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Virginia Western names Elizabeth Testerman distinguished alumni

The Virginia Western Community College Educational Foundation recognizes Elizabeth Testerman (’06), a Human Resources Consultant for American Electric Power/Appalachian Power Company, as recipient of its 2018 Distinguished Alumni Award. For the past two years, Testerman has volunteered as a mentor and community advocate for Virginia Western’s Women in STEM Mentoring Program.

“Elizabeth has made an indelible impact on student lives, and has bolstered the program into a fully realized vision of student support,” said Dr. Robert H. Sandel, president of Virginia Western Community College.

Virginia Western’s Distinguished Alumni Award was established in 2006 by the Virginia Western Alumni Association and recognizes Virginia Western Community College alumni and former students who have attained extraordinary distinction in their professional field or life. The award 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.

Testerman received her Associate of Applied Science in Management from Virginia Western Community College in 2006. She also received a Bachelor Science in Organizational Management and Leadership from Bluefield College in 2007 (accelerated).

At AEP, Testerman is the primary and direct support contact for all HR functions for multiple business units and locations. Testerman started her tenure at AEP almost 12 years ago, with 11 years of that service in Human Resources.

Testerman said she was motivated to get involved with Virginia Western as an alumnus because she had “amazing teachers who kept pressing me to move even further with my education. The belief that they had in

 me led to the determination that I had in myself.”

She remains an active volunteer with Virginia Western’s Women in STEM Mentoring Program, which aims to provide a supportive environment for students pursuing an education in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields. The initiative taps community mentors to assist female students and special populations in professional matters and to provide them career-networking opportunities.

Testerman

said the mentors in her life inspired her to seek out opportunities to help other.  “I love my job but my mind kept going back on a regular basis to all the people who had believed in me through the years, and I knew I needed to do more for myself and others,” she said. “I was determined to be that someone who believed and coached others toward their own career and success.”

Testerman, a Roanoke County resident, will be recognized for her contributions and impact at an upcoming event on campus hosted by the Virginia Western Community College Educational Foundation.

For more inf

 

ormation on the Virginia Western Alumni Association, see virginiawestern.edu/alumni or contact Donor Relations Coordinator Amanda Mansfield at amansfield@virginiawestern.edu or (540) 857-6962.

Prior Distinguished Alumni honorees: 

2017 – Dr. Carol Swain (’78)

2016 – Dr. Mary Loritsch (’74) and Chief Michael Crawley

2015 – Debbie Yancey (’97)

2014 – Chief Craig S. Harris (’00) and 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)

Delta Dental provides support to RAMP

Delta Dental of Virginia has contributed $30,000 to the Regional Acceleration and Mentoring Program (RAMP) to support innovation and entrepreneurship in the Roanoke and New River valleys.

The funding will help pay for expenses and programs at the RAMP’s headquarters  at 709 S. Jefferson St. in downtown Roanoke.

“Delta Dental is Virginia’s largest dental benefits company, and we are constantly investing in ways to remain on the forefront of technology when it comes to serving our customers,” said Frank Lucia, president and CEO of Delta Dental of Virginia. “Being headquartered in Roanoke, we are committed to supporting innovation in our growing technology and health sciences industries. We believe this investment will support our emerging startup culture and attract and retain talent in the region.”

RAMP’s mission is to help high-potential startups expand and create jobs in the science, technology, engineering, mathematics and health (STEM-H) fields throughout the Roanoke-Blacksburg region. Partners in the initiative include the City of Roanoke, which renovated RAMP’s home in the historic Gill Memorial Hospital building; the Roanoke-Blacksburg Technology Council (RBTC), which recruits RAMP participants and provides them mentorship and networking opportunities; and Virginia Western Community College, which provides on-site business education training.

“We are deeply appreciative for Delta Dental’s pledge to innovation and entrepreneurship,” added Robert McAden, president and CEO of the RBTC. “Supporters like Delta Dental understand that our success is about planting the seeds. If we want the region to grow, we need to foster entrepreneurship. Growing business is important, because those businesses eventually become customers. We need a thriving startup culture to grow.”

As part of the contribution, one of the rooms in the RAMP building will be named after Delta Dental of Virginia.

RAMP participants, called cohort companies, are selected every year for the opportunity to benefit from a mentoring program, networking opportunities, business education and access to capital. Applications are being accepted for the next cohort. The companies will be announced at RBTC’s TechNite awards gala on May 3.

Warner Memorial Scholarship makes difference for nursing student

The Virginia Western Community College Educational Foundation is proud to announce the first recipient of the Michael E. Warner Memorial Scholarship, which was established in honor of a longtime member of its Board of Directors.

The scholarship was initiated by Roanoke businessman Geoffrey M. Ottaway, who sought to honor his friendship with Warner after he passed away in 2013. In subsequent years, the Warner family and the Educational Foundation hosted a golf tournament at Hunting Hills Country Club that benefited the scholarship fund.

Erika Buck of Roanoke was named the first recipient of the Warner scholarship, which covers all costs for tuition, books and other related fees for a full-time student with a minimum 3.0 GPA enrolled in and pursuing a degree in Nursing or certificate in Practical Nursing at Virginia Western. Buck is pursuing an Associate of Applied Science Nursing (RN) degree and maintains a 3.89 GPA.

A nontraditional student, Buck worked as a phlebotomist full time while attended the College to complete her nursing program prerequisites. Her goal is to go on to earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing and ultimately specialize as a critical care nurse.

“Thanks to this scholarship, I’m one step closer to achieving my goal,” Buck said. “I’m excited to finish and become a nurse.”

Warner’s widow, Carolyn, said the scholarship honors the healthcare workers who assisted her husband when he became ill. “I was so taken with the nurses who took care of my husband,” she said. “I think Mike would be happy, too, knowing that this scholarship was now available.”