Every two years, the Aspen Institute awards a $1 million Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence — what President Barack Obama described as “basically the Oscars for great community colleges.”  The 2021 winners were announced earlier this month. And lo and behold, Amarillo College — which I have spotlighted before — was recognized with a… Continue Reading Community college excellence comes down to this 4-letter word
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Image from Pixabay Many times during the pandemic, I have felt like an astronaut, flying solo in my home office “spaceship,” connected only through email and Zoom portals. We’ve relied on email to share information long before COVID, but our disrupted year gave me the space to really reflect on the communication that happens in… Continue Reading 5 email rules I learned as a Zoom astronaut
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Graduation is on the horizon, so if you haven’t heard it enough: THANK YOU to all of our faculty and staff and leadership who made this possible, during such a harrowing, historic year. What we do matters, and our community will not forget it. I know we all have moving stories to tell about our… Continue Reading Why this matters
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“The Great British Baking Show,” class of 2020 I never thought I would get this emotionally involved with a cooking show. Or, to be more precise, a *baking* show. It’s not that I haven’t watched them before.  My 7-year-old is a HUGE fan of the Kids Baking Championship on the Food Network. In fact, Taylor… Continue Reading What ‘The Great British Baking Show’ can teach us about teaching and learning
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I recently attended a child’s birthday party in a beautiful city park, and it involved a piñata. After joking with another parent about why we love this tradition — where kids beat their cartoon heroes with a stick until candy falls out — I focused my attention on Birthday Dad, who was managing the festivities.… Continue Reading Don’t be the piñata: 5 lessons learned as a workgroup facilitator
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Hello! Are you looking for information about the G3 program at Virginia Western? G3: Click to get started *** Hello, and welcome back to the Virginia Western Game of Trivia, which is really a quiz, but GOT is the only acronym that makes any sense. (Cue the laugh track) The game is a quick way… Continue Reading Time again for the Virginia Western Game of Trivia (G3 edition)
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Did you read Highlights magazine as a kid? One of our neighbors — a retired military colonel who I only remember as “The Colonel”  — gifted our family a subscription when I was just learning to read in San Antonio, Texas.  The subscription continued when we moved to Roanoke — and one of the features… Continue Reading How to build better relationships with Goofus, Gallant and ALICE
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We’re excited to introduce Crystal Hall, Virginia Western’s new Get REAL Activity Coordinator, who started March 25. Crystal Hall This role is foundational to our 5-year, $1.8 million Title III project, as Crystal will lead the day-to-day grant activities and serve as a connector across college departments and the greater community to help Refocus Education… Continue Reading Please welcome our new Get REAL coordinator: Crystal Hall
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Many of us already know Cathy Ferguson. Beyond advising students through the Career Center for the past five years, she currently chairs the Staff Senate and serves on the college Reopening Taskforce. Cathy Ferguson Last year, she was awarded a $5,000 Innovation Grant to advance the work of our Credit for Prior Learning (CPL) workgroup.… Continue Reading Wa-hoo! Please congratulate Cathy Ferguson on her latest adventure
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Just in time for spring break … or when you just need a day to hit the reset button: I’ve boiled down years of research about creative people, creative spaces, and creative habits into a simple way to plan your own creativity retreat, which you can do ASAP, in your own home, with stuff you already own.… Continue Reading DIY creativity retreat: Choose your own adventures
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About Shelley

Shelley Lyons - Administrative Officer for Grants AdministrationShelley Lyons is glad to be back on campus as she is a Virginia Western alum, and has served as the Administrative Officer for Grants Administration at Virginia Western since early 2022. Prior to VWCC, her career focus was within the Human Services and Arts fields.  She wrote her first grant in 1996 on a whim and has continued to plan and learn since that time.  She most enjoys  seeing a well-planned project come to fruition, where funder, project manager and beneficiaries can all feel success and see impact.

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