Thursday, September 21, 2017

Meet Jackie Manley
Student Life Specialist 

How long have you been at Reynolds? 
I have been working at Reynolds for over 16 years.

What do you like most about Reynolds? 
I work in the office of Student Life as I love working with the students, and the freedom my office has to try new things. I also love the leadership opportunities we offer and making a difference in student lives here at Reynolds.

What jobs did you have as a teenager? 
I didn’t work too much when I was high school - on occasions I would do babysitting jobs for my mom’s friends. 

What do you like to do in your off-time? 
I love hanging out with my friends and family. I am one of the youth advisers at my church. I’m also the adviser for our praise team and sing in two choirs. I also love doing volunteer work, so I often do that on the weekends. 

What is your favorite movie? 
I love all the Transformer movies….except for the 3rd episode. 

If you could have one super power, what would be? 
Time Manipulation! All good times would last forever and awkward moments would never happen. I would go back and make changes to bad decisions. I could see people who died that I truly miss --- so yes time manipulation would be my super power. 

If you were given $5 million, what would you do? 
No brainer - I would help my family and friends. I would give to my church, help the homeless and donate to my schools….the list could go on and on. I love to see people happy, and if I could make someone else’s life easier by giving them money, I would it in a heartbeat. 

What is one thing most people don’t know about you?
My fear of public speaking - I know people think because I like to talk all the time I don’t have a problem speaking, but I hate to stand up in front of a crowed and speak.

What one word would you use to describe Reynolds?
Outstanding! We have great opportunities for our students to succeed, I love the family feel here. It’s a great place to be.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Prestigious Housing Design Competition
Won by Reynolds Students

Congratulations to Reynolds Architectural and Engineering Technology students Michael Cintron and Charles Cabaniss for winning Phase I of the Blueprint for the Future: A Home for Everyone design competition. Michael and Charles will be recognized for their achievement at the Virginia Governor’s Housing Conference in November.

This award demonstrates the high level of academic achievement of Reynolds students. The competition was open to students, amateur and professional architects and engineers. Michael and Charles competed against students from colleges and universities from across the state, as well as professional architects.

Sponsored by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development, Blueprint for the Future required participants to design a home that meets strict affordability, sustainability and accessibility criteria. The competition had two phases: Phase I involved meeting project and housing specs, and creating a site plan and drawings and Phase II required entrants to submit a design suitable for obtaining a building permit. Winners of Phase I advanced to Phase II.

Speaking with Michael just before the Phase II deadline, he credited Adjunct Faculty in Reynolds School of Business Alan McMahan with prompting him to enter the competition. Whether or not he wins Phase II, Michael said, “The experience was great. I learned a lot about working with a partner on a project and designing for practical use and affordability. We also had to read and comply with a wide array of project requirements, as well as standards and codes. Perhaps most important, we got real-world experience in designing a project that may actually be built.”

Director of the Virginia Department of Housing & Community Development Bill Shelton noted Michael and Charles’ designs, “included aspects of energy efficiency and aging in place not typically found in affordable homes.”

In addition to being a full time student, Michael currently works part time as a Gallery and Facilities Assistant at the Branch House Museum and as an embedded tutor at Reynolds. He plans to graduate in May 2018 with an AAS in Architectural and Engineering Technology with an emphasis on contemporary technology for design before continuing his education and earning a Bachelor of Architecture degree.

Again, our congratulations to Michael and Charles for their accomplishments and to the faculty of the Architectural and Engineering Technology Department for their academic excellence. We wish Michael and Charles all the best in completing and submitting their Phase II plans.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Immigration Lawyer Naureen Hyder to lead book discussion on
“In the Country We Love”

Richmond, Va. (September 28, 2017) – Reynolds Community College will host immigration lawyer Naureen Hyder at an “Around the World Through Books” discussion on Thursday, September 28, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in the Lipman Auditorium of the Massey Library and Technology Center on the Parham Road Campus, located at 1651 E. Parham Road in Richmond. This event is free and open to the public. Canned goods for the Central Virginia Food Bank are requested.

The book discussion will feature “In the Country We Love: My Family Divided,” by actress and author Diane Guerrero and Michelle Burford. Before acting in “Orange is the New Black” and “Jane the Virgin,” young American-born Guerrero experienced the trauma of her undocumented parents deportation to Colombia.

The program is a free community event sponsored by Reynolds’s Multicultural Enrichment Council for the purpose of encouraging cultural diversity throughout the Reynolds campuses and communities. For more information about this event please contact Lisa Bishop ( or visit

Serving over 20,000 students annually, J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College is the youngest and third largest of 23 community colleges in Virginia. The College operates three campuses serving residents in the City of Richmond and the counties of Henrico, Hanover, Goochland, Powhatan and Louisa.
Reynolds hosting Sukenya Best Art Exhibit: Dancing Ink

Richmond, Va. (September 22, 2017) –  The Conference Center Gallery in the Workforce Development and Conference Center on Reynolds Community College Parham Road Campus will open its doors Friday, September 22 to showcase Sukenya Best’s art exhibit, “Dancing Ink.” The exhibit will be on display through Friday, October 6.

Sukenya’s work involves the human figure, human contact, and audience participation. It is propelled by an appreciation for color, music, and dance. These elements are an autobiographical link to her family's history in the Caribbean Islands, New York City, and Central Virginia. Her process of creating artwork not only involves the mixing of cultures, but also the mixing of mediums. This includes printmaking, painting, and drawing. The combination of dance and print becomes a tool for communicating social issues regarding cultural interaction and division. 

In her innovative monotypes, Sukenya seeks to capture human rhythm, paths and patterns.  To create her works, she collaborates with dancers who perform on an inked plate placed on the studio floor that captures the shift and weight of movement.  From the plate, she creates large monotype prints that record the dancer’s movements. The multiple colors of these prints are inspired by the dancer’s style or music choice.  Her work, drawing from diverse cultures including the African diaspora, the Caribbean, and Spain, reflects the overlapping struggling and emerging cultures.

The public is invited to the open reception Friday, September 22 from 6 to 8 p.m. For more information about this event or to schedule a tour of the collection, contact Karen Steele at

Friday, September 8, 2017

For the last few years, students, faculty and staff and visitors to the college have seen many bare walls at Reynolds covered with engaging and thought-provoking colorful art. Now it is time to check out the art outside at Reynolds!

Find one of the 13 Reynolds Art bike racks and take a photo of yourself or with friends with the bike rack - post the picture to the Reynolds Instagram account by mid-night of September 8 and you could win a $25 Reynolds Campus gift card and a Reynolds Prize Pack! This contest is open to current Reynolds students, faculty and staff.

Not sure what the Reynolds Art Bike Racks look like? Check out

Let’s see those selfees!

Official Rules: The winner will be notified via email. If a winner is unreachable after seven (7) days, or if that winner is unavailable for prize fulfillment, an alternate winner will be selected. Contest entrants agree to abide by the terms of these Official Rules and by the decisions of the contest judges, which are final on all matters pertaining to the contest. Entrants further grant to J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College the right to use any and all information related to the Contest for marketing purposes.  We reserve the right to edit a submission prior to or after its approval, or refuse a submission deemed inappropriate, or of poor quality. Only one photo per person. For questions about the contest, email

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Reynolds Police Department Re-accredited by Law Enforcement Commission

The Reynolds Community College Police Department has achieved re-accreditation by the Virginia Law Enforcement Professional Standards Commission (VLEPSC) for its commitment to law enforcement excellence and recent successful completion of the re-certification process for the Virginia Law Enforcement Accreditation Program.

Accreditation programs are designed to measure and confirm compliance of the participating agency with the professional standards in whatever discipline or profession they are involved. It is one of the only means by which students, our college community, and its leaders can be assured that the college meets or exceeds professional standards.
Reynolds’ Police Department has demonstrated their commitment to professionalism and a willingness to be measured by and compared to the best in the profession. Reynolds is the only Virginia Community College Police Department that has achieved the VLEPSC accreditation.
The Virginia Law Enforcement Professional Standards Commission (VLEPSC) overview and benefits statement reads, in part, “Accreditation is a coveted award that symbolizes professionalism, excellence, and competence. Employees will take pride in their agency, knowing that it represents the very best in law enforcement.”
“I am honored to accept this recognition on behalf of the men and women of the Reynolds Police Department for their hard work and dedication in reaching this milestone,” said Chief Paul Ronca. “Our team is devoted to leading the way for other community college police departments to become part of VLEPSC and demonstrate a willingness to be measured by and compared to other law enforcement agencies.”
To obtain accreditation, a law enforcement agency must meet all applicable program standards, maintain their accreditation files on an on-going basis, and provide annual verifications of compliance as required by the Commission. On-site assessments by specially-trained program assessors assure consistency and full compliance of all accredited agencies.
“This process confirms that the Reynolds Police Department policies and practices are of the highest standard”, said Reynolds President Dr. Gary Rhodes. This recognition is an impartial validation of the professionalism and care to our students of police services we have at Reynolds Community College.”
Mr. Derrick Mays, Department of Criminal Justice Services VLEPSC Program Manager, formally presented the second Certification of Accreditation to the Reynolds Community College Police Department on August 17.
A listing of the VLEPSC program criteria is available on the DCJS website at

Monday, August 21, 2017

Where would you rather park your bike?

     An ordinary bike rack?          Or a work of art?    



For the last few years, students, faculty and staff and visitors to the college have seen many bare walls at Reynolds covered with engaging and thought-provoking colorful art. Now, thanks to the “Go Bike!” Arts Program and the leadership at Reynolds, we all can now also enjoy art outside our campus buildings with the installation of 13 decorative bike racks.  
 “Go Bike!” Arts Program was a collaborative project by the Greater Richmond Chamber of Commerce and the City of Richmond. The goal of the project was to decorate Richmond with colorful, functional art for the 2015 UCI World Cycling Championships. Reynolds supported this project and installed the first bike rack at the Downtown Campus before the event. Recently, Reynolds President Dr. Gary Rhodes seized the opportunity to obtain for the college 12 of the original 30 bike racks when they became available. All 13 bike racks are now installed around each of Reynolds three campuses for our enjoyment and use.

“I firmly believe studying the arts or even being surrounded by them – whether visual arts or performing arts –  not only helps to develop creativity and imagination, but also helps to develop higher reasoning and problem solving skills . . . all of which transfer to success in study or work”, notes Rhodes. “The arts and weaving them into the fabric of our daily lives, as Reynolds Community College has done, is good for many reasons. It is good for the artists and good for the community, but most of all, it is good for those who have the opportunity to view inspiring images rather than blank walls and empty spaces.”

For example, the bike rack (pictured above) was painted by local artist Reinaldo Alverez. Alverez, a visual artist, and lead singer and lyricist for the well-known local salsa band, Bio Ritmo, has long been a part of the Richmond community. He got involved with GoBike! because he loved bike riding. While growing up he was an avid avid bmx’er, and during his college years his bicycle became his best friend. He was pleased to know his artwork/bike rack had come to live at the Reynolds Downtown Campus, and that possibly other students whose bikes are their best friends may be using it.

Whether you have a bike to park on campus or not, the next time you see one of the decorative bike racks on campus, stop and take a look at it. Take a minute to study one of the pieces and see what the artist might have been thinking when creating it or maybe think about the message he or she is trying to convey through their art. Luckily, here at Reynolds, our bike racks are made for more than holding bikes.

To find out more about art at Reynolds, visit

Meet Jordan Carrier
Reynolds Advanced College Academy Graduate (’15) 

I was fourteen when I made the decision to join the inaugural class of the Advance College Academy and I can’t help but look back at that little girl and thank her for not doing what was easy, but what was best for her future. It would have been easy for me to continue with the International Baccalaureate Program, but I was intrigued by the opportunities this new program offered me. It seemed far-fetched, even impossible, that I could get a college degree while I was in high school and go into my four-year university as a junior.

A few years later, I remember my first real college classes, and wondering what in the world I had gotten myself into. But in retrospect, I was gaining such a valuable edge over other high school students. When I started my first year at the University of Mary Washington, my peers did not see the value in actually reading the assignments for class and had not learned how to write for college classes. What I had struggled through in high school I watched my new classmates struggle through in college, where other pressures and stresses were so much greater than in the safety of Tucker High School.

Every single credit I took through Reynolds Community College in the ACA program transferred to Mary Washington and counted toward my major and toward my general education requirements, allowing me to graduate this coming May. While it is bittersweet, graduating before everyone else my age, I am so much closer to accomplishing my goals than I would have been without this program. I have been accepted into the Richmond Law Class of 2020 and will begin a new journey there this fall. Also, as an Economics Major, I have a fuller appreciation for the financial benefit of cutting my undergraduate student debt in half.
​The time and fiscal benefits of this program are easy to see. But I place so much more value on the skills I gained by being pushed toward excellence by our mentors and teachers. They instilled in me a drive to do my best work, a willingness to be the best I could be, and the overwhelming desire to make them proud of me. I hope that so far I have. 

Jordan transferred 60 college credits from the Reynolds ACA to UMW and graduated in May with a B.S. in Economics, after only two years at UMW.  Jordan is starting law school in Fall 2017 at the University of Richmond on a full academic scholarship. She is a UR cheerleader and anticipates being able to earn her law degree at the age of 23. 

Construction Project Update

Reynolds has ongoing construction projects at all three campus locations and will soon break ground on our new Culinary Institute in Richmond’s east end.

Parham Road
Renovations of Georgiadis Hall are coming to a close and due to be complete just in time for the start of Fall classes. The core systems – HVAC, plumbing, electrical, fire and life safety – have all be modernized. Five new science laboratories to support expanded STEM-H enrollments and a new testing center were also added to Georgiadis Hall. It will now house the Student Success Center, Student Accommodations, Student Life, Student Affairs, Orientation Career and Transfer Services, Marketing, Admissions and Records, Financial Aid, the Business Office, the Campus Store and Julian’s CafĂ©, and other offices.

The Brookside Hall
The elevator in Brookside Hall is out of service, but should be repaired by September 15, 2017. Faculty and staff unable to use stairs to reach the upper floors should contact their supervisor. Affected students should contact the Office of Student Accommodations. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Downtown Campus
Sidewalk repairs that were ongoing during 2017 will be complete before fall classes begin on August 21, 2017. A new parking access system was installed during the summer and the entire parking deck was power washed.

Goochland Campus
Construction has been progressing on the Goochland Campus all summer and is expected to be complete by the end of the Fall 2017 semester. The project included renovations to the existing greenhouses and the installation of a new emergency generator to insure continuous power. Currently the greenhouse end wall and plastic covering are all in place. The mechanical work is complete and the electrical work is in its last stages. The final phase is to connect the new generator to the propane source.

Keep up with the latest construction information by visiting the Construction Updates page.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Progress Newsletter – Summer 2017 Issue

Don’t miss this interview (page 4) with Rachel Ambrose, Regional Program Manager for PIVA in our Region 15. Rachel discusses the partnership with Reynolds and Tyler, how the partnership got started and the outcome of the pilot year of the program. PIVA is a statewide adult education workforce development program focusing on workforce skill building that leads to industry credentials such as Certified Nurses’ Aide, Trades and Warehousing and Customer Service. Reynolds offered the first session in early 2017. This summer PIVA offered initial credential classes along with GED preparation. Another session is offered this fall.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Meet Melissa Brooks
Program Head, 
Paralegal Studies

You are a native Iowan, living on the east coast for the past ten years, what brought you here?  
I was always a small town girl with big city dreams so when the opportunity presented itself to move to the east coast I jumped at it.  After finishing my graduate degree at George Washington University in DC, I worked in Philadelphia and New York City, then moved to Richmond. Richmond is a hub for large law firms and corporations, but is small enough to live comfortably and get to know your neighbors. With the ocean and the mountains just a short car ride away, I'll never leave. 

What do you miss about Iowa? 
I miss seeing the horizon in every direction. Iowa is pretty flat so out on the open road the world feels big and wide with lots of space. You can easily drive for an hour and never see another human being. I also miss the sweet corn; nothing else comes close. 

When you are not working, what do you like to do? 
My family and I love to travel and experience different cultures. We just returned from a month long trip to Vietnam which was the first international trip for my six year old son. I'm also invested in my Church Hill community. I serve on several community boards and my husband and I are also self-professed foodies; we love the food scene in Richmond!

If you won the lottery, what would you do first? 
I think about this all the time since my commute includes several billboard advertising the lottery. I’d give most of the money away. I'd rebuild George Mason Elementary in the East End, I’d bring a state of the art childcare center to Church Hill, and find other ways to give anonymously to change people's lives.

What is the one thing you want others to know about you? 
I'm a classically trained pianist; it's my party trick. My mother made me take piano. I hated it then, the practicing, the recitals, my stern teacher who scolded me for poor posture. Now, I'm grateful I had that discipline and I continue to enjoy the payoff. Music is a mood changer. 

What is the best compliment you have ever received? 
When my son tells me I'm the best mom ever---that's probably the greatest compliment in the world.

Who is your favorite superhero and why?  
Wonder Woman would be a timely choice, but I'll take the unconventional route--my superhero is Anna Julia Haywood Cooper. Cooper was an American author, educator, sociologist, speaker and activist. She was also a woman born into slavery who went on to earn her PhD from the Sorbonne in Paris. Her story is one of resilience and perseverance and in the end she used her own power to pull others up. If that's not the definition of a superhero then I don't know what is.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Richard S. Reynolds Foundation gives $500,000 for Reynolds Honors Program

To “encourage excellence and innovative thinking in the next generation of leaders in our community,” Richard S. (Major) Reynolds recently announced a gift of $500,000 to help students in Reynolds Community College’s Honors Program pay for school and participate in experiential learning and service opportunities outside of the classroom.

“Students accepted into the Honors Program participate in more advanced, complex academic work,” said Honors faculty coordinator Dr. Ashley Bourne-Richardson. “All Honors courses share the foundational pillars of critical thinking, independent research, interdisciplinary learning, and engagement. It’s rigorous, but rewarding.” To complete the Honors Program and earn an Honors certification on their diploma, students must complete 18-21 credits in designated Honors courses.

The availability of scholarships greatly influences the ability of participants to fully engage in the program and succeed academically. Honor students have approximately the same level of unmet financial need as their peers. 62 percent have applied for financial aid and 67 percent report working at least a part-time job while in school.

The half-million dollar gift to the J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College Educational Foundation establishes the Reynolds Family Honors Scholars and provides precious scholarship dollars for an annual cohort of recipients. “Our college is named for a beloved public servant who championed access to higher education,” said Gary L. Rhodes, president of Reynolds Community College. “With this investment, our students can explore and apply on and off campus those ideals of scholarship and service. This gift from the Richard S. Reynolds Foundation is another example of the financial and moral support shown for our college by the Reynolds Family, and we’re honored to receive it,” said President Rhodes.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Renee Comstock honored as Culinary Student of the Year at Elby Awards

The sixth annual Elby Awards, sponsored by Richmond Magazine, and named for renowned French chef and Richmonder Paul Elbling, were awarded on Sunday evening, February 19 at the Altria Theater.     

Reynolds student Renee Comstock was named one of two Culinary Students of the Year at the event. We recently sat down with her to discuss the award and her time at Reynolds:

Congratulations on your Elby Award! When do you plan to finish your studies at Reynolds?

I hope to graduate in December 2017.

Tell me about your experience at the Elby Awards.  Was it your first time attending?

I worked at Elby event last year. I am always quick to volunteer to work at community events because it’s good practice and helps me meet other people in the food industry. The Elbys is always a great event for “food” people. I knew in advance I had been selected for the award this year and was truly honored.

What was your favorite class at Reynolds, and why?

I have liked them all!  As far as the actual cooking classes, I find that they get better as you go along, and each one is better than the one before. The academic courses are important for learning the business side of the industry.

How did you get interested in the culinary field?

It’s funny that everyone asks me that.  I didn’t grow up in one of those “cooking” families. I went to Radford University to study social work.  I realized that I was on the wrong track and that I wanted a career working with my hands, something that was creative in nature.  I actually discovered my love of food and cooking during my time in Radford.

What key training or experience allowed you to separate yourself from the other students that were nominated for the award?

I have been told it was three things – my academics, my performance in the kitchen over the last year as far as my skill level, and my positive attitude. I am one of those people who perform well under pressure.

How has Reynolds helped you accomplish your dreams of working in the culinary field?

I spent time researching and trying to decide on a culinary program and a friend recommended the Reynolds program to me. I have found it to be affordable, a top notch education with professors who are truly invested in their students.

What would be your advice for someone looking at going into the culinary field?

I would definitely recommend this program.  I’m sorry I won’t be here when the new culinary building is completed.  It’s not just about the food, it’s the people and the affordability, too.

If you could only have one last meal in Richmond, where would it be and what would you order?

I have to give you two answers. I’m a sandwich lover, so for a sandwich I would go to Union Market in Church Hill and order the Chicken Tarragon sandwich with Potato Salad. For a meal, I would pick Edo Squid and order the Squid Genovese with Spaghetti.

What opportunities are you currently exploring?

I’m thinking about applying to serve my internship at the Omni Homestead Resort in Hot Springs which will hopefully lead to an employment opportunity.  My long term goal is to be an executive chef and run my own kitchen someday.