Monthly Archives: March 2014

News & Notes #4

Welcome to the next edition of News & Notes.  I want to thank you again for the positive feedback from many of you on these News & Notes.  If you would like for me to include additional information, do not hesitate to contact me.  As a reminder, if you would like to receive direct responses from this Blog, you can “subscribe” to it and receive emails each time I post.  Enjoy!

Commencement Speaker Named

As the spring season approaches, so does Commencement!

Commencement will be held on Tuesday, May 13 at 7:00 p.m. I am pleased to announce that Ms. Elizabeth Creamer, Director of Education and Workforce Development from the Office of the Secretary of Education for Governor Terry cAuliffe, will provide the Commencement Address.  Ms. Creamer also served in the same role for former Governor McDonnell.

As the former Assistant Vice Chancellor of Career Pathways and Workforce Development Programs for the VCCS, Ms. Creamer led a team charged with statewide leadership and administration of Workforce Investment Act programs, Postsecondary Perkins Grants, Career Coaches for high school students and adults, Apprenticeship Related Instruction, non-credit and customized training, Career Readiness Certificate, and Middle College, a bridge program into postsecondary education and employment targeted for adults without high school credentials.

During her tenure at the VCCS, Ms. Creamer helped launch the Commonwealth’s career pathways system which has provided training, technical assistance, and grant support to regional partnerships of Workforce Investment Boards, community colleges and employers to launch education and employment “pipelines” into advanced manufacturing, energy, and health sciences.  She has also previously served as a Director of Career Pathways and Dual Enrollment at Thomas Nelson Community College in Hampton and as an Academic Program Coordinator at Paul D. Camp Community College in Franklin and Suffolk.  Ms. Creamer has led a National Science Foundation project: Creating Pathways for the New IT Professional, and has served as a board member for the National Career Pathways Network.  A non-traditional college student who earned her baccalaureate degree as a working mother of three children, she holds a B.A. from Christopher Newport University and a M.A. from Old Dominion University.

Our graduates, faculty, staff, and guests will find Ms. Creamer inspiring with her story and passion for community colleges and workforce development.

Aspen Application Completed

On Tuesday, March 11, DSLCC submitted the final application for The Aspen Institute College Excellence Program as one of the nation’s top 150 community colleges. 

The Prize, awarded every two years, is the nation’s signature recognition of high achievement and performance among America’s community colleges and recognizes institutions for exceptional student outcomes in four areas: student learning, certificate and degree completion, employment and earnings, and high levels of access and success for minority and low-income students.

I would like to personally thank the writing team of Gail Johnson, Chris Orem, Gary Keener, and Michael Scott for their wonderful work.  We believe we have made a compelling case and will be notified of the results this fall.

Sustainable Agriculture Discussion

On Monday, March 10, a group of approximately 30 individuals gathered at the Rockbridge Regional Center to explore new programs and courses in sustainable agriculture and related topics.  I was impressed with the passion that so many have for these issues that are so important for the health, wellness, food/beverage supply chain, and other factors that impact the quality of life for the region.  Led by the efforts of Gail Johnson and Doug Jones, DSLCC has been discussing possible program ideas.


Congratulations to Cynthia Boteler on her selection of the Distinguished Educator award from the Black Concern Commission (BCC).  Selected by a group of your peers, the Celebration of Excellence Awards honors members who have made a profound difference in the lives of minority students through life-time service, leadership, teaching and overall dedication to the BCC mission.  The recognition is made for Cynthia’s profound contributions which have significantly changed the climate of a department, campus community, or the VCCS as a whole.  Please help me recognize Cynthia on this well-deserved honor.

Congratulations to Pam Brown on successfully passing all of the requirements to obtain her Masters of Business Administration (with an emphasis in Accounting) from American Public University.  We are very proud of you.

DSLCC Team Visits George Washington University

I was pleased to visit the School of Nursing at George Washington University with Lynn McAllister, Gloria Lawrence, Gail Johnson, and Sharon Johnson, CEO of the Shenandoah Valley Workforce Investment Board in February to meet with Dean Jean Johnson and her team.  The purpose of the visit was to discuss building on our current nursing (RN to BSN) agreement in other areas such as complementary and alternative therapies and potential courses in mental health.  We also had an opportunity to meet with a representative from the American Red Cross National Office on the possibility of DSLCC being a partner with some of their programs and services.

New Programs Approved

At the recent Curriculum & Instruction Committee meeting, three new Career Studies Certificates were recommended for approval to move onto the Local Board for final approval.  These are outstanding examples of new offerings developed under programs already established, with the goal of adding new courses and expanding enrollment:  Baking & Pastry will complement Culinary Arts and Management and Instrumentation and Renewable Energy Technologies will add options through our Advanced Manufacturing program to meet changing employer needs.

Inauguration Date Set

I am honored to announce that the Inauguration of your 4th President of DSLCC has been set for Friday, September 19.  An inauguration is not just the formal ceremony, but is comprised of a series of events organized around the ceremony. These events provide opportunities for members of the DSLCC family, dignitaries and the entire community to celebrate all elements of the College and move forward together.

The inauguration is designed to unite those with a stake in the future of the college and the entire college family – students, faculty, staff, alumni, legislators, friends and donors – with a common understanding of the College and a vision of its future.

Rachael Thompson and Gail Johnson have agreed to serve as co-chairs of the Inauguration Committee.  They will be inviting members of the DSLCC community to join them in planning “Our Next Fifty Years.”

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