Latest Southern News

Ellucian, Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College’s information technology partner, will be holding a drawing to give away a Samsung Galaxy Tab4 tablet. Your name will automatically be entered into the drawing by using the Ellucian GO Mobile app that Southern rolled out last April. By registering or participating in any type of registration activity qualifies you for the drawing. To install Ellucian GO on your mobile device, select Southern as your school and then login. It's that simple. For more information, browse to, click on Current Students and then Tech Tips for Students. Under the Software category, there is a link to a page with information and video demos of the Ellucian GO app. Or will take you directly to that information page.
The newest class of the Appalachian Leadership Academy (ALA) of Cotiga Fellows was introduced at a special luncheon presentation at the Williamson campus of Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College on Monday. Retired U.S. Air Force 4-star General Robert H. “Doc” Foglesong, who is president of the ALA Education Foundation, came back to his hometown as featured speaker for the induction. Foglesong, who grew up in Chattaroy and graduated from Williamson High School and West Virginia University, started the scholarship program for local Mingo County students. The 2016 class consists of Cassidy Hudspeth, Joshua McClanahan, Susan “Kim” McClanahan, Kyle Newsome, Tiffany Queen, Amber Thaxton and Kelly Warren. The graduating class was also introduced and that group consisted of David Boyd, Josh Cassell, Lee Diamond, Angela Sloan, Taria Watson and Kelly Webb. Others from Southern present were Vice President for Economic, Workforce, and Community Development Allyn Sue Barker and Vice President for Development Ron Lemon. The Cotiga ALA program is designated to students who reside in Mingo County and are based at the Williamson Campus. However, this award does not preclude the student from registering at other college locations. The scholarship is renewable and the student may reapply each semester but renewal is not guaranteed. Renewal applicants must maintain a cumulative college grade point average of 3.0. Cotiga Development Company, LLC, is a long-standing land and mineral resource company and helps fund the Appalachian Leadership Academy Fellows Scholarships. For more information visit us online at .
AT&T contributed $8,000 to Southern West Virginia Community College Foundation for scholarships that allow rural students to pursue advanced education. The announcement was made during a special presentation by Andy Feeney, AT&T’s regional vice president for External Affairs in West Virginia. “Helping students prepare for college and careers is important to AT&T. These scholarships are one more way we can help young people in West Virginia strengthen their skills and prepare for careers,” Feeney said. AT&T Inc. is committed to advancing education, strengthening communities and improving lives. Through its community initiatives, AT&T has a long history of investing in projects that create learning opportunities; promote academic and economic achievement; or address community needs. In 2014, nearly $127 million was contributed or directed through corporate-, employee-, social investment- and AT&T Foundation-giving programs. AT&T Aspire is AT&T’s signature education initiative that drives innovation in education by bringing diverse resources to bear on the issue including funding, technology, employee volunteerism and mentoring. The Southern West Virginia Community College Foundation was established in 1971 to support student scholarships and educational programs to those residing in southern West Virginia and eastern Kentucky. For more information about scholarships available at Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College, contact Ronald E. Lemon, Vice President for Development at 304-896-7425 or e-mail at Online donations can be made at the Southern Foundation’s website at Pictured: Ronald E. Lemon, Vice President for Development at Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College, Mary Harrison, Southern student and Regional Coordinator at Governor’s Office, Emma Baisden, Executive Assistant to the President and Board of Governors at Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College, and Andy Feeney, AT&T Regional Vice President External & Legislative Affairs West Virginia.
Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College along with other West Virginia public two-year and four-year colleges and universities pledged increased support for student veterans during events held through the State’s ‘5 Star Challenge’ initiative, which launched earlier this fall. The Challenge, which calls on institutions to adopt a set of exemplary standards for supporting student veterans, is a tribute to the military tradition of issuing “challenge coins” to service members who embody the values and standards of their military units. College and university presidents from across West Virginia participated in ceremonies pledging their commitment to fulfilling the goals of the Challenge. During each ceremony, student veterans representatives presented the presidents and other campus leaders with a ‘5 Star Challenge Coin.” All public undergraduate institutions in West Virginia have committed to accepting the challenge, which calls for 1) signed commitments from college and university presidents to adopt best practices and standards, 2) a focus on increasing access and affordability to higher education for student veterans and military service members, 3) increased academic support including priority registration for classes, 4) enhancing social networks for veterans and military service members on campus and 5) greater collaboration with community organizations working to meet the needs of military service members. A detailed outline of the Challenge and a list of challenge coin ceremonies can be found at, the state’s free college and career-planning website. According to 2015 spring enrollment data, more than 2,700 students are enrolled using Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits within West Virginia’s two-year and four-year public higher education systems. “We are proud to announce that all public four-year institutions in West Virginia have accepted the ‘5 Star Challenge,’” Dr. Paul Hill, Chancellor of the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission (Commission) said. “Their participation in this effort not only acknowledges a sincere commitment to meeting the unique needs of our student veterans, but also results in real policies that will provide tangible benefits to military service members who are pursuing higher education. By providing student veterans with services such as priority registration and building stronger support networks on campus, we are honoring their service to our country and equipping them with the resources they need to succeed.” “Our two-year public colleges are fully committed to providing resources and support to ensure the success of our student veterans,” Dr. Sarah Tucker, Chancellor of the West Virginia Community and Technical College System (WVCTCS) said. “Student veterans contribute so much to our campus communities through their service to our country and their leadership in the classroom. Accepting the ‘5 Star Challenge’ is a way for us to acknowledge their contributions and sacrifices — and to assist them in balancing both their educational pursuits and their unique experiences as past or present military service members.” The 5 Star Challenge is an initiative of the Office of Veterans Education and Training Programs within the Division of Student Affairs at the Commission and WVCTCS. In addition to issuing the challenge to campuses, the Commission and WVCTCS are committing to providing more resources to help student veterans navigate the higher education system and find support on campus and in the community. Pictured are Merle Dempsey, Interim President for Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College and Ricky Ellis, Veterans Coordinator.
Steven Hall, Division Head of Healthcare and Business Programs at Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College has been recognized as an Outstanding Contributor to Community College Education. Hall received the award during the 2015 annual conference of the West Virginia Community College Association and the West Virginia Association for Development Education recently held at Embassy Suites, Charleston. Hall began his career at Southern as Program Coordinator/Assistant Professor when he was recruited in 2007 to institute a new AAS program in Respiratory Therapy. He is currently the Division Head of Healthcare and Business Programs where he oversees more than a dozen programs. In this role he coordinates the development and modification of program curricula within the division, serves as faculty liaison with administration, promotes and facilitates faculty participation in recruitment, advising, and retention. He must also coordinate the development of class schedules and monitor enrollments, coordinate the development of division budgets and make recommendations, monitor operations to ensure accreditation guidelines are followed, among other duties. Hall has also taken on the responsibility of overseeing several grants at the institution. He is the project manager for TAAACCT 4 Department of Labor – Hero’s for Hire –DOL consortium grant and the WVCTCS and Southern WV Community College matching grant for Higher Education. Hall has managed the creation of four new programs with this funding including Respiratory Therapy, Medical Assisting, Accelerated Medical Assisting, and Health Information Technology. With all these duties he still remains on call to the local hospital as a Per Diem Registered Respiratory Therapist-Neonatal Pediatric Specialist and Adjunct Online Professor, Grand Canyon University, Phoenix AZ offering a five week course in Sleep Observation Therapy for the Bachelor of Science degree program in Respiratory Therapy several times a year. Hall has a true volunteer spirit and shows that at both the college and in the community. At Southern he has served on Teaching Learning Committee, Enrollment Management, Vice President of Academic Affairs and Student Services Search Committee, and Chair of the Allied Health and Nursing Pinning Ceremony Committee. In the community he participates in the #Achieve Campaign focusing on 100% high school completion efforts in Logan and Lincoln Counties, Board of Directors for Pride Community Services, Board of Directors for West Virginia Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (WVVOAD) and Treasurer, Board of Directors of Lead Community Organization for which he is a co-founder and past Executive Director. Pictured: Dr. Debra Teachman, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Student Services presenting award to Hall. His awards both professionally and personally are numerous. A few include, Savas-Kostas Award for Outstanding Faculty Member of the Year, twice received the Presidents Leadership Award and was honored with the Distinguished Mountaineer Award in 2013 presented by Governor Earl Ray Tomblin. Hall says he enjoys playing a role in the life changing transformation that takes place with an education. “We provide the skills to change a person’s life forever. Education is the key to becoming self-sufficient and I am honored to be a part of that process.” Steven Hall began his educational and career path at Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College completing the General Studies program in 1997. He continued his education receiving his Certificate RT at Carver Career Center Charleston in 1998 and followed in 2001 with Advanced RT from California College for Health Sciences. In 2005, Hall received his Regents Bachelor of Arts (RBA), Marshall University and achieved his Master of Business Administration (MBA) from West Virginia University in 2008. Picture: Dr. Debra Teachman, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Student Services presenting award to Hall.
Tis the season for improving math skills! On January 4-7 and January 11-14 Math Boot Camps will be held on the Logan Campus of Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College. These boot camps are designed to help students prepare for college level math courses. Students planning on taking the HESI a2 test may attended a workshop on December 8-10 at the Williamson Campus or January 11-13 at the Logan Campus focusing on the math section of the test. Southern will also offer a preparedness session for the ACT test, December 7-10 on the Logan Campus. All events are FREE and open to all students. For more information contact Toni Redmiles at 304-896-7290 or .
Women and men from throughout Logan joined two local professionals for a “women in business” forum at Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College on Nov. 18. The meeting was held as a part of Women’s Entrepreneurship Day. Guest speakers Dr. Jennifer O’Neal and Diana Barnette shared the successes and challenges they face as business owners. Both have successful businesses in Logan County while mastering the demands of their work and family lives. O’Neal manages her own physical therapy practice while maintaining a position at Logan Physical Therapy and a side business where she operates as a trunk keeper for the children’s clothing line Matilda Jane Clothing. O’Neal stressed the importance of forward planning and organization in running a business. “Everyone always assumes that, if they have a business, they can afford it. It’s not true. There are many months where I’ve went without paying myself so I can pay my employees. I have two kids now. It’s very time consuming,” explained O’Neal. Barnette explained she and her husband had purchased their mining repair business and then moved to diversify their businesses by opening a cinema, Fountain Place Cinema 8 and a restaurant, Gatti’s Pizza. Barnette explained she returned to college to get a degree when the recent downturn in the mining business began. She noted that women from Appalachia should not be underestimated saying, “Being from Logan, I’ve gone in places where the minute I walk through the door …this stigma is attached…I use that. They underestimate me every time.” Stephen Hall, division head for healthcare and business at Southern, explained, “We are going to be sponsoring several forums over the next academic year. Our…effort is to really incorporate a mindset of entrepreneurship here at the college so that every discipline…can get a sense of entrepreneurism, and when they leave here with their formal education they also take away a spirit of reinvesting in our economy.” The event was sponsored by the Southern West Virginia Community College Foundation.
Board of Governors Chair,Thomas Heywood announced today that Dr. Robert E. Gunter was selected the next President of Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College effective January 1, 2016 pending the approval of the West Virginia Council for Community and Technical College Education. The selection was made after a nationwide search. Dr. Gunter will succeed Dr. Merle Dempsey, who has been serving as Southern’s Interim President since July of 2015. Dr. Gunter is currently the Vice President for Workforce Education at Arkansas State University Mid-South, West Memphis, Arkansas. As a senior manager, he is responsible for all aspects of Technical Education, including all technical credit and non-credit bearing courses; the secondary shared-time technical center; and, various workforce development grants. Dr. Gunter previously served as Deputy Director for Career and Technical Education at the Arkansas Department of Career Education, Little Rock, Arkansas, and as Vice President for Workforce Technology at Mid-South Community College (MSCC), West Memphis, Arkansas. Dr. Gunter has a record of successful partnership creation, grant writing and management, and fund raising through grant writing and the development of donor support for career and technical programs. He earned his Doctorate in Secondary Education Administration/Technology Education from Arizona State University, Tempe Arizona. He received his Master’s degree in Vocational and Adult Education, and his Bachelors’ degree in Vocational and Adult Education/Industrial Arts Education from Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama. "We received invaluable input from the campus and community stakeholders; and we want to commend the Search Committee's commitment, collaboration and dedication to the process of finding the best possible match for Southern," stated Heywood, on behalf of the Board of Governors. "In addition, the feedback we received from the faculty and staff at the campus forums was equally vital to our deliberations. We feel confident that Dr. Gunter understands the college's needs, mission, and vision and is the best choice to lead Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College."
Christopher Ward, Instructor of Mathematics is being recognized as the Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College, November Employee of the Month. Ward is a graduate of Washington State University where he earned a Master’s of Science in Mathematics. He also received a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and Computer Science from Saint Martin’s University and an Associates of Arts and Sciences from Olympic College in Bremerton, Washington. He joined the faculty of Southern in January 2015 and is bringing a ‘new view to the mathematics instruction. With the change in how we are doing instruction, in regards to the co-curricular model of teaching, being able to provide reasonable avenues to assist us in evaluating our students in their education process is important’. Ward’s style of teaching allows him to adjust and help a student understand the material. “Being a military veteran, I can understand where some of our student population comes from. I retired, and went back to school to obtain a degree to become an educator rather than go into the civilian workforce directly with the skills I had obtained. Some of our students are doing this exact same thing. They have worked in a field and now asked to change their lifestyles completely and find a new job. I take time, whether it is to stop what I am doing at my office or to travel to other sites during the week, and provide assistance to any student that may want the help. Being able to do this, makes their education a better experience and provide a positive image for Southern,” said Ward. Ward is just starting to make his mark on the campus of Southern and states that providing knowledge to our students is what he likes most about his career. “In the majority of the classes I teach, it comes down to them asking “why do I need this?” Being able to help provide an answer to this question, even if it is just one piece of the puzzle of their program as a whole, enriches the understanding of the material.” In his spare time, Ward enjoys outdoor activities with his wife Monica. “The great outdoors that has been provided to us is always a priority to me and my wife. There is so much that can be seen and learned about the region, that you never stop learning about the history each and every time you go to a place.” He also enjoys model railroading, playing the piano and competing in triathlons. With thoughts of the upcoming Veterans Day events, Ward, a retired Chief Petty Officer, wants to remind everyone to remember those that have served our nation. “We all do things in our lives to affect and change the outcomes of our own life, but these men and women go above and beyond what most of us could imagine to help change the lives of many”.