Phi Theta Kappa candidates inducted Ceremony confirms their commitment to learning, growing

Tidewater News

PTK 2018 AThe newly inducted members of the Omega Zeta Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society gather for a group photo after the ceremony on Thursday evening in the Regional Workforce Development Center. The inductees, in no particular order, are: Emily Balance, David Claud, Robert Cross, Taylor Darden, Paula Duran-Piner, Alyssa Felgentreu, Jon Hall, Deirdre Hambrick, Janvi Jadeja, David Jarvis, Michelle Miller, Emma McClelland, Justin Perry, Gloria Shears, Eneida Smallwood, Candace Triplett, Elizabeth Williams, Robert Williams and Shantrice Wood. Not pictured is Stacy Pauley.
Before they signed their names, carried the ceremonial candles or even received their pins, the candidates for induction into the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, Omega Zeta Chapter, first heard words of experience and wisdom from the guest speaker, Tidewater News Publisher Tony Clark, himself an alumni of the renown organization.
Students at Paul D. Camp Community College who have excelled in their studies were invited to join the renown Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, Omega Zeta Chapter.
Their acceptance took place on Thursday evening in the form of the ceremony, which occurred in the Regional Workforce Development Center.
The theme for the occasion was “Transformations: Acknowledging, Assessing and Achieving Change.”
Clark related his personal experiences of learning in college, which were initially not without their stumbling blocks.
Being on his own for the first time, without parental supervision, gave him space to spend more time enjoying the college life, rather than learning in the classes.
It was suggested he might want to reconsider whether higher education was right for him.
Some years later Clark awakened to the realization — the acknowledgement — that he could learn.
Clark set about taking a couple of summer classes at J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College, in which he earned A’s.
Following through the next semester, he continued to flourish.
“I kept having success,” he said, and later went on to earn at 4.0 GPA.
“I was invited to join the PTK and immediately accepted.”
This personal transformation, Clark added, “was tangible proof I could excel.”
Going from self-doubt to self-confidence, he began to assess the possibilities before him, such as a career.
Following acknowledgement and assessment, then the next step is to achieve change.
“A very, very powerful place to be,” said Clark.
For example, at one time he was working at Manry-Rawls, then moved over to newspapers.
One position led to another here in The Tidewater News, and today Clark is not only publisher and vice president here, but also publisher at the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald in Ahoskie, North Carolina, and Coastland Times in Manteo, North Carolina.
The ceremony that was about to begin, he said, “is not the end, but really the beginning … from here you can go whichever path you choose. Do not limit your possibilities.”
The membership into PTK is “an accomplishment that cannot be taken away from you,” Clark continued.
“Be proud, and expect to make your mark in your community and the world.”
Brenda Bergess, PTA advisor, called the candidates forth one at a time. Each came to sign their names in a register.
Cynthia Gurstseigler, PTK president, stood by as witness.
Then the new members each took a candle and lit it from the flame that represents the society’s torch.
That, said Bergess “is symbolic of knowledge, which is the servant of wisdom which dwells in prudence and leads in the way of righteousness in the midst of the paths of judgment.”
The inductees are: Emily Balance, David Claud, Robert Cross, Taylor Darden, Paula Duran-Piner, Alyssa Felgentreu, Jon Hall, Deirdre Hambrick, Janvi Jadeja, David Jarvis, Michelle Miller, Emma McClelland, Stacy Pauley, Justin Perry, Gloria Shears, Eneida Smallwood, Candace Triplett, Elizabeth.

PTK 2018 CAfter signing her name as an official member of the PTK honor society, Gloria Shears carries a candle to signify she is carrying the light of learning to others throughout her life. — Stephen H. Cowles | Tidewater News


Paul D. Camp Community College receives $175,000 to assist area youth

Mercedes Barnes Dawn WombleThe new FastForward Out-of-School Youth grant will help out-of-school youth receive certification in programs like the fast track healthcare program at PDCCC. Mercedes Barnes, pictured with instructor Dawn Womble, was one of the first graduates of the healthcare program.
Paul D. Camp Community College has received a $175,000 Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) grant from the Hampton Roads Workforce Council (HRWC) to fund the launch of an Out-of-School Youth program. The HRWC is formerly known as Opportunity Inc.
According to Director of Workforce Development Angela Lawhorne, the new program will be offered under the PDCCC Division of Workforce Development as part of the VCCS FastForward credentials initiative. The FastForward programs are funded by the Workforce Credentials Grant (WCG).
“The new FastForward Out-of-School Youth program will serve out-of-school youth ages 16 to 24 who reside in the cities of Franklin and Suffolk, and Southampton and Isle of Wight counties,” said Lawhorne.
Participants will receive career guidance and certification training in one of the following FastForward programs:

  • Class A Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Truck Driver
  • Fast Track Healthcare
  • Fast Track Welding
  • National Center for Construction Education & Research (NCCER) Industrial Maintenance— Electrical and Instrumentation
  • CompTIA A +, Network+, Security+ and/or Cyber Security
  • Manufacturing Skill Standards Council (MSSC) Certified Logistics Technician program

Following training, students will have the opportunity to participate in paid internships at local companies before receiving assistance with permanent employment. The grant will pay the interns $8.50 an hour.
“We are currently seeking local employers to host youth internships,” said Lawhorne.
The Out-of-School Youth program will also include free workshops, along with a financial literacy series led by staff from Bank of America, and field trips.
“We are in the process of bringing a new FastForward Out-of-School Youth coordinator on board at PDCCC,” said Lawhorne.
Youth who are interested in the program may email or call Lawhorne at 757-569-6064. Employers who would like to participate may also call Lawhorne.


Assistant professor at Paul D. Camp Community College honored for excellence

Nancy Warren and ChancellorNancy Warren is congratulated by Chancellor of Virginia’s Community Colleges Dr. Glenn DuBois during the conference in Fredericksburg.
Paul D. Camp Community College’s Nancy Warren was bestowed the Virginia Community Colleges Association (VCCA) Excellence in Education Award recently during the organization’s 36th Annual Conference held in Fredericksburg.
“This is an award that takes great dedication to receive,” said Vice President of Academic and Student Development Dr. Tara Atkins-Brady. “I am very happy for Nancy and proud that she is part of the highly skilled faculty at Paul D. Camp Community College.”
Warren, assistant professor of communications/ theater studies, and English composition, was nominated by her peers across the state for the award, which is given to a full-time or retired staff or faculty member who has demonstrated excellence in several significant contributions to education, the community college and to professional development in and out of the VCCA. The recipient must also be a member in good standing for at least five years.
She currently serves as the VCCA college delegate and contact, and has previously served as president in 2006 and chairman of the Excellence in Communications Contest. She has also presented and organized sessions and workshops.
At PDCCC, Warren has been a classified staff employee for seven years and a faculty member for 10. She participated in several initiatives to promote the adoption of electronic textbook and zero-textbook courses that have saved students money. In addition to her public speaking classes, she teaches Creative Thinking, Film Appreciation, Children’s Literature and classes at the college’s Encore Program at the Regional Workforce Development Center.
“I have enjoyed working at the college for the last 17 years,” Warren said. “This was truly unexpected and is the icing on the cake for me. It’s nice to be valued and recognized by my colleagues across the state.”
Warren also finds time to give back to the community as current president of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) in Suffolk and fundraiser for the Kings Fork Woman’s Club. She is a member of the Key West Toastmasters and is state chairman of the College/University affiliates.
“With competition from the internet to capture and hold the attention of the students, teachers must be creative, so I am constantly trying new things in the classroom,” said Warren. “I enjoy using technology and thinking outside the box. It keeps me young.”
For more information about the VCCA, log onto


Bring a friend to Paul D. Camp Community College’s center in Smithfield

PDCCC SmithfieldPaul D. Camp Community College in Smithfield is sponsoring a free event on Tuesday, December 11, from noon to 2:00 p.m. Bring a Friend Day will be aimed at offering potential students a “one-stop” session to enroll for spring classes.
“This will be a lunch and learn type event,” said PDCCC at Smithfield Director Toni Johnson. “Bring a Friend Day will provide a great opportunity for those who are not enrolled to come to our location to discuss career and academic options, which will include program advising, on-site transcript evaluations, and the opportunity to register for spring 2019 classes.”
Classes will get underway on Monday, January 7, 2019.
The financial aid office staff and on-site placement testing will also be available during the event. Prospective students should bring official high school or college transcripts for the on-site evaluations.
Registration is not required, but recommended. To register or for more information, call 757-925-6340. The college’s center at Smithfield is located on the second floor of the Blackwater Regional Library at 253 James Street.


From student to staff—Paul D. Camp Community College graduate undergoes role reversal

~Alumnus now helps students in the community college system~

Serving as signature witnessDuring his position as a transfer enrollment coordinator at Christopher Newport University, Jordan Hewett served as a signature witness at the university’s Community of Scholars Honor Convocation.
It wasn’t too long ago that Academic Advisor Jordan Hewett stood in the same shoes as the students he now helps.
So there is no wonder why the Class of 2013 graduate of Paul D. Camp has some good firsthand advice to offer from the start of his new job at Germanna Community College.
“I figured this would be a great opportunity for me to serve the community college student,” Hewett said. “The job will allow me to help students as my advisor did for me by guiding them through the enrollment process, and informing them about how to navigate college as a whole.”
Hewett began contemplating college early. He took dual enrollment classes while at Southampton High School before enrolling full time at Paul D. Camp. His time at PDCCC proved eventful, as he was selected to receive the distinguished Bobby B. Worrell Scholarship, as well as the Camp to Camp Scholarship.
“I was extremely grateful to receive both of these scholarships,” he said. Hewett was also selected to represent the college as a Presidential Student Ambassador and was president of the Science Club. In addition, he worked a part-time job at the Village at Woods Edge and served as an assistant scoutmaster with Troop 125.
After Hewett earned an associate degree in General Studies and a certificate in General Education, he continued his education at Christopher Newport University in Newport News. With a longtime interest in the medical field, he started out in pre-health studies, pursuing a bachelor’s in cellular and molecular biology.
“Despite studying and visiting my professor almost weekly, I failed my first chemistry course,” he recalled. “It was a tough reality, but I visited my options and changed my degree, thinking that I had no hope for a future in medicine.”
However, that wasn’t the case, as Hewett discovered that he can still apply the bachelor’s degree in communication studies that he earned in 2016 from CNU to the field of medicine.
“I haven’t abandoned my dreams,” he said. “I just spent the spring 2018 term going to class every Wednesday night and all day every Saturday, using my passion to ace the EMT class with Isle of Wight Volunteer Rescue Squad. I’ve begun the application process and have started my initial rides with the rescue squad here in Fredericksburg, where I’ll be able to use my National Registry Certification.”
Hewett’s experience helping students began five months after his graduation in 2016 from CNU, where he served as a university fellow of student engagement.
“I assisted with the development and execution of orientation programs for freshmen and transfer students, conducted meetings with students to find ways to get them engaged on campus and assisted the Student Affairs office with the goals of the department,” he explained.
By November of that year, he had transitioned into the position of transfer enrollment coordinator, where he traveled throughout Virginia to recruit for the college. He served in that role for a little more than a year and a half before accepting his current position.
He still plans to pursue his passion to become a practitioner by taking some prerequisite graduate courses while working.
Although Paul D. Camp was a stepping stone leading to the rewarding work he now carries out for students, he believes that his community college education set him on the right track.
“PDCCC gets a lot of credit for helping me,” he said. “My anatomy, physiology and biology courses instilled that passion in medicine and gave me the extra edge I needed while pursuing my NREMT certification.”
Since Hewett has so recently been a student himself, he can identify with them, lending a fresh perspective when helping them make their way through the educational process. He shared some firsthand words of wisdom.
“First, ask questions of your professor,” he said. “Second, be honest with yourself—if you need help or want to change your major—don’t scare yourself out of it.”
“And lastly, make friends everywhere you go. Don’t burn the bridges you build with people, but rather learn how to edify them as life goes on. Value others, love them well, and strive for excellence in everything.”

Jordan at Windsor Rescue SquadJordan Hewett earned National Registry certification as an EMT at the Isle of Wight County Volunteer Rescue Squad. He is pictured here working with the Windsor Volunteer Rescue Squad during one of his numerous ride-alongs.


Food Drive drop offs can be made at both PDCCC campuses

The annual Paul D. Camp Community College Foodbank Committee’s food drive is underway to help students with food insecurities.
The committee is collecting canned tuna in water; canned stews and soups; canned vegetables and fruits; peanut butter; crackers; protein and granola bars; bagged nuts and seeds; oatmeal and other cereal; shelf stable milk substitutes; dried fruits; and applesauce until December 14 at College Success Coach Program office 120C on the Franklin Campus and 112D on the Hobbs Suffolk Campus.
For more information, contact Dr. Sandra Walker,


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