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.