Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Paige Hargrave, JSRCC’s Commonwealth Legacy Scholar for 2012-2013

Paige Hargrave
On November 13th the Virginia Foundation for Community College Education, whose mission is to help Virginians across the commonwealth better their lives through education, held its annual Scholarship Luncheon to honor the 2012-2013 Class of Commonwealth Legacy Scholars.  Scholarships were awarded to twenty-five outstanding students throughout Virginia's Community Colleges, and each holds a scholarship that bears the name of a philanthropy leader at their college or foundation.

Paige Hargrave, of Mechanicsville is the recipient of the Anita and Craig Waters Commonwealth Legacy Scholarship at J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College.  Paige is a goal-minded young woman who began taking steps to achieve her goals while still in high school.   As a dual enrollment student at J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College and Thomas Nelson Community College, she completed fourteen college credits with a 4.0 grade point average while still in high school. 

Paige’s goal is to become a trauma surgeon.  There are few experiences in life more difficult than watching a close family member endure a medical crisis while you stand by helplessly and watch.  After witnessing her mother and sister endure several medical emergencies, these life-changing moments steered Paige on a path towards a career in emergency medicine.  To that end, a few years ago Paige earned her EMT-B license and a lifeguard license so that she no longer sits on the sidelines during medical emergencies.  These skills allowed Paige to provide life-saving assistance to her mother during a third heart attack two years ago.

After completing an Associate in Science degree at Reynolds, Paige plans to transfer to VCU to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Biology, and then go on to medical school.  One day she hopes to work with organizations such as Doctors without Borders and travel to foreign countries to treat children with deformities and/or life-threatening illnesses.

In addition to being a full-time student, Paige works part-time to help cover her expenses.  In her free time Paige has been in training to run a 10k race to raise money for cancer research, learning Spanish, and writing a novel.

The Commonwealth Legacy Scholarship Program was created in 2006 to make the community college experience available to bright, hardworking young men and women who want to attend college but do not have the means.  These merit-based scholarships are awarded to first-time students attending one of Virginia’s 23 community colleges who exhibit academic excellence, effective leadership, mentoring skills, and the potential to become ambassadors for community college education.  For more information on this and other scholarship opportunities at JSRCC please visit www.reynolds.edu.

Monday, November 26, 2012

JSRCC's Around the World through Movies

Sponsored by the Multicultural Enrichment Council, JSRCC's "Around the World through Movies" recently presented Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

A faculty panel that included Shalini Upadhyaya, Janet Adams, Jason Lira, and Lily Mirjahangiri led a pre-movie discussion that highligted the U.K and Yemen’s history, geography, political structure, and highlighted recent statistics and pictures on the societal and political roles of Yemeni women inside and outside Yemen. The audience also learned about the environmental challenges of importing water and Salmon to the deserts of Yemen, interesting facts about Salmon, and the powerful messages of the storyline through symbolism and metaphors.

Attendees included JSRCC students, staff, faculty and guests from the Richmond community who enjoyed a variety of refreshments representing Middle Eastern cuisine. The movie was followed by a post discussion and trivia questions where many students and staff won prizes.

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen featured a British leading fishing expert who was approached by a consultant to help realize a Yemeni sheikh’s vision of bringing the sport of fly-fishing to the desert; he immediately thinks the project is both absurd and unachievable. However, when the Prime Minister’s overzealous press secretary latches on to it as a ‘good will’ story, this unlikely team put it all on the line and embarked on an upstream journey of faith and fish to prove the impossible, possible.

We are thrilled to see a promising turn out from our college and the community, and we stay motivated and energized to plan the future movie events,” said Lily Mirjahangiri, Around the World through Movies subcommittee Chair.

 The subcommittee is celebrating the Black History Month at their next movie event:

Thursday, February 21, 2013
6 p.m.  to 9 p.m.
JSRCC Parham Road Campus
Georgiadis Hall: the Gallery        

JSRCC Celebrates International Education Week

In celebration of International Education Week, the Office of Student Life along with JSRCC English as a second language (ESL) students and international students hosted a food and fashion event recently in the commons area of Burnette Hall on the Parham Road Campus.


Students from more than 70 countries including Iraq, Egypt, Senegal, Sudan, the Philippines, Cameroon, Congo, Brazil, India, and Bangladesh currently attend Reynolds. During the event as food from a variety of different countries was being served, students in their native costumes shared their homeland’s customs and traditions - one student from Vietnam even donned her classmate’s Uzbekistan traditional dress! 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Annual Counselors Update

Each year the dual enrollment office hosts its annual Counselors Update.  Approximately 40-50 school counselors from surrounding areas visit the JSRCC campus each November and are given updated information regarding the dual enrollment program as well as exposure to academic programs at JSRCC.  This year’s focus was an entirely “dual enrollment” focused agenda. After a Dual Enrollment “Nuts & Bolts” session, counselors were able to learn about two of the newest dual enrollment programs such as New Kent County’s Bridging Communities Career & Technical Training Center where we are offering their students an extremely comprehensive Diesel Mechanics program.  Also, they were given information regarding Henrico County’s Advanced College Academy program which is scheduled to enroll its first cohort of students this summer. 

Susan Roach from the office of Student Accommodations shared extremely valuable information regarding students with disabilities and how they should navigate their transition from high school to college.  The day ended with a “tag team” which included, Karen Pettis-Walden from A&R, Kiesha Pope from Financial Aid, and Nichole Page from the JSRCC Scholarship Program.  They shared how students should  transition from dual enrollment high school students to JSRCC full time students.  The counselors received a wealth of information at the Update and through the evaluation process, were able to give very valuable feedback to the Dual Enrollment office as well as place their “orders” for next years topics!

Who loves “stinky chemistry”?

Who loves “stinky chemistry”? More students than ever, thanks to new fume hoods at the Downtown Campus.  The pristine new science labs on the Sixth floor of the Downtown Campus have been fully renovated and equipped with the kind of equipment found in labs all over the world.  This transformative gift to the college was made possible through contributions from local businesses, community partners, and private individuals. 
“Donors make the difference,” said Vice President for Institutional Advancement, Bess Littlefield.  “In 2007, we appealed to the community to help fund lab and technology upgrades. With challenge grants by the Cabell and Mary Morton Parsons Foundations, we secured additional contributions, ultimately raising $750,000.  Really, the power of philanthropy to improve instruction and learning is what you see as you tour the Sixth Floor.  Our donors are incredible.”
The labs were on full display during a recent open house.  So, what’s the buzz?  Hear what faculty and student are saying about the new space in this appreciation video for supporters of the project: link.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Kristopher Cox honored by Symantec Corporation at Annual Symposium

Congratulations to Kristopher Cox, JSRCC’s information security officer, who was recently named one of the 2012 Cyber Award Winners by Symantec Corporation at their annual Government Symposium on November 7, 2012 in Washington, D.C.
Symantec is one of the world’s largest software companies providing security, storage and systems management solutions to help their customers secure and manage their information-driven world against more risk.
The annual Cyber Awards recognize leaders who exemplify government cyber security excellence through their contributions to programs that protect national and global data and systems. The awards also recognize thought leaders who have developed and operationalized innovative strategies or programs to address government cyber security challenges.
The Symantec Government Symposium Advisory Group selected winners based on their strong leadership, innovative approaches and willingness to go "above and beyond" to make a difference in government cyber security. The awards recognize winners in five categories:
U.S. Congress/Capitol Hill
International - Civilian
National/Federal - Civilian
National/Federal - Defense
Regional/State and Local Education

Cox was selected as the winner in Educational category.

Through his leadership and direction, Cox blazed the path for JSRCC to host its first U.S. Cyber Challenge (USCC), which aims to significantly reduce the cyber workforce shortage by serving as the premier program to identify, attract, recruit and place the next generation of cyber security professionals. Through his tireless efforts over the course of a year, Cox successfully coordinated everything from catering to press interviews for JRSRCC's USCC, and ultimately enabled 40 students to secure jobs and scholarships. The Cyber Awards recognize Cox for his continued efforts to raise awareness of the importance of cyber security to the next generation of IT leaders.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Downtown and Goochland campuses unveiling new renovations

New DTC student services offices and lobby staircase to be ready for start of Spring Semester

Rome wasn’t built in a day.  But, we’re making progress!  2013 will bring a fresh look, better use of space, and facility improvements to the Downtown Campus.  Among the changes are newly renovated and relocated student services offices.  These include the Success Center, Office of Student Accommodations, the Career, Employment and Transfer Center, the Business Office and the Academic Computing Center. The offices should be relocated and ready to serve students in their permanent locations prior to commencement of the Spring semester.

Between December 10th and 20th the large construction wall in the Downtown Campus lobby is scheduled to come down and be repositioned. This will result in access to the new lobby staircase that will lead students, faculty and staff to the second floor.  When the construction wall is repositioned, the front entrance by 7th street will be closed and the entrance by 8th Street will be the only front entrance utilized to enter the building from Jackson Street.

All student services, along with the cafeteria and Department of Police will maintain their current locations through the end of the fall academic semester. 

>>See photos of the Downtown Campus renovations below. 

Goochland Student Commons and Community Room renovations to add comfort and access

More space and more comfort – that’s what students, faculty, staff and visitors will enjoy on the Goochland Campus through the current renovations.

The new student commons will be where the existing community room is located.  The commons will provide students with a lounge, eatery area, vending machines, tables and recreational space. In order to complete these renovations, the current student commons has been relocated to Room 107 in Building C01.

The new community room will be relocated into the existing student commons area space. The Goochland Campus renovations should be completed by January 26th, 2013.   

“We appreciate everyone’s support and patience,” says Mark Probst, JSRCC Director of Facilities Management & Planning.  “The faculty and staff have been fantastic with being flexible throughout the changes, as all of the renovations are improvements to provide students with a better learning environment."

Lobby stairs

Lobby stairs


Success Center



Academic Computing Center

Library Reference Area

Library Reference Area

Phi Theta Kappa Induction Ceremony

J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College’s Chapters of Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society held their Annual Fall Induction Ceremony on Saturday, November 3, 2012, in the Lipman Auditorium, of the Massey Library Technology Center at the Parham Road Campus.
Established in 1918, Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society serves to recognize and encourage the academic achievement of two-year college students and provide opportunities for individual growth and development through honors, leadership and service programming.  Reynolds has two chapters at the college.  The Alpha Iota Beta chapter represents members enrolled in programs at the Parham Road Campus and the Alpha Gamma Omicron chapter represents members enrolled in programs at the Goochland and Downtown campuses.   
Students who have completed 12 transferable credit hours and have a 3.3 cumulative GPA at the college are invited to join PTK every fall and spring semester. 
Alpha Iota Beta Chapter President Corey Hancock, Jr. opened the festivities and Dr. Gary Rhodes welcomed the audience, composed of members, their families, campus faculty and staff.  One hundred and twenty-four new members were inducted, many of whom participated in the ceremony.   
Mark Smith, community activist and owner of four Midas Auto Service Experts locations in Central Virginia served as Key Note Speaker.   Mr. Smith has been recognized by a variety of media and community organizations for his commitment to the community and efforts on behalf of organizations such as FeedMore (Central Virginia Food Bank), Meals on Wheels, and the Virginia Blood Service. 
AIB Chapter President Corey Hancock, Jr. noted, “The Phi Theta Kappa Induction Ceremony was a great success. Everyone who participated did a wonderful job; our keynote speaker Mark Smith put on an exhilarating performance. In fact, I spoke with several students after the ceremony who only wanted to talk about how motivated they felt to push even harder and do more for the community after hearing him. Overall I was very proud of how the ceremony turned out and I look forward to working with our new members.”

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Reynolds hosts online education conference

Approximately 140 higher education professionals and faculty from across the Commonwealth, and a few from beyond Virginia, recently attended J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College’s The Art & Science of Online Education Conference. Faculty, staff and technology professionals collaborated during this two-day conference to discuss quality in online education, student success, faculty development and engagement, and emerging technologies.

A virtual conference was held in tandem with Reynolds’ conference on online learning. Avaya, the company that hosted the virtual conference, was on site to show attendees how virtual meeting space can be used for education.

Conference highlights included a keynote address from Anne Arundel Community College Dean Jean M. Runyon and a panel discussion with JSRCC online students. Dean Runyon highlighted the nationwide efforts that are being made to develop and improve online education opportunities; these efforts range from developments in quality course design, training and support for faculty teaching online, and expanded support services for online learners. At the student panel session, conference participants listened and learned from students as they shared their experiences with online education and how they developed their skills in time and resource management, and how they engaged with instructors and peers through digital technologies.

The conference was supported with grants from the U.S. Department of Education Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE) and the  U.S. Department of Energy. The FIPSE grant has significantly supported the College’s Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), The Ripple Effect: Transforming Distance Learning, One Student & One Instructor at a Time. J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). The College’s QEP is part of SACS accreditation process.

Presentations from the conference will be posted soon to www.reynolds.edu/conference.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Respiratory Care Week 2012

National Respiratory Care Week, held each year during the last full week in October, is set aside to honor respiratory care professionals and their dedication to increasing awareness of lung diseases and improving the lives of their patients.
It’s also a good time to highlight JSRCC’s degree program in Respiratory Therapy, the only distance education respiratory care program in Virginia. The Associate in Applied Science program, offering courses in both traditional and distance learning formats,  is designed to prepare students for roles as contributing members of the modern health care team concerned with treatment, management, and care of patients with breathing, cardiovascular, and sleep abnormalities.
Currently approximately 80 students are enrolled in the two- year program, split equally between first year and second year students.  Of the 80, about 32 students are distance learners hailing from as far away as Danville.  While most of their courses are online, laboratory courses are taken on-site at the Virginia Community College closest to their residence.  For clinical practice, hospitals in the student’s local area are utilized.
Megan Miller lives in Fredericksburg and is a first year student in the program.  As a stay-at-home Mom the convenience of being physically able to stay home while attending college is important to her.  She travels to JSRCC each Wednesday for labs, and often gets together with other students in study groups.  She said that even as a “distance” student she feels very connected to her classmates and very much a part of the class.
Krystale Garrison, another distance learner from Caroline County, also chose distance learning for convenience and is happy with her decision.  She also attends labs at JSRCC, but utilizes Germana Community College in Fredericksburg for testing.
For more information about JSRCC’s Respiratory Care programs as a traditional on campus student or distance learner, please visit www.reynolds.edu.

15th Annual Scholarship Luncheon

The 15th Annual Scholarship Luncheon was a heartwarming affair for J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College’s scholarship recipients and generous benefactors and friends who attended the event on Thursday, October 18th.
With 190 guests in attendance, it was the perfect opportunity for donors and student recipients to meet each other, many for the first time.  Spirits were high and smiling faces lit up the room.
Speakers included Andrew Gibb, benefactor of the Gibb Family Scholarship.  The scholarship, established in the memory of his mother, provides assistance to active or honorably discharged military members.  Mr. Gibb spoke of his fearless mother and relayed the frightening story about how her life was saved in 1979 by U.S. Marines when the U.S. Embassy in Pakistan was attacked and set on fire while she and other Embassy staff members were locked in a vault inside the building.  
Two scholarship recipients were also given the opportunity to speak.  Charlie McDonough, a 2011 Valley Proteins Fellow, started his relationship with JSRCC in 1994, returned in 2003 to pursue becoming a Licensed Practical Nurse and most recently completed his RN last December.  He noted it was the inspiring teachers that kept bringing him back to Reynolds.  His advice to current students was not to chase a paycheck, but rather chase their dreams.
Sierra White, recipient of the Reynolds Family Scholarships in memory of J. Sargeant Reynolds told the audience that without her scholarship she would not be able to attend school.  Although she had always dreamed of attending a 4 year university far from home, she now realizes that her friends who followed that path have not had the variety and depth of experiences that Sierra has enjoyed at Reynolds.  She said her scholarship gave her hope, a push towards the future that says, “You can do it.”
The luncheon was a great opportunity to thank JSRCC’s donors for their shared vision and support of our students, giving them the opportunity to reach their potential and achieve their dreams.
For more information about available scholarships, how to apply and important deadlines, visit www.reynolds.edu/scholarship.