samuel Quakenbush, Primeminister Reece, Kathy Rivera, Victoria Robertson, Conner Rogers, Robert Saunders, Kierstin Scott, Wilson Shi’Wang, Jason Skillicorn, Ethan Smith, Mahmoud Srour, Timothy Strom, Peyton Taliaferro, Eden Walls, Madison West, Lynden Whicker, Dakota Whitlock, Cole Wickline, Garrett Williams and Blaise Wood

Noah Alderman, Cayla Alexander, Jake Balsley, Brooke Bess, Cassidy Caldwell, Jennifer Caudle, Zachary Chittum, Madison Cole, Alexis Cook, Chandlor Desper, Mackenzie Eubank, Elizabeth Francis, Christopher Hall, Caroline Harrington, Hunter Hartman, Quamyrha Hayden, Mallory Hughes, Mirza Jarcevic, Emmerson Jessee, Laurel LaBrie, Brooke Lay, Brennon McBee, John McMahon, Daniel Nary, Lisette Nucamendi, Madison Osburn, Lauren Price, Brandon Pugh, Hannah Schram, Brandi Shepherd, Jackson Smith, Tyler Smith, Olivia Sodre, Selma Sosic, Brandon Spradlin, Amanda Surface, Justin Talford, Daryl Thompson, Rachel Warren and Elexia Wynn

3rd YEAR
Joshua Argabright, Michael Cone, Jasmine Crawford, Caitlyn Croft, Jacob Ellis, Hannah Gillispie, Madison Hanes, Silas Henderson, Lexi Lawrence, Schuyler Lynch, Jessie Roberts, Laurel Shelton, Chloe Simpson and Nicholas Wilson


Sarah Ahlers, Matthew Bailey, Brooke Baxley, Shaun Blevins, Elijah Boyer, Megan Brooks, Corey Bryant, Steven Butler, Katherine Conklin, Kendall Cook, Danielle Davis, Peter Dawyot, Sierrah Deel-Morris, Anna Eaton, James Hays, Tyler Huffman, Mathew Hutchison, Grace Kelley, Kennedy Lafon, Regan Laughlin, Seth Lemon, Bailee Lintner, Issys Madden, Alexander McClintic, Jeremy Muncy, Christopher Murphy, Maddison Parrish, Nishi Patel, James Rashkovsky, William Roberts, Gurleen Singh, Annalise Smith, Haley Smith, Madison Sowder, Trenton Stiffler, Sophia Traylor and Kirsten Vest

Ethan Beutell, Suzanne Carter, James Davis, Miranda Fiedler, Trevor Gallagher, Jack Gladden, William Harless, Matthew Hernandez, Gil Houston, Landon Hylton, Megan Kelliher, Haley Patterson, Conner Payne, Joci Payne, Kenna Payne, Indigo Ritter, Micheal Rock, Daniel Sublett, Hannah Terry, Alexa Warme and Brianna Warme

3rd YEAR
Taylor Albanese, Thomas Helvey and Claire Maxey

Supporting CCAP’s Future:
The Virginia Western Community College Educational Foundation has embarked on a fundraising campaign to support the evolution of its transformative Community College Access Program. Program enhancements include part-time eligibility, three years for completion, and the inclusion of the acquisition of industry-recognized certificates and credentials.

For more information about how you can join the localities, businesses, foundations, alumni, parents and friends that make college possible, contact Amanda Mansfield, Philanthropy Director; (540) 857-6962 or amansfield@virginiawestern.edu.

Virginia Western Student Food Co-op continues to provide much-needed aid

Melissa Spangler doesn’t have much free time. As a full-time student in Virginia Western’s Phlebotomy program, she carries a heavy load of classes that include labs and clinicals. She also works part-time on campus, and cares for her young grandson. 

With that schedule and a limited income, finding time and food to cook is a challenge. The Virginia Western Student Co-Op, fueled by Kroger has helped her get through this strange semester with one less burden. She typically visits the Co-op every other week, and is able to get both snacks and staples to throw together easy meals. 

“It’s nice that the College takes the time to care and help us all, especially during these times as busy and hard it is for everyone during this COVID-19 era,” Spangler said. 

Melissa Spangler

Like many other services, the pandemic forced the Co-op, which opened in fall 2019, to make some adjustments with students not on campus and to follow COVID-19 safety guidelines. Students can visit the Co-op by appointment only, allowing for limited contact with others, while still meeting food assistance needs. 

This year, students are visiting the Co-op once a week, on average; last year, they visited multiple times within a week. With reduced frequency, the students tend to get more food per visit, and they don’t seem to mind the adjustments, according to Natasha Lee, Student Activities Coordinator. 

“This ends up being more efficient and less time-consuming for most students, and they use less gas money not having to come to campus multiple times a week,” Lee said. 

As the pandemic continues, basic needs for students are increasing. Food security is considered a basic need, and when it goes unmet, a student’s chance to succeed in the classroom is jeopardized. The combined donation of $20,000 from Kroger and Kraft Heinz will certainly help continue the essential service the Co-op provides to students.

“These days and times are hard for everyone, so I hope others take advantage of this gift the college has provided, and no one be scared or ashamed to ever ask, accept or appreciate help of any kind,” Spangler said. 

Click here if you’d like to donate to the Virginia Western Student Co-op.

Or contact Amanda Mansfield, Philanthropy Director at the Virginia Western Community College Educational Foundation, at amansfield@virginiawestern.edu or (540) 857-6962.

Educational Foundation announces fall scholarship recipients

The Virginia Western Community College Educational Foundation announces that it awarded scholarships to 89 students attending the Fall Semester 2020 at Virginia Western Community College.

RecipientLocalityFall 2020 Award(s)
Carstella OsborneAlleghany CountyBeverly Day Williamson, Jr. Endowed Scholarship
Tammy MiniBedford CityFoot Levelers Endowed Scholarship
Jacob BerryBedford CountyNicholas E. Janney Memorial Endowed Scholarship
Joseph DesaiBedford CountyJohn Morris Roslyn Educational Scholarship & Educational Foundation Textbook Scholarship
Carlee ElmoreBedford CountyWalter Darnall Vinyard Endowed Scholarship
Cassie FeltisBedford CountyKiwanis Club of Botetourt County Endowed Scholarship
Emily GilmoreBedford CountyBank of Botetourt H. Watts Steger, III Annual Scholarship
Emily HargisBedford CountyDelta Dental of Virginia Foundation Endowed Scholarship
Erin HeltonBedford CountyAlumni Association Annual Book Scholarship & The John Mathis, MD and Krista Crawford-Mathis Endowed Scholarship
Jesica MartinBedford CountyBeverly Day Williamson, Jr. Endowed Scholarship & Dr. Kevin Conway Endowed Scholarship
Olivia OverstreetBedford CountyMichael E. Warner Memorial Annual Scholarship
Andrew TuckBedford CountySallie and Elsie Williamson Endowed Scholarship
Gennifer TudoroiuBedford CountyGordon C. and Jean Willis Memorial Endowed Scholarship
James WadeBedford CountyConstruction Management Certificate Program Scholarship
Kelsey WilliamsonBedford CountyEducational Foundation General Scholarship
Mark DeHartBotetourt CountyGerry Montgomery Meador Endowed Scholarship
Brienna ShapiroFloyd CountyThe William Bernard Alphin Annual Scholarship & Mr. & Mrs. Emanuel Payne Endowed Scholarship
Michael WhittakerFloyd CountyAl Pollard Memorial Foundation Chefs’ Competition Annual Scholarship
Lisa AnthonyFranklin CountyVWCC Culinary Scholarship
Michael AnthonyFranklin CountyJames Mark Mitchell Memorial Art Endowed Scholarship & Pearman Annual Scholarship
Heidi AustinFranklin CountyShentel Foundation Annual Scholarship & SunTrust Community Service Endowed Scholarship
Austin BehrendtFranklin CountyFred Whitaker Company Annual Scholarship
Foster BornsteinFranklin CountyWilliam Milton Meador Endowed Scholarship
Ambria BrownFranklin CountyFred Whitaker Company Annual Scholarship
Jessica Gutierrez-ArnoldFranklin CountyLorraine Pleasants Memorial Annual Scholarship
Tyler DrowneMontgomery CountyDevelopmental Math Scholarship
Mary HougasianMontgomery CountyLewisGale Medical Center Endowed Scholarship
Hannah ChambersPoquosonThe Neall Family Charitable Foundation Scholarship
Nathan AustinRoanoke CityGertrude Light Hubbard Endowed Scholarship
Sapana BaniyaRoanoke CityPetroleum Marketers, Inc. Endowed Scholarship & The Flippin Family Endowed Scholarship
Anita BudathokiRoanoke CityDr. J. Andrew Archer Memorial Annual Scholarship
Nickolas ChuRoanoke CityBeverly Day Williamson, Jr. Endowed Scholarship & Educational Foundation Textbook Scholarship
Eric FilerRoanoke CityNursing Endowed Scholarship
William HobbsRoanoke CityDolores Martin Skelly Endowed Scholarship & Educational Foundation Textbook Scholarship
Mirza JarcevicRoanoke CityITT Exelis Endowed Scholarship
Antoinette MacklinRoanoke CityRichfield Living Annual Nursing Scholarship
Sabin MainaliRoanoke CityJ.K. and Donna Speas Annual Scholarship
Liannah MauldinRoanoke CityVFCCE Commonwealth Legacy Scholarship & Educational Foundation Textbook Scholarship
Trey McDearmonRoanoke CityBeverly and Leon Harris Occupational/Technical Annual Scholarship
Derek McIntyreRoanoke CityThe Elizabeth and Harry Sellers Annual Scholarship
Marla MoockRoanoke CityAmerican Sign Language Endowed Scholarship in Memory of Laura Knight Schowe & Educational Foundation Textbook Scholarship
Seweryn MorgiewiczRoanoke CityKatherine Futrell Memorial Endowed Scholarship
Nargis NoorzadRoanoke CityRefugee and Immigrant Scholarship & Educational Foundation Textbook Scholarship
Meghan SizemoreRoanoke CityPeter and Roseta Skelly Endowed Scholarship
Bradley WallaceRoanoke CityAppalachian Power Endowed Scholarship
Katie BechtoldRoanoke CountyFriendship Annual Scholarship & Educational Foundation Textbook Scholarship
Michayla BelcherRoanoke CountyEducational Foundation Textbook Scholarship
Xiaoyan CaoRoanoke CountyBusiness, Technology & Trades Annual Scholarship in honor of Deborah A. Yancey & Educational Foundation Textbook Scholarship
Jacob CarterRoanoke CountyJohn Morris Roslyn Educational Scholarship
Jeremiah CarterRoanoke CountyBeverly Day Williamson, Jr. Endowed Scholarship
Bailey CassellRoanoke CountyFred Whitaker Company Annual Scholarship
Christina ConstableRoanoke CountyFred Whitaker Company Annual Scholarship
Sean DooleyRoanoke CountyBridging the Gap Endowed Scholarship & Dennis Spaulding Memorial Developmental Scholarship
Jamie DyerRoanoke CountyDennis L. & Hazel Phillips Blalock Memorial Endowed Scholarship
Whitney GoodwinRoanoke CountyJohn Hall and Chris Tucker Honorary Endowed Scholarship
Christopher HallRoanoke CountyEmployee Giving Annual Scholarship
Kadie HarrisRoanoke CountyAlice Becker Hinchcliffe Williams Endowed Scholarship
Ellen HartleyRoanoke CountyJohn Morris Roslyn Educational Scholarship
Shannon HoeyRoanoke CountyRichard J. Gaynor Memorial Scholarship
Peaceful HtooRoanoke CountyBeverly Day Williamson, Jr. Endowed Scholarship & Refugee and Immigrant Scholarship
Elisabeth HutchinsRoanoke CountyBeverly Day Williamson, Jr. Endowed Scholarship & Educational Foundation Textbook Scholarship
Rachel HutchinsRoanoke CountyFred Whitaker Company Annual Scholarship
Chidi IgboRoanoke CountyAfrican-American Railroad Heritage Annual Scholarship
Jacob JohnsonRoanoke CountyLucian Y. and June B. Grove Honorary Endowed Scholarship
Lesley LanghornRoanoke CountySuzanne Hanks Paralegal Endowed Scholarship
Haley MayhewRoanoke CountyRita Halsey David Radiography Endowed Scholarship
Daniel NaryRoanoke CountyAppalachian Power Endowed Scholarship & Educational Foundation Textbook Scholarship
Nathan PatrickRoanoke CountyVWCC Culinary Scholarship
Chinh PhamRoanoke CountyJ. David and Mary Ann Wine Endowed Scholarship
Nicole PodleckiRoanoke CountyMichael E. Warner Memorial Annual Scholarship
Amber RickmanRoanoke CountyWalter Darnall Vinyard Endowed Scholarship
Elise SaundersRoanoke CountyThe Kroger Foundation Commonwealth Legacy Scholarship
Madison SaundersRoanoke CountyMichael E. Warner Memorial Annual Scholarship
Kierstin ScottRoanoke CountyEmployee Family Scholarship
Michael SecrestRoanoke CountyDr. J. Andrew Archer Memorial Annual Scholarship
Laurel SheltonRoanoke CountyBeverly and Leon Harris Teaching and Nursing Annual Scholarship
Cole StohlerRoanoke CountyJudy Hackworth Memorial Annual Scholarship
Rebecca TownleyRoanoke CountyDr. Kevin Conway Endowed Scholarship
Arlyse WashRoanoke CountyDonald Willson Memorial Scholarship & David L. Nickerson Honorary Endowed Scholarship
Britney WelliverRoanoke CountyDr. Donna Harpold Memorial Annual Scholarship & Michael E. Warner Memorial Annual Scholarship
Lynden WhickerRoanoke CountyRoanoke Valley Academy of Medicine Alliance Foundation Endowed Scholarship
Stephanie ZieglerRoanoke CountyOrrin Clifton Annual Scholarship & Educational Foundation Textbook Scholarship
Zachary HostetterRockbridge CountyBeverly Day Williamson, Jr. Endowed Scholarship & Educational Foundation Textbook Scholarship
Zoe AustSalemBeverly Day Williamson, Jr. Endowed Scholarship
Dan BakerSalemEducational Foundation General Scholarship
Landon HyltonSalemBeverly Day Williamson, Jr. Endowed Scholarship & Educational Foundation Textbook Scholarship
Sara HyltonSalemLewisGale Medical Center Endowed Scholarship & Educational Foundation Textbook Scholarship
Hannah TerrySalemBeverly Day Williamson, Jr. Endowed Scholarship & Gerald Pace Textbook Scholarship for Salem CCAP Students
Alexa WarmeSalemMcFarland Endowed Scholarship
For information on donating to or establishing a scholarship at Virginia Western, contact Donor  Relations Coordinator Amanda Mansfield at (540) 857-6962 or amansfield@virginiawestern.edu. 

Why I Give: A Q&A with Dr. Allan Sklar

(To be published in the Winter 2021 edition of IMPACT! magazine, a publication of the Virginia Western Community College Educational Foundation.)

A lifelong learner, Allan Sklar, M.D., is an area nephrologist who has spent the past 15 years practicing in Roanoke, Martinsville, Blacksburg and the New River Valley. Two years ago, as he approached retirement, Dr. Sklar sought to satisfy a lifelong desire to study modern physics with an ultimate goal to study the philosophy of physics. Initially, he thought that he would have to move to a university town to achieve this goal. He met with the head of the physics department at Virginia Tech, who recommended that he begin his studies at Virginia Western Community College, a stone’s throw from his home in Roanoke. A physics professor, Dr. Yangsoo Kim, who formerly taught at Virginia Tech, was now at the College. Dr. Sklar ultimately took not only Dr. Kim’s courses on university physics at the college but, over a two-year period, five advanced math courses that are required to comprehend the language of physics. His experience as a student at Virginia Western inspired him to establish the Virginia Western Student Tutoring Fund.

Q: What are your impressions of the academic environment at Virginia Western?

Early on, I had concerns that I might encounter a lot of sophomoric behavior at the College but, instead, discovered a healthy, mature and mutually-respectful environment. My experience at Virginia Western has given me confidence that we are raising a generation of young people that will be capable of leading us to a better future.

 I was impressed with the work ethic and ability of many students whom I encountered in class and at the Tutoring or STEM Center. There is a contingent of students who are military veterans, and they lend an added dimension of discipline and goal orientation to the academic experience. I found myself among a very intelligent and committed group of students in their freshman and sophomore years, several of whom moved on with an associate degree to university programs.  I was glad to see that Virginia Western’s motto — “We’ll take you there” — is actually true.             

 I was also very impressed with the caliber of and commitment to teaching by the faculty members.  In addition to holding regular office hours, these instructors devote time to the STEM Tutoring Center on a daily basis to provide students with more in-depth explanations of homework problems in a more casual setting. In general, the faculty make themselves more available to students than do many of their counterparts, often involved in research activities, on the larger university campuses.

Q: You spent a good deal of time at the STEM Tutoring Center. Why?

The Center is a perfect place to study with other students and receive extra support and attention. While the bulk of tutoring falls on the shoulders of senior students who have been selected to help others, there are often more experienced tutors available as well.

For example, there is a senior perennial tutor, Robin Johnson, who has a phenomenal level of math and science knowledge as well as excellent teaching skills and has been of tremendous help to the students who flock around her. Again, what makes the Center truly special is faculty involvement.   

Q: In addition to the STEM Tutoring Center, how did you find the facility overall?

The STEM building is brand new, with state-of-the-art classrooms and laboratories, equipped with modern instruments including a phase contrast fluorescence microscope, a multiphoton confocal microscope, a scanning electron microscope, spectrometers, 3-D printers and a collaborative robot. The classrooms, labs and equipment are not at all usual for a community college, perhaps not even for many four-year universities. It needs to be promoted!

Q: What was your experience like as a nontraditional student?

Well, on a personal note, despite my “senior status” I felt embraced by the faculty and students alike. My presence at the STEM Tutoring Center opened up another door for me. The supervisor at that time, Patti Tyree, introduced me to a new tutor, a PhD physics graduate who had just arrived from Oxford University in England. I am now receiving private lessons in modern physics from him. We have reviewed electricity, magnetism and special relativity in depth, and are now digging into quantum mechanics. These disciplines heavily depend on understanding of integral and multivariable calculus taught to me by Ms. Ruth Sherman and linear algebra and differential equations that I learned from Mr. Joshua Shelor. So the College definitely has “taken me there.”

Q:  Can you share your thoughts on philanthropy in general and on your choice of Virginia Western as a focus for your philanthropy?

Philanthropy has to fill the void that persists in social, artistic, educational and other human endeavors for which funding from state and religious institutions may be inadequate. There’s certainly a gap in funding and support for various nonprofits. The arts, education, social needs, medical research – that’s where philanthropy comes in.

Why Virginia Western as a target for my financial support?  I believe that it derives from a feeling of indebtedness and gratitude to the institution.  I think of it not so much as “giving” as “giving back.”

Q: What drove you to support the Virginia Western Student Tutoring Fund?

 Again, I found myself among a very intelligent and committed group of students at Virginia Western, often working one or two jobs to support themselves through college. One of my math teachers informed me about the fact that many of these students struggle financially, even suffering with food insecurity, and could use some support. These students are going to be important members of our society and leaders in their fields of endeavor. I wanted to support that next generation of excellence, as well as help those in critical or emergency need as a result of the pandemic.

Q. What advice would you give a student sitting in front of you, trying to frame their own future?

 The first step is to identify a field that not only appears to offer a stable future career opportunity but also one for which you have a real passion in which you can sustain interest.  Pursuing a professional career involves a great deal of tenacity and hard work. There’s no way to cut corners or take shortcuts if you want to succeed. I would recommend taking a look at your community college to initiate the journey along that long road to professional satisfaction. In our region, Virginia Western Community College is truly a jewel with much to offer.

New $1.8 million Title III grant to support adult learners at VWCC

Virginia Western Community College was awarded a 5-year, $1.8-million grant from the U.S. Department of Education Title III Strengthening Institutions Program (SIP) to develop and support educational pathways to help underserved adult learners graduate and achieve successful employment. The program, titled Get REAL (Refocus Education on Adult Learners), will support the up-scaling of services to effectively reach out to and support adult learners, especially those from low-income circumstances.

“Now, more than ever, adult learners need our support as they seek the education and hands-on training they need to build a career and improve their families’ lives,” said Dr. Robert H. Sandel, President of Virginia Western. “This grant will help us focus on these students’ unique needs and boost our region’s economic recovery. The COVID-19 pandemic has negatively affected us all, but it has had a disproportionate impact on individuals who struggle to make ends meet during the best of times. Now we will have more opportunities to help these people find their pathway to the middle class through higher education.”

The Get REAL project’s main goals are to: (1) Improve College Access (enrollment) for all, especially adult and underrepresented learners; (2) Improve Academic Success (student outcomes), especially for underrepresented adult learners; and (3) Begin to track and improve Economic Success (labor market outcomes) for Career and Technical Education (CTE) program graduates (courses intended to lead to immediate employment).

“Virginia Western offers adult learners many excellent career training and re-training opportunities. More people could benefit from these programs and that’s why this grant is so important,” said Dr. Milan Hayward, Vice President of the School of Corporate and Career Training and the Get REAL project director. “Working with Achieving the Dream and CAEL will help us focus new and existing resources to ensure more adult learners – especially those from under-represented groups – achieve greater academic and economic success. It’s a college, community, and national imperative.”

A key facet of the Virginia Western proposal is that the college will work with national education reform organizations Achieving the Dream (ATD) and the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) to develop the program. The college will incorporate best practices to create more relevant programmatic experiences, improved workplace readiness, organizational alignment and fiscal stability. Adult learners will not only gain hands-on training experiences, but will also learn how to manage their finances and thrive in the workplace.

“Informed by data, benchmarks and best practices, this Title III SIP grant will strengthen and better serve our adult learners-particularly those who are the neediest to better economic success,” said Marilyn Herbert-Ashton, Vice President of Institutional Advancement and Director of Grants.

The Get Real project officially started on October 1 and will run until Sept. 30, 2025, although lessons learned and best practices will continue for years to come.

New PTA Program accepting applications for Fall 2021

Are you interested in a hands-on health career that will allow you to help people maximize their quality of life? Would you like to work with various patients in a wide range of healthcare settings and help people rehabilitate and recover from injuries or chronic conditions? Are you also interested in helping people get stronger, healthier, more active, and more independent? If the answer to these questions is yes, then the new Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) Program at Virginia Western might be for you!

The PTA program is now taking applications for a planned start in the Fall Semester of 2021. To find out more about the program and the admission requirements, check out the program website. If you are interested in applying, you can find full application instructions here.

For any questions about the program, please contact Program Director, Dr. Jordan Tucker at jtucker@virginiawestern.edu

Note regarding program accreditation status:

Graduation from a physical therapist assistant education program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, VA 22314; phone: 703-706-3245; email: accreditation@apta.org is necessary for eligibility to sit for the licensure examination, which is required in all states.

Virginia Western Community College is seeking accreditation of a new physical therapist assistant education program from CAPTE. The program is planning to submit an Application for Candidacy, which is the formal application required in the pre-accreditation stage, on December 1, 2020. Submission of this document does not assure that the program will be granted Candidate for Accreditation status. Achievement of Candidate for Accreditation status is required prior to implementation of the technical phase of the program; therefore, no students may be enrolled in technical courses until Candidate for Accreditation status has been achieved. Further, though achievement of Candidate for Accreditation status signifies satisfactory progress toward accreditation, it does not assure that the program will be granted accreditation.

A message from President Sandel

Through a great deal of thoughtful planning and preparation, we have had a successful re-opening of Virginia Western’s campus for Fall Semester. I wish to applaud our faculty and staff for their efforts to support our students whether they are taking classes online or in-person. I also wish to thank our students for their diligence in following safety protocols such as mask wearing, hand washing and social distancing while on campus.  

Like most colleges, we have seen positive COVID-19 cases among individuals who have been to campus. Thanks to those individuals self-reporting, we have responded quickly to each case with deep cleaning and have worked directly with the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) to identify and inform any people who may have been in close contact. Fortunately, we have not seen campus spread. Please help us continue to respond appropriately if you believe you may be positive for COVID-19 or are being tested by self-reporting through forms on our dedicated webpage: https://www.virginiawestern.edu/covid19/.  

In an effort to share available information on self-reported positive COVID-19 cases to our campus community, we are launching a new data dashboard at: https://www.virginiawestern.edu/covid19/dashboard/. Virginia Western is committed to maintaining the privacy of individuals affected by COVID-19 and will not be sharing other information that may potentially identify them. All learning areas identified through tracing and investigation related to these positive tests are thoroughly cleaned to the standards set forth by the VDH and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.   

Thank you again for all you are doing during these extraordinary times. Together, we will get through this. 

Robert H. Sandel, Ed.D.
Virginia Western Community College