West Virginia First Lady and President of Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College, Joanne Jaeger Tomblin, Director of Academy for Mine Training and Energy Technologies, Carl Baisden and Academy Instructor, Bethany Howerton joined members of the West Virginia Development Office for a Mission Trip to China. The group attended the 2013 China Coal and Mining Expo in Beijing, China, where Tomblin represented West Virginia during the opening ceremonies. It is the largest coal mining exhibition in China and draws a worldwide audience. It is the top event in the China Coal industry. The representatives from Southern also attended a meeting hosted by officials of the Shanxi Province. In August 2013, Southern signed an official agreement with Shanxi officials to permit students from their province to train at Southern’s Academy during the next four years. The meeting addressed the arrival of the first students in November. The training will focus on communications, rescue and safety. “Identifying the needs and successfully providing them to the students is likely to produce extraordinary results. Southern looks forward to offering this opportunity,” said Tomblin. “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 will provide that for them.” Tomblin said. "Our understanding of educational experiences abroad is expanding, and there are more opportunities for students beyond the traditional study abroad for academic credit," she added. First Lady/President Tomblin also had the opportunity to visit the Affiliated High School of Shanxi University. Tomblin was given a tour of the 3000 student facility by the principal and had a chance to meet with teachers also. Senior students were invited to join a question and answer session with Tomblin. Visiting a new Coal Liquification Plant, Electric Power Plant and the newly created Trade Free Zone was an additional highlight for the group. The Free Trade Zone provides countries with the opportunity to export products at a reduced tax rate. “China’s economic growth is creating exceptional opportunities for greater engagement between West Virginia and China. Southern is proud to be a part of that partnership,” Tomblin said.
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Southern’s Board of Governors Trustees joined nearly 2,000 community college trustees, presidents, professional board staff, and national and state leaders at the 44th Annual Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) Leadership Congress held October 2-5 at the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle, WA. Move the Needle on Student Success was this year’s theme. The ACCT Leadership Congress featured over 80 educational sessions on best practices for community colleges, fundamental and advanced trustee training, and a lively town hall meeting dedicated to determining priorities in the governance of community college student success initiatives. Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and former Microsoft CEO, and Jamie Merisotis, Lumina Foundation President and CEO, were keynote speakers for the Leadership Congress. Pictured l-r: Emma Baisden (Professional Board Staff), Debbie Dingess (Classified Staff Trustee), Stacy Dingess, President/First Lady Joanne Tomblin, Mary Nemeth-Pyles (Faculty Trustee), and Board Chair, Thomas Heywood.
The 1st Annual Mike McGraw Memorial Scholarship Golf Classic was held October 3rd at Twin Falls State Park. The event began with a plaque dedication attended by McGraw’s family. David Lord welcomed all and Bill Cline lead the opening prayer. Kim Gross, representative from the Governor’s Office made the Honorary Mountaineer presentation. This award is presented in recognition of an individual having demonstrated an expression of goodwill and respect for the people of the Mountain State. Merle Dempsey spoke of McGraws contributions and presented the plaque. The tournament concluded with a picnic dinner. Top scorers were; 1st place: Phillip Murphy, Ed Murphy, Randall May, Tommy Brown (52, -19); 2nd Place: Lazzer Graphics (54. -17); 3rd Place: Jim Prater, Tom Vogel, Larry Dolson, Pat Jack (62. -9)
Each year West Virginia launches a statewide College Fair Program that bring institutional representatives together from across the state to meet with high school students. Students have the opportunity to learn about the admissions process, the availability of educational programs and financial aid awareness. Thousands of high school juniors and seniors meet with institutional representatives to discuss the possibly of attending their institution upon graduation. Through the many college-planning and financial aid displays, these students are provided with information needed to help them in the college-readiness process. Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College is an active participant in the West Virginia College Fair program.