Diversity & Inclusion

About Virginia Western > Initiatives > Diversity & Inclusion
ShaWanda in the Culinary/Baking Program

Diversity is a core value at Virginia Western Community College. We are committed to promoting a culture and practice of inclusion and empowerment.

Virginia Western defines diversity as the celebration of the unique contributions of all individuals, stemming from, but not limited to, the traditional categories of age, disability, ethnicity, gender, race, national origin, religion, sexual orientation and socio-economic status.

We are Western–a college community united in our individuality.

Did you know?

  • Our diverse student body is comprised of students from 8 major ethnic groups.
  • The mission of Virginia’s Community Colleges is to “give EVERYONE the opportunity to learn and develop the right skills so lives and communities are strengthened.”
  • There are 5 minority-majority institutions in the Virginia Community College System.
  • The Office of Disability Services assists in facilitating accommodations for all eligible students.
  • Virginia Western has numerous student clubs and organizations. If you can’t find one that matches your interests, you can start a new one! Click on “Student Clubs & Organizations” below for more information.

Jolene Hamm

I’m Jolene…

  • I am the Associate Vice President of Institutional Effectiveness at Virginia Western.
  • I grew up in Charlottesville, VA and while I am a triple Hokie, I do consider Charlottesville, VA my home.
  • I came to Virginia Western because I see a lot of opportunity and potential to change lives for Virginia Western’s community. I also see an opportunity to build upon the pre-existing foundation to increase our diversity acumen.  Virginia Western is an exceptional college with a lot of great things happening.  I hope that I can be a change maker and help Virginia Western to shine as bright as the Roanoke Star.
  • I am inspired to empower individuals to reach their fullest potential/dreams and that motivates and drives my actions each and every day.
  • Virginia Western is a college community that feels like one big happy family. Everyone is working towards student success and contributing in their unique ways to that success. 
  • I have a lot of interests, a keen love for learning, and a deep desire to help others achieve their dreams. I enjoy helping others so I currently mentor students from my previous institution to help them get to graduation, I hope to do something similar at Virginia Western.  I coach coach-pitch softball.  I am an advocate for diversity; I have a passion for expanding community understanding of neurodiversity, a desire to ensure that education is available to all including those who are incarcerated; abolishment of the death penalty for the state (got that one); I am currently working on a proposal to the Governor requesting consideration for individuals who were convicted of a crime that is now legal to be exonerated, and I am petitioning the Governor to consider wage garnishment for crimes such as driving without a license rather than jail time.  Needless to say, I also am civically engaged. 
  • I am the proud mother of three amazing children, Amelia (9), Rowan (8), and Griffin (8). Yes, I have twins. I enjoy doing arts and crafts, playing, and taking special day trips with them.  
  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion are an essential part of institutions, businesses, and corporations. A healthy variety of people from different backgrounds and cultures provides us with greater innovation and creativity, a wider perspective, and promotes teamwork.

Diversity Photo Gallery

If you have difficulty reading the captions, click the photo to view the gallery full-screen.