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 www.dcjs.virginia.gov.

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 www.reynolds.edu/art.

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.