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Impacting our Region Dear Friends: A dynamic and growing place, Virginia Western provides superior opportunities for student development in a learning-centered environment. To maximize access to these opportunities, the Virginia Western Educational Foundation campaigns to provide community college access to students across our region. The Community College Access Program (CCAP) provides tuitionfree education to students in area high schools who meet program guidelines. These are students who otherwise would not have the opportunity to attend college. CCAP is currently available to graduating students from the City of Salem and City of Roanoke. Beginning in fall 2011, Franklin County students will also participate in the Community College Access Program. The rising number of student applications shows a growing awareness of the program. The goal for the Foundation is to expand the program to Roanoke County, Botetourt County and Craig County. The Foundation’s current initiative is “Send Our Children to College: A Campaign to Change our Future.” The grassroots fundraising effort will further increase community awareness of the tremendous educational opportunities available to students throughout the region. Throughout the month of May, Kroger and Stop In stores are providing opportunities for you to donate change to change

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the future for students throughout the area. By giving $1 or more at the register when you check out, you show how our entire community is committed to giving young people a chance at a college education. By broadening the impact of fundraising in support of Virginia Western, increasing the number of students with access to college, and strengthening the region’s overall economy, a region-wide Community College Access Program means a better future for us all. CCAP provides qualifying students a full two-year tuition to Virginia Western and is supported by a series of public/private partnerships. Securing a fulfilling and good-paying job is the goal of every student. CCAP will provide the path for more students to help themselves achieve the education essential for a sustainable career in our community—students like Allison Linkous (on our cover).

Allison, who is studying Early Childhood Education and intends to own a day care facility, works and goes to school full-time and receives tuition assistance through CCAP. Her mother said the funds made Virginia Western the only choice for Allison, and give the family more flexibility to plan for the future. CCAP supports as many students as possible based on student need and funds available for the program. Don’t forget to spread the word about how CCAP benefits area students and the entire regional economy. And make a change in a child’s future by donating your change when you shop at Kroger or Stop In throughout May. You CAN make an Impact! With kindest regards, James W. Arend President

Virginia Western Educational Foundation Alumni & Friends News • Volume 4 • Issue 2


Cover Photo: Allison Linkous, a first-year early childhood education student, attends Virginia Western thanks to tuition assistance through the Community College Access Program. See full story page 9. Below: Brown Library Staff Seated: Anjelyque Delaney and Destiny Chambers, student workers; First Row (left to right): Amanda Phillips, student worker; Pam Conner, office assistant; Laura Milliman, reference librarian; Jim Gettys, circulation assistant; Second Row (left to right): Kalyca Schultz, library specialist; Faith Janney, circulation manager; Back Row (left to right): Sharon Delaney, student worker; Lynn Hurt, library coordinator; Not Pictured: Joan Ayers, circulation assistant; Sandy Holland, circulation assistant; Sandra Kelly, reference assistant. See story page 13.



A Legacy of Leadership The Virginia Western community remembers the longstanding impact of Dr. John Capps, as he moves on after 30 years of service.


Teaching the Future

12 14 16

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DEPARTMENTS From the President Bits and Bites

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Donors Foundation News

For more information on the Virginia Western Educational Foundation and its programs or activities, please contact: Katherine F. Strickland, Executive Director of the Educational Foundation and External Relations Phone: 540.857.6020 | Erik Williams, Coordinator for Resource Development Phone: 540.857.8914 | Wanda L. DiMarco, CCAP and Scholarship Program Coordinator Phone: 540.857.6371 | Karen Rayl, Office Manager Phone: 540.857.7312 | Ruth Ebrahim, Alumni/Media Relations Specialist Phone: 540.857.6962 |

ALUMNI COUNCIL MEMBERS Cheryl Cunningham ‘86, Chair Anne Hogan ‘76, Vice Chair Susan Cain Jimmy Holt ‘83 Shirl Lamanca ‘75

Barbara Maberry ‘03 Donna Mitchell ‘81 Sonya Ranson ‘85 Deb Saunders ‘93

Virginia Western student Allison Linkous is in her first year of the early childhood education program, thanks to the financial assistance of the Community College Access Program.

A Common Theme Virginia Western continues to improve campus facilities to better serve students and our community through various projects, including ongoing renovations to Brown Library and the new Center for Science and Health Technology.

Preventative Professionals The Virginia Western dental hygiene program trains the future workforce in four localities.

Return on Investment 2010 Distinguished Alumnus of the Year Russ Ellis talks about his continued involvement with the Virginia Western Educational Foundation.

EDUCATIONAL FOUNDATION BOARD OF DIRECTORS 2011 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 Virginia Western Educational Foundation, P.O. Box 14007, Roanoke, VA 24038-4007 or by calling 540.857.8914. President James W. Arend

Jason Bingham Harvey D. Brookins, Jr. R. Daniel Carson, Jr. Vice President Dorothy S. Clifton Edwin C. Hall Glen C. Combs Secretary Warner Dalhouse Katherine Elliott Sarah Tune Doherty Treasurer Tammy Moss Finley Neil D. Wilkin, Jr. Victor E. Giovanetti Maryellen F. Goodlatte Immediate Past Kent S. Greenawalt President Ronald R. Hare Russell H. Ellis Barry L. Henderson Local Board Chair Anne Kornegay Lorraine S. Lange Larry LaCroix College President Cynthia D. Lawrence Robert H. Sandel Donna L. Mitchell At-large Members Gerald Pace, Sr. Thomas R. Bagby J. Kenneth Randolph

Virginia Western Educational Foundation Alumni & Friends News • Volume 4 • Issue 2

Bertram Spetzler Michael E. Warner Carolyn M. Webster W. Lee Wilhelm, III Barton J. Wilner Directors Emeriti G. Len Boone G. Franklin Flippin William H. Fralin, Jr. John R. Francis, Jr. Stanard F. Lanford Barbara B. Lemon Elizabeth W. Payne Donald G. Smith John B. Williamson, III

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2010 - 2011 ANNUAL CONTRIBUTORS 5/1/2010-4/11/2011

PRESIDENT’S CIRCLE $15,000+ Al Pollard Memorial Foundation

LEADERSHIP SOCIETY $5,000 - $14,999 Anonymous Whitaker Fund

COMMUNITY PARTNERS $1,500 - $4,999


Virginia Western Educational Foundation awards $150,000 in scholarships Attending college requires a large investment on the part of students, parents and the community. Students invest time. Parents invest money and resources. The community also invests time, money, and resources into the students’ success. As a result of the investment made by community members, businesses, organizations, and non-profit groups, the Virginia Western Educational Foundation was able to award nearly $150,000 in scholarships, to 118 students, for the 2010-2011 academic year. An awards ceremony was held to recognize the scholarship recipients and donors (pictured).

Access, Inc. Belmont Presbyterian Church Bingham Family CJMW Architecture Ms. Katherine Elliott Friendship Retirement Community Bill, Andrew & Elizabeth Hackworth Ms. Melissa B. Hodgkinson ITT Corporation Faith Janney Granger and Anne Macfarlane Mr. & Mrs. Bernard B. Odasz Jim and Pam Poythress Dr. Albert S. Roslyn Mr. & Mrs. James W. Thweatt, Jr. The Virginia Foundation for Community College Education

DEAN’S SOCIETY $750 - $1,499 Mrs. Margaret L. Andrews Jim Arend

Like Virginia Western pages on Facebook! Virginia Western Community College Virginia Western Educational Foundation Virginia Western Alumni Association Community College Access Program


Grady and Lori Baker Bank of Botetourt Mr. & Mrs. Monty D. Brown Dr. John S. Capps Mr. Calvin S. Cassell Dennis R. Cronk Warner Dalhouse Mr. Daniel Davis Walter Dixon


Mr. & Mrs. Russell H. Ellis

$10 Annual-Single

Katherine Nelson Fishburn Foundation Fund, Foundation for Roanoke Valley

$20 Annual-Joint

GE TMGE Volunteers

Membership Eligibility: Joint membership is available to two individuals living at the same address.

Mr. Stanley L. Glass - in memory of Patrick T. Kay

$10 Gift Membership

Edwin C. Hall Ronald Hare

For Gift Membership, simply fill out the form online with the recipient’s information and include your name and address beside the gift membership box.

Gary J. Harpold, M.D.

Class of 2011 Graduate-Complimentary

Leon and Beverly Harris

Membership fees support the Alumni Association Annual Book Scholarship ($5) and other alumni activities ($5).

Forest & Betty Jones

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2010-2011 NEW MEMBERS Teresa Berry Don R. Dame, 1975 Thomas Foster Judy Elizabeth Garst, 1973 Richard H. Harris, Jr., 2001 Lyn E. Hursey Charles H. Judge, 1978 Jack A. Powell, 1973 Deborah C. Roy Claire Thomas Gary Michael Webb, 1984 & 1989 Michael Hugh Williams, 1977 Viriginia Western Alumni Relations Office Ruth Ebrahim 540.857.6962

Virginia Western Educational Foundation Alumni & Friends News • Volume 4 • Issue 2


Mr. & Mrs. David Kay - in memory of Patrick T. Kay Stan and Elise Lanford

Public Safety Day

Mr. & Mrs. Mark Lawrence Ms. Donna L. Mitchell

Public Safety Day 2011 was held on Virginia Western’s campus and funded in part by the Educational Foundation. Safety Day, which was organized by the Virginia Western Justice Club, featured campus and local police, as well as state and federal law enforcement and fire/rescue agencies, and safety demonstrations.

Digital Technology Virginia Western Community College recently joined 18 other community colleges described by the Center for Digital Education as “national leaders in utilizing technology to provide exceptional services to students, educators and administrators.”

Jess Newbern, III Prestige Motorcycle Club Dr. & Mrs. Robert H. Sandel Mr. & Mrs. Donald G. Smith Dr. Hugh P. Smith Dr. & Mrs. Bertram Spetzler Mary and Douglas Waters Mrs. Janet C. Whitaker - in honor of my three grandchildren Neil and Teena Wilkin Bart & Lynn Wilner Paul and Diane Wolff

SCHOLAR SOCIETY $350 - $749 Anthony F. Anderson, Esq. Mr. & Mrs. Thomas R. Bagby Cabell & Shirley Brand Charitable Lead Trust The Cartledge Foundation, Inc. Mrs. Dorothy S. Clifton Mr. & Mrs. Preston M. Collins, Jr. Glen and Marsha Combs

Student Named Volunteer of the Year Christy Roth, Virginia Western Community College Dental Hygiene student, was recently honored as a Rescue Mission Ministries 2010 Volunteer of the Year. She began volunteering at the Rescue Mission Dental Clinic when it opened on July 2, 2010. On that day, the clinic staff of five dentists and fifty volunteers saw 162 patients.

Nancy B. Cook -in memory of Beth Raoms, Susan Trent, Ben Davis, and B.J. Jones Dixon, Hubard, Feinour & Brown, Inc. Sarah Tune Doherty EventZone Mr. & Mrs. Bruce M. Farrell Nancy E. Francisco Dr. & Mrs. Paul T. Frantz R. Wayne and Marianne E. Gandee

Christy has worked with the dental coordinator to organize the dental exam rooms and has gone above and beyond to do whatever has been needed to make the clinic a success.

Dr. Virginia Garden -in memory of Dr. Donna Harpold

“We consider Christy a godsend,” a Rescue Mission staff member said. “We feel blessed to have such gifted people working on our dental team.”

Mr. & Mrs. Barry L. Henderson

Bob and Maryellen Goodlatte Dr. Kent S. Greenawalt Ellen Holtman Anne Kornegay -in honor of Allie Hutcherson & Matthew Ivey Mr. & Mrs. Larry LaCroix

Professor is Adjunct Curator at Taubman Museum of Art A lover of folk art, Virginia Western Associate Professor of Art and Communication Design Brian Sieveking now serves as the adjunct curator for folk art at the Taubman Museum of Art. He hopes to use the post to highlight folk artists from across central and southern Virginia, and to get his students involved in the local museum. A full-time associate professor for nine years, Sieveking began documenting folk art while studying at Virginia Tech. “[We] give our students a lot of realworld experience, and I plan to do that through the museum as well,” he said. Virginia Western Educational Foundation Alumni & Friends News • Volume 4 • Issue 2

Shirl Duke Lamanca Lorraine & Bill Lange William and Dana Lee Diane & Ed Machado Ms. Cheryl C. Miller David and Mary Jo Mitchell Larry & Glenna Moore Melanie Moore Elizabeth H. Muse Tara L. Nepper Gerald Pace Ms. Spring Cho and Mr. William B. Poff Mr. & Mrs. J. Kenneth Randolph Karen Rayl

Continued on page 16 Spring/Summer 2011• 5



t could be said that Dr. John Capps avoids change. He received all three of his degrees— bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral— from Virginia Tech.

He spent over 30 years at Virginia Western Community College, beginning as an instructor of English in 1978 and leaving as Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs in 2011. It could also be said, however, that Dr. Capps embodies change. He constantly promoted the growth and development of the college, in regard to facilities as well as faculty and student recruitment and retention. He never settled in his expectations for those he worked with— whether students or faculty—or for himself. “From the start, John stood out,” recalls Maggie McDaniel, an associate professor of English who worked with Dr. Capps from his first year at Virginia Western. “I knew he would move beyond the classroom.” McDaniel, like so many of Dr. Capps’ former colleagues, describes him as popular and well respected by students, faculty and administration alike. “When he became vice president, he took those virtues with him, creating that same respect and affection college-wide,” McDaniel said. “I already miss him, but I know wherever he goes people will realize how lucky they are to have him.” Dr. Capps embarked on a big change this year, when he accepted the position as President of Central Virginia Community College in Lynchburg. The legacy of leadership he leaves behind at Virginia Western is fondly known by all who worked with him. Perhaps no one knows the depth of influence Dr. Capps had on Virginia Western more than President Dr. Robert Sandel. He said Dr. Capps inspired colleagues to meet challenges and have high expectations. He described Dr. Capps’ management style as “unique” and said people responded with 100 percent effort because they knew Dr. Capps would do the same. “To me, his legacy is one in which he was able to bring people together for the greater good of the college,” Dr. Sandel said. Steve Huff, associate professor of communication design, said Dr. Capps was the person who first convinced him to move into higher education. He said working with Dr. Capps for 13 years was one

of the highlights of his professional career. Huff reiterates what many others have said, that although Dr. Capps’ decision to make a change means a great loss for Virginia Western, it means a great gain for those whom he works with in the future. “Central Virginia Community College and the Virginia Community College System are gaining a tremendous talent and promising new president,” Huff said. Dr. Capps also left a lasting impact on his students. Virginia Western alumna Donna Mitchell, who currently serves on the alumni council and Educational Foundation Board of Directors, took English with him when he was a young professor. She describes him as “an imparter of knowledge, counselor, mentor and friend.” Mitchell said she and her classmates would spend hours in his office after class discussing current events and every day challenges. “He was endlessly patient, always kind and had lots of sound advice about how to solve all of life’s problems,” she said. “He was a stand-out, and most definitely at the top of my list of teachers who have had a permanently profound and lasting effect on my life.” In the last couple of weeks of his tenure at Virginia Western, Dr. Capps was treated to several receptions and good-bye notions. With his well-known sense of humor, Dr. Capps commented repeatedly that he felt like he was living through his own funeral, as person after person “eulogized” his accomplishments and influence on the college. A running theme of these comments was that Dr. Capps was more than a colleague. He was a friend and a true leader. Though Dr. Capps’ decision to make such a dramatic change left the Virginia Western campus saddened, it also allowed faculty and staff an opportunity to look back on 30 years of college history. With the memories came many laughs and heartfelt moments. At the same time, it gave the college a chance to analyze how Dr. Capps’ legacy of leadership and aptitude for change can be extended into the next stage for Virginia Western. Dr. Sandel said the college is poised to reach even greater heights in its reputation as an educational leader. He said the college’s faculty and staff ensure a bright future, because they are committed to making a positive difference in our students’ lives. “The academic philosophy of Virginia Western is to have high expectations of our students and to challenge them to be the best they can be at any task or endeavor,” he said. “I see the next decade at Virginia Western to be one of growth in student enrollment, facilities enhancement, and an even more positive image in our region.”

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efore she even graduated high school, Allison Linkous knew she wanted a career caring for and teaching young children.

She took introduction to early childhood education as a dual enrollment course during her senior year at William Fleming High School. Following graduation in 2010, Virginia Western Community College was her first choice because she wanted to stay close to home. A guidance counselor referred her to the Community College Access Program (CCAP). Allison decided to apply, and she said the tuition assistance made Virginia Western a clear winner in the college search.


Her mother, Myrna Linkous, said having 100 percent of her daughter’s tuition paid helps the family plan for the next step in Allison’s career. The college freshman said she plans to go directly to work after she earns her associate of applied science degree in early childhood development from Virginia Western. She hopes to complete the program by spring 2012. “I would love to be a director of a day care, to run my own,” she said. “I want to teach children in a way to make sure they understand what they’re learning and why.” After working for several years, Allison said she will likely pursue a bachelor’s or master’s degree in education. Those future goals are why her mother appreciates being able to save money now on college tuition, because of Allison’s participation in CCAP. Allison currently works as a teacher’s aide at Childcare Network on Brambleton Road, where she’s been working since her senior year in high school. After graduating from Virginia Western, she

said she intends to continue her career locally. She looks forward to being able to have her own classroom, she said, and thinks the experience gained in Virginia Western’s Early Childhood Development program is preparing her well. In fall 2010, she completed Teaching Art, Music and Movement to Children, in which students completed an end-of-class project and presented a lesson at the Raleigh Court Head Start preschool program. Allison said the project was her favorite thing she’s done in the program so far. “If we don’t have art, music and movement at a young age within the preschool programs, then as adults, we will lose that creativity,” she said. In partnership with Smart Beginnings and TAP Head Start, Virginia Western is part of a Teaching and Resource Center at the former Raleigh Court Elementary School. The center includes four classrooms for children birth to age five with observation booths, two model early childhood classrooms, an adult training room and a Virginia Western classroom and resource library. This partnership provides Virginia Western students the opportunity to see quality early childhood practice in action, to spend time in an early childhood environment, and to learn in a teaching space focusing on reflection and application. This semester, Allison is taking Infant and Toddler Programs, which is also taught at the off-site lab, and Models of Early Childhood Education Programs. She is also taking freshman English and math and is well on the way to completing the degree. Allison first knew she wanted to teach young children after babysitting for a friend over the summer and working in the nursery at Hollins Baptist Church. After almost two semesters in the Virginia Western program, Allison said she knows she’s in the right place. “The children’s expressions are funny to me,” she said. “They are so eager to learn.” Allison is also grateful to the CCAP donors who made it possible for her to pursue her dreams. “I would like to thank them for everything they’ve done,” she said. “They’ve practically provided me an education.”

For more information on the Community College Access Program, visit The AAS degree program in early childhood development is designed to enable graduates to qualify as directors, assistant directors, teachers, assistant teachers, or as classroom aides in programs for young children. To learn more, visit Virginia Western Educational Foundation Alumni & Friends News • Volume 4 • Issue 2

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ach time a new space appears in the library, students appear the next day to fill it. The vision of the Brown Library renovation is not to create more space for books, but to create more places for students to meet and learn. First built in 1969 and dedicated to Col. J. Sinclair Brown, the library on Virginia Western Community College’s campus has never undergone a major renovation. The vision to transform the library into a Learning Commons came about during fall 2009. The plan was promoted by college administration, especially then-Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs John Capps, as a further way to make campus more inviting and representative of student life. “If you provide the space for students, make them comfortable, and show them that you’re interested in their success, then they will come,” said Library Coordinator Lynn Hurt (pictured). The renovated library, or learning commons, will be more open and accessible. There will be 40 computers, compared with the 28 currently in use, and the computer workspaces will be set up in pods so students can work together. High-tech study rooms featuring projector setups will give tutors a central place to meet students. Increased wireless access and ramped-up technology throughout will help the library meet the changing needs of students. “More and more, students are looking for somewhere to do group work,” Hurt said. “We want to accommodate everyone’s learning and technology needs.”

Both floors will be renovated, with collaborative study spaces and the technology center on the main floor and all the print resources and quiet study areas on the second floor. A café area will also be added to the main floor, along with a study room, library classroom and office space. The library will also unveil a new checkout system following the renovation completion, scheduled for January 2012. Spectrum Design began formally planning the renovation with the college in spring 2010. Construction started on March 1 with the closing of the library’s main floor. Hurt, who has been serving as interim director since the December 2008 retirement of longtime director David Hillman, stepped into the coordinator position the week before demolition began. Over the last year, she and her staff worked every day to prepare the library for its overhaul. The four full-time and four part-time library staff members handled every single book in the library’s collection, cleaned out storage spaces, and began implementing the learning commons vision. They used available desks, chairs, and shelves to create spaces for students to meet and study. During the first stage of renovation, Brown Library is operating entirely on the top floor. The top floor will be closed, and the main floor will house everything during the second stage. All resources remain available throughout the renovation. “Our traffic has already increased a lot,” Hurt said. “I feel sure that the more study space we provide, the more packed we’re going to be.”

Did you know: You don’t have to be a Virginia Western student to use Brown Library? Library cards will be given to any community member who is at least 16 years old and shows proper identification. To apply for a library card, visit the library on Virginia Western’s campus.

Virginia Western Educational Foundation Alumni & Friends News • Volume 4 • Issue 2

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irginia Western’s dental hygiene program does more than educate Roanoke-area students in the highly attractive profession.

With four sites—in Danville, Lynchburg, Middletown, and Roanoke—the six full-time and 25 parttime dental hygiene faculty members are teaching 77 students across the state. “Students who come through this program are going to get what they need to be successful,” said Marty Sullivan, associate professor and program head of Virginia Western Dental Hygiene program. “We have dentists call from all over the state to know when a Virginia Western graduate is moving to their area.” Sullivan said the pending move into the college’s new Science and Health Professions building will be an additional boost for the program. Currently, Virginia Western dental hygiene students have regular exposure to cutting-edge technology and equipment but are not able to use it every day, Sullivan said. The classrooms and clinic in the new building will feature digital radiographs, paperless charging computers, and additional technology. Entry into the popular dental hygiene program is competitive, Sullivan said, and she often has 80-100 applications for 30 available slots. Once accepted, students must commit to a hefty time and financial commitment. Once accepted, Sullivan said students can expect to spend up to $5,000 on instruments, uniforms, books, and required examinations. To assist dental hygiene students on the state licensure board, Virginia Western alumna Betsey Soulsby set up the Class of 1999 scholarship, which is administered by the Virginia Western Educational Foundation. Another source of funds for dental hygiene students is the Alice Becker Hinchcliffe Endowed Scholarship. Dental hygiene is a 70-credit associate of applied science degree program. This year, there are 45 first-year and 22 second-year students enrolled. The initial application review process includes a look at the student’s grade point average,

science grades, an aptitude test, an in-person interview, and any dental assisting experience. In 2010, the entire dental hygiene program had a 77 percent retention rate. Of the students who took the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam, there was a 97 percent combined pass rate. The clinical pass rate for all campuses was 100 percent. The program’s success continues to attract young students interested in dental hygiene. Kelley Gallagher, who plans to apply to the dental hygiene program in fall 2011, said she chose to attend Virginia Western because of the program’s reputation. She also receives tuition assistance through the Community College Access Program (CCAP), and said she likes having the extra incentive to keep her grade point average high to maintain the funding. In fall 2010 and spring 2011, Gallagher worked on completing the prerequisites for the dental hygiene program. New this year, applicants are required to complete two anatomy and physiology courses as a prerequisite. That’s because the entry-level biology courses are a good predictor of success, Program Head Sullivan said. Completing the courses before entering the program will help students focus more on dental hygiene during the first year. The Virginia Western dental hygiene program began in 1970, but the college soon realized many students interested in dental hygiene were dispersed throughout more rural areas of the state, so the program was taken to them. The first joint venture satellite campuses were established in 1997, and Central Virginia Community College in Lynchburg became the most recent satellite site addition in 2008. Classroom instruction for all four sites comes from Virginia Western. Clinics are administered locally at each site, and each community college sets its own schedule for clinic days. Sullivan said she has been consistently impressed with the strength of Virginia Western’s dental hygiene program. “When I came here [in 1984], I didn’t think you could teach dental hygiene in a non-dental school environment, but boy, was I wrong,” she said.

In the photo: Heather Harris, dental hygiene instructor Brooke Bowling (the operator), 25, of Stuart, has been in the Virginia Western dental hygiene program for two years. She has a bachelor of science in health education/health promotion from Radford University, which is where she was introduced to dental hygiene and decided to pursue it. Shana Eddy (the patient), 24, of Roanoke, has a bachelor of science in biology from Virginia Tech. She was initially interested in pursuing a career in dentistry, but then fell in love with dental hygiene. She has been in the Virginia Western dental hygiene program for two years. Virginia Western Educational Foundation Alumni & Friends News • Volume 4 • Issue 2

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is professional success stretches over three self-started companies. His personal success boasts three well-educated and well-prepared children. His definition of success has grown to include the creation of educational opportunities across the Roanoke region. Russ Ellis graduated from Virginia Western Community College in 1980 with an associate degree in data processing. His professional and personal success, combined with continued support of the Virginia Western Educational Foundation and the Community College Access Program (CCAP), made Ellis the perfect candidate for the 2010 Distinguished Alumni Award. “I was quite honored to receive this recognition from the college,” Ellis said. “The fact that I am working to provide financial assistance to so many future students is the real reward for me. Education is such an important aspect for our kids and our regional financial health and prosperity.” The Virginia Western alumnus works tirelessly, as the co-chair of the Educational Foundation’s Major Gifts Campaign, to realize the dream of a region-wide CCAP program. He said he believes the program will have a lasting impact on the entire region, and his involvement continues a lifetime of setting high goals and continually striving to achieve them. When he took his first step into entrepreneurship by establishing DSC in 1991, his goals were clear. He wanted to grow the company so that it could support his family and his employees and their families, and to realize a return on his investment. “Going out on my own with three-year-old twins at home was the biggest leap I ever made,” he said. “As it turned out, the risk paid off.” He started DSC and grew it to 65 employees before merging the company into InSystems. By the time he sold InSystems in 2002, it had grown to 275

employees and operated in nine time zones. Ellis said when Standard Registration purchased InSystems, he appreciated seeing the cumulative result of his education and hard work. “I crammed 20 years of work into 10 years,” he said. “My education at Virginia Western prepared me for the ability to absorb those long hours and to work hard and focus on the details.” As a student, Ellis worked in the computer room 30 hours a week, and said he watched the world of computers revolutionize from his first year to his second year of school. Ellis credits his Virginia Western professor, Tracy Callis, for preparing him so well for a demanding field. He said Callis ran “rugged” classes and would graduate 11 of the 40 students who entered the program. There is a benefit to rigorous coursework and to a quality education, Ellis said. “When you got out of Callis’ program, employers knew you were prepared,” Ellis said. “It’s critical that employers know the work product that comes out of Virginia Western remains top of the class.” His first job out of college was as systems analyst programmer for the Roanoke Gas Company. After getting a taste for business ownership with DSC, Ellis continued his entrepreneurial ways by opening Rusty’s Best. He said he wanted to try something he didn’t know anything about, but in 2009 he went back to his roots. XCellos, a four-member web development and social media firm, is the latest on Ellis’ success list. His next goal is to add the region-wide CCAP program to that list. “It won’t happen in a year, or even the year after that, but it will happen over time. As it does, the increased quality of life for all our citizens will be measurable. That to me is success that will be enjoyed by so many.”

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RGC Resources, Inc. Martha Roberson Sandy Shelton Ms. Betsey E. Soulsby Ms. Debra S. Squire Kay and Wayne Strickland Mr. Jeff Strom Don and Judy Sublett - B,E,T Dr. & Mrs. George H. Wall Mike and Carolyn Warner Waterproofing Specialties W. Lee Wilhelm, III Erik W. Williams Suzanne L. Williamson Mr. & Mrs. J. David Wine Emily and Chip Woodrum Mr. & Mrs. Gary C. Young James J. Zeisler, Sr.

FRIENDS $150 - $349 Anonymous Amy Balzer Mr. John F. Berardi Pat Bolt Kathryn Boylan Ms. Ellen H. Brown Mr. Gerald A. Burgess Sarah K. Burns Catherine Carroll Leah K. Coffman Bob and Sally Crawford Mr. Sigmund E. Davidson -in honor of Dorothy S. Clifton Wanda and Paul DiMarco Mr. & Mrs. Louis E. Ellis -in honor of Russ Ellis Kim Ellis-Littlefield -in memory of Baron & Harley Mr. George K. Fischer, Jr. Carole Graham Mr. Gregory J. Haley David W. Harrison Lynn Hancock Hurt -in memory of Barbara & Harold Hancock, Sr. Kathlyn Killian Owen Lofthus, II Carlton and Melody Mabe Ms. Patricia Marickovich Dr. & Mrs. Robert L. McClanahan, Jr. Heidi McClintic -in memory of Dr. Garé LeCompte Dr. Ann H. Moser -in memory of Page and Rachel Hager Susan Quesenberry Dr. Avis C. Quinn -in memory of Pete Quinn


FACULTY NEWS Anne Kornegay is serving as interim vice president of academic and student affairs. She recently returned to serving as the dean of Science, Mathematics, and Health Professions. Rachelle Koudelik-Jones accepted the appointment as dean of institutional effectiveness. A former program head of mathematics and an assistant dean in the School of Science, Mathematics and Health Professions, she has served as the coordinator of planning and assessment since July 2008. B. Scott Crawford, history adjunct faculty member, has partnered with the Virginia Bar Association’s Rule of Law Project in order to help the non-profit organization provide lesson plans for instructors that are interdisciplinary in nature. Using an interpretive scaffold designed by Crawford, known as REED-LO, an acronym for the six interpretive steps related to interpreting the fine arts, the Rule of Law Project has provided on its website numerous works of art that teachers can use to explore the rule of law with their students, graded 9-college level. In addition to using his methodology, the Rule of

Law Project has also published on its website four lessons Crawford created that explore such themes as public virtue, equality, the struggle between democracy and totalitarianism, and social forces that impact the rule of law; all four lessons use works of art as a gateway to explore these themes. Stephanie Klein-Davis, photography adjunct faculty member, won first place in the Multimedia Interactive Category of the Atlanta Photojournalism Seminar for her video “Heartbeat,” produced at the Mountain Workshops in Elizabethtown, Kentucky in October. Sara Zeek, a dual enrollment instructor at Lord Botetourt High School, received the 2010 High School Teacher of Excellence Award from the National Council of Teachers of English and the Virginia Association of Teachers of English. Zeek was one of 19 high school teachers nationwide recognized by NCTE in this category. Dan Horine, Dan Brokaw, Tolga Durak, Rich Temple, Ken Heinz, Fred Deen, Joe Collins, and Kevin Witter—faculty members in the School of Business Engineering and Technology— have all gained industry credentials for the Energy Management Systems Program.

Gerald and Eleanor Roller Mr. Mark S. Schumacher Mr. Carl B. Sherertz Brian Sieveking

16 • Spring/Summer 2011

Virginia Western Educational Foundation Alumni & Friends News • Volume 4 • Issue 2


FOUNDATION NEWS Lee Wilhelm, Virginia Western Educational Foundation Board of Directors member, was nominated as Roanoke’s 2010 Citizen of the Year by over six local non-profit organizations. Wilhelm, who was unanimously chosen as Citizen of the Year, is the CEO for McNeil Roofing and Green Roofs of Virginia. Wilhelm has served on the Virginia Western Community College Educational Foundation since 2007. Virginia Western Educational Foundation member Dr. Bertram Spetzler was honored by the Roanoke Valley Academy of Medicine for his work in orthopedics and sports medicine on Friday, Feb. 4 at the 9th Annual President’s Gala. He received the Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his dedication, leadership and contributions to orthopedics and sports medicine in the Roanoke Valley. Harvey Brookins, Business Banking Manager for Wachovia Bank, joined the Educational Foundation Board of Directors as of January 2011. Tammy Finley, Vice President of Employment Counsel and Government Affairs for Advance Auto Parts, joined the Educational Foundation Board of Directors as of January 2011. Stanard Lanford, retired president of Lanford Brothers Company, was named as a director emeritus of the Educational Foundation board.

Mr. & Mrs. George Snead Mr. Albert W. Stewart Mr. & Mrs. Maury Strauss Debra Thomas Dr. Radford Thomas and Sue Steele Thomas Virginia Community College System -in honor of Ed Hall Mr. & Mrs. Cary Webster Dr. Elizabeth Wilmer Barry and Libba Wolfe Pam and Joe Wright Deborah A. Yancey

CONTRIBUTORS $1 - $149 Anonymous (10) Fredona Aaron William Alexander Lee Allen Theodore D. Allen Julia Andrews -in honor of Rita Halsey David Amy Anguiano Brenda C. Ashcraft Ralph and Lee Baker Mr. & Mrs. David H. Barger Mr. Jonathan E. Barton Lois Beck Mr. Clark Becraft Nicole Bell Ms. Laura E. Benjamin Dr. & Mrs. Robert E. Berry -in honor of Dr. & Mrs. Robert Sandel Ms. Teresa Berry Jim Blackwell Ms. Betsy Boardwine Jennifer Bobbitt Ms. Pamela K. Brown Dr. Carrie Cao

Poe Exhibit Edgar Allan Poe spent many of his formative years in a foster home in Virginia. His tragic life, mysterious death, and wealth of literary work continue to be intriguing and delightful. For these reasons, and to celebrate Poe’s 101st birthday, the Virginia Western School of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences presented Edgar Allan Poe’s Intrigue, Intellect and Influence, made possible in part by a grant from the Virginia Photo courtesy of Amanda Western Educational Foundation. Elkins, Virginia Western student As a kickoff, the college hosted a live performance of Edgar Allan Poe Comes Alive! featuring Scott Craig Jones, of The Traveling Jones Theater. The Humanities Art Gallery also featured an exhibit of Poe’s work from the Edgar Allan Poe Museum in Richmond, Virginia, as well as Virginia Western student artwork.

Ms. Lacey Carey Carroll Family Dr. Annemarie Carroll Becky Chauncey Ms. Heidi Christopher Kristel L. Clark Dr. & Mrs. Richard L. Clark, Jr. Carolyn Cleiland Karin Cole Mr. Paul Coleman Layne Compton Lorraine Conklin Pam Conner -in honor of my mother, Elma Woods Ramona Coveny Leo & Sharon Cullen Mr. Don R. Dame Linda S. Davis Mr. Charles E. Dearborn, Jr. -in memory of Professor Bob Houseman Andrew J. DeLeo Ms. Kelly Derrick

Continued on page 18 Virginia Western Educational Foundation Alumni & Friends News • Volume 4 • Issue 2

Spring/Summer 2011• 17


A COMMON THEME Center for Science and Health Professions Construction on Virginia Western Community College’s new Center for Science and Health Professions began in August 2010, and the building is scheduled to be completed by summer 2012. The building sits at the corner of Colonial Ave. and McNeil Dr. on the North Campus. Constant progress can be seen as the facility begins to reshape the landscape of the college. Virginia Western continues to improve campus facilities to better serve students and our community through various projects including the ongoing renovations to Brown Library.

Construction February 16

Construction February 16

Construction March 18

Construction March 18

HALL ASSOCIATES CAREER CENTER CORNER ALUMNI: Get involved with the Virginia Western Career Center Internship Program Virginia Western Community College’s Hall Internship Program allows students in all career fields the opportunity to gain real-world experience while completing a degree or certificate. This three-tiered program provides employers with work-ready students for up to two full semesters. Benefits for the Employer: • Allows you to meet business needs through additional skilled human resources. • Provides a low-risk means to evaluate potential future employees. • Serves as an inexpensive recruiting tool. • Brings current technology and ideals into the workforce. • Provides access to highly motivated pre-professionals. During the internship semester, Virginia Western partners with the on-site manager to provide additional supervision and/or counseling, as needed, through the class instructor. The college is seeking employers who will partner with us in this venture. As a partner, your company would be placed on a list that would be made available only to those students registered in the class. From that list, students would select an employer that could provide experience in his/her career interest area. The internship is worth 50 percent of the student’s grade. Therefore, your responsibility to the intern would be to provide work hours each week for the length of the semester, plus a mid- and final-term evaluation. Each student must “apply” for the internship, and you, the employer, have the right to accept or deny an intern based on the intern’s qualifications and/or your current need. For more information, please contact: Hall Associates Career Center at 857-7298 or Gailen Miles at 772-8151 Career Center Lunch and Earn—The Career Center plans to host monthly luncheons with students and members of the business community. Lunch will be provided and pre-registration is required for students. If you are an alumnus of Virginia Western and interested in hosting a Lunch and Earn program, please contact Ruth Ebrahim at or 540.857.6962.

18 • Spring/Summer 2011

Virginia Western Educational Foundation Alumni & Friends News • Volume 4 • Issue 2

Mr. Richard T. Driscoll

Mona R. Moore


Dr. & Mrs. F. Joseph Duckwall

Ms. Mousse

Tolga Durak

Joyce Music

1/1/2010 - 4/11/2011

Bill East -in honor of Lena Crawford

Mr. & Mrs. William A. Nash

Mr. Richard S. Efnor

Joel & Emily Pack

Brooke N. Ferguson

Lynn Painter

Mia Webb Fittz

Annette and Doug Parsons

Wayne & Cris Flippen

Meg and Rick Patterson

Ms. Catherine G. Fortune

Rhonda N. Perdue

Mr. Thomas Foster

Mary Y. Perry

Kimberly French

Mr. Jack A. Powell

Martha and William Adams Trust Catherine Carroll Ceres Foundation, Inc. Mr. Andrew J. Good Cathy A Hubbard ITT Corporation Ms. Donna L. Mitchell Dr. Cynthia S. Payne Prestige Motorcycle Club Ms. Kathleen H. Stuart -in memory of Gertrude, Raymond, & Melvin Hubbard

Ms. Desiree Frye

Ms. Barbara E. Raintree

Suzanne L. Williamson

Ms. Renee Rice


Ms. Cassandra Dove

Ms. Judy E. Garst Ms. Anne M. Gillespie -in memory of Dorothy Mock Marion Grammer Mike Greer Sarah M. Grubb Ms. Charlotte A. Hanks -in memory of Suzanne Hanks Tracy Harmon Craig S. Harris Kent and Heather Harris Mr. Richard H. Harris, Jr. Eddie and Susan Haynes Ms. Sheila D. Haynes Dr. Ruth Z. Hendrick Mr. Joseph K. Henry Sarah Higgins J. Lee Hipp Kathy P. Holland Mr. & Mrs. Gary Houff -in honor of Fary, Sarah, and Callie Houff

-in memory of Dottie Mock

Judy Nunn

Martha Richardson DeStacy Roberson Ms. Deborah C. Roy William A. Salyers, Jr. Mrs. Deborah A. Saunders Jerry J. Schaefer -in memory of my son, Jerry John Schaefer Bryan Schaubach Ms. Kalyca Schultz Jeffery Scott Dan Semones Bonny Simpson -in memory of Mason Metz Mr. Smith Mr. Dewey D. Spangler, Jr. -in memory of Prof. Hugh Phelps, Department of Engineering, VWCC Lesleigh Strauss -in memory of James Revercomb Cathy Swain

Cathy A. Hubbard

Rebecca Talbot

Ms. Mildred C. Huffman

Natalie Mace Talbott

Lyn Hursey

Claire Thomas, CPS

Ms. Cynthia L. Jones Charles H. Judge

Mr. Paul R. Thomson, Jr. -in memory of Paul R. Thomson, Sr.

Ann R. Kakouras

Brenda Tilley

Ms. Sandra Kelly

Ms. Lanette S. Upshaw

Rachelle Koudelik-Jones

Lora S. Vasiliauskas

Jenifer Kurtz

Virginia Western Community College Brown Library/LTC -in memory of Edgar C. Anderson, Jr.

Mr. & Mrs. Forrest M. Landon Ann F. Layne Mary Jean and John Levin Judy Lienhardt Dr. Gloria Lindsay Shirley S. Long Mr. Darrell Long Dr. Mary B. Loritsch Mike Lucas Tony & Amy Maiolo Maggie McDaniel

Dr. & Mrs. Peter A. Wallenborn, Jr. Betty Byrne Ware Mr. Gary M. Webb Amy F. White Joanie White Marla S. Whiteside Edna Whittier Mr. Andrew Williams Melissa Williams

Tammy Meador

Michael H. Williams

Mr. & Mrs. Carl N. Miller -in memory of Kevin J. Miller - our son

Gracie M. Wilson Holly A. Woodson

Laura Milliman

Pamela D. Woody -in honor of WENGO members

Laney Mofield Jean S. Montague

Barbara Wright

Virginia Western Educational Foundation Alumni & Friends News • Volume 4 • Issue 2

1/1/2010 - 4/11/2011 Appalachian Power Company Jim Arend Carilion Clinic Glen & Marsha Combs Warner Dalhouse Katherine Elliott Eric and Tammy Finley Graham-White Manufacturing Company Edwin C. and Glenna H. Hall Healthcare Contract Resources Ingersoll Rand Foundation Mr. & Mrs. Larry LaCroix Stan and Elise Lanford Mark & Cynthia Lawrence LewisGale Regional Health System Medical Facilities of America, Inc. Lavonne and Richard Moore Quantum Medical Business Service Richfield Retirement Community Roanoke City Public Schools Roanoke City Robertson Family Fund, Foundation for Roanoke Valley Salem City Dr. & Mrs. Robert H. Sandel Dr. & Mrs. Bertram Spetzler Trane - Virginia District Mike and Carolyn Warner

LEGACY SOCIETY MEMBERS AS OF 4/11/2011 Martha and William Adams (dec.) Ruby M. Brogan Edwin C. and Glenna H. Hall Lawrence H. Hamlar (dec.) Gertrude Light Hubbard (dec.) Stan & Elise Lanford Donna L. Mitchell Mary B. Moses (dec.) Mr. & Mrs. Bernard F. Odasz Linda P. Stuckey J. William Wilcher Alice Becker Hinchcliffe Williams (dec.) Ruth Willis Williamson (dec.)

Spring/Summer 2011• 19

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




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Impact! Spring/Summer 2011  

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

Impact! Spring/Summer 2011  

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