Latest Southern News

Mount Gay, W.Va. – Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Charles Lopez as Dean of Student Services. Dr. Lopez comes to Southern from Eastern Washington University in Spokane, Wash. He will begin his new role on May 28, 2019.

In this position, Dr. Lopez will provide leadership for the Student Services Unit, including recruitment and retention, tutoring, new student advisement and orientation, student outreach, student government and other student clubs and organizations, student development, and the implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of programs and services which supports and promotes student development and success in the comprehensive community and technical college environment. Reporting directly to the College President, he also will serve as a member of the President’s Cabinet, as well as chairing and serving on numerous institutional committees.

Dr. Lopez is a licensed professional counselor and has more than 28 years of experience providing support services to students. As a first-generation college graduate, he understands some of the needs of specific populations. Dr. Lopez has taught management, statistics, and counseling courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels, and has provided support to students in both academic and student affairs. His research has focused on the affordability, accessibility, and academic success of military students and their families. Dr. Lopez's experience is in areas such as orientation, counseling, career development, disability services, academic advising, student conduct, learning centers, TRiO, transfer centers, and veterans’ programs. Dr. Lopez enjoys working closely with faculty in the areas of service learning, honors, undergraduate research, faculty development, general education, program review, Ronald E. McNair Scholars programs, and upholding academic integrity standards.

“I am excited that Dr. Lopez and his family are making the journey to become part of the Southern family,” Southern’s President, Dr. Robert Gunter, said. “With his vast knowledge and expertise in student affairs, I am confident that he will provide strong leadership to the Student Services Unit. I look forward to working with him in moving our student services and programs to new levels of success.”

Southern’s new Dean of Student Services holds a Doctorate in Educational Leadership, Higher Education Administration from Stephen F. Austin State University; a Master of Education in Mental Health Counseling from Stephen F. Austin State University; and a Bachelor of Business Administration in Management from Stephen F. Austin State University.

Dr. Lopez, his wife Angie, and their children will reside in the Chapmanville, W.Va. area.

Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College will be welcoming author Charlie J. Eskew to our Logan campus for a Meet the Author event on Thursday, April 25, beginning at 7:00 p.m. in the Savas-Kostas Performing Arts Center.

Southern will also launch its third edition of Sticks Magazine, our exclusive student-produced literary arts magazine, during this event. Admission is FREE and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.

Eskew is perhaps best known for writing Tales of the Astonishing Black Spark, a “biting satire of the comic books the author grew up on,” according to Zoe Yates, a Southern student and Sticks Magazine Editor who recently interviewed Eskew.

Eskew will be on hand following the event to speak with guests and sign autographs. Southern’s students who contributed their own creative work to the new issue of Sticks Magazine will be presenting highlights during the event, and will be on hand afterward to speak with the crowd.

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

Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College will be hosting a series of “Community Listening Sessions” at our campus locations throughout the spring. The purpose of these meetings is to gain input from community members about how Southern can better serve our students in the months and years ahead.

“Our campuses and locations comprise a large portion of southern West Virginia, and touch the lives of thousands,” Rita Roberson, Southern’s Vice President for Institutional Advancement, said. “We want to put the ‘community’ back in our community college, and we need your input on how we can best continue this important work in the future.”

The first of these sessions will be held at our Wyoming/McDowell campus in Saulsville on Thursday, April 18, beginning at noon. Light refreshments will be served. A complete list of dates and locations follows, and can be found on Southern’s website –

• Boone/Lincoln Campus: Monday, April 29 at 12:00 p.m.
• Logan Campus: Tuesday, April 30 at 12:00 p.m.
• Williamson Campus: Thursday, May 9 at 12:00 p.m.

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

Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College will begin registering students for the Summer/Fall 2019 semesters beginning Wednesday, April 17. Priority registration for veterans, or students currently served by the Office of Disability Services, began April 16.

Online registration for currently enrolled students will conclude on Thursday, May 9. If a currently enrolled student needs to register or make changes to their schedule after that date, they will need to contact their advisor, or a Student Services Specialist, to do so.

If you are a new student, you are encouraged to complete a New Student Orientation session. During these sessions, students will be able to register for classes or amend their schedules, and obtain their student ID and parking permit. Space is limited in these sessions, so please call 304-896-7100 to reserve your spot.

Students are 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.

New students are also encouraged to bring with them a copy of the ACT or SAT test scores. If a student has not taken one of these tests, or does not have access to the scores, they may take the ACCUPLACER test at Southern prior to registering.
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 hosting its second-annual Champions for Southern Telethon on Sunday, April 14. The telethon will be held from 2:00 – 6:00 p.m. on Southern’s Williamson campus. All proceeds will go toward the Southern Foundation, which provides scholarships to Southern students.

The telethon will be livestreamed on Southern’s SuddenLink channel 17, and Southern’s Facebook page. If you’re interested in making a donation, you can call 304-236-7030. Donations are being accepted now, and will be accepted after the telethon, as well.

If you’d like more information, please contact Mandy Lester at 304-896-7429, or email her at [email protected].

Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College recently welcomed Abba, our new SynDaver, or “synthetic cadaver.” Southern is the only institution in the state to have anything like it, and it will be used for training by our Surgical Technology team to simulate surgical procedures.

According to the SynDaver website, this is the most elaborate surgical simulator in the world, and the only synthetic human that includes a fully accurate anatomy – including skin, fat, all bones, muscles, and tendons. Every vascular component and organ is removable and replaceable, and will be invaluable to our students’ learning.

“There’s nothing like hand’s-on learning, and this will enable us to teach our students in a whole new way,” Misha Herndon, Southern’s Surgical Technology Program Coordinator, said. “Students won’t be looking at a black-and-white photo in a book, they’ll be seeing it completely replicated in front of them.”

Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College’s Entrepreneurship and Business Coaching Center is partnering with the Tug Valley Chamber of Commerce to host a workshop in Williamson. “Build Your Business Around What You Love" will be held Thursday, April 18 from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. in the Williamson Health and Wellness Center’s 2nd floor conference room at 184 East 2nd Avenue, Williamson.

The workshop is designed to help participants have fun together, to understand the basics of the current economy, spark conversation by sharing business ideas, identify local business opportunities, and hear from local business owners. Resources will also be provided to help those who are looking to start a business.

Anyone interested in attending, or needing more information, may contact Bryan Shaw, Program Administrator, at 304-896-7314.

Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College’s Surgical Technology program has the honor of hosting the West Virginia State Assembly of the Association of Surgical Technologists (AST) Spring Workshop. The workshop is being held on Saturday, April 6, 2019 on the Logan Campus. This is the first time the meeting will be held at Southern.

AST's primary purpose is to ensure that surgical technologists have the knowledge and skills to administer patient care of the highest quality. AST, the only national organization that represents more than 80,000 surgical technologists, is governed by an 11-member Board of Directors. On the local level, 50 formed state assemblies address member concerns and issues.

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

Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College is introducing our new Medical Coding Certificate Program, beginning with the Fall 2019 semester.

Southern’s Medical Coding Certificate Program is fully online, and students can earn their certificate in as little as one year. Students who complete the program and earn their certificate will be able to work with healthcare organizations to ensure patient information is accurately captured for reporting and optimal reimbursement. There is even the potential to work from home.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Medical Coding field is growing at a national rate of 15%.

For more information, please visit our website,, or contact Instructor Tricia Lowe at [email protected].