Wednesday, June 26, 2019

A Passion for Life

“My real passion is filming,” Henry Moore confesses. But, talk to Henry for 30 seconds and it’s clear his real passion is life. Pure and simple. His voice is bright and confident. Even over the phone you can hear him speaking through a broad Australian smile. He’s passionate alright . . . about travel, education, earning a living, and especially about his new wife Kendall from Charlottesville who brought him to the US to stay.

Where do Reynolds students come from? From all over the world, including the Land Down Under.* Henry grew up in Australia in a family of four brothers and one sister he characterizes as being, “as tough as a coffin nail.” The Moore kids would go out “adventuring” and as rowdy boys, and a rowdy girl, they naturally gravitated toward dare devil, YouTube-esk antics - bike stunts, jumping off cliffs and the like. “I was always interested in putting it together, staging the scene,” Henry says. “I got the first GoPro (body mounted camera) and Handicam, and just started making videos. It’s like having a photo album as a reminder of what you have done.”

And Henry has done a lot. He graduated from Reynolds in December 2018 with a General Studies Certificate. Before coming to the US he earned a marine grade engineering degree and a boat captain’s license (“I can fix almost anything” he says). He shot video for Red Bull in South Australia (see some examples of his work on his website), worked in Medical Sales, and was an Online Travel Sales Consultant and Video Editor. He has travelled to more places than most of us have dreamed of. All over Australia to Queensland, the Whitsunday Islands, Adelaide, Pioneer Bay, and Darwin. And, outside Australia to Sri Lanka, Belize, Italy, Japan, Borneo, and Croatia. And now he’s settling in the US. See videos of his travels.

So, what does a world-travelling, boat captain, engineer, videographer say about his time at Reynolds? “I was blown away by the quality of education I received. I really enjoyed my time at Reynolds. But I was surprised. Everything I knew about American colleges I learned from Hollywood and television. You know parties and the campus life. Thankfully Reynolds was very different from that.”

“I look for Professors who take their subjects seriously. And I found them here. My favorite subject was Spanish. Maria Espiritu was incredible. Another favorite was Tina Winkler. Then there’s Professor [Karen} Neal. She is so passionate and amazing. I appreciated and really respected her toughness. From Day One I sat in the front row of her class. I didn’t want to miss anything.”

As proof of his respect for Professor Neal’s passion, this past March Henry returned to Reynolds, unprompted, and shot video of Science Night. The resulting video is true to Henry’s style. It’s fun, engaging, creative, fast moving, and quick witted. He demonstrates a practiced eye for framing a moving scene (videoing all of those crazy stunts honed his skills), and capturing the most smile-provoking moments. His pacing is spot on.

So, what’s next for this Reynolds grad? “VCU School of Business for a degree in Marketing,” says Henry. “I’ve always had the gift of gab and so I thought I would be more successful in sales.” Why not film? “I prefer to shoot and edit my own stuff. I always have a video idea in the back of my mind and I like having the freedom to work on it. I really don’t enjoy editing other people’s work. I have my own vision and will continue creating videos as a hobby.”

Any advice for students coming to Reynolds? “I came to Reynolds as an older, international student – I am now 29 – and was serious about my studies. I’d say to new students: sit in the front row, do your homework, and each semester take at least one class in a subject you love, and one that is required. It makes the experience much more enjoyable. And, if you live downtown, try to take classes downtown.”

Watch out VCU, you better be ready. Henry Moore is coming your way this fall and he’s bringing his passion with him.

Visit Henry’s website at:

* The term Down Under is a colloquialism which is variously construed to refer to Australia and New Zealand. The term comes from the fact that these countries are in the Southern Hemisphere, "below" many other countries, especially Western countries, on a Eurocentric globe where cardinal north faces towards the top.

Friday, June 21, 2019

Coyotes aren't coming. They're here. 

Think of coyotes, and wide open plains in Montana and Wyoming come to mind. Think again. Coyotes are right here, in Glen Allen, in Hanover, and even in the City of Richmond and across the river in Chesterfield. 

"Coyotes are in every city of Virginia," is what Reynolds Assistant Dean/ Professor Dr. Richard Groover was told by state game wardens. And Groover got to thinking about coyotes differently too. "As a biological scientist I like to do research, so I posed the question: how many coyotes are actually in Richmond, particularly in Hanover."

So off Professor Groover is going this summer on a self-directed, self-funded research project that has attracted the attention and the help of students from VCU, Liberty University, and GMU. One of Reynolds adult students, Ben Zimmerman, has become Research Assistant on the project. Zimmerman worked as a Well Digger out west before moving to Richmond and fulfilling his dream of getting a college education. Zimmerman knows all about being outdoors in all kinds of weather, day and night, and he is all in on the research.

How did we end up with so many coyotes? "Coyotes are one of the most adaptable predators in the US," says Groover, "with the elimination of coyote predators beginning in the 1800s the population grew and spread. My early guess is that we have as many as 500 in the surrounding area, but this study should give us a statistical number rather than a guess. The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries estimates we have 50,000 in the entire state." That's a lot of coyotes.

Do they attack, should we be cautious? "Coyotes are an evasive species. They'd rather run from you," Groover says. "However, recently a coyote attacked a woman and her five-year old son in New Jersey. This is unusual behavior and I suspect they will find that the coyote was rabid. They do love cats and small domestic dogs and will go after them, so it's best to not let pets roam unattended." Coyotes travel in packs so are more visible than a lone fox. But, don't try to outrun these animals, they are the fasted mammal in the US, travelling at a speed of 43 mph, and are known to cover around five miles in a night. 

Groover's research has two phases. Phase 1 involves the use of motion-detecting game cameras focused on a post with bait. Everything in the outdoors loved his bait, except the coyotes, so he upped the quality of his lure and is gathering data. He's moving into Phase 2 now which involves a game "noise" device designed to lure the animals into a certain location. Groover and his crew will be waiting nearby with night vision equipment to watch the coyotes and count them. All this is done at night when the coyotes are roaming, and the rest of us are sleeping.

Look for a follow up to this story. Dr. Groover plans to publish his findings, and certainly any of us with pets are curious just how many coyotes are among us.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Reynolds Names Inaugural Dean of Enrollment

RICHMOND, Va. (June 13, 2019) – Reynolds Community College recently named Dr. Terricita Sass as its inaugural dean of enrollment. Dr. Sass currently serves as associate vice president for enrollment management at Southern Connecticut State University.

During her time at Southern, Dr. Sass served as a member of the university’s senior leadership team and was instrumental in enhancing the enrollment management division, growing transfer student admissions, and expanding student diversity. She was also influential in Southern receiving the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities Shared Governance Award.

Reynolds President Dr. Paula Pando notes, “Providing access and opportunity to a high-quality, affordable education for our entire community is the highest institutional priority of this college. I am thrilled that Dr. Terricita Sass will bring her 25 years of executive level experience in enrollment management and recruitment to Reynolds. She is a student-centered, data-informed decision maker who will help Reynolds better serve our growing and changing region.”

Dr. Sass adds, “As the inaugural dean of enrollment, I am honored and excited to join President Pando and the cadre of professionals who have made it their life’s work to support students. Working with the staff, faculty, and community, I am committed to aggressively and strategically creating additional opportunities and successful outcomes for students, families, and employers of the Greater Richmond region.”

Dr. Sass holds a Ph.D in Education and a Post-Masters Certificate in Enrollment Management from Capella University. She also holds degrees from Norfolk State University and Francis Marion University. She was previously recognized by the Connecticut State NAACP Chapter as one of the “100 Most Influential Blacks in Connecticut.”

Dr. Sass will start her position at Reynolds on July 10.

Save Big on Course Materials this Fall

 at Reynolds Community College Campus Bookstores

Richmond, VA, 06/12/2019 – As Reynolds Community College students prepare for the start of another academic year, the Reynolds Community College Campus Bookstore teams are ready to support student success with a range of course material affordability options - including used books, text rental, digital content and price match.

As part of Follett's network of more than 1,200 campus stores and 1,600 virtual stores, Reynolds Community College Campus Bookstores offers the largest inventory of used books in the industry as well as Follett's ever-growing text rental program. Students renting through the campus store can enjoy risk-free rental policies while saving up to 80 percent compared to purchasing new.

Follett's rental program saved students nationwide more than $239 million during the 2018-2019 academic year. These savings were made possible through campus store managers’ efforts to drive rental adoptions with faculty, the expansion of Follett’s national rental library (more than 27,000 titles were added), and giving professors the options to make their adopted titles rentable locally or by campus.

For students interested in exploring digital options, Reynolds Community College Campus Bookstores offers a wide range of digital learning technologies including Follett's BryteWave digital textbook reader and study tool. Many digital titles provide anytime, anywhere access as well as varying discounts compared to purchasing new print materials.

"Reynolds Community College Campus Bookstores are excited to help Reynolds Community College students save big this year. Our goal is to ensure each student has affordable access to their needed materials," said Lucy Jones, Reynolds Community College DTC Bookstore manager. "We’re focused on driving down student costs by providing a variety of format options and offering our popular price match program.”

Per Reynolds Community College Campus Bookstores’ price match program, if students find course materials that they purchased at the campus store advertised at a lower price from a qualifying competitor, they are eligible to receive the difference in price from the campus store. This guarantees students get their materials at the lowest cost possible and allows them to apply price match funds to supplies or other needed materials.

For more information on price match or the various ways to save on course materials, simply drop by the Reynolds Community College Campus Bookstores or go to

About Reynolds Community College Campus Bookstores
Reynolds Community College Campus Bookstores are solely devoted to serving the Reynolds Community College community – offering products and services to students, faculty, staff, alumni and the local Richmond community both in-store and online via Reynolds Community College Campus Bookstores are located at the Main Campus on Parham Rd. and the Downtown Campus on Jackson St. and they are open 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday with extended hours on Wednesday and Thursday until 7:00 p.m. Stop in today to meet your DTC store manager, Lucy Jones and your Parham store manager, Larry Long.

About Follett Corporation |
Follett Corporation is the world's largest single source of educational materials, digital content, eCommerce, and multi-media for libraries, schools and institutions. Headquartered in Westchester, Illinois, Follett provides education technology, services and physical and digital content to millions of students at 70,000 schools, and more than 2,700 physical locations, and campus eCommerce platforms in North America. Through Baker & Taylor, Follett's reach also extends to the public library markets.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Doors Open

Starting a career? Restarting a career? Expanding your educational horizons? We are here for you. Since opening our doors in 1972 Reynolds Community College has ushered 22,571 students to the stage to receive their college degrees. Every year students like Katrina LaLuna "have doors opened they never imagined existed" until Reynolds advisors, faculty and staff showed them the way, and assured them their goals were possible. 

Here's what Katrina LaLuna had to say about her Reynolds experience.

My Reynolds Experience
Email from Katrina LaLuna
Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Katrina LaLuna after 2019 graduation.
My name is Katrina LaLuna, and in May 2019 I graduated from Reynolds Community College with an Associate of Applied Science degree in architectural engineering technology with a concentration in building construction management. 

I finally decided to return to school when I was approaching a decade in the beauty industry. I always struggled with seeing myself in a particular career forever, and I knew that it was time for me to try something new. I wanted to enter a program that would lead to employment in a new field after two years, and since the more common career paths never quite appealed to me, I started exploring the local community college's other programs with a very open mind. 

I landed at Reynolds after walking in and speaking with the department heads of the Architectural Engineering Technology program. Mr. Bass and Mr. Andrews
Mr. Aubrey Bass, Assistant Professor -
Drafting & Design Technology with
Katrina LaLuna
both took the time to speak with me and gave me enough information to help me decide that I could pursue a fulfilling and lucrative career in the construction industry. They along with Ms. Powers and Mr. Littlefield were supportive the entire way, especially when I needed guidance and advice on my job hunt. 

I was thrilled to accept a career opportunity prior to graduating, and now that I am working in the field, I know this one of the best decisions I have ever made. I am continuing my studies through an online program specifically for AAS graduates at Fort Hays State University and will ultimately earn a Bachelor of Science in technology leadership. 

In only two years, Reynolds gave me the education I needed to change my life and set myself up for the future I desire. Doors have opened for me that ten years ago I did not know existed; I am so excited for what's to come!

Monday, June 10, 2019

Reynolds ECA Students Get 
Fast Start Out of the Blocks

On the field, the diamond, or the court, in the classroom or the community, Majestic Colley, Morgan Johnson, and Euniq Bennett are “scholar-athletes.” They run, jump, kick, pitch, and shoot hoops with the vigor of the pros. And, thanks to the Reynolds Early College Academy they got a fast start out of the blocks on their college education.

As “scholars”, these young women earned their Associate of Science (A.S.) degrees in Social Sciences, with a total of 60 transferrable college credits before earning their high school diplomas. As “athletes” they were nominated for the Richmond Times-Dispatch Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award. Majestic and Morgan were chosen as two of ten finalists.*

Just being a standout student academically takes a tremendous amount of dedication and discipline. Standing out academically and athletically, takes a special sense of purpose and tenacity few possess. Reynolds Dual Enrollment programs – the Early College Academy, and Advance College Academy - are tailor-made to meet the drive and enthusiasm of these focused, goal-driven students. 

Majestic Colley – Reynolds ECA
Majestic was a student at George Wythe High School while earning her associates degree through Reynolds ECA program. At the end of her senior year, with her 3.9 GPA, she earned the distinction of class valedictorian.

Majestic is a member of the National Honor Society, and participated in the George Wythe Marching Band and Virginia Youth Speak Out for Safe Driving. She earned three letters in basketball, and was captain of the team in her senior year. She has two letters in volleyball and was team captain, known for her serve. Majestic will be attending Old Dominion University majoring in Biology and Sports Medicine.

Morgan Johnson – Reynolds ECA
Morgan was a student at Huguenot High School while earning her associates degree. She is a member of the National Honor Society and Beta Club, and served as an elementary school volunteer reader. She is a four-year letter winner in hoops and softball. On the diamond she played as pitcher, third base and shortstop. She also plays travel softball for the Richmond Storm.

Morgan Johnson, in her own words: ""The ECA was one of the most stressful and greatest things that ever happened to me. Trying to balance practices, tournaments and homework was the hardest part. My parents, professors and advisors made me make a schedule which essentially was the best thing I ever did. This helped me develop time management skills I will need as a College athlete next year."

"Throughout the two years I was able to create friendships and bonds with people that will last forever. This allowed me to be able to complete work with my peers and seek help if needed. I want to thank all of my professors, they pushed us and gave great advice and skills needed. They held us be accountable and never lowered their expectations because we were in high school. It may have seemed like they were hard on us but they prepared us for the next step in our lives. Not only did they push us they supported us in everything we did and made the atmosphere welcoming. Ms. T and Mrs. Hott had just as much to do with our success as anybody. They sent us scholarships, they came to check on us in school, they sent internships, helped us research schools and always highlighted our success. They were great advisors, who were available for us to talk to if ever needed. I’m glad I was able to meet such an amazing group of people. Without these people, this experience would’ve been just that much harder, thank you for teaching me life lessons, and always being there for me. I wouldn’t be who I am today without them. I’m forever grateful for the ECA program can’t wait to come back and share my success!"

Morgan will be attending Norfolk State, playing softball while majoring in Chemistry and Pre-Med.

Euniq Bennett – Reynolds ECA
Euniq was a student at John Marshall while earning her associates degree. She graduated third in her class with a 4.25 GPA. She was a member of the Yearbook Club and a volunteered for Partnership for the Future, a community-driven college preparation and workforce development program. Euniq earned three letters on the varsity cheer squad and played softball for two seasons.

“Being a scholar-athlete and being in the ECA Program was super hard to manage because of the dedication which was highly required for both," Euniq said. With the true humility of someone who has just accomplished a very challenging assignment, she continued, "Honestly, if I could do it... anyone could. There are no excuses for not being able to be in the top ten of your class and have late night games for your school.”

Euniq will be attending Norfolk State.

* * *

“We’re so proud of these young women for their grit and perseverance over the past two years in the Reynolds Early College Academy,” said Director of Reynolds College Academies Miles McCrimmon.  “It’s a special accomplishment to juggle the demands of being a scholar-athlete in high school or college, but to be a scholar-athlete while engaged in both levels of education at the same time is especially impressive.”

Indeed it is. And, the Reynolds Community is extremely proud to have been part of helping these three young women get a fast start on their educational future.

22 Reynolds ECA Graduates in 2019
from Ayanna Thompson, Early College Academy Career Coach

22 Richmond Public School students received their associate’s degree in social sciences in 2019 before earning their high school diplomas. 

Many of those 19 graduates are the first in their family to attend college, and certainly the first to earn a college degree before earning their high school diploma.

“We have students in seven out of eight of the RPS high schools,” Ayanna Thompson points out, “each of these students are outstanding. Many were recipients of outstanding scholarships. William [Wilkins] received over 1.8 million dollars in scholarships. He was also very active in his community and his school including leadership roles. His sport is tennis and he was a semifinalist in both singles and doubles tennis events at regional tournaments.”

"ECA is a once in a lifetime experience," said William Wilkins. "It is one of the toughest experiences I have ever had, but when I was done I have never felt more satisfied and accomplished in my life."

And get this: four out of eight of the Richmond Public School 2019 valedictorians were Reynolds ECA students. The 2019 RPS Valedictorians / ECA students are:

  • Laura Blackwell, Armstrong High School going to Virginia Tech - received a presidential scholarship.
  • Majestic Colley, George Wythe High School going to Old Dominion University – scholar-athlete. 
  • Lahjae White-Patterson, Huguenot High School going to Virginia Tech - planning to study graphic design, received a presidential scholarship.
  • William Wilkins, Franklin Military Academy going to Virginia Commonwealth University - planning to study psychology at the graduate level.
Adjectives like active, dedicated, achiever, driven, still don’t fully capture the personality of an ECA graduate. Consider that during their two years in the ECA program these students would begin their school day with classes at Reynolds in the morning, then return to their high schools for yet more classes in the afternoon. While maintaining their rigorous educational schedule, they still found time to be active in their schools and to make meaningful contributions in their communities. 

For the “scholar-athletes” - Majestic, Morgan, and Euniq - there was yet another dimension: they somehow managed to squeeze practice and competition into their schedule and still succeed. Weekends? What may have been down time for others, for all ECA students was time dedicated to studying, practice, and more studying and practicing.

Hats off – or in this case mortar boards off – to the 2019 Dual Enrollment program graduates (ECA, the 2-year program; ACA, the 4-year program). The Reynolds community applauds your impressive, and well-earned success!

*The RTD Award is open to outstanding area high school seniors nominated by their coaches. In addition to the recognition, the Award includes college scholarship dollars.