Camp program participants give back to community

Iola with scarves webIola Lamison displays a handmade hat and scarf set that will be donated to cancer patients.
The Camp Community Education Program based at the Regional Workforce Development Center isn’t only about discovering new interests. It is also about the important aspects of generosity and compassion.
“I wanted to have some options for participants to become involved in activities that help give back to our community,” said Community Education Coordinator Melba Holland. “We have incorporated several different causes to which we can contribute in our 2019 offerings.”
Mary Insull, Patricia Walker, Iola Lamison, Bessie Smith, Penny Rhoads, Lisha Wolfe and Holland, who are skilled in knitting, crocheting and sewing, have been busy at their homes creating handmade scarves and hats for cancer patients and blankets that will be donated for babies in need. “We also received a few donations from the community,” added Holland.
Though she has crafted all her life, Insull began knitting items more often when she retired 10 years ago. “I began knitting hats and scarves for the Red Cross program, Knit Your Bit, to help veterans in need,” she said. Over time, she also began to contribute homemade hats for cancer patients. “It is relaxing while doing something good for others,” she said. “I love doing this.”
Lamison is a quilter and artist who works in a variety of mediums. She joined the Community Education Program after discovering that hats and scarves were needed by patients. “To give comfort to cancer patients is very personal to me,” she said.
Not only does she have friends, family and associates dealing with different forms of cancer, but she also lost her father in 2012 due to the disease. In addition, her cousin passed away at a young age from breast cancer.
“I was reminded of her during October since it was Breast Cancer Awareness Month,” said Lamison. “I appreciated how the help of the community got me through those difficult times. Sharing is a wonderful blessing.”
All items are donated to United Way sponsored organizations or agencies. Scarves and hats were delivered to Franklin Baptist Church in late October, while the blankets will be delivered on December 17 to Edmarc Hospice for Children.
“In addition, we are accepting non-perishable items for the United Way Food Drive,” said Holland. Items will be delivered to the Franklin Cooperative Ministry on November 21 and December 17.
For more information about the Community Education Program at Camp, contact Holland at or 757-569-6062.


Community Education Program receives reward for volunteering

Melba Award from Smithfield Events webOn behalf of the volunteers, Community Education Coordinator Melba Holland accepts a check in the amount of $300 for the Camp Community Education Program.
Participants in the Community Education Program at Camp Community College donated their time recently during the Bacon and Bourbon Fest in Smithfield.
Volunteering were Gladys Wiggins, Ann Spence, Dennis Rhoads, Joan Gates, Patricia Walker and Community Education Coordinator Melba Holland.
Smithfield VA Events, which brings several events to the Town of Smithfield each year, gives back more than $200,000 to charitable organizations in the community annually. One way that they do this is by giving back to organizations who support their events by volunteering.
The Camp program participants were awarded $300 for donating their time to the festival. The presentation was made during the Smithfield VA Events Board for the 2019 Bacon and Bourbon Fest Volunteer and Check Reception held at the Smithfield Center on October 23.
For more information about the Community Education Program, contact Holland at or 757-569-6062.

Melba w participants Smithfield Events 2 webCommunity Education Coordinator Melba Holland, from left, and Penny and Dennis Rhoads take part in the reception before the check presentation.


Silver serves on Gold Team at NASA Langley Research Center

Nyjah at hangar during tourNyjah Silver pictured by one of the airplanes during a tour of the hangar at NASA.
Camp Community College student Nyjah Silver spent four days at Langley Research Center after being selected to participate in the NASA Community College Aerospace Scholars program (NCAS).
“NASA was great,” she said. “I had so much fun. I learned a whole lot and met many new people.”
The Carrollton resident was assigned to serve as one of the two software engineers on the Gold Team, which would eventually be known as Golden Hope.
“There were 40 scholars split into four teams of 10 and each person had a role,” she explained. “Each team had to design, build and program rovers using Lego Mindstorms EV3 kits. We participated in two competitions, both which consisted of rock/buggy retrieval and mineral identification missions.”
The computer science major and her team also had to create a company name and market the brand, a task that fell to the marketing/social media manager. The financial manager reported on what was spent to get the design and functionality of the rover up to speed.
“All of this and more information, including our company pitch, was part of our final presentation at the end of the week,” she said. Each team worked under a mentor, but Golden Hope had two.”
“During the first competition we did pretty well considering the issues we had with some of the components of the rover,” said Silver. “By the second competition, we had worked out those kinks and had our rover functioning almost flawlessly.”
In addition to the hands-on project, the scholars were able to tour various areas on site and were able to witness a drop test at the gantry, which is performed to test in-flight features of experimental aircraft or spacecraft by raising it to a certain height and then dropping it.
“I thought that was pretty cool,” Silver said.
A student of Camp Associate Professor of Information Systems Technology Bob Tureman, Silver has taken advantage of dual enrollment courses and is among the first group at the college to be inducted into The National Society of Leadership and Success.
“Nyjah is a hard worker and possesses a wealth of technical ability,” said Tureman. “We are excited to have had her represent the college at NASA.”
Silver has plans to pursue her education after completing her associate’s degree at Camp and will transfer to a four-year university to study computer and aerospace engineering. She also wants to earn a Ph.D.
“It has been my goal to actually work at NASA one day as a computer and/or aerospace engineer,” she said. “I’ve updated my resume and I am ready to apply for a NASA internship.”
The NCAS gives community college STEM students a real NASA experience and encourages them to continue their education, whether it be to complete an associate’s degree or transfer to a four-year university to pursue a NASA related field or career. For more information about the NCAS, visit

Gold TeamThe Gold Team, or Golden Hope, with Nyjah Silver on left, during the first rover competition.


Participants take away vital tips on how to excel during Camp’s 3rd Annual Student Leadership Conference

Nisan TrotterMotivational speaker Nisan Trotter presented “Accelerating Excellence: How to Drive What’s Inside of You Toward Success.” He earned a football scholarship to Bucknell University, where he made a significant impact on a diverse number of people. He co-founded Trotfitness Fit Body Boot Camp.
“I am super pumped!” Guest Speaker Nisan Trotter announced to an audience of area students in the Technology Theater at Camp Community College’s Regional Workforce Development Center.
About 170 attendants from colleges, community colleges, high schools and home schools were split into two rotating groups to participate in a leadership development session and a hands-on service learning activity during the 3rd Annual Student Leadership Conference.
The free event was held by Camp’s Students Transitioning through Education Programs Successfully (STEPS) team, part of the Chancellor’s College Success Coach Initiative (CCSCI), and the Great Expectations program.
“There is a lot that goes into an event like this, and we appreciate everyone who contributed,” said Dr. Sandra Walker, success coach with STEPS. “This allows us to provide a meaningful program with relevant information that will really help the students become the successful leaders that they want to be.
“Moreover, this year’s conference theme, ‘Learn Today, Lead Tomorrow,’ and the agenda’s focus on civic engagement is aligned with the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) policy. According to SCHEV, ‘Civic engagement is too important an outcome to be left to chance,” she added.
Trotter, an inspirational speaker known for his athletic prowess, ability to connect across diverse groups, and advocacy of entrepreneurship, talked to the students about how to tap into their inner leaders. Although he talked at length about the pillars of leadership, he began by demonstrating how leadership works behind the scenes—the part no one else sees—“performing before the performance,” in which he used to segue into the next part of his message.
Referencing the “V” formation of geese, he said that the goose in front is the leader, putting in 100 percent to maintain the formation while the back picks up 80 percent. “The leader has direction,” he said. Say direction.” After participants repeated the word, he continued, “It’s hard to follow someone who doesn’t know where they’re going…Your passions deserve 100 percent.”
He noted how the leader of the “V” admits when it is tired and will drop back and let another goose take over the lead. Showing vulnerabilities, sharing the “head goose position,” encouraging and not micromanaging were key points.
“[The geese] stay true to their course,” he said to the students. “Stay dedicated to your focus and committed to your core values.” He noted that this comparison was drawn from a quick Google search rather than being part of his official presentation.
In the meantime, about 80 students were busy in an assembly line across the hall that was set up by Rise Against Hunger, an international hunger relief organization that aims to end hunger by 2030. Using teamwork, conference participants filled bags with a dry rice soy meal mixture that were loaded and delivered to those in need of food.
This was Camp student Chance Fuller’s favorite part of the conference. “[What I liked about it] was that we were helping people,” he said. “It was also a good way to socialize with others.” Fuller is also a library intern through the Out-of-School-Youth Program based at the college’s workforce development center. “The speaker, Nisan Trotter, was also amazing. He definitely motivated me,” added Fuller.
Virginia Community College System’s (VCCS) Jennifer Wells, coordinator for postsecondary pathways and program director for the high school career coach program, attended and shared that the overall conference was “top notch.”
“I could tell the students were fully engaged and truly had a memorable experience,” she said.
Also attending from VCCS was Caroline Lane, director of coaching programs/program director of the Rural Virginia Horseshoe Initiative and Chancellor’s College Success Coach Initiative. She said, “Jennifer and I couldn’t stop talking about our experience [at the conference], and I’ve shared it with several colleagues.”
Taylor Miller and Nicole Belote of the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore also attended, delivering opening remarks before the Rise Against Hunger service learning activity.
Funding for the event came from CCSCI, Camp’s Office of Student Activities and Franklin Southampton Charities.
For more information about the STEPS program, contact Dr. Sandra Walker, or Karen Owens,

overview assemblyConference attendees participated in the Rise Against Hunger service learning activity where bags of dry ingredients were filled by teams and loaded on a truck to be delivered to the hungry.


Camp nursing students partner with Sentara to promote health

John Failmezger Vickie Clarke Laura Weaver Melissa JeffersonRegistered Nursing students, John Failmezger, from left, Vickie Clarke, Laura Weaver and Melissa Jefferson were among the participants who partnered with Sentara Healthcare to administer “drive up” flu shots to the community.
Students in the Camp Community College Registered Nursing (RN) Class of 2020 helped Sentara Healthcare provide the community with free flu shots on October 12.
Participants were able to drive up and receive the shots without getting out of their vehicles at Sentara Obici Hospital in southern Suffolk, Sentara St. Luke’s in Carrollton and Sentara Belleharbour in northern Suffolk. Members of the RN class were stationed at each location with instructors.
“This partnership allowed the students to give multiple injections, teach others about the flu and the importance of prevention, as well as be visible in the community,” said Camp Associate Professor of Nursing Trudy Kuehn. She serves as lead instructor of the Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) Program. “At three sites, more than 600 flu shots were provided to the community.”
For more information about nursing and allied health programs at Camp, contact Tasha Taylor at


Phi Theta Kappa welcomes newest members Omega Zeta Chapter performs induction ceremony


PTK Society 2019 B Group webFrom left: PTK Advisor Brenda Bergess, John Roberson, Persida Barkman, Kennedy Parker, Desiree Pierce, Jeanette Ahmes, Candice Blow, Tamra Boone, Alexis Cannon, Kayla Rountree, Ela Wilson, and PTK Advisor Crystal McNair.
Photo courtesy of Stephen H. Cowles
Ten of the 11 candidates for the membership into the Omega Zeta Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society were inducted last Thursday.
This ceremony, which took place in the Regional Workforce Development Center of Camp Community College, marked their official entry into a renowned group of people dedicated to learning and sharing their knowledge — and wisdom — with other people for the rest of their lives.
Dr. Dan Lufkin, president of Camp Community College, told those candidates present, “I don’t need to tell you to do well. You are there.” He urged them to continue to “do hard work” necessary for advancing their learning.
Dr. Tara Atkins-Brady, vice president of academic and student development, also commended the students, and said, “This is a big deal and I hope you are all proud.”
Cynthia Gurtseigler, who had served as chapter president from 2017 to 2019, was the guest speaker for the occasion. Gurtseigler told the candidates that was the first in her family to go to college, but that it took her three tries.
At times she felt overwhelmed, but thankfully found a mentor.
Through encouragement, Gurtseigler “poured her heart” into learning.
Today she working to earn her bachelor’s degree in logistics management.
Each candidate was called forth to sign their names into a membership roll and then light a candle that signifies the quest for knowledge.
The new inductees are: Jeanette Ahmes, Persida Barkman, Candice Blow, Tamra Boone, Alexis Cannon, Kennedy Parker, Desiree Pierce, John Roberson, Kayla Rountree and Ela Wilson. Not present was Jennifer Christenson.


Calendar image