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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.

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.

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. 

In year of crisis, new ACHIEVE scholarship helps keep Virginia Western students on track

Jagger LaDouceur had a plan and a budget. He was going to attend Virginia Western Community College for two years, then transfer to Virginia Tech to study Computer Science, and then get a job as a software developer. He thought he would be able to support this plan with Community College Access Program (CCAP) funding, but when he found out he didn’t receive this tuition assistance, he started second-guessing his college plans.

Jagger LaDouceur
Jagger LaDouceur

Fortunately for LaDouceur, funds he received from the Virginia Western ACHIEVE Scholarship will allow him to get started on his original plan by attending the College this fall. LaDouceur and 59 other first-year students were awarded these one-time, $1,000 tuition grants from the Virginia Western Educational Foundation in response to the COVID-19 crisis. Drawing on unrestricted reserve funds, the Educational Foundation established the ACHIEVE fund in April for students who met all CCAP requirements but, due to limited funds, could not receive the CCAP scholarship.

“When the pandemic hit, and we had so many students we weren’t able to fund through CCAP, our team felt we needed to find a creative solution and close the gap for eligible students,” said Amanda Mansfield, Philanthropy Director of the Educational Foundation. “These students had already demonstrated their readiness to succeed at Virginia Western, and this was a way we could serve them and help keep them focused on their academic goals, remove financial barriers and allow them to start college close to home.”

For LaDouceur, the money will reduce the debt he will have to incur to follow his plan. “I know that Virginia Tech will be expensive (compared to Virginia Western), so I’m trying to reduce my costs and save as much as I can now.”

For student Caroline Treubert, having the ACHIEVE funds will allow her to keep the babysitting and house-sitting money she’s earned the past few years in the bank to use for future expenses in support of her plans to study science or law at Virginia Western and continue her education at James Madison, Radford or Virginia Tech universities.

Caroline Treubert
Caroline Treubert

“I was so excited to hear I got this money,” said Treubert. “Without it, I’d be in a much worse position financially, and may not have been able to go as far as I hope to get my degree and get a good job.”

Increasing support for the CCAP program remains a top priority for the Educational Foundation, and the CCAP2 Campaign is ongoing through 2021.

CCAP is a public/private partnership that pays the cost of tuition for three years at Virginia Western if a qualified student does not have sufficient financial aid to pay tuition costs. CCAP supports as many qualified students as possible based on student need and funds available for each locality. 

Pandemic increases student emergency needs at Virginia Western

When spring classes at Virginia Western Community College were abruptly moved online last spring, many students found themselves unequipped to continue learning. Many didn’t have personal computers or internet service, and they didn’t have the finances to pay for these new necessities.

That was the case for William Hobbs, who was enrolled in computer and business classes last semester on his path toward an Integrated Environmental Studies degree. His Chromebook didn’t meet the requirements for his classes, and having lost his job due to the pandemic, he was unable to afford a new computer.

William Hobbs
William Hobbs

Money from the Virginia Western Rapids Response Fund allowed Hobbs to get a Windows-based laptop and prevented him from falling behind with his course load. He is on track to finish his associate degree this spring and plans to continue at University of Virginia or Virginia Tech next fall.

“I desperately needed a new computer so I could continue working on school,” said Hobbs. “I would not have been able to complete my coursework if it wasn’t for the financial help that the emergency funds program provided me. I’m very grateful for the opportunity and help I received, and I would highly recommend it to my peers if they are in financial need.”

Established by the Virginia Western Educational Foundation in 2005, the relief fund was set up to provide financial support (up to $500 per year) to students for unexpected emergency needs such as medical issues, car repairs or technology issues. The influx in applications this spring and fall affirms the increased hardship students are facing because of the pandemic. Nearly $4,000 has been awarded this year so far, nearly three times the amount as last year.

Virginia Western Rapids Response Student Emergency Fund logo

“We don’t want students to have to choose between pursuing their academic goals and basic needs,” said Amanda Mansfield, Philanthropy Director for the Education Foundation. “Now, more than ever, our students need our support to navigate their academic and personal lives so sustaining this fund is even more critical.”

Click to donate to the Virginia Western Rapids Response Student Emergency Fund

Virginia Western announces new cohort of Fralin Futures STEM-H scholarship recipients

After a successful pilot year, the Virginia Western Community Educational Foundation expanded the Fralin Futures STEM-H Scholarship program, doubling the number of recipients for 2020-21.

Twenty-six students were named to the 2020-21 Fralin Scholars cohort and will receive financial and academic resources to assist them in completing their final semesters at Virginia Western and graduating as planned.

The Fralin Futures STEM-H Scholarship program launched in fall 2019 with 12 outstanding students in science, technology, math, engineering and the health professions. Of that initial cohort, 11 graduated by summer 2020, with the 12th student still enrolled at Virginia Western.

“We are incredibly happy to see the Foundation’s most prestigious scholarship start with such success,” said Amanda Mansfield, Educational Foundation Philanthropy Director. She noted that a survey of scholarship recipients showed 83 percent were uncertain they could have completed on time without the Fralin funding. In addition, half of the students said they used the support to meet unexpected and critical expenses that might have forced them to leave school.  

“What may be even more meaningful,” Mansfield said, “is the added program benefits of cohort activities.” All of the students said they were more likely to pursue leadership opportunities in the future, after attending a Fralin-sponsored leadership training. Ninety-one percent said they were more or much more likely to pursue mentorship opportunities in the future, due to their experience as a Fralin Scholar.

Funded through an endowment from the Horace G. Fralin Charitable Trust, the scholarship is meant to not only help recipients complete their degrees, but also to assist them in finding well-paying and engaging careers within STEM-H fields.

The idea for the program was sparked in 2017, when the Educational Foundation, a nonprofit organization that raises money for College scholarships, conducted a campus-wide listening tour with faculty and staff. Vice President of Institutional Advancement Marilyn Herbert-Ashton said a number of staff members pointed out that sudden misfortune could easily derail students, especially adult learners. Unexpected bills, job loss, a lack of transportation, child and elder care are among the common challenges that can force an otherwise promising student to drop out.

Herbert-Ashton said those responses were not surprising. Nearly one-third of Virginia Western students are over age 25, and most juggle full- or part-time jobs in addition to their class schedules. Some are single parents, or are responsible for the care of aging relatives; a number are the first in their family to pursue a postsecondary education.

By covering the cost of a recipient’s final two semesters, the Fralin Futures program eases one of the major burdens that can make completing a degree seem daunting. Recipients receive an additional stipend each semester equal to their tuition, which can defray unexpected costs that might come up during a student’s final year.

In addition to receiving the scholarship support, Fralin Scholars are paired with mentors and receive the opportunity to attend relevant professional and educational events, both within and outside of Virginia. Programming in fall 2020 will be conducted virtually, with Zoom sessions connecting students to mentors, leadership training and counseling from the Hall Associates Career Center at Virginia Western.

The following students are part of the 2020-21 cohort:

Kimberly Archer, Nursing

Alexis Bedrosian, Nursing

Kaitlyn Bowman, Radiation Oncology

Raistlin Brabson, Mechatronics System Engineering Technology

Tuan Chau, Computer Science/Engineering

Meredith Dobyns, Radiation Oncology

Christina Fiedler, Nursing

Raegan Glenn, Dental Hygiene

Kristine Harper, Practical Nursing

Lorenzo Hernandez-Suarez, Mechatronics System Engineering Technology

Allyson Herriges, Health Sciences

Alicia Hibbs, Practical Nursing

Trevor Hill, Science

Gabriel Johnson, Engineering

Madeline Jones, Database and Program Development

Macie Killen, Mechatronics System Engineering Technology

Sara Kingery, Dental Hygiene

Carrie Lawson, Practical Nursing

Mackenzie Massey, Science

William McCoy, Computer Science

Giovanna Morabito, Dental Hygiene

Kira Shelor, Computer Science

Sarah Snyder, Radiography

Selma Sosic, Health Sciences

Rory Underwood, Engineering

Deana Valade, Nursing

Fralin Futures scholarship applications for the 2021-22 academic year will be accepted starting in March 2021. To qualify, students must have a 3.0 GPA in a STEM-H program of study at Virginia Western and be within two semesters of graduating. For more information, visit www.virginiawestern.edu/fralinfutures.

Virginia Western announces donations from Kroger and Kraft Heinz to renew support for Student Co-Op

The Virginia Western Community College Educational Foundation announces a $20,000 combined donation from Kroger and Kraft Heinz to renew support of the Virginia Western Student Co-Op fueled by Kroger. The Student Co-Op, which launched on campus in Fall Semester 2019, is aimed at eliminating student food insecurity at Virginia Western as part of Kroger’s Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Plan.

Kroger and Kraft Heinz donated $10,000 apiece to provide nutritious snacks and meals for students. In the 2019-2020 academic year, the Student Co-Op served more than 377 students, exceeding 2,454 student visits. It provided essential nourishment for food insecure students so they could continue their studies and succeed without worrying where and when their next meal would come.

“Before we launched the Student Co-Op, we estimated that up to 50 percent of our approximately 10,000 Virginia Western students could be going hungry every day. Through the immediate popularity of the Co-Op, we learned how real the need was,” said Dr. Robert H. Sandel, President of Virginia Western. “As the world has changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there are surely many more students who will need the sustenance that comes from the Co-Op. We are extremely thankful for Kroger and Kraft Heinz for their ongoing support of our students’ success.”

The Student Co-Op is located in the Strauss Family Student Life Center and is managed through Virginia Western’s student services, operating on an honor system with students logging their ID numbers to enter the space. There are healthy snacks, nonperishable items to create family meals and refrigerated items students can eat before class. During the COVID-19 pandemic, students have been able to schedule an appointment to visit or order online for pickup.

“Food insecurity on college campuses is an unfortunate reality for far too many students,” said Allison McGee, corporate affairs manager for Kroger Mid-Atlantic. “We felt privileged to be a part of launching the Student Co-Op in the fall of 2019, and are glad to continue our support of the important work being done on Virginia Western Community College’s campus.”

Individuals interested in supporting the Virginia Western Student Co-Op, should contact Amanda Mansfield, Philanthropy Director of the Virginia Western Educational Foundation at amansfield@virginiawestern.edu or (540) 857-6962.

Nursing faculty earn national distinction

For the first time in the history of Virginia Western Community College’s Nursing Program, six faculty members have earned the designation of Certified Nurse Educator (CNE), one of the highest distinctions for a nurse educator.

The faculty members earned the credential by meeting strict eligibility criteria and successfully completing a rigorous exam administered by the National League of Nursing.

“It’s important that we are always challenging ourselves to be better, and we also want to be the best for our students to inspire them to be successful. The way to do that is to be at the top of our game,” said Lauren Hayward, Administrative Officer for the College’s Nursing Program.

Nationally, the failure rate for the CNE exam is high, so the College was committed to providing the faculty with the tools they needed to prepare for success. The Virginia Western Community College Educational Foundation awarded an Innovation Grant to provide funding to establish a library of resources, study materials and test fees.

Five of the six faculty members were scheduled to test in March before the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted testing schedules, postponing exam completion until late summer.

“They rose to the challenge and kept their heads in the game,” said Hayward. “As nurses, we don’t get to collapse during a pandemic; we rise. They modeled resilience to each other, their peers, students and the community.”

Having most faculty members with this certification is unique for an associate-level nursing program, said Marilyn Herbert-Ashton, Vice President of Institutional Advancement.

“This is another way to demonstrate that our faculty are continuously learning, and that commitment to lifelong learning is important for nursing students to see,” Herbert-Ashton said. “It’s another way for the community to see that we have a stellar nursing program, taught by faculty of the highest caliber.”

The Virginia Western nursing program is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) and approved by the Virginia Board of Nursing. There are about 120 first- and second-year nursing students enrolled in the concept-based curriculum program. Sixty students graduated in May 2020 to pursue their careers as registered nurses.

Donor’s gift doubles amount of emergency funds available to students

An anonymous donor’s gift of $10,000 has doubled the amount of funding available in the Virginia Western Rapids Response Student Emergency Fund. The donor is a retired businessman and an alumnus of Virginia Western College who wants to help students struggling to balance school and financial emergencies during the COVID-19 crisis.

The donor recalled meeting his wife 45 years ago in a Virginia Western geology class. “We were so poor, we couldn’t afford to buy a Texas Instrument hand-held calculator for each of us, so I used my slide ruler and gave her the calculator,” he said.

After graduating from a Virginia four-year university with an engineering degree, the donor went on to found a successful business. He supported that university as an alumnus, “but I realize it is Virginia Western that needs my help now, and they were the first to help me. They prepared me for what was to come.”

His gift benefits a longstanding Virginia Western Educational Foundation fund that was newly renamed in spring 2020 to recognize the college’s athletics nickname – the Rapids – and to reflect the urgency behind its commitment to assisting students. Applicants may receive up to $500 per academic year to address a financial hardship that threatens to interfere with them completing their coursework.

“Right now, we are seeing students who lack a computer at home, so they cannot complete online classes,” said Amanda Mansfield, Philanthropy Director of the Virginia Western Educational Foundation. “We’ve been able to buy them a laptop so they can finish the semester and hopefully graduate on time.”

In the past, the fund has been tapped quickly – within 48 hours of application – pay for unforeseen expenses such as medical or car repair bills. The Educational Foundation also can award Kroger grocery or gas cards, and arrange for emergency Uber rides to or from class.

“We know that most of our students work at least one job in addition to going to class. Their finances are tight, and with one missed bill things can quickly snowball,” Mansfield said. “The student can feel overwhelmed and lose focus on class. This fund helps take the pressure off.”

An applicant is also connected with a campus advisory council, whose members assess the student’s overall needs and help them connect with other community resources, such as the Bradley Free Clinic or the Council of Community Services.

“This isn’t just about providing that $500. We want our rapid response to also help connect the student to ongoing support and more long-term solutions,” Mansfield said.

To apply, students must be currently enrolled in at least 6 credits, have a minimum 2.0 GPA and meet other eligibility requirements. There is no deadline to apply; applications are accepted year-round.

Or contact:
Amanda Mansfield, Philanthropy Director
Virginia Western Community College Educational Foundation
(540) 857-6962