Type your search keyword, and press enter

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.

Virginia Western and Roanoke College sign guaranteed admission agreement

At a signing ceremony Monday, Virginia Western Community College and Roanoke College announced a new guaranteed admission agreement that will provide business administration students with a seamless transition between the two institutions. The transfer agreement took effect at the time of the signing.

“We are honored to work with our great partner Roanoke College to develop another way for our students to continue their educational pursuits,” said Dr. Robert H. Sandel, President of Virginia Western. “The assurance that their credits will transfer will help those students plan for a strong professional future.”

Virginia Western students who complete the requirements for an Associate of Science degree with a major in business administration and compile a cumulative grade point average of 2.2 in academically transferable courses will be eligible for the transfer agreement. For complete requirements, interested students should contact Virginia Western or Roanoke College.

“Virginia Western and Roanoke have been great partners for many years,” Roanoke President Michael Maxey said. “Both colleges are committed to serving our students in first-rate ways. This partnership is one of the best examples of serving the many fine students who find Virginia Western and Roanoke to be the best fit for their needs and aspirations.”

Both Virginia Western and Roanoke College business programs hold accreditations through the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). Virginia Western is the only institution within the Virginia Community College System with that accreditation.

Students interested in learning more about Virginia Western’s business offerings and the transfer agreement should contact the School of Business, Technology and Trades at 540-857-7272 or visit www.virginiawestern.edu/academics/btt.




Dental hygiene team wins statewide knowledge competition

A team of Virginia Western Community College dental hygiene students recently won the second annual statewide “It’s Hygienic” knowledge competition at the VCU School of Dentistry in Richmond. The team of Chelsea Broce, Kaylee Lovelace and Katharyn Seay beat out a tough field on Feb. 17 that included eight teams of three to five students from associate’s and bachelor’s degree dental hygiene programs.

The aim of “It’s Hygienic,” a corporate sponsored event hosted by Board Games, LLC, is to allow dental hygiene students who dedicated the last two to four years preparing for the dental hygiene profession the opportunity and inspiration to show off their knowledge as they prepare for their board exam.  As the founders of this now national event, who are also Registered Dental Hygienists (RDH) state on their website, “There is nothing better than having an auditorium full of students, faculty and community RDHs helping to shape tomorrow professionals.”

The student teams competed in a panel, question-answer style format consisting of five rounds of nearly 400 questions including core sciences, dental hygiene process of care, visual identification, community health, ethics, research, and case studies.

The Virginia Western team, named “The Tooth Sleuths,” began their day at 5:30 a.m. with a drive to Richmond, quizzing one another along the way in final preparation. The resulting victory gave them the knowledge that their educational experience is paying off.  “It was a fun and reassuring experience,” Lovelace said.

In addition to their education, the Virginia Western students credit their ability to work well together as a team and that each of them brought a different area of strength to the competition. “It’s exciting to know that I’ve been in school for two years and know more, or at least just as much, as those who went to school for four years,” Broce said.

Seay, who also holds a bachelor’s degree in biology, added that while her undergraduate degree was challenging, she feels the dental hygiene program is harder because of all there is to do in terms of material, patient care and work with the community.

The four semi-finalists in the “It’s Hygienic” competition were from Virginia’s Community Colleges. Virginia Western’s Roanoke team topped the second-place team, which was comprised of students from the extended Virginia Western dental hygiene joint venture with Lord Fairfax Community College in Middletown. Northern Virginia Community College and Thomas Nelson Community College tied for third place.

Next week, Virginia Western dental hygiene students will begin sitting for their national board exams. Over the past five years, students from Virginia Western have had a first-time pass rate between 96-100 percent. Broce, Lovelace and Seay say they feel prepared and confident going into the exam.

For more information about Virginia Western’s dental hygiene program, please visit www.virginiawestern.edu/academics/health/dental.