VWCC News

Steger to serve as Chairman of Virginia Western Educational Foundation

Dr. Charles W. Steger, President Emeritus of Virginia Tech, has been named Chairman of the Virginia Western Community College Educational Foundation Board of Directors for 2016.

Steger joins other local leaders serving as officers of the Educational Foundation: Neil D. Wilkin Jr., Vice Chairman; Dr. Bertram Spetzler, Secretary; William J. Farrell II, Treasurer; and J. Kenneth Randolph, Immediate Past-President. Dr. Robert H. Sandel, president of Virginia Western, and Gerald Burgess, Local Advisory Board Chairman, round out the Board leadership.

The Board of Directors guides the Educational Foundation’s mission of supporting student scholarships, faculty development and capital projects at Virginia Western. Board members have been the driving force behind Virginia Western’s Community College Access Program (CCAP), a successful public-private partnership that provides up to two years of tuition to eligible students.

“Our board members, led by Dr. Steger, are committed to building Virginia Western into a leader of regional economic development,”  said Dr. Angela M. Garcia Falconetti, Executive Director of the Educational Foundation and Vice President of Institutional Advancement at Virginia Western. “Their support is critical as the College approaches its 50th anniversary and makes plans for further expansion.”

Existing at-large members of the Educational Foundation Board are: Nancy Agee, Glen C. Combs, Nick Conte, Steve Cronemeyer, Warner Dalhouse, David Dantzler, Tammy Moss Finley, Byron Randolph Foley, W. Heywood Fralin, J. Spencer Frantz, Edwin C. Hall, Leon P. Harris, Jeffrey A. Marks, Drew Parker, Tom M. Robertson Jr., Garnett E. Smith, Nicholas F. Taubman, J. David Wine and Barton J. Wilner.

Posted on December 15, 2015 in Educational Foundation | Permalink

CDL program boasts 86 percent job placement rate for year

Virginia Western Community College announces that through its partnership with CDS Tractor Trailer Training, 251 students graduated and received a Class A Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) in 2015 with a job placement rate of 86 percent. As the shortage of truck drivers continues to grow nationally, Virginia Western and CDS plan to maintain their partnership and expand opportunities for future students.

According to an analysis by the American Trucking Association released in October 2015, the trucking industry was short about 38,000 drivers in 2014 and was expected to be short nearly 48,000 by the end of 2015. If the current trend holds, the shortage may balloon to almost 175,000 by 2024.

The CDL program at Virginia Western consists of 160 hours of classroom and hands-on training to prepare students to work in the industry. The priority is to help students earn their license and become employed. There are currently 10 to 15 companies that recruit with CDS onsite each month, and there is a network of more than 100 companies to place student in local, regional or over the road opportunities.

“I’m happy I was a part of this program,” said Leonard Casey, a recent graduate. “It helped me line up a great job that wouldn’t have been possible before.”

More than 75 percent of the 281 students who enrolled in in the CDL program in 2015 graduated and received a Class A License. That level of success is a testament to the strong curriculum.

“The students who come through this program are well-prepared to join this high-demand industry,” said Dan Semones, program coordinator in Virginia Western’s Workforce Solutions. “CDS Tractor Trailer Training has the experienced instructors who can help students earn the credentials they need to get ahead and earn a great salary.”

Individuals interested in the CDL program are encouraged to contact Crystal Kennedy at (540) 857-6188 or ckennedy@virginiawestern.edu.

Posted on in Campus News | Permalink

Virginia Western student finds strong motivation

Bench. Deadlift. Squat. That’s Devvin Guzman’s world right now. The 20-year-old Virginia Western Community College student from Hardy, will be focused on those three events on Jan. 16 at the United States Powerlifting Association Raleigh Ruckus competition in Raleigh, N.C. For Devvin, his first powerlifting competition has been a major goal and the Raleigh Ruckus is the culmination of several years of intense training.

Powerlifting is the concept of building strength, which is different than focusing on the look of visible muscle through bodybuilding. Initially, Devvin was motivated to work out to improve what he calls a skinny, scrawny physical appearance. Then, he was introduced to powerlifting and something clicked. “I fell in love with powerlifting because it is more impressive to see a smaller guy lifting a lot more than a big guy,” he says.

A powerlifting competition consists of three categories of strength performance: bench, deadlift and squat. Competitors are divided into competing classes by age and weight. Points are based on a cumulative score of how much is lifted. At 155 pounds, Devvin’s personal goals at competition are to bench 240 pounds, deadlift 375 pounds and squat 400 pounds.

Devvin’s journey began at Franklin County High School when he was first introduced to working out through Matt Foutz’s Strength and Conditioning class. Devvin says he obtained a good foundation for weight training and learned the importance of proper form to prevent injury. He also credits watching many videos on YouTube, which have helped him teach himself and stay motivated. “Motivation is the key,” he says. Many of Devvin’s friends at Franklin County lost motivation and did not continue training once the class ended. He says he felt the challenge of staying motivated too, yet persisted and kept going to the gym.

Devvin quickly realized he felt good working out and appreciated the mental benefits of exercise. Around the same time he became passionate about working out, he also gained insight into his family’s history and health. He learned that his previously estranged father was coincidentally interested in weightlifting, and that his father’s side of the family has an incredibly strong predisposition to diabetes. Devvin’s father, all of his father’s six siblings and his grandparents have diabetes. Devvin hopes staying physically healthy through diet and exercise will help him defeat the odds of contracting the disease. “Everything I’ve learned thus far about the science of exercise and nutrition is influencing my workout in the gym,” Devvin says.

During his time at Virginia Western, a self-professed introvert, Devvin says he has found his voice and learned how much he enjoys talking to people and sharing his knowledge and passion for the body. He’s made many great friends and says the faculty has been amazing. He has decided to pursue a degree in Exercise Science with a focus on Personal Training. “What intrigues me,” he says, “is the body. It’s the greatest thing and we all take it for granted.”

Devvin speaks with passion regarding unhealthy people shortening their lifespan, the importance of keeping people healthy today and of the long-term impact health has on future generations. He hopes to one day obtain a master's degree in kinesiology - the study of the movement of the body.

When it comes to exercise advice for others, Devvin suggests people find what motivates them and meet others doing what they are interested in. If it’s powerlifting, he says, take a strength and conditioning class, come see him or meet other power lifters, and know that getting to where you want to be will take time. As for school, he says going from high school to college was a big culture shock. Getting around campus is actually quite easy and the buildings and people are great. For him, the motivation to go to school was one of fear and a deep desire to one day be able to provide for himself and maybe a family without struggle. Right now, he is focused on going to school, passing his classes, working and studying hard.

Even though Devvin has been on a powerlifting journey for several years, it seems it is just unfolding to other levels. His biggest goal is to compete one day in the USA Powerlifting Arnold Sports Festival, an Arnold Schwarzenegger event which attracts international competitors. This January, Devvin will travel to compete along with two great friends he made through his initial strength and conditioning class and who are also current Virginia Western students, Mitchell Quinn and Kyle Grindstaff. Best wishes to all of them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted on December 14, 2015 in Campus News | Permalink

Latest edition of ‘Impact’ magazine highlights Virginia Western donors and new scholarships

The Winter 2016 edition of "Impact," a magazine and annual report published by the Virginia Western Community College Educational Foundation, is now available here online.

If you would like a print copy or more information, contact Carole Tarrant, Coordinator of Development, at ctarrant@virginiawestern.edu or (540) 857-6281.

 

Posted on November 23, 2015 in Educational Foundation | Permalink
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