Latest Southern News

Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College will begin an Accelerated Medical Assistant program this summer on the Williamson campus. Medical assistants perform routine administrative and clinical tasks to keep the offices and clinics of physicians, podiatrists, chiropractors, and optometrists running smoothly. Southern offers a medical assisting program designed to provide students with knowledge and skills necessary for entry-level employment as a medical assistant in a medical office or clinic. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of medical assistants is projected to grow much faster than average nationally; ranking medical assistants among the fastest growing occupations over the 2008-2018 decade and job prospects for skilled medical assistants should be excellent. Contact the office of Allied Health for more information.
Foundation Board Member Phyllis Osenton presents the Southern West Virginia Community College Foundation with a check to support the Osenton Family Scholarship. The scholarship is awarded to a Man High School graduating senior that will be attending Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College. The recipient must have a 3.0 GPA. The scholarship was established in May 2001 by Phyllis and Owen Osenton of Logan, WV. Pictured is: Eddie Joe Canterbury, Ron Lemon, Joanne Tomblin, Phyllis Osenton, George Kostas, Clell Peyton, Eddie Canterbury, Ryan Thorn
Students seeking an Associate Degree in Applied Science (AAS) will have two new options starting in the fall of 2015. Southern will now offer the AAS degree in Health Information Technology and Strategic Business Integration. Health information technology (HIT) makes it possible for health care providers to better manage patient care through secure use and sharing of health information. HIT includes the use of electronic health records instead of paper medical records to maintain health information. Upon completion of the HIT Degree, students will be eligible to sit for the Registered Health Information Technician credentialing exam. The Associate in Applied Science Strategic Business Integration degree program is designed to provide an overall education in the Business environment with a strategic blend of market specific industry needs and applied technology integrated across the common business core curriculum. The Strategic Business Integration degree program has the option of an emphasis of Business Accounting, Business Administration, Energy Management, Healthcare Leadership, or Entrepreneurial and Small Business Management. This degree program will provide the entry level skills for the workplace environment and the ability to transfer into a Bachelor level program. The application for the HIT program is now available in the application center on Southern’s website by clicking the healthcare programs application. No application is necessary for the Strategic Business Integration program.
Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College teamed up with Man Middle School to host several events focusing on higher education for its students, parents, and community members recently. Students were able to explore various fields of interest through interactive learning sessions. Sessions included a Surgical Tech demonstration, lung function simulator, ‘SimBoy’ and healthcare intake exam procedures. Students were also allowed to navigate robots through mazes at the ‘Little bitty Robot Show’ and present a ‘Breaking News Report’ using the Green Screen provided by IT. An example of 3D printing used in manufacturing of plastic parts was also part of the educational event. An open house for parents and the community was held after school. At this event, attendees had the opportunity to talk with faculty and staff about specific programs; learn about the registration process, be assisted through advising and discuss financial aid options. Faculty from the Divisions of Healthcare and Business; Applied and Industrial Technology; Social Sciences, Education and Nontraditional Programs; University Transfer and staff from department of Student Services participated in the event.
Velva Pennington is being recognized as the Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College, February Employee of the Month. Pennington is a graduate of Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College, Marshall University and West Virginia University where she earned an AAS in Business Administration, a Bachelor of Administration and MS in Integrated Marketing Communications. She joined the staff of Southern in September 2008 as the Administrative Assistant for the Finance and Communications departments. In 2012 became the Executive Administrative Assistant to the Finance Department. Pennington describes her job as being responsible for providing effective coordination for the Finance Unit and other units within the college. Her duties are to gather information, provide guidance and communications and monitor and coordinate various meetings and activities. For the past two years Pennington has been serving as the Agency Liaison for Southern for the Enterprise Resource Planning System known as Oasis. The ERP system is a comprehensive suite of commercially-available integrated modules that provide end-to end support for statewide administrative functions. She refers to this as one of her most challenging tasks. One of the elements Pennington says she has enjoyed most about her job was being part of the President’s Leadership Academy. “The academy was a tremendous learning experience. I learned how the college was a vital part of the community and how the two worked together to represent West Virginia in a positive way. The academy helped me grow in my role at Southern. I also learned how each unit within the college functions and how each unit impacts the other units within the college. The academy truly brought me out of my comfort zone and allowed me to interact with people from other units.” Pennington’s co-workers often comment that she does her best to treat everyone with respect. Her response to the praise is simple, “I was once a student at Southern and I know what it is like to be on the other side of the desk. I believe every student and every employee are important to the colleges’ success and I try to treat everyone with respect so we can create a positive atmosphere for the college.”  Volunteering is important to Pennington and she currently serves as Family Training Hour Director at Trace Church of God in Dingess, WV. In her spare time she enjoys riding and racing ATV’s. She is also a member of a Christian Fellowship bowling league that raises money for different charities throughout the community. Pennington says she feels this award is a great honor and plans to have a long term career at Southern. “Southern is also where I began my college studies and I would like to give something back to the place that gave me my start in life by becoming a leader at Southern one day.”
The Appalachian Leadership Academy held its 2015 Induction of Cotiga Fellows on December 16, 2014. First Lady /President of Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College welcomed guests and congratulated new and graduating students for their commitment to the program. Appalachian Leadership and Education Foundation President, General (Ret.) Robert H. Foglesong, encouraged students on the academic challenge they have accepted. Recent graduates shared their stories and introduced the new class. The new class members are Jeremy Booten, Brian Bowens, Ransom Endicott, Nathan Moore, Sara Scott, Barbara Sturgill, David Thaxton and Nathanael Waters. Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College, in cooperation with Cotiga Development Company, sponsors the Appalachian Leadership Academy. The mission of the Appalachian Leadership Academy is to identify Southern students with outstanding character and prepare them with the leadership and diversity skills needed to serve as engaged, conscientious citizens as they enter the business, political, and academic world. The event was held on the Williamson Campus.
Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College, the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) and National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE) recently held an Entrepreneurial Eco-Mapping event at Southern’s Logan Campus to assist local entrepreneurs and agencies by identifying and mapping small business resources in Southern’s service area of Boone, Lincoln, Logan, McDowell, Mingo, and Wyoming counties. The map will include small business resources such as service providers, education and training options, financial resources, networking events, and business incubators. The goal is to create a map of resources that can be shared throughout the community and identify gaps in services that are needed in the region. Twenty participants from the region provided their knowledge and ideas that will help emerging entrepreneurs locate the support systems needed to succeed. This event was facilitated by NACCE/ARC Fellow, Griffin Cottle. Griffin is Director of the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Center at Jefferson Community and Technical College in Louisville, Kentucky. Griffin’s background is in Digital Media Marketing from NYU, and he holds an M.P.A. in Economic Development from Syracuse University.
Russell Saunders is being recognized as the Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College, December Employee of the Month. Saunders is a graduate of University of Charleston, WV State University and Marshall University where he earned an AS in Radiologic Technology, BA in Radiologic Technology, and a Master’s in Educational Leadership. He is ARRT credentialed in Radiography & Computed Tomography and is currently enrolled in a Doctoral Program of Higher Education Leadership at the University of Seattle. He joined the staff of Southern in January 1991 as Southern Clinical Instructor for Logan General Hospital and in 1992 he became Adjunct Lab Manager. In 2005 Saunders became full-time faculty and is the current Radiologic Technology Department Faculty/Clinical Coordinator. Saunders describes his job as being responsible for the course instruction, development of a competency based clinical education that correlates with didactic courses, and act as the primary liaison for our Southern students at each of the clinical sites. “I love what I do, teaching and serving our students! I have hope that one day they will serve others with great passion and a higher purpose to become servant leaders to their communities.” Saunders travels between 600 -800 each month to visit the clinical sites. This gives him the opportunity to not only instruct but to check in on past graduates. “I love teaching and seeing past graduates every week during my clinical education visits. I love observing their evolution while serving others. They make me very proud! Many of our Radiologic Technology graduates have continued their education to become Radiology department directors, radiation therapists, physicians, physician assistants, and pharmacists. A few are now the Radiology program's clinical instructors.” Volunteering at Southern and in the community keep Saunders busy. At Southern he serves on the Faculty Senate, Financial Exigency, Radiologic Technology Advisory Board, 2014 Promotion committee chair, Enrollment Management and 2013 Registration subcommittee past chair. He supports the community as a WVSSAC baseball umpire, a summer travel softball coach and Chapmanville Softball League Board member. In his spare time he enjoys archery hunting, coaching softball and log homes. Saunders and his wife Jenny have two sons. Kyle, a West Virginia University graduate student and Dylan, a baseball pitcher for University of Charleston who will start medical school in the fall. They also have two daugthers. Jacy is a student at Chapmanville Regional High School and Jarrah, a student at West Chapmanville Grade. Both are honor students and athletes. Saunders said he was very surprised to learn that he had been named Employee of the Month. “We have so many valuable people within the Southern family that do great things for our communities. Our programs are the greatest!”
Melinda Saunders, Division Head of University Transfer of Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College was recognized as an Outstanding Contributor to Community College Education. Saunders received the award during the 2014 annual conference of the West Virginia Community College Association and the West Virginia Association for Development Education recently held at the historic Blennerhassett Hotel in downtown Parkersburg, West Virginia. Saunders has been a full time employee since 1994 when she began her career as a member of the faculty. She served as the Chair of the Department of Mathematics and recently assumed the post of Division Head of University Transfer. As Department Chair of Mathematics, she managed adjunct, full-time, and dual credit faculty; monitored and revised mathematics curriculum; maintained responsibility for schedule development for mathematics on all campuses and conducted performance evaluations. As a faculty member, she has taught algebra; trigonometry; Calculus I, II, and III; linear algebra, differential equations; physics-calculus and algebra-based and developmental mathematics. But she doesn’t limit herself to academics; she has been known to assist new faculty find housing and provided “house calls” to a student with mobility issues. Over the years, she has served on the Curriculum and Instruction Committee, the Teaching and Learning Committee, and several Ad Hoc Committees for enrollment and retention.    Saunders is the first to volunteer to take on extra projects that Southern needs done. In the past year, she has led the faculty in the revision of two major transfer degrees at Southern to make sure they serve the needs of students more effectively. She has, together with the Chair of Transitional Studies, helped the College to implement a new developmental math model, which is already proving to help many students progress more effectively in their academic programs. She has led college-wide faculty professional development activities and has agreed to take on the challenge in the next year of leading a college taskforce in revising the ways that classes are scheduled at Southern to provide students with more effective program scheduling models. She has a true passion for educating and shares that with the community. She is a member of a volunteer teaching partnership with the third and fourth grade classrooms at Man Elementary and Buffalo Elementary. She also conducts fall ACT prep workshops at Chapmanville Regional High School. Saunders speaks of her work in education with great enthusiasm and tells her students to choose a career that they love, “If they do this, they will never feel like they just have a job. I have been fortunate to have found such a career at Southern.  My success in serving the college and its constituents has come due to the love I have for teaching and learning.” Embracing the college mission is evident in her daily life at Southern. Her passion is expressed in a recent statement, “My greatest accomplishment at the college has been providing students with a quality education and helping them achieve their goals The “ah-ha” in a students’ eyes when they conquer a topic that to them previously seemed impossible to understand gives me great moments of joy. “