Latest Southern News

Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College will host a Meet the Author event on November 19th, beginning at 11am in the Williamson Campus Library. This is a wonderful opportunity for Southern students and the public to meet and listen to award winning writers. Four authors will be featured and present readings from thier award winning works. The first presenter will be, Tom E. Dotson, a descendent from both the Hatfield’s and McCoy’s. He will share from his book: The Hatfield & McCoy Feud after Kevin Costner: Rescuing History. Two Instructors of English at Southern West Virginia and Technical College, Emily Kohler and Anna James will also present their work. Kohler was a recent winner in the nonfiction category of the prestigious West Virginia Writers contest. She will be reading from her winning essay, "The Broadway Bridge at Six Mile Falls," which was recently published in Connotation Press. James was recently selected as one of the winners in the West Virginia Fiction Competition for her story, "Paddle Like Hell". The West Virginia Fiction Competition is a literary competition designed to encourage writers and storytellers, whose talent and ability in creative writing is distinctive and promising. The final presenter will be Brandon Kirk, a descendent of feudists from Lincoln County, West Virginia. Mr. Kirk is an avid scholar of Appalachian feuds and southern violence. An assistant professor of American history at Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College, Kirk will share from his book, Blood in West Virginia: Brumfield V. McCoy. Kirk's novel is currently the bestselling feud book at Amazon and often leads sales on all West Virginia books. This event is free and open to the public. It also serves as the preview to the President’s Speaker Series that will begin during the spring semester. These events will be in honor and celebration of President Joanne JaegerTomblin’s 15 year anniversary as president of Southern West Virginia and Technical College. For more information on this Meet the Authors event contact Vicky Evans at 304-896-7331.
Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College has joined more than 501 community colleges and universities in signing the “8 Keys to Veterans’ Success”. Introduced by President Obama, the 8 Keys highlight specific ways colleges and universities can support veterans as they pursue their education and employment goals.  Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College recognizes the significant value that student veterans bring to our campus and believe that it is important that we ensure that veterans receive the best possible educational experience. Southern is committed to implementing and sharing promising practices such as the The 8 Keys to Veterans' Success. The steps are promoted as: 1. Create a culture of trust and connectedness across the campus community to promote well-being and success for veterans. 2. Ensure consistent and sustained support for veterans from campus leadership. 3. Implement an early alert system to ensure all veterans receive academic, career, and financial advice before challenges become overwhelming. 4. Coordinate and centralize campus efforts for all veterans, together with the creation of a designated space (even if limited in size). 5. Collaborate with local communities and organizations, including government agencies, to align and coordinate various services for veterans. 6. Utilize a uniform set of data tools to collect and track information on veterans, including demographics, retention and degree completion. 7. Provide comprehensive professional development for faculty and staff on issues and challenges unique to veterans. 8. Develop systems that ensure sustainability of effective practices for veterans. To learn more about the “8 Keys to Success,” click on the following link: . To view the list of colleges and universities click here: . 
Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College will offer QuickBooks training to assist local businesses and organizations with managing their financial health and daily business processes. An all day workshop will be held at Southern’s Boone/Lincoln Campus, near Foster/Danville, Room 110-B on Monday, November 17, 2014 from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. Lunch will be provided. Individual one-hour consultations will also be offered following the workshop at no additional cost. This session will be led by Sarah L. Martin, CPA, who heads up the Business Consulting Department of Gray, Griffith and Mays, a.c. in Charleston. Ms. Martin is a Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor, a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, West Virginia Society of Certified Public Accountants and the Charleston Chapter of CPAs. She brings over 20 years’ experience in strategic planning, financial and operational leadership, and business start-ups as well as corporate turnarounds and expansions. Pre-registration is required. With grant funds supplementing this training, the cost to attend is only $69 per participant for the 8 hour session, a 65% savings over the normal $199 per person cost. For more information or to register, please call 304-896-7434. Registration deadline is Thursday, November 13, 2014, 4:00 p.m. This workshop is made possible by assistance from Sam’s Club Shared Vision and the National Association of Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE).
Sandra Podunavac is being recognized as the Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College, November Employee of the Month. Podunavac is a graduate of Southern, where she received her A.A.S. in Executive Secretarial. She joined the staff in November 1993 as an Administrative Secretary. Her current position is Administrative Assistant in the Economic, Workforce and Community Development Department. Podunavac describes her job as Assisting the Vice President and Directors of Workforce Development and Academy for Mine Training and Energy Technologies with the coordination and marketing of class offerings and events, database maintenance and report generation, and managing Southern’s Parent Education Program. Her greatest challenge was the opportunity to assist Southern’s Workforce Development Department in being one of the state’s first colleges to set up and maintain its registration database in Banner. Podunavac also assists with information and coordination of events for federal, state and local agencies such as the West Virginia Supreme Court, West Virginia Small Business Development Center, and Corridor G Regional Development Authority. “I love my job, so that makes it much easier to accomplish what I need to do. I enjoy learning and trying new concepts and ideas to make the work flow smoother and help the college move forward.” Podunavac says she enjoys her interaction with students and believes having been on ‘the other side of the desk’ gives her understanding of what apprehensive students may be feeling. “I enjoy seeing that bright smile and the sense of accomplishment on a student’s face when they successfully complete their course and are ready to go to work. Some of them have returned for a visit to tell us about their new job and how much they appreciate what Southern has done for them.” She considers her greatest accomplishment to have been achieving her associate degree and becoming an employee of Southern. “From the time I first visited Southern’s library with my children, I felt content with Southern’s atmosphere and realized that I would like to work here. I knew that I needed to further my education, so I began taking classes. Later, I began working in the secretarial center on Logan campus, which made my classes even more accessible and allowed me to complete the requirements for my degree.” Podunavac volunteers as a Southern Samaritan and supports her community as a Sunday School Teacher at Church of God in the Name of Jesus Christ at Wilkinson, WV; visiting the local nursing home and helping with local fundraisers. In her spare time she enjoys songwriting, reading, and playing with the grandchildren. Podunavac and her husband James have four children and five grandchildren. She said she was “pleased, honored and humbled” to learn that she had been named Employee of the Month. “I am very thankful to have a job that I love and such a wonderful work family…God bless Southern!”
In recognition of her significant contribution to mining education, Joanne Jaeger Tomblin, WV First Lady and president of Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College, received the “Because of You” Educator of the Year Award. The award was presented at the 2014 Spirit of the Coalfields Miners’ Celebration at Tamarack Conference Center in Beckley, W.Va. “I am extremely honored to receive this award,” Tomblin said. Tomblin assumed her duties as President of Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College on November 16, 1999, making her the highest ranking president in years of service in West Virginia.  Her heart-felt zeal for the mission of the college has created an atmosphere for overall growth and her vision for preparing a well skilled workforce for the coal industry lead to a successful mine management program and the Academy for Mine Training and Energy Technologies. Last year Tomblin took The Academy to a global status when she led a delegation to China. As a result, students from the Shanxi Province will train at the facility. Throughout her years of service she has been most successful in fostering cooperative relationships and partnerships between business and industry groups, government officials, boards of education and the College. “Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College has created a gold standard for mine training in southern West Virginia. Our students are looking for that expert training, with the latest technology and best resources available. Southern provides that for them. Identifying the needs and successfully providing them to the students is producing extraordinary results.” The Miners’ Celebration is a cooperative project of the Center for Environmental, Geotechnical and Applied Sciences at Marshall University; the National Coal Heritage Area; Strategic Solutions LLC; the United Mine Workers of America; the West Virginia Coal Association; and the West Virginia Division of Energy, Office of Coalfield Community Development.
Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College announced its Emergency Medical Technician – Paramedic program received national accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). The CAAHEP voted to award initial accreditation to the program after peer review conducted the group's Committee on Accreditation and the CAAHEP Board of Directors recognized substantial compliance with the nationally established accreditation standards. The initial accreditation status will last through September 2019. CAAHEP is the largest programmatic accreditor in the health sciences field. In collaboration with its Committees on Accreditation, CAAHEP reviews and accredits more than 2000 educational programs in 22 health science occupations. “Accreditation is a process of assurance to the students and the public of the quality of our programs”, said Katherine Deskins, Assistant Professor/Coordinator for Emergency Services. “Obtaining accreditation confirms we are meeting the standards of the profession.” Upon graduation from an accredited program the student will have the skills and knowledge needed to function as a competent entry-level health care professional. “This distinction places our program among the elite Emergency Medical Technician-Paramedic programs in the state,” said West Virginia First Lady/ Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College President, Joanne Jaeger Tomblin. “I am very proud of the commitment and dedication of our faculty to educate the best prepared emergency medical technicians and paramedics.”

West Virginia First Lady and Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College President, Joanne Jaeger Tomblin, is featured in the current issue of WV Focus Magazine. The article, ‘West Virginia’s Wonder Women’, is celebrating the strong women of Appalachia and acknowledging the spirit these women bring to their professions and communities. Tomblin is highlighted for her contribution to education.




A new group of students from China’s Shanxi Province have completed training at the Academy for Mine Training and Energy Technologies at Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College. The instruction focused on communications, rescue and safety. The students began with an orientation session that included a meeting with First Lady/President of Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College, Joanne Jaeger Tomblin. They continued with basic classroom instruction, enhanced by the first class interactive experiences provided by The Academy. The Academy for Mine Training and Energy Technologies at Southern has the reputation for unsurpassed, state of the art training to recreate these real life scenarios. “Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College has created a gold standard for mine training in southern West Virginia. These students are looking for that expert training, with the latest technology and best resources available. Southern offers that to them.” Tomblin said.
Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College has been invited to partner with Country Music Television as a partner in a new campaign promoting higher education. CMT Empowering Education is a comprehensive campaign that provides online resource,, to aid viewers in overcoming commonly perceived obstacles to furthering their education. Building off this portal, CMT made a Commitment to Action at the 2014 Clinton-Global Initiative-America, the CMT Empowering Education Community College Initiative, to raise visibility for the education and workforce struggles in rural America and strategic solutions for economic development. Performer Justin Lynch is spokesperson for the campaign.