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,


Two PDCCC Hurricanes commit to universities

Seth Konkel pitchingSeth Konkel hurls a left-handed pitch at a game at Virginia State University. – Photo by Jamie Dodd
Two members of the Paul D. Camp Community College Hurricanes have committed to universities where they will continue their education, as well as keep playing baseball.
Pitcher Seth Konkel, a general studies major who was selected to receive the 2017-18 Herbert W. DeGroft Commonwealth Legacy Scholarship and the Valley Proteins Fellowship while at PDCCC, has verbally agreed to continue his studies and play baseball at Lee University, a Christian educational institution in Cleveland, Tennessee He will join the LU Flames as a junior in fall 2019, where he will pursue sports physical therapy.
“I’m excited about this next chapter at Lee,” said Konkel. “I’m ready to work hard in my classes and just as hard on the ball field.”
Catcher Tyler Dodson, a science major, hails from Southampton Academy. He has committed to attend and play at Virginia Wesleyan University in Virginia Beach, home of the Marlins and the state-of-the-art Greer Environmental Services Center. He will study environmental science in fall 2019 at the University and is open to considering opportunities that become available before choosing his career path.
“I am looking forward to being a part of the Marlins University campus,” said Dodson. “I am grateful for all the support from the staff at Paul D. Camp. My experience has been remarkable.”
Head Baseball Coach and Athletic Director David Mitchell, who has built a cohesive program since being hired in 2017, thinks highly of his players and makes them feel “at home” at PDCCC.
“I am very proud of both Seth and Tyler,” said Head Baseball Coach and Athletic Director David Mitchell. “Not only are they good baseball players, they are great young men.
“They are men of high character. They work extremely hard on and off the field. I am happy for them and their families.”
For more information about the PDCCC Athletics Program, log onto

Tyler Dodson vs Bryant and StrattonCatcher Tyler Dodson in action during a home scrimmage game against Bryant & Stratton College. –Photo by Jamie Dodd


PDCCC Instructor organizes hurricane relief aid

Hurricane Relief 1From left: Steven Street, Kristen Lander, Natalie Street, Jeff Lander and Patrick Street
By Desiree Urquhart
PDCCC Grants Coordinator
In the aftermath of Hurricanes Florence’s and Michael’s historic paths of destruction through towns and hamlets in North Carolina and beachfront resort towns along Florida’s panhandle, good Samaritans from all over the country have been answering the call to provide on-going relief aid to citizens and animals in the stricken areas.
Two such angels of mercy were Steven Street, lead trades instructor at Paul D. Camp Community College (PDCCC) and his wife, Natalie, an instructional coach at Carrollton Elementary School in Isle of Wight County.
Steven and Natalie, along with Steven’s brother, Patrick, and friends Kristen and Jeff Lander, loaded up three SUVs and a mid-size U-Haul truck with water, non-perishable food, first aid supplies and pallets of dog and cat food to distribute to our neighbors to our immediate south following Florence’s devastation.
This humanitarian effort resulted from a “call to action” by Steven to faculty and staff colleagues at the college and from Natalie’s outreach to her friends and public school co-workers. Natalie’s local family and friends who live in Jacksonville, NC, helped to support the couple’s initial effort by giving them a list of their top needs. Steven immediately jumped on the bandwagon to solicit relief items from his co-workers at PDCCC in order to assist people and families in his in-law’s community and surrounding areas affected by the storm.
Steven notified the entire PDCCC family, including those on the Franklin and Hobbs Suffolk campuses, as well as those at the center in Smithfield, of what he and his wife were planning to do to aid in the clean-up and relief effort. He asked for donations of water, batteries, canned goods, pet food, diapers, cleaning supplies, toiletries and personal hygiene items.
Not only did faculty and staff answer the call, even students jumped at the chance to help others. Within a matter of days after Florence passed over North Carolina, Steven’s office was piled to the ceiling with donations. To make the collection and transport of items easier, Steven announced he would have a U-Haul truck parked at PDCCC’s Franklin campus. Nurses from the Allied Health Department went shopping at Walmart during their lunch hour and put their supplies directly into the truck.
Natalie organized her donation collection similarly. Her work colleagues and friends donated by the dozens and helped Natalie fill three SUVs with much needed supplies for victims of the storm. Many of Natalie’s staff members also had family and friends affected by Florence and found the humanitarian effort by the Streets the perfect way for them to also lend a helping hand.
The Streets and Landers set out for Jacksonville on Saturday, Sept. 22. The usual three-hour trip took over five hours because roads were closed due to flood waters or downed trees. A neighbor of Natalie’s parents who owned a rental property that was undamaged by the hurricane, provided it free of charge as overnight accommodations to these Virginia volunteers.
After two days of handing out some supplies directly to victims in Jacksonville, Steven and his band of gratuitous helpers dropped off their U-Haul supplies at a variety of distribution shelters that opened up in the area. The Onslow Outreach Community, Soup Kitchen, and Samaritan’s Purse were the main shelters where their donated supplies were dispensed. They also met linemen, many from New Jersey and Illinois, who had come to help restore power to the area. Steven and Natalie made it a point to come to the aid of these first responders by giving them bottles of water, snacks, and face wipes.
This benevolent team plans to return to the flood ravaged area again during Thanksgiving as recovery is going to take months, if not years. Anyone interested in donating supplies to be delivered during the holiday season may reach Steve at or Natalie at

Hurricane Relief 2Caravan of vehicles loaded with non-perishable food, water and hurricane relief supplies for distribution in North Carolina.

Hurricane Relief 3Lander loads the U-Haul with bottled water for the residents stricken by Hurricane Florence.

Hurricane Relief 4Lander begins loading pet food to help the affected pets of residents in North Carolina.

Hurricane Relief 5Donation drop-off at aid station set up in Jacksonville, NC.


PDCCC College Night draws approximately 300 participants

College Night High PointRyan Dillan of High Point University in North Carolina prepares to provide information to those participating in College Night.

Paul D. Camp Community College’s annual College Night drew a large crowd to the Regional Workforce Development Center.
“We had a great turnout,” said PDCCC Academic Advisor Nicole Jordan. Jordan and her colleague, Chris Ricks, coordinated the event. “Altogether, there was about 300 students and their parents from Southampton County, Suffolk, Isle of Wight and homeschools.”
In addition, representatives of 51 educational institutions were in attendance. “Many representatives, including our well-known area schools like University of Virginia, Virginia Tech, Old Dominion, Christopher Newport University, Norfolk State University, The Apprentice School, Virginia Commonwealth University and Virginia Wesleyan University were present, but students also had the opportunity to get information from colleges they might have only seen on the internet,” said Jordan. They included institutions such as The University of Alabama, ECPI Culinary Institute of Virginia, Massachusetts Maritime Academy, Johnson & Wales University and Bluefield College.”
In addition to the informational booths, those interested in assistance with filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), were helped prior to College Night in the computer lab at the Workforce Development Center.
According to Dean of Student Services Trina Jones, this event provides a great opportunity for participants to see what area colleges, universities, and technical and trade schools have to offer.

College Night SentaraKevin Lawrence of Sentara College of Health Sciences was also prepared to help students, potential students and their parents with any questions about the institution


Easterday selected for the June Fleming Commonwealth Legacy Scholarship at PDCCC

Ajalyn EasterdayAjalyn Easterday graduated from ARGS in June. She is the recipient of the June Fleming Commonwealth Legacy Scholarship at Paul D. Camp Community College.
There is no room for pretentiousness in any given hour of the day for Ajalyn Easterday. She is grateful for any opportunities that arise—and whether it is through her academic performance or a dance performance, she finds a way to show it.
“My mom and dad are my biggest role models,” she said. “They have taught me to have a strong, consistent work ethic in order to reach my goals.” Ajalyn is the daughter of Tamika and Jeremy Easterday.
The 18-year-old has been awarded the June Fleming Commonwealth Legacy Scholarship at Paul D. Camp Community College—named for the college’s recipient of the Chancellor’s Award for Leadership in Philanthropy awarded in April.
Easterday graduated in June from the Appomattox Regional Governor’s School (ARGS) for Arts and Technology in Petersburg. While there, she served as a member and co-president of the Interact Club, a service organization through which she assisted in the initiation of school and community outreach projects.
“One of these projects was a peer tutoring program within school hours to accommodate those who weren’t able to stay after hours, along with helping the incoming freshmen become accustomed to their new classes and work load,” she said. “While I assisted peers with their classes, I was also able to utilize this resource and receive help from other Interact tutors.”
The PDCCC general studies major also served as a mentor through a performing arts organization, Dance Interface, while at the Governor’s school. The dance group performed at various events and venues, but Binford Middle School, where they had established a dance program for their students, stands out for Ajalyn.
“I was able to help teach a master class for more than 20 students and demonstrated choreography,” she recalled. “This experience inspired me because I was able to mentor young dancers who share the same passion with me and help them learn more about the craft of dance.”
In addition, Easterday found time to participate as a member and treasurer of the French Club and was a member of the National Honor Society for Dance Arts.
“Her peers relied on her to keep them on task in various classes,” said David Speaks II, Easterday’s math instructor at ARGS. “They looked to her for organizational skills. She was always making study guides and various tools that would not only help her, but others as well.”
Easterday also took English dual enrollment classes at John Tyler Community College and social science classes through Richard Bland College of William & Mary. She earned the Human Anatomy Academic Scholar Award in May 2017 and Best Group Choreographical Work in May 2018.
In her first semester at PDCCC, she plans to earn an associate’s degree before transferring to Longwood University to major in biology.
“The field of medicine interests me the most and through my studies, I hope to find the right career path for me,” she said. “Orthopedic surgery is something I am interested in pursuing, along with becoming a physical therapist for a professional dance company.”
She is currently fulfilling her passion for the performing arts by teaching ballet and serving as a teacher’s assistant at Carol Fox’s Contemporary School of Dance. She is an active member of the Rock Church of Franklin through which she volunteers for activities and where she is part of a life group for young adults.
“My parents have always been there through the early morning rehearsals, the late night shows, and the long drives between the studio and school,” she said. “I am lucky to have a mother and father who continue to support me through all of my endeavors.”
Easterday is also grateful for her selection as the June Fleming Commonwealth Legacy Scholar.
“This scholarship will give me the opportunity to further my education,” she said. “It will help me put a strong foot forward academically and financially for next year, and my coming years at a larger university.”


Paul D. Camp Community College participates in Careers in Energy Week

GIE logoPaul D. Camp Community College will help raise awareness of energy-related fields and jobs during October 15 through 19 as part of Governor Ralph Northam’s declaration of Careers in Energy Week in Virginia. This comes on the heels of Northam’s revealing of the 2018 Virginia Energy Plan, which includes the vision for the state’s energy policy for the next 10 years.
“This is a great opportunity for Paul D. Camp to increase awareness of these industries, because collectively, energy jobs include a wide range of careers from engineers to customer service representatives,” said David Lorenz, associate professor of Electronics/Mechatronics and Robotics.
According to, the Center for Energy Workforce Development (CEWD) and member companies have been working together to create this special week devoted to energy careers awareness since 2010.
“PDCCC will share energy-related career facts on its social media sites and website during the designated week,” said Vice President for Institutional Advancement and Workforce Development Dr. Renee Felts. “The college offers training and classes in many energy-related jobs, so we’ve got a lot to talk about.”
To see the Governor’s full proclamation, visit


Application period for spring 2019 scholarships is underway at Paul D. Camp Community College

Paul D. Camp Community College is now accepting applications for spring 2019 scholarships. New and continuing students have until Monday, October 29, at 11:59 p.m. to complete the process.
“Our new automated scholarship application system is in place and we encourage students to get an early start on their paperwork,” said Dr. Renee Felts, vice president for institutional advancement and workforce development/ executive director of the PDCCC Foundation. “There are nearly 20 scholarships available for the spring semester.”
Students who applied for fall scholarships are also welcome to apply for spring opportunities as long as they meet the criteria listed for the award(s).
Including the fall awards that were recently announced, Paul D. Camp has approximately $135,000 available in scholarships for the entire year.
For more information, visit


PDCCC Foundation Golf Tournament nets more than $13,000 for athletic program

Coach Mitchell Phillip BradshawAthletic Director David Mitchell and Operations Manager Phillip Bradshaw made rounds to check on the golfers and volunteers.
Paul D. Camp Community College hosted 16 teams at its recent 15th Annual Golf Tournament held at the Cypress Cove Country Club. The event was a success, netting more than $13,000 that will benefit the newly formed Hurricanes baseball and softball teams.
“We want to thank everyone who sponsored, participated and donated to this fundraising event,” said Dr. Renee Felts, vice president for institutional advancement and workforce development/executive director of the PDCCC Foundation. “The athletic program is important to student engagement, which is part of our mission to ensure student success.”
Winners of the tournament are as follows:
First Flight
First Place: Ron McLendon, Tony Hamilton and Mike Caraway
Second Place: Jeff Poehls, Jeff Bird and Greg Dady
Third Place: Randy Hedgepeth, Roger Mumford, David Symanski and Marc Patterson
Second Flight
First Place: RP Watson, Forrest Caulder, Rick McGee and Hunter Brown
Second Place: Jorge Marrero, JR Sweet, Jeff Beale and Tim Romeo
Third Place: Ed Miller, Kevin Bryars and Tim Sayles
Superlative Awards
Closest to Pin: Hunter Brown
Longest Drive Men: Roger Mumford
Longest Drive Women: Teresa Beale

Lorenz Eckman WentzDavid Lorenz, Heather Eckman and Bill Wentz get some practice time in before the tournament.

Heading to the GreenRegistrants prepare to head out on the green to get the tournament underway.


More than 40 students awarded with fall 2018 scholarships at Paul D. Camp Community College

More than 40 students were awarded scholarships for the fall 2018 semester at Paul D. Camp Community College.
Scholarships for continuing and high school students were available, as well as two Neall Family Charitable Foundation Scholarships, offered through the Virginia Foundation of Community College Education (VFCCE) for the second consecutive year. Eight more were awarded the Smithfield Foundation Scholarship.
“We want our students to have access to an affordable education,” said Vice President for Institutional Advancement and Workforce Development, and Executive Director of the PDCCC Foundation Dr. Renee Felts. “Although community colleges can save students a lot of money, some students still struggle to make ends meet while trying to attain their educational goals.”
The following students received awards for the upcoming semester:

  • Alijab Aikens of Isle of Wight County – Smithfield Foundation Scholarship
  • Shycura Allmond of Isle of Wight County – Smithfield Foundation
  • Gregory Ashburn of Isle of Wight County – Smithfield Foundation
  • Emily Ballance of Isle of Wight County – Neall Family Charitable Foundation Scholarship
  • Keshonta Banks of Suffolk – Joe and Frances Wilbur Memorial Scholarship
  • Katrissa Bennett of Gates County, NC – Suffolk Ruritan Nursing Scholarship
  • Tamra Boone of Southampton County – 40/7 Society Scholarship
  • Adam Briggs of Suffolk – 40/7 Society Scholarship
  • Tyler Britton of Southampton County – Dean Nancy Sandberg Scholarship
  • Ellie Brown of Franklin – Camp to Camp Scholarship
  • Carson Blake Claud of Southampton County – Shirley N. Barnes Scholarship; Matthews and Reed Nursing Scholarship
  • David Claud of Franklin – Neall Family Charitable Foundation Scholarship; Nellie White Business Scholarship
  • Zachary Coggsdale of Franklin – 40/7 Society Scholarship
  • Jamie Cogsdale of Southampton County – Smithfield Foundation
  • Mackenzie Coleman of Chesapeake – 40/7 Society Scholarship
  • Ajalyn Easterday of Franklin – June Fleming Commonwealth Legacy Scholarship
  • Kirsten Flores of Virginia Beach – 40/7 Society Scholarship
  • William Gay of Isle of Wight County – Smithfield Foods Endowed Scholarship
  • Brock Hamilton of Virginia Beach – 40/7 Society Scholarship
  • Grant Hasty of Isle of Wight County – 40/7 Society Scholarship and High School Career Coach (HSCC) Parent Information Night Scholarship
  • Jamese Jones of Suffolk – American Association of University Women, Suffolk Branch Scholarship
  • Jessica Jones of Franklin – Bertella C. Westbrook Memorial Scholarship for Nursing Students
  • Ruth Kent of Southampton County – Dr. Candace Rogers Scholarship
  • Seth Konkel of Eastern Shore – Friendship Scholarship
  • Marshall Libscomb of Isle of Wight County – Smithfield Foundation
  • Kaitlyn McLean of Isle of Wight County – High School Career Coach (HSCC) Parent Information Night Scholarship
  • Jacqueline Opauski of Isle of Wight County – Smithfield Foundation Scholarship
  • Morgan Owens of Currituck County, NC – Margaret L. Brown Education Scholarship and City of Suffolk Early Childhood Development Scholarship
  • Aaron Panton of Franklin – 40/7 Society Scholarship
  • Joshua Payne of Isle of Wight County – Frances P. Hobbs Memorial Scholarship
  • Ronald Pearce of Wake County, NC – Cross Realty Career Grant (for Suffolk residents)
  • Faith Pierce of Southampton County – Roy and Eleanor Epps Cornwell Scholarship
  • Caleb Pihlstron of Isle of Wight County – Smithfield Foundation Scholarship
  • Alisha Ralph of Suffolk – Service Above Self Rotary Scholarship
  • Krista Rhodes of Isle of Wight County – 40/7 Society Scholarship
  • John Roberson of Fredericksburg – 40/7 Society Scholarship
  • Tyshawn Shivers of Isle of Wight County – Perry W. Barnett Memorial Endowed Scholarship
  • Shane Stalls of Isle of Wight County – Dr. Alvin C. Rogers Memorial Smithfield Ruritan Scholarship
  • Dawson Stevens of Isle of Wight County – Pete Parker Memorial Scholarship
  • Macy Taylor of Chesapeake – Donald C. Boyce Education Scholarship
  • Alexis Terrell of Isle of Wight County – Smithfield Foundation Scholarship
  • Taylor Wentzel of Suffolk – Bobby B. Worrell Scholarship
  • Faythe Wright of Chesapeake – 40/7 Society Scholarship

“We are so grateful to all who have provided the funding for these scholarships,” said Felts. “We are fortunate that the community believes in our mission and invests in education.”
For more information, contact the Office for Institutional Advancement, 757-569-6790, or log onto


Local professor to analyze Frankenstein

By Alex Perry
Suffolk News-Herald
A local aficionado of the horror genre recently received funding for an in-depth look at the many faces of Frankenstein’s monster.
Bill Camp, an adjunct professor at Paul D. Camp Community College, received the Rocky Wood Memorial Scholarship for Non-Fiction Writing Award from the Horror Writers Association. The $500 scholarship will support “Franksploitation,” Camp’s study of Frankenstein in film.
“It feels pretty good,” Camp said in a phone interview, both for the validation and the means to increase his DVD and book collection. “You can’t beat that when you’re a bibliophile like me.”
Camp holds a master’s degree in English education from Old Dominion University, a Master of Education in educational psychology and a bachelor’s degree in English writing from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, where he was appropriately born and raised in the town of Erie.
The Suffolk resident and lifelong horror fan plans to consume as many Frankenstein films as possible for his latest project. After he sent the Horror Writers Association his plan, he drafted an Amazon Wishlist of more than a dozen Frankenstein books and movies to illustrate his scope.
There’s the 16-minute short film “Frankenstein” by Edison Studios in 1910 and the more recent and less faithful adaptation “Victor Frankenstein” in 2015 with actors James McAvoy and Daniel Radcliffe. Episodes of the 2004 “Frankenstein” miniseries, the radical departure of “Frankenstein’s Army” in 2013 and even “Alvin and the Chipmunks Meet Frankenstein” are on the list.
According to Camp’s Education Plan, the intrigue is in exploring how Shelley’s original novel took on “a life of its own” to become the popular and universally recognized mythology that it is today. His study separates the movies into faithful, loose adaptations and parodies of the source material.
“My non-fiction book project would analyze all three of these categories, and examine exemplary films that would fit into each,” Camp wrote in his plan. “I will present what aspects of the Shelley novel filmmakers chose to accentuate in certain films and what they chose to ignore or push into the background. I will also (consider) the time each film was made in a cultural analysis point of view.
“This will expose some of the psychoanalytical aspects of the Frankenstein tale and its impression on popular culture. I hope to find out what some of the subconscious appeals the Frankenstein tale had on society at various periods in history and in several different cultures.”
Camp grew up in Erie as a “monster kid,” according to his blog post “I am a Monster Kid, and What That Means.” One of his earliest memories was seeing the 1976 “King Kong” with his grandfather as part of a two-night television event. He later discovered the “Monsters” book series by Ian Thorne on all the classic movie creatures at his local library and read them cover to cover.
Camp understands the immense popularity of Dracula, the Wolfman and Godzilla, “the king of the monsters.” As for Frankenstein’s pop culture endurance, Camp thinks that it’s the intrinsic themes that have kept this monster alive for so long — those elements of “us vs. the other,” edified in the classic line from Shelley’s original novel: “If I cannot inspire love, I will cause fear.”
“I think that translates a lot into what happens in society and life today,” Camp said. “You can go almost anywhere with it, and a lot of movies have.”
Camp will be presenting more of his horror insights at this year’s Monster Fest on October 6 at Chesapeake Central Library, 298 Cedar Road.


Paul D. Camp Community College STEPS team raises awareness of food insecurity and hunger among students

Mars Inc. just may have hit the nail on the head with its Snickers ad campaign, “You’re Not You When You’re Hungry.” Although the ads contain humorous appeal, there’s nothing funny about the underlying truth—and that truth is, often times, people really do have to go without food.
According to research released from the Wisconsin HOPE Lab in April, titled “Still Hungry and Homeless in College,” it is estimated that 42 percent of community college students in the country experience food insecurity. Although that number is down from the 56 percent from the larger study conducted last year, this is a critical issue—one that at least 15 of the 23 Virginia’s Community Colleges are addressing, according to a recent VCCS news release.
“The USDA defines food insecurity as the limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate and safe foods, or the ability to acquire such foods in a socially accepted manner,” explained College Success Coach Dr. Sandra Walker. Walker has worked with Paul D. Camp Community College’s Students Transitioning through Educational Programs Successfully (STEPS) for six years. The program, part of the Chancellor’s College Success Coach Initiative, launched in fall 2012.
Walker mentioned that the most extreme form of food insecurity is often accompanied with physiological sensations of hunger. “Not only that, we know that students are making tough, life-altering choices each day,” she said, “such as having to decide between buying food or paying the electric bill, or buying life-saving medications or paying the rent.”
At PDCCC, Walker led efforts to provide a professional development opportunity for faculty, staff and administrators to learn more and discuss how food insecurities affect the success of students at PDCCC and what can be done to support them. Walker served as moderator of the Lunch and Learn titled, “Food and Hunger Insecurity on College Campuses: Why Should We Feed Students? We’re Not Required to Feed Them.” Other team members including College Success Coaches Laura Clark and Karen Owens, Program Specialist Jamie Dodd and Dean of Student Services Trina Jones participated along with staff, faculty and administrators.
“We are trying to help our students reach their academic, career and personal goals, but how can they be expected to be successful if they are hungry?” said Walker. “This summer’s Lunch and Learn focused on the prevalence of food and housing insecurities; working and going to college; identifying and supporting students; and recommendations for serving students’ basic needs.”
According to Walker, participants were able to share ideas, discuss best practices and make recommendations for future actions.
Addressing food insecurity and hunger is a college wide effort at PDCCC. In 2017, President Dr. Daniel Lufkin created an 11-member PDCCC Foodbank Committee in which the STEPS members are a part.
“The committee addresses food insecurity and hunger within targeted populations, in collaboration with the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore,” said Walker. “We have coordinated with the Foodbank to deliver a total of 100 food bags/boxes in support of students’ needs during exam week and an on campus food drive.”
Staff and faculty donate items and money, and resources are distributed among the two PDCCC campuses and the PDCCC Center at Smithfield.
“But we need to do more,” said Walker. “We have a lot of great feedback and recommendations from the Lunch and Learn participants, who were highly engaged during the sessions. I am in the process of developing a schedule for a future professional development opportunities that have implications for teaching, learning and student success.”
For more information about the STEPS program at PDCCC, contact Dr. Sandra Walker on the Hobbs Suffolk Campus: 757-925-6326 or; or Laura Clark on the Franklin Campus: 757-569-6780 or


Paul D. Camp Community College alumna investigates her true calling

~LeAndra Watford embarks on career in law enforcement~

LeAndra and Kisha WatfordLeAndra Watford recently began her duties as a police officer in Prince William County. At her graduation from the criminal justice academy in June, her mother, Kisha Watford, gives her a congratulatory hug.
Ever since elementary school, LeAndra Watford has had an affinity for putting puzzles together, but not in the way that you may think.
“I participated in the Summer Regional Governor’s School Program for several years, and always chose forensics or crime solving as topics,” the 24-year-old recalled. “I have also always been interested in television crime shows like CSI, Law & Order and Criminal Minds.”
The Southampton County native is realizing the fruition of her aspirations, as she was one of two females out of a class of 22 who graduated from the Prince William County Criminal Justice Academy in June. She has been assigned to work patrol in the eastern part of the county.
After graduating from Southampton High School in 2011, Watford enrolled at Virginia State University in Petersburg where she planned to major in criminal justice.
“I lost focus while there,” she said. “I returned home to complete my studies at Paul D. Camp Community College, and loved it.” An honor student, Watford was inducted into the Omega Zeta Chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. Although she completed her associate’s degree in administration of justice—police science in August 2014, she marched at the official commencement ceremony in May 2015.
“Everyone who I dealt with at PDCCC was instrumental in helping me succeed. They listened and were very supportive of what I wanted to do,” she said.
Following graduation, Watford enlisted in the Army National Guard while awaiting job prospects. “That involved five months of basic training and Advanced Individual Training (AIT),” she said. She later was accepted to the law enforcement academy, which entailed six months of instruction that included practical and field training, and classwork.
“It was an exciting experience to see all of my hard work pay off and to have my family at my graduation,” she said. “The highlight was having my little brother pin my badge on me.”
Although tensions and mistrust of law enforcement officials have mounted in recent years, Watford remains undaunted about that becoming a concern when it comes to doing her job.
“The profession is all about respect,” she said, “respect for self and for others.”
As a matter of fact, she plans to heighten her career by attaining a bachelor’s degree.
“My career goals include joining the SWAT team within my current department,” she said. “Then I would love to possibly go to a federal agency, like the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) or the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).”
According to Watford, if she had college to do over, she would have started her path in higher education at PDCCC in order to save her parents money and perhaps enable her to start working sooner.
“Although a college education is not required to become a police officer, my associate’s degree from PDCCC helped familiarize me with class work, as well as improved my place on the pay scale.”
She noted, “Throughout my educational journey, I have learned more about myself and what I am capable of accomplishing. You must believe in yourself and follow your dreams.
“I have learned that when others don’t give you a chance, that it is their loss, and also that everything happens for a reason. You should seize the opportunity to be an asset to others.”
For more information about the Administration of Justice program at PDCCC, contact lead faculty Joe DeStefano, or 757-925-6330. Those interested may also visit


PDC mental Monday

Drew PageSpeaking above is Drew Page.
Drew Page and Chuck Worth spoke with PDC athletes on the first mental Monday.
Mental Monday’s are for athletes to grow outside the field and hear about being better citizens and people of character and integrity.


Free College Night event set at Paul D. Camp Community College

Paul D. Camp Community College is gearing up for its annual College Night. The event will be held Tuesday, October 2, 2018, from 7:00 to 8:30 at the Regional Workforce Development Center, 100 North College Drive, Franklin.
“This is a great opportunity for participants to see what area colleges, universities, and technical and trade schools have to offer,” said Dean of Student Services Trina Jones. “We are anticipating more than 60 institutions to have representatives join us that evening.”
In addition to the informational booths, if anyone is interested in assistance with filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), help will be available prior to College Night, from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m., in the computer lab at the Workforce Development Center.
It is recommended to allow up to an hour to complete the filing process. Attendants are asked to bring all tax and income information for 2017 for students and parents in order to file for assistance.
Registration is not required. For more information, call Nicole Jordan at 757-569-6797 or Chris Ricks at 757-569-6719.


NASA research opportunity provides Paul D. Camp Community College student experience of a lifetime

Lilly and Dr WohlLilly Balderson made a significant impact on the research project to which she contributed this summer at NASA’s Langley Research Center. She is co-inventor of a pending patent application and a co-author of a conference paper. She is seen here at graduation from the 10-week summer opportunity with her advisor/mentor NASA Senior Research Surface Scientist Dr. Christopher Wohl.
At one moment, 20-year-old Lilly Balderson was on her way to NASA’s Langley Research Center for a golden summer opportunity to conduct research. Ten weeks later, she was already recognized as a co-inventor on a pending patent.
A former resident of Wakefield, Balderson was a neuroscience major at Stony Brook University in New York. A change in circumstances led her to return to Virginia, where she ultimately enrolled at Paul D. Camp Community College with plans to eventually continue her studies at another local four-year university.
“I never knew that attending PDCCC was going to be one of the smartest decisions I’ve ever made,” she said. Balderson learned of the NASA STEM Takes Flight opportunity at Langley Research Center from fellow student Jeremy Williams, who was selected for a summer experience in 2017 at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility. Once the opportunities opened, she was further encouraged by PDCCC instructor Nancy Warren to apply.
According to Balderson, she spent June 4 through Aug. 10 working on the ICE project at Langley, where she worked on the research, development and testing of new coating materials that prevent ice adhesion.
“Specifically, I worked on developing aromatic systems with aliphatic multifunctionalities,” she explained. “I had the opportunity to incorporate a multitude of nanomaterial additives from graphene derivatives to rubber particles. I subjected my samples to a multitude of tests and further extrapolated coating generations from my data.”
Balderson has since enrolled at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) in Richmond, where she has relocated. Her advisor at NASA, Senior Research Surface Scientist Dr. Christopher Wohl, was quick to tout the impact she had on the project.
“Lilly has an exciting and bright future ahead of her,” he said. I think VCU will benefit as a result of having her at their university and the Virginia Community College System should be very proud of the education and enthusiasm they have fostered in her.”
According to Wohl, the new technology report that will include Lilly as a co-inventor will be titled, “Durable Contamination Resistant Coatings.” In addition, an abstract, “Reinforcing Additives for Ice Adhesion Reduction Coatings,” will list her as co-author and be submitted to the Annual Meeting of the Adhesion Society, which will be held in February 2019.
Balderson, previously immersed in the medical sciences prior to this experience has changed her educational direction. “I plan to go to grad school for engineering instead of medical school,” she said. “This experience solidified my love for chemistry and has opened so many doors for me. At VCU, I will be developing 3-D printer ink to make a specialized robotics arm over the next year, also other inks to help with other projects varying from biomedical to nuclear engineering.”
The VCU student is currently pursuing chemistry with a concentration of professional chemist. From there, she plans to earn a Ph.D. in some aspect of chemical engineering. While she is not sure exactly where she wants to work in the engineering field, Balderson is sure that she loves being in the lab.
“My exact focus of engineering isn’t clear yet, but I really love the chemical science behind the brain. I hope to find a field pertaining to that possibly. I do know that I want to return to NASA and do more materials research.”
The Richmond resident is very grateful for her time spent at PDCCC and the fact that it led her to the research opportunity at NASA.
“My mentor was phenomenal and really let me incorporate my ideas into the project,” she said. “This was a completely life-changing experience. I strongly encourage everyone with a science background to apply. I never imagined I would be at NASA and now, my career is rooted in it.”


Paul D. Camp Community College graduates Fast Track Welding students

Welding graduates2018 Fast Track Welding graduates are: kneeling, Rafus Smith. Standing from left: Tammie Bell, Khiry Reese, Derek Kindred, Heather King-Rodriguez, Xavier Goodwyn, Alexander Emerson, Joshua Payne and Heather Beck.
Paul D. Camp Community College’s Division of Workforce Development recently graduated its 2018 cohort of the Fast Track Welding program.
According to Director of Workforce Development Angela Lawhorne, the program’s focus is on marine welding for shipyards and also includes the testing needed for the American Welding Society (AWS) national certification.
“This 4-week intensive hands-on program costs $3,000,” said Lawhorne. “However, there are many grants and scholarships available to include the FastForward Workforce Credentials Grant (WCG) and the Rural Virginia Horseshoe Initiative (RVHI), which may cover the entire cost of tuition.
“There has never been a better time for workforce training. There are numerous area employers looking for people with these credentials, and we are excited to be able to meet the needs of both job seekers and employers.”
For more information regarding Fast Track Welding, log onto


Ann Pinner receives Professor Emeritus

Ann PinnerPinner, above, after receiving the honor. – Photo by Dr. Sandra Walker
Ann Pinner, retired associate professor at Paul D. Camp Community College, was recently honored with Professor Emeritus, an award bestowed upon her by the Local College Board and presented by Vice President of Academic and Student Development Dr. Tara Atkins-Brady.
In 2005, Pinner was hired for the newly established nursing program and created Paul D. Camp’s Nursing Student Association.
On the recommendation of Atkins-Brady and PDCCC Dean of Nursing and Allied Health Dr. Debbie Hartman, Pinner’s longtime and committed service to the college, students, her profession, and the community led to her recognition as a lead instructor, faculty liaison, student advocate, mentor, advisor, and program evaluator.
Pinner has exemplified leadership, professionalism, and commitment to quality education, high standards and integrity; and dedication and commitment to student success.
She played an integral role in leading the nursing team to attain the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) accreditation.


Free craft show at Paul D. Camp Community College will assist Upward Bound students

Group-at-VUUThe students regularly visit other college campuses in the area, such as Virginia Union University in Richmond.
The perfect gift may be closer than you think. Instead of going out-of-town to choose your holiday gifts, let the artisans bring items to you during the 7th Annual Christmas in Our Hometown Craft Show.
The show will be held on Saturday, October 27, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Paul D. Camp Community College Regional Workforce Development Center, 100 North College Drive in Franklin. Proceeds from vendor registration fees and raffles during this free event will benefit students in the Upward Bound program at the college. The program has recently begun a partnership with local crafter Shirley Billups, who has had successful shows in the past.
Upward Bound is a federally funded TRIO program that is focused on assisting low income and/or first generation high school students in grades 9 through 12 with successfully completing postsecondary education. Students receive assistance with tutoring, resources, support, college processes and the PDCCC Dual Enrollment program.
Additional funding from the indoor craft event will allow the program to provide even more significant experiences for the students.
“While academics is a priority, we like to ensure that our students are well-prepared in all aspects of college and life in general through activities, such as financial workshops, cultural experiences, college visits, summer component offerings and educational seminars,” explained PDCCC Upward Bound Director Travis Parker.
Statistics show that the Upward Bound program has been effective in helping students succeed in their academic and career goals. Implemented in 2008, the program touts 65 current high school participants and another 60+ participants currently enrolled full-time in college. There are eight participants currently enrolled in a master’s degree program and one in a PhD program.
“Thirty-six participants have completed an associate’s degree, 25 have earned a bachelor’s degree, and three have attained a master’s degree.—all in less than nine years of the program’s inception. That’s pretty significant.”
For more information about the PDCCC Upward Bound program, contact Barbara Strylowski at or 757-569-6764. Vendors are needed. Those interested in registering for a 10 by 10 booth space may contact Billups at 757-620-5499.
Diamond-Jones-Haleigh-Andrew-Amari-T-Long-Angel-Padilla-Tatiyahna-Blakely-Ashlyn-EdwardsDual Enrollment Upward Bound students Diamond Jones, from left, Haleigh Andrew, Amari T. Long, Angel Padilla, Tatiyahna Blakely and Ashlyn Edwards at PDCCC in May, where they graduated from college before high school commencement.

Dinae-Jones-Layla-Barnes-Alan-Diggs-Jr-Tashera-BarrettIncoming Upward Bound students Dinae Jones, from left, Layla Barnes, Alan Diggs Jr. and Tashera Barrett volunteer to help during graduation.


New PDC softball team signs up three more

PDC SoftballMembers of the newly formed softball team at Paul D. Camp Community College gather for a group photo after two of the newest players signed their commitments. In blue, from left, are Megan Edelen, Nikki Bryars, Macy Taylor, Jeana Webb, Morgan Owens, Cheyenne Keith, Casie Wright and Elle Brown with their coach, Carrie Hoeft. At far left are assistant coach Sean Wade, athletic director David Mitchell and PDCCC President Dan Lufkin. — Stephen H. Cowles | Tidewater News
By Stephen Cowles
The Tidewater News
Several members of the PDC softball team, led by Coach Carrie Hoeft, met during July in the Paul D. Camp Community College library to witness the signing of two new fellow players, Nikki Bryars and Casie Wright.
David Mitchell, coach for the PDC Hurricanes, as well as college athletic director, first welcomed everyone before the ceremony, and said how excited he is for the new softball team.
Dr. Dan Lufkin, college president, added his congratulations. He also pointed out to the young women that they are pioneers, and “not many get that opportunity. You alone get to set the standard.”
To which he added that there are also expectations that they “win in the classroom and be just as good as students as athletes.”
Bringing eight to nine years of softball experience is Nikki, daughter of Candi — who came to witness the signing — and Kevin Bryars from Chesapeake. New to PDCCC, the sophomore from Spring Hill College said her recruitment started when Hoeft came to the restaurant where she was working, and approached with the idea of joining the fledgling team. They knew one another from their time in Chesapeake.
“I figured I was not doing anything [outside of work,]” Bryars said. “Why not?”
She looks forward to getting back onto the ball field, and is slated to play outfield.
The coach added, “Nikki originally played at a school in Alabama right after high school. She ended up coming back home and I’m so excited she will be continuing her career with us.
She’s a great player that brings a lot of great qualities to the team not only on the field but as a teammate and leader.”
No less experienced in softball is Casie, daughter of Lisa — who also attended the ceremony — and Danny Wright from Gasburg. She started playing T-ball at an early age, and has moved up through the years to become a pitcher, a skill noted by Sean Wade, both her travel ball coach as well as assistant to Hoeft.
“She’s a real go-getter — a clutch pitcher, a big-game pitcher — everything we wanted,” said Wade.
Coming from Garrett College as sophomore, this will also be Casie’s first year at the Franklin campus.
A third player who has signed on since that ceremony is Melody Westmoreland of Bethel High School.
She will play as catcher and on third base.
Hoeft added that Casie “has a similar story in that she went about six hours from home to a school in Maryland and is very excited to be able to now be close to home and continue playing.”
Also on the team are freshmen Cheyenne Keith (outfielder) from Windsor High School; Macy Taylor (utility) and Jeana Webb (shortstop,) both from Indian River High School; Faythe Wright from Western Branch High School and Elle Brown from Smithfield High School, both pitchers; Mackenzie Coleman (catcher) from Grassfield High School; Mariah Tawney (outfielder) from Fluvanna High School; Morgan Owens (first base) from Currituck County High School; Megan Edelen (catcher) from Princess Anne High School; Kirsten Flores (second base) from Landstowne High School; and sophomores Bethany Brinkley (utility) and Abbiegail Jones (catcher,) both of PDCCC.
Hoeft thanked all her players for “jumping on board … we’re starting from scratch, and later added, “We are still looking to fill four to six additional spots to complete the team, but we have a solid group and I’m excited to get the fall season started.”
She also said the first game will be at home on Saturday, September 15, starting at 1:30 p.m., and the Hurricanes will play against Bryant and Stratton College.
The season will end with a Halloween costume game against Stratford University on Tuesday, October 30, at 3:00 p.m., also at home. The season will resume in January and go through mid-May.
There will be 33 conference games and the rest out of conference against other community colleges and mostly four-year schools.


Paul D. Camp Community College Foundation holds 15th annual golf tournament

~Proceeds will benefit athletic program~
Lorenz puttingDavid Lorenz puts in some putting practice before a prior tournament. PDCCC President Dr. Dan Lufkin is in the background.
The Paul D. Camp Community College Foundation invites you to bring your best swing to the green on Monday, Sept. 24, at Cypress Cove Country Club in Franklin. The 15th Annual Golf Tournament gets underway with a shotgun start at 1 p.m. Those who did not register ahead of time can do so between noon and 1 p.m. on the day of the event.
Proceeds from the fundraiser will benefit the athletic program at the college—the PDC Hurricanes baseball team and the newly formed Lady Hurricanes softball team.
“Creation of the athletics program has been part of our efforts to improve student engagement,” said Vice President for Institutional Advancement and Workforce Development, and Executive Director of the PDCCC Foundation Dr. Renee Felts. “Students are more likely to remain steadfast in their studies and graduate on time if they have an atmosphere that is more conducive to learning.”
Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis and there are varying levels of support opportunities available, including sponsorships. Tournament fees cover 18 holes of golf, golf cart, one mulligan for each player, beverages, lunch and dinner. Superlative awards will be presented for the Longest Drive and the Closest to the Pin in men’s and women’s categories. Prizes will also be awarded for first, second and third places in flights one and two. A hole-in-one will win a trip for two to the 2019 Daytona 500.
Cypress Cove Country Club is located at 30333 Country Club Road, Franklin. In the event of rain, the alternate date of the tournament has been set for Monday, Oct. 1.
For more information, call 757-569-6790, or log onto to register.

Bill Wentz and Ed JadeskiBill Wentz and Ed Jadeski head out on the green at a previous PDCCC Foundation Golf Tournament at Sleep Hole Golf Course.


Paul D. Camp Community College hosts second year of Verizon Innovative Learning program

~About 50 area middle school girls introduced to STEM careers~STEM-Crowd-ShotThe showcase of sustainability projects was well attended. Entering this room, visitors went through a makeshift “portal” and entered into the year 2030.
The Verizon Innovative Learning (VIL) program for girls wrapped up a three-week summer camp while showcasing their projects at Paul D. Camp Community College’s Regional Workforce Development Center.
Last year, the community college was among only five piloting the program in rural areas throughout the country in partnership with the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship.
While explaining the 3-D printer to visitors, Akelzah Saunders, 13, of Smithfield Middle and Elnesha Lewter of J.P. King Jr. Middle both liked working with the equipment and said they may be heading toward a career in STEM.
“I like the 3-D experience — how it works and making our own creations,” said Saunders.
The 2018 participants are from middle, home and Rock Church schools in all of PDCCC’s service regions, which are comprised of Isle of Wight and Southampton counties, and the cities of Franklin and Suffolk.
“I had a lot of great experiences,” said Smithfield Middle School student Brianna Carter, 13, about the summer camp. “I learned a lot about engineering, coding and so much more.”
During the camp, which got underway in mid-July, the participants were introduced to various topics each day, which included virtual and augmented reality, coding, 3-D design, entrepreneurship, design thinking principles, as well as female mentors.
“When parents came in to visit, they also had to explain to about 100 people what they were working on and what they had learned,” said VIL STEM Camp Director Teri Zurfluh. “They received experience in public speaking and presentation as well.”
The summer camp culminated with the showcase of projects created by the campers, some of which became newfound friends. The projects in the showcase identify and provide solutions to challenges in their community using technology, as in alignment with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“We took the girls on an “empathy tour,” said Zurfluh, “to get them to exercise that empathy muscle. Getting them into the communities to visit places like the Isle of Wight Animal Shelter and Franklin Cooperative Ministry helped them identify real-life issues about which they are passionate.” The girls also were enlightened about bullying from Dr. Sandra Walker at PDCCC in Suffolk.
Once again this year, the college partnered with KidsKab, which provided transportation for participants, and Cover 3 Foundation, which provided breakfast and lunch each day of the camp.
Eric Scott, Ellen Peterson, Keisha Nichols and Jason Gable served as instructors during the STEM camp. Brianna Peterson, a science major at William & Mary, volunteered her time helping the students to identify with historical women of science during Woman Crush Wednesdays.
Each day, the girls decompressed with an activity that was off curriculum. One of the mothers, Anita Falcone, volunteered to teach yoga. “This ended up being one of the most popular ‘makerspace’ activities,” said Zurfluh.
Girls will continue to meet one Saturday in each month for the rest of the year to build on what they have learned and will graduate in May 2019.
PDCCC is funded for the program for 2019-20 as well. The college’s Industrial Technology Instructor Keisha Nichols, who also taught during camp, will serve as director of the local program next year.
“We are looking forward to introducing a new group of girls to the wonders of science, technology, engineering and mathematics,” she said. “We want to continue to change the statistics that reflect a low percentage of girls pursuing STEM careers.”

3D-Printer-Akelzah-and-ElneshaAkelzah Saunders of Smithfield Middle and Elnesha Lewter of JP King Jr. Middle in Franklin, both 13, right, explain how the 3D printer works to Akelzah’s mother, Shakeiria Williams, and sister, Akeira Saunders.

Brianna-Carter-Shelby-BurtonSkylar Bunn shows some of the shapes the girls made on the 3D printer using Tinkercad. She is the daughter of William and Heather Bunn of Franklin.

Skylar-BunnBrianna Carter of Smithfield Middle School, left, and Shelby Burton of Georgie D. Tyler Middle School used coding to create the game on display. Brianna is the daughter of Monique Gwaltney of Smithfield and Brian Carter of Newport News. Shelby is the daughter of Mary and William Burton of Windsor.


PDCCC student earns prestigious Valley Proteins Fellowship

~2018 scholars represent eighth class~
Seth at orientationSeth Konkel speaks during a recent orientation held in Richmond for all of the recipients of the 2018 Valley Proteins Fellows Program.
Seth Konkel, a general studies major at Paul D. Camp Community College, has been selected to be part of the eighth class of the Valley Proteins Fellows Program.
“This award will provide Seth with great opportunities,” said PDCCC President Dr. Dan Lufkin. “We are proud to have him join the ranks of the other past PDCCC recipients.”
Konkel is the fourth PDCCC recipient receiving this honor since its establishment in 2011. Ida Thompson of Suffolk was part of the second class of Valley Proteins Fellows in 2012; Wanda Olden of Suffolk was part of the fourth class in 2014; and Cody Billups of Franklin was part of the sixth class in 2016.
Graduating from Mighty Warriors Homeschool with a 3.7 grade point average, Konkel is an Eagle Scout who has been active in the community for his nearly 7-year affiliation with the Boy Scouts of America. He played guitar for the worship team for about six years at The Rock Church of Eastern Shore not far from his Exmore home, and is an active member of The Rock Church of Franklin.
Konkel was recruited as a pitcher for the college’s inaugural baseball team, the PDC Hurricanes. He was also selected as PDCCC’s Herbert W. DeGroft Commonwealth Legacy Scholar (CLS) for 2017-18. As a result, he is in the position to mentor other CLS recipients and participate in statewide events, such as the Student Leadership Conference. Although he has already been accepted to Lee University, he may apply other places as well. His goal is to earn a bachelor’s degree in Health Sciences.
“I want to pursue a career in becoming a sports physical therapist,” he said. “I also want to continue to work hard at baseball and try to get drafted into the MLB.
Of the nearly 250,000 people served by Virginia’s Community Colleges across the commonwealth each year, only 10 are selected for the Valley Proteins Fellows Program. In addition to financial support, the program provides recipients with mentoring, coaching, networking and leadership opportunities.
This marks the eighth consecutive year that Winchester-based Valley Proteins Inc. has funded the Fellows Program, which was designed to help high-achieving second-year students complete college.
“Valley Proteins is privileged to invest in the future of some of Virginia’s most outstanding students,” said President Gerald F. “J.J.” Smith Jr. “Helping to remove some of the obstacles that can hinder their success is a priority for us, and it reflects our commitment and support for the community college mission overall.”
The Virginia Foundation for Community College Education (VFCCE), which supports all 23 of Virginia’s Community Colleges, oversees the Valley Proteins Fellows Program. Because of its nearly 100 percent completion rate, the VFCCE has established and implemented three similar scholarship programs to support students.


Paul D. Camp Community College dedicates more dates to increase enrollment

Paul D. Camp Community College recently held sessions for new and returning students in order to assist them in a “one-stop shop” atmosphere to register and prepare for the fall 2018 semester.
“In the three days in which the sessions were held, we increased FTEs by 49 and headcount by 22,” said Dean of Student Services Trina Jones. “In an effort to continue increasing our enrollment numbers, the student services team will host another series of Enrollment Days events during the week of August 13.”
During this time, current students and potential students can attend to discuss career and academic options and register for fall classes, in addition to taking the placement test on-site and planning with financial aid staff.
The events will be as follows:
Franklin Campus, 100 North College Drive: Monday, August 13, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
PDCCC at Smithfield, 253 James Street: Tuesday, August 14, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Hobbs Suffolk Campus, 271 Kenyon Road: Wednesday, August 15, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
In addition, these other following dates may help in planning for the upcoming semester:

  • Thursday, August 16 — Offices open until 6:00 p.m. at all locations
  • Friday, August 17 — Offices close at 4:30 p.m. in Franklin and Suffolk; and at 1:30 in Smithfield,
    New Student Orientation in Franklin and Suffolk, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, August 18 — Registration at Suffolk and Franklin, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., with Financial Aid offices available from 9:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday, August 21 — New Student Orientation in Smithfield, from 4:30 – 5:30 p.m.

Classes begin August 21. For more information, call 757-569-6700.


PDCCC student Alyssa Felgentreu presents plant node research at prestigious meeting in Atlanta

Alyssa-FelgentreuAlyssa Felgentreu of Zuni presents research at the annual meeting of the American Society for Microbiology—the largest basic science society in the world, according to PDCCC Professor Dr. Carl Vermeulen.
Paul D. Camp Community College student Alyssa Felgentreu of Zuni recently presented research at the annual meeting of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) adjacent to the CNN World Headquarters at the Georgia Congress Convention Center in Atlanta. She represented approximately 40 PDCCC students with the results of her study, “Plant Nodes Inhibit Spread of Infection,” which was one of 4,000 chosen to be presented during the five-day event.
“To give the flavor of this little corner of the meeting’s section on plant-bacterial interactions, neighboring presentations were from Bolivia, Germany and Virginia Tech,” said PDCCC Professor Dr. Carl W. Vermeulen. He also noted that the ASM is the largest basic science society in the world. “In general, it is rare that undergraduates are seen at this level, to say nothing of those from a two-year junior college.”
Vermeulen, or Dr. V, as he is fondly called by students, revealed that the project began two years ago when some other students set out to study the size of capillaries in plants. “By serendipity, they discovered something much more important—that there existed a means for the plant to filter out bacteria, and thus plants have a means for preventing the spread of infection,” he said.
According to Dr. V, a breakthrough came after it was discovered that watercolor paint could be used to demonstrate this process. Dyes would not work as they would have quickly been pulled through the plant and would have colored the petals, but microscopic paint particles were another matter. They would remain blocked at the points where branches or leaves burgeon from the stems, called the nodes.
Felgentreu explained, “To our knowledge, this is the first time anyone has reported on a mechanism with which plants can impede the spread of infection. This is thus basic to the billion-dollar agricultural industry.”
Dr. V noted that identifying research topics is not all that difficult due to the abundance of information that was discovered so long ago. All of the results that were presented as fact can be re-evaluated using improved methods of discovery, since they are always changing and improving.
“For example, we are now hot on the trail of what powers the movement of sap in plants,” he said. “It was long thought that it was due to capillary action and transpiration, but now that is all out the window.
“Ask an underwater plant how it transpires when it cannot evaporate any water. That alone ought to tell you that something is wrong with the old ideas.”
He also added that students should recognize that plants share a lot of similarities with animals, among them are the same basic metabolism and the same genetic mechanisms. “A study of plants, furthermore, doesn’t require all manner of approvals from research ethics committees. This may help area schools that implement project-based learning when choosing research topics,” he said.
Dr. Vermeulen has provided many students the opportunity to present at the annual microbiology meeting in the past. He hinted of another project in the works—one that is “out of this world” and has “important implications for agriculture on Mars,” he said with excitement.


Paul D. Camp Community College graduates first class from Fast Track Healthcare program

~proud graduates celebrate 93 percent pass rate~

Fast-Track-Health-GroupThe first Fast Track Healthcare graduates, pictured here with lead instructor Dawn Womble, from left, are: Danielle Hill of Franklin, Cecilia Daniels of Windsor, Veronica M. Olguin of Murfreesboro, N.C., Takeisha Rawls of Franklin, Oralia Olquin of Murfreesboro, N.C., Veronica Parker of Franklin, Veronica Olguin-Herrera of Como, N.C., Sheena Graham of Courtland, Jonya Cooper of Ivor, Yvonne Newby of Suffolk, Mercedes Barnes of Franklin, Deshannon Williams of Franklin, Ronesha Williams of Franklin and Diane Ferki of Boykins.
A completion ceremony for the first class of graduates from the Fast Track Healthcare program at Paul D. Camp Community College was recently held at the Regional Workforce Development Center in Franklin.
Fourteen women, including two set of sisters, planted an extraordinary precedent for students later attending the program, as the college touts a 93 percent pass rate on the National Healthcareer Association certification exam, according to Workforce Development Director Angela Lawhorne. “Virginia’s pass rate was 61 percent, and the national rate was 67.5,” she added. “They have really set the bar high for future classes. Additionally, four of the women had no prior medical experience.”
The non-credit FastForward program, initially intended to train for a career in clinical medical assistant, was expanded by lead instructor Dawn Womble to include credentials in phlebotomy technician and EKG technician. She had the program up and running after just five months of planning and coordination.
Pastor Patricia Brown of Faith Works Fellowship Cathedral in Franklin, served as guest speaker during the ceremony. She likened the first graduating class to the raising and ripening of vegetables in a garden, based on fond memories of her own father’s green thumb.
“Everything has a season,” she said, “and it is your season.”
The following awards were presented for classmate selected honors:

  • Most Dedicated Students – Diane Ferki and Oralia Olguin
  • Most Improved Students – Veronica Olguin-Herrera and Takeisha Rawls
  • Most Helpful Students – Mercedes Barnes and Cecilia Daniels
  • Sunshine Award (Positive Outlook) – Deshannon Williams and Veronica Parker
  • Greatest “Comeback” Student – Ronesha Williams

The following awards were presented for instructor selected honors:

  • Leadership Awards – Sheena Graham and Veronica Olguin
  • Clinical Excellence Awards – Jonya Cooper and Danielle Hill
  • Academic Excellence – (highest scores for certification were tied) Mercedes Barnes and Yvonne Newby

Womble was presented flowers during an emotional delivery of appreciation from Cecilia Daniels on behalf of the class. “We were 14 hardworking women and now we are 14 hardworking women who can start our new careers,” she said, her voice wavering.
Guests were able to tour the Fast Track Healthcare facility following the ceremony. For more information about the program, log onto

mortarboardsThe graduates were allowed to decide on aspects of their regalia and the celebratory program.

Cecilia-and-DawnLead instructor Dawn Womble accepts flowers and a huge hug from Cecilia Daniels, who made the presentation on behalf of the class.


College offers incentive for early enrollment

Enrollment-Days-JustinNew and returning students took advantage of Paul D. Camp Community College’s recent Enrollment Days activities held at each of the service area locations on staggered days.
At the college’s Smithfield site on James Street, above, Student Activities Coordinator Justin Ellis assists Amee Harper, 17, on the computer.
She attended with her mother, Altina Puckett, right. PDCCC Computing Services Installation and Repair Technician Micah Thomas, below photo, gets a student ID card prepared for Elias Azevedo, 19.
Participants were able to take on-site placement tests, meet with individuals from financial aid and discuss career and academic options.
According to Dean of Student Services Trina Jones, the three-day events alone increased the college’s full-time equivalent (FTE) by 49.
Classes for fall 2018 semester get underway August 21.
Visit for more information.



PDCCC alumna overcomes cultural and educational challenges in United States

Alice Adoga finalAlice Adoga met and conquered cultural and educational challenges after moving to the United States from Nigeria. — PHOTO BY RAYMOND SEABORN
Alice Adoga had no particular predictions of what lie ahead when she moved to this country. After all, she was more than 6,600 miles away from the only place she knew as home—West Africa, Nigeria.
That was 11 years ago. “I was filled with imagination of what was to be and the fear of the unknown,” she recalled. Now working as a family services specialist at the City of Franklin Department of Social Services, Adoga is making a difference in the lives of the children and families she serves.
“My job provides me with the opportunity to impact lives within this community and to bring about positive change,” she said. “My primary role at the moment is working with families and children in foster care. I also complete family assessments and investigate reported child abuse and neglect.”
But the road to her success was not often an easy one. Despite dealing with cultural and educational system differences, she, along with the help of the guidance counselor, pushed through her senior year at Franklin High School, where she graduated in 2008.
“I made a decision to work toward the woman I am today, and to take advantage of every opportunity I encounter,” the 29-year-old said.
Although Paul D. Camp Community College was not her first choice in which to enroll, it proved to be a beneficial step on her educational path. Adoga had been accepted to Chowan University on a 4-year leadership scholarship, however, out-of-state tuition would have still cost her more than she could afford without taking out a loan. She also attempted to enroll at University of Maryland while working in the healthcare field there, but that resulted in discouragement as well. At her mother’s insistence, she agreed to enroll at PDCCC.
“My decision to attend PDCCC became a gateway to how far I’ve grown academically,” she said. “I received so much guidance and support from the staff and faculty.”
However, Adoga was able to grow in more ways than one at PDCCC, as was evident when she was selected to serve as a Presidential Student Ambassador, inducted into Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and became an active member in Student Support Services, the Student Leadership Committee and the Student Government Association.
“PDCCC also provided an opportunity to study with non-traditional students,” she said. “It created a unique learning dynamic that bridges the gap between real life lessons and textbook knowledge. I enjoyed learning with people of different age groups.”
After Adoga graduated from PDCCC with an associate’s degree in General Studies in 2011, she continued her studies at George Mason University, earning a Bachelor of Art degree in 2013 in Psychology. She then attained a Master of Art degree in Human Services Counseling in 2016 from Liberty University. But to get here was not without its struggles.
“Although I received financial aid, it wasn’t enough to cover all of my educational expenses,” she said. “I had to buy some of my textbooks out-of-pocket.”
Another challenge for Adoga was that she was lacking in grammar, so she experienced difficulty writing research papers. “I worked closely with all of my English teachers and professors in high school and college,” she said. “I also had several tutors who assisted me.
Adoga said that PDCCC is a good place to start before a student transfers to another four-year college or university.
“The road to your future is not always a straight one,” she advised. “Don’t let the twists and turns stop you. When there is a road block, find a detour. Sometimes it’s best to let go of our expectations and just enjoy the experiences that life presents us. Be kind to yourself throughout your journey, and also help others along the way.”
The family services specialist loves the fact that she is employed in her chosen field of study and notes that it is very rewarding work. “It is my goal in life to continue to serve those who are suffering and to provide hands-on support through counseling to alleviate life crises throughout the country, and globally,” she said.
Adoga enjoys spending time with family and friends, dancing, working out and traveling. She is a certified Kukuwa African dance instructor, which continues to keep her connected with her country and Africa. Her first dance class will get underway in August in Suffolk.
“I am grateful for my challenges,” she said, “because they led to lifelong friendships and blissful educational experiences.”

Alice JoggingAlice Adoga is as passionate about working out as she is about helping families through her social services career. — PHOTO BY RAYMOND SEABORN


Helping students heading to PDCCC

Tamara BarnesPaul D. Camp Community College offered a beneficial experience this year for first time college students heading to the college for the fall 2018 semester.
The Student Development (SDV) Jumpstart Program is designed to give incoming students an edge regarding transitioning to the expectations of college life in order to help them ensure success.
“An advantage of participating in the new offering includes a head start with college credit in Student Development-College Success Skills class before the semester starts,” said Dean of Student Services and Counselor Trina Jones. “A grant received enables a student to attend without incurring the cost of tuition, book and fees.
Presenters and activities are planned to address questions or concerns new students may have, and to enlighten them not only of the overall process of transitioning to community college and a four-year university or college, but also tips that will help them prepare ahead of time for the workplace, scholarships, transferring credits and program requirements.
One recent topic highlighted transfer information. Old Dominion University Transfer Evaluation Specialist Tamara Barnes served as guest speaker. A first generation student, as well as a transfer student, Barnes took a break before going to college, pulling double duty as she raised her two children and continued her education at the same time. She advised the students to complete their education first.
She shared various transfer tools that ODU offers and directed them where to find scholarship information for community college students on their website. “You can start investigating that now,” she said, “Two years [in community college] goes by fast. Know your resources. They are your most powerful tool for your education.”
Other guests, such as Ken DeLoach of State Farm Insurance and entrepreneur Mario Hatchett shared their expertise in business, which allowed students to glean knowledge of business practices and leadership in the community.
According to Student Support Services Counselor Dr. Hyler Scott, the information that the incoming students gather during the SDV sessions behoove them even more than just a brief visit to the college. “We are providing a unique perspective as transfer students ourselves, so we know all of the ins and outs involved in these processes,” she said. “We can help them with information about things they may not even think to ask.”
The program was held for five days on each campus in Franklin and Suffolk. It is also scheduled to begin at college’s Smithfield location on Monday, July 30, and run until Friday, August 3, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. The college site is at 253 James Street on the second floor of the Smithfield Library. There is still availability for first-time college students planning to enroll at PDCCC for the fall 2018 semester. Visit to sign up for Enrollment Day by Monday, July 30.

Tamara-Barnes-JumpstartOld Dominion University Transfer Evaluation Specialist Tamara Barnes, left, gives guidance to the students attending the Jumpstart session on the Franklin Campus. Dr. Hyler Scott also shared valuable tips and other information


Enriching the lives of youth

Cooking-with-DisneyYouth participated in some new offerings during Paul D. Camp Community College’s Kids College enrichment series held at the Smithfield site on the second floor of the Blackwater Regional Library.
Debra Brabson of Now You’re Cooking Culinary Studio shows these young chefs how to create some Disney-inspired meals like this pasta dish.
Meanwhile, in the Little Veterinarian School session, below, Agnes Patterson shows the participants how to carefully remove ticks from pets, using their newly “adopted” stuffed puppies.
For more information on the classes being offered this summer in Franklin and Smithfield, log onto



Symposium focuses on opioid epidemic

The Tidewater News
The Paul D. Camp nursing class of 2019 hosted its second annual opioid symposium on Thursday evening in the Regional Workforce Development Center. The event featured key speakers that shared how the opioid epidemic has affected their lives. Each person also answered questions from the audience.
Opioid awareness advocate and Suffolk native Michael Dail shared a personal story about how the epidemic has affected his family.
He said, “It doesn’t matter what a person’s racial, religious, economic, or academic background is. An opioid addict could be anyone because my daughter was one.”
Dail’s daughter Victoria “Tori” Dail was an athlete and a 2012 honor graduate at Nansmond-Suffolk Academy. She then attended Virginia Wesleyan College and continued to play volleyball.
“After she graduated from high school, Tori was involved in an automobile accident that caused a concussion,” said Dail, “She was prescribed Percocet for her pain by her doctors, and that’s how her addiction started.”
That eventually lead to a heroin addiction. Tori’s father didn’t know about it until he found some empty pill capsules in Tori’s room in 2014. When confronted by her father about the capsules, Tori told him that they were just vitamins, but she finally admitted that she had an addiction. She was admitted to a detox program and stayed for six days. It seemed like everything turned out for the better until Nov. 10, 2016. That was the day that he found 21-year-old Tori dead from an overdose.
Dail hopes that telling his daughter’s story will help erase the stigma behind opioid addiction, educate people about how the opioid epidemic can hit close to home, and raise awareness about this crisis.
Another speaker was Del. Emily Brewer (R-64,). She talked about the efforts being made in the Virginia legislature to help combat the opioid epidemic.
“The legislation I co-patroned this year, HB 1469 would help fight the opioid crisis by holding drug dealers accountable,” said Brewer, “Basically, if you sell certain drugs and someone that you sold to has a fatal overdose, you could be charged with felony homicide.”
Because rural areas in Virginia are struggling with the opioid crisis, the bill didn’t pass. However, another bill was introduced this year that could help fight the opioid crisis in those rural areas.
“I was glad for the opportunity to support SB 226, introduced by Sen. Bill Stanley, which did pass this year and will greatly help rural Virginia in fighting the opioid crisis” she added.
Brewer also explained that SB 226 will require veterinarians who dispense controlled substances to report certain information about the animal and its owner to the Prescription Monitoring Program.
Other guest speakers included recovering opioid addict H. Harvey, licensed counselor Meredith Wren and Sentara Norfolk General’s maternity clinical manager and nurse Janel Moore. After the speakers shared their stories, the nursing class presented a 14-minute documentary, “Chasing the Dragon: The Life of an Opiate Addict.”


Paul D. Camp Community College honors five longtime board members for dedicated service

outgoing board members groupPatricia Sowell, from left, Kermit Hobbs, Kisha Watford and Syretha Wright were honored at a recent PDCCC Local College Board meeting for their longtime outstanding service. Richard Brooks was unable to attend the meeting.
At a recent meeting of the Paul D. Camp Community College Local College Board, five outgoing members were recognized for their outstanding service.
The following have served at least the maximum of two consecutive terms, or eight years:
Richard BrooksRichard Brooks (City of Suffolk)
Kermit HobbsKermit Hobbs (City of Suffolk)
Patricia SowellPatricia Sowell (Isle of Wight County)
Kisha WatfordKisha Watford (Southampton County)
Syretha C. WrightSyretha Wright (Southampton County)
In addition, Brooks and Sowell, initially appointed to fill unexpired terms, have served a total of 10 years each. Watford, also appointed to fill an unexpired term, has served nine years. Members are appointed by their localities.
“Paul D. Camp is so fortunate to have such dedicated board members who genuinely care about the college and its community, and believe in our mission,” said President Dr. Dan Lufkin. “We owe them so much for their generosity and guidance on programs and other college-related matters.”
For the outgoing board members, it is a consensus that their departure is bittersweet. Brooks, who spent 38 years in education and administration at the time he was appointed, served as chair of the board in 2015-16.
“I am grateful to have worked with such dedicated and outstanding people,” he said. “I am elated to have been a part and a witness to the growth of this institution.”
He noted that the growth of the dual enrollment program, the launch of the Cybersecurity program, expansion of the Nursing program and the creation of the Athletics program are among the highlights of his tenure.
Sowell, board chair from 2011-13, has also served as chair of the executive and financial services committees and board co-chair from 2009-11.
“It is important to me to represent Isle of Wight County, because I live in Carrsville, in the southern end of the county,” she said. “I try to ensure that our concerns for the future and education of our youth are addressed.”
Sowell noted she is fortunate to have had the opportunity to impact the education, and therefore, the lives of PDCCC students. “Change is good,” she added.
Watford feels like representing her locality allows her to act as a liaison between the board and her surrounding community. “I’m appreciative for the opportunity to have learned the ins and outs of college business, but I’m ready to pass the torch to afford the next member the same opportunity,” she said.
She said that she has been pleased with PDCCC’s community involvement and ways they have engaged the public with their events.
“My advice for incoming members would be to learn, be a voice for the college, as well as for people of the community to help grow our PDCCC, make a difference and enjoy.”
As a retired educator, Syretha Wright feels that it’s an important task to serve on the Local College Board. “Education is the key to living a productive life,” she said. She thinks it is time for new people with new ideas to serve and cited the fact that she is confident the college is in good hands at this time. “I will continue to recruit students to attend PDCCC,” she said. “I feel that it is a great place to start higher education courses and save some money while receiving a quality education.”
Hobbs, whose father is namesake of the Oliver K. Hobbs Suffolk Campus after he generously donated land for the current site of the college, helped promote the initial idea presented by Governor Mills Godwin to construct the Virginia Community College System. After visiting numerous organizations in the local area to raise awareness and support, the referendum passed.
“I felt that, to a tiny degree, I had a hand in its success,” he said. “The Oliver K. Hobbs Suffolk Campus was a source of pride for my father and my family. My opportunity to serve on the board was a perfect way for me to follow through on our family’s interest in our community college.”
Another perfect way for him to help from the board was to use his personnel management skills to serve on the committee for the selection of the current president.
“This was the most rewarding experience I enjoyed on the board,” he recalled. “Dr. Lufkin’s success at PDCCC proves that all of us, together, made the right selection of a new president.”
Hobbs served as chair elect from 2016-2018, and although he believes it’s time for “fresh ideas and perspectives,” he is a little sad to have completed his terms. “We have wonderful shared experiences that we will never forget,” he said. “We will preserve and cherish our friendships forever.”
In addition, June Fleming was honored for her 2-year stent as chairman coming to a close at the end of June. The following appointments were conducted during the meeting, effective from July 1, 2018, to June 30, 2019:

  • Jimmy Strozier (Southampton County) was reappointed for his second, 4-year term and will serve as chair elect
  • Dr. Davida Harrell-Williams, will serve as chair
  • Allard Allston (Southampton County) will fill Wright’s expired seat
  • Norma Jones (Southampton County) will fill Watford’s expired seat
  • Dr. Lynette Grant (Isle of Wight County) will fill Sowell’s expired seat

Sarah Sugars has been appointed to fill Brooks’ Suffolk seat since the meeting, while the expired seat of Hobbs is still pending.
GavelJune Fleming receives an engraved gavel for her 2-year term as chair of the board.


PDCCC to present second annual opioid symposium

The Tidewater News
On Thursday, June 28, Paul D. Camp Community College’s nursing class of 2019 will present the school’s second annual symposium on opioid addiction. This will be held at the Workforce Development Center from 6 to 8 p.m.
The event will feature a showing of the documentary “Chasing the Dragon” and a panel of guest speakers. Speakers who have agreed to participate include Del. Emily Brewer (R-64); H. Harvey, a recovering addict; and Michael Dail, an opiate awareness advocate.
“The purpose of the Symposium is to shed a light on the current opioid crisis in the United States and the state of Virginia,” said PDCCC nursing student Tori Ricks. “The misuse of and addiction to opioids, including prescription pain relievers, heroin, and synthetic opioids such as fentanyl, is a serious national crisis that affects public health as well as social and economic welfare. The event aims to spotlight legislators who are working endlessly to help fight the misuse and addiction to opioids as well as give recovering addicts, opiate awareness advocates and individuals who have lost loved ones to opioids the opportunity to speak and share their stories on the devastating problem within our local communities, county and country.”
Ricks added that she and the entire nursing class of 2019 are involved in the symposium — a total of around 30 students.
“The symposium is actually something that was started by last year’s PDCCC RN nursing students as a mental awareness project during the semester of studying Psychiatric Nursing and Mental Health,” Ricks said.
The nursing class has also invited representatives of local law enforcement, fire, emergency services and health departments from the cities of Franklin and Suffolk, as well as Isle of Wight and Southampton counties to hand out literature. Representatives of Affinity Healthcare, the methadone clinic that opened in the Airway Shopping Center last year, have also been invited.
The nursing class’s research revealed that in 2016, there were two opioid overdose deaths reported in Southampton County. According to the event flier, every day, more than 115 people in the United States die after overdosing on opioids. The National Institute on Drug Abuse estimates that more than 64,000 Americans died from drug overdoses in 2016.


Collaboration results in $20,000 donation to PDCCC for new training facility

Thanks to cohesive community partnerships, Paul D. Camp Community College has seen the new Regional Warehouse and Distribution Training Facility progress from concept to fruition.

Opp Inc DonationVice President of Workforce Innovation Steve Cook, from left, and President and CEO of Opportunity Inc. (OppInc), Shawn Avery, present PDCCC President Dr. Dan Lufkin, Vice President of Institutional Advancement and Workforce Development Dr. Renee Felts and Workforce Development Director Angela Lawhorne with a $20,000 check to support programs and equipment at the new 5,000-square-foot facility on Armory Drive.
The building houses warehouse and classroom space for non-credit workforce training, such as Forklift, Reach Truck and Clamp Truck certificate program, OSHA 10 certification training, and the new Warehouse & Distribution Foundations course.
A new Certified Logistics Technician program will begin there in fall. For information about the facility or workforce training programs, contact Lawhorne at or (757) 569-6064.


Two community colleges will benefit from LogistXGames proceeds

An upcoming event will highlight logistics with a focus on teamwork, fun, fellowship and fundraising.
The 5th Annual Hampton Roads LogistXGames will take place Thursday, June 7, beginning at 10:00 a.m., at Virginia Regional Commerce Park building B, 5391 Virginia Regional Drive, Suffolk.
This annual competition is aimed at team building, raising awareness, and providing networking for logistics employees while promoting the logistics industry locally, regionally and nationally.
Net proceeds will help fund scholarships for workforce programs at Paul D. Camp Community College and Tidewater Community College. “The funds raised during this event are critical for our workforce students,” said PDCCC Vice President of Institutional Advancement and Workforce Development. “In many cases, finances are an issue. Having some assistance can mean the difference between whether or not a potential student is able to enroll.”
The following four events will take place for logistics industry teams at the 2018 competition:

  • The Pallet Puzzle Sprint – Three-person teams each take 36 different-sized corrugated boxes from floor locations, assemble them and stack them on a pallet. The team with the quickest time wins.
  • Pallet Jack Relay – Three-person teams participate in a timed pallet jack relay race through an obstacle course while keeping the boxes on the pallet.
  • Pick/Pack Hurdle – Three-person teams move boxes from the pallet to a warehouse racking system while memorizing positioning and SKUs in a timed race.
  • Box Put –Teams will have packed one box with fragile bottled liquid items, in the Pallet Puzzle Sprint event, utilizing selected packaging material from various options. During the Box Put event one team member will then throw the box for distance and accuracy without breaking the contents.

Last year, Givens won first place, Keurig Green Mountain earned second and Emser Tile came in third.
The following are the sponsors for the 2018 LogistXGames event:
In-Kind and Other Sponsors
Atlantic Potties
Hallwood Pallets
Prime 3 Software
The Lee Group
Bronze Sponsor ($1,000)
Isle of Wight County
Keurig Green Mountain
Remedy Staffing and CostPlus
RRMM Design Build
Wall, Einhorn & Chernitzer
Silver Sponsor ($2,500)
Expeditors International
Southeast Industrial Equipment
The Port of Virginia
Williamson & Wilmer
Gold Sponsor ($5,000)
Tidewater Staffing
Founding Sponsor
CBRE Hampton Roads


Budding artist no longer brushes off urge to paint

~Discovery of talent in Encore Learning leads to creation of home studio~

Charlotte's WorksCharlotte McKeller has a newfound talent and love of painting after enrolling in the Encore Learning program at the PDCCC Workforce Development Center. Paintings, from left, are titled,
“Mountain Reflections,” “Waterfall in the Woods,” “Freezing Lake,” and “Passion Flow.” The painting she is holding is called, “Floral Bouquet.”

Move over Monet. There’s a new landscape artist in town.
Charlotte McKeller, now 66, has discovered a newfound talent after enrolling in the Encore Learning program at the Paul D. Camp Community College Regional Workforce Development Center three years ago.
“My friend, Marguerite Leathers, told me about the program. I have taken many classes there since, such as genealogy, film studies, stamp collecting, card making, early Alzheimer’s
detection, cancer awareness, coffee tasting, fun and games, adult coloring, and of course, painting.”
McKeller always knew she had some creative talent. In fact, even in grade school, she fared well with art projects.
“I doodled, and eventually sketched some, but I really used my creativity as an adult when I was a professional hair stylist, owning my own salon for a few years,” she recalled. “Styling hair is creating a work of art that complements a client’s appearance and makes them happy.”
When she retired in 2010, McKeller couldn’t find any local painting classes in which to enroll. There were also none offered initially in the Encore program. When Director Teri Zurfluh asked for the participants’ input on classes for the next semester, McKeller made the obvious suggestion.
“For many years, I have dreamed of learning to paint!” she said. “After painting a red cardinal in our first class, I was hooked. With each class, my paintings began looking better and better, and I began gaining confidence in myself as a painter.”
The Brushstrokes instructor, Twyla Duke, was impressed with the class, particularly the progress made by McKeller, who asked Duke to make a list of what she would need to set up her own studio in her home.
“She brought in her first big painting of a mountain scape and lake that she had completed at home,” said Duke. “We were all in awe of her painting and she was so thrilled at the way it turned out. Although she told me it was because of the techniques that I taught her in class, I cannot teach anyone how to paint, just offer a little guidance. I am so proud of Charlotte for stepping out.”
McKeller now spends some time each day in her new studio at home. She loves to watch the tutorials of her favorite artist, Bob Ross, and much like her inspiration, likes to paint landscapes, mountains, and reflections. She also enjoys creating floral works. Currently, her medium of choice is acrylic, although sometime later, she would like to try her artistic hand at watercolor.
“If it were not for the Encore Learning program, Teri and Twyla, I would not have my own studio and would not know how to paint,” she said. “Thanks to the Encore Program for helping my dream of painting come true and enriching my life. It is never too late to begin a new chapter.”
For more information about the Encore Learning program at PDCCC, log onto or call 757-569-6062.

Charlotte-at-easelCharlotte McKeller makes a few changes to the painting she created on the morning of being photographed.

Passion-FlowMcKeller produced an abstract painting titled, “Passion Flow,” in her new home studio.

landscapes“Mountain Reflections,” from left, and “Waterfall in the Woods,” were the first two paintings McKeller created on her own in her art studio.

bluescapeThis acrylic piece is titled, “Freezing Lake.”


Paul D. Camp Community College’s holds 47th Annual Commencement Exercises May 11

Felicea DawsonFelicea Dawson received a standing ovation after her speech during the 2018 graduation ceremony.
Paul D. Camp Community College conducted its 47th Annual Commencement ceremony on May 11 at the Regional Workforce Development Center in Franklin. Nearly 250 students received degrees and certificates.
Student Felicea R. Dawson served as speaker, and received a standing ovation after the delivery of her message.
“Today, I would like to say to all the graduates that through it all, we made it,” said Dawson. “Whether your next stop is another degree or entering the workforce, remember to tell fear that failure is not fatal, so turn your dreams into reality and know that every end starts a new beginning— today is ours.”
Dawson earned a GED in 2007 and placed as valedictorian of the class. She currently owns her own cleaning business. She graduated with honors Friday evening with an associate’s degree in General Studies and plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree with a concentration in Business from Norfolk State University.
In addition to the conferring of degrees and certificates, the following recognition occurred:

  • 2017-18 PDCCC Award for Excellence in Education was presented to Dr. Tara Atkins-Brady, vice president of academic and student development. Dr. Atkins-Brady was selected by her peers for this honor. This is an annual recognition at the College awarded to one who has made significant contributions and has shown commitment to the College and its community.
  • 2018 Professor Emeritus recognition was bestowed upon Ann Pinner, who retired from the Nursing Department in 2017. This designation is awarded to retired faculty members or administrators who have made significant and long term contributions to the college and community. Pinner began in the beginning of the program in 2005, assisting with curriculum development. She taught Fundamentals, Maternity and Pediatrics. She worked with about 560 associate’s degree nursing students and 23 practical nursing students during her tenure.

Omega Zeta Chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Honor Society President Cynthia Gurst Seigler recognized outstanding graduates, which included those earning cum laude, magna cum laude and summa cum laude, as well as members of PTK. Veterans and active duty members of the armed forces were asked to stand for recognition by PDCCC President Dr. Dan Lufkin.
Dual enrollment students, as well as Environment Sustainability Scholar Tammy Fox were recognized by Dr. Tara Atkins-Brady. The sustainability program’s focus is on teaching outstanding resource stewardship and raising awareness of how green practices can be incorporated into all aspects of life. Students in this program are required to complete 15 credits of related coursework.
The Franklin High School ROTC conducted the Color Guard presentation and led the Pledge of Allegiance. Brittnee Ricks Randolph, 2010 Alumus, sang the National Anthem.

Grad-LineupNearly 250 students earned degrees and certificates Friday evening.


Healthcare administrator Rick McClenny hails from first nursing class at Paul D. Camp Community College

Rick McClenny

~ From CNA at 16 to chief quality officer at 29~
There wasn’t much debate as far as Rick McClenny’s decision to go into the healthcare field. Even as a young teenager, he had the desire to help people.
He received further confirmation that he was heading in the direction he wanted after he took the health occupations class during his freshman year at Franklin High School.
“I always thought I would become a physician, but it quickly became clear to me that I wanted to become a nurse,” recalled McClenny. “They spend considerably more time with patients in their moments of need in comparison to doctors.”
Through the high school program, McClenny became a certified nursing assistant at age 16. With the insight of instructors Carole Dixon and Jane Best, he applied for the PDCCC inaugural registered nursing program and was accepted.
The young CNA was also juggling a part-time job as a certified nursing assistant at a local nursing home, and participating in church and nursing student activities in the community.
Because McClenny qualified for a Pell grant, and received an honor/scholarship from the Hampton Roads Young Achievers, he was able to finish his degree debt free at PDCCC in 2006.
McClenny had been working as a nurse technician at what was then Obici Hospital in the Surgical, Orthopedics and Pediatrics Unit for about a year and a half. By age 19, he had earned the required credentials and became a registered nurse.
“I continued working on the third floor at Obici on the nursing staff,” he recalled. “After two months, I began working as the charge nurse on weekends.”
McClenny took on even more responsibilities as he served as the 3-11 Unit Coordinator and full time charge nurse in 2010 and chaired the units’ safety council.
He continued his education at Virginia Commonwealth University, where he was accepted to the RN-BSN program in 2010. “I transitioned from Sentara Obici Hospital to Sentara Home Care and Hospice in 2011, but I realized that I had a passion for leadership and administrative roles, and working in home health would not promote and foster my leadership aspirations,” he said.
By age 26, McClenny had accepted a job at Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center in Emporia as the director of risk management and patient safety officer just before his graduation at VCU in 2012.
“This position helped me maximize my leadership potential and hone my leadership skills,” he said. McClenny decided to enroll in the Master of Health Administration program at Ohio University, where he graduated in August 2015. Within one month of his graduation, he was asked by the CEO at Southampton Memorial Hospital to join the administrative team as the chief quality officer. He currently still serves in this position.
McClenny touted the education he received at PDCCC as laying a foundation for the success he has experienced in his career.
“Not only is there a shortage of nurses, but this community needs educational programs that will produce skilled and educated workers. The nursing program does just that,” he said. “It prepares graduating nurses to enter the nursing workforce with the education and skills necessary to excel immediately in their new career.”
Reflecting on enrollment as a traditional student at PDCCC, McClenny advises students take at least one year of prerequisites before starting the nursing program. “Coming straight from high school, I had to complete all prerequisites concurrently with the nursing program courses,” he said. “That was quite difficult.”
For more information about the nursing program, contact Carol Griffin at (757-569-6731) or Dr. Debbie Hartman: (757-569-6751).


College hires softball coach

By Stephen Cowles
The Tidewater News

Carrie HoftCarrie Hoeft has been named the coach for Paul D. Camp Community College’s softball team, and the Chesapeake resident is ready to begin recruiting for the fledgling program.
PDCCC President Dr. Dan Lufkin and Hurricanes Head Baseball Coach David Mitchell announced the decision on Monday morning at The Tidewater News office.
After the position was posted, numerous applications came in from as far away as Arizona, Florida and New York, said Mitchell. The count was narrowed to five after interviews with himself and a handful of other people. About four weeks ago, the list was winnowed to three and another round of interviews followed. Mitchell said Hoeft was exactly who they were looking for.
She will be bringing her years of playing and coaching experience, most recently as the assistant softball coach for Stratford University. Hoeft has also run camps and clinics for more personalized training. The Hickory High School graduate also earned a degree in sports management at Virginia State University.
Lufkin added, “We’re building a program,” which includes becoming visible, getting momentum going and people talking.”
As mentioned, Hoeft will soon be recruiting. Her goal is to have 15 players by mid-July, and hopes to have 20 players in the fall. She figures there will be 10 to 15 games, depending on the weather.
In seeking out players, she wants to get 18 to 19 ‘true freshmen,’ as she calls them, and will be looking at how coachable they are, how they interact with other players and then their stats.
“She’s very well connected with players in this area,” Mitchell said.
“I have a ton of connections,” she added.
Like PDC baseball, the softball team will also be affiliated with the NJCAA, Division II, Region 10.
Married, she and her husband have a daughter and two sons, also athletic.
“They keep me busy,” Hoeft said, adding that she also works out (“Keeps me sane,”) plays racquetball and, since last May 20 has been the Mid-Atlantic World Outdoor Racquetball Director.
Her family, she said, is “super supportive.” Her parents still come to her games. “It’s pretty awesome.”
Her motivation for coaching is one that any softball player can appreciate.
“I love the game,” Hoeft said with a smile. “I was very fortunate in my coaches [while growing up.] They had a great impact on me and I want to be a great mentor on and off the field.”

Calendar image