Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Artwork creates hometown feel on JSRCC Goochland Campus

Dr. Rhodes and Artist Robin Caspari beside
the new Goochland Campus foyer centerpiece.
The Goochland Campus has been transformed into an art gallery featuring paintings and vintage photos of the county spanning the past 100 years.

“We wanted to give our Goochland Campus a hometown community feel, that welcomes our neighbors and the Goochland citizens that surround our campus,” says Reynolds President Dr. Gary L. Rhodes. “There have been a lot of volunteer hours and some wonderful works donated to the College to ensure the paintings and displays properly represent Goochland.”

Nearly 10 months ago, Rhodes and Goochland citizens Wayne Dementi and Phyllis Silber set out to transform the College’s Goochland Campus into a community center flexible enough to host events and meetings.

“Dr. Rhodes has really opened the doors of the Goochland Campus to the community,” noted Dementi. “Within Goochland and especially around the courthouse area, we were very limited in meeting spaces. Now we have a home.”

As visitors enter the campus’ main lobby, they are greeted by a mural of the Goochland countryside with the all too familiar setting of horses racing through a meadow. The painting by local artist Robin Caspari is one of her many works as she has been featured in national galleries, exhibitions, and publications and charitable causes, including the United States Humane Society and Corolla Wild Horse Fund.

The Goochland County Historical Society donated a number of prolific pictures of the county that portray country road settings, farms, mansions, railroad crossings and even a farm where Charles Lindbergh once landed his airplane. All the artwork has been provided by local artists. To showcase the artwork, a reception and self-guided tours were held on October 19 in the main lobby of the academic building.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Opticianry students help underprivileged children

Opticianry students Amanda Stevenson and
Angelica Dennis.
Opticianry program faculty and students joined dozens of other area eye care professionals at Richmond’s Arthur Ashe Center to volunteer with OneSight Vision, a traveling clinic providing free eye exams and new eyewear to children in need. Staffed by local doctors and trained volunteers, OneSight Vision turned the Arthur Ashe Center into an optical lab the size of a football field, equipped with everything needed for an eye exam and new eyewear. Children who visit these vans receive new prescription eyewear on-site.

OneSight collaborated with Richmond City Public Schools, Children Incorporated & The Rudi Johnson Foundation to provide free eye care for underprivileged children in the Richmond area. Reynolds Opticianry program student volunteers assisted with registration, escorting students between stations, and screenings. With a small amount of training, volunteers also helped students choose frames or operate the auto refractor, explained Reynolds Opticianry Program Head Yvonne H. Metten.

“This is a great opportunity to give back to my community,” said Opticianry student Leah Redden. “I know what we are doing here today is helping some of these children see better in school, so they can learn better. If they need glasses, they will walk out of here today with glasses….free of charge.”

“As a child I grew-up wearing glasses, so I know how important it is for these children to get fitted for the correct glasses,” said Opticianry distance learning student Angelica Dennis from Middleton, Va. “Plus coming to the event gave me the opportunity to visit the Downtown Campus for the first time.”

Scholarship recipients lunch with donors

Reynolds President Gary Rhodes greets attendees at the
14th Annual Scholarship Luncheon.
Reynolds students benefiting through scholarships were given the opportunity to meet and thank their donors at the JSRCC 14th Annual Scholarship Luncheon. Each year, the College brings scholarship donors and recipients together to share stories of accomplishment, gratitude and generosity. JSRCC Board Scholarship Recipient Isaac Marcuson offered remarks, as did Megan Mayo, the Reynolds Family Scholarship and Kevin Rogers Memorial Scholarship recipient.

After her son was diagnosed with asthma, Megan wanted to go back to school to pursue a career in respiratory therapy. She said to her scholarship donors, “You gave me the opportunity to make all the difference in my life…we always want to be a source of pride for you and for J. Sargeant Reynolds.”

Two years into her studies, she said she now has a sense of pride and accomplishment and says she hopes to be in a position to give back one day.

“Someday I hope to be sitting where you are…,” she said “…listening to a student that I have helped through a scholarship.”

In her remarks, Assistant to the Dean for the Ginter Park Center and JSRCC Scholarship Committee Member Cynthia De Riemer reminded donors of their impact and encouraged recipients to pay it forward.

“The money you spent on scholarships will never fall into the ‘I regret doing that’ category,” she said.

For more information about available scholarships, how to apply and important deadlines, visit www.reynolds.edu/scholarship.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Reynolds and Henrico County Public Schools sign Advance College Academy partnership

J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College and Henrico County Public Schools recently signed an agreement to establish a partnership creating the Advance College Academy (ACA), a concurrent enrollment program that allows high school students to earn an Associate of Science in Social Science degree in addition to a high school diploma.

“Before you graduate with your high school degree, you will already have walked across the stage and earned your associate degree,” Reynolds President Gary L. Rhodes said to the ACA students. Reynolds spring graduation is held before area high school graduations. “With 61 college credits, you will be able to transfer to many of Virginia's public and private colleges and universities.”

The pilot program launched this semester at Tucker High School with students taking advanced high school courses during their freshman year. They will continue advanced courses during their sophomore year before beginning college-level courses the summer prior to their junior year.

The selection process included components of the application process to Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School and Henrico County Public Schools specialty centers. There is no charge for students to enroll in the program or to earn their associate degree through the program.

“I chose the ACA program because times are tough and two years of college is giant,” said ACA student Brook Merritt.  “My expectation is to become a mechanical engineer at either Virginia Tech or the University of Virginia.”

“I think it is one of the best programs in Henrico County. The program gives our kids the opportunity to go through a very rigorous but also a very rewarding program,” said Henrico Superintendent of Schools Dr. Pat Russo, who explained that the program is the first of its kind in Virginia to offer both an associate degree and a high school diploma.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Barrish serves as Greater Richmond Tourism Association president

Interim Dean for the School of Business and Engineering David Barrish was recently appointed president of the Greater Richmond Tourism Association, a group that serves the tourism communities in the City of Richmond and surrounding counties as an organization for networking, education and information sharing. He has served actively with the Association for five years and spent the last year as president-elect. Barrish, and what he refers to as an excellent, energetic and professional group of cabinet members, focuses on making Richmond a top tier destination.

“It is good for the region to bring out of market dollars because they multiply once they’re here,” explains Barrish. “All tourism monies stay in the region. Anyone that benefits from tourism understands that out of market dollars are great for the local economy.”

Barrish moved to the Richmond region in the 80’s to raise his family in a history-rich environment with strong family and community values. He says of his experiences:

“Working at Reynolds is permitting me to give back to the community by preparing graduates. But the GRTA is just another facet of how I could give back to our community. We love our community and we love to share it with those that are visiting and, through our work, we are able to spread the word about what a phenomenal place Richmond is. I like to believe that economically, socially and culturally, Richmond is benefiting through my work. I think it’s a chance to help visitors understand the rich American story from multiple perspectives.”
The Association is a nonprofit, nongovernmental and nonpolitical organization – and a very low cost opportunity for members to network. Members meet regularly to share information about destinations, attractions and the city’s history.

“You get a better, refreshed understanding of the community,” says Barrish.

Opticianry faculty, students receive industry awards

Students and faculty of the Reynolds Opticianry program were nationally recognized during the ABO/NCLE National Opticianry Conference held last month in Cincinnati, Ohio. This year’s awards and recipients were:

Caitlin Loving, 2011 graduate, received a $250 scholarship for her paper on Macular Pucker
In 1951, Mr. Leslie W. Myers founded the Beverly Myers Awards program in memory of his daughter, Beverly.  It was the wish of Mr. Myers that the awards are granted to outstanding students enrolled in Opticianry programs, which are accredited by the Commission on Opticianry Accreditation. 

Ashraf Karimi, 2011 graduate, received a $500 scholarship for her “eposter” on Pediatric Dispensing
HOYA, a vision care company, established a student scholarship this year that was available to any student that was enrolled in an NFOS (National Federation of Opticianry Schools) member school. The student was to submit an eposter on any topic (optically related of course) of their choice.

Kristi Green, former JSRCC Opticianry program head, received the Joseph Bruneni, FNAO (Fellow of the National Academy of Opticianry) Memorial Education Achievement Award from the National Academy of Opticianry in recognition and appreciation for outstanding service to the field of Opticianry education.

Doug Pelkey, adjunct faculty has been elected to serve on the OAA board. 
Established in 1926, the Opticians Association of America (OAA) serves as the only national organization representing opticianry's business, professional, educational, legislative and regulatory interests. OAA fosters, supports and sponsors programs of competency certification, licensing and continuing education for professional development.