Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Daphne April Jones named Valley Proteins Fellow

J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College student Daphne April Jones of Henrico County, Virginia, has been named as one of ten outstanding students selected by The Virginia Foundation for Community College Education (VFCCE) to be part of its second class of Valley Proteins Fellows.  The Valley Proteins Fellows Program was created to celebrate and enhance the leadership capacity of students who have demonstrated great potential. 
What makes one student’s potential stand out from others?  In this case it is not just the 3.90 grade point average that Daphne has been able to maintain while a student at JSRCC.  The fact that she earned the almost perfect GPA as a single mother raising 4 children gives one a little more insight into her character.  Then you find out that in addition to her four children, Daphne also has full legal custody of her 17-year-old brother Eric, who has special needs and requires 24-hour supervision and you begin to understand her strength of character.  With all this, she still finds time to be involved with the schooling of her children, lending a hand to their teachers. 
Daphne will begin her second year this fall at J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College and she has a goal in mind.  In fact, she has several goals in mind.  The first is to earn an Associate degree in Nursing at J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College.  The next is to transfer to Virginia Commonwealth University to pursue a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing.  Once that is complete, she wants to earn a Master’s degree in Nursing and ultimately become a Nurse Practitioner.  Daphne is willing to do whatever she has to do to achieve her goals and she knows it will not be easy.    
The Valley Proteins scholarship will certainly help.  In addition to covering the students' full tuition and fees, the Fellows participate in a unique leadership curriculum and receive individualized assistance in obtaining financial aid and transferring to four-year institutions.  
According to Daphne, “This fellowship means so much to me.  It gives me the flexibility to concentrate on my studies, and not worry about the financial aspect of going to school.  The most exciting part of the fellowship to me is the 40 hours of community service each semester.  I look forward to giving back and hope to volunteer in area homeless shelters.”  
“The Virginia Foundation for Community College Education is dedicated to expanding opportunities by leveraging partnerships,” Glenn DuBois, chancellor of the Virginia Community College System, noted. “This program is a great example of the synergy that comes from joining together employers that are vested in the quality of tomorrow’s Virginia workforce and the community colleges that elevate it every day.”
Valley Proteins is a family-owned business that has been in business for more than 50 years and currently operates 12 plants in 7 states, including Virginia.  The management is committed to outstanding corporate citizenship, excellent customer service, technological innovation and support for the community college mission.

Richard Groover's dragonfly studies

Richard Groover, Assistant Dean of the School of Mathematics and Science at J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College is passionate about the study of dragonflies.    In fact, in addition to his position at JSRCC, Mr. Groover is also a doctoral student at George Mason University studying Environmental Science and Policy.  He admits a fascination with dragonflies since childhood.  In fact, he is known locally as the “dragonfly guy of Hanover County.”
Dragonflies are strong predators that eat mosquitoes, and other small insects like flies.   They live near bodies of water (ponds, lakes, and streams) because they lay their eggs on or in the water.  To that end, Groover spent a recent sunny afternoon catching dragonflies and collecting dragonfly larvae from the retention pond outside JSRCC’s Workforce Development Center for doctoral research he will conduct this summer.    
His doctoral questions include:
1.       When a new pond is created, are there certain species of dragonflies that arrive first?  Groover has studied over 30 sites in Hanover County, Virginia over the past three years and determined that there are usually six species of dragonflies that are generally the first to colonize in a new pond.  

2.       Three years later, does the dominant species change in that pond?  After researching six ponds for three years, Groover believes that pond dominance does not change.

3.       Does wind have an impact on dragonfly dispersal?  To answer this question, Groover is conducting a manipulated experiment this summer.  For his experiment, he has leased a 200-acre pasture and built eight artificial ponds in a circle, each 300 meters apart.  With help from student volunteers from a number of local colleges and universities, he plans to release two types of dragonflies from the center of the circle, within the artificial pond area, and track how they disburse in different weather conditions.  The hypothesis he hopes to support is that the dragonflies will disburse downwind under the right conditions. 
Once Groover completes his research this summer, he will write and then defend his dissertation.  He hopes to receive his doctorate degree in 2013.  His long-term goal is to dedicate the remainder of his life to the study of dragonflies. 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

David Barrish selected as Dean of School of Business

J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College has named David Barrish as the Dean of the School of Business. Barrish will be responsible for directing strategic planning, environmental scanning, research and analysis, instructional program development and evaluation, enrollment management, development and implementation of distance learning instructional delivery and student outcome assessment.
 “This is an exciting time for the College as we realign our transfer engineering program, thus creating a clear direction for the future of both the new School of Business and new School of Mathematics, Science, and Engineering,” noted Barrish. “My team of expert faculty and staff will be able to enhance our focus on students in certificate and degree programs that enter the workplace immediately upon graduation and contribute to the economic growth of our region.”  
At Reynolds, Barrish has served as interim dean and assistant dean of the School of Business and Engineering on two separate occasions and has held the position of full-time faculty member, program head, and director of the School of Culinary Arts, Hospitality, and Tourism. Additionally, he possesses extensive experience in the private sector, where he worked for the Sheraton Corporation and the Richmond Hotels Company.
A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Barrish has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Restaurant Management from Ohio State University and a Master of Public Administration from Virginia Commonwealth University.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Rhodes featured in library exhibit

Dr. Gary L. Rhodes is featured in the “Why Children’s Books: Inspiring Generations” exhibit at the Richmond Public Main Library on Franklin Street in Downtown, Richmond. The fascinating exhibit demonstrates the long-term influence of a children’s book. Whether it is the memory of reading with a parent, the first time a book is read alone or the emotional power of a certain tale, the stories shared by Rhodes and other notable Richmond personalities reaffirm the importance of free and easy access to books for all children.

April 12 – May 29, 2012

Richmond Public Main Library
Monday through Wednesday: 10 am-7 pm
Thursday and Friday: 10 am-6 pm
Saturday: 10 am-5 pm

For additional information, call (804) 646-0117

Gary L. Rhodes, Ed.D.

Dare to imagine

I have fond memories of my childhood. I was born in East St. Louis, Illinois, but grew up just across the Mississippi River in St. Louis, Missouri. Summers were the best. Most days I spent my time outdoors playing with my collie, Dutchess. I remember spending hours swinging on the tree swing in the back yard, playing ball or just exploring the world around me. I was an inquisitive kid with a vivid imagination. That’s probably why Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson stands out as one of my favorite childhood books.

I guess I was a little like Jim Hawkins—naturally curious, impulsive at times, always looking for that next adventure. My parents were wonderful because they encouraged me to imagine what could be and to explore new ideas. I remember coming home one day to find three brand new unicycles—one for my dad and the others for my twin sister and me. We had a lot of fun learning to ride those unicycles. That creative spirit has shaped who I am today.

My colleagues at J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College have come to know me as an idea machine. Some of my ideas are better than others, but the point is to keep generating them. We should encourage our young people to dare to imagine. There is no better catalyst for creativity and innovation than a good book.

Opticianry program provides free eyewear for Middle College students

A friendly conversation between two colleagues turned into a worthwhile service learning opportunity for students in the J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College Opticianry and Middle College programs.

Mary Jo Washko, director of Middle College, recently mentioned to Opticianry program head, Yvonne Metten, that 17 of her students needed corrective eyewear. Understanding the need, Metten met with local optometrist Dr. Evan Kauffman who graciously agreed to donate his time (valued at $2,100) to conduct free undilated eye exams for Middle College students.
In order to provide this service, the Opticianry program had to obtain frames, lenses and improved equipment. Metten met with Elizabeth Littlefield, vice president for Institutional Advancement, and representatives with the Richmond Eye and Ear Foundation Fund to see if there was an interest in funding this initiative. The Richmond Eye and Ear Foundation Fund, a component fund of The Community Foundation Serving Richmond and Central Virginia, awarded $37,600 to the Opticianry Program on April 2, 2012. Funds from this grant were used to purchase lenses and frames for JSRCC Middle College students and to purchase a lens edger which helps Opticianry students fabricate lenses in less time.
On April 23, a Vision Fair was held exclusively for Middle College students. Under the watchful eye of Dr. Kauffman, Opticianry students provided preliminary exams for nearly 25 Middle College clients. Specifically, they conducted tests for color blindness and provided keratometry and slit lamp evaluations. They also worked directly with the clients in the selection and fitting of eyewear.
"Improving a student’s ability to see will have a tremendous impact on his or her ability to be successful not only in their college program but also in their occupation," said Washko.
The Middle College is a college entry program for individuals between the ages of 18-24 who have not completed their high school education but have the goal of attending college. The program includes GED preparation and college level preparation for employment coursework to help students pursue their goal of a college education. There is no cost to the student to participate in this program.

JSRCC hosts 8th Annual Gardenfest

Just in time for spring planting, J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College and the Goochland-Powhatan Master Gardeners hosted the 8th Annual Spring Garden Fest, a day that featured valuable gardening sessions and the opportunity to purchase plants and flowers ready to plant.  Almost 500 people attended the event, which ran from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. on the College’s Goochland Campus located at 1851 Dickinson Road in Goochland.
David Seward, Horticulture Program Head, remarked, “It was a very successful day even with the mid-day rain and a good time was had by all!”
More than 20 different gardening sessions were conducted throughout the day including "Attracting Hummingbirds to Your Garden," "Successful Grape Growing in the Home Garden" and "Landscaping with Edible Plants. Throughout the day, local Master Gardeners were on-hand to answer questions and provide gardening tips.

Anita and Craig Waters honored with 2012 Chancellor’s Award for Leadership in Philanthropy

Anita and Craig Waters of Glen Allen, Virginia, have earned the 2012 Chancellor’s Award for Leadership in Philanthropy. The couple was nominated for the award by JSRCC.

Back row (l to r): Tim McDermott, Mary McDermott, Capt.(Ret) Lawrence Hall, Craig Waters, Chancellor Glenn DuBois, Dr. Gary Rhodes
Front:  Frances Waters, Pam Hall, Anita Waters

The award was given at a luncheon ceremony at the Country Club of Virginia on Tuesday, April 17, 2012. Anita and Craig Waters established the Alan Waters Memorial Scholarship named after their son who was pursuing his associate degree in automotive technology before passing away in 2007. Through their annual golf tournament, the Waters have raised more than $87,000 in scholarship funds to benefit nursing and automotive students. Anita is Marketing Director with the Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen, a duathlete and marathon coach. An avid golfer and cyclist, Craig is an executive with Dominion.

Their pursuits reflect the strength and grace with which they’ve turned personal tragedy into empowerment for our students to compete and to win. The Chancellor’s Award for Leadership in Philanthropy luncheon is hosted by the Virginia Foundation for Community College Education (VFCCE) to honor the leading philanthropists from each of Virginia’s 23 community colleges as well as the statewide foundation. This marks the seventh year the awards have been given. This year’s class of distinguished philanthropy leaders has contributed a combined total of more than $48 million dollars to Virginia’s Community Colleges.
"These philanthropic leaders are tremendous partners," said Glenn DuBois, chancellor of Virginia’s Community Colleges. "These individuals, organizations and employers are difference-makers who play an essential role in helping our colleges fulfill their mission of addressing Virginia’s unmet needs in higher education and workforce development."
The honored philanthropists will have a scholarship named after them which will be awarded next fall to a student attending their community college. The one-year scholarships are funded by Wells Fargo and Dominion.
The luncheon’s keynote speaker was Mr. Steve Gannon, executive vice president, deputy general counsel – legal for Capital One Financial Corporation. Mr. Gannon is a member of the Virginia State Board for Community Colleges and a director of the Virginia Foundation for Community College Education.
"We owe our success to our 30,000 hard-working associates, and plenty of them, in turn, owe a good deal of their success to community colleges," said Gannon in applauding the opportunities created by philanthropic donations made to community colleges. "We can’t spare any lost potential. In a global economy that rewards innovation and technical prowess, we cannot afford to rest on our laurels."

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Congratulations to the 2012 Art Show winners

At J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College, spring means the walls of the Gallery in Georgiadis Hall on the Parham Road become an art gallery for the Student Art Show, displaying many creative works in all shapes and sizes. This year, 95 works of art were submitted to the campus exhibition, which ran from April 3rd to May 2. Here are the award categories and winners.
Reynolds Award (Best in Show) - Eric Atkinson
Reynolds Award 1st Runner Up - Elizabeth Heaton
Reynolds Award 2nd Runner Up - Ling Lin Ku
1st Place Photography - Jonathan Albrecht
1st Place Painting - Ling Lin Ku
1st Place Drawing - Sang Rok Lee
1st Place Design - Alan McLeod
Congratulations to all the winners!