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Impacting our Region Dear Friends: The Virginia Western Educational Foundation continues to make significant progress in spite of the adverse economic conditions that abound. In my last letter, I updated you regarding the Salem Community College Access Program (SCCAP as we like to abbreviate it). Today, I’d like to talk about a whole new program being rolled out – the RCCAP (Roanoke Community College Access Program if we don’t abbreviate it). The City of Roanoke, the Roanoke Women’s Foundation, area businesses and the Virginia Western Educational Foundation teamed up to establish an innovative public/private partnership to fund this expanded initiative. The goal is to provide the opportunity for all 2009 Roanoke City high school graduates to continue their education tuition–free at Virginia Western Community College. Like the SCCAP, this program is designed to prepare our students for well-paying jobs within the region and/or transfer to a 4-year college. The Educational Foundation is constantly seeking to grow and create new and innovative programs such as the CCAP, even in these difficult times. The US investment market has suffered serious volatility and declines in value in the last year, which has greatly impacted educational endowments nationwide – ours included. Knowing student need for tuition

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assistance today is greater than ever, the Foundation remains focused on finding new and creative ways to assist as many needy students as possible given funds available. In addition to the Salem and Roanoke CCAP programs, the Foundation will also provide over $70,000 in scholarships to 117 students for the fall of 2009. When you add all this up, the future impact to our region is enormous. An educated workforce is an essential key to the quality of life of all our citizens. However, in order to continue our work, we need your help and support.

Get to know the Virginia Western Educational Foundation and get involved. Help us continue to make this positive impact felt across our entire region. Please consider making a donation to support and grow these important programs. Together we can make powerful changes. Imagine the impact. Sincerely,

Russell H. Ellis, President Virginia Western Community College Educational Foundation

Virginia Western Educational Foundation Alumni & Friends News • Volume 2 • Issue 2

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Above – Amy Fenster’s Microbiology Lab takes a hands– on approach to learning. Cover – Kandy Elliott and Ginny Jarrett of the Roanoke Women’s Foundation, who sponsored the pilot year for the Roanoke Community College Access Program. Below – Members of the Roanoke City School Board and School Superintendent Dr. Rita Bishop have embraced the Roanoke Community College Access Program.

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DEPARTMENTS From the President Bits and Bites

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Donors Alumni in the News


Brokers of Hope The Roanoke Women’s Foundation has helped to bring a sense of hope to Roanoke City high school students.


Innovative Teaching, Innovative Learning At Virginia Western, a hands-on education is much more than a promise, it is a reality.


Distinguished Alumni Award 2008 Donna Mitchell ‘81, the 2008 award recipient, is just one example of how alumni can make a difference for their alma mater.


Impact is published by the Virginia Western Educational Foundation, Inc. for donors, alumni, and friends of Virginia Western Community College. Comments and suggestions may be sent to VWCC Educational Foundation, P.O. Box 14007, Roanoke, VA 24038-4007 or by calling (540) 857-8914. President Russell H. Ellis

College President Robert H. Sandel

Vice President James W. Arend

At-Large Members Thomas R. Bagby Barry W. Baird Jason Bingham Martha Bruce Boggs John S. Capps R. Daniel Carson, Jr. Dorothy S. Clifton Glen C. Combs Katherine Elliott Ronald R. Hare Barry L. Henderson Cynthia D. Lawrence

Secretary Edwin C. Hall Treasurer Neil D. Wilkin, Jr. Immediate Past President Donna L. Mitchell Local Board Chair Dennis R. Cronk

William L. Lee Harold M. McLeod, III Gerald Pace, Sr. James W. Thweatt, Jr. Directors Emeriti G. Len Boone G. Franklin Flippin William H. Fralin, Jr. John R. Francis, Jr. Barbara B. Lemon Elizabeth W. Payne, Ed.D. Donald G. Smith John B. Williamson, III

For more information on the Virginia Western Educational Foundation and its programs or activities, please contact: Katherine F. Strickland, Executive Director Phone: (540) 857-6020 |

ALUMNI COUNCIL MEMBERS Cheryl Cunningham ‘86, Chair Anne Hogan ‘76, Vice Chair Susan Cain Jimmy Holt ‘83 Barbara Maberry ‘03

Donna Mitchell ‘81 Deb Saunders ‘93 Shirl Lamanca ‘75 Sonya Ranson ‘85 Roger Bellini ‘09, SGA President

Wanda L. DiMarco, Administrative & Office Specialist Phone: (540) 857-6371 | Linda J. Fayed, Fiscal Technician Phone: (540) 857-7312 | Erik W. Williams, Alumni Relations & Annual Giving Coordinator Phone: (540) 857-8914 |

Virginia Western Educational Foundation Alumni & Friends News • Volume 2 • Issue 2


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2008 - 2009 ANNUAL CONTRIBUTORS as of 5/13/2009

PRESIDENT’S CIRCLE $10,000+ Al Pollard Memorial Foundation

LEADERSHIP SOCIETY $5,000 - $9,999 Mrs. Grace B. Taylor Fred Whitaker Company

COMMUNITY PARTNERS $1,000 - $4,999 Anonymous (3) Barry and Alison Baird Belmont Presbyterian Church Bank of Botetourt Mr. & Mrs. Monty D. Brown Mrs. Dorothy S. Clifton The Commonwealth Council Dennis R. Cronk Mr. Daniel Davis Walter Dixon


AND WE HAVE A WINNER…. What do Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts – Las Vegas, Johnson & Wales University – Denver, and Virginia Western Community College all have in common? They all have winners in the Dole Frozen Fruit Culinary Student Recipe Contest! Sam Fochtman, who is enrolled in the A.A.S. Culinary Arts Degree Program, was announced a first–place winner in the contest. The contest was open to any level culinary student and they could choose one of four categories to compete in: Breakfast/Baking, Salad/Side Dish, Dessert/Pastry or Entrée. Two sections of HRI 218 Fruit, Vegetable and Starch Preparation were taught in the fall, and entering this contest was a requirement of the course. The main criterion was to incorporate Dole Frozen Fruit into the dish. Sam entered a Baked Brie with Fruit Coulis recipe in the Dessert/Pastry category and won one of four first-place prizes. - DOLE is a registered trademark of Dole Food Company, Inc.

Dixon, Hubard, Feinour & Brown, Inc. Mr. & Mrs. Dan Fisher


Mr. Gregory Freeman and Dr. Gudrun

Makes 8 desserts Ingredients: 1 cup DOLE fresh frozen sliced strawberries, thawed with juice 1 cup DOLE fresh frozen blueberries, thawed with juice DOLE fresh frozen mango chunks, thawed 8 oz. brie cheese round, cut into 8 wedges 1 egg 1 Tbsp. water 1/3 to 1/2 cup brown sugar 17.3 oz. puff pastry sheets, thawed Directions: 1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 2. Place strawberries and blueberries with juice in a blender or food processor. Cover and blend until smooth. 3. Heat berry blend in a small saucepan over medium heat for 4 to 5 minutes. Cool slightly and push through a sieve to remove seeds. Set sauce aside.

Freeman Gary J. Harpold, M.D. Leon and Beverly Harris Faith Janney -e Ms. Cheryl C. Miller -e nTelos Foundation Mr. & Mrs. Bernard Odasz Prestige Motorcycle Club Colonel William Preston, DAR Dr. Albert S. Roslyn Mr. & Mrs. Donald G. Smith Dr. & Mrs. Chuck Terrell -e in memory of Pat Morgan Mr. & Mrs. James W. Thweatt, Jr. Dr. Rosalind Williams Michael A. Wray

DEAN’S SOCIETY $500 - $999 Dr. J. Andrew Archer in honor of Carol Clower Cabell and Shirley Brand Charitable Lead Trust Mr. & Mrs. R. Daniel Carson, Jr.

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4. Stir egg and water together in a small bowl. 5. Unfold one pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface and cut into four 5-inch squares. Repeat with a second pastry sheet. 6. Prepare each pastry square by sprinkling a small amount of brown sugar in the center. Cut one brie wedge in half and stack on top. Add a mango chunk. Brush the edges of the pastry square with egg mixture. Fold the corners of the pastry square to the center over the cheese and fruit, sealing well at all sides. Lightly brush top with additional egg mixture. 7.Place bundles on a large baking sheet that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. 8. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. 9. Serve on dessert plates with a spoonful of berry sauce.

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Tainted with suicide, murder, hauntings, romance and page by page suspense, Threefold will keep you on the edge of your seat from cover to cover.

Susan R. Cain


As we all continue to feel the pressures of the ongoing economic downturn, remember that Virginia Western Community College is your local resource for numerous services and offerings to help you weather the economic storm. Through our Hall Associates Career & Employment Assistance Center, our Learn Connect Workforce Development Services, and even our Alumni Association, Virginia Western wants to be your resource when it comes to your career search, retraining opportunities, and local business discounts. For assistance with finding a job, writing that resume, and other employment and career–related needs, contact the Hall Associates Career & Employment Assistance Center at 857-7298. For assistance with various training initiatives, the Quick Connect program, and numerous other programs, contact the Workforce Development Services Office at 857-6076. Thinking about changing your career or returning to the classroom? Contact our Admissions Office at 857-7231 to explore your opportunities. Want to take advantage of local and national discounts on everything from gym memberships to a rental car? Join the Virginia Western Alumni Association; simply visit virginiawestern. edu/alumni or call 857-8914.

Virginia Western Educational Foundation Alumni & Friends News • Volume 2 • Issue 2


Clark & Karen Cole Mr. & Mrs. Preston M. Collins, Jr.

Not only is Susan the most recently elected member of the Virginia Western Alumni Council, but she is also Virginia Western’s most recently published alumni author! Her new novel, Threefold, offers murder, mystery, ghost haunting, and romance, along with twists and turns and an ending you will S never guess. It is available through most major bookstores’ online stores. Susan plans to market her book throughout Virginia and surrounding states. Her first book, Pride and a Tear, was published four years ago, also by PublishAmerica. Be sure to go out and pick up your copy of Threefold and enjoy the latest from one of Virginia Western’s alumni authors! arah Carroll had just lost her mother to suicide, or so it seemed. She is determined to make certain people pay for not keeping their promises that led up to her mother’s death. But will they pay, or will she be the one to pay…Threefold?

Dr. John S. Capps -e

Mr. Sigmund E. Davidson in honor of Dorothy S. Clifton Down Syndrome Association of Roanoke Mr. & Mrs. Russell H. Ellis R. Wayne and Marianne E. Gandee Dr. Virginia Garden -e in memory of Dr. Donna Harpold Bill, Andrew & Elizabeth Hackworth in memory of Judy Hackworth Dr. David C. Hanson -e Ronald Hare Ellen P. Holtman -e in memory of Louis Bass Anne B. Kornegay -e in memory of Shannon Crouse Mr. & Mrs. Mark Lawrence Mr. & Mrs. Samuel L. Lionberger, Jr. Sandra Rakes McMinnis -e in memory of Mr. & Mrs. Glenn W. Rakes Ms. Donna L. Mitchell G. Michael Pace, Jr. Lynn Painter -e Jim Poythress -e Mr. & Mrs. Charles A. Saldarini Sandy Shelton Ms. Betsey E. Soulsby Southern Refrigeration Corporation Kay and Wayne Strickland -e Allen and Pamela Trigger -e Emily and Chip Woodrum Brenda Lee Xeroteres -e in honor of Christopher Abblett Danielle and Ed Yarber Mr. & Mrs. Gary C. Young -e

SCHOLAR SOCIETY $250 - $499 Anonymous Tommy Amos -e Anderson Construction, Inc. Grady and Lori Baker -e in honor of Student Services Division Mr. & Mrs. C. Whitney Brown, Jr. Brucie Boggs and Chip Dondrea Glen and Marsha Combs Nancy B. Cook -e in memory of Beth Ramos

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Nancy E. Francisco -e in memory of Yolanda Salyers Mr. & Mrs. Barry L. Henderson Dan Horine -e Lynn Hancock Hurt -e in memory of Wanda L. Basham Shirl Duke Lamanca -e in memory of Hilton Holdren, III & in memory of Preston B. Mayson, MD Ms. Susan V. Lockwood Carlton and Melody Mabe -e Mr. & Mrs. Ralph D. Mabes in honor of Michael Williams David and Mary Jo Mitchell Elizabeth H. Muse Tara L. Nepper -e Susan Quesenberry -e Martha Roberson -e Richard and Deanna Shoemaker in honor of our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren Brian Sieveking -e Patsy and John Starnes Mr. Albert W. Stewart in memory of Prof. James E. Nelson Mr. Jeff Strom -e Ms. Natasha Taylor -e Mr. Christopher Vaughn -e Marla S. Whiteside -e


Advance Auto Contributes $125,000 to support RCCAP Advance Auto Parts recently contributed $125,000 to support the Roanoke Community College Access Program (RCCAP). Advance Auto Parts joins other prominent area businesses such as Appalachian Power, Carilion Clinic, Medical Facilities of America, and Trane as supporters of RCCAP. The Roanoke Women’s Foundation is the ‘09-’10 pilot program year sponsor. For more information on the Community College Access Program, visit (above from left to right) Roanoke City School Board Chair David Carson joins VWCC President Dr. Robert Sandel and VWCC Educational Foundation Executive Director Kay Strickland to accept a check from Advance Auto Parts CEO Darren Jackson and President Jim Wade.


Mr. & Mrs. Douglas R. Wright

Question: I need some help finding a job; can someone at Virginia Western help?

Deborah A. Yancey -e


Erik W. Williams -e

Ms. Kelsey Yardley -e

FRIENDS $100 - $249 Anonymous (11) Gary M. Adkins -e William Alexander -e Amy Anguiano -e Gilbert and Sharon Armour -e in memory of Nicholas E. Janney Ms. Cristin Barrett -e Nicole Bell -e Mr. John Berardi -e Dr. & Mrs. Robert E. Berry in honor of Dr. & Mrs. Robert Sandel Jim Blackwell Michael and Teresa Birmingham Pat Bolt Kathryn Boylan -e Ruby Brogan -e

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The Hall Associates Career & Employment Assistance Center has numerous tools to help you find the job that you are searching for! By stopping by their office in the Student Center, Room 202, or calling the office at 8577298, or by visiting their interactive website at center, the staff in the Career Center can get you well on your way to finding that job that is just right for you. Do you need help with your resume? They can help with that as well. Let the Hall Associates Career & Employment Assistance Center be your local resource in your employment search! The Hall Associates Career and Employment Assistance Center would be happy to help you create an effective resume. Contact them at (540) 857-7298 or They look forward to hearing from you!

Virginia Western Educational Foundation Alumni & Friends News • Volume 2 • Issue 2

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Brad and Yvonne Burkholder -e in memory of Clyde Jones Carroll Family -e Dr. & Mrs. Richard L. Clark, Jr. -e Mr. William W. Clingempeel Leah K. Coffman -e Bob and Sally Crawford -e Wanda and Paul DiMarco -e Linda E. Durham, Ph.D. -e Frank and Lucy Ellett Kim Ellis -e


Linda and Jerry Fayed -e

At the Educational Foundation’s 2008 Awards Ceremony this past November, the Foundation recognized 99 area residents as recipients of 2008-2009 Educational Foundation Scholarships. Individuals, businesses, and corporations investing in scholarships for Virginia Western students create doorways for individual growth and achievement that would otherwise be closed.

Mike Greer -e

in honor of Colin, Sophia, Lana & Ellis Wayne & Cris Flippen Richard Gaynor -e Terry and Zana Hall Ronald Hare David W. Harrison -e in honor of B Bagby (in keeping the arts alive!) Anne and Al Hurt Ann R. Kakouras -e George Kegley Anne Koon -e Rachelle Koudelik-Jones -e

Virginia Western Responds to Reduced Operating Budget Virginia Western Community College, like all other state agencies and institutions of higher education in Virginia, has been hit hard by the current economic downturn facing the country. For the past three years, the state has reduced the College’s operating budget by over three million dollars, with Virginia now providing just over 52% of the College’s overall budget. With a greater reliance on tuition dollars to alleviate the current budget shortfall, the College has remained committed to maintaining its core mission of providing quality educational offerings to the Roanoke Valley while not impacting learning and the classroom experience. Through restricted travel,

reduced marketing efforts, restructuring of programs and divisions, a hiring freeze, and various other measures, Virginia Western has positioned itself to continue to be “The Community’s College” and to maintain a commitment to its core values of Integrity, Excellence, Service, and Community. Through innovative programs such as the City of Salem Community College Access Program, the Roanoke Community College Access Program and increased scholarship opportunities, Virginia Western’s friends, alumni, and donors are doing their part to ensure a brighter future for the Roanoke Valley by ensuring that money is never a barrier to a Virginia Western

Virginia Western Educational Foundation Alumni & Friends News • Volume 2 • Issue 2


Dr. Gloria Lindsay -e Owen Lofthus, II -e in memory of Dr. Donna Harpold Dr. Mary B. Loritsch -e in memory of Preston B. Mayson, MD Karen P. McCall -e Heidi McClintic -e in memory of Dr. Gare LeCompte Maggie McDaniel -e Dr. Roy G. Miles Melanie Moore -e Mona R. Moore -e Dr. Ann H. Moser -e Joyce Music Meg and Rick Patterson -e Mary Y. Perry -e Pat Price -e Dr. Avis C. Quinn -e Janet Rathbun -e Karen Rayl -e in memory of Curtis F. Orpin, Sr. Robyn Reid -e in memory of Mark Harrell Martha Richardson

Continued on page 16

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ave you h e a r d the good news? We can go to college now!” Those were the exclamations that reverberated throughout Dr. Katherine F. Walker’s The Foundations of Leadership class at William Fleming High School – a program that is the result of a partnership between Hollins University, the Junior League and William Fleming. The old adage “good news travels fast” held true last fall. Just two short days after The Roanoke Women’s Foundation (RWF) awarded the Virginia Western Community College Educational Foundation a $100,000 grant to jumpstart the

Roanoke Community College Access Program (Roanoke CCAP), students in Dr. Walker’s class already knew the news – and the impact it would have on their lives. “These girls could pinpoint areas that dramatically affect their lives,” says Walker. “The dropout rate is one of those factors. They understand at a level that’s not based on statistics, but on what they’re seeing every day.” Modeled after the City of Salem Community College Access Program (SCCAP), the Roanoke CCAP is a pilot program that makes college available tuition-free to 2009 graduates of Patrick Henry or William Fleming High School. The program covers the cost of tuition at Virginia Western

Through the generosity of women like Kandy Elliott (left) and Ginny Jarrett (right) and the entire Roanoke Women’s Foundation, the Roanoke Community College Access Program will begin in 2009 and offer 2009 graduating seniors from Roanoke City an opportunity to attend Virginia Western Community College for two years tuition-free.

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From left to right, Roanoke City School Board members Todd Putney, Mae Huff, Roanoke City Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Rita Bishop, School Board Chairman David Carson, School Board member Suzanne Moore, and School Board Vice-Chairman Jason Bingham.

Community College for two years or up to 72 credit hours, whichever comes first, and supports as many students as possible, based on student need and funds available. Unbeknownst to Walker’s students, she is a RWF member, and her students were volunteering this information. “They understood that access to college would improve the graduation rate,” she says. Currently, Roanoke City Schools has a 52% dropout rate, the tenth highest in the state. But the Virginia Western Educational Foundation Board has worked tirelessly with city school board members and local businesses to decrease that rate by developing the Roanoke CCAP. Dr. Robert Sandel, president of Virginia Western, says the program “could be the

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catalyst to keep kids in school.” Dr. Rita Bishop, superintendent of Roanoke City Schools, says the program is a “ray of light” amid other challenges the school system faces and calls those responsible for the program “brokers of hope.” She laments that many students do not see the value in taking honors programs or finishing high school. “This program creates real hope for kids without support or role models who don’t see a way out, or who maybe have parents who have worked hard and are still in poverty,” says Jason Bingham, Vice Chairman, Roanoke City School Board and Educational Foundation Board Member. The Roanoke CCAP “provides a motivation for our young people,” says Ginny Jarrett, member and co-founder of the RWF. “This gives them something to look forward to—a ‘leg up’ that will help them the rest of their lives.” “The community is really at stake here,” says Kandy Elliott, RWF co-founder with Jarrett. “Ultimately, we all gain if we end up with a stronger workforce, and you have to be more educated to be more employable.” Local businesses and industries do not have enough

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skilled applicants to fill positions. Many jobs require postsecondary training/education beyond high school, but less than a four-year degree. “The Roanoke CCAP can provide candidates who meet these needs,” says Bingham. “These are kids who are staying in the area as we train them for jobs that need to be filled.”


Educational Foundation. “We all view this as a program that directly affects our children, gives them hope, keeps them in school and encourages them to do well in school,” says Dave Carson, Chairman, Roanoke City School Board. That’s why Bingham says, “There’s no ‘sell’ to this program. As soon as people hear about it, they say, ‘How can I help?’” And it’s a key reason the Roanoke CCAP garnered such overwhelming support from the RWF, which offers women a vehicle for collaborative giving in response to the communities’ many needs. The Roanoke CCAP fit into one of the RWF’s four broad areas of support, but also addresses the plight of the city schools—a key community issue brought to the organization’s attention before their annual grant application review process. Individual women comprise RWF membership, and each member casts an equal vote when selecting its annual large-impact grants. The RWF has given away $618K to 14 non-profit organizations in just four years. Walker says the broad impact the Roanoke CCAP has on the larger community is what makes it so exciting. “This is the kind of program that affects these students in a way that makes them want to talk about it. Everybody recognizes the importance of it. Everybody gets it.”

Sandel calls the program a “pipeline” to the job market and says, “We want students to come to college here and have an opportunity to take programs of study that will lead them into job opportunities.” Once students complete a certificate program, From left to right, Jason Bingham, earn an associate’s degree Kandy Elliott, David Carson, and or complete coursework Ginny Jarrett to transfer to a four-year college or university, they can utilize the Hall Associates Career and Placement Center located on the Virginia Western campus to help them line up internships and jobs. Thanks to the generous grant from the RWF, this pilot program begins in fall 2009. By the next academic year, the Roanoke CCAP will be a full-fledged program with funding from five entities: area business and industry, Roanoke City Schools, Roanoke City, the federal government and the Virginia Western

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hen you visit the third floor of Anderson Hall, you can see many students busily walking about to their next class, studying for their chemistry test, or just taking a break before their next anatomy course. But if you happen to pass the biology lab with Amy Fenster busily walking around to groups of engaged and interested students, then you have stumbled onto just one of the many examples of how innovative teaching methods empower students to succeed here at Virginia Western. Having been at Virginia Western Community College for over four years, Amy Fenster has brought her love of biology and microbiology to her students. Having received her undergraduate degree from James Madison University and her graduate degree in microbiology and immunology from Virginia Commonwealth University, Amy knew that becoming a college professor was something that she wanted to do. “I really, really love science,” states Fenster, so teaching science seemed like a perfect fit. “I remembered how important it was for me to be turned on to science early by my mentor in college, and I wanted to have that same effect on students,” notes Fenster. “Students can get turned off to science early if it is not presented to them correctly, and I want to make sure that does not happen.” Her passion for teaching and learning is evident in her teaching methods as well. Having received several Virginia Western Community College Educational Foundation Innovation Grants, which provide funding for academic enrichment, innovative projects,

novel approaches, and creative activities that are typically not funded through traditional sources, Amy introduced an innovative approach to teaching in her microbiology class by giving her students an unknown organism at the beginning of the semester which they would in turn study and identify throughout the semester. This method of teaching has proved so popular that Amy has recently had a manuscript describing this method accepted for publication. Amy has also used funds from the Educational Foundation to hold a “Holler for your Health” presentation on campus, which focused on toxins in our own environment and how they can affect us through our consumption of food and through other various methods as well. In addition to teaching general biology, she also teaches microbiology and immunology at Virginia Western and is an adjunct at Hollins University. “The class I teach at Hollins is not different from what I teach at Virginia Western, we offer a cutting-edge and affordable education right here in Roanoke,” states Fenster. “She just lights up in class and it spills over into her teaching and it makes us want to come to class, and to learn,” states Kelli Loftus, one of Amy’s Biology 101 students. “Can you not see the enthusiasm? We get that every day!” Not only are her students well prepared for the classroom, but they are also well prepared for life. “I teach my students it’s ok to be smart and to excel, and also emphasize independence and personal responsibility,” states Fenster. Innovative teaching that not only leads to engaged and successful students in the classroom, but in life as well – now that’s an education.

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dvocate. Friend. Supporter. Alumna. These are just a few of the words that can describe Donna L. Mitchell, ’81, the 2008 Virginia Western Community College Distinguished Alumni Award recipient. A 1981 graduate of Virginia Western Community College, she credits the College with changing her life. “My years at Virginia Western were a pivotal time for me,” states Mitchell. “The warm, nurturing, empowering environment there brought me from a shy child to a self-confident young woman.” A confidence that bred accomplishment: Donna transferred to Virginia Tech, where she was “very well prepared” to earn separate degrees in Business Management and English. Not afraid to take risks, she found a niche where she could intertwine both her business and analytical skills as a stockbroker for UBS Financial Services Inc., where she has worked for more than 20 years and is currently its Vice President of Investments. “Every day, Virginia Western proves the adage that ‘if you give a man a fish you feed him for a day, but if you teach him how to fish you feed him for a lifetime’,” and through Donna’s work on both the Virginia Western Community College Educational Board of Directors and the Virginia Western Alumni Council, she is able to see the proof every day. “It has been my pleasure to witness these positive changes firsthand through my work with the

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Foundation. I firmly believe that my financial contributions to the Foundation are making a real difference in the lives of individuals and in our community,” states Mitchell. Donna and her family established the James Mark Mitchell Endowed Scholarship in 1997 in memory of her brother, and in 2004 Donna and four of her classmates from Virginia Western established the Friendship Endowed Scholarship and the Friendship Annual Scholarship to financially assist female students in the college’s service region. She has also included Virginia Western in her estate plans. The impact of Donna’s efforts for Virginia Western continue to be felt as she tirelessly supports the Foundation in its day-to-day fundraising and advocacy initiatives. Donna is the immediate past president of the Educational Foundation and was instrumental in establishing the College’s first Alumni Association in 2005. She served as the first Alumni Council Chair. Donna’s dedication to Virginia Western has also been recognized at the state level. She was the 2008 recipient of the Virginia Community College System Chancellor’s Award for Leadership in Philanthropy. Donna spoke to the near-capacity crowd in Whitman Auditorium when she received her award this past November and she spoke fondly of her time at Virginia Western. She credited her alma mater for changing her life, something that tens of thousands of her fellow alumni can easily relate to.

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Legacy Society Members

Martha and William Adams (dec.) Ruby M. Brogan Lawrence H. Hamlar (dec.) Stanard F. Lanford Gertrude Light Hubbard (dec.) Donna L. Mitchell Mary B. Moses (dec.) Mr. and Mrs. Bernard F. Odasz J. William Wilcher


6/1/09 10:34:00 PM

J. David and Frankie Robbins in honor of Donna L. Mitchell William A. Salyers, Jr. -e in memory of William & Yolanda Salyers Dr. & Mrs. Robert H. Sandel -e James Sargent -e Dan Semones -e Gene and Linda Stuckey -e Debra Thomas -e Dr. Radford Thomas and Sue Steele Thomas -e in memory of Fred & Bessie Steele Lora S. Vasiliauskas -e Dr. & Mrs. Peter A. Wallenborn, Jr. W. Lee Wilhelm, III Ms. Yolanda Williams -e Dr. Elizabeth Wilmer -e


Commencement 2009 On May 15, the Salem Civic Center was jammed with eager graduates and proud family and friends to watch over 400 of Virginia Western’s newest graduates receive their degree or certificate. Mr. Ed Hall (left) President and CEO of Hall Associates, Inc. and Secretary of the Virginia Western Educational Foundation, was the keynote speaker and he gave this advice to the graduates: “Success is about making the right

Mr. Roger C. Wilson -e Sharlona Wimmer -e Bill Work -e

CONTRIBUTORS $1 - $99 Anonymous (9) Fredona Aaron -e Lee Allen -e Theodore D. Allen

choices, such as the goal you have just accomplished, but also about having the courage to admit your mistakes, change, pay the price, and move forward when you make the wrong choices.” Also at the College’s Forty-Third Commencement Ceremony, Professor

Julia Andrews -e Brenda C. Ashcraft -e Ms. Margaret K. Bacon Amy Balzer -e Ralph and Lee Baker Carolyn L. Baratta -e Dr. & Mrs. Luther A. Beazley Ms. Betsy Boardwine -e Jennifer Bobbitt -e Ms. Pamela K. Brown

Cheryl Cunningham, Virginia Western Alumni Association Chair, gives some words of wisdom to VWCC’s newest graduates.

Russ Ellis, Virginia Western Educational Foundation President, brings greetings to the graduates.

Emeritus Awards were presented to Dr. Elizabeth W. Payne, below left, and Dr. J. Andrew Archer, below right, both former members of the Virginia Western Educational Foundation Board of Directors.

Mr. Scott Burton Arletha H. Butler -e Dr. Carrie Cao -e Dr. Annemarie Carroll -e Ms. Tisa A. Carter Ms. Catherine E. Carroll Ms. Dori V. Cawley -e Becky Chauncey -e Ms. Heidi Christopher -e Kristel L. Clark -e Carolyn Cleiland -e Ms. Joyce A. Cobbs Joseph D. Collins -e Lorraine Conklin -e

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Pam Conner -e in honor of Callie Conner, my granddaughter Ramona Coveny -e

Join the Virginia Western Alumni Association on Facebook, MySpace, and LinkedIn Do you currently have a page on Facebook, MySpace or LinkedIn? Well, then you need to connect with the Virginia Western Community College Alumni Association on there as well! The Alumni Association recently launched its own presence on these popular social networking sites and invites all alumni and friends to join and stay connected with their alma mater and their former classmates. Just visit us on MySpace at or search for the Virginia Western Community College Alumni Association on Facebook and LinkedIn to connect today.

Lynn Crane -e Mrs. Susan B. Cregger Leo & Sharon Cullen -e Mr. John R. Cutler Cheryl V. Cunningham, RTR -e Mr. Shelbert G. Daniels Linda S. Davis -e in honor of Donna Abbatello Mr. Corvin Davis -e Andrew J. DeLeo -e Ms. Shelia B. Delp Gary L. Dent -e Mr. Richard T. Driscoll Terry Drumheller -e

Virginia Western Professor Named SBEA Postsecondary Teacher of the Year Linda Davis, Associate Professor in Administrative Support Technology, was announced as the Southern Business Education Association 2008 Postsecondary Teacher of the Year at the Southern Business Association Conference in Louisville. Congratulations, Linda!

Bill East -e Dr. Mark Q. Emick, Sr. -e Cathy Falligant -e Amy S. Fenster -e Brooke N. Ferguson -e Mia Webb Fittz -e Mr. Scott C. Frazier Kimberly French -e Ms. Judy E. Garst Jeffrey S. Gillette -e Mr. Ricky Gossage Marion Grammer -e Mr. Michael E. Green Mr. Walter A. Grigg, III Elizabeth Griffin -e

Alumni Association Welcomes New Alumni Benefits Participants The Virginia Western Alumni Association recently welcomed three new participants to the Alumni Benefits Program. For more information on how you can take advantage of exclusive offers from DirecTV, Hughes Satellite Internet, and ADT, please visit and click on Alumni Benefits Program. Remember, only Alumni Association members have access to these and other benefits, so join today!

Dr. & Mrs. Harold B. Haley Tracy Harmon -e Craig S. Harris -e Kent and Heather Harris -e Eddie and Susan Haynes -e in memory of John S. Carson Ms. Sheila D. Haynes -e Heavenly Ham Mr. & Mrs. Richard R. Hawkins Dr. Ruth Z. Hendrick -e in memory of Nadine Ingram Ms. Cheryl B. Henry Sarah Higgins -e Mr. Grady Hill -e J. Lee Hipp -e Kathy P. Holland -e Ms. Margaret S. Holland

Virginia Western Educational Foundation Alumni & Friends News • Volume 2 • Issue 2


Spring/Summer 2009 • 17

6/1/09 10:34:16 PM

Mr. & Mrs. Gary Houff -e in honor of Gary Houff, Sarah Houff & Callie Houff Cathy A. Hubbard Steve Huff -e Ms. Mildred Huffman -e Lyn Hursey -e Mr. David Hutchins Carly Johnson -e in honor of Paul and Connie Johnson Johnny Johnson -e Ms. Brenda L. Jones Charles H. Judge Kathlyn Killian Jenifer Kurtz -e Ann F. Layne -e


Gifts to the Employee Giving Campaign Make a Difference Donations to the 2008 Employee Giving Campaign enabled the Foundation to make a difference for 18 students who received Foundation Book Funds and 12 students who received Foundation Emergency Funds in 2008. In just the first few months of 2009, 23 students have received book funds and 8 students have received emergency funds. The

Mr. Robert L. Leftwich Judy Lienhardt -e Shirley S. Long -e Mike Lucas -e Tony Maiolo -e Amy Chambers Maiolo -e Scott MacRae Mr. Charles O. Markham, Jr. Constance W. McClain, M.Ed., RTR -e in memory of Preston B. Mayson, MD

need is great and ever-growing. Often these funds remove the last obstacle to a student’s success. As one student told

Lewis A. Menefee Ms. Elisabeth A. Miller Laura Milliman -e Ms. Dawn C. Moses

the Foundation, “I thought my dream of an associate’s degree was over when I lost my transportation, but when the Foundation provided funds for bus passes, I knew I would make it.”

Ms. Sally E. Motley Mr. & Mrs. Johnny E. Murray, Jr. Ms. Diana L. Nicholson Judy Nunn -e Joel & Emily Pack Rhonda N. Perdue -e Rose Peters -e Mr. & Mrs. Jeffery L. Poff -e John D. Price -e Joyce and Randy Rakes Jeff Rakes -e Ms. Barbara Raintree Jim Ramsdel -e Pat Rhodes -e Martha Richardson -e in memory of Shannon Crouse Jerry J. Schaefer in memory of my son, Jerry John Schaefer Chasity Schaffer -e Bryan Schaubach -e

18 • Spring/Summer 2009



Welcome to the newest members of the Virginia Western Alumni Association! Join your fellow classmates in making a lasting impact on your alma mater by joining the Alumni Association today. Visit for more information.

Margaret K. Bacon Daniel Davis, 1991 Walter A. Grigg, III, 1999 Brenda L. Jones Lewis A. Menefee, 1991 Vickie Vivian Vandergrift, 1977

Scott Burton Scott C. Frazier, 1988 Carole J. Hawkins, 1979 Robert Lewis Leftwich, 1970 Dawn Cameron Moses, 1977 Richard Wayne Woods, 1977 (between 10/28/2008 and 4/30/2009)

Virginia Western Educational Foundation Alumni & Friends News • Volume 2 • Issue 2

6/1/09 10:34:19 PM

BITS & BITES Virginia Western Community College Summer Children’s Theatre Camp – July 6-17

Ms. Denise Schuh -e Bonny Simpson -e in memory of Mason Metz Richard S. Skelley -e Mrs. Angela T. Stanfill in honor of Ed and Glenna Hall Christine Stanley -e Cathy Swain -e Rebecca Talbot -e Natalie Mace Talbott -e Susan C. Taylor -e in memory of Rachel Rakes Hager Taaza Rick and Sue Terrell Claire Thomas, CPS -e Ms. Belinda Thomas Mr. & Mrs. Paul R. Thomson, Jr.

Theatre and kids go together like peanut butter and jelly. Kids are naturally creative, and the aim of this camp is to nurture these natural talents and allow them to grow. Studying the art and craft of theatre offers opportunities to gain a love of the arts as well as valuable life skills. While creating a full production, participants will also learn to work as a team and build language and communication skills, self-confidence, and respect. All participants will have a part in the production, help build the set and design the costumes. This is a hands-on, full-participation, fun-filled two-week session of theatre magic! No previous experience is necessary; every child is a natural star! This exciting opportunity is open to all children in the 3rd through 9th grades; tuition is $250 and will provide each participant with a theatre camp T-shirt and snacks. Places are limited, and registration is on a first-come first-served basis: the deadline for registration is June 26. For more information and to register, please visit or call the VWCC Humanities Division Office at 857.7271.

Business Division Receives Reaffirmation of Accreditation The Associate Degree Board of Commissioners voted to grant reaffirmation of accreditation to Virginia Western Community College for its Accounting, AST, IST, management, marketing and BAUD courses. The accreditation process was spearheaded by Virginia Western Faculty Debbie Yancey and Jeff Strom. The Business Division will receive its certificate of accreditation at the 2009 Annual Conference in San Antonio, TX in June.

Virginia Western Educational Foundation Alumni & Friends News • Volume 2 • Issue 2


in memory of Paul R. Thomson, Sr. Brenda Tilley -e Tong’s Thai Too Ms. Tina Trudeau -e Mrs. Tara Vance -e Ms. Vickie V. Vandergrift Debora Q. Weeks -e in memory of Margaret Hollandsworth Quesenberry Joanie White -e Felicia White -e in honor of Mr. Cecil White Mrs. Bonnie V. Whitley -e Edna Whittier Melissa Williams -e Michael H. Williams Dianne L. Williams -e Ms. Suzanne L. Williamson Gracie M. Wilson -e Kevin G. Witter -e Mr. Richard W. Woods Holly A. Woodson -e Pamela D. Woody -e in memory of Leon Hooper Peggy A. Woody Mr. Lionel T. Woody -e Barbara Wright -e Mrs. Janice A. Young -e denotes VWCC employee

Spring/Summer 2009 • 19

6/1/09 10:34:22 PM


Virginia Western Educational Foundation P.O. Box 14007 Roanoke, VA 24038-4007



! Y A D O JOIN T Become an Alumni Association Member REFFERED BY A FELLOW MEMBER?

Did someone refer or encourage you to join? Is so, please include this person’s name here so they can receive reward points for participating in our “I am. Are you?” Membership Campaign.


ALUMNI ASSOCIATION MEMBERSHIP APPLICATION _____________________________________________________________________________

Full Name (Please Print)

Maiden Name (if applicable)

___________________________________________________________________________________________________ Joint Member Name (if applicable) ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ Address ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ City State Zip ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ Phone E-mail I did not attend Virginia Western, but I want to join the Alumni Association as a Friend.

_________________________________________________________ VWCC Graduation Year or # of credit/hours completed _________________________________________________________ VWCC Curriculum

MEMBERSHIP TYPES Class of of2009 2008graduate graduate- -free free Class

$10 Annual - Single $20 Annual – Joint*

$10 Gift Membership* ___________________________________________________________________ Given by





*Membership Eligibility: Joint membership is available to two individuals living at the same address. For Gift Membership, simply fill out the form with the recipient’s information and include your name & address beside the gift membership box.




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MAIL OR FAX COMPLETED FORM TO: Virginia Western Alumni Association P.O. Box 14007 Roanoke, VA 24038-4007 Fax: (540) 857-6370

Phone: (540) 857-8914

Or join online instantly by visiting

6/1/09 10:34:23 PM

Impact! Spring-Summer 2009  

The Virginia Western Educational Foundation is proud to bring you Impact! The Magazine of the Virginia Western Community College Educational...

Impact! Spring-Summer 2009  

The Virginia Western Educational Foundation is proud to bring you Impact! The Magazine of the Virginia Western Community College Educational...