VWCC News

New endowed scholarship supports student internships, honors legacy of Cabell Brand

The Virginia Western Community College Educational Foundation is proud to announce the establishment of an endowed scholarship to honor the late Cabell Brand, a Salem businessman and philanthropist.

Brand, who died in 2015 at age 91, was a longtime supporter of higher education through The Cabell Brand Center, which initiated the scholarship at Virginia Western with a $60,000 gift. Students who receive the Cabell Brand Gap Scholarship will receive financial assistance as they complete academic internships at nonprofit or public entities that support the Center’s mission of addressing poverty, peace and the environment.

“Cabell called on us all to serve our communities as engaged and socially responsible citizens,” said Steve Sunderman, President of the nonprofit Cabell Brand Center. “By funding this scholarship, we are honoring his relentless passion for learning and public service.”

A native of Salem, Brand was a leading businessman and philanthropist in the Roanoke region. After graduating from Virginia Military Institute and serving in World War II, he took over his family’s shoe company and built it into a massive business known as Stuart McGuire before selling it to the Home Shopping Network. Brand founded Total Action Against Poverty, now known as Total Action for Progress, and helped create one of the first Head Start preschool programs in the country, among many other achievements. Brand was the author of the 2008 book, “If Not Me, Then Who?,” in which he provides guidance on how individuals may contribute to poverty, peace and environmental issues in America.

The Cabell Brand Gap Scholarship represents the Educational Foundation’s first effort to specifically support students as they complete academic – and often unpaid – internships.

“Nearly 80 percent of our students work to help support themselves,” said Dr. Angela M. Garcia Falconetti, Executive Director of the Educational Foundation and the College’s Vice President of Institutional Advancement. “While they would like to take advantage of important career internships, they simply can’t afford to go without an income. This scholarship is intended to bridge that financial gap and spur their interest in a career of public service.”

Dr. Robert H. Sandel, the College’s President, said the scholarship would address a need in the business community. “Employers are looking for graduates who have real-world experience,” he said. “I believe Cabell would be happy to know that his legacy will be honored in this important and enduring manner.”

For more information on the Cabell Brand Gap Scholarship, contact Rhonda Perdue, Coordinator of Career Services, at rperdue@virginiawestern.edu or (540) 857- 6325. The deadline to apply for a Summer 2016 Brand scholarship is March 16.

Posted on February 11, 2016 in Educational Foundation | Permalink

VWCC to host author of Forgotten: The Untold Story of D-Day’s Black Heroes, at Home and at War on Feb. 22

Virginia Western Community College and Dr. Annette Chamberlin, Assistant Dean and Associate History Professor, will host author Linda Hervieux for a discussion of "Forgotten: The Untold Story of D-Day's Black Heroes, at Home and at War” on February 22 from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. in the Natural Science Center on Virginia Western’s main campus.  This is an intimate opportunity to meet the author, whose travels to share this intriguing story include places such as the University of California, Berkeley; Princeton University; Washington DC, Army and Navy Club; and Harvard Law School.

Later in the evening, in commemoration of black history month, Hervieux will also be at the D-Day Memorial in Bedford for a special presentation and signing event. In November, Hervieux presented her book at a special reception event at the Harrison Museum of African American Culture at Center in the Square where a veteran from the 320th Barrage Balloon Battalion joined her.

Published by Harper Collins in October, Forgotten is the story of an all-black battalion whose crucial contributions on D-Day have gone fairly unrecognized, until recently. Among the first wave of invaders on June 6, 1944 was the 320th Barrage Balloon Battalion, a unit of African-American soldiers tasked with sending up a curtain of small blimps on cables to deter enemy aircraft and protect landings. In this extraordinary blend of military and social history, Hervieux brings to life the heroic story of these men, their personal lives at home and the injustices of 1940s Jim Crow America and finally pays tribute to their valor.

Like thousands of other African Americans, members of the 320th battalion were sent abroad to fight for liberties denied to them at home. In England and Europe, these soldiers discovered freedoms they had not known. They would carry these experiences back to America, to fuel the budding civil rights movement and further shape history.

Hervieux has written more about the 320th men at www.lindahervieux.com, which has a page devoted to each man she tracked down and a video trailer featuring their story.

Posted on February 10, 2016 in Campus News | Permalink

Virginia Western to host event offering financial aid application assistance

Virginia Western Community College announces that it will host the Great FAFSA Fill Out on Saturday, Feb. 13 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the third floor of Webber Hall on the Virginia Western Campus.

Students applying for financial aid to attend college beginning with the 2016 Fall term can get free information and assistance. Experienced financial aid staff from area colleges and universities will be available to answer questions and assist students in completing and submitting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to any college or university.

This event is open to current high school seniors and their parents, returning college students and adults interested in attending college. Parents of dependent students are strongly encouraged to attend with their student as parent information and an electronic signature are required. Once the student leaves this event, he or she will have initiated the financial aid process for any college they are interested in attending.

If possible, students should bring the following items to the event:

  • Social security number (student and parent)
  • Driver’s license (if applicable)
  • Bank and investment statements
  • Completed or estimated student and parent 2015 federal tax returns
  • W-2 forms and any non-taxable income documentation received in 2015

For more information, please contact the Virginia Western Financial Aid Office at (855) 874-6690. A campus map and directions to Webber Hall can be found at: http://www.virginiawestern.edu/about/visitingvwcc.php.

Posted on February 3, 2016 in Campus News | Permalink

Virginia Western Polfelt named ACF Southeast Region Chef of Year

ROANOKE – Virginia Western Community College culinary arts instructor Ted Polfelt, CEC, CCA, was named the 2016 American Culinary Federation (ACF) Southeast Region Chef of the Year on Saturday in Atlanta. Polfelt, faced off against three other chefs and came away the winner at Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts during the ACF Southeast Regional Culinary Salon.

Polfelt, who teaches in the Al Pollard Culinary Arts Program, will represent the ACF Southeast region in the national competition at the Cook, Craft, Create Convention & Show in Phoenix from July 15-19. The national winner will receive the title of 2016 USA Chef of the Year along with a $5,000 top prize.

“Winning the title of Southeast Chef of the year is truly an honor,” said Polfelt. “Any competition to me is always more about the drive of personal education and the goal of being a better cook today than I was yesterday.”

During the Southeast Region competition, Polfelt had 1 hour, 40 minutes to create a main course utilizing pheasant for the four judges. Scoring was based on taste, organization, culinary skills and techniques. Polfelt served stuffed pheasant breast over farro with kale, Bold Rock cider braised thigh, with glazed butternut squash, cider jus and an olive oil crisp.

The ACF Chef of the Year award, sponsored by Unilever Food Solutions and established in 1963, recognizes an outstanding culinarian who works and cooks in a full-service dining facility. This person demonstrates the highest standard of culinary skills, advances the cuisine of America, and gives back to the profession through the development of students and apprentices.

In addition to teaching at Virginia Western, Polfelt is executive chef for the Jefferson Street Management Group in Roanoke. In this position, he oversees menu development and production at Frankie Rowland’s Steakhouse, 419 West and Corned Beef and Co. His experience includes sous chef, Blue Magnolias, Roanoke; and cook, Compass Group North America, Charlotte, North Carolina. He has an associate degree in culinary arts from Johnson & Wales University, Charlotte, and has received gold medals in ACF-sanctioned competitions. Polfelt was awarded an ACF Southeast Region President’s Medallion in 2015 and was the Baron H. Galand Culinary Knowledge Bowl team coach for ACF Southwestern Virginia Chapter. He has served as ACF Southwestern Virginia Chapter president since 2013 and was named the chapter’s Chef of the Year in 2013 and 2015.

The Al Pollard Culinary Arts Program is one of just nine postsecondary culinary programs accredited by the American Culinary Federation (ACF) in Virginia. The program boasts more than 110 students who can seek an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Culinary Arts, a Career Studies Certificate in Culinary Arts and a Career Studies Certificate in Baking and Pastries. The Al Pollard Culinary Arts Program chefs also regularly teach non-credit cooking classes. For more information, visit www.virginiawestern.edu/academics/btt/programs/culinary.php.

Posted on February 1, 2016 in Campus News | Permalink
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