Monthly Archives: July 2014

Dr. Rainone completes training at Harvard

Dr. RainoneDSLCC President Dr. John Rainone recently completed a training institute for new college presidents held at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts.  Limited to 50 participants, Rainone was one of only three community college presidents selected for the 2014 session with the others representing four-year colleges and universities throughout the United States, Canada, Greece, and Iraq.  “This was an outstanding opportunity”, commented Rainone.  “Sessions were presented by some of the nation’s foremost authorities on higher education administrative issues.  They presented summaries of their research, complemented by stories gleaned from decades of experience in all aspects of higher education. It was extremely helpful to hear them discuss best practices in their respective fields of expertise and explore ways in which to apply some of the concepts to take our institutions to the next level of excellence.”   The Harvard Institute for New Presidents is celebrating its 25th year. As a follow-up to the Institute, Rainone will be offering several sessions on leadership topics over the upcoming academic year to local community leaders who oversee academic, business and governmental operations.  The sessions will address a variety of topics such as financial management, fundraising, governance, and building effective leadership teams.  Details will be made available during the fall. For more information, email Gail Johnson at

Jackson River Governor’s School Orientation Set August 13 at DSLCC

Jackson River Governor’s School will conduct a new student orientation session on Wednesday, August 13, from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in Room 224, Backels Hall, on the campus of Dabney S. Lancaster Community College in Clifton Forge. The orientation will allow students to meet their classmates, learn more about the Governor’s School, become more familiar with DSLCC, and obtain other information that will support their success. Activities of the day will include a campus tour, a DSLCC Library orientation, a review of the class schedule and locations, completion of necessary forms, lunch with senior students, a review of JRGS procedures, an introduction to the DSLCC electronic communications and learning systems, a scavenger hunt, an introduction to appropriate college staff, and tips for college success.

DSLCC partners with local school divisions and the Virginia Department of Education to operate the Governor’s School. Its purpose is to provide challenging educational experiences for students with advanced interests and abilities in mathematics, science, and technology. High school students can earn approximately forty college credits during their junior and senior years at JRGS and gain a prestigious credential which provides an advantage in the very competitive college application/selection process. Students from Alleghany, Bath County, Covington, James River and Parry McCluer High Schools are enrolled in the Governor’s School.

For additional information about the orientation or the school contact JRGS Director Eddie Graham at or (540)863-2872.

JRGS Announces Academic Awards

Jackson River Governor’s School (JRGS) has announced its student academic awards for 2014. The school’s academic awards program is designed to recognize student performance in the challenging advanced courses of the program. The outstanding Scholar Award is presented to the most outstanding individual for the year in each of the school’s curriculum areas. The Academic Excellence Award and the Academic Achievement Award are based on the individual’s overall performance for the year in all curriculum areas.

The recipients of the JRGS 2014 Academic Awards are:

Alleghany High School: Shannon E. Bennett, Academic Excellence Award; Jonathan D. Church, Outstanding Biology Scholar and Academic Excellence Award; Morganne N. Durham, Academic Excellence Award; Jonathan C. Ellis-Smith, Academic Achievement Award; Tristan G. Elmore, Outstanding Calculus Scholar, Outstanding Physics Scholar and Academic Excellence Award; Courtney N. Glover, Academic Achievement Award; Sarah A. Kettlety, Academic Excellence Award; Matthew H. Lanehart, Academic Excellence Award; Casey N. Lofton, Outstanding Statistics Scholar and Academic Excellence Award; Elizabeth A. Mason, Academic Achievement Award; Eric M. Spraker, Academic Excellence Award; and Clair E. Seckner, Academic Excellence Award.

Bath County High School: Julia B. Billingsley, Academic Excellence Award; Emily G. Hall, Academic Excellence Award; Gwendolyn E. Miller, Academic Excellence Award; W. Saul Pasco, Academic Excellence Award; and Ryan M. Woodzell, Academic Excellence Award.

Covington High School: Emily F. Comer, Academic Excellence Award.
James River High School: Kaleigh A. Neely, Outstanding Research Scholar, Outstanding Pre-Calculus Scholar and Academic Excellence Award.

Parry McCluer High School: Zachary E. Baldridge, Outstanding Chemistry Scholar and Academic Excellence Award.

Dabney S. Lancaster Community College partners with local school divisions and the Virginia Department of Education to operate the Governor’s School. Its purpose is to provide challenging educational experiences for students with advanced interests and abilities in mathematics, science, and technology. High school students can earn approximately forty college credits during their junior and senior years at JRGS and gain a prestigious credential which provides an advantage in the very competitive college application/selection process. Alleghany, Bath County, Covington, James River, and Parry McCluer High School students are eligible to attend the Governor’s School. For additional information about the Governor’s School contact Eddie Graham at or (540)863-2872.

Preparation Courses Available for 2015 DSLCC Practical Nursing Program Applicants

Dabney S. Lancaster Community College invites individuals who wish to enter the Practical Nursing Program to complete required skills assessments now.  Program Head Penny Fauber encourages applicants to take the assessments and use the upcoming semester to complete any courses that they may need to take in order to be more competitive for the limited number of seats available for the 2015-2016 program.

“By taking the Virginia Placement Test at DSLCC, individuals interested in preparing to become practical nurses can have a current assessment of their strengths and challenges”, stated Fauber.  “For example, if someone is weak in mathematics, they can take a course to gain skills and be ready to apply for the Practical Nursing Program”.  For information about the placement testing, call Student Services on campus at 863-2820 or the DSLCC Rockbridge Regional Center at 261-1211.  There is no fee and no time limit when testing.
Fauber went on to explain more about the requirement to take the mathematics test. “Prospective students have to document a specific level of ability in math; it will allow us to select those who have the most likelihood for success in the program, and mathematics is a skill needed in tasks such as calculating dosage for patient medications.  Our team is committed to student success and ensuring a quality program with outstanding graduates ready for the workplace.  This step will assist us in filling spaces with the most qualified individuals to begin classes next June”.

Interested individuals should visit the College’s web site, click the Programs of Study button, and go to Practical Nursing.  There is an Information/Application Packet which should be carefully reviewed before beginning the application process. For information about program requirements, email

New Student Orientation Sessions Set at DSLCC

Dabney S. Lancaster Community College has scheduled three New Student Orientation sessions for those enrolling in the Fall Semester.  Every new student must attend one of the sessions to gain valuable information that they will need to have when classes begin.  Two sessions will be held on the  campus in Clifton Forge and one will be offered at the DSLCC Rockbridge Regional Center in Buena Vista.

The first session is Tuesday, August 19, from 6-9 pm on the Clifton Forge campus; the second session is on Thursday, August 21, from 6-8:30 pm at the DSLCC Rockbridge Regional Center; and the final session is set for Saturday, August 23 from 9-11:45 am on the Clifton Forge campus.

New students may select the session most convenient for them.  Any returning students who have not attended DSLCC for a considerable amount of time are welcome to attend.  There is no cost to attend any of the sessions.

Matt McGraw, Director of Student Services, stressed that all individuals planning to enroll in DSLCC this fall for the first time should attend, stating, “There is a considerable amount of information that new students should have before beginning classes.  We will be sharing important details about class locations, student schedules, gaining access to final grades, financial aid, and proper procedures to follow for changing, adding or dropping courses.”  Other topics on the agenda include student email addresses, Blackboard usage, campus security and issues such as personal health and safety. Parents of new students are encouraged to attend to learn about the college, various curricula, students’ rights and responsibilities, activities and support services, financial aid eligibility and other programs and services in place to maximize student success.  Students who have not completed the registration process will able to finalize their course schedule that day.  “We want to provide our students with all of the information that they will need in order to have a positive experience at DSLCC,” added McGraw.

Fall Semester classes begin the week of August 25.  For more information about selecting a New Student Orientation session, applying for admission to DSLCC, or registering for fall courses, contact Student Services at 540/863-2820 or email  Rockbridge area students may visit the RRC or call 540-261-1211. Visit  Applications for admission for the 2014-2015 academic year are still being accepted.

TEAS testing dates set

The TEAS Test  – the entrance exam for the Associate’s Degree in Nursing program – dates have been scheduled for Fall 2014.

The test will be offered on the following dates:

September 20 @ 9:30AM
October 25 @ 9:30AM
November 8 @ 9:30AM
December 6 @ 9:30AM

All testing will be held in Warren Hall, Room 409.

Students may register for the test at

WVEMS Awards

WVEMS awards

Three Dabney S. Lancaster Community College faculty  members were honored recently as recipients of three of the ten regional awards from the Western Virginia Office of Emergency Medical Services at its annual Regional Award Banquet at the Vinton War Memorial. The Regional EMS Award winners are now nominees for the 2014 Governor’s Awards, which will be announced at the OEMS Symposium in Norfolk in November. From left: DSLCC President Dr. John Rainone; Diana Coffey, RN, Carilion Clinic Life-Guard, was awarded the “ Nurse with Outstanding Contribution to EMS” Award; Jeanette Mann, DSLCC EMS Program Director, who was awarded the “Outstanding Pre-Hospital Educator” Award; and Dr. Michael Moran, was awarded the “Doctor Cheryl B. Haas Award for Outstanding EMS Physician”. Dr. Moran is the Program Medical Director for the DSLCC EMS program and Coffey is a DSLCC adjunct instructor in the nursing program.

John Jimenez Earns Prestigious Valley Proteins Fellowship

John Jimenez

The Virginia Foundation for Community College Education has selected John Jimenez, who attends Dabney S. Lancaster Community College, as a member of the fourth class of the prestigious Valley Proteins Fellows scholarship program.

Jimenez, 44, was employed in the hospitality industry for many years, locating to the United States when he was 17. When he decided he wanted to continue to give service to his community, as well as further his education, he enrolled in the nursing program at DSLCC. He plans to volunteer at a local hospital as a translator (he is fluent in both Spanish and English), and he also serves as a Boy Scout leader. He and his wife have three children and reside in Buena Vista.

“It means a lot to me and my family” to be chosen for the scholarship award, said Jimenez, originally from Mexico. “It means that my American dream is about to be completed.”

The Valley Proteins Fellows represent the best and most motivated second-year students at Virginia’s Community Colleges who demonstrate both academic and leadership potential along with an uncompromising commitment to excellence.  Of the 400,000 people Virginia’s Community Colleges serve across the commonwealth, only ten are selected for the Valley Proteins Fellows Program.

“It is an honor to have a DSLCC student included in this elite group,” commented Dr. John Rainone, president of DSLCC.  “John is a shining example of what can be achieved through community colleges that serve Virginia and how anyone at any stage in life can move forward and reach their goal.  I am sure that he will continue to be an ambassador for DSLCC, help to promote the value of a community college education, and share with others how higher education is critical for taking steps in career pathways leading to success.”

The fellowship has an estimated value of $15,000, which includes full coverage of tuition and fees.

The fellows participate in a unique curriculum that includes leadership programs, cultural opportunities and a community service project.

The fellows program is made possible through the generous donation of Valley Proteins, Inc., a longtime supporter of the Virginia Community College mission. The Winchester-based company has been in the rendering business for more than 60 years and currently operates 14 plants in 7 states.

“Congratulations to these students who earned some of our most competitive scholarships,” said Glenn DuBois, chancellor of Virginia’s Community Colleges. “These scholars are talented, motivated and community-focused. These men and women will be taking the reins of leadership and leaving their mark on the world and we’re delighted to work with them.”

July Fourth Festivities

July 4 Parade group

Dabney S. Lancaster Community College entered this float in the July 4 parade in Clifton Forge, celebrating the country’s 238th birthday. Staff, faculty and students who participated included, from left: Cynthia Boteler, Billy Ould, Dr. John Rainone, Nova Wright and daughter Aysha, Lisa Colwill and daughter, David Shoftstahl, Samantha Hale, Kristy Casstevens, Nancy and James Mathias, Kathie Clarke  and Melissa Unroe. DSLCC volunteers also participated in the July 4 Balloon Rally in Lexington.

Nancy Mathias

Nancy Mathias, Academic Skills Specialist in the Achievement Center at DSLCC, hands out fliers at the parade.