Latest Southern News

Phi Theta Kappa

Alex Roberts and Rhodella Vanover, students at Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College, were recognized by Gov. Tomblin as the newest members of the Phi Theta Kappa All-West Virginia Academic Team.

Phi Theta Kappa is an honor society that recognizes and encourages academic success among two-year college students. To achieve this purpose, “Phi Theta Kappa provides opportunities for the development of leadership and service, for an intellectual climate for exchange of ideas and ideals, for lively fellowship for scholars and for stimulation of interest in continuing academic excellence.”

Cliff Natural Resources Funds New Scholarship

Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College and the Southern Community College Foundation, Inc. announced today the establishment of a new scholarship program.

In a demonstration of their ongoing commitment to Southern, Cliffs Natural Resources, Inc. presented the funding for this new scholarship.

Cliffs Natural Resources, Inc., Technical Scholarship Program at Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College will be a multiyear partnership to provide financial assistance to students pursuing career and educational opportunities in the technology programs.

“Cliffs Natural Resources is committed to the communities in which we operate and these contributions are an example of that commitment,” said Ryan Thorn, Cliffs’ public affairs coordinator. “The partnerships we’ve built through the years continue to have a positive impact on the people and the communities in southern West Virginia and we look forward to building on that good work this year.”

Ron Lemon, Vice President of Development remarked that this program will significantly reduce the debt load for many students. “We know what the barriers are and often it’s the cost. With the help of supporters such as Cliffs, we can remove those barriers, and we will.”

“The scholarships awarded to our students through this program will help them to accomplish their goal of obtaining a college degree and will have a lasting impact on their future and the future of our community,” said First Lady/President of Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College, Joanne Jaeger Tomblin. So many students are in need of financial help. Our goal is to assist as many students as possible and these contributions help us do just that.”


For more information on this scholarship visit online at or contact the Southern West Virginia Community College Foundation office.

Dr. Gee to Address Southern Graduates

Logan, WV- Dr. E. Gordon Gee, President of West Virginia University will address the 2014 graduating class of Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College on May 17, 2014. Commencement Exercises will take place beginning at 10:00 a.m. at the Coalfield Jamboree Theater in downtown Logan.

Gee graduated from the University of Utah with an honors degree in history and earned his J.D. and Ed.D degrees from Columbia University. He clerked under Chief Justice David T. Lewis of the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals before being named a judicial fellow and staff assistant to the U.S. Supreme Court. In this role, he worked for Chief Justice Warren Burger on administrative and legal problems of the Court and federal judiciary. Gee returned to Utah as an associate professor and associate dean in the J. Reuben Clark Law School at Brigham Young University, and was granted full professorship in 1978. One year later, he was named dean of the West Virginia University Law School, and, in 1981, was appointed to that university’s presidency.

Dr. Gee served as president of The Ohio State University from 1990 to 1997 and again from 2007 to 2013. Prior to his service at Ohio State, he led Vanderbilt University (2001-2007), Brown University (1998-2000), the University of Colorado (1985-1990), and West Virginia University (1981-1985). He returned to WVU to serve as president for a term in January 2014, and was confirmed as the permanent president in March 2014. Gee has served in higher education for more than three decades and in 2009 was named by Time magazine as one of the top-10 university presidents in the United States.

Active in a number of national professional and service organizations during his tenures, he has served on the boards for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, Inc., Limited Brands, and the National 4-H Council.

Gee has received a number of honorary degrees, awards, fellowships, and recognitions. He is a fellow of the prestigious American Association for the Advancement of Science, the world’s largest science organization. In 1994, Gee received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University of Utah, as well as from Teachers College of Columbia University. In 2013, he received the ACE Council of Fellows/Fidelity Investments Mentor Award and received the Outstanding Academic Leader of the Year Award on behalf of Historically Black Colleges and Universities. He is the co-author of 11 books, including Law, Policy and Higher Education, published in 2012. He is also the author of numerous papers and articles on law and education.


The public is invited to attend the ceremony. Please visit for additional information.

Graduating students can download this information packet with directions for commencement, directions, and other things you need to know for the big day!
Jennifer Dove

Administrative Secretary, Sr., Jennifer Dove is being recognized as the Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College, May Employee of the Month.               

A graduate of Southern, Dove also attended Marshall University earning a degree in Legal Assisting.

Dove joined the staff of Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College as secretary for the Out of School Youth program in 2003.   In 2007, she became the Administrative Secretary, Sr. for the  Humanities Department. Dove also serves as support for the Respiratory Care program.

Dove describes says her job responsibilities vary depending on the time of year, but mainly the class schedule, textbooks, working with faculty, adjuncts, students, and most importantly assisting the chair are her duties.

She explains that one of the best parts of her job is, “working with a wonderful group of people that I am fortunate to work with on a daily basis!   We help and support each other.  When you have the support and confidence of your  coworkers you can do just about anything!”

Dove serves on several committees at Southern, including the Classified Staff Council as the Williamson Campus Rep and the recorder of that committee as well. She serves on the Classified Staff Council Sub Committees, Chair of  the Hallmark Committee, Co-Chair of the Website Committee with  Teri Wells and serves as the recorder for the Technology Committee.         

Her community activities include coordinating the lunch walk program in conjunction with the Mingo County Diabetes Coalition on the Williamson Campus.    “This program continues to grow and I am very proud of those who participate.”   She is a Sunday School helper  for the preschool class at Nolan Freewill Baptist Church and is  a member of the Ladies Auxiliary there as well.

In her spare time she enjoys fishing, four wheeling, and working in her flowerbeds.  Dove has recently taken up jogging and has participated in a few 5k’s in the Williamson area.  

Lester has been married to husband ,Wesley,  for 18 years. They have a  12 year old son, Brady, and a cat named  Bumper.  

Dove said the recognition came as a complete surprise. “It was so nice to be recognized by my coworkers, many of whom are very deserving of this award.   What a great bunch of people we have here!”



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Apprenticship Signing

Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College is pleased to announce a new agreement that offers an approved apprenticeship for students.

The agreement was signed with Unilin NA, LLC, Robert C. Byrd Institute and the U.S. Department of Labor/Office of Apprenticeship. The program was planned to enhance the skill level of employees and offer education options to enhance their employment goals.

“Everyone knows the importance of designing and implementing multiple educational pathways for students and today there are no one-size-fits all approaches to meet the needs of students or business,” said WV First Lady/President of Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College, Joanne Jaeger Tomblin. “More of these partnerships will need to be created and developed to build the workforce that West Virginia and this region will need.”

Southern will provide Unilin employees an occupational development program with an emphasis on Mechatronics. Upon completion of the on the job training and educational requirements, an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Occupational Development: Mechatronics may be obtained.

Mechatronics is a relatively new training opportunity. Mechatronics refers to an interdisciplinary field involving control systems, electronic systems, computers and mechanical systems that integrates product design and automated manufacturing processes. Because industrial applications are becoming more and more complex, industries need technicians with skills that cross a variety of disciplines.

“Our goal is to work closely together to ensure that students are constantly moving forward and attaining new knowledge and skills so that they are equipped to achieve their goals,” added Tomblin.

Pictured: Joanne Jaeger Tomblin, WV First Lady/President Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College; Linda McEntire, HR Manager-Unilin; Charlotte Weber, VP for Federal Program, Marshall University, Director Robert C. Byrd Institute; Kathy J. D’Antoni, Associate State Superintendent of Schools; Thomas J. Bydlon, US Department of Labor/Office of Apprenticeship, Region 2 Director; Kenneth W. Milnes, State Director, US Dept. of Labor, Office of Apprenticeship; Andrew Messenger, Plant Manager-Unilin and Ted Beaver, HR Director-Unilin

Chris Gray is April Employee of the Month

Chris Gray is being recognized as the Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College, April Employee of the Month. Gray is a graduate of Marshall University, where he received his BA in Business Administration in 1993, followed by a Master’s in Business Administration in 1995. He joined the staff in January 1996 as a part-time Assistant to the Dean for Student Services, Wyoming Campus. In 1999 he accepted the position of Accounting Assistant II, Wyoming Campus, which was soon followed by the position of Business Manager I, Williamson Campus in 2000. Gray began his current position of Manager of Business and Auxiliary Services in 2008.Gray describes his job as being responsible for the operation of the Williamson Business, Information Desk, Switchboard, and Campus Store. “ I’m dealing with the assessing of tuition and fees, collection of payments, student and third party sponsor accounts receivable, 1098-T tax processing, and helping to maintain the Virtual Bookstore.” Gray says that the best part of his job is, “getting to interact and work with the employees and help our students be successful". He considers his greatest accomplishment has been to have the confidence of his coworkers to represent the college on numerous committees. His greatest challenge? “Knowing when to say no and not volunteer for everything. I want to do my best to help Southern grow and thrive.” Gray volunteers for many activities at the college, such as campus beautification and the Applied Technology Center Ribbon Cutting Ceremony. In the community he is a member of the Matewan Drama Group. The Drama Group performs the Battle of Matewan Drama at least twice a year in May and September. In his spare time he declares himself a British Drama fanatic and antique collector. He also enjoys cooking and photography. He is a member of the Society for Creative Anachronism. It is an international organization that tries to recreate the best aspects of the Middle Ages. “I try to attend several events every year including the biggest SCA event on the East Coast called Pennsic War which is held every year at the end of July and beginning of August in Slippery Rock, PA.” Gray said he was shocked to learn that he had been named Employee of the Month. “I’m not one who is accustomed to getting recognized by others because I work mostly behind the scenes.”

Ellucian Technology Donation to Southern Foundation

Scholarship support through Ellucian Technology Management Advantage program was recently presented to the Southern West Virginia Community College Foundation Vision 2020 Major Gifts Campaign. Gary Holemen, Chief Information Office at Southern and David Buck, General Manager at Ellucian, presented the check to Ronald E. Lemon Vice President for Development and Southern Foundation Liaison, and Dr. Debra Teachman, Vice President of Academic Affairs and Student Services.