Paul D. Camp Community College nursing students celebrate during special ceremony

RN Program 2019Class of 2019 RN students, front row from left, are: Jordan Anderson of Suffolk, Candace Triplett of Sedley, Victoria Kouassi of Carrollton, Kaitlyn Pope of Boykins, Tori Ricks of Franklin, Brittany Fletcher of Smithfield, Mariah Smith of Corapeake, NC, and Dedria Burgess of Newport News. Second row: Bonnie Burns of Franklin, Sophie Abisaab of Yorktown, Victoria Williams of Suffolk, Bethany Brinkley of Suffolk, Jennifer Kilborn of Suffolk, Keshonta Banks of Suffolk, Jessica Revels of Wakefield, Carin Wade of Virginia Beach, Carrie Holt of Sedley, Callie Bailey of Suffolk, and Raven Daniels of Suffolk. Back row: Dawn Wilson of Ivor, Tasha Sydnor of Chesapeake, Sara Creech of Courtland, Kaycie Edwards of Franklin, Darius Evans of Suffolk, Michael Edwards of Franklin, Katrissa Bennett of Eure, NC, Abbiegail Jones of Windsor, Ruth Kent of Ivor, Courtney Edwards of Franklin, Hannah Fagan of Suffolk, and Emily Edwards of Franklin.Photo by Paula Hasson of Precious Memories Photography
Paul D. Camp Community College’s Department of Nursing and Allied Health recently honored its graduating class of students in the Licensed Practical Nursing (LPN) and Registered Nursing (RN) programs by holding a special pinning ceremony. Lead Instructor for the Associate Degree Nursing Program Trudy Kuehn served as guest speaker.
Kuehn created a PowerPoint presentation that humorously highlighted “Nursing School through the Lens of Memes.”
Kuehn, known as Mrs. K by the students, has more than 30 years of experience as a nurse. She attained her BSN from The Ohio State University and earned her MSN from Old Dominion University with a specialty in Critical Care.
Special awards were presented during the ceremony. The following LPN students received class honors:

  • Clinical Nursing Excellence Award-Megan Smith
  • Nursing Academic Excellence Award-Laura Vick

The following RN program students received class honors:

  • Academic Excellence Award-Katrissa Bennett
  • Nursing Clinical Excellence Award-Keshonta Banks
  • Mentorship Award-Candace Triplett
  • Dr. Candace Rogers Excellence in Leadership Award-Tori Ricks
  • Florence Nightingale Award-Bonnie Burns
  • Ann Pinner “One Bite at a Time” Award-Carin Wade

For more information about the PDCCC Nursing and Allied Health programs, email Tasha Taylor at

Megan Smith Laura VickMegan Smith of Suffolk, left, and Laura Vick of Zuni celebrated the completion of the LPN program. – Photo by Lucy Little


Paul D. Camp Community College holds 48th Annual Commencement Exercises May 10

Alice AdogaAlice Adoga, a 2011 graduate of PDCCC delivered the keynote address.
Nearly 300 degrees and certificates were awarded during Paul D. Camp Community College’s 48th annual graduation ceremony held May 10 at the Regional Workforce Development Center.
Alumna Alice Adoga was the keynote speaker for the event, delivering an inspirational message titled, “Changing Your Default Settings.” Adoga had educational, language and cultural differences to adapt to after moving to the United States from West Africa, Nigeria. She referenced how she became known as the “African girl,” soon after beginning classes at Franklin High School.
“My default changed from Alice to African girl—an identity I did not predict.” Adoga said, “At some point in my journey, it was up to me to take charge of my default settings and change that narrative.”
She compared taking charge of this transformation to that of a caterpillar’s metamorphosis into a butterfly and spoke of what it takes to change perceptions-a positive mindset, taking on challenges that are feared, taking risks and allowing ourselves to be vulnerable.
“I allowed myself to see the world through my own eyes, experience new things, and changed my default,” she said. “…Twelve years ago, I was an African girl who moved to this country. Today, I am not only that, I am an American citizen, a family services specialist with the Franklin City Department of Social Services, and the director of Operations at a non-profit organization, Walk In It Inc…The truth is, we are all capable of transforming ourselves by changing our default settings.”
In addition to the conferring of degrees and certificates, the following recognition occurred:

  • Two pillars of the community were presented the 2019 J. Paul Councill Jr. Community Service Award, an honor designated for leaders who have given exemplary service to the college and community. Mac Birdsong and Phyllis Stoneburner were the recipients.
    Birdsong has served on the PDCCC Foundation Board for six years. In addition to his individual contributions to the college, he was instrumental in securing the Birdsong Corporation’s commitment of $150,000 to build a regional LPN program; $75,000 for the Warehouse and Distribution Center opening this summer, and $50,000 from Birdsong Trust to implement the Fast Track Healthcare program in downtown Suffolk. The remodeling and renovation of the Nursing Skills Lab nor the launch of the LPN program based on the Hobbs Suffolk Campus would be in existence without his support.
    Stoneburner, recently retired as Vice President of Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer at Sentara Obici Hospital. She serves on numerous community committees and boards, including the PDCCC Nursing and Allied Health Advisory Board. As a member of this Board since 2005, she has provided insight and assisted the program with advisement in the areas of multiple program development. It is because of her relationship with PDCCC, the college has received many donations to the Nursing and Allied Health programs. She has always taken time out of her busy schedule to visit with the students and to assist or advise the Nursing and Allied Health Department.
  • High School Career Coach, Academic Advisor and Adjunct Instructor Susan Stubenrauch was selected by her peers to receive the 2018-19 PDCCC Award for Excellence in Education. This annual recognition at the College is awarded to one who has made significant contributions and has shown commitment to the College and its community. She has demonstrated that she is an exemplary liaison between the high schools and PDCCC and is unequivocally devoted to her students. Unfortunately, she was not able to attend the event.

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 the Paul D. Camp Community College Chapter of The National Society of Leadership and Success (NSLS) and members of the Omega Zeta Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Honor Society. Veterans and active duty members of the armed forces were asked to stand for recognition by PDCCC President Dr. Dan Lufkin.
Dual enrollment student graduates, as well as Environment Sustainability Scholar Latisha Battle, 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 Alumna, sang the National Anthem.

Mac BirdsongMac Birdsong received the J. Paul Councill Jr. Community Service Award from Paul D. Camp Community College President Dr. Daniel Lufkin during the graduation ceremony.

Phyllis StoneburnerPhyllis Stoneburner received the J. Paul Councill Jr. Community Service Award from Paul D. Camp Community College President Dr. Daniel Lufkin during the graduation ceremony.

Color GuardThe Color Guard presentation was conducted by the Franklin High School ROTC.

Cynthia Gurst Seigler Carolyn AshbyAssociate Professor of Biology and Sustainability Coordinator Carolyn Ashby, right, gives Omega Zeta Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society Cynthia Gurst-Seigler a big hug before the procession.

Laniah Artis Alyshia HillEarly Childhood Development graduates Laniah Artis of Courtland, left, and Alyshia Hill of Boykins are excited about their accomplishments and the upcoming ceremony.

William Campbell Bob TuremanWilliam Campbell of Suffolk is congratulated by Associate Professor of Information Technology Bob Tureman.

gradsGraduates at the PDCCC 48th Annual Commencement Exercises.


Graduates Celebrate at Cook Out

A graduation celebration was held Friday at the Hobbs Suffolk Campus, with a deejay, catered cookout and games.

Cody Council and Emily BallanceCody Council and Emily Ballance, both of Franklin, play a few rounds of corn hole.
Both students will graduate May 10 with a general studies degree.

Alexis Terrell w mom Kizzy TerrellAlexis Terrell of Smithfield, and her mother, Kizzy Terrell, enjoy each other’s company before the festivities got underway.
Alexis will also receive her degree in general studies May 10.
Commencement starts at 7:00 p.m.


Paul D. Camp Community College Holds 48th Commencement Ceremony May 10, 2019

Grad LineupGraduates at last year’s PDCCC Commencement Ceremony.
Paul D. Camp Community College will award nearly 300 degrees and certificates at its 48th annual commencement exercises on Friday, May 10, at the Regional Workforce Development Center, 100 North College Drive, Franklin.
In addition to the students’ honors, special awards will be announced during the ceremony. Recipients of the J. Paul Councill Jr. Community Service Award and the Excellence in Education Award will be presented that evening.
The keynote speaker for the event will be 2011 graduate Alice Adoga. Coming to the United States from West Africa, Nigeria, she had to adapt to educational, language and cultural differences. The honor graduate earned an associate’s degree in general studies from PDCCC. While at the community college, she served as a Presidential Student Ambassador, a Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society member, a member of the Student Leadership Committee and the Student Government Association, and an active participant of Student Support Services. She became a U.S. Citizen in 2013.
She continued her education, receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in 2013 in Psychology from George Mason University and a Master of Arts degree in Human Services Counseling in 2016 from Liberty University. Adoga currently works as director of operations with Walk In It Inc., a non-profit organization whose mission is to encourage and empower girls and women. She also has worked as a family services specialist with the Franklin City Department of Social Services since 2014, where she investigates child protective services cases and serves families in need within the community.
Adoga stays connected to her native country through dance, as she is a certified Kukuwa African dance instructor. She enjoys travel, family and her dear friends. “They add joy to my life daily,” she said.
Honor students, veterans and dual enrollment graduates will be recognized as well during the ceremony, which begins at 7 p.m. For more information, contact the Office of Institutional Advancement at 757-569-6790.


PDCCC’s TechSpec offers additional CTE exploration and valuable lessons for high school students

Shakeim FleshmanA senior at Lakeland High School, Shakeim Fleshman experiences the difficulty of throwing corn hole bags while wearing vision impaired goggles. Conducting this exercise is George Ryan, a retired investigator with the District Attorney’s Office in Elizabeth City, N.C. Ryan currently works as a deputy at Chowan County Sheriff’s Office and runs a non-profit program, Street Safe, of Wilmington, N.C.
When Shakeim Fleshman casually tossed a corn hole bag, he had no idea how hard it would become once he donned a set of impaired vision goggles. It was hard enough just to stand on two legs for the Lakeland High School senior, much less take accurate aim.
In the meantime, Darcy Kilgore, another Lakeland senior, was trying to maneuver a golf cart around cones without a collision while sending a text message to a classmate’s phone.
These were just some of the activities that took place on April 26 at the Hobbs Suffolk Campus of Paul D. Camp Community College on Kenyon Road. TechSpec, a Career and Technical Education (CTE) exploration day for the students from high schools in PDCCC’s service region, was offered through PDCCC’s High School Career Coach Program.
During the month of April, which is Community College Month, more than 155 high school students received the opportunity to participate in activities like creating wind turbines, soldering and performing CPR at the community college. A session was held on the Franklin Campus on April 5 and the center in Smithfield on April 12.
Students rotated through the exploration sites that highlighted criminal justice, robotics, mechatronics, and nursing and allied health. Recruitment and Admissions Specialist and recent graduate of PDCCC Ellis “Trey” Cofield III shared some things to expect in college from a student perspective in a segment called, “What I Wish I Knew.”
“We have held CTE Exploration/STEM Days previously, but this year, we tried to be a bit more targeted to seniors who had an interest in attending Paul D. Camp Community College,” said High School Career Coach/Academic Advisor/ Adjunct Instructor Susan Stubenrauch. “We have had very positive feedback from these events.”

David Allen Malik Goode Brooke MillsLakeland High senior David Allen, from left, Kings Fork High senior Malik Goode and Lakeland senior Brooke Mills use their newfound soldering skills to secure components to a circuit board. The students built robots with PDCCC faculty Keisha Nichols and David Childs.

Joe De Stefano Darcy Kilgore 2Criminal Justice Lead Faculty Joe DeStefano rides with Lakeland High senior Darcy Kilgore as she tries to maneuver the golf cart around cones while texting.

MechatronicsAssociate Professor of Electronics/Mechatronics/Robotics David Lorenz helps students build wind turbines. Students, from left, are: LeonTre Bailey, Laqual Mizell, Jaquan Mason and Kevin Williams, who are all seniors at Kings Fork.

Paul Ruppert Nasya Batt WilkinsNasya Batt-Wilkins, a junior at Nansemond River High School, gets ready to try her hand at CPR techniques demonstrated by PDCCC EMT/EMS Program Coordinator Paul Ruppert.

Brandy Lowe Lauren LaceyBrandy Lowe, left, and Lauren Lacey, junior and senior, respectively, at Nansemond River High work on wind turbines during the mechatronics portion of the event.


Community shows support for PDCCC Upward Bound and local vendors at Saturday’s craft show

Show-OverviewThe Spring Fling Craft Show featured roughly 40 vendors and more than 200 visitors throughout the day.
An estimate of more than 200 participants came to check out the 2nd Annual Spring Fling Craft Show sponsored by the Paul D. Camp Community College Upward Bound program on Saturday.
The event was headed up by local crafter Shirley Billups and was held at the workforce in Franklin, where about 40 vendors set up booths that featured an array of items from homemade jams and paintings to brand-named jewelry and wreaths made from repurposed wine corks.
Money raised from registration, raffles and donations allow Upward Bound to offer even more to students in its well-rounded curriculum. Focused on students in grades 9 through 12, who are low income and/or first generation students, the program assists them with the successful completion of postsecondary education.
Students in this TRIO program receive a number of services, including assistance with tutoring and resources, cultural experiences, and life skills and leadership activities.
The program has grown significantly since its 2009 implementation, with many students also participating in the PDCCC Dual Enrollment program. For more information, contact PDCCC Upward Bound Administrative Assistant Barbara Strylowski at or 757-569-6764.

D-Jones-M-Joyner-K-Wiggins-S-WigginsUpward Bound students Dinae Jones and Mactayla Joyner, both of Southampton High School, from left, and Keon Wiggins-Saunders and Shiasia Wiggins, both of Lakeland High School, took a break from volunteering and showing their own works to get a group photo.

Jennifer-Bernocco-June-FlemingLocal College Board member June Fleming looks at some of the Park Lane jewelry, locally owned by Jennifer Bernocco, left.

Jenny-TindleJenny Tindle of Jenny’s Strings & Things in Franklin creates new pieces on site at the event.

Keon-Wiggins-Angel-Cashwell-Travis-ParkerUpward Bound is a tight-knit group, as is evidenced by student Keon Wiggins-Saunders, from left, Counselor Angel Cashwell and Director Travis Parker.

Keon-Wiggins-Rich-Kid-NationUpward Bound student Keon Wiggins-Saunders of Suffolk shows off his own clothing brand and business that he launched when he was 14, RichKidNation.

Kim-Moseman-Laura-BealeLaura Beale of Richmond, right, receives her bagged purchase from Kim Moseman of Bedtime Buddies in Franklin. Moseman crotchets animals to go along with bedtime story books for children.

Raye-Atkins-Dr-Tara-Rosa-BradyRaye Atkins, her daughter, Dr. Tara Atkins-Brady, and granddaughter Rosa Brady peruse the acrylic paintings created by Upward Bound student Mactayla Joyner, far left.

Steven-JudasSteven Judas of Franklin visits the booth of Rustic Wino of Suffolk, owned by Tina Ward. The display featured items made from wine bottles and corks.

Travis-Parker-Stacie-CutchinsDirector of PDCCC Upward Bound Travis Parker shares the latest newsletter with Stacie Cutchins, independent consultant of Paparazzi jewelry. The newsletter highlights the achievements of the UB students.


Non-traditional Paul D. Camp Community College graduate finds passion and purpose


Shanika Jones-Smith, a single mother of two, was working as an office technician when she realized there had to be something more rewarding in life.
“I wanted to be an example to my children and pursue a better life for myself and them,” she said. “I was not sure what I wanted to do with my life, but I later found my purpose.”
Utilizing resources that were in her “back yard,” Jones-Smith decided to enroll at Paul D. Camp Community College. “I came to the conclusion that I could sit around feeling sorry for myself and blame my situation on other people, or I could dust myself off and do something about my situation,” she said.
“I was not sure what I needed to study at first, but I knew I had to start doing something. I met with Trina Jones who helped me decide to enroll in the general studies associate’s degree program.”
Jones is dean of student services and a professional counselor at PDCCC. “We discussed options, and planned her classes according to our transfer agreements so that her credits would transfer to other four-year colleges or universities. This allowed Shanika to maximize her transfer credits and get ahead of schedule,” Jones said. “Jones-Smith persevered above the odds and worked hard to achieve her academic and personal goals.”
Jones-Smith worked two jobs and took care of her children while taking a full load at PDCCC.
“There were times when I was overwhelmed and drained,” she said. “There were times when I failed a class, but I had to learn to take it as a lesson and not a loss, so I went back and tried again. My faith in God and looking at the faces of my two children every day gave me determination.”
Jones-Smith rose above all challenges and graduated with her Associate degree in Arts and Sciences in General Studies in May 2014. However, her goals were not set to end there. She enrolled at Old Dominion University and will have earned her bachelor’s degree in human services in May 2019. Last year, she also became certified by the Virginia Board of Counseling as a substance abuse counselor.
“I plan to continue my education and pursue entrepreneurship opportunities where I can continue to serve people,” she said. “My main focus is on single moms—they have a special place in my heart.”
The soon-to-be baccalaureate recipient noted that taking advantage of local resources at PDCCC opened up avenues and changed her life.
“Speaking on behalf of single mothers who feel like they are at a dead end, Paul D. Camp is an excellent place where you can be yourself and be nurtured while you grow,” she said. “The environment is comfortable and safe, and the instructors understand that each student learns differently.
“If you desire to go to college to take up a trade or get a degree— no matter how old you are or what your past looks like or how long it takes—you can pursue an education and you can succeed,” she said.
She shared one of her favorite quotes by David O. McKay in hopes of providing more inspiration to others when they are thinking about their futures: “‘Find a purpose in life so big that it will challenge every capacity to be at your best.’”


Paul D. Camp Community College inducts first students into The National Society of Leadership and Success

NSLS-Student-GroupThe first students inducted into the NSLS at PDCCC were, from left: Mekayla Addison of Smithfield, Shamya Poarch of Suffolk, Nyjah Silver of Smithfield, Eneida Smallwood of Bertie County, NC, Jennifer Christenson of Smithfield, Vishal Mahendran of Franklin, William Richardson of Suffolk, Grant Hasty of Carrsville, Paola Duran of Franklin, Ethan Voight of Suffolk, Haley Adams of Suffolk, Katrina Cosendine of Suffolk and Errika Lane of Franklin. Not pictured are inductees De’Ryan Artis, Elizabeth Holliday and Mackenzie West.
The first inductees of Paul D. Camp Community College’s Chapter of The National Society of Leadership and Success (NSLS) were honored Thursday evening at a special ceremony held in the Library Learning Commons on the Franklin Campus. Students are selected for membership by the college for academic standing or leadership potential. NSLS is the nation’s largest leadership honor society with 656 chapters and more than 1 million members.
PDCCC Academic Advisor Nicole Jordan welcomed attendees and shared information about the symbols of the NSLS before introducing the keynote speaker, Director of PDCCC Upward Bound Travis Parker.
Parker is also the founder of Coach P LLC, where he is a certified John Maxwell team coach, speaker and leadership trainer. The organization helps people find their potential and encourages positive thinking. A 1985 Southampton High School graduate, Parker later worked at Southampton Middle School, where he coached JV and Varsity football, softball, basketball and baseball.
He also earned his earned a bachelor’s degree from Howard University in Washington, DC, and his master’s degree and Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies from Cambridge College in Chesapeake. Parker is very active in the community and is deacon at New Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church in Franklin and recently elected commissioner of Tri-City Basketball Association.
Parker cited three important leadership areas when addressing the audience: growth, responsibility and reflection.
“You must learn continuously to grow,” he said. “I always say, ‘wake up smarter and better than when you went to bed.’” He noted that actions and attitude are important, as is realizing that as a leader, it is not about ‘us,’ rather it is about others.
Awards were presented to Travis Parker, who accepted the Honorary Membership Award; Dean of Transfer Programs and the Hobbs Suffolk Campus, Dr. Justin Oliver, who accepted the Excellence in Service to Students Award; and Director of the PDCCC Center in Smithfield and Early Childhood Education Program Advisor, Antoinette “Toni” Johnson, who was not able to attend, was honored with the Excellence in Teaching Award.
Student Eneida Smallwood of Bertie County, N.C., shared some very personal struggles she has endured while enrolled, including the deaths in her family. Her story served as an inspiration to others.
An emotional Smallwood said, “If it were not for my daughter, Ms. (Toni) Johnson and Ms. (Nicole) Jordan, I would not have made it this far.” Smallwood, very appreciative of her opportunities and accomplishments, was awarded an Advanced Certification.
Students were then officially inducted into the NSLS, followed by a small reception for students and their guests.
For more information about the The National Society of Leadership and Success, visit

Travis-AwardTravis Parker addresses participants as the first keynote speaker for the ceremony at PDCCC.

Eneida SmallwoodStudent Eneida Smallwood shared her struggles during the induction. She received Advanced Certification.


Charles Henderson Jr. honored in Richmond for 2019 Leadership in Philanthropy

Philanthropy GroupOn hand to support the honoree are, from left: Hans VonKruger of Bank of America (BOA), Dr. Tara Atkins-Brady of PDCCC, Michelle Little of BOA, VCCS Chancellor Dr. Glenn DuBois, Donna Henderson, wife of recipient, Leadership in Philanthropy Award Recipient Charlie Henderson, Dr. Renee Felts of PDCCC, and Youlander Hilton of the PDCCC Local College Board.
Bank of America Senior Vice President Charles R. Henderson Jr., was recently honored at The Country Club of Virginia in Richmond for his philanthropic contributions to Paul D. Camp Community College.
He was recognized along with two dozen other outstanding individuals, families, and businesses from around Virginia for exceptional support of Virginia’s Community Colleges and its foundations. The awards were presented by Chancellor Glenn DuBois at the 14th Annual Chancellor’s Award for Leadership in Philanthropy Luncheon, sponsored by the Virginia Foundation for Community College Education.
“Charlie Henderson has been a huge advocate for Paul D. Camp Community College over the past five years,” said Vice President of Institutional Advancement and Workforce Development/Executive Director of the PDCCC Foundation Dr. Renee Felts. “He has given both his time and has shepherded financial support to the college from the Bank of America Foundation, which has helped with a number of things, including costs associated with much needed trade programs.”
In addition, Felts noted that Henderson has participated in many PDCCC Open Houses, the PDCCC Give Local 757 campaign, and has provided guidance on BOA grant applications. “He has a sincere interest in both the success of the students and the college,” she said.
Henderson also serves as Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Program Manager; president of the Bank of America Market and Bank of America Charitable Foundation.
“The Bank of America Foundation focuses on building capacity within the communities that they serve, particularly for the underemployed and the unemployed,” said PDCCC President Dr. Daniel Lufkin. “According to Charlie, PDCCC’s workforce development programs have proven successful by creating positive change in the earning power of our students, as well as advancing our local economy.”
As part of the philanthropy award, each college will be awarded funds for the Commonwealth Legacy Scholarship, to be named in honor of the college’s 2019 Chancellor’s Award recipient.
This year, among those to be honored were four members of VCCS faculty, all of whom have made contributions that have helped their colleges and their students grow. This year’s class of distinguished philanthropy leaders has contributed a combined total of more than $18 million dollars to Virginia’s Community Colleges.
Donald Graham, keynote speaker and Chairman of the Board at Graham Holdings Company and Co-Founder of TheDream.US, spoke about the importance of Virginia’s Community Colleges and the ways that the philanthropists have contributed to the Commonwealth.
“We are in this room today to tell you, whether you work for one of the colleges or have given to one of the colleges, that what you are doing is absolutely right,” Graham said during his remarks. “I am so proud of this crowd for what you’re doing, and I hope you are proud of yourselves and your fellow donors and of the leaders and teachers at the community colleges you serve.”
For more information about the PDCCC Foundation, contact Dr. Renee Felts, or 757-569-6760.


PDCCC Nursing and Allied Health completion ceremonies set

RN Program 2019photo by Precious Memories Photography, Paula Hasson
Paul D. Camp Community College nursing and allied health students will celebrate the completion of their programs on Wednesday, May 8, at the college’s regional workforce development center.
At 12:30 p.m., the Allied Health Completion Ceremonies get underway for emergency medical technician/emergency medical services, phlebotomy, and pharmacy technician program students.
The Nursing Completion Ceremonies begin at 6 p.m. and will include pinning for both practical nursing and registered nursing program students.
These ceremonies provide recognition to students from nursing and allied health faculty and acknowledgement of students that they are ready for commitment to their respective careers.
The week of graduation activities will culminate with the 48th Annual Paul D. Camp Community College Commencement Ceremony to be held Friday, May 10, at the workforce development center, 100 N. College Drive, Franklin.
For more information about the college’s nursing and allied health programs, email Tasha Taylor,, or visit


Paul D. Camp Community College students among those Phi Theta Kappa members recognized in Richmond

PTK Luncheon Janvi JadejaPDCCC Vice President for Academic and Student Development Dr. Tara Atkins-Brady, left, and Virginia Community College System Chancellor Dr. Glenn DuBois congratulate Janvi Jadeja at the event.
Janvi Jadeja of Franklin was among the students who were honored for commitment to academic excellence and public service at the Phi Theta Kappa 2019 All-Virginia Academic Team Awards Program in Richmond.
Jadeja represented the Omega Zeta Chapter of PTK at Paul D. Camp Community College, where she is a general studies major and a work study student in the Library Learning Commons on the Franklin Campus.
She plans to earn a bachelor’s degree in computer science and to secure a job in that field.
Lilly Balderson was also recognized, but not present.
She spent a summer interning with NASA and has transferred to Virginia Commonwealth University to pursue a doctorate in chemistry or engineering.
To be eligible for PTK, the international society of the two-year colleges and academic programs, a student must have completed of at least 12 hours of associate degree course work with a cumulative GPA of 3.5.
Being a member is prestigious and affords additional opportunities to students such as scholarships.
Members were presented medallions during the event for their achievements.
For more information about Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, visit


State Board for Community Colleges to Set 2019-20 Tuition and Fees at May Meeting

In accordance with Section 23.1-307 (D) of the Code of Virginia, the State Board for Community Colleges provides notice that it will consider tuition and mandatory fee increases for Virginia’s Community Colleges, effective Fall 2019, at 9:00 a.m., May 16, 2019, at 300 Arboretum Place, Richmond, Va.
The State Board will consider tuition and mandatory fee increases of between 0 percent and 2.4 percent for all undergraduate students, subject to provisions of the 2019 session of the General Assembly. The community colleges will use revenue generated from any increase in tuition and mandatory fees to pay for:

  • Increased state employee compensation and fringe benefit costs;
  • Operation and maintenance of new buildings;
  • Technology infrastructure upgrades;
  • Contractual obligations; and
  • Investments in strategic initiatives to improve student access, engagement, and success.

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation will provide funding to PDCCC to address food insecurity

~Funding to help establish and bolster food emergency programs across rural Virginia~

anthem check presentationVirginia Community College System Chancellor Dr. Glenn DuBois, from left, VFCCE Corporate and Foundations Manager Susan Nolan, Anthem Director of Marketing and Member Engagement Thomas Raper and President of Anthem Virginia Medicaid Plan Jennie Reynolds.
Paul D. Camp Community College, along with the Virginia Foundation for Community College Education (VFCCE), announced a $4,500 grant from the Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Anthem Inc., to help students who are experiencing food insecurity to succeed in college programs. The award is part of a $100,000 grant that will allow more than a dozen rural Virginia community colleges to expand emergency food programs to students.
College Success Coach Dr. Sandra Walker of the Students Transitioning through Education Programs Successfully (STEPS) team at PDCCC, responded by reiterating the community college’s commitment to addressing students’ basic needs insecurity.
“With the funding provided by the Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation, Paul D. Camp Community College will be better positioned to assist students with the daily challenges that impact their ability to be retained and to achieve their academic, career and personal goals,” Walker said. “Furthermore, these funds will have a positive impact as the institution continues to focus on creating a culture of caring, collaboration and completion.”
Awareness of food insecurity among community college students is on the rise. Some researchers say as many as half of all such students lack consistent access to nutritious food, particularly in underserved communities. Virginia’s Community Colleges are working with partners like Anthem to minimize student success barriers to promote greater academic attainment and promote better long-term health outcomes.
At PDCCC, the additional funds will be paired with proceeds that are designated for the food program from the recent Foundation’s Boots & Bling spring fundraiser.
“We earmarked about $10,000 from the event to establish a permanent location at all three PDCCC sites to store food,” said Vice President for Institutional Advancement and Workforce Development Dr. Renee Felts, who also serves on the Foodbank Committee at the college. “We also received three cabinets from SAFCO, so we can have a pantry set up on the Franklin, and Hobbs Suffolk campuses, as well as the center in Smithfield.”
According to Felts, the donation and the proceeds from the fundraiser will give the college 14,500 for the permanent pantries.
“Anthem’s mission is to improve lives and communities and to make healthcare simpler. To help us accomplish this, we work with local organizations to develop community-specific approaches that remove barriers and improve health,” said Jennie Reynolds, president, Anthem’s Virginia Medicaid Plan.
“Food insecurity is associated with some of the most serious and costly chronic health problems, and it’s important we continue to identify ways to address this serious issue in our communities where help is needed and can be readily accessed. That is why we are excited about this unique partnership with Virginia’s Community Colleges, which allows us to not only address this critical issue, but also helps to bring greater awareness to the problem of hunger on campus.”
For more information about the STEPS program at PDCCC, part of the Chancellor’s College Success Coach Initiative, contact Walker, 757-925-6326 or, or visit


Paul D. Camp Community College president and former board member visit Congress

~Dr. Daniel Lufkin and O. Kermit Hobbs Jr. advocate for investments in education and workforce programs~
Paul D. Camp Community College President Dr. Daniel Lufkin, along with Executive Vice President/President of Amadas Industries and Founder/Owner of Pathfinder Associates LLC O. Kermit Hobbs Jr., joined more than 30 business and community college leaders from 12 states for the Business Leaders United (BLU) for Workforce Partnerships Fly-In April 3 and 4 in Washington, D.C. Hobbs is also a former board member at the college.
The focus of the engagement was to visit members of Congress and their staff in order to urge them to modernize our higher education system by providing more funding for high-quality, short-term training programs that prepare students for in-demand jobs; providing more federally funded student support services, such as child care and transportation assistance; and investing in partnerships between business and community colleges in order to provide high-quality training.
“These are common sense solutions that would deliver real results for our students working toward a post-secondary credential, our businesses, and the college,” said Lufkin.
Nearly two- thirds or 62 percent of small and mid-sized business leaders say it’s difficult to find and hire skilled workers, according to the Business Leaders United for Workforce Partnerships (BLU). Community and technical colleges play a critical role in ensuring workers and employers have the skills to succeed on the job and in their career. But our federal education policies simply aren’t structured to support partnerships between businesses and community colleges – and they don’t do enough to help the working people who want and need training to take the next step in their career.
“Businesses are already working together with local community and technical colleges – to make sure they’re offering training programs that give people the in-demand skills they need to get hired. It’s time for lawmakers in Washington to also work together to ensure federal policies are structured to support our institutions and the businesses we serve,” Lufkin said.
Lufkin and Hobbs also shared insights with staffers from the offices of Rep. Bobby Scott, Rep. Donald McEachin, Sen. Tim Kaine and Sen. Mark Warner.
As a small business owner, Hobbs said that the Jumpstart our Businesses by Supporting Students (JOBS) Act really resonated with him.
In today’s world we are seeing an unfortunate combination of willing workers needing jobs, along with well-paying, secure jobs needing the workers to fill them,” said Hobbs. “There should be a natural fit between them, but there is a missing link – the training needed to qualify the workers for the jobs. The proposed JOBS Act would help fill this gap by making funds available for skills training, qualifying more people to fill those jobs. It’s a win-win for workers and for business and industry.”


Paul D. Camp Community College President Dr. Daniel Lufkin serves on ‘diverse workforce’ panel

Dr Lufkin on PanelPDCCC President Dr. Daniel Lufkin, far right, serves as a panelist along with Associate Professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at Howard University in DC Dr. Kmt G. Shockley, who served as moderator, from left; President of Morgan State University in Baltimore Dr. David Wilson; President of Prince George’s Community College Dr. Charlene M. Dukes; and Chief Development and Marketing Officer of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities Sandy Holt.
Lufkin served as a panelist during Verizon’s conference earlier last week, which focused on the technology-related jobs in the workforce. The panel discussed “Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs) and Community Colleges: The Gateways to a Diverse Workforce.”
The event, Building a Diverse and Skilled Tech Workforce, was co-hosted by the Verizon Foundation and the National Association of Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE). Featured were keynote speakers Rep. Alma Adams, founder of the Bipartisan Congressional HBCU Caucus and Rep. Raul Grijalva, member of the House Education and Labor Committee.
Event goals associated with the technology workforce are to raise awareness of the lack of diversity, shortage of skilled workers and other issues they face; to show how HBCUs, HSIs and community colleges are leading efforts to address these issues; and to show investments in training are well worth the effort when it comes to entrepreneurship.
According to Verizon, the U.S. Department of Labor recently predicted that America will have a shortfall of 2 million skilled workers by 2020. The conference was held to explore what America’s educators, corporate leaders, elected officials and others are doing today to ensure that we have a skilled workforce of tomorrow that reflects the diversity in our communities.
“One reason that Paul D. Camp Community College is in a good position to help address the lack of diversity in the technology workforce is because serving a diverse student population is part of our mission,” said Lufkin. “And as a partner of the NACCE, we also foster entrepreneurship.”
Each panelist gave an overview of what is being done at their institution to create a workforce that can sustain the future demand for skilled workers.
“We began by listening to our business and industry partners and developed short-term training programs where students earn industry recognized credentials, putting them to work in jobs that pay a living wage,” said Lufkin. “Some of these programs include fast track healthcare, CDL truck driver training and NCCER Industrial Maintenance.
“With support from our partners, we’ve been able to start a new Regional Warehouse and Distribution Training Facility near the college and with funding from the Hampton Roads Workforce Council, (formerly Opportunity Inc.), have implemented an out-of-school youth program that helps 16- to 24-year olds earn credentials for in-demand occupations.”


Drill helps Paul D. Camp Community College nursing and allied health students handle emergency in a lifelike setting

Charlotte-Cifers-Krisi-MuseEMS student Charlotte Cifers helps nursing student Krisi Muse during the mass casualty drill.
It was a life threatening scenario at Paul D. Camp Community College’s Franklin Campus this week. A tractor trailer carrying ammonium hydroxide collided with a bus of passengers. Immediate medical help was needed for multiple patients.
Thank goodness this was only a drill.
Fifty nursing and allied health students and faculty participated in Thursday’s Mass Casualty Incident Drill, giving the students some idea of what they would face in a mass casualty situation. Some of the students were assigned injuries as victims while others tended to triage, but everyone had a role. “Patient” conditions ranged from disorientation to bleeding and eye injuries.
“We started off briefing the students before the drill, explaining the hazmat situation and provided them with a map of the “hospital” with designated rooms in the college as emergency areas, such as the operating room and radiology,” explained Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN) Program Lead Trudy Kuehn.
EMS Program Director Paul Ruppert gave a separate briefing for the EMS students, highlighting objectives, explaining the triage tagging process, and making them aware of a simulated decontamination area outside near the “victims.’
The students met again near the end of the event for a debriefing and to share what they had learned from the exercise.
“The mass casualty incident allows the nursing students to experience the importance of good communication, teamwork and leadership in a controlled, but chaotic environment,” said Kuehn. “Since hospitals must conduct drills, this is an effective way to replicate a potential situation so that when they are a part of the workforce, they already have a greater understanding.”
According to Ruppert, the exercise also gives his students critical hands-on experience that they will need once out in the field as emergency medical technicians or paramedics.
“In addition, these realistic, full-scale scenarios give students from each of our health sciences disciplines an opportunity to learn from each other,” said Ruppert. “These exercises give our nursing, EMS, and other health sciences students the chance to work cooperatively together to manage critical clinical cases, as is required in real-world medical practice.
“In our joint debriefing sessions after these exercises, it’s clear that our students are gaining a deep understanding and appreciation of the value of each distinct medical specialty as they learn cognitive, psychomotor, and communication skills from each other.
This peer-directed active learning, guided by experienced faculty, is a unique feature of education at Paul D. Camp Community College, and is not limited to large scale training exercises.
In day-to-day classes, skills labs, and even the interactive workshops our students conduct as an outreach to high school students exploring health sciences careers, the more our students work together in active learning, they more they develop the interpersonal and leadership skills in high demand by employers today,” he said.
For more information about the PDCCC Nursing and Allied Health programs, email Tasha Taylor at

Nick Stickney Jameka Burns Kendra ScottNick Stickney performs triage, tagging Kendra Scott. Jameka Burns is in background.

Lianna White Kendra ScottLianna White and Kendra Scott gather near the decontamination tent after being triaged.

Mohammad Sajid Jameka Burns Nick StickneyMohammad Sajid, left, and Nick Stickney take “victim” Jameka Burns out on a stretcher. Assistant Professor of Nursing, Simulation and Skills Lab Coordinator Lucy Little and Practical Nursing Faculty Member Laurel Wright are in the background.

Shea Masters Vickie ClarkeEMS student Shea Masters tends to nursing student Vickie Clarke, who is confused and wandering the area looking for her dog.

Jamie Coggsdale Paul Bangley Charlotte Cifers“Victim” Jamie Coggsdale receives help from EMS students Paul Bangley and Charlotte Cifers.


Paul D. Camp Community College graduate ‘fast tracks’ to healthcare career

Ashley RifeBefore Ashley Rife graduated from the Fast Track Healthcare program at Paul D. Camp Community College, she had already secured a job with Bayview Physicians Group at North Suffolk Family Medicine—not even 30 miles from her Carrsville home.
“I received an application and an interview during my externship there. I started orientation the morning of my graduation,” she said about that memorable day in December 2018.
Rife enrolled at PDCCC directly from Windsor High School after the program was suggested to her by the Dean of Nursing and Allied Health Dr. Debbie Hartman.
“I have always wanted to go into the medical field,” said the 22-year-old. “Both of my parents have always supported and encouraged me.” Her mother, Anita Rife, is also a PDCCC graduate, where she earned an associate’s degree in business administration in 1996.
Through the PDCCC Division of Workforce Development’s Fast Track Healthcare program, Ashley became certified as a clinical medical assistant (CCMA) with phlebotomy certification, as well as EKG technician certification. CCMAs handle an array of tasks in the healthcare setting, including clinical and administrative duties, and may assist doctors, nurse practitioners and physician assistants.
The non-credit FastForward program was initially intended to train for a career in clinical medical assistant, but lead instructor Dawn Womble expanded it to include the other credentials as well and had the program running five months after its inception.
“I watched Ashley build a new level of confidence with each certification that she earned,” said Womble. “The fact that she was also able to secure a job during her externship made her success even more exciting.”
As a traditional student, Rife still had to make sure that she managed her time properly in order to allow her enough time to work, study, complete assignments and attend classes. But PDCCC proved to be a good fit for her.
“PDCCC was always there to help and encourage me when things were tough,” she said. “They also put their students in clinical sites that can be potential job opportunities.”
Rife is now enjoying her new career and is reaping the benefits of a comfortable work environment. “I enjoy interacting with new people every day, getting to know each patient, and I am always learning something new,” she said. “I am where I want to be right now. However, in the future I plan to go back to school to get a degree in nursing.”
The CCMA was able to realize her aspiration to work in the medical field without spending more time or money than was needed and recommends the Fast Track Healthcare program.
“I would tell first-time students to study hard, do not get behind, and always ask for help if you are having difficulty in a class,” Rife said. “As my instructor (Dawn Womble) would always say, ‘You need to hit the ground running.’”
According to Womble, students don’t have to have a medical background to enroll, and depending on what direction in which the students want to head, they can complete one or all parts of the program.
For more information about workforce development programs, call 757-569-6050, or visit


Paul D. Camp Community College Nursing and Allied Health hosted interactive workshop for high school students

SHS CNA Group webAshlynne Harrell, from left, Errika Lane, Danielle Snyder, Matyson Crutchley, Meaghan Ellis, Adam Story, LaNiah Artis and Instructor Joyce Tomlin from Southampton schools first assessed a patient with pneumonia.
Twenty-two juniors and seniors from the Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) programs at Isle of Wight and Southampton County public schools visited Paul D. Camp Community College Department of Nursing and Allied Health recently for an interactive workshop series called “That Medical Thing.”
The students from the high schools were able to work with PDCCC students from the registered nursing, licensed practical nursing and emergency medical services programs.
“They learned about first aid, airway management and hemorrhage control,” said Dean of Nursing and Allied Health Dr. Debbie Hartman.
“They also had the opportunity to experience simulation with an OB patient in active labor and complete an assessment on a patient with airway concerns while they were in the lab.”

Brianna Jailah Jordan Mohammad NickBrianna Wapplehorst, from left, Jailah Page and Jordan Smith of Isle of Wight County Public Schools listen to Mohammad Sajid and Nick Stickney. Sajid and Stickney are PDCCC EMS students who volunteered to teach the visitors about airway management.

Matyson CrutchleyMatyson Crutchley is tasked with explaining how an incentive spirometer is used.


PDCCC Financial Aid Office’s College Night well-attended

Scholarship WinnersFinancial Aid Coordinator Dr. Teresa Harrison, from left, with scholarship recipients Brooke Mills, Tiffany Gary and Jada Ingram. Also congratulating the winners are Dean of Transfer Programs and the Hobbs Suffolk Campus Dr. Justin Oliver and Financial Aid Loan Specialist Taniya LeGrand.
About 40 high school students and their parents/guardians visited the Hobbs Suffolk Campus of Paul D. Camp Community College to take advantage of the services and information provided during the Financial Aid Office’s College Night.
“This event was a success in more ways than one,” said Taniya LeGrand, financial aid loan specialist for the college. “The weather was amazing and we had a lot of support and participation at our 9th annual Financial Aid event.”
According to LeGrand, several participants took advantage of having an expert guide them through the online Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), scholarship information and PDCCC sign-in procedures prior to the event.
“Others began the evening by perusing the showcase area where our participating academics and athletics departments, the PDCCC Regional Workforce Development Center and AmeriCorps discussed offerings to potential students,” she said.
Information was provided about the college process and how to navigate it successfully. “Door prizes, including three wireless printers were a huge hit,” said LeGrand. “At the end of the evening, three lucky seniors each received a $250 scholarship to attend Paul D. Camp Community College.”
The winners were Brook Mills of Lakeland High, Tiffany Gary of King’s Fork High and Jada Ingram of Nansemond River High.
“I want to send out a huge thank you to all who helped to make this event successful,” said the financial aid loan specialist. “It takes a lot of teamwork to put this event together, and we had a great team!”
NicoleAcademic Advisor Nicole Jordan gives a presentation to high school students during the Financial Aid College Night event in Suffolk.

Paul and Dr HartmanEMT/EMS Program Coordinator Paul Ruppert and Dean of Nursing and Allied Health Dr. Debbie Hartman, left, talk to some College Night participants about healthcare programs and the skills lab.


Spring Fling Craft Show will help the Upward Bound program at Paul D. Camp Community College

DE Grads 2017Some of the Upward Bound students also earn degrees and certificates through the PDCCC Dual Enrollment program, which means they graduate from the community college before they receive their diplomas from high school.
Spring is in the air, at least according to Punxsutawney Phil, who predicted an early spring when he could not find his shadow on Groundhog Day.
Although his forecast may be disputed based on the recent chilly weather, most can agree that spring is a season people await in anticipation. To celebrate the season and raise money, the Paul D. Camp Community College Upward Bound program will sponsor its 2nd Annual Spring Fling Craft Show on Saturday, April 27, from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the college’s Regional Workforce Development Center, 100 N. College Drive in Franklin.
Headed up by local crafter Shirley Billups, the event features free admission to patrons, and money raised from registration, raffles and donations will benefit Upward Bound student activities.
“At PDCCC, we like to treat our students more holistically by not just providing the education they need to excel, but to also expose them to cultural experiences, and life and leadership skills as well,” said the college’s Upward Bound Director Travis Parker. “Students also receive assistance with tutoring, resources, support, college processes and the PDCCC Dual Enrollment program.”
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.
The program was implemented at PDCCC in 2009 and continues to grow. The number of students completing postsecondary degrees has increased by 41.5 percent in the last year, bringing the total to 75.
“Currently, we have six high school seniors who are working toward an associate’s degree in general studies and/or a certificate in general education through the dual enrollment program, which continues to be an option with which our scholars have been challenging themselves,” said Parker. “The hard work that they are doing for their education makes it possible for the UB program to prosper at PDCCC.”
The PDCCC Upward Bound program serves 60 + students in grades 9-12 at three area high schools. For more information on the program, call UB Administrative Assistant Barbara Strylowski, 757-569-6764, or log onto
Vendors interested in a booth space for the craft show may contact Shirley Billups, 757-620-5499. Set up times are from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. on Friday, April 26 and Saturday, April 27, from 8:00 to 10:00 a.m.

UB sports 1Upward Bound students, from left, Lawrence Wiggins, Dinae Jones, Christian Branch, Tashera Barrett, Juhan Carr and Andrea Barnes attending the 2018 Franklin Southampton Area Chamber of Commerce Tailgate Breakfast.


Paul D. Camp Community College’s Boots & Bling kicked up an abundance of support

Live Auction Crowd Shot

Bids were placed throughout the night for the live and silent auctions.

The Paul D. Camp Community College Foundation fundraiser, Boots & Bling, drew more than 225 people to the Regional Workforce Development Center Saturday evening for food and fellowship, as well as some boot scooting to the band, Hickory Knoll.
“This was the largest crowd I’ve seen in attendance at our annual fundraiser since 2016,” said Vice President of Institutional Advancement and Workforce Development, and Executive Director of the PDCCC Foundation Dr. Renee Felts. “Not only was the food from caterer Country Boys Barbecue phenomenal, everyone seemed to really be having a good time as well.”
This year, the foundation decided to hold a more casual event rather than the formal gala they had in the past, and the move proved to be popular. Although the dollar amount raised is still being figured since donations are still incoming, this seemed to be the best event to date, according to Felts.
Proceeds from Boots & Bling, including ticket sales, and a live and silent auction, will benefit the PDCCC students in the three ways: the emergency fund; scholarships for warehouse and logistics training; and the college’s Food Bank program, which partners with the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore to provide help to students who have food insecurities.
“This is a great way for the community to come together, have a good time, network and support our area students all at the same time,” said Felts. “We hope to bring in even more interest next spring.”
For more information about the PDCCC Foundation, call Felts at 757-569-6760 or visit


Paul D. Camp Community College symposium focuses on addressing students’ basic needs

Marissa Meyers

Marissa Meyers was keynote speaker, addressing the group of student attendees and non-student attendees in a culminating presentation during lunchtime.

More than 300 people registered from area schools, colleges and community partners to attend the 4th Annual Student Success Symposium held at the Paul D. Camp Community College Regional Workforce Development Center on Tuesday.
In light of recent data revealing that many college students are experiencing food insecurities and homelessness, the theme for the event was, “#3C_PDC, Creating a Culture of Caring, Collaboration and Completion-Addressing Students’ Basic Needs Insecurity.”
“The symposium provides a unique venue where students can learn more about resources and how to be their own advocates, but also for professional development of faculty, staff and administrators,” said Vice President for Academic and Student Development Dr. Tara Atkins-Brady. “Our STEPS team works to make sure topics are relevant and speakers provide insight on ways we can help address our students’ needs.”
The free event featured Dr. Bethanie Tucker, an educator since 1972. She has served in a number of critical teaching and program leadership roles at the elementary school level and is a professor of education at Averett University in Danville. She presented “Possible Selves: Envisioning, Accomplishing and Giving Back” to the students, and “A Framework for Understanding Poverty” to the faculty, staff and other guests.
Serving as the keynote speaker, Marissa Meyers, is a practitioner/researcher at the Hope Center at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pa. Meyers hails from foster programs herself, and serves on boards and advisory councils of a number of Philadelphia organizations that address food insecurity, foster care, and trauma-informed practice. She presented to the collective groups during a convening at lunchtime and talked about “Action: We Have More Work to Do.” Meyers also presented “Identifying Solutions to Addressing Students’ Basic Needs Insecurity to the non-student group.
In addition, sharing other insights, welcoming and closing remarks were Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Experience and Strategic Initiatives Dr. Van C. Wilson, PDCCC President Dr. Daniel Lufkin, PDCCC Vice President for Academic and Student Development Dr. Tara Atkins-Brady, PDCCC Alum and City of Suffolk School Board member Karen Jenkins, retired NFL defensive Lineman and Cover 3 Foundation founder Greg Scott, PDCCC Assistant Professor of Biology Carolyn Ashby and Adjunct English Instructor Delores Manley.
“The guest speakers led engaging sessions that led to collaborative plans to further engage in the topic of meeting the basic insecurity needs of our students,” said Dean of Student Services Trina Jones. “The theme was relevant to the work we do, and I am sure that there is more to come.”
STEPS Success Coach Dr. Sandra Walker hopes to continue bringing more awareness to student insecurity out in the community and looks forward to the next STEPS event in October, the 3rd Annual Student Leadership Conference.
To learn more, contact Students Transitioning through Education Programs Successfully (STEPS) at PDCCC by visiting

Dr BethanieTucker with students

Dr. Bethanie Tucker talks to the students during the Student Success Symposium.

Dean Jones Pledge

Dean of Student Services and Professional Counselor Trina Jones signs the pledge to create a culture of caring, collaboration and completion.


PDCCC director presents abroad

ODU Group

The rare appearance of a rainbow made the perfect backdrop for the group of ODU students, including Lawhorne, center, in front of Dublin Castle in Ireland.

Paul D. Camp Community College Director of Workforce Development Angela Lawhorne participated in a study abroad as part of an Old Dominion University Global Higher Education course. The trip encompassed stops in Dublin, Ireland, London, England, and Cambridge, United Kingdom.
The course is an elective in Lawhorne’s PhD program in Community College Leadership at ODU. She presented to faculty, staff and students at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge about Virginia’s Fast Forward programs and Workforce Credentials Grant.
“They don’t have programs like this there,” said Lawhorne. “So, they were amazed that we have assistance like this in place to help fund student tuition toward high-demand credentials.”
In addition to Anglia Ruskin University, the ODU students visited the University College Dublin, Maynooth University, Ireland Department of Education and Skills, and the Center for Global Higher Education.
“We had the opportunity to tour Trinity University and Cambridge University campuses,” said Lawhorne. “It was a very exciting experience to share ideas and learn what others are doing in higher education.”
Angela Lawhorne presentation

Angela Lawhorne, director of workforce development at PDCCC, talks to educators about Fastforward and the Workforce Credentials Grant program while at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge.


Paul D. Camp Community College nursing students participate in wilderness adventure activity

MedwarsPaul D. Camp Community College nursing students assisted for the third year with a national event that was recently held at Newport News Park.
MedWAR, which stands for Medical Wilderness Adventure Race, provides an opportunity for students to be involved in both learning and teaching other racers, according to Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN) Program Lead Trudy Kuehn. “It also gives them the chance to spend a day with nature and learn about wilderness medicine.”
Eighteen PDCCC nursing students were sent out in the park with various scenarios assigned to them. They act out the scenarios, and if needed, teach others about the correct results. Scenarios range from near drowning and hypothermia to snake bites and ankle sprains. “The challenge is to be adaptable and flexible while running the race,” said Kuehn.
According to the nursing lead, this unique event combines wilderness medical challenges with the growing sport of adventure racing. “The race was also developed as a tool for teaching and testing the knowledge, skills and techniques of wilderness medicine, and for promoting teamwork and collegiality among competitors,” she explained. MedWAR is sanctioned by North American Educational Adventure Racing (NAEAR).
“We are happy to have been able to provide assistance for this event each year and excited to see what next year brings,” said Kuehn.
For more information about nursing and allied health programs, contact Carol Griffin, or visit


Phi Theta Kappa members raise funds as well as awareness

Alyssa-Felgentreu-Candice-TriplettMembers of the Omega Zeta Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Honor Society at Paul D. Camp Community College bussed tables Tuesday night at El Ranchero Mexican Restaurant on Council Drive to raise funds for the organization.
Recording Secretary Alyssa Felgentreu, left, and Vice President of Service Candice Triplett were among the members on hand who helped to raise awareness of PTK.
Ten percent of sales were donated by El Ranchero to the organization.
The group raised $120 to help with the cost of its annual induction ceremony and trip to the national convention.


Paul D. Camp Community College scores with new head coach hire

~Clay Hyatt began new role this week~

Clay HyattThe Paul D. Camp Community College Hurricanes are celebrating a new addition to the athletics department.
Clay Hyatt, a 2005 graduate of Franklin High School, has been hired to serve as head coach of the women’s and men’s soccer teams and campus life coordinator.
PDC announced plans in January to have the new teams in place for competition by the fall semester, which starts in late August.
Hyatt, also a 2009 graduate of North Carolina Wesleyan, where he played soccer, has worked with the City of Franklin Park and Recreation Department for seven years as athletic specialist and is past president and founder of the Franklin Fire Soccer Club.
In addition, he has coached soccer for 10 years and has experience working with the United States Soccer Federation.
According to PDCCC Athletic Director and Head Baseball Coach David Mitchell, who has already built a camaraderie among the Hurricane athletes since his arrival in 2017, Hyatt is currently recruiting for both soccer teams.
“We are extremely pleased to bring Clay on board at PDCCC,” said Mitchell. “He has the skills and expertise to hit the ground running. Implementing soccer will really help move the athletics department forward.”
The sports program has quickly picked up momentum, and enrollment has already increased since 2017 when the baseball program was created.
The community saw softball implementation and the hire of Coach Carrie Hoeft following soon after in 2018.
The addition of soccer is projected to increase full-time enrollment by 50 more students.
In addition to practice, class assignments and game commitments, the PDC Hurricanes are engaged in additional activities that build teamwork, leadership and fundraising skills. They serve as role models for our local youth.
For more information regarding PDCCC athletics, contact Mitchell at 757-569-6767 or or visit


Stoneburner of Sentara Obici inspires Paul D. Camp Community College nursing students

Phyllis StoneburnerStoneburner talked to the students about the opportunities nursing can provide to them.
Paul D. Camp Community College nursing students were encouraged by a recent visit from Sentara Obici Hospital’s Vice President of Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer Phyllis Stoneburner.
This is the third year that she has taken the time to spend with the senior class of Registered Nursing (RN) students at the college.
“With her passion for nursing and her leadership experience, she shared what their future may look like and the opportunities that nursing can provide for them,” said Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) Program Lead /Associate Professor of Nursing Trudy Kuehn. “As always, she was engaging and left the students eager to complete their degree and begin their careers.”
Stoneburner advised the students to work in a supportive environment that will assist them in their aspirations.
Slightly tearful, as she will soon retire, Stoneburner said to be a nurse is a “privilege and honor. I am grateful to have had such a diverse, but meaningful career.”
Stoneburner holds a diploma in nursing from the Riverside School of Professional Nursing, a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from Christopher Newport University and a Master of Business Administration from West Virginia University.
“She is always gracious with the students and candid in her answers,” said Kuehn. “She welcomes the hopes, dreams and fears of the new RN graduates.
“She will be greatly missed upon her retirement. We hope to entice her out of retirement next year to continue to dispense her special brand of advice to the next generation of nurses.”
For more information about the RN program at PDCCC, email
Group w PhyllisThe seniors in the registered nursing program took valuable information and inspiration from Phyllis Stoneburner, who served as a recent guest lecturer.


Paul D. Camp Community students awarded scholarships for spring 2019

Tori Ricks Joyce Davis Kermit HobbsRecipient of the Ryan L. Kirkland Memorial Scholarship for Nursing Students, Tori Ricks of Franklin, from left, Joyce Davis and O. Kermit Hobbs Jr. enjoy food and conversation during the reception.
Paul D. Camp Community College students were selected for more than $4,500 in scholarships for the spring 2019 semester.
“We are thankful that we have so many in the community who believe in our mission and goals,” said Vice President for Institutional Advancement and Workforce Development Dr. Renee Felts. Felts also serves as executive director of the PDCCC Foundation which oversees the scholarships. “We can never do too much to help our students succeed.”
The following students received awards for the upcoming semester:

  • William J. Gay of Isle of Wight County-Kiwanas Club of Smithfield Scholarship
  • Dawson J. Stevens of Franklin-Perry R. Adams Scholarshp
  • Kirsta D. Rose of Isle of Wight County-Woman’s Club of Smithfield Scholarship
  • Keshonta T. Banks of Suffolk-Matthews & Reed Nursing Scholarship and the Col. Lula B. Holland, US Army (Ret.), MSW, BSN, AA Scholarship
  • David R. Claud Jr. of Franklin-Jim Lassiter PDCCC Scholarship
  • Tamra E. Boone of Southampton County-Kings Fork Woman’s Club of Suffolk Scholarship
  • Megan E. Hatfield of Southampton County-Bertella C. Westbrook Memorial Scholarship for Nursing Students
  • Victoria A. Kouassi of Isle of Wight County-Connie Patterson Memorial Nursing Scholarship
  • Tori M. Ricks of Franklin-Ryan L. Kirkland Memorial Scholarship for Nursing Students
  • Bonnie B. Burns of Franklin-Karen Phillips Chase Memorial Nursing Scholarship
  • Whitney H. Gibson of Franklin-Jim Lassiter PDCCC Scholarship
  • Olivia A. Smith of Suffolk- Woman’s Club of Smithfield Scholarship

A reception was held recently to celebrate both the fall 2018 and spring 2019 recipients, donors and namesakes. The fall recipients names and awards were published in September 2018.
Scholarships for the fall 2019 semester will also open on Wednesday, Feb. 20, and will be accepted until 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, March 27. Scholarships are available for new and continuing students, graduating high schools seniors, and high school dual enrollment students for fall 2019. For more information or to apply, visit

The BoycesDr. Douglas W. Boyce, who served as PDCCC President from 2002 to 2010, and his wife, Grace, attended the event. The Boyces, along with their family and friends, fund a scholarship in memory of Donald C. Boyce, who was a dedicated elementary school teacher.


Paul D. Camp Community College continues to address needs of students

~ Providing resources helps focus remain on studies ~

Shauna DavisShauna Davis, executive director of the VCCS Student Success Center and office of professional development shared her experiences in education during a lunchtime session at last year’s event that included both students, and faculty/staff groups.
The Paul D. Camp Community College Students Transitioning through Education Program Successfully (STEPS) team is gearing up for its 4th Annual Student Success Symposium. This year’s event, themed “Creating a Culture of Caring, Collaboration and Completion, Addressing Students’ Basic Needs Insecurity,” will be held at the college’s Regional Workforce Development Center on Tuesday, March 26, from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
According to research released from the Wisconsin HOPE Lab in April 2018, titled, “Still Hungry and Homeless in College, it is estimated that 42 percent of community college students experienced food insecurity in the 30 days preceding the survey; 46 percent reported being housing insecure within the last year of the survey; and 12 percent reported being homeless during the last year of the survey. Although the numbers have decreased from a larger study conducted in 2017, these are critical issues that students face—issues that have drawn the attention of Virginia’s Community Colleges as well.
In addition, another report released recently from the United States Government Accountability Office (GAO), stated analysis of data from the Department of Education showed that 2 million at-risk students who were potentially eligible for SNAP did not report receiving benefits in 2016. It was recommended by GAO that the Food and Nutrition Service improve student eligibility information on its website and share information on state Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) agencies’ approaches to helping eligible students.
“Addressing basic student needs is a college-wide effort,” said STEPS College Success Coach Dr. Sandra Walker. “The STEPS team has presented professional development on the topic for faculty and staff, and engaged the community in an effort to develop a shared language, understanding and commitment around how basic needs insecurity may impact individuals who frequent those agencies or establishments.”
According to PDCCC Vice President for Academic and Student Development Dr. Tara Atkins-Brady, the 4th Annual event provides opportunities for faculty and staff professional development, as well as student growth.
“The focus is on relevant issues that our students face that may prevent them from reaching their education and employment goals,” she said. We are always striving to help our students in any way possible.”
The PDCCC STEPS program is part of the Virginia Community College System Chancellor’s College Success Coach Initiative and helps underserved students with their personal, academic and career goals. The program has made great strides and earned recognition since its launch at PDCCC in 2012. As research continued to surface regarding student food and home insecurities, a foodbank committee was implemented in 2017 by PDCCC President Dr. Dan Lufkin.
“At PDCCC, we are focused on the overall well-being of our students,” said Lufkin. “We should always keep our students in the forefront and evaluate their issues so that we can respond in a supportive way that helps them stay on track. That is why it is significant that we formed the Foodbank Committee and developed the partnership with the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore.”
According to Walker, among those invited to register are college, university, high school and homeschooled students; staff, faculty, adjuncts and administrators; community organization members; human service providers; researchers, elected officials and policy makers.
The Student Success Symposium is free, however, registration is required. Participants are encouraged to bring a non-perishable food item for the college’s foodbank or toiletry item for the Genieve Shelter to help support community service projects.
For more details, email Success Coaches Dr. Sandra Walker, or Karen Owens, To register, log onto


College success coach raises awareness with community partners regarding hunger and homelessness

Clint Rudy Dr Walker Jennifer BrownDirector of the City of Suffolk Libraries Clint Rudy, left, and Youth and Family Services Manager Jennifer Brown, right, receive certificates of participation signed by Dr. Sandra Walker, center, and Vice President of Academic and Student Development Dr. Tara Atkins-Brady, on behalf of PDCCC. Not pictured are Manager of Library Locations Tiffany Duck and Outreach and Program Services Manager Megan Mulvey.
Paul D. Camp Community College Success Coach Dr. Sandra Walker presented a workshop to the City of Suffolk Libraries staff that focused on the implications of poverty on teaching, learning and the workplace. In addition, she shared new research about poverty, food and housing insecurity, hunger, homelessness, and how this affects the success of students, communities and workplaces.
In April 2018, Dr. Sara Goldrick-Rab and colleagues released the report, Still Hungry and Homeless in College. The research revealed that 42 percent of community college students had food insecurity in the last 30 days that preceded the survey and 46 percent were housing insecure within the last year.
“We know that the student sitting in one of our classes could very well be the same patron served by one of the libraries or the client of the human services agency in our service region,” Walker said. “To this end, engagement and communication are the cornerstones of our partnerships.”
PDCCC President Dr. Dan Lufkin formed a food bank committee in 2017 that works in partnership with the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and Eastern Shore to provide some assistance to the students.
Walker added, “PDCCC has a pulse on emerging trends within higher education, which includes a movement to address the students’ basic needs.”
For more information, contact Walker at


TRIO Upward Bound exceeds program goals at PDCCC

Travis and Tatiyahna BlakelyLakeland High School’s Tatiyahna Blakely, pictured at the May 2018 graduation with Upward Bound Director Travis Parker, is one of UB’s many success stories at PDCCC. She earned her associate’s degree at PDCCC through the Dual Enrollment Program and is currently on a full academic scholarship at University of Virginia.
Like a fine wine, Paul D. Camp Community College’s TRIO Upward Bound program keeps getting better with age. Implemented in 2009, the program has continued to grow and support students in many ways to help them achieve post-secondary educational goals.
“We do not work to produce students,” PDCCC Upward Bound Director (UB) Travis Parker said, “We work to produce scholars.” He states this along with the statistics to show the progress of the many participants of the program.
Currently, UB has helped three students earn master’s degrees. In addition, 10 other students are currently working on graduate degrees. “Twenty-seven scholars have earned a bachelor’s degree, and 44 others are currently attending undergraduate programs at many four-year institutions,” Parker said. “Also, 43 UB scholars have earned associate’s degrees from Paul D. Camp.”
The number of students completing post-secondary degrees has increased by 41.5 percent in the last year, bringing the total to 75.
“Dual enrollment continues to be an option with which our scholars are challenging themselves to attain college credit, certifications and degrees while still in high school,” he said.
“Right now, we have 14 high school seniors who are motivated to do what it takes to get accepted into colleges, and earn scholarship and grants.” According to Parker, six of those seniors are working toward an associate’s degree in general studies and/or a certificate in general education.
Students will actually receive these degrees and/or certificates before receiving their high school diplomas.
Upward Bound is committed to providing support for and increasing the rate of success for high school senior students who are low income or first-generation potential college graduates.
“Since success is dependent on a number of factors in addition to academics, we provide cultural and leadership experiences as well,” said Parker. “We visit area colleges and universities, hold workshops and provide a summer program-which all help a student be better equipped to navigate through life.
“The hard work that our scholars are putting into their education continues to make it possible for the UB program to prosper here at Paul D. Camp Community College.”
The PDCCC Upward Bound program serves 60 + students in grades 9-12 at three area high schools. For more information, call UB Administrative Assistant Barbara Strylowski, 757-569-6764, or log onto
Sara Lyons and Amari LongSara Lyons, from left, and Amari Long also graduated from PDCCC in May 2018. Lyons, a Franklin High School graduate, is continuing her education at Norfolk State University. Long, a Southampton High School student, was also a Dual Enrollment student and earned her associate’s degree before high school graduation. She is currently studying at Old Dominion University.


Nursing students celebrate others

hallway crowd shotThe nursing students celebrated Cultural Appreciation Day on Thursday.
“This the third annual event, with the goal of promoting awareness and appreciation of different cultures worldwide,” said Associate’s Degree in Nursing Program Lead Trudy Kuehn.
“The senior nursing students researched different areas, learning about medical beliefs, time and space orientation and other specific details.”

Bonnie and DawnSharing some of the culture of Italy, are Dawn Wilson, from left, and Bonnie Burns, who used substitutes for alcohol in the wine bottles.

Dean Jones with studentsTaking a break from showing some hand drumming to capture the nostalgia of Lebanon are students, from left:Hannah Fagan, Candace Triplett, Sophie Abisaab (seated), and Bethany Brinkley with Dean of Student Services Trina Jones.


Paul D. Camp two-steps into spring with country-themed fundraiser

Placing BidsTaylor Williams and former board chair Patricia Sowell look peruse items and place bids at last year’s fundraiser. This year’s event promises to be more casual with a country theme.
Paul D. Camp Community College Foundation is putting its best foot forward in preparation of its upcoming fundraiser, Boots & Bling.
The 4th Annual Building for the Future event will include a dinner, dance and auction in country casual attire at the college’s Regional Workforce Development Center on Saturday, March 23.
“For the past three years in spring, we have held a gala in order to raise money for the college and its students,” said Vice President for Institutional Advancement and Workforce Development Dr. Renee Felts. “This year, we are mixing it up a bit with a dressed down event.”
A cocktail hour with open bar and silent auction will begin at 6 p.m. Dinner, provided by Country Boy’s Barbecue LLC of Windsor, will get underway at 6:30 p.m.
According to Felts, the proceeds will benefit students by way of scholarships, the emergency fund and the foodbank program.
“We are looking forward to having a good time while helping ensure our students’ success,” said Felts.
Hickory Knoll and a live auction will take place from 7:30-10:30 p.m. Tickets are $50 per person, but participants must be 21 years or older to be admitted.
For more information, including sponsorships and tickets, contact Renee Felts,


First-generation student lands full circle at PDCCC

~ She earned degrees while married with four children and full-time job ~

LaRhonda WynneLaRhonda Wynne came full circle at Paul D. Camp after graduating from the community college in 2008 and recently becoming employed as tutor coordinator for Student Support Services at her alma mater.
“The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.” LaRhonda Wynne is all too familiar with the meaning of these wise words from author and lecturer Ralph Waldo Emerson. That is because the 2008 magna cum laude graduate of Paul D. Camp Community College refuses to let circumstances define her.
According to the Suffolk resident and first-generation college student, she hailed from a very diverse socioeconomic background without a strong support system in place. As the eldest of five children, she found herself taking on the roles of caretaker, provider and nurturer for her siblings.
“I dropped out of high school because of the life I was surrounded by and found myself pregnant at a young age,” she said.
Facing the realities of even the basic requirements that come along with raising another human being prompted her to look a little farther into her and her family’s future.
“I wanted more. I wanted change. I wanted to break cycles,” she said. “So, I went back to school and earned my GED in 1992.”
As a non-traditional student, Wynne knew that she was capable of achieving higher goals, but wasn’t sure how she was going to add “college student” to her roles as wife, mother of four and full-time retail worker.
“It was a struggle at times trying to juggle work, family and school,” she said. “It was difficult in the beginning to find a balance. One day, everything just fell into place.”
She discovered that she was mounding more pressure on herself to succeed, but was not alone in the pursuit of her goals. There was an entire network of support at PDCCC to help.
“I needed an institution that would allow me to attain the credentials that I desired, while giving me the flexibility to reach them,” she said. “The instructors were engaging, encouraging and empathetic to the students.”
A Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society student at PDCCC, she graduated with an associate’s degree in management-general business, an associate’s degree in management-hardware and software support, and with three career studies certificates in Bookkeeping, Computer Support Specialist and Supervision.
“When I began community college, I just wanted to finish and say, ‘I did it,’” she recalled. “I did not realize until a little later that attending PDCCC changed that. Once I saw that I could balance life, school and work, I wanted to go further.”
Wynne attained a Bachelor of Science degree in occupational and technical studies from Old Dominion University in 2011 and earned a Master of Education degree through an individualized degree program (career switchers) from Regent University in 2014.
Wynne has since come full circle at Paul D. Camp, as she was recently hired as the Tutor Coordinator for the Trio Student Support Services program at the college. She serves as an instructor for GED classes for the College and Career Academy at Pruden, currently part of the Suffolk City Public School system, and says that she recommends PDCCC to her GED students. She also has a daughter who is currently enrolled at the college.
“My desire to help students achieve their academic goals is derived from individuals willing to help me with my academic success years ago,” she said. “I became a true example of what education can do for an individual and what doors that it can open. I want students to know that I was once where they are and I have made it.”
Her advice for students just starting out in college is threefold — Don’t fret. Don’t quit. Stay focused. “The main thing is to believe that you can do it,” she emphasized.


Paul D. Camp Community College career fair for health professionals

Paul D. Camp Community College held a career fair for health professionals Friday at the college’s Regional Workforce Development Center.
“This has been a good fair,” said DeVry University Dean Christine Ettehad about two and a half hours into the event.
“There has already been quite a few students come through.”
AaliyahBynumEnglishAnayahWigginsUBAaliyah Bynum English and Anayah Wiggins, who are both Upward Bound students at PDCCC and Franklin High School students, talk with Lauren Caughorn, recruiter for Sentara.

Ashley PetersonPDCCC Nursing student Ashley Peterson of Suffolk exchanges pleasantries with Lake Prince Woods Human Resources Manager Meagan Saunders after gathering some insight and dropping off her resume.

Bethany BrinkleyBethany Brinkley of Suffolk, a PDCCC nursing student, receives more details about Silver Care LLC from Ashely Cofield, PCA, from left, and Marissa Jones, administrator.

Tyler Jamie DerickaPDCCC students Tyler Britton of Boykins, second from left, Jamie Cogsdale of Courtland and Dericka Artis of Suffolk listen to details about DeVry University of Chesapeake from Dean Christine Ettehad.

Jabria Cross Tyasia HollandHealthcare Recruiter for Armor Correctional Health Services Laura Vasser, from left, and Nurse Manager at Deerfield Correctional Center Samantha Smith share information with Franklin High School students Jabria Cross and Tyasia Holland, far right.


Paul D. Camp Community College celebrates its adjunct faculty members

Paul D. Camp Community College’s third annual Adjunct Faculty Recognition produced 21 honorees among the more than 100 adjunct employees at the college.
“Paul D. Camp is very proud of our committed adjunct instructors,” said Vice President for Academic and Student Development Dr. Tara Atkins-Brady. “We want them to know how much we value their dedication and skill sets that help our students succeed in their course of study.”
The following adjunct faculty members were honored:
Teaching Effectiveness:

  • Jordan Basnight – Emergency Medical Services
  • Jennifer Domer – Nursing
  • Dr. Renee Felts – Information Systems Technology
  • Mary Ellen Gleason – English
  • Martha Harrison – Mathematics
  • Keandra Hunter – Psychology
  • Carol Lawrence – Information Systems Technology
  • Martha Maurno – English
  • Catherine Paler – Nursing
  • Sandra Raker – Communication Studies
  • Renee Roper-Jackson – English
  • Dr. Sandra Walker – Student Development
  • Dawn Womble – Allied Health
  • Dr. Carl Vermeulen – Biology & Chemistry

Scholarly & Creative Engagement:

  • Elaine Beale – Pharmacy Technician
  • Bill Camp – English
  • Charles McLeod – Emergency Medical Services
  • India Meissel – History

Faculty Leadership:

  • Mary Ann Howell – Information Systems Technology
  • Dr. Sandra Walker – Student Development
  • Thomas Czerwinski – Information Systems Technology

For more information, contact the office of Academic and Student Development at 757-569-6704.


Paul D. Camp Community College Hurricanes kick off the New Year with the addition of soccer

The Paul D. Camp Community College Athletics Department celebrates 2019 with exciting news of the addition of a men and women’s soccer program. The plan is to have the teams in place for competition by the fall semester, which starts in late August.
The sports program has quickly picked up momentum, and enrollment has already increased since 2017 when the baseball program was created and athletic director David Mitchell was hired. The community saw softball implementation and the hire of Coach Carrie Hoeft following soon after in 2018. The addition of soccer is projected to increase full-time enrollment by 50 more students.
“Athletics has added a lot of excitement and publicity in the community,” said PDCCC President Dr. Dan Lufkin. “This initiative also aligns with our strategic plan objectives that include enhancing student engagement, and therefore, ensuring student success.”
According to Mitchell, who has championed a cohesive athletics department since his arrival, creating the soccer teams will help move the athletic department forward.
“This is an exciting time for the Hurricanes,” he said. “We will be playing the same college teams that we do in baseball and softball games.”
Recruitment for a full-time head soccer coach/ campus life coordinator is underway. For more information regarding PDCCC athletics, contact Mitchell at 757-569-6767 or or visit


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

CMA grads first class Suffolk WorkforceCelebrating their academic accomplishments, seated from left, are: Imari Wrenn of Smithfield, Tyeshia Whitfield of Franklin, Tonya Boone of Franklin, Laquita Goodman of Suffolk, Brittany Joyner of Suffolk and Shayla Hale of Norfolk. Back row: Alesia Hale of Norfolk, Eboni McCray of Suffolk, Darna Riddick of Suffolk, lead instructor Dawn Womble, NaTasha Sloan of Emporia, Tarnisha Johnson of Portsmouth and Ashley Rife of Carrsville.
Paul D. Camp Community College celebrated its first class of the Fast Track Healthcare program offered in downtown Suffolk. Twelve graduates were honored during a completion ceremony held Monday at the city’s Workforce Development Center.
In March, Birdsong Trust Fund generously funded the $24,000 start-up cost for the Suffolk program. It is offered through PDCCC’s Division of Workforce Development and is a curriculum that bundles Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA), Certified Phlebotomy Technician (CPT) and Certified EKG Technician (CET) to graduate students who can fill needed jobs in the college’s service region.
The non-credit FastForward program was initially intended to train for a career in clinical medical assistant, but lead instructor Dawn Womble expanded it to include the other credentials as well and had the program running five months after its inception.
“The incredible thing about this program is that students don’t have to have a medical background to enroll, and depending on what direction in which the students want to head, they can complete one or all parts of the program,” explained Womble. She said that 11 out of the 12 students passed their certification exams. The pass rates for the Fall 2018 Suffolk group are CPT—100 percent, CET—85 percent, and CCMA—92 percent.
The guest speaker for the event was Seko Varner, who runs his own entertainment firm, directs a youth mentorship program, volunteers with Green Run High School and works as a One-Stop operator for the Hampton Roads Workforce Development Board.
In addition to celebrating the graduates, the following were recognized further with the presentation of awards:

  • Most Improved Student — Eboni McCray and Darna Riddick
  • Most Helpful Student — Natasha Sloan and Ashley Rife
  • Sunshine Award — Tyeshia Whitfield and Brittany Joyner
  • Most Dedicated — Tonya Boone and Tarnisha Johnson
  • Leadership Award — Natasha Sloan and Laquita Goodman
  • Clinical Excellence — Ashley Rife and Imari Wrenn
  • Academic Excellence — Shayla Hale, Alesia Hale and Natasha Sloan

The students completing this program and passing their certification exams go to work in a shorter amount of time than a credit student who is working toward a degree would.
“Fast Track is where it’s at,” said Eboni McCray of Suffolk. “I gained an extra family here. I’ve never had a sister and now I have 13.”
According to graduate Laquita Goodman, also of Suffolk, the program is intense, as there is a lot of information taught in a short amount of time. “Be prepared to hit the ground running,” she advised potential students.
Womble said that members of the Birdsong Trustee Board and PDCCC President Dr. Dan Lufkin visited the classroom recently.
“The students were able to demonstrate the equipment and tell them about their experiences in the clinical setting,” she said. “Bayview Medical Center played a big role in providing the clinical sites in which the students worked.”
The first Fast Track Healthcare class on the Franklin Campus graduated in July 2018. For more information about the program, contact the Workforce office at 757-569-6050 or visit


Angela Lawhorne of PDCCC honored for workforce achievements

~Twelve programs have launched under her directorship~

Angela Lawhorne AwardAngela Lawhorne accepts the prestigious award from Dr. Glenn DuBois, chancellor of Virginia’s Community Colleges. – submitted
Paul D. Camp Community College Director of Workforce Development Angela Lawhorne was awarded recognition recently at the Virginia’s Community Colleges Higher Education Conference held at the Homestead in Hot Springs.
The 2018 award for Outstanding Achievement by a College Staff Member, was presented to Lawhorne by Chancellor Dr. Glenn DuBois. It is designated for the individual who has demonstrated expertly applied skills and practical knowledge to enhance the workforce development system in Virginia while providing top-notch service and increased access to students, business partners and other customers.
“Without a doubt, Angela has turned about workforce development at PDCCC and is truly deserving of the chancellor’s award,” said Vice President for Institutional Advancement and Workforce Development Dr. Renee Felts.
Since her hiring in 2017, Lawhorne has launched or helped with the launch of 12 FastForward credentialing programs, including the following curricula: Fast Track Healthcare; Manufacturing Skill Standards Council Certified Logistics Associate and Certified Logistics Technician; and The National Center for Construction Education and Research Industrial Maintenance-Electrical and Instrumentation.
“In addition, she brought four programs in-house and helped create PDCCC’s very own Regional Warehouse and Distribution Training Facility,” added Felts.
Angela has also been instrumental in securing funding in excess of $600,000 for the new initiatives, which have increased enrollment and revenue for workforce development.
“I am so grateful to receive this award,” said Lawhorne. “I am fortunate to get to do what I love each and every day, which is meeting the immediate needs of local employers and the community by creating new non-credit programs.”
Workforce Career Coach Lisha Wolfe was also nominated for the “Rising Star” award for her contributions to workforce development. For more information about workforce development programs, visit


Paul D. Camp Community College Allied Health students celebrate completion of programs

Nurse Aide Group ShotFrom left, Tonya Tester of Suffolk, Abigail Neal of Suffolk, Haley Morgan of Sedley, Kayleigh Macleod of Courtland, Tatiyana Greene of Smithfield and Kendra Goode of Virginia Beach celebrate completion of the Nurse Aide program at PDCCC. Not pictured is completer Courtney Carr of Carrsville.

EMT EMS Academy Group ShotStudents who completed EMT and EMS Academy, from left, are: Patricia Barber of Bedford County, Daniel “Chuck” Logan of Chicago, Hunter Morrison of Cincinnati, Ohio, and stationed in Norfolk, Taylor Stallard of Southampton County, Elizabeth Williams of Isle of Wight County, Kaitlyn McLean of Smithfield and Randi Vick of Suffolk. Not pictured are Sean Catley, Skylar Epps, Tonja Vinson, Silvia White and Colin Wright.
Paul D. Camp Community College’s 2018 Allied Health Completion Ceremony was held Friday in the Library Learning Commons on the Franklin Campus.
PDCCC President Dr. Dan Lufkin welcomed guests and graduates to the ceremony. Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Program Director Paul Ruppert led the ceremony and congratulated all of the students.
Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) student Haley Morgan shared a poem, titled, “Only a CNA.”
The Class of 2018 CNA certificates were presented by Nurse Aide Instructor Lauren Heckenlaible and Dean of Nursing and Allied Health Dr. Debbie Hartman, followed by the Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and EMS Academy presentations made by Ruppert.
Ruppert then led the EMT & EMS Academy students in the reciting of the EMT Oath and Code of Conduct for Paramedics, which was adopted by the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians in 1978.
The following special awards were presented:
Nurse Aide

  • Clinical Excellence — Abigail Neal
  • Academic Excellence — Tonya Tester


  • Clinical Excellence — Kaitlyn McLean
  • Academic Excellence — Randi Vick

EMS Academy

  • Academic Excellence — Hunter Morrison

A special presentation was made, during which Ruppert received the George Washington Medical Faculty Association (GW MFA) EMS coin. According to its website, The GW MFA is the first medical school in Washington, D.C., that touts expertise in more than 50 clinical specialties. Physicians teach and mentor medical students, residents and researchers at the school.
For more information about PDCCC Allied Health programs, visit


Paul D. Camp Community College holds workshop series to benefit the agricultural community

A new financial series gets underway in January at the Paul D. Camp Community College Regional Workforce Development Center in Franklin.
The Business of Farming, created in partnership with area experts and sponsored by Farm Credit, will be held each Monday from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. in the Technology Theater at the workforce center, 100 N. College Drive.
The schedule is as follows:

  • January 7 — Taxes, presented by Benny Burgess and Julie Griggs of Burgess & Co.
    A number of topics will be covered including deferred crop insurance and conservation easements.
  • January 14 — QuickBooks, presented by Benny Burgess and Julie Griggs of Burgess & Co.
    An overview of the software with specifics on how to make it work for your business.
  • January 28 — Business & Law, presented by Will Holt of Kaufman & Canoles
    Business structuring (proprietorship, LLC, etc.) and general legal issues will be covered in this session.
  • February 4 — Succession Planning, presented by Will Holt of Kaufman & Canoles
    Learn about retirement planning and the future of your farming business during this workshop.
  • February 11 — Crop Insurance, presented by Kevin Lynch and Jim Jervey of Farm Bureau Insurance Co.
    2019 crop insurance updates and risk management will be discussed in this informative session.
  • February 18 — Risk Management, Life Insurance, Retirement, presented by Jim Jervey of Farm Bureau Insurance Co.
    This workshop provides a continuation of risk management, but also leads into the discussion of life insurance and planning your retirement.
  • February 25 — Financial Analysis and Case Study, presented by Chris Simms of Farm Credit
    This last session highlights financial analysis for the business of farming, followed by a group presentation.

“In our rural communities, it is important that we support those in the agricultural field,” said Director of Workforce Development Angela Lawhorne. “Farmers often face a unique set of challenges and we want to help them stay as informed as possible on a number of issues.”
Tuition for two people for the financial sessions is only $50. Participants can select particular workshops or attend them all for that price.
For more information, call 757-569-6050 or visit


Paul D. Camp Community College reveals latest plan to help ensure student success

~ Great strides in 2018 include new programs, enrollment growth~
In its continued efforts to ensure student success, Paul D. Camp Community College has developed a Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), titled, “15 to Finish.”
Implementation of the plan began at the beginning of the fall 2018 semester and is focused on graduating students on time. On time graduation refers to a specified amount of time that a student would finish the degree or certificate they are pursuing if enrolled full time. For an associate’s degree, full time would be two years, a certificate would require one year, and career studies certificates would take one or two semesters to complete.
“The students for which this plan is targeted are degree, certificate or career studies certificate-seeking individuals who are entering college for the first time, or continuing their studies from the dual enrollment program,” said Vice President for Academic and Student Development Dr. Tara Atkins-Brady. “Research supports our belief that helping students enroll in and complete 15 credit hours per semester or 30 credit hours in an academic year, will better enable them to meet their academic and career goals. It will also save students time and money.”
According to PDCCC President Dr. Dan Lufkin, resources have been secured to cover the initiative over the next five years.
“This will include funding for marketing, professional development and technology that will allow us to increase efficiency in academic planning and course scheduling.” said Lufkin. “We will have assessment plans in place to evaluate our progress and outcomes during the five-year period.”
In support of the initiative, additional sessions for new students were held at all three PDCCC locations at PDCCC prior to the fall semester to assist with registration, financial aid and academic planning. Information Tours have also been held to prepare students for the 2019 spring semester.
The following are just some of the accomplishments PDCCC also celebrated in 2018:

  • The first official game of the Hurricanes baseball team, the formation of the Lady Hurricanes softball team, and subsequently, the renovation of the softball field on Armory Drive.
  • A number of generous donations, such as from Birdsong Trust, enabling us to launch the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant Certified Phlebotomy Technician (CPT) and Certified EKG Technician (CET) programs; and Hampton Roads Workforce Council for the launch of the Out-of-School Youth program. We also received foundation awards from the Hampton Roads Community Foundation, Camp Foundation, and Franklin Southampton Charities.
  • A number of alums, including Michelle McDaniel, the first woman graduate of our truck driver training program, and Rick McClenny, who quickly advanced into an administrator position and was from our first nursing class.
  • A number of students like Alyssa Felgentreu who presented at the state microbiology conference, Charlotte McKeller who opened her own painting studio at home; Seth Konkel, a Valley Proteins scholar; Lilly Balderson, who made an impact during a NASA summer opportunity; the graduates of our first class of Fast Track Healthcare; and the inductees of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society.
  • A number of faculty such as Elaine Beale for penning a math textbook for the pharmacy technician program; Bill Camp for receiving a scholarship to research the allure of Frankenstein in film, Nancy Warren for receiving an Excellence in Education Award; and Steven Street, who organized hurricane relief efforts.
  • In addition, a newly formed Foodbank Committee is continually helping our students who are experiencing food insecurities, enabling them to focus more on their studies.
  • The college saw a 6.30 increase in regular FTE enrollment in fall 2018 compared to fall 2017.

“We look forward to making even more of a difference in the lives of our students, and supporting the growth of our business and community partners in 2019,” said Lufkin. “All of our efforts support our vision to be the first choice for postsecondary education, workforce development and community partnerships.
“We will remain committed to preparing our students for their future by offering relevant programs and providing the skills they need to succeed in their educational and career goals.”


Drive provides food for students


The Paul D. Camp Community College Annual Food Drive has resulted in more than 600 items collected, which were used to supplement the 50 bags provided by the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore.
The food was distributed this week and benefits students on both campuses of PDCCC, as well as at the college’s center in Smithfield.
Dean of Student Services Trina Jones, above, loads bags of food.
Pictured, below, is Jones with Larry Barnes of PDCCC’s facilities staff, left, and Zaphir Dozier of the Foodbank.
The food drive was led by the PDCCC Foodbank Committee that is comprised of 11 staff and faculty members and administrators.



Paul D. Camp Community College offering new EMS certificate in spring

Paul D. Camp Community College recently received final approval from the State Council of Higher Education in Virginia (SCHEV) to offer a new statewide EMS curriculum beginning in January.
“This is a new certificate program that will allow students with no prior medical training to progress all the way through paramedic certification right here at their local community college,” said PDCCC EMS Program Director Paul Ruppert.
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for EMTs and paramedics was $33,380 in 2017, with the highest 10 percent earning nearly $57,000. The majority of paramedics work full time. In comparison to emergency medical technicians, paramedics provide more extensive care to patients before they are taken to the hospital.
“Paramedic is the highest level of certification in the EMS program,” said Ruppert. “It entails about 22 additional credits and two more semesters after completing EMT-I.”
A student must be at least 16 years old prior to the start of classes and certified in CPR for Healthcare Providers.
“PDCCC students receive hands-on experience in hospital emergency departments and on ambulances,” said the director. “Advanced level students complete additional clinical training time. Certified EMS providers can also upgrade their certification level easily though our new advanced standing policy, which awards college credit for prior medical training and experience.”
Spring 2019 classes begin January 7, 2019. For more information or to apply to the program, log onto


Third generation teacher receives initial tools for teaching career from Paul D. Camp Community College

Jean Stokes-WarrenPhoto taken and submitted by Jean Stokes-Warren
PDCCC graduate Jean Stokes-Warren will complete a master’s degree in special education in 2019.

Whether Jean Stokes-Warren’s propensity for teaching is an inherited instinct or a learned behavior is really irrelevant, as it could have occurred either way. The 2008 Paul D. Camp Community College graduate had a niche carved out for her all along.
“I was destined to become a teacher,” Stokes-Warren said. “My mother and grandmother were teachers for Isle of Wight County Public Schools,” Stokes-Warren said. “My sister and aunt are also teachers for Portsmouth Public Schools.”
The Isle of Wight County native was working at Happy Hearts Child Care Center in Windsor as a teacher and assistant director when she decided that she wanted to earn a degree in the field. She enrolled at Paul D. Camp and earned her associate’s degree in Early Childhood Development in 2009 all while holding down two jobs, being a mother and a newlywed.
“The teachers and staff gave me motivation and support needed to reach my fullest potential,” she said. “I believe that the foundation for my success, maturity and passion began at PDCCC.”
But Stokes-Warren’s academic aspirations stretched beyond that initial goal. She graduated with her bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Ashford University in 2012 and is currently enrolled at Northcentral University.
“I will receive my master’s degree in special education in June 2019,” she said. “Once that goal is met, I’ll just need to pass my teacher licensure exams.”
The 42-year-old has worked at SECEP as a teacher assistant, Rivers Bend Academy as a special education teacher, the Salvation Army as an education coordinator and presently is employed at Portsmouth Public School as a special education teacher.
“PDCCC paved the way for these wonderful opportunities,” she said. “The college gives you the tools you need to get ahead. I am excited that my daughter, Ashley, has chosen PDCCC for a quality, affordable education as well.
“Her time there allowed her to mature into a responsible adult. The small classrooms and one-on-one instruction have helped her successfully transfer to a four-year school.”
For more information about the Early Childhood Development program at PDCCC, email Antoinette “Toni” Johnson at or visit


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

Tidewater News

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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


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

~Alumnus now helps students in the community college system~

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

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


Food Drive drop offs can be made at both PDCCC campuses

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


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


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.


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.


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.

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