Human Trafficking Public Forum on 10/28

Please join elected officials, law enforcement personnel and victims for an important free public forum: The Face of Human Trafficking.

Date: Tuesday, 10/28/2014

Time: 8 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Location: Virginia Western Community College Whitman Theater
Registration: By October 24, 2014 at www.streetevent.org.


Opening speaker:

8:30 – 8:45 a.m.: Congressman Bob Goodlatte


8:45 - 9:30 a.m.: Deanna Wallace – Homeland Security Investigations, DC Office and Andrew Kondisko – Homeland Security Investigations – Resident in Charge of Harrisonburg Office

9:30 – 10 a.m.: Tanya Street – prior Human Trafficking Victim


10:15 - 11 a.m.: Erin Kulpa – Assistant US Attorney & Community Outreach Coordinator

Speakers that will relay information pertaining to local movement in Human Trafficking:
11 – 11:15 a.m.: Gary Clore – Manager, Gang Unit, Department of Corrections
11:15 - 11:30 a.m.: Sgt. William Drake – Roanoke City Police Department

Special presentation regarding the William Douglas Foundation
11:30 - 11:45 a.m.: Christy Spencer – Teacher at William Byrd High School, which received the William Douglas Foundation grant

Question & Answer Panel speakers include:
Keith Farmer - Straight Street
Tanya Street – Human Trafficking Victim
Christy Spencer - Teacher, William Byrd High School
Deanna Wallace – Homeland Security Investigations
Gary Clore - Department of Corrections
Sgt. Drake - Roanoke City Police Department
Erin Kulpa – Assistant U.S. Attorney
Bryan Alphin – Public Affairs Liaison, Congressman Bob Goodlatte, House Judiciary Committee

Closing Speaker:
12:15 – 12:30 p.m.: Judge Philip Trompeter – 23rd District Juvenile Court

Posted on September 29, 2014 in Campus News | Permalink

Sign up now for non-credit cooking classes starting in October

The Al Pollard Culinary Arts Program at Virginia Western will again offer popular non-credit cooking classes to the public. All classes meet on a Saturday from Noon-4 p.m. at the kitchen within the Claude Moore Complex: 109 N. Henry Street, NW, Roanoke (behind the Roanoke Higher Education Center). Cost is $50 per class payable same day as registering.

Available classes include:

  • Cooking with Beer (Class #71815) - 10/11/14
  • Bread Basics-What is Gluten? (Class #71826) - 11/8/14
  • Dinner for Two-Basic Cooking Skills (Class #71830) - 11/22/14
  • Gluten-Free Cooking (Class #71833 ) - 12/6/14

To register, complete the free-of-charge online application at https://apply.vccs.edu/oa/launch.action. If you have any problems with applying, call the Admissions Office at 540-857-7231 (press 9).
NOTE: Do not declare a major when completing the application. Indicate that you are a transient (non-degree seeking) student. Questions? Call School of Business, Technology and Trades at (540) 857-7272.

Posted on September 26, 2014 in Classes | Permalink

Virginia Western awarded nearly $800,000 NSF grant for Mechatronics

Virginia Western Community College announces that it has received a grant for $787,849 from the National Science Foundation (NSF) Advanced Technological Education (ATE) to transform mechatronics engineering education in the Roanoke Region. The project will build upon a previously NSF-funded initiative to facilitate collaboration between the manufacturing industry, Virginia Western faculty and secondary career and technical educators.

“This is the single largest NSF grant Virginia Western has ever received and it will have a direct impact on students,” said Dr. Robert H. Sandel, President of Virginia Western. “We are thrilled that the NSF recognizes the college’s importance to the local economy and I believe this will continue to strengthen the region’s manufacturing industry. It’s affirmation of the outstanding work faculty members like Dan Horine are doing to provide students with the skills they need for lasting careers.”

The primary objective of the funded project, Partnership for Advanced Career Education in Mechatronics Engineering (PACE ME), is to strengthen Mechatronics technician training pathways from secondary to post-secondary education through a direct link from industry to the classroom. To achieve this mission, the program will focus on the following three goals, 1) Increase and improve the ability of high school and college faculty to provide mechatronics technician training aligned with industry requirements; 2) integrate and expand manufacturing industry involvement through mentorships and internships, and; 3) increase student diversity through recruitment, retention and outreach in Mechatronics engineering technology.

"Mechatronics is thinking about the end in mind and [about] how we are going to integrate these systems from the beginning,” said Horine, who is the principal investigator on the grant and Virginia Western’s program head of Mechatronics Systems Engineering Technology and Energy Management Systems. “I want mechatronics and the integrated approach to be a way of teaching that sets our students up for success.”
This summer, Horine was selected nationally as Educator of the Year at the NSF-sponsored High Impact Technology Exchange Conference (HI-TEC) in Chicago. He was recognized for developing the Mechatronics Systems Engineering Technology associate in applied science degree. There are currently more than 40 students studying mechatronics systems at Virginia Western and more than 250 high school students in the “pipeline” that was developed in part through a previous NSF grant. Industry input from an advisory panel helps inform curriculum.
“If the industry likes what you do, they are going to want more of your graduates,” Horine said. “Right now, the demand for our students is exceeding enrollment. That’s why it’s increasingly important to show students that with the right training, there are great jobs available to them.”

The new PACE ME grant will add apprenticeship experiences for Virginia Western mechatronics students, a fabrication laboratory for faculty professional development, and more outreach to underrepresented minority students. The project was named in honor of the late Gerald “Jerry” Pace, a prominent local manufacturing businessman and long-time supporter of Virginia Western who was instrumental in the creation of the Salem School System and the Community College Access Program (CCAP).

“Jerry had a vision for the continuing economic prosperity in the Roanoke Region and he knew the significant role that education must play,” Horine said. “His ideas and dedication truly inspired this project.”

Educational Partners on the grant include: Bedford County Schools, Botetourt County Schools, Craig County Schools, Franklin County Schools, Roanoke County Schools, Roanoke City Schools, Salem City Schools, Blue Ridge Community College and Tidewater Community College. Industry partners include: Gala Industries, Siemens Corporation, Optical Cable Corporation, Plastics One LLC and Metalsa.

Posted on September 5, 2014 in Campus News | Permalink

Virginia Western joins NJCAA in basketball; announces new team name is Rapids

PrintVirginia Western Community College has joined the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) for men’s and women’s basketball and will begin playing in the association in 2014-15. In conjunction with the move, the College announces that it has renamed its athletics teams the Virginia Western Rapids.

“Joining the NJCAA will provide our athletes with opportunities to face greater competition and pursue greater achievements. I think it will elevate them in the classroom as well as on the court,” said Dr. Robert H. Sandel, President of Virginia Western. “With this move and the opening of our Student Life Center, we have a buzz of activities and pride around campus, and I am eager to hear everyone cheer on the Rapids.”

The NJCAA is the national governing body for two-year college athletics in the U.S. and is the nation's second-largest national intercollegiate sports organization (to the NCAA). Each year nearly 60,000 student-athletes from 525 member colleges compete in 28 different sports. Visit www.njcaa.org to learn more.

Virginia Western initially will compete in the NJCAA in men’s and women’s basketball, and could add additional sports in the future. The College will be part of Region 10, which covers Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina. There are 34 colleges in Region 10, and nine within Virginia.

The Virginia Western Rapids team name replaces the long-standing Blue Stars name. A new logo incorporates the college colors of blue and gold along with a rushing river that represents the Roanoke Region’s strong outdoors attractions and symbolizes the speed of Virginia Western’s athletes.

Posted on August 21, 2014 in Campus News | Permalink

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