Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Meet Jasmine Cook

Administrative Office Specialist

School of Mathematics, Science and Engineering

Jamine reading the Japanese novel,
A Certain Scientific Railgun.
Are you from Richmond? If not, where were you born and raised, and what brought you to Richmond?
Yes, I am a native of Richmond.

You have worked for Reynolds for seven years. What do you like most about working here?
What I like most about working at Reynolds is working with dependable co-workers in my department and other academic schools and having the opportunity to work under our school dean, Mr. Raymond Burton. Another would be getting to interact with both students and faculty with diverse backgrounds.

What is the most important lesson you have learned from working at Reynolds?
The most important lesson that I have learned from working at Reynolds is to always be accountable for my interactions with students and my co-workers. In addition to this, to be consistent with following through with my job duties.

In 2014 you got an associate degree from Reynolds. This past spring you just graduated from Liberty University with a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice and have been accepted into their master’s program in Criminal Justice and Public Administration. What drew you to the field of Criminal Justice, and what are your career goals?
Having been in foster care between age nine and eighteen, I was in the state care. What I desire to do with my degree is to help youth who have aged out of foster care or those who are still in foster care, but have had problems with the justice system or courts. I want to be a mentor to them and help them understand their own worth. And even though the odds are against them and having experienced adversity, they can push themselves to be able to stand on their own two feet.

To accomplish so much requires time management skills. What time management advice would you give to others?
I took four eight-week classes at Liberty University this summer (at the same time!) That requires much management of one’s time. A bit of advice that I would give to others would be to have high expectations of yourself and set goals for yourself that are both attainable and impact oneself in a positive way.

Who inspired you to push yourself educationally?
First, I inspired myself to push myself educationally. Being that I am the first out of my family to finish high school, community college and obtain my Bachelor’s degree. Second, my foster parents and my immediate family. And finally, my co-workers and my the coaches in the Great Expectations program.

One of Jasmine's drawings.
You like to listen to Japanese, Korean, and rock music. That is quite a combination. How did you get interested in Japanese music, animation, drawing, and novels?
I was interested when I was watching Saturday morning cartoons. On one channel was an anime called Sailor Moon (it was a re-run of course), and I instantly fell in love with this show. Today, I am still in love with anime and even read manga (Japanese graphic novels). I have so much manga, that I even donated a few series to the Reynolds Library. When I do listen to the music, it takes me to a different place and it is very unique, and that is why I love anime, manga and music. 

If you won $100 million dollars in the Powerball Lottery, what would you do first?
If I did win $100 million dollars in the Powerball Lottery, first I would pay my dues to the people who have helped me such as my foster parents. Because without them, I would have not been the person that I am today. My way is always giving your dues and giving back to those who have helped you along the way.

Friday, July 27, 2018

Reynolds Gooden-Seay Chosen for VALOR Program

Reynolds Community College is pleased to announce that Jacqueline Gooden-Seay, Adjunct Faculty in the School of Math, Science & Engineering at Reynolds Community College, has been chosen as a member of the Cohort IV group of the Virginia Agriculture Leaders Obtaining Results (VALOR) program to begin in September 2018.

The Virginia Agriculture Leaders Obtaining Results (VALOR) program, the commonwealth's premier agriculture-leadership training program, is housed at Virginia Tech within the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. VALOR is a two-year training program that includes experiential travel, leadership discourse, and networking designed to prepare fellows to undertake leadership roles facilitating community problem-solving and promoting Virginia agriculture – communicating its realities, vigor, and needs – in forums in, and outside of, the industry.

VALOR is one of about 40 agricultural leadership programs active in the United States, Canada, Europe, and Australia. Agricultural leadership programs use a research-based experiential learning approach that builds professional leadership skills in the context of agriculture. In addition to on-the-ground agriculture, agricultural policy and communications are included in visits to the state and national capitals. An international experience crowns each VALOR program by couching Virginia agriculture in the context of world trade, cooperation, and global connectivity. 

Fellows meet every other month for two years to train, network, and travel throughout Virginia’s nine distinct agricultural regions. Professional and personal development themes for these seminars include agriculture trade and communicating with others, urban agriculture and national agriculture policy, team building and collaboration, and communicating the industry, among others.

“Seminar content is a hybrid of ‘must keep’ content from previous years and new experiences unique for each class. As a result, our entire group of current and past VALOR fellows has a broader collective knowledge of the great diversity and impact represented by the many facets of Virginia agriculture,” said Seibel.

As they travel, VALOR fellows are hosted by agricultural leaders who illustrate regional realities, challenges, and innovations on their family farms, dairies, livestock and produce operations, urban greenhouses, crop fields, fishing boats, and forests.

Congratulations, Jacqueline.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Reynolds Hosts James River Art League 

Annual Judged Show

Crisp lines, bright reds, oranges, and greens against blue. Muted yellows, purples, soften by shades of white. Animals to apples. Lighthouses to little girls. Beaches to barns. The work of the artists of the James River Art League (JRAL) spans as wide a spectrum as the color wheel.

Reynolds Community College is pleased to host the JRAL Annual Judged Exhibit in the Conference Center Gallery in the Workforce Development and Conference Center on its Parham Road Campus. The Show is open from Wednesday, September 5 to Thursday, November 8. Faculty, staff, students and the public are invited to view work by these talented regionally and nationally recognized artists. An open reception will be held Thursday, October 4 from 6 to 8 p.m.

JRAL is one of Richmond’s oldest art groups. Organized in 1964, the group celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2014. JRAL artists work in a variety of media including oil, acrylic, watercolor, pastel, graphite, collage, silk screen, scratchboard, and sculpture. JRAL is a nonprofit organization with more than 120 juried members from throughout Central Virginia. The goal of the group is to encourage creation and appreciation of the visual arts. Members receive motivation, support, and education through programs and opportunities to exhibit their work. JRAL also maintains a gallery at the Crossroads Art Center at 2016 Staples Mill Road in Richmond which houses member exhibits rotated every two months. 

The JRAL show will be judged by the “Reynolds Art Duo,” professors Meredith and Tony Mullins. The Mullins are artists and teachers of art at Reynolds. They have been married for 19 years and have been teaching together for nearly 14 years. Meredith’s current works focus on the female figure in contemplative moments of rituals and routines. Tony’s paintings are explosions of color and recognizable faces such as Johnny Cash and Prince. The Mullins’ work is being exhibited in the Conference Center Gallery from Thursday, July 5 until Tuesday, September 4.

Show awards will be given in the categories of Oil, Acrylic, Watercolor, and Other Media, and one work will be named Best-in-Show.

Pictured above: 2017 Award Winners, Top: Best in Show: Carol Mullen, “Woman in Grey” (Oil), and Bottom: Renee Gleason, “Casa Del Pellegrino” (Oil).

Reynolds 2018 Valley Proteins Fellow:
Grace Swal is One of Ten.

Angela Graves was one of ten in 2016. Donald Cooper was one of ten in 2017. Now, Reynolds Community College Honors student Grace Swal is one of ten in 2018. For the third consecutive year a Reynolds student has been chosen to be a Valley Proteins Fellow. Of the more than 250,000 students served by Virginia Community Colleges each year, only 10 second-year students are selected for the prestigious Valley Proteins Fellowship Program administered by the Virginia Foundation for Community College Education. 

“I failed the first time out,” Grace Swal says candidly about her first attempt at college ten years ago. “This is my second chance.” And, what a second chance it is for her. Grace was accepted into the Reynolds Honors program, has maintained a 4.0 grade point average during her time at Reynolds, and now in her second year has been selected as a Valley Proteins Fellow. Perhaps what Grace views as a failure is at the root of her amazing success. 

What was different on Grace’s second try at college? First, Grace was different. And, second, the college she chose was different. “My experience at Reynolds has been amazing from the git-go,” Grace said. She credits the Reynolds Honors program and Professor Ashley Bourne-Richardson with helping her develop the confidence and maturity she needed to pursue her dreams. “The Honors program has made all the difference for me. It gave me the opportunity to explore my options. It challenged me in ways I never expected. It made me realize I could shoot higher.”

Shooting higher has become Grace’s mantra: “I don’t just want to be in the field. I want to be an expert in the field,” she repeats this frequently and without hesitation. Her “field” when she graduates from Reynolds will be Business Administration and Social Sciences. Her “field” when she goes for her bachelor’s degree, then her master’s degree, and ultimately her doctorate, is Public Administration and Gender Studies. Her list of four-year colleges is long and includes the top institutions. Harvard? “Why not,” she asks, “the worst they can do is say no.” 

“Being chosen as a Valley Proteins Fellow is incredible. It will give me an opportunity to prove myself as a leader and to develop my networking skills. My goal is to gain the knowledge and confidence to be an expert, to be able to look another professional in the eye, stand my ground and feel comfortable leading discussions and sharing information in my field.”

The Valley Proteins Fellows program is made possible by the generous support of Valley Proteins, Inc., a Winchester-based rendering business operating for over 68 years with 15 plants in eight states. Valley Proteins management is committed to outstanding corporate citizenship, excellent customer service, technological innovation and support for the community college mission. 
President of Valley Proteins, Inc. Gerald Smith, Jr., said, “My brother and I are pleased to support the Valley Proteins Fellows program because it provides us with the opportunity to develop a more educated and competitive Virginia.”

The core mission of the Valley Proteins Fellows Program is helping promising, second-year students at Virginia’s community colleges pursue their academic goals and strengthen their leadership skills. The scholarship, combined with professional development, travel, and cultural opportunities, has an approximate value of $15,000. Fellows receive full tuition, book expenses and fees, and participate in a unique curriculum of intellectual and cultural activities. They also volunteer 80 hours of community service during the academic year to strengthen their leadership skills and develop a strong foundation for future success. Fellows are required to maintain a minimum 3.5 grade point average. 

Congratulations to Grace Swal. Keep shooting higher.

J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College is the youngest and third largest of 23 community colleges in Virginia and serves over 16,000 students annually. The College operates three campuses easily accessible to residents in the City of Richmond and the counties of Henrico, Hanover, Goochland, Powhatan and Louisa.


Reynolds Honor Student Ryan Lingo Volunteers at NASA Event

Ryan Lingo has a goal, but he isn’t waiting for that goal to materialize. He is going after it, one volunteer opportunity at a time. Ryan’s goal is this: he wants to work for NASA when he graduates from college. So right now, whether it’s serving as an Advocate at the annual Aerospace Day Conference (February 2018) or being a Student Coordinator at NASA’s International Space Station Downlink Event (July 2018), Ryan will be there. 

“Being a part of an event like this is truly a privilege, and one of the primary reasons why I want to work for NASA once I graduate from college.” The NASA Langley Research Center’s International Space Station (ISS) Downlink Event, held at the Virginia Air & Space Museum, was an opportunity for students to speak with an astronaut onboard the ISS in real time through a video chat. For this event astronaut Alex Gerst from the European Space Agency (ESA) spoke to the students and answered questions. After the downlink, students had the opportunity to explore the museum, meet with First Lady of Virginia Pamela Northam, and speak with NASA experts about the ISS and NASA’s role in future space exploration. 

Ryan’s roll at this event was to coordinate the groups of students, getting their lunches and moving them from their time with Gerst to the museum and answering their questions about NASA and space. He also helped with the NASA legislative delegation. “Questions from the students,” Ryan said, “ranged from “are you an astronaut?” to “how do telescopes work, and how far can you see into space with one?” Every event is a learning experience.

“The skills I have acquired through the Reynolds Honors program, such as communication and research skills, helped me be the best chaperone and mentor for all of the children I worked with.” Ryan also pointed out that had he not had the strong networking skills he honed by participating in the Honors program the NASA Education Specialists likely would not have chosen him to help with this event.

Ryan, we are proud of your persistence and look forward to the day when you can reach your goal and maybe even reach outer space!

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Reynolds Professor and Graduate Team Up For Dragonfly Research

Reynolds Community College biology professor Dr. Richard Groover and Reynolds graduate Donald Cooper (May 2018) have teamed up to work on two of Groover’s summer ecology and business discipline research projects.  

Cooper catching dragonflies
One project involves the Hollows Golf Course in Hanover County. Groover and Cooper will research the effects of lake shore management to entice dragonfly abundance and variety by cutting less of the water’s edge vegetation. Groover states this will save the golf course the expense of hand trimming along the 12 acre lake, while an additional benefit for the golf course will be more dragonflies to eat mosquitoes that might bother the gofers. “The Hollows Research data will statistically support the outcome of more dragonflies due to this management practice,” added Groover.

The second project involves Groover’s three-year study of dragonflies at four of the National Park Battlefields in eastern Hanover. This study is supported by the National Park Service. In addition to making a record of all dragonflies residing in these park sites, Groover and Cooper are looking at the biodiversity of dragonflies on these protected lands with additional consideration of economic aspects.

Cooper recording data on dragonflies
"Working with Dr. Groover has been an illuminating experience with how I conduct research,” said Cooper. “I have always had an interdisciplinary approach to thinking and learning, so when I asked Dr. Groover if we could in some way tie economics to his study of Dragonflies, I was excited to hear that he had some ideas for us. It's even more exciting that our findings, through the support of collected data, may help a lot of people in the near future.”

Cooper completed his studies at Reynolds and has been accepted at the University of Virginia for the 2018 fall semester. He is a recipient of the Valley Proteins Summer Stipend program and was also a Coca-Cola Bronze Scholar and was in the Honors program while at Reynolds.

Groover’s research is partially funded by a Small Project Grant from the Virginia Academy of Science. 

Monday, July 2, 2018

For Jamal Brooks Success Started in the Middle

How do you go from leaving home at 16 without a high school diploma to a goal of getting a PhD from Howard University? Ask Jamal Brooks. He can tell you. You start in the Middle. Middle College, that is.

When Jamal left his Tappahannock home and headed for Richmond all he had was his clothes and a desire for a better life. He needed and wanted a high school diploma, but couldn’t pay for the classes. Then he heard about Reynolds. Then he heard “free program,” and his life was forever changed. 

“I was so nervous when I came to Reynolds the first time, but Ms. Epps [Middle College Specialist Jackie Epps] welcomed me right away. She made me feel right at home. She was like a second mom. Along the way I got help with math. Transportation was always an issue, and I got help with that. They told me I could do this. It was tremendous support and for once in my life I really felt like I could get my GED.”

Jamal never missed a day and by 2011 he had his GED and moved from Reynolds Middle College to Reynolds College classes. He made the Dean’s list every semester. When he left Reynolds for Virginia Commonwealth University he left with and Associates Degree in Social Science and certifications in General Education and ASL. “Everything I learned from Reynolds helped me succeed,” Jamal confided. “Especially time management. That was key for me. Being able to manage my study time and to be disciplined was everything. I was empowered with that knowledge.”

His journey wasn’t without its frustrations. He dropped out for a semester questioning whether all the work would pay off. Fortunately, a counselor intervened and set him back on his road to education. Transferring to VCU was overwhelming. At Reynolds his classes had 15 to 20 students, and they all became friends. When Jamal walked in to his first class at VCU he was confronted with 300 strangers. Again, an advisor intervened. “He told me to get to class early and sit on the front row so I couldn’t see everyone else,” Jamal said, “I did that the whole time I was there and I survived.” By the second semester he had found his comfort zone. 

Reynolds Middle College Director Mary Jo Washko had this to say about Jamal: “Jamal is what we would like every student to be. He is a great ambassador. I don’t know how many students he has recruited, but it is a lot. He has taken an incredibly active role in helping others improve their lives. He is so special because he came in to the program and took advantage of every opportunity that was given to him. He was open to mentoring, to volunteering, and to working hard. And, he kept coming back. He kept bringing others in and helping them succeed too. He is very determined to make a difference in the lives of others.” 

Jamal graduated magna cum laude from VCU in May 2018 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work. A tremendous accomplishment and a perfect career choice for one so focused on, and dedicated to, helping others overcome their circumstances and succeed. What’s next for Jamal? “As far as the steps I take in the next month, I’m not sure, I am looking at my options. Ultimately, my goal is to go to Howard University and someday get my PhD.” Keep in mind, Jamal is the first male in his family to earn a college degree.

Jamal also wants to be a role model to other students, his nieces and nephews, and generations to come. He was a mentor while at VCU and continues to offer help, “If you can support someone, it goes a long way. You can become the good voice in their head.” 

When asked what advice he would give others, Jamal quickly responds: “You can do it too.”

Maybe all you need to do is start in the Middle, like Jamal.

What is Reynolds Middle College?
Some young adults, for whatever reason, don’t finish high school. Middle College helps 18 to 24 year olds earn their GED while developing skills to move their lives forward to a career. And, the program is free. 
Originally Middle College was focused on helping students get a GED and move on to college. Today, the program’s horizons have broadened. It is still a bridge from “non-credit” to “credit” education, but the transition plan for students is more comprehensive. Remedial courses are still included, but they are offered along with workforce readiness courses. Not only do students get help with reading and math, their learning is integrated and curriculum is contoured along specific tracks. For example, if a student is interested in a career in healthcare, courses will be geared toward the information he or she would need to succeed in that field. Middle College has partnered with other programs such as PluggedinVA, an adult education resource center, CCWA, the Community College Workforce Alliance, and Goodwill Industries. These major tracks are offered: CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant), Warehouse Distribution and Logistics, Customer Service, and Construction.

For more information about Reynolds Middle College, contact Mary Jo Washko at 804-523-5345 or middlecollege@reynolds.edu. 

Middle College remains tuition-free thanks to major gift support from Brookfield Foundation, Capital One, Jackson Foundation, and Virginia Credit Union.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Brandon Lambert, (ACA Class of '17) 

Featured at National Dual Enrollment Conference  

Brandon Lambert, graduate of the Reynolds ACA at Highland Springs HS in the Class of 2017 with an Associate Degree in Business Administration, is an 18-year-old second-semester sophomore with a huge head start at Virginia Tech, having transferred 56 credits from the ACA toward his Bachelors degree in Business Management.

Brandon is all smiles after his triumphant appearance. He is pictured here with his proud Site Director from the Reynolds ACA at Highland Springs HS, Allen Riddle, at left, and the Executive Director of NACEP, Adam Lowe, at right.

Brandon is also nationally known in the dual enrollment community, thanks to his recent appearance in Washington, DC, at the annual convention of the National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships (NACEP). Brandon served on a panel with two other dual enrollment alums from Colorado and Maryland, who together addressed more than 800 attendees from all over the country last Monday morning at the conference's plenary session.

NACEP Executive Director, Adam Lowe, had been so impressed by Brandon when he visited Highland Springs HS last spring that he invited him to the conference and provided funding for his travel and lodging in DC.

Brandon wowed the crowd and his interviewer, Dr. Kim Hunter Reed, Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Higher Education (pictured above), with his usual eloquence and poise. Asked what he appreciated most about his four years in the Reynolds ACA at Highland Springs HS, Brandon said, "It was a gift to spend four years pursuing the same goal with seventeen other motivated, like-minded people." Dr. Reed's last question to Brandon asked him to share some final thoughts with the throng of nearly a thousand dual enrollment educators and administrators. "What you do every day makes a difference," Brandon said. "You are changing people's lives."

​Needless to say, Brandon's words elicited a standing ovation.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Reynolds Culinary Student Profile

Meet Kimberly Morris

What motivated you to study culinary arts?
I have always loved cooking with my mother and father since I was a child. I have been a stay at home mother since my children have been born thanks to my wonderful husband Rico being our great provider. I wanted to make a difference in my family’s life, so I decided to go to school to be an example to my children, so they will follow their passions as well. I wanted them to know that no matter how old you are, it’s never too late to go to school to get a degree. I will be the first person in my family to graduate college, so this is a big deal to me.  I would love to have my own restaurant one day. 

Where are you in your culinary studies?
I am a senior at Reynolds and taking my last and final class, which is my Capstone course. I am revisiting my weaknesses and improving on them, while maturing with my skills.  

What are you working on now?
We are working on menu planning, logic, flow and quality. We also have to do a nutrition analysis of our menu a HACCP Analysis, food costing, and create an ingredient list for our food, setting pricing for our menu and then cook the items. We will be tested in what we have learned in Culinary French as well.  Then we will take a final exam of 458 questions to test our knowledge of what we have learned in our entire culinary program. 

What is your favorite task as a culinary student?
Culinary arts have brought my talent to the table. I have loved to learn to cook cuisines from all over the world. We have experienced cuisine from different cultures and learned the history behind it all. I enjoy the hands on experience in the kitchen.
What is your favorite ingredient?
Cooking with fresh herbs from my garden is very important ingredient in my kitchen. They are so versatile and can add some great flavor to any dish or drink.
Do you have a “signature dish”?
I love smoking ribs; I am still working on perfecting my father’s recipe. He cooked the best ribs I have ever eaten. I am working on mastering my smoking and grilling techniques. 

What would you most like to do in culinary arts when you graduate?
I am going to jump in the culinary field and work my way up to become a great Chef and work on having a food truck. One day having a restaurant may be in my future. 

What is your favorite restaurant in Richmond?
I love the Jefferson Hotel, they have amazing food, and it’s a great dining experience that you will never forget. They have the Lemaire, TJ’s, and Sunday Champagne Brunch. All of the menus are locally sourced and sustainable ingredients with a Southern influence of the Richmond food culture. 

What would you tell other potential students interested in studying culinary arts at Reynolds?
We all will go through hardships in life, and we all will have some situations that take us by surprise. One thing I have learned in culinary that has helped me is perseverance. I kept working hard, no matter how hard it has been to achieve my degree, I am here and finally about to finish. I never gave up even when I have failed, I kept trying, and trying. You are going to have things in life that are out of your control, just don’t give up.  

My mother passed away on December 17, 2015, which was the most devastating thing I have ever dealt with. Then five months later her sister, my Aunt Patricia, passed away on May 22, 2016. Then my father passed on October 18, 2017. Life can be unbelievably painful, but God has the final authority in my life and yours. No matter what situation you may face in life don’t give up on your dreams. If I can do it, so can you. You can do anything if you put your mind to it. 

Going to Reynolds you can gain the culinary experience and all of the professional skills you need to further advance your career. You will get the education background to understand the chemistry of food, and learn the roots of recipes and the science behind it all. You will have to chance to try new cuisines, and experiment in creating dishes.You will learn how to give dishes flavor and what to pair with them that will give you the groundwork you need so you can create some culinary masterworks. Chef Miller has taught me all of this and has helped me to move forward in my culinary career. Come talk to him if you are thinking about Reynolds Culinary Arts, Pastry Arts, or Culinary Management. It is a great opportunity for someone if you have a passion for cooking. You will love to eat delicious foods and learn from different ethnic or cultural backgrounds.  

Reynolds Culinary Arts Student Profile

Meet Megan Glasscock

What motivated you to study culinary arts?
Growing up I always enjoyed cooking with my grandma, and she motivated me to study pastry arts. When my high school offered culinary classes I decided to try them out. I fell in love with cooking then. I came to Reynolds after finally realizing my dream was to become a pastry chef. In 2014 I received an Associate’s Degree in general studies from Southside Virginia Community College. Then I went to X-ray school, but that was not a fit for me.  It has been a long road to get here, but I’m happy I made it. I have lived in South Hill, Virginia all my life, so it was a big change for me to drive to the city every day for class. So, there has been a lot of adjustments.

Where are you in your culinary studies?
I am currently in my last semester in the pastry arts program and am working on my internship. My internship site is Red Cap Patisserie where they make French pastries. Working here had made me step out of my comfort zone into something I enjoy doing. 

What is your favorite task as a culinary student?
My favorite task as a student is making bread. It is amazing to me that so many types of bread come from just water flour yeast and salt. I enjoy baking because it is very calming and it is a source for creativity.

What is your favorite ingredient?
My favorite ingredient is chocolate; pairs well with everything. 

Do you have a “signature dish”?
My “signature dish” is an apple pie. Apple pie was one of the first dishes I learned to make, so ever since it has been my signature dish. There is nothing super special in the apple pie, I just always make it for all the special occasions in my family. 

What would you most like to do in culinary arts when you graduate?
My goal is to work in a cute little bakery, maybe one in Southside Virginia. 

What is your favorite restaurant in Richmond?
My favorite place to eat in Richmond is En Su Boca for their tacos. I honestly do not eat in Richmond much because I live in South Hill which is an hour and a half away. But my favorite restaurant in South Hill is the Horseshoe Restaurant. 

What would you tell other potential students interested in studying culinary arts at Reynolds?
I would tell people to follow their dreams and to start their culinary journey. I say that if you have a passion for baking then you should go for it! It takes hard work and determination, but it’s worth it in the end.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Denise Pitman

Information Specialist - Information Center

Reynolds Graduate May 2018

Associate’s Degree in Paralegal Studies, Specialization Litigation

Denise has been working for Reynolds since June 2014. But, Denise doesn't just work here, she studies here too. Diligently working and studying, Denise graduated in May earning her Associate's Degree in Paralegal Studies. 

When asked what motivated her to pursue her degree, she says simply, "My son is my motivation."

As if working full time, studying long hours and getting a degree, and taking care of a family isn't enough, Denise has several other passions. She says, "I love to run. It is a hobby of mine as well as a way clear my head. I like to run outdoors, never on a treadmill. It is not the same! I also enjoy building and decorating doll houses, miniatures are so interesting to me because I can create a perfect little world of my own design. I write poetry and I take care of my plant babies in my spare time too."

Denise believes in dreams, and has certainly worked hard to bring hers into reality. She believes in other people's dreams too and had this to say: "I would like to share with the Reynolds Community that I believe in the dream! By this I mean I believe in the product that we sell, which to me is a path to a better future by way of a quality education. I love my job and I love it because I get to, in my own small way, help others on the way to achieving their dreams."

This is poetry, Denise.

Meet Culinary Arts Student Arteezjah El

What motivated you to study culinary arts?
I become interested in culinary arts because of it cultural attachments, in my family food has been the way to bring us together. I also feel like culinary arts is a way of pleasing people and an expression of love. I strive to spread love and bring happiness everywhere I go.

Where are you in your culinary studies?
Right now, I am getting my degree in pastry arts this summer. The following summer I’ll be graduating with the culinary degree.

What are you working on now?
Perfecting my bread baking skills and capstone, which is my final class before I can get my degree.

What is your favorite task as a culinary student?
There is always something new to try while cooking. Even if it’s an old technic It is always something to explore.

What is your favorite ingredient?
I don’t have a specific ingredient, I enjoy different flavor combinations.

Do you have a “signature dish”?
No really, I believe I haven’t found my niche. 

What would you most like to do in culinary arts when you graduate?
I plan to build my repertoire and portfolio, learn to run a small business, travel to learn how different cuisines and a new cultural, then ultimately own my own restaurant.

What is your favorite restaurant in Richmond?
Southbound is my favorite restaurant.

What would you tell other potential students interested in studying culinary arts at Reynolds?
Don’t let your fears and doubts hinder you from achieving your goals.  

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Paula J Green

Communications Officer - Reynolds Department of Police

Reynolds Graduate, May 2018, 

Associate Degree Management Small Business (Cum Laude)

Paula has been working for the Reynolds Department of Police for the past seven years. But, for that seven years she hasn't just been an employee, she has been a Reynolds student too, first earning a Certificate in Entrepreneurship Small Business and then her Associates Degree Management Small Business this past May. And, if that isn't enough, she has been on the Dean's List from 2011 to 2018.

When asked what prompted her to get her degree, Paula said, "Cleaning has been one of my passion, so I decided to take some courses in Business, and to have my own business. My business is PG Cleaning Services (Entrepreneur) and I have been in business since 2014." 

Paula's favorite hobbies are singing and cleaning. "Singing is my part-time job, I do weddings, funerals, anniversaries, and birthdays. I sing with a singing group call Rev. D. Kay Logan & NU Beginning Experience, and have been singing with the group for nine years, and I sing in the choir at my church, Faith Community Baptist Church."

"I am a single parent, I have one son, Krystopher A. Cooper. I have one grandson who has stolen my heart, Xzavier M. Cooper who will be three years old June 15. I have two sisters, Sabrina Jones and Brice Perkins, and two brothers, Alexander, and Charles Futrell. My mother retired from J Sargeant Reynolds in 2016, my father is deceased. I love spending time with my family and friends, and going to church and movies and eating." 

When asked about her future, Paula says, "I am planning to attend Old Dominion University to pursue my Bachelor’s Degree in the area of Business Administration.  My future plans include continuing to grow my cleaning business. Trust your Savior to pick you up, comfort you, and give you the confidence you need to continue on your journey, taking each minute, each day as it comes."