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Mount Gay, W.Va. – Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College has been competing in the SkillsUSA competitions for only four years, and can now boast a national gold medal winner! Melissa Wilhite, a second-year Medical Assisting student at Southern, brought home a gold medal during the National SkillsUSA Competition, held in Louisville in June.

“This was just the best experience ever!” Wilhite said. “I was competing against LPNs, and other MA students from around the country. I honestly didn’t think I’d place.”

Wilhite, who lives at Johns Creek, Kentucky, competed during the SkillsUSA state competition in Fairmont in March. She brought home the gold during that competition, as well.

There were various stations of competition for the Medical Assisting portion, including conversions of medications, urinalyses, coding, and preparing a sterile site. But, Wilhite faced personal challenges, as well. The day she left to compete at the state level coincided with her son’s 18th birthday, and her mother-in-law died while Wilhite was away for the state competition.

However, through it all, Wilhite credits her bond with Southern’s Medical Assisting Instructor Ashely Starkey as a major contributor to her success.

“Mrs. Starkey is the most amazing instructor,” Wilhite said. “She was always there to give me support when I didn’t believe in myself. She was beside me, encouraging me, pushing me. She was always there to help.”

“Melissa’s drive, determination, intelligence, and compassion are truly remarkable,” Starkey said. “The medical field is lucky to have her, and she has proven time and time again that nothing will stand in the way of he dreams.”

Wilhite is a “non-traditional” student at Southern. Out of school for 25 years, Wilhite decided it was time to pursue higher education, and she came to Southern.

“Right away, it felt like home,” Wilhite said. “People really wanted to help and get to know you. You’re not just a number at Southern. It really feels like a family.”
From the start, Wilhite knew she wanted a career in the medical field, and she had a good reason to do so: her son suffered from juvenile diabetes, and in caring for him, she had a good grasp on medical terminology and procedures. Once at Southern, she found the Medical Assisting program, and it “clicked.”

“The MA program is the perfect in-between for someone, because it stands on its own, and it gives you the skills to go on to other careers, like nursing. You can earn certifications in EKG, phlebotomy, Pharmacy Tech, and billing and coding, so you have a lot of options.”

As Wilhite prepares for her final classes before graduating, she is looking ahead to what her future will be.

“I’m a people person,” Wilhite said. “I knew this program would be a good fit, and it gives me the chance to help people.”

For more information, please contact Mandy Lester at 304-896-7429, or [email protected].

Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College will be hosting its final New Student Orientation Session Tuesday, July 16, on the Logan campus. The session will run from 10:00 a.m. until 12:30 p.m.
Prospective students must call 304-896-7100 to reserve their spot.

Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College will be hosting its second-annual S-Con Gaming and Pop Culture Convention on Saturday, July 20. The event will be held on the Logan Campus, and will run from 12:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. Admission is free, but minors must be accompanied by an adult.

During the day’s events, visitors can participate in Fortnite, Apex Legends, and Counterstrike competitions, tabletop games, drone racing and demonstrations, and a cosplay competition. Southern Coalition for the Arts will be offering an Escape Room, as well as performances of their anticipated Alice in Wonderland Jr. production.

Vendors for the event are welcome. The college is asking a $25 vendor fee, but that fee will go to Southern’s Foundation, which provides scholarships to students throughout the region.

“This was a fantastic event for our community last year, and I’m glad we’re offering it again this year,” Dr. Robert Gunter, Southern’s President, said. “The day promises to be a lot of fun, and it’s family friendly, so there’s something for everyone.”

For more information, please contact Mandy Lester at 304-896-7429, or [email protected] or visit the S-Con Gaming page at facebook.com/southernscon.

Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College is announcing the Dean’s List for our Spring 2019 semester. Students carrying a minimum of twelve credit hours and earning a grade point average (GPA) of 3.25 or higher are eligible to be placed on the Dean’s List. A total of 321 students earned the distinction for our Spring 2019 semester.

The names are broken down alphabetically by each student’s home campus and hometown.

Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College is hosting New Student Orientation sessions for all incoming new students for our Summer and Fall 2019 semesters. These sessions will be held on each of our campuses/locations during June and July. Space is limited in these sessions, so please call 304-896-7100 to reserve your spot.

Morning and evening sessions are available at each location. The list of locations and times are as follows:

Boone/Lincoln: June 19 10:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. and 6:00 – 8:30 p.m. July 5 10:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Lincoln Site: June 12 10:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. and 6:00 – 8:30 p.m.
Logan: June 5 10:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. and 6:00 – 8:30 p.m. June 13 10:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. June 17 10:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. and 6:00 – 8:30 p.m. July 16 10:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. and 6:00 – 8:30 p.m.
Williamson: June 3 10:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. and 6:00 – 8:30 p.m. June 11 10:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. and 6:00 – 8:30 p.m. June 20 10:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. July 17 10:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. and 6:00 – 8:30 p.m.
Wyoming/McDowell: June 4 10:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. and 6:00 – 8:30 p.m. July 18 10:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

If you would like more information, or to register for classes, please contact Southern’s Student Services Office at 304-896-7100.

The fourth annual Carrie Anne Scott Memorial Scholarship Little Coal River Float will take place on Saturday, June 8, at the Lick Creek Stream Access in Danville. The event will culminate at the newly renovated stream access at the Donald R. Kuhn Juvenile Center. It is estimated that the float will take approximately three hours to complete.

The event will begin with lunch at 12:30. There is a $20 fee per person, or a family rate of $50. Kayak rentals will be available the day of the event, and transportation to and from your vehicle from the access points will be available as well.

The Carrie Anne Scott Memorial Scholarship was created by the family to provide students scholarship opportunities to attend Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College. Proceeds from this event will go to the Southern Foundation.

For more information, please see the event’s Facebook page, or contact Mandy Lester at [email protected].

Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College is currently registering new students for our Summer/Fall 2019 semesters, and all new students are asked to attend a session of New Student Orientation. These sessions will be held on each of our campuses/locations during the summer. During these sessions, students will be able to register for classes or make adjustments to their schedules, learn about student email and online classes, and obtain their student ID and parking permit. Space is limited in these sessions, so please call 304-896-7100 to reserve your spot. A full schedule of orientation dates and times may be found at southernwv.edu.

Incoming students are also encouraged to complete their FAFSA, or Free Application for Federal Student Aid, as soon as possible. During New Student Orientation, Southern’s Financial Aid staff will be assisting students with verification, additional documentation, and completion of the FAFSA. To complete the FAFSA, students may want to bring a copy of their or their parents’ 2017 federal income tax return.

If you would like more information, please contact Southern’s Student Services Office at 304-896-7100.

Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College will be offering a scholarship to students who graduate from Logan High School. The scholarship will be available for Southern’s 2019-2020 academic year, and applications are now being accepted. Interested students are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

The scholarship will pay tuition, text books, and/or related educational expenses up to $2,500 per academic year. The student must be enrolled in a technical program at Southern, and have a minimum Grade Point Average of 2.0. Preference will be given to students from Mud Fork, W.Va.

The scholarship was created by former Logan resident Danny Vance in honor of his parents, Otto and Iris K. Vance.

“Neither of my parents got the chance to finish high school, yet they were huge advocates of education,” Danny Vance said. “They believed that education not only gave you opportunities for a better career but also made you a better person because it opened your mind to newer ideas. This scholarship is a way to give back to a community that Mom and Dad both loved.”

Please visit southernwv.edu/Foundation for an application. Completed applications may be submitted in person on Southern’s Logan campus, through email to [email protected], or by fax at 304-792-7173.

For more information, please contact Rita Roberson, Southern’s Vice President for Institutional Advancement, at 304-896-7425.

Southern West Virginia Community and Technical will be hosting Math Boot Camp Brown Bag Sessions at each of its locations beginning Monday, May 20 and running through Thursday, May 23, from 4:00 p.m. until 5:30 p.m. each evening. The sessions will be offered to local high school students, as well as currently enrolled Southern students.

During the sessions, tutors will be discussing fractions, metric conversions, and coordinate geometry. Students who attend are asked to bring a calculator and photo identification. Because this is part of the Learning Studio’s Brown Bag Dinner Sessions, students are also encouraged to bring dinner or a snack to the session.

If you are interested in learning more, please contact Tim Ooten, Southern’s Student Success Center Coordinator, at 304-896-7658, or [email protected].

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