Yancey named Virginia Western 2015 Distinguished Alumni

yanceyThe Virginia Western Educational Foundation is pleased to recognize Deborah A. Yancey, Class of ‘97 and ’98, as its 2015 Distinguished Alumni.  The award was presented at the Virginia Western Community College Educational Foundation Annual Awards Ceremony, held March 25.  Yancey received the award from the 2014 Distinguished Alumni award winner, Virginia Western Police Chief Craig Harris.

Established in 2006 by the Virginia Western Alumni Association, the Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes Virginia Western Community College alumni and former students who have attained extraordinary distinction in their professional field or life and serves to honor all the men and women whose attendance at Virginia Western helped them achieve their educational and professional goals allowing them to better serve their communities.

“Debbie is well-known for the constant, compassionate dedication displayed toward her students,” said Dr. Angela Falconetti, Vice President of Institutional Advancement and Executive Director of Virginia Western’s Educational Foundation.  “Debbie has always been a favorite teacher and valued colleague, and is a courageous, creative and graceful leader. She embodies the true spirit of service, scholarship and accomplishment that defines a 2015 Distinguished Alumni.”

Yancey’s relationship with Virginia Western began in 1996, when she became a student as well as a part-time tutor.  She completed an associate’s degree in Accounting with cum laude honors in May 1997, receiving another associate’s degree in Management, again cum laude, in December of that same year.  She received a third AAS in Banking & Finance from VWCC in 1998.   She received her BA in Accounting from Radford University in 2000, and she achieved a Master’s of Business Administration from Averett University in 2003.

Yancey became an adjunct faculty instructor in 2003, moving to full time within a few years.  She continued to teach until 2014, and currently serves the College as Dean of Business, Technology and Trades.

Her commitment to student success is nowhere more evident than in her Suits for Students initiative.

Striving to best prepare students for their futures, Yancey had her students undergo “mock real-world interviews.”  The exercise required students to actually prepare and present themselves for an appointment with a new employer.

Knowing that dressing for success is not always possible for everyone, Yancey collected suits for the students to borrow if needed.  To do so, she gathered donations or purchased the suits herself. These suits have since been donated to the Hall Associates Career Center on campus to continue to help Virginia Western students make the transition to real-world success.

For more information about the Distinguished Alumni nomination process or Alumni Relations, contact Amanda Mansfield, Donor Relations Coordinator, at (540) 857-6926 or amansfield@virginiawestern.edu.

Posted on March 26, 2015 in Campus News, Educational Foundation | Permalink

Warner, Ottaway presented 2015 Impact Awards

warnerottowayVirginia Western Community College’s Educational Foundation is proud to present the 2015 Community College Impact Award to Carolyn Warner and Geoffrey M. Ottaway, in recognition of the establishment of the Michael E. Warner Memorial Endowed Scholarship and the Michael E. Warner Memorial Annual Golf Tournament.  The award was presented at the Virginia Western Community College Educational Foundation Annual Awards Ceremony, held March 25.

One of the highest honors the College can bestow, the Community College Impact Award serves to recognize significant philanthropic and community support by individuals, corporations or organizations that will provide perpetuating benefits for Virginia Western, its students and the region at large.

Carolyn Warner is a dedicated community leader in philanthropic endeavors.  She is involved in many community organizations, and serves on the Membership Committee of Roanoke Women's Foundation, a philanthropic agency supporting organizations and projects in the Roanoke Valley.

Ottaway serves as the Chairman of Checker Leasing, Inc., a Roanoke-headquartered owner of Avis and Budget Rent-A-Car franchises in Roanoke, and in Kentucky, Mississippi, West Virginia and Texas. Ottaway served as a Director of Valley Financial Corp. and its subsidiary Valley Bank from January 20, 2005, until 2012.

Warner’s late husband, Michael E. (Mike) Warner, was a linchpin in the Roanoke Valley community, serving and working on many boards including St. Andrew’s Catholic Church, Apple Ridge Farms, Virginia Western Community College, Foundation for Roanoke Valley, Valley Bank, Petroleum Marketers, Inc., Downtown Roanoke, Inc., Center in the Square, Mill Mountain Theatre and Roanoke Catholic School.

Mike served as Director of Valley Financial Corp. and served as a Director of Valley Bank (The Bank), a subsidiary of Valley Financial Corp. Mr. Warner also managed his own private investment firm.

“The Michael E. Warner Memorial Endowed Scholarship was created to perpetuate the College’s ongoing dedication to student access and excellence, honoring Mike’s legacy of service to the College and the Roanoke Valley for generations to come,” said Dr. Angela Falconetti, Vice President of Institutional Advancement.  “The College is indebted to Carolyn and Geoff for their generosity of spirit and their dedicated efforts to serve our community.”

Established in 2013 with a launch donation by Ottaway of $100,000, funds from the scholarship will provide assistance for tuition, books and other related needs to a full-time student with a minimum 3.0 GPA enrolled in and pursuing a degree in Nursing or certificate in Practical Nursing.  Priority will be given to those students demonstrating financial need and who plan to remain in the College's service region after graduation to practice nursing (i.e., LPN or RN students).

In order to raise awareness and support for the Scholarship Fund, Carolyn and Geoff, along with Warner family members and devoted friends, have created The Michael E. Warner Memorial Golf Tournament, now in its second year.

“I can’t imagine a more fitting tribute to Mike’s memory than celebrating the scholarship that bears his name through one of his favorite pastimes,” said Dr. Robert Sandel, President of Virginia Western.  “This tournament brings the community together to make a difference in the lives of Virginia Western’s nursing students in perpetuity.”

In its inaugural year alone, the event raised more than $27,000 to support the fund. The 2nd Annual Michael E. Warner Memorial Golf Tournament will be held on July 25, 2015, at Hunting Hills Country Club.

For more information about the Tournament, scholarship process or to learn how to establish a scholarship, contact Carole Tarrant, Coordinator of Development, at (540) 857-6281 or ctarrant@virginiawestern.edu.

Application period for Fall 2015 scholarships at Virginia Western now open

Virginia Western Community College’s tuition is approximately one-third that of a typical four-year college. However, many students continue to face financial hardships that prevent their access to education, causing barriers to future growth and achievement. Individuals, businesses, community organizations and corporations have generously invested in scholarships at Virginia Western, making college possible for many deserving students.

Prospective and current students can apply for Fall Semester 2015 scholarships between now and 4 p.m. on Friday, May 15, 2015, at virginiawestern.edu/foundation/scholarship. Scholarship awards range from $500 to $2,000 per semester.

Highlighted are several new scholarships making an impact on the lives of students:

  • Shenandoah Life Annual Diversity Scholarship may be applied to tuition and other related fees for students enrolled in the Business Science or Humanities Division. The scholarship is awarded to diverse students with cultural experiences; first priority is given to students who fluently speak Spanish.
  • Dr. Betty Turner Shepherd Nursing Endowed Scholarship covers full tuition and other related fees to students entering the second semester of the Nursing Program.
  • Dr. George K. Bowers Youth Haven-Sanctuary Annual Scholarship is awarded to students who demonstrate financial need, and  meet one of the following criteria:  finished a prescribed program at Youth Haven or Sanctuary; attended Youth Haven or Sanctuary for a substantial time; attended counseling sessions with the Roanoke Juvenile Services and are recommended by the Youth Care Administrator of the Roanoke Juvenile Justice Services Division;  been recommended by the courts of Roanoke City, Roanoke County and Salem and the Probation Departments of each locality; and youth who are before the court on petition, or youth who are before Juvenile Intake on a complaint in the City of Roanoke, City of Salem, or County of Roanoke.
  • Encore Capital Group Inc. Community College Scholarship helps to cover costs for tuition, books and other related expenses to students pursuing a certificate or associate’s degree.
  • Shentel Foundation Annual Scholarship helps to cover costs for tuition, books and other related expenses to students, full- or part-time, who are graduates of Botetourt or Franklin high schools and live in those counties. Preference is given to first-generation college students who demonstrate an interest in community service.

The Virginia Western Community College Educational Foundation awarded more than $136,000 in scholarships to nearly 100 students for the 2014-15 academic year. At a ceremony on March 25, the college will honor its scholarship recipients and donors.

For more information about the scholarship process or to learn how to establish a scholarship, contact Carole Tarrant, Coordinator of Development, at (540) 857-6281 or ctarrant@virginiawestern.edu.

Posted on March 3, 2015 in Campus News, Educational Foundation | Permalink

Virginia Western Educational Foundation’s new workforce credentials scholarships help non-credit students seeking employment

The Virginia Western Community College Educational Foundation has awarded its new Workforce Credentials Scholarship to the first two recipients. Marvin E. Jennings of Boones Mill and Harold A. Young of Roanoke recently received financial assistance in pursuing certification in the College’s Industrial Maintenance Technician (IMT) Program.

The Workforce Credentials Scholarship, established in 2014, is designed to support Virginia Western students seeking non-credit, industry-recognized credentials in fields such as welding and maintenance, mechanical systems, hydraulic and pneumatic systems, and electrical control systems. Students engaged in non-credit coursework are not eligible for federal financial aid.

“With this scholarship, we are addressing a growing need for students who want to pursue credentials yet face significant financial obstacles,” said Dr. Angela Garcia Falconetti, executive director of the Educational Foundation and Vice President of Institutional Advancement at Virginia Western. “We are supporting a statewide effort to increase noncredit opportunities for students.”

The Workforce Credentials Scholarship will support educational assistance such as tuition, books and fees for students facing life circumstances that affect their ability to fund their education. Applicants encouraged to apply are: workers who have been laid off or lost their jobs for reasons other than misconduct; military personnel discharged honorably; those who are unemployed or underemployed; those who are unemployed due to a medical condition or disability; and independent business owners.

“Without the funding provided, I would remain unemployed ‑ at best, underemployed,” said Jennings, an honorably discharged infantryman. “With this funding I will be able to complete IMT training and obtain employment in the field of industrial maintenance. The funds will create life opportunities previously unavailable to me.”

Young was laid off after being employed at ITT Exelis for 15 years. During his search for a new career he discovered he needed new skillsets and credentials.  The scholarship helped help Young pay for class supplies.

“I’m currently exceeding expectations and I feel very confident that, once I complete my Industrial Maintenance Technician certification, I will be able to add significant value to an employer,” Young said.

The Workforce Credentials Scholarships will be available year-round. For more information, contact one of Virginia Western Community College’s Career Transition coaches:  Deb Squire, (540) 857-6296, dsquire@virginiawestern.edu; or Amanda Decker, (540) 857-6279, adecker@virginiawestern.edu.

Posted on February 27, 2015 in Campus News, Educational Foundation | Permalink

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