Latest Southern News

Sixteen new employees were welcomed to Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College. Debbie Dingess, Interim Human Resources Director introduced the group during the college governance day. The new employees are Tahnee Bryant, Jessica Stratton, Mark Bowens, Anitra Ellis, Ashley Starkey, Nancy Clay, Stephanie Mounts, Sara Curry, Elizabeth Burner, Christopher Wood, Angela Lester, Stacy Dingess, Jamie Lyn Smith, Jennifer Alfrey, Dr. Debra Mullins and Toni Redmiles.
Community Appreciation Day Set for Williamson Campus
The Williamson Campus of Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College will open its doors to welcome the public to the annual Community Appreciation Day on Sunday, September 20, 2015 from 1pm until 3pm. For nearly 20 years, Southern has hosted the event in conjunction with the King Coal Festival. According to Rita Roberson, Director of Campus Operations/Williamson, “this is a way to thank the community for being a part of Southern”. Those attending will be entertained by local musicians and share a traditional dinner of pinto beans, cornbread, fried potatoes, sauerkraut and wieners, cobbler and drinks.
LRMC Auxiliary Hosts Scholarship Luncheon
Members of the Logan Regional Medical Center Auxiliary recently held their annual Scholarship Luncheon. This year three students attending Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College were presented scholarships. Those students are: Kayla Hager, Keisha Wooten and Jessica Mazzola. Also pictured are Auxiliary members: Alice Cheek, Pat Joe White and Pauline Fortune. Sheila Elkins, Coordinator for Nursing represented Southern. The scholarship covers full tuition and $500 for books. The LRMC Auxiliary has presented over $200,000 in scholarships since 1991.
Brandon Kirk, Assistant Professor of American history at Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College, has been chosen by The State Journal as one of the ’55 Good Things about West Virginia Hall of Fame’. Each year The State Journal names “good things” to ‘pinpoint new adventures, eateries and celebrations along with volunteers, entrepreneurs and historians who add a variety of colors to the patchwork quilt that makes up the state's heritage’. Kirk’s selection was based on his passion for telling the stories of our past and keeping them alive for future generations. Kirk is described as one of the country's most enthusiastic scholars of Appalachian feuds and Southern violence. He has written more than fifty articles on Appalachian-themed topics for regional newspapers and books. He is an avid collector of oral histories, traditional music field recordings and turn-of-the-century photographs and documents. He was also appointed to the West Virginia Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission by Governor Earl Ray Tomblin. His current publication ‘Blood in West Virginia’ has kept him on the road for the past few months conducting book signings and has participated as a featured speaker at many venues throughout the state. To read the full article go to .
Jimmy Welch, Executive Director of the Credit Bureau of the Virginias Foundation, Inc. recently presented a contribution to the Southern West Virginia Community College Foundation. The Credit Bureau of the Virginias Foundation Scholarship program grants scholarships annually to students on the Wyoming Campus. Pictured are David Lord, Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College Wyoming Campus Director; Ron Lemon, Vice President for Development at Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College. Mr. Welch and Jim Sizemore, President of Pioneer Community Bank and a Board member of The Credit Bureau of the Virginias Foundation.
Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College Continuing Education Department is offering enrollment for beginner and intermediate level clogging classes. These classes will be held every Tuesday from September 8 through December 15 at Guyan Valley Middle School, instructed by Mr. Michael Midkiff. Classes for beginners will be held from 6pm to 7pm. Intermediate classes will begin at 7pm and conclude at 8pm. There will be a $35 fee for the class. Clogging is becoming more and more popular in today’s society. It is an American folk dance that is similar to tap dancing, making rhythmic tapping sounds with the feet. Special shoes are used to emphasize the tapping sounds. These shoes are usually made of soft leather with hard soles and attached, metal taps and are not required for the class. For more information or to register for this 14-week course, please contact Sandra Podunavac at 304.896.7434 or

Students enrolled in a technical program or class at Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College now have their very own support system to bridge the gap between enrollment and graduation. The Bridging the Gap Program is an initiative funded by the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) Grant. The goal of the program is to help students succeed and graduate quickly. Southern’s Bridging the Gap staff consists of Counselor Cody Bailey and multiple Peer Coaches on the Logan and Williamson campuses. Staff members are focused on helping students in the program set and meet their educational and occupational goals. Peer Coaches are fellow students who have faced many of the same challenges participants face on their educational journeys, and the Counselor is readily available to help eliminate the barriers students face. Students who are part of the Bridging the Gap Program can expect an open line of communication with Peer Coaches and the Counselor whenever they need it. Monthly appointments are arranged with the assigned Peer Coach to check in and track progress, and the Counselor honors an open-door policy to eliminate a lengthy wait time. “I like to utilize an open-door policy so that students know they are my number one priority, that they can come to me at any time with whatever issues they may be facing,” said Counselor Cody Bailey. “My students are always welcome to drop by and discuss the challenges they are facing, or even just to say hello. My goal is to ensure that students know they are welcome any time, no appointment necessary.” Peer Coach Rachel Hicks expressed her hope that students would not hesitate to reach out to Bridging the Gap staff. “Having an open line of communication is so important, and students need to know we are here for them. It can mean the world to students simply to know that they have an entire group of people behind them to support them in their endeavors. We act as the shovels who are ready to pave the road to graduation for our students.” Any student enrolled in a technical, engineering, or welding class is eligible to participate in the Bridging the Gap Program. Specialized assistance can be given to students enrolled to earn a certificate or degree in mechatronics, welding, electrical engineering, information technology, or industrial technology. The Program is free to join, and the only step in joining is to sign a participation agreement. The agreement can be obtained from the Counselor or any of the Peer Coaches. Visit for more information.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) today announced a partnership with Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College (Southern) uniquely designed for individuals receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) benefits to enroll in a cohort pilot program at Southern to gain skills to succeed in the workforce.  The ultimate goal of the program is to move more individuals and families toward achieving self-sufficiency. 

“This pilot program will provide support to individuals seeking to improve their opportunities for gainful employment,” said DHHR Cabinet Secretary Karen L. Bowling. “I appreciate the support of Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin and First Lady Joanne Jaeger Tomblin, as well as Southern’s commitment to preparing individuals for careers and look forward to seeing how this partnership improves the stability of West Virginia’s children and families. This pilot is setting an example that will likely be emulated across the state and nation.” 

The pilot program was established by Secretary Bowling and First Lady Tomblin, former president of Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College.  There are 21 TANF recipients identified as cohort students which will begin classes in the fall 2015 semester and will work toward a certificate or degree program.  DHHR has assisted the cohort students in seeking financial aid and advisement from counselors in regard to the program they will choose.  

“We are pleased to be a part of this innovative project. Our faculty and staff are looking forward to working in collaboration with these students and the WV Department of Health and Human Resources to design a career path that will lead to professional and personal success,” said Merle Dempsey, Interim Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College President. 

Southern will offer these students assistance on all academic levels, from boot camps for math and English, to offering additional skills for their chosen program. Employers in the area were contacted to determine workforce needs so that individuals in the cohort would receive skills needed for emerging occupations in the area. 

Data will be collected through the pilot period and if it is successful, the program will be implemented in other areas of the state.  

The tuition payment deadline for students registered for Fall 2015 classes at Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College is being extended. Due to some technical difficulties the college has announced that payment will be accepted until the close of business on Wednesday, August 5, 2015. For more information visit us online at or call 1-866-SWVCTC1.