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.

Eh Tha

I’m Eh Tha (pronounced Ehh-thaa)…

  • I’m a current student at Virginia Western. I’m majoring in biology and plan to minor in psychology at a four-year institution. My goal is to be as educated as possible.
  • I was born and raised in Thailand. I moved to America when I was eight years old. I consider Thailand a home because of the culture and food. Roanoke is also my home for now, but one day I would like to settle somewhere else.
  • I came to Western because I wanted to be more prepared for a four-year University. I also wanted to spend a few years of college close to home.
  • I love Western because the staff here are able to assist students with everything they need. The professors and advisors are willing to navigate with the students. They are willing to work diligently to make sure I am on the right track. The institution also has many resources to make sure every student has everything they need. Western offers many opportunities for a brighter future.
  • Some things that I like to do in my free time are going to the gym, reading fiction or sleeping. I enjoy hiking, traveling and trying out new food. I like to write poetry when I’m inspired, but rarely do so. I also love coffee and boba.
  • My parents are my most significant inspiration because they are hardworking and resilient. Despite what they have experienced, their ability to accelerate so that my siblings and I can have a better life inspires me to go after my dreams. They also sparked my interest in learning and growing in faith. I am who I am today because of my parents. My proudest moment would be graduating high school. The last year of high school was mentally and emotionally draining. To be able to walk across the stage made me feel accomplished and more appreciative of the learning process. I’m also K’nyaw, which is an ethnic minority group located in Burma and Thailand. I’m proud of my heritage and our history.
  • Diversity means embracing everyone’s differences and uniqueness. We all come from different cultural backgrounds and diversity helps us to celebrate our individuality. Having a diverse group enables us to be creative. Diversity is what allows us to be original and authentic.

Diversity Photo Gallery

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

MLK Day 2022 Keynote Address