Friday, September 13, 2019

Meet Susan Roach 

Student Service Specialist/Special Accommodations



Where did you grow up and what was it like? 
I grew up in Ashtabula, Ohio, which is about one hour drive northeast of Cleveland right on Lake Erie.  I lived there until 1971 as I moved to Norfolk, VA as a Navy wife.  Mom and dad gave us the opportunity to have lots experiences.  I was a girl scout up to high school graduation, belonged to 4-H, worked at the local YMCA as a junior leader from Junior High to gradation and then continued to volunteer. Was a member of the FTA Future teachers of America in high school and had the chance to go to my elementary school and work as a SUB.  

How long have you worked for Reynolds? Have you always worked with students?
I started August of 1999, as a wage employee under the Perkins Grant as a notetaker in classrooms. Then in October, I was hired as the part time wage employee doing what I am still doing today. On 11-24-2004, I went full time as a classified staff still doing the same job, working with students with disabilities.  

You are described as being “very knowledgeable, and the epitome of professional and caring,” and showing, “real warmth with a no-nonsense style.” Were these traits always part of your personality, or did they develop over the years you have worked with students?
This statement would be a compliment to my mom, this is how she lived her life, and she was a nurse and a mom to four of us and had a matter of fact attitude. I have two older sisters and one younger brother and we were raised to care, nurture, and mind your manners. The activities we could be involved in made up for what we did not have in material items. My personality has always been the same treat someone as you would expect to be treated, always do the best you can and if you can have fun while doing your job. 

When my son was born and had complications at birth and was diagnosed with Spastic Quadriplegia Cerebral Palsy my world took a different turn. He is now 39 an alumni of Reynolds Community College and been working since 2003 at the same job and because of him I dove into the world of disabilities. Many of you know my son and see the end results of being able to teach someone how to be proactive and understand the world that they live in. My mom would be very proud us.

What are the most challenging aspects of your job?
We are very involved with our students and all of the parts of their lives as the disabilities can cross many lines. It is challenging when you help the students make the transition to college but also for many for the first time to try to understand their disability. K-12 does so much of the work for the student that may not be able to communicate what and why they need accommodations.   

What are the most rewarding aspects of your job?
Graduation!! I love to see my students cross the stage. I started on the graduation committee in 2003 and have not missed one yet. However, there is a BUT – the friendship you make with your co-workers and my relationships with our faculty are awesome and let you have fun at work.

If you had one extra hour a day, how would you use it?
 To be honest I might just say “Rest” but in the real world to have an extra hour at home every day to enjoy time my family would be great. We moved to King William in 2013 and that gives us a healthy drive. Nevertheless, that drive also means we have turkeys and deer in our front yard that do not mind sharing the yard with us.  

What do you like to do when you are not here on campus helping students?  
Spending time with family and friends does not matter where or what you are doing. You have to appreciate them while you have them and tell them often you care about them.  

What do like most about Richmond? Favorite places to visit? Favorite restaurants?
We like living in Richmond, as you can go either direction and in a matter of hours enjoy very different scenery. Since I grew up on Lake Erie and around boats, it is great that the Bay and Ocean is so close. When I was little my family spent time in the mountains camping. We have a camper and boat near Smith Point at Reedville, VA and enjoy time with family and friends that brings back many childhood memories.

If you won $100 Million in the Mega Millions lottery what would you do with the money?
I would pay off the new cars we bought, travel to visit family in Ohio, West Virginia, and Arizona. Probably add chickens, goat and not sure what else to our property and enjoy being at home. I would also start a few scholarships at Reynolds to support our students with disabilities in the honor of what Reynolds has done for my son.  

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Reynolds Student Named Valley Proteins Fellow 

for 4th Consecutive Year



She’s here. She’s there. She’s everywhere. "And that," says Valley Proteins Fellow Janeen McNeish, “is one of the most important keys to student success. You have to be everywhere. You have to be visible. If you want to stand out, you have to give to your school, and to your community. You have to volunteer.”

In her first year on campus Janeen was everywhere, devoting every bit of her time and energy to her studies, her college, and her community. And her philosophy paid off. It has earned her scholarships, the respect of faculty, administration and fellow students, and the latest award: the prestigious designation of Valley Proteins Fellow for the 2019-2020 academic year.

Being named a Valley Proteins Fellow is an honor earned by few. 

Consider this: of the more than 250,000 second-year students in the whole Virginia Community College system, only 10 are selected each year to participate in the Valley Proteins Fellowship Program. 

Now consider this: for the fourth consecutive year a Reynolds student has been chosen to be a Valley Proteins Fellow. 

Past Reynolds Valley Proteins Fellows are:  
Grace Swal – 2018-2019 
Donald Cooper – 2017-2018
Angela Graves – 2016 – 2017

If you haven’t had the pleasure of meeting Janeen, she is a second year Nursing student participating in a special partnership with ODU. She will graduate from Reynolds with her associates degree along with her Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). Her plan is to work for a year as an ICU Nurse and then apply to VCU’s Nurse Anesthesiology program so she can ultimately, “put people under.” Her plans were ambitious and rigorous even before being awarded the Fellowship. You can read more about Janeen in a previous post on the Reynolds blog.

With honor comes responsibility. “I don’t expect the Fellowship to make my life easier,” Janeen says, “what I expect it will do is reveal my role, or roles, on campus, in the community, and in my area of interest - Community Health.” While the scholarship has an approximate value of $15,000, which includes professional development, travel, networking opportunities, full tuition, books, fees, and intellectual and cultural activities, there are expectations. To strengthen their leadership skills and develop a strong foundation for future success, Fellows are expected to volunteer for 80 hours of community service during the academic year. At the same time they are required to maintain a minimum 3.5 grade point average.

What’s up for Janeen this semester along with the Fellowship? “Med Surg – an important class where you learn all the illnesses, Clinicals, Nursing Information – an online class through ODU, Health Participation, and Chemistry. It’s going to be a busy year.” 

How is it possible to carry such a heavy course load, participate in a Fellowship, and work at VCU as a Care Partner? Janeen takes a deep breath and explains what sustains her.

“I live by my calendar. It doesn’t happen if it isn’t on my calendar. With the big stuff planned I can better handle all the other unexpected stuff that comes up. Like last minute changes to my schedule.”

“Support. I can’t say enough about the support I have gotten from my professors and from the administration at Reynolds. Dr. Pando and Ann Bushey have been in my corner from day one. Every time something good has happened to me, Ann has been there."

"And the professors. They are fabulous. I did not love Chemistry until I came to Reynolds and had a class with Professor S [aka Professor Sinanian]. He is a hard teacher, no doubt, but he always made time to explain everything. I came to see him one day at noon, he set aside his lunch to help me. As long as you applied yourself he would make sure you really got it, and understood Chemistry, and I really needed to understand Chemistry."

"And then there are my classmates, I have made some amazing friends here. Having great people around you can take you to the next level. They share what they know, like the information about applying for the Valley Proteins Fellowship. I tell other students now, if you want to apply, reach out to me, I will help you - you need to be thinking about it now, because now is when you have to do the work, you have to participate, and you have to be VISIBLE.”

“I’ve learned when to say “yes” and when to say “no” to opportunities. I want to do a lot, but I can’t do everything. I have to choose carefully so I have enough time and energy to give 100% to what I do. Also, I invest in myself. I take vacations when I can. Even with a little bit of time, I’ll go watch a movie, or spend time with my family, these small things keep my tank full, too.” 

Our hearty congratulations go out to Janeen McNeish. May your tank always be full.

About the Valley Proteins Fellowship

The Valley Proteins Fellows program is made possible by the generous support of Valley Proteins, Inc., a Winchester-based rendering business operating for almost 70 years throughout the US. Valley Proteins management is committed to outstanding corporate citizenship, excellent customer service, technological innovation and support for the community college mission. 

President of Valley Proteins, Inc. Gerald Smith, Jr., said, “My brother and I are pleased to support the Valley Proteins Fellows program because it provides us with the opportunity to develop a more educated and competitive Virginia.” The Valley Proteins Fellowship Program is administered by the Virginia Foundation for Community College Education. Its mission is to help promising, second-year students at Virginia’s community colleges pursue their academic goals and strengthen their leadership skills.

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Reynolds Employee Profile

Anthony Peterson – Computer Help Desk Technician


Where did you grow up and what was it like? 
I grew up down the road in Petersburg. Being raised mainly by my mother, she always made sure that I kept my mind on my studies because she didn’t want me to be influenced by people who were involved with drugs and gangs. I had a lot of friends (some I still keep in touch with) and we always made sure to keep each other out of serious trouble.

How long have you worked for Reynolds? Have you been at the Help Desk the whole time? 
I’ve been here at the college for almost 11 years - and I have been at the Help Desk the whole time.

Were you always a computer whiz, or did you learn along the way? 
I didn’t start learning about computers until high school, but I became technically proficient when I joined the Air Force back in 2003.

Working with computers – especially faculty and staff with computers with problems – can be stressful. How do you calm them down? How do you keep yourself calm? 
I have to admit that working in the Help Desk is not easy at times, especially when trying to solve issues that don’t seem to logically make sense. What helps keep both myself and users sane is when I can use remote desktop to actually see what the problem is. I have to constantly remind myself to not take issues personally because at the end of the day, the user just wants to be able to get their work done and my job is to help them get it done.

What are the most challenging and most rewarding 
parts of your job? 
The most challenging part of my job is not being able to figure out why something is not working because my mindset is that every problem has a cause and a solution. The most rewarding part of my job is being able to meet people that I have talked to over the phone as we can get to know each other better.

What is the craziest computer issue you’ve ever had to resolve (please, no names, just the issue!)? 
The craziest computer issue I ever had was a few months ago when a user called saying that she could not login to the Reynolds Intranet page but could not login to her email account. I explained that even though they both use the same password, the Intranet page would not allow her to login if her password was expired, which would only be resolved through a password reset. She kept saying that she understood what I was saying but didn't understand why she could not login to the Intranet page, which confused me because her statement was a contradiction.

Long story short, after about 30 minutes of explaining the same thing over and over to her, she finally was exasperated and relented to a password reset. In trying to make her feel better, I told her that she didn't have to go through this again for another six months; whether I succeeded or not is up for debate.

If you had one extra hour a day, how would you use it? 
I would use the extra hour to catch up on some needed sleep.

What do you like to do when you aren’t being a superhero computer technician at work? 
In my spare time, I like to cook, read books, and take road trips to different places (especially places that I have never been to before).

What do like most about Richmond? Favorite places to visit? Favorite restaurants? 
I love that Richmond always has something to experience and that it’s a short drive from my house. My favorite places to visit are the Science Museum and the Redskins Training Camp. My favorite restaurants are the Olive Garden, Texas de Brazil, and Cracker Barrel.

If you won $100 Million in the Mega Millions lottery what would you do with the money? 
I would pay off some bills, create a scholarship fund here at Reynolds, buy me a new house, and do some travelling across the United States in an RV.

Outstanding Scholarship Student Series:

Katherine Alloway-Roof


150 Scholarships. 427 Awards.One Application. You can do this.


Last year the Reynolds Foundation funded approximately 150 scholarships, and made awards to 427 students of all ages, backgrounds, and academic standing and interests.

We believe in you. Just like we believed in Kiersten Echols, Janeen McNeish, Katherine Alloway-Roof, and Mark AlexanderThey got scholarships to help fund their education. You can, too.



“Coming to Reynolds required a bold leap of faith,” says Horticulture student Katherine Alloway-Roof. “I didn’t even live in Richmond, and I was enrolled in another community college when I decided to pursue a career in horticulture. I did some research and found Reynolds. To attend meant I would have to leave home, move to Richmond, find another job, and really start a new life. It would be a bold move. I did it. And, I love it! And my experience here has been fantastic.”

Katherine first “fell in love with plants” when she was in high school and took a job as a cashier at a garden and landscape center. Now, in her last year at Reynolds, Katherine says, “There’s a lot to love about horticulture. The field is always evolving, with new techniques and innovations being introduced every day. Plus, plants are always going to be here. We owe them their care. I love working with plants and with people, so it’s perfect for me.”

Most of us take landscaping for granted. Grass has to be mowed, trees have to be trimmed. Not Katherine. She has a vision for how our surroundings could be different and how they could be designed to make more sense. Her work is more mission than work.

“One of my greatest challenges is working with landscape designers,” she says, “I want to encourage them to break out of the mold of using evergreens and hollies all the time. I want to show them other options that actually bloom. I’d like to see the use of more natives, perennials, and plants that attract pollinators. I really enjoy suggesting horticultural alternatives, and helping people learn about something new and different.”

In her time at Reynolds Katherine has clearly put down roots and bloomed. She says this about her experience: “One of the best parts of Reynolds is the strong support system. In my first year the advisors were really important. David Seward has been absolutely amazing and I can’t thank him enough for all the help he has given me. He knew I needed financial help and encouraged me to apply for scholarships. All the professors and the other students have been great. The whole experience has been fantastic and my leap of faith has paid off. At one point I had to move back home to Fredricksburg and commute to school, and it was still worth it.”

Katherine has been awarded the John H. Wright-Elk Hill Scholarship to help her finance her last semester at Reynolds. Right now she works full time at a local nursery taking care of the greenhouses and helping customers. She plans to graduate in December after taking a full load of classes this fall.
  
Then what? “I really like my job and want to continue working. I’ve been looking at Virginia Tech or UVA for a four-year degree in landscape architecture. Eventually I’d like to work with cities, maybe Richmond, designing green spaces. It’s so important for people to have green spaces, no matter where they live.” 

Coming to Reynolds may have been a big leap of faith for Katherine, but she has cleared her first hurdle beautifully, and has bloomed where she has been planted. She is well on her way now to making our world a little greener.

Want to apply for a Reynolds scholarship?

The Scholarship Application opens Sunday, December 1, 2019 and closes Sunday, March 1, 2020.

You can apply for a scholarship through the Reynolds General Scholarship Program or through the Community Highlight: Reynolds East End Scholarship Program. 

The Scholarship Application opens Sunday, December 1, 2019 and close Sunday, March 1, 2020. A wide variety of scholarships are available. Some are general, others are for specific programs of study, or are for students living in a particular locality. Current and prospective students can complete and submit one common scholarship application to be considered for all available scholarships. For more information visit: http://www.reynolds.edu/scholarships.

Reynolds General Scholarship Program
Reynolds Community College offers a variety of scholarships to students with diverse interests and backgrounds. Each year the Reynolds Scholarship Office awards more than half a million dollars in scholarships to eligible students. Awards can range from $100 to $4,000, with the average award being $1,500.  Reynolds scholarships are established by gifts to the J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College Educational Foundation and awarded by the Reynolds Scholarship Committee.
  
Community Highlight: Reynolds East End Scholarship

If you live in the East End of the City of Richmond or Henrico County you may be eligible for a scholarship this scholarship. With more than 90 degree and workforce programs, including culinary arts, healthcare, and other credentials for immediate employment or 4-year transfer, Reynolds has a program for you. There is no age limit. Reynolds staff members are available to help with your admission and financial aid applications. 

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Outstanding Scholarship Student Series:

Kiersten Echols


150 Scholarships. 427 Awards.

One Application. You can do this.


Last year the Reynolds Foundation funded approximately 150 scholarships, and made awards to 427 students of all ages, backgrounds, and academic standing and interests.

We believe in you. Just like we believed in Kiersten Echols, Janeen McNeish, Katherine Alloway-Roof, and Mark AlexanderThey got scholarships to help fund their education. You can, too.


Kiersten Echols


“I didn’t know there were so many scholarships available at Reynolds. I really had no idea I would even be eligible for one. I thought scholarships were only open to A students, or athletes, or special students. I’m not any of those things. Then I found out I was actually eligible for two scholarships. I received an award from the Nursing Endowed Scholarship. It will help me finish my last two semesters at Reynolds and get my AAS in Nursing.” Ironically, Kiersten’s grandmother and the donor of the scholarship went to Johnson Willis’s nursing school and worked together at Johnson Willis hospital as nurses.

Reynolds was a perfect choice for Kiersten. Many of her family members are involved in nursing, patient care, or emergency medicine, so nursing is, so to speak, in her blood. Perhaps most important, once she decided on nursing, she visited other larger schools and knew they weren’t for her.

“Reynolds was close to home and affordable,” she says. “Just what I wanted. The small class size and personal attention are just what I need. I have loved all of my teachers and the experience has been great. Everyone has been very helpful and they always try to work around your schedule.” In addition to classes, Kiersten works a lot of hours as a Patient Care Coordinator in a local hospital. Her work is an excellent introduction to her field.

Kiersten claims to, “not be an interesting person,” but this isn’t true. She is quiet and thoughtful. When she talks about becoming a trauma nurse, and about her current job caring for cardiac patients, it’s clear she is both interesting and interested. She cares about people and improving the quality of their lives. She is already a nurse at heart, now she just needs her education and credentials.

And, after Reynolds? Kiersten plans to continue her education at VCU and earn her Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN).  She says going in to VCU’s program will open doors for her, and with their reimbursement program, she can afford to take the next step in her education. 


And after that? The otherwise quiet Kiersten gets animated when she confesses: “VCU’s Emergency Room is my dream job!” Spoken like the true trauma nurse she is working to become.



Want to apply for a Reynolds scholarship?

The Scholarship Application opens Sunday, December 1, 2019 and closes Sunday, March 1, 2020.

You can apply for a scholarship through the Reynolds General Scholarship Program or through the Community Highlight: Reynolds East End Scholarship Program. 

The Scholarship Application opens Sunday, December 1, 2019 and close Sunday, March 1, 2020. A wide variety of scholarships are available. Some are general, others are for specific programs of study, or are for students living in a particular locality. Current and prospective students can complete and submit one common scholarship application to be considered for all available scholarships. For more information visit: http://www.reynolds.edu/scholarships.

Reynolds General Scholarship Program
Reynolds Community College offers a variety of scholarships to students with diverse interests and backgrounds. Each year the Reynolds Scholarship Office awards more than half a million dollars in scholarships to eligible students. Awards can range from $100 to $4,000, with the average award being $1,500.  Reynolds scholarships are established by gifts to the J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College Educational Foundation and awarded by the Reynolds Scholarship Committee.
  
Community Highlight: Reynolds East End Scholarship
If you live in the East End of the City of Richmond or Henrico County you may be eligible for a scholarship this scholarship. With more than 90 degree and workforce programs, including culinary arts, healthcare, and other credentials for immediate employment or 4-year transfer, Reynolds has a program for you. There is no age limit. Reynolds staff members are available to help with your admission and financial aid applications. 



Outstanding Scholarship Student Series: 

Mark Alexander


150 Scholarships. 427 Awards.

One Application. You can do this.


Last year the Reynolds Foundation funded approximately 150 scholarships, and made awards to 427 students of all ages, backgrounds, and academic standing and interests.

We believe in you. Just like we believed in Kiersten Echols, Janeen McNeish, Katherine Alloway-Roof, and Mark AlexanderThey got scholarships to help fund their education. You can, too.

Mark Alexander


“’I’m never going back to school.’ That was me when I graduated from high school,” admits Mark Alexander now entering his second semester at Reynolds. “It just wasn’t for me. It had been 30 years since I opened a textbook except to help with homework. But, from the very first day I walked through the door at Reynolds to register for classes everybody, especially Mr. Brown at the front desk [downtown campus], has made me feel like I belong here, like school is for me.”

After 15 years in a job that required him to travel constantly, Mark went to work for the City of Richmond. He started at the bottom and steadily worked his way up to a supervisory position. But, without a college education he realized he had gone as far as he could go. He still didn’t want to go back to school. Then he saw the difference in pay, and he said, “It was a no-brainer. I may have thought I was never going back to school. But, I was going back.”

While money was important, far bigger issues drove Mark’s decision. “Being a supervisor is NOT easy,” he says, “I have to deal with all kinds of people with all kinds of problems, and I don’t always know what to do. I want to learn to be better at what I do, to be a good supervisor. I really just want to help people. I want to be that person who inspires others, who helps them see things differently. I want to show them people like me are willing to help them no matter how bad their situation is. I want them to know, no matter how old they are, they can still get a job and start a career, just like me.”

Then there is his family. Mark has three children, and three grandchildren. “We don’t have step kids in our house. Everybody here is family. No labels in front of who you are. By going back to school I want to be an example to them. I want to show them that no matter what you want, if you work hard and stay focused, you can get it.” 

When Mark started at Reynolds in the spring of 2019 he took a part-time job to pay for his classes. Now working two jobs, and helping with his family, Mark still had to find time to study and get back in to the routine of school. “I have been overwhelmed by the generosity and understanding I have gotten at Reynolds. Financial Aid, the Math Lab, Tutoring . . . everyone here has been so patient and so willing to share information and help me. I had begun to think no one in this world had patience anymore! No one ever made me feel uncomfortable at Reynolds. The experience has been terrific.”

And then Mr. Brown helped him again. Mr. Brown encouraged Mark to fill out the Reynolds Scholarship Application. Then, Scholarship Manager Kim Cain called him with the news. For his next semester Mark was awarded an Executive Women International scholarship. Mark takes a deep breath: “This scholarship has made it possible for me to focus on my school work. Now I can give up my second job and have some time to study and do well.” Mark’s goal is to graduate in December 2021 and walk to get his degree in May 2022.

And, after that? “I want to stay with the City and get in to a management position,” Mark says. “With a degree from Reynolds I can get ahead and do what I want to do: help people.”


Want to apply for a Reynolds scholarship?

The Scholarship Application opens Sunday, December 1, 2019 and closes Sunday, March 1, 2020.

You can apply for a scholarship through the Reynolds General Scholarship Program or through the Community Highlight: Reynolds East End Scholarship Program. 

The Scholarship Application opens Sunday, December 1, 2019 and close Sunday, March 1, 2020. A wide variety of scholarships are available. Some are general, others are for specific programs of study, or are for students living in a particular locality. Current and prospective students can complete and submit one common scholarship application to be considered for all available scholarships. For more information visit: http://www.reynolds.edu/scholarships.

Reynolds General Scholarship Program
Reynolds Community College offers a variety of scholarships to students with diverse interests and backgrounds. Each year the Reynolds Scholarship Office awards more than half a million dollars in scholarships to eligible students. Awards can range from $100 to $4,000, with the average award being $1,500.  Reynolds scholarships are established by gifts to the J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College Educational Foundation and awarded by the Reynolds Scholarship Committee.
  
Community Highlight: Reynolds East End Scholarship
If you live in the East End of the City of Richmond or Henrico County you may be eligible for a scholarship this scholarship. With more than 90 degree and workforce programs, including culinary arts, healthcare, and other credentials for immediate employment or 4-year transfer, Reynolds has a program for you. There is no age limit. Reynolds staff members are available to help with your admission and financial aid applications. 

Outstanding Scholarship Student Series: 

Janeen McNeish


150 Scholarships. 427 Awards.

One Application. You can do this.


Last year the Reynolds Foundation funded approximately 150 scholarships, and made awards to 427 students of all ages, backgrounds, and academic standing and interests.

We believe in you. Just like we believed in Kiersten Echols, Janeen McNeish, Katherine Alloway-Roof, and Mark AlexanderThey got scholarships to help fund their education. You can, too.

Janeen McNeish


“I want to put people under,” Janeen McNeish confesses with a smile. “Putting people under” is Janeen’s way of describing the years of study, dedication, and hard work – not to mention finances – it will take for her to become a Nurse Anesthesiologist.

First she has to get her BSN, then work as an ICU Nurse for more than a year, and then, and only then, can she apply for VCU’s Nurse Anesthesiology program, the number one program of its kind in the country.

But that’s all okay with Janeen. She is as bold as a lightning strike, and as focused as a laser. She has her path mapped out – with her first stop: Reynolds. 
  
Janeen came from a large family with the “healthcare gene”, but she never saw herself in that career. “I couldn’t stand the sight of blood,” she laughs, “and there I was: a full-on adult with a full-on adult job. I was doing accident investigations, and there was blood. I asked myself: ‘do I want to do this job forever?’ and decided maybe ‘blood is not that bad’ and maybe I could be a nurse.” Janeen researched her career path and came across Reynolds. “I’d lived in Richmond most of my life and didn’t know about Reynolds. It was the perfect choice.” 

In her orientation session, even before attending her first class, Janeen learned about a special partnership with ODU that would let her graduate from Reynolds with her Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). It would be ambitious, rigorous, and expensive, but she was all in. If she was going to do it, she would give it 100%. 

Then Janeen learned about Reynolds scholarships. And, she applied. “Reynolds gave me the launch pad I needed to get to where I wanted to go. And I jumped on.” Janeen was awarded the Executive Women International (EWI) scholarship, set up specifically for older students, female and male,  who want to go back to school. The scholarship doesn’t cover everything. Janeen works long hours as a Care Partner in VCU’s Cardio-Thoracic unit, but the money will help relieve the financial burden and allow her to focus on her studies.

“In my first year at Reynolds I really put myself out there. I’d didn’t want to be known just as ‘Janeen the Nursing Student’, I wanted to make a difference while I was here. I explored everything. Career Services. Student Life. The clubs and organizations. I didn’t know anyone, then suddenly I knew everyone. I became an Ambassador, and a source of information. If you want to enjoy your college experience, I say, get involved.”

No doubt, if you ever have to be “put under,” Nurse Anesthesiologist Janeen McNeish is the one you want on the job.


Want to apply for a Reynolds scholarship?

The Scholarship Application opens Sunday, December 1, 2019 and closes Sunday, March 1, 2020.

You can apply for a scholarship through the Reynolds General Scholarship Program or through the Community Highlight: Reynolds East End Scholarship Program. 

The Scholarship Application opens Sunday, December 1, 2019 and close Sunday, March 1, 2020. A wide variety of scholarships are available. Some are general, others are for specific programs of study, or are for students living in a particular locality. Current and prospective students can complete and submit one common scholarship application to be considered for all available scholarships. For more information visit: http://www.reynolds.edu/scholarships.

Reynolds General Scholarship Program
Reynolds Community College offers a variety of scholarships to students with diverse interests and backgrounds. Each year the Reynolds Scholarship Office awards more than half a million dollars in scholarships to eligible students. Awards can range from $100 to $4,000, with the average award being $1,500.  Reynolds scholarships are established by gifts to the J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College Educational Foundation and awarded by the Reynolds Scholarship Committee.
  
Community Highlight: Reynolds East End Scholarship
If you live in the East End of the City of Richmond or Henrico County you may be eligible for a scholarship this scholarship. With more than 90 degree and workforce programs, including culinary arts, healthcare, and other credentials for immediate employment or 4-year transfer, Reynolds has a program for you. There is no age limit. Reynolds staff members are available to help with your admission and financial aid applications. 


150 Scholarships. 427 Awards.

One Application. You can do this.


Last year the Reynolds Foundation funded approximately 150 scholarships, and made awards to 427 students of all ages, backgrounds, and academic standing and interests.

We believe in you. Just like we believed in Kiersten Echols, Janeen McNeish, Katherine Alloway-Roof, and Mark AlexanderThey got scholarships to help fund their education. You can, too.


Kiersten Echols


“I didn’t know there were so many scholarships available at Reynolds. I really had no idea I would even be eligible for one. I thought scholarships were only open to A students, or athletes, or special students. I’m not any of those things. Then I found out I was actually eligible for two scholarships. I received an award from the Nursing Endowed Scholarship. It will help me finish my last two semesters at Reynolds and get my AAS in Nursing.” Ironically, Kiersten’s grandmother and the donor of the scholarship went to Johnson Willis’s nursing school and worked together at Johnson Willis hospital as nurses.

Reynolds was a perfect choice for Kiersten. Many of her family members are involved in nursing, patient care, or emergency medicine, so nursing is, so to speak, in her blood. Perhaps most important, once she decided on nursing, she visited other larger schools and knew they weren’t for her.

“Reynolds was close to home and affordable,” she says. “Just what I wanted. The small class size and personal attention are just what I need. I have loved all of my teachers and the experience has been great. Everyone has been very helpful and they always try to work around your schedule.” In addition to classes, Kiersten works a lot of hours as a Patient Care Coordinator in a local hospital. Her work is an excellent introduction to her field.

Kiersten claims to, “not be an interesting person,” but this isn’t true. She is quiet and thoughtful. When she talks about becoming a trauma nurse, and about her current job caring for cardiac patients, it’s clear she is both interesting and interested. She cares about people and improving the quality of their lives. She is already a nurse at heart, now she just needs her education and credentials.

And, after Reynolds? Kiersten plans to continue her education at VCU and earn her Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN).  She says going in to VCU’s program will open doors for her, and with their reimbursement program, she can afford to take the next step in her education. 

And after that? The otherwise quiet Kiersten gets animated when she confesses: “VCU’s Emergency Room is my dream job!” Spoken like the true trauma nurse she is working to become.



Janeen McNeish


“I wanna put people under,” Janeen McNeish confesses with a smile. “Putting people under” is Janeen’s way of describing the years of study, dedication, and hard work – not to mention finances – it will take for her to become a Nurse Anesthesiologist.

First she has to get her BSN, then work as an ICU Nurse for more than a year, and then, and only then, can she apply for VCU’s Nurse Anesthesiology program, the number one program of its kind in the country.

But that’s all okay with Janeen. She is as bold as a lightning strike, and as focused as a laser. She has her path mapped out – with her first stop: Reynolds. 
  
Janeen came from a large family with the “healthcare gene”, but she never saw herself in that career. “I couldn’t stand the sight of blood,” she laughs, “and there I was: a full-on adult with a full-on adult job. I was doing accident investigations, and there was blood. I asked myself: ‘do I want to do this job forever?’ and decided maybe ‘blood is not that bad’ and maybe I could be a nurse.” Janeen researched her career path and came across Reynolds. “I’d lived in Richmond most of my life and didn’t know about Reynolds. It was the perfect choice.” 

In her orientation session, even before attending her first class, Janeen learned about a special partnership with ODU that would let her graduate from Reynolds with her Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). It would be ambitious, rigorous, and expensive, but she was all in. If she was going to do it, she would give it 100%. 

Then Janeen learned about Reynolds scholarships. And, she applied. “Reynolds gave me the launch pad I needed to get to where I wanted to go. And I jumped on.” Janeen was awarded the Executive Women International (EWI) scholarship, set up specifically for older students, female and male,  who want to go back to school. The scholarship doesn’t cover everything. Janeen works long hours as a Care Partner in VCU’s Cardio-Thoracic unit, but the money will help relieve the financial burden and allow her to focus on her studies.

“In my first year at Reynolds I really put myself out there. I’d didn’t want to be known just as ‘Janeen the Nursing Student’, I wanted to make a difference while I was here. I explored everything. Career Services. Student Life. The clubs and organizations. I didn’t know anyone, then suddenly I knew everyone. I became an Ambassador, and a source of information. If you want to enjoy your college experience, I say, get involved.”

No doubt, if you ever have to be “put under,” Nurse Anesthesiologist Janeen McNeish is the one you want on the job.


Mark Alexander


“’I’m never going back to school.’ That was me when I graduated from high school,” admits Mark Alexander now entering his second semester at Reynolds. “It just wasn’t for me. It had been 30 years since I opened a textbook except to help with homework. But, from the very first day I walked through the door at Reynolds to register for classes everybody, especially Mr. Brown at the front desk [downtown campus], has made me feel like I belong here, like school is for me.”

After 15 years in a job that required him to travel constantly, Mark went to work for the City of Richmond. He started at the bottom and steadily worked his way up to a supervisory position. But, without a college education he realized he had gone as far as he could go. He still didn’t want to go back to school. Then he saw the difference in pay, and he said, “It was a no-brainer. I may have thought I was never going back to school. But, I was going back.”

While money was important, far bigger issues drove Mark’s decision. “Being a supervisor is NOT easy,” he says, “I have to deal with all kinds of people with all kinds of problems, and I don’t always know what to do. I want to learn to be better at what I do, to be a good supervisor. I really just want to help people. I want to be that person who inspires others, who helps them see things differently. I want to show them people like me are willing to help them no matter how bad their situation is. I want them to know, no matter how old they are, they can still get a job and start a career, just like me.”

Then there is his family. Mark has three children, and three grandchildren. “We don’t have step kids in our house. Everybody here is family. No labels in front of who you are. By going back to school I want to be an example to them. I want to show them that no matter what you want, if you work hard and stay focused, you can get it.” 

When Mark started at Reynolds in the spring of 2019 he took a part-time job to pay for his classes. Now working two jobs, and helping with his family, Mark still had to find time to study and get back in to the routine of school. “I have been overwhelmed by the generosity and understanding I have gotten at Reynolds. Financial Aid, the Math Lab, Tutoring . . . everyone here has been so patient and so willing to share information and help me. I had begun to think no one in this world had patience anymore! No one ever made me feel uncomfortable at Reynolds. The experience has been terrific.”

And then Mr. Brown helped him again. Mr. Brown encouraged Mark to fill out the Reynolds Scholarship Application. Then, Scholarship Manager Kim Cain called him with the news. For his next semester Mark was awarded an Executive Women International scholarship. Mark takes a deep breath: “This scholarship has made it possible for me to focus on my school work. Now I can give up my second job and have some time to study and do well.” Mark’s goal is to graduate in December 2021 and walk to get his degree in May 2022.

And, after that? “I want to stay with the City and get in to a management position,” Mark says. “With a degree from Reynolds I can get ahead and do what I want to do: help people.”



Want to apply for a Reynolds scholarship?

The Scholarship Application opens Sunday, December 1, 2019 and closes Sunday, March 1, 2020.

You can apply for a scholarship through the Reynolds General Scholarship Program or through the Community Highlight: Reynolds East End Scholarship Program. 

The Scholarship Application opens Sunday, December 1, 2019 and close Sunday, March 1, 2020. A wide variety of scholarships are available. Some are general, others are for specific programs of study, or are for students living in a particular locality. Current and prospective students can complete and submit one common scholarship application to be considered for all available scholarships. For more information visit: http://www.reynolds.edu/scholarships.

Reynolds General Scholarship Program
Reynolds Community College offers a variety of scholarships to students with diverse interests and backgrounds. Each year the Reynolds Scholarship Office awards more than half a million dollars in scholarships to eligible students. Awards can range from $100 to $4,000, with the average award being $1,500.  Reynolds scholarships are established by gifts to the J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College Educational Foundation and awarded by the Reynolds Scholarship Committee.
  
Community Highlight: Reynolds East End Scholarship
If you live in the East End of the City of Richmond or Henrico County you may be eligible for a scholarship this scholarship. With more than 90 degree and workforce programs, including culinary arts, healthcare, and other credentials for immediate employment or 4-year transfer, Reynolds has a program for you. There is no age limit. Reynolds staff members are available to help with your admission and financial aid applications. 

Friday, July 26, 2019

Reynolds Phi Beta Lambda Students Win National Awards


Left to right: Gina Borrero,  Brenley Bertozzi,Thomas Green,  
President Pando, Hari Chatlani, Jack Oppenheim

Derek Henderson
Reynolds has always had one of the most active PBL Gold Key Chapters in the state of Virginia. But, in 2017, our chapter achieved third place standing in the state of Virginia just behind University of Virginia and Virginia Tech.

This year our chapter members' successes went beyond the state and regional levels . . . this year our students went on to win national awards. Our PBL winners were: Brenley Bertozzi - 10th place in Computer Concepts; Derek Henderson 8th place in Hospitality Management; and Hari Chatlani 3rd place in Help Desk AND 6th place in Computer Concepts. 

Student Life Specialist Jackie Manley traveled to San Antonio with the students to accept their awards. She had this to say about the trip:

"The conference was amazing, I feel very privileged that I was chosen to go on this trip with this amazing group of students and experience their excitement after winning their awards.

But I feel as if we should mention Maison Collawn, a student who flew out there [San Antonio] with his mom to cheer on his fellow club members. Maison was there for every competition to cheer on his fellow club members. I wish we had more students like Maison who show a great deal of passion for Phi Beta Lambda." 

* * *

Phi Beta Lambda (FBLA-PBL) is the largest student organization in the world with over a quarter million members. It is the premier organization for students preparing for careers in business.

The primary purpose of the organization is to encourage excellent leadership. PBL each year sponsors competitions in about 40 different business areas. Students from both 4-year institutions and community colleges compete for scholarship prizes at the national level. Most of these competitions are sponsored by major corporations in the United States, i.e. Amazon, Walmart, Walt Disney, Verizon, etc.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019


A Passion for Life

“My real passion is filming,” Henry Moore confesses. But, talk to Henry for 30 seconds and it’s clear his real passion is life. Pure and simple. His voice is bright and confident. Even over the phone you can hear him speaking through a broad Australian smile. He’s passionate alright . . . about travel, education, earning a living, and especially about his new wife Kendall from Charlottesville who brought him to the US to stay.

Where do Reynolds students come from? From all over the world, including the Land Down Under.* Henry grew up in Australia in a family of four brothers and one sister he characterizes as being, “as tough as a coffin nail.” The Moore kids would go out “adventuring” and as rowdy boys, and a rowdy girl, they naturally gravitated toward dare devil, YouTube-esk antics - bike stunts, jumping off cliffs and the like. “I was always interested in putting it together, staging the scene,” Henry says. “I got the first GoPro (body mounted camera) and Handicam, and just started making videos. It’s like having a photo album as a reminder of what you have done.”

And Henry has done a lot. He graduated from Reynolds in December 2018 with a General Studies Certificate. Before coming to the US he earned a marine grade engineering degree and a boat captain’s license (“I can fix almost anything” he says). He shot video for Red Bull in South Australia (see some examples of his work on his website), worked in Medical Sales, and was an Online Travel Sales Consultant and Video Editor. He has travelled to more places than most of us have dreamed of. All over Australia to Queensland, the Whitsunday Islands, Adelaide, Pioneer Bay, and Darwin. And, outside Australia to Sri Lanka, Belize, Italy, Japan, Borneo, and Croatia. And now he’s settling in the US. See videos of his travels.

So, what does a world-travelling, boat captain, engineer, videographer say about his time at Reynolds? “I was blown away by the quality of education I received. I really enjoyed my time at Reynolds. But I was surprised. Everything I knew about American colleges I learned from Hollywood and television. You know parties and the campus life. Thankfully Reynolds was very different from that.”

“I look for Professors who take their subjects seriously. And I found them here. My favorite subject was Spanish. Maria Espiritu was incredible. Another favorite was Tina Winkler. Then there’s Professor [Karen} Neal. She is so passionate and amazing. I appreciated and really respected her toughness. From Day One I sat in the front row of her class. I didn’t want to miss anything.”

As proof of his respect for Professor Neal’s passion, this past March Henry returned to Reynolds, unprompted, and shot video of Science Night. The resulting video is true to Henry’s style. It’s fun, engaging, creative, fast moving, and quick witted. He demonstrates a practiced eye for framing a moving scene (videoing all of those crazy stunts honed his skills), and capturing the most smile-provoking moments. His pacing is spot on.

So, what’s next for this Reynolds grad? “VCU School of Business for a degree in Marketing,” says Henry. “I’ve always had the gift of gab and so I thought I would be more successful in sales.” Why not film? “I prefer to shoot and edit my own stuff. I always have a video idea in the back of my mind and I like having the freedom to work on it. I really don’t enjoy editing other people’s work. I have my own vision and will continue creating videos as a hobby.”

Any advice for students coming to Reynolds? “I came to Reynolds as an older, international student – I am now 29 – and was serious about my studies. I’d say to new students: sit in the front row, do your homework, and each semester take at least one class in a subject you love, and one that is required. It makes the experience much more enjoyable. And, if you live downtown, try to take classes downtown.”

Watch out VCU, you better be ready. Henry Moore is coming your way this fall and he’s bringing his passion with him.

Visit Henry’s website at: https://rodproductions.weebly.com/

* The term Down Under is a colloquialism which is variously construed to refer to Australia and New Zealand. The term comes from the fact that these countries are in the Southern Hemisphere, "below" many other countries, especially Western countries, on a Eurocentric globe where cardinal north faces towards the top.

Friday, June 21, 2019

Coyotes aren't coming. They're here. 



Think of coyotes, and wide open plains in Montana and Wyoming come to mind. Think again. Coyotes are right here, in Glen Allen, in Hanover, and even in the City of Richmond and across the river in Chesterfield. 

"Coyotes are in every city of Virginia," is what Reynolds Assistant Dean/ Professor Dr. Richard Groover was told by state game wardens. And Groover got to thinking about coyotes differently too. "As a biological scientist I like to do research, so I posed the question: how many coyotes are actually in Richmond, particularly in Hanover."

So off Professor Groover is going this summer on a self-directed, self-funded research project that has attracted the attention and the help of students from VCU, Liberty University, and GMU. One of Reynolds adult students, Ben Zimmerman, has become Research Assistant on the project. Zimmerman worked as a Well Digger out west before moving to Richmond and fulfilling his dream of getting a college education. Zimmerman knows all about being outdoors in all kinds of weather, day and night, and he is all in on the research.

How did we end up with so many coyotes? "Coyotes are one of the most adaptable predators in the US," says Groover, "with the elimination of coyote predators beginning in the 1800s the population grew and spread. My early guess is that we have as many as 500 in the surrounding area, but this study should give us a statistical number rather than a guess. The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries estimates we have 50,000 in the entire state." That's a lot of coyotes.

Do they attack, should we be cautious? "Coyotes are an evasive species. They'd rather run from you," Groover says. "However, recently a coyote attacked a woman and her five-year old son in New Jersey. This is unusual behavior and I suspect they will find that the coyote was rabid. They do love cats and small domestic dogs and will go after them, so it's best to not let pets roam unattended." Coyotes travel in packs so are more visible than a lone fox. But, don't try to outrun these animals, they are the fasted mammal in the US, travelling at a speed of 43 mph, and are known to cover around five miles in a night. 

Groover's research has two phases. Phase 1 involves the use of motion-detecting game cameras focused on a post with bait. Everything in the outdoors loved his bait, except the coyotes, so he upped the quality of his lure and is gathering data. He's moving into Phase 2 now which involves a game "noise" device designed to lure the animals into a certain location. Groover and his crew will be waiting nearby with night vision equipment to watch the coyotes and count them. All this is done at night when the coyotes are roaming, and the rest of us are sleeping.

Look for a follow up to this story. Dr. Groover plans to publish his findings, and certainly any of us with pets are curious just how many coyotes are among us.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Reynolds Names Inaugural Dean of Enrollment


RICHMOND, Va. (June 13, 2019) – Reynolds Community College recently named Dr. Terricita Sass as its inaugural dean of enrollment. Dr. Sass currently serves as associate vice president for enrollment management at Southern Connecticut State University.

During her time at Southern, Dr. Sass served as a member of the university’s senior leadership team and was instrumental in enhancing the enrollment management division, growing transfer student admissions, and expanding student diversity. She was also influential in Southern receiving the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities Shared Governance Award.

Reynolds President Dr. Paula Pando notes, “Providing access and opportunity to a high-quality, affordable education for our entire community is the highest institutional priority of this college. I am thrilled that Dr. Terricita Sass will bring her 25 years of executive level experience in enrollment management and recruitment to Reynolds. She is a student-centered, data-informed decision maker who will help Reynolds better serve our growing and changing region.”

Dr. Sass adds, “As the inaugural dean of enrollment, I am honored and excited to join President Pando and the cadre of professionals who have made it their life’s work to support students. Working with the staff, faculty, and community, I am committed to aggressively and strategically creating additional opportunities and successful outcomes for students, families, and employers of the Greater Richmond region.”

Dr. Sass holds a Ph.D in Education and a Post-Masters Certificate in Enrollment Management from Capella University. She also holds degrees from Norfolk State University and Francis Marion University. She was previously recognized by the Connecticut State NAACP Chapter as one of the “100 Most Influential Blacks in Connecticut.”

Dr. Sass will start her position at Reynolds on July 10.