Two Paul D. Camp Community College Adjunct Instructors Recognized at Workforce Luncheon in Hampton

Larry FutrellTimothy Smith
Larry Futrell and Timothy Smith, adjunct instructors at Paul D. Camp Community College’s Regional Workforce Development Center, were recognized for enhancing the skill sets of welders in Hampton Roads. The presentation took place recently at the Virginia Community College System Workforce Development Services Chancellor’s Awards Appreciation & Nomination Luncheon held at Thomas Nelson Community College in Hampton.
About 60 representatives from Eastern Shore, Tidewater, Rappahannock, Thomas Nelson and Paul D. Camp community colleges attended the luncheon, including Vice Chancellor for Workforce Development Randy Stamper.
PDCCC Vice President of Workforce Development Randy Betz noted that after recruiting adjunct instructors who are retired, the sense of accomplishment they experience after training students is uplifting.
“They have a wonderful sense of being valued, of contributing to the new generation, and of passing on skills that they have honed over decades,” he said.
Futrell, a welding expert of North Carolina who retired from Union Camp and International Paper, taught five welding classes in one semester to displaced workers after the mill’s closure as part of the Multicraft Diploma Program on which PDCCC and Southside Community College collaborated.
“All of the students in this program are now employed by various businesses and industries throughout Hampton Roads,” said Betz.
Futrell was recruited again in 2013 as one of the two welding instructors for the Fast Track Welding Program at PDCCC, providing afternoon instruction to 10 students, six of whom graduated and began working at Newport News Shipbuilding.
The retired welder also provided four weeks of welding training to maintenance mechanics from International Paper’s Franklin Mill to support the startup of its new Fluff Mill and continued to work with Larry Brunson of the PDCCC Career Development Center to serve as one of two instructors of two, three-week Fast Track Welding sessions. There were a total of 20 graduates from the two sessions, 11 of whom are actively employed throughout Hampton Roads businesses and industries.
Smith of Courtland has 38 years of experience at Newport News Shipbuilding—32 of those years as a full-time welder. He has helped with building seven of 10 aircraft carriers from start to finish.
For the last five years, Smith has served as a full-time welding instructor at NNS.
“With him as our morning instructor, and Larry Futrell as the afternoon instructor, our students reaped the benefits of having two highly-qualified welders and welding instructors in the classroom and the welding lab,” said Betz.
“Their numerous contributions to welding students and industries make this recognition well-deserved.” He added, “We look forward to having them both return to Paul D. Camp during the summer of 2015 for additional sessions of Fast Track Welding.”
For more information about the Fast Track Welding Program, contact the Workforce Development Office, 757-569-6050, or visit


Two Paul D. Camp Community College Scholarship Recipients were among 57 Honored during Special Ceremony

Scholarship Luncheon GroupThose attending the VFCCE 2014 Scholarship Luncheon from PDCCC were, seated from left, Smithfield Foods Commonwealth Legacy Scholarship recipient Bonnie Newsome and her mother, Jenny Newsome, Development Associate Trish Edwards, and President Paul Wm. Conco, Ph.D. Back row: PDCCC Foundation Board member Robert Harris, Upward Bound Director and Scholarship Chairman Travis Parker, Vice President for Institutional Advancement and Executive Director of the PDCCC Foundation Felicia Blow, PDCCC Foundation Board President Herbert W. DeGroft, PDCCC Foundation Board Director Emeritus Nancy Nagle-Bolio and Valley Proteins Fellowship recipient Wanda Olden.
Paul D. Camp Community College students Bonnie Newsome and Wanda Olden were two of 57 students representing Virginia’s 23 community colleges who were honored Tuesday, Nov. 18, at the Virginia Foundation for Community College Education 2014 Scholarship Luncheon held in Richmond.
Newsome, a Sedley resident, is the recipient of the Smithfield Foods Commonwealth Legacy Scholarship. While at Southampton High School, she maintained an average of 3.16 while taking classes that included a dual enrollment biology course, two years of art classes, an online Economics and Personal Finance course, and Electronics. In addition, she completed the high school’s Early Childhood Education Program. She has been a member of numerous clubs/organizations, such as the National Honor Society, the Student Government Association, the Key Club and Varsity Club. Newsome works at a local restaurant, as well as volunteers for Surry Volunteer Fire Department. She plans to pursue a career in the medical field.
Olden, of Suffolk, is the recipient of the Valley Proteins Fellowship. A non-traditional student, Olden is a participant in the Students Transitioning through Education Programs Successfully (STEPS) program and is a PDCCC Presidential Student Ambassador. She serves as vice president of the PDCCC Literary Club.
Additionally, Olden was selected to represent the College at the Virginia General Assembly and the VCCS Student Leadership Conference. She is a volunteer with the Medical Reserve Corp, the United Way of South Hampton Roads and is a literacy tutor with the Suffolk Literacy Council. When she graduates with an associate’s degree in Business Management in 2015, she will be the first in three generations of her family to graduate. She plans to gain employment in business as a manager or director in the Social Behavior field.
The keynote speaker for the luncheon was Shawn Boyer, founder and chairman of the board of Snagajob. “Throw the word, ‘failure,’ out of your vocabulary,” he told the students. “You are going to make lots of errors. Don’t let that start affecting your psyche.”
The Virginia Foundation for Community College Education (VFCCE) distributed more than $350,000 in scholarships this year to students from across the Commonwealth.
The Commonwealth Legacy Scholarship Program, with 25 recipients this year, was established in 2006 through the generosity of longtime partners Wells Fargo and Dominion. The scholarships recognize students from across the Commonwealth who have demonstrated academic excellence during high school as well as a commitment to developing leadership skills. Each scholarship bears the name of one of many philanthropy leaders who support Virginia’s Community Colleges.
The Valley Proteins Fellowship is awarded to only 10 students from the almost 300,000 students that Virginia’s Community Colleges serve across the commonwealth. Its estimated value is $15,000. In addition to receiving full coverage of tuition and fees, the fellows participate in a unique curriculum that includes leadership programs, cultural opportunities and a community service project.
Nineteen scholars received additional scholarships in honor of special philanthropists and friends who further the mission of Virginia’s Community Colleges, and 13 students were honored as participants in two prestigious Fellows Programs: Valley Protein Fellows and Potomac Health Foundation Fellows.


Paul D. Camp Community College Inducts 25 Students into Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society

Phi Theta Kappa 8 GroupThose present for the Induction Ceremony Friday evening, front row from left, are: Brandy Main of Suffolk, Shannon Wolfe of Suffolk, Heather Loveall of Zuni, Allie Best of Franklin, Ellis Cofield III of Franklin, Brenda Bergess of Boykins, Jasmine Anderson of Boykins, Brandi Owens of Suffolk, and Jozee’ McPherson of Suffolk. Second row: PTK Co-Advisor Toni Johnson, College President Paul Wm. Conco, Ph.D., James Sepmoree of Windsor, Michelle Chess of Suffolk, Katlyn Drake of Franklin, Violet Brown of Franklin, Deanie Robertson of Suffolk, PTK Co-Advisor Troy Hand, Wanda Olden of Suffolk and Pamela Reid of Suffolk. Not pictured are Breanna Black of Windsor, William Cartwright of Franklin, Leigh-Ann Chase of Windsor, Katharine Harville of Courtland, Raymond Maya of Windsor, Sharlene Mullins of Suffolk, Jacqueline Rawlings of Suffolk Catherine Scott of Franklin and Leandra Watford of Boykins.
Violet Brown of Franklin lights the ceremonial candle during the Phi Theta Kappa Induction. Dean of Student Services Trina Jones and PTK Co-Advisor Troy Hand in background at podium)
Jozee’ McPherson of Suffolk lights the ceremonial candle during the Phi Theta Kappa Induction.
On Friday, Nov. 21, 2014, Paul D. Camp Community College inducted 25 students into its Omega Zeta Chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society of the Two-Year College.
Held at the Regional Workforce Development Center in Franklin, the ceremony featured Troy Hand as Master of Ceremonies. Hand, Library Supervisor, serves as co-advisor of PTK at the college, along with Toni Johnson, Professor of Early Childhood Education.
Welcoming remarks were delivered by PDCCC President Paul Wm. Conco, Ph.D., and faculty remarks were presented by Professor of English Ronette Jacobs.
Hand introduced keynote speaker Alice Adoga of Franklin, an alum of PDCCC and the Omega Zeta Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa. Adoga spoke about leadership, believing in yourself and serving others.
“[Joining PTK] is a call for you to be a leader among your peers, to take action,” she said. “And it is a time to be among friends who know what it takes to succeed.” Adoga also added that PTK is about giving back.
Adoga earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology in 2013 and is working on a Masters of Art degree in Human Services Counseling with a concentration in Crisis Response and Trauma at Liberty University Online.
The honor study topic for 2014-15 is “Frontiers and the Spirit of Exploration.” According to Hand, the topic guides the organization’s Honors in Action Project. Members research and discuss the topic and how it impacts society.
“Then we break it down further as to how it impacts our community to decide what we can do as a project to help,” he said.


Paul D. Camp Community College Students Present Original Research Findings at Annual State Meeting

Microbiology Team w Dr V
PDCCC Nursing students who attended The 2014 VaASM from left, are: Anthony Thomas, Cynthia Thibeault, Ashley Storrs, Elizabeth Whitfield, and Microbiology Mentor and professor Dr. Carl Vermeulen.
Four Paul D. Camp Community College nursing students and their Microbiology Mentor and Professor, Dr. Carl Vermeulen, presented fresh research findings at a prestigious meeting that is rarely attended by community colleges. In fact, PDCCC was the only community college presenting at the Annual Meeting of the Virginia Chapter of the American Society for Microbiology (VaASM) held at James Madison University on Nov. 7.
“This year, the PDCCC contingent presented their work in the midst of about 40 other groups that were mostly juniors and seniors in colleges and universities,” said Vermeulen. “Thus, these PDCCC lower division students stand proud among these upper classmen.
“The ASM presentations are not science fair competitions for prizes, but true scientific revealings of original research that have never been done before anywhere.” He said. The findings and processes were presented by the students—on behalf of themselves and dozens of fellow former and present students— on three microbiological subjects that impact everyone.
Cynthia Thibeault told of her group’s discovery that when premenopausal women eat dairy products, within about 90 minutes, great numbers of the probiotic, “dairy bacteria,” in the food quickly get transported through their bodies to be secreted out in their sweat – over about two weeks of their monthly cycle.
“While this might sound disgusting,” Thibeault relates, “it is just these bacteria, which act like guard dogs that protect our skin from many infections.” Thibeault was also surprised to learn that this also occurs with milk in nursing mothers. Vermeulen supported her thoughts by telling how very little of the “normal” is studied because we tend to study sickness and try to cure diseases.
Ashley Storrs said that her work is linked to Thibeault’s because it could be asked how women got the bacteria in the first place to put into their milk to help their infants’ survivals. “You have to eat your raw greens, because my group showed that the spongy interior of all leaves (called mesophyll) is composed of cells that are coated with these dairy bacteria.” Storrs noted that the same way the bacteria protect babies, they also protect leaves from getting infected by dust-borne environmental germs. “Our group showed that these dairy bacteria isolated from leaves retards or inhibits the growth of most other kinds of bacteria,” she said.
Elizabeth “LeeAnn” Whitfield and her group are on track to save lives by the millions by being able to provide nearly a billion people and their livestock with vaccines that would not require refrigeration for storage or during transportation to remote areas in the world. This was a project that was begun more than a year ago, when its first phase was reported at an international meeting of the organization in 2013 by Anthony “Wayne” Thomas.
Last year Thomas reported that something as sensitive to heat as an enzyme can be packaged in a way that protected its molecules from heat’s distortions. He found that when enzymes are shrink-wrapped in dried starch “noodles,” the enzymes remained active up to a hot 160 degrees Fahrenheit and held at that temperature for as much as three months.
“My group wanted to see if this work could be extended to an even more complicated protein than Thomas’ simple lactase, the enzyme used by people who are lactose intolerant,” said Whitfield. “We selected human pregnancy hormone, hCG, which is many times larger than lactase, and consists of two pieces. We shrink-wrapped our hCG in flavorless gelatin, cut out “noodles” and dried them. The day before the meeting in Harrisonburg, we tested a “noodle” that had been heated at 140 degrees Fahrenheit for five months, and it still gave a positive pregnancy test.” “If not shrink-wrapped,” Vermeulen added, “the hCG lost its ‘pregnancy’ within seconds when exposed to 140 degrees.”
When asked about what should be done next, Whitfield recommended that a real vaccine be tested in chickens. They have made some shrink-wrapped meningitis vaccine in starch “noodles.” Bits of them would be placed under the skin of chickens. Within minutes the starch will be digested and the vaccine would escape into the chicken’s system. “Interestingly,” Whitfield said, “chickens make immunity antibodies just like people do, but chickens also put their antibodies in their egg whites. That makes for easy collection.”
The American Society for Microbiology, ASM, is the largest basic science society in the world. It interests encompass basic bacteriology and virology, infectious diseases, immunity, food sanitation, and many other health-care activities. On the state level, the Virginia Chapter meets annually at various institutions around the state.
For more information regarding these studies and more, visit Vermeulen’s Web site,


Veterans Day Concert at Paul D. Camp Community College Drew Close to 100 Event Goers

Army Band Concert Group Playing
Nearly 100 attendees came out to the Paul D. Camp Community College Regional Workforce Development Center in Franklin to hear the patriotic sounds of the 392nd Army Band of Fort Lee. The salute to veterans in our community was sponsored by the College’s Office of Student Activities.
“It was a delight to see so many people in attendance this year,” said Student Activities Coordinator Dr. MeChelle Blunt. “The community was well-represented and the band’s performance was outstanding.” Colors were presented by the Franklin High School JROTC Color Guard. Mesha Bullock, a student at S.P. Morton Elementary School, led the National Anthem. She was escorted by her grandmother, Joyce Carrington Ralph, who is also a veteran.
The Suffolk Chapter of the Links Inc. hosted a reception following the patriotic program.
Army Band Concert Group
Members of the 392nd Army Band of Fort Lee joined members of the Suffolk Chapter of the Links Inc. Sarah J. Walden, from left, Marvia Goode and Kula Liggins, right, and Student Activities Coordinator Dr. MeChelle Blunt, fourth from right, for a photo during the reception.
Army Band Concert Mesha Bullock
Mesha Bullock, a fifth grader at S.P. Morton Elementary School, led the audience in the National Anthem.


Paul D. Camp Community College Offers New Robotics Technology Certificate for Spring 2015 Semester

~Registration Begins November 17, 2014~

Keisha with Students
Instructor Keisha Nichols and students Elizabeth Conner of Franklin and Stanley Crawford of Ivor work with the robotic arm during a dual enrollment class session.
Paul D. Camp Community College will offer a new Career Studies Certificate in Robotics Technology for the spring 2015 semester.
This is the second semester the certificate has been offered at the college. Implementation of the program has been possible through grants from Dominion Virginia Power and its Foundation, and Smithfield Foods/ Smithfield Farmland.
The new classes are designed to provide students the skills in programming, problem solving and troubleshooting, tuning and adjustment, and maintenance and repair required for robotics technology fields.
“Instruction will focus on developing knowledge of theory and a hands-on approach to learning,” said instructor Keisha Nichols.
The curriculum includes introductions to automation and mechatronics, AC/DC Fundamentals and technical report writing. “Students will be able to use these skills to obtain entry level positions in a variety of fields as robot operators, robot service technicians, or robot product consultants,” she said.
Those fields include manufacturing, packaging, assembly, distribution, warehouse, software, electronics, math, physics and medicine.
“The medical field is in need of computer programmers who have some training in the area of remote surgeries or dispersal of medicine using a programmable tool/arm,” added Nichols.
In addition, the field of Robotics Technology is expected to grow.
“Thanks to these generous contributions from our business partners, we will be able to enhance existing programs and develop new programs for our students that will train them for available jobs while meeting the needs of local businesses and industries,” said Vice President of Academic and Student Development Dr. Tara Atkins-Brady.
For more information, contact Nichols at 757-569-6763 or


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