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Kerstin Plunkett

Virginia Western students chosen to present rural broadband solution at Botetourt County Rural Broadband Technology Summit

Virginia Western students, Lauren Estep and Chase Schepise, presented their winning poster presentation at Botetourt County’s two-day, BoCo Rural Broadband Technology Solutions Summit this week, and received $250 scholarship awards from Bank of Botetourt. Professor Jeff Scott’s internetworking class submitted posters to the summit as part of the summits challenge: Education in Action – Rural Broadband Concept Solution.

BoCo Summit’s site explains, “The Rural Broadband Summit provides a connective path to the implementation of advanced, affordable, high capacity internet for all Botetourt County, in the near future.” And, that Botetourt County is becoming a pioneer in providing rural broadband solutions for the county as over 3,000 rural counties nationwide observe the county’s process.

The two-day summit, September 25 and 26, brought more than 40 speakers, sharing their experiences in rural broadband and information on leading technologies such as drones, fiber networks and TV white space, according to a Roanoke Times article. Information gathered at the summit will help develop solutions to expanding broadband across the county.

Virginia Western Educational Foundation announces first recipients of new scholarships honoring late faculty

Two Virginia Western Community College Student students are benefiting this fall from new scholarships set up in memory of beloved faculty at the college.

Colleen Morrison of Roanoke is the first recipient of the Business, Technology & Trades Annual Scholarship in honor of Deborah A. Yancey, which was named for the late dean of Business, Technology and Trades at Virginia Western. Morrison is an English/digital journalism teacher at Cave Spring High School who is seeking an associate’s degree specializing in Database and Program Development.

Laurel Shelton of Vinton is the first recipient of the Richard J. Gaynor Memorial Scholarship, which was named for the late professor of mental health technology at the College. Shelton is enrolled in the health sciences program and hopes to become a pediatric nurse practitioner.

“It is wonderful to know that the legacy of such impactful instructor-leaders will continue to better the lives of deserving students,” said Amanda Mansfield, Philanthropy Director at the Virginia Western Community College Educational Foundation, a nonprofit organization affiliated with the College that raises money for and administers these scholarships.  “It is a most fitting tribute to the values both cherished most.”

Yancey’s scholarship was established by her College co-workers after her passing in 2017.  It provides $500 per semester in tuition assistance to a student enrolled in at least 6 credits in a Business, Technology & Trades program of study. Recipients must possess a minimum 2.0 GPA, and priority is given to those demonstrating financial need.

Yancey, who was presented Virginia Western’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 2017, started at the College in 1996 as a student and part-time tutor. From there, she completed three associate’s degrees from Virginia Western, achieved her bachelor’s at Radford University and master’s from Averett University. She became a Virginia Western adjunct in 2003 and continued to teach until 2014, when she became dean of BTT.

Gaynor’s endowed scholarship was established after his passing in 2015 by family members, with support from colleagues and friends.  It provides $515 per semester in assistance for tuition, books and other related expenses to a student enrolled in at least 12 credits with a minimum 2.5 GPA.

Gaynor joined the faculty at Virginia Western in September 1977. During his time at the College, he served as the assistant dean for the Social Sciences division and as the program head for the Human Services program. He taught a variety of classes for that program, and was named Virginia Western’s Faculty Marshal for 2011, retiring that same year.

The Yancey and Gaynor scholarship are among 125 individual scholarship funds managed by the Virginia Western Educational Foundation. Applications for spring 2019 scholarships will be accepted from Sept. 14 to Oct. 19, 2018. To learn more and apply, visit virginiawestern.edu/scholarship.

Averett University and Virginia Western Community College Partner in First Articulation Agreement

Today, Averett University President Dr. Tiffany M. Franks and Virginia Western Community College President Dr. Robert Sandel made history as the first partnership between the two schools became official. The presidents signed an articulation agreement making it easier for students who start their education at Virginia Western to complete their bachelor’s degree at Averett.

The articulation agreement allows for students who have completed their Associate in Applied Science degree in administration of justice from Virginia Western, with a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher, to transfer to Averett to complete their Bachelor of Science in sociology/criminal justice degree. The student will enter Averett with a junior status and can expect to graduate after completing a minimum of 60 credits at Averett.

“We are excited to enter into a new partnership with Virginia Western Community College. This is a wonderful opportunity for more students who wish to build upon their two-year degree and transition easily to a four-year university. This couldn’t happen without a great partner school like Virginia Western,” Franks said. “This agreement also expands Averett’s footprint in the Roanoke area, where we have a Graduate and Professional Studies regional presence at the Roanoke Higher Education Center. We are delighted for the opportunity to serve more students from the Roanoke region.”

The agreement allows for an orderly and smooth transition for students including many scholarship and financial aid options. Members of Phi Theta Kappa, the community college honor society, are automatically awarded a $2,000 Phii Theta Kappa Scholarship once they are admitted to Averett University.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for our students to seamlessly continue their education at such a fine institution as Averett,” Sandel said. “We are very proud of the success of our administration of justice students and the large number of the region’s law enforcement officers who have graduated from the program. Through this partnership, they will have expanded opportunities to gain valuable knowledge and skills to advance in the profession.”

Additionally, the two presidents signed a Guaranteed Admissions Agreement/Community Educational Partnership Agreement stating that Averett welcomes and values the transfer students from VWCC.