Latest Southern News

April 2013 Classified Staff Employee of the Month
Business Office Accounting Clerk, Henrietta McClellan is being recognized as the Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College, April Classified Staff Employee of the Month.               
McClellan joined the staff of Southern as Business Office Cashier in July 1992. She then became responsible for the switchboard and information desk. She not only answers the phones, but greets students and visitors. She offers directions to those in need, processes all incoming and outgoing mail, and helps in the business office when needed.
McClellan says she is a “people person and that helps with this job”, she said. This attitude was a reason for her nomination. Her nomination form stated, “It takes a special person to maintain a genuine, welcoming smile while working in a high-traffic area, serving countless customers who stop by her desk.”
“I have really enjoyed working here at Southern for the past twenty-plus years.  There are many wonderful people here and I cherish the friendships I have made while working here, not only with other employees, but also with the students.  If I ever retire I will be taking some wonderful memories with me,” she said.
McClellan and her husband of 35 years  Jerry, have a son, daughter, step-son and five grandchildren.
April 2013 Faculty of the Month
Regina Bias is being recognized as the Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College, April Faculty Member of the Month.
Bias graduated from Marshall University for ADN, BSN, then attended  Bellarmine College for Master’s in Nursing Education and Nursing Administration.  She continued her education at West Virginia University receiving a Post Master’s Certificate in Pediatric Nurse Practitioner. 
Bias joined the nursing faculty in August 1997. She teaches second year nursing students, and is team leader for courses clinical, advisors, and preparing for the NCLEX.
She defines her role as “being able to get that light of understanding in their eyes and I know that I have done my job and maybe they can become good nurses.”
Bias serves on several committees at Southern such as the Academic Affairs, Math rubric, and has served as Pinning Chair for Nursing  for the past  8 years.            
Her community activities include Scouting, Cub Scout Day camp Director, help with the sporting program, Church, and Director of Merit Badge College at Southern.
Her hobbies include spending time with her children and sports, especially watching her son play.
Bias and her husband Terry have one son.
“Southern is a great place to work, because I have been blessed to work with great people and wonderful students,” Bias said.
Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College has been awarded a $892,000 federal grant from the National Science Foundation to be used to develop a career pathway program for students enrolled in engineering and mining programs. The grant will also enhance professional development for faculty in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) courses. “We are exhilarated about realizing our vision,” said First Lady/President Joanne Jaegar Tomblin. “This grant validates the college’s planning and hard work in connecting with the changing global culture.” Southern will receive the funding over three years for its ‘Comprehensive Career Pathways and Programs in Coal Mining’ project. “The grant will allow us to expand our program and course offerings with a special focus on mining technology.” Tomblin said. “It will also help us strengthen our existing online offerings and develop more online courses especially the development STEM courses.” NSF Grants are highly competitive, placing Southern in a select group of recipients. Tomblin offered praise for the experienced and celebrated members of the Grant Committee. Members are Dr. Pamela Alderman, Carol Howerton, Bill Alderman, Alyce Patterson-Diaz, Guy Lowes and Mindy Saunders. “At Southern we stay connected with area business and provide quality academic and workforce development programs to meet the need,” said Tomblin. “We are committed to exceptional teaching, and to educating students who will change lives and make an impact in their community.” Southern provides accessible, affordable, quality education and training at each of its four campuses in Boone, Logan, Mingo and Wyoming counties and its Lincoln County High School location in Hamlin, WV. For further information visit or call 1-866-SWCTC1.

Kimberly Hensley and Steven Lacek have been awarded the President’s Award by First Lady/President of Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College, Joanne Jaeger Tomblin.

Tomblin announced the recipients during the annual President’s Awards Ceremony.

The President’s Award was established by President Tomblin to recognize an outstanding college employee who demonstrates a commitment to the college and is dedicated to making the community a better place.

Hensley, an Associate Professor of Biology in the Natural Sciences Department, believes in the empowerment of education, and helping her students discover their ‘aha’ moment.   “I strive to help my students shape their future and find a path to their goals,” said Hensley.

Hensley is a graduate of Williamson High School and attended Marshall University, where she earned her undergraduate degree in Biology and a Master’s in Environmental Science.  She has been a full time professor at Southern since 2001.

She maintains a very busy schedule at Southern and is active in the community, serving as a Sunday school teacher and youth leader and is an instructor for the Merit Badge College for the Boy Scouts. She also tutors and helps with science education on the secondary level.

Fellow recipient, Steven Lacek, Assistant Professor / Department Chair for Transitional Studies began his career at Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College in the fall of 1997 as a part time lab manager on the Wyoming Campus. After several semesters he left the state but returned in 2004 as an Instructional Specialist for the Transitional Studies Department eventually leading to his current position.

He recently assumed a leadership role as the Co-Coordinator of Southern’s Self Study for reaffirmation of accreditation with the Higher Learning Commission, leading to his recognition as Southern’s Outstanding Contributor to Community College Education.

He was the 2011 recipient of the Savas-Kostas Outstanding Faculty Award for Excellence and was selected to be a participant in the President’s Future Leaders’ Academy. Lacek is a member of the National Association of Developmental Educators and serves on the WVCTCS Developmental Education Task Force Sub Committee on Assessment.

Lacek earned his bachelor's degree in Education with a concentration in Mathematics from Concord University and Master of Arts in Mathematics from Marshall University.

“At the heart of any great educational institution, are those talented and passionate individuals who devote their time, enlightening and mentoring students for the future,” said Tomblin. “Kim and Steve are two such individuals.”

First semester Appalachian Leadership Academy students recently presented their plan for making Williamson a bicycle friendly community to the Williamson Town Council. Pictured are Kayla Colegrove and Jennifer Ray speaking to the Williamson Town Council about the health benefits of bicycling. The presentation also included the economic benefits of cycling and a recommendation to create an advisory board.
Veteran Club Meeting
Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College hosted the first Veterans Club meeting on March 6th. Speakers for the meeting were Veteran Matt Lewis and Accredited Financial Counselor, Rosa Lea McNeal. The club will meet the first Wednesday of each month in the Veterans Lounge on the Logan Campus. For more information contact Tim Ooten at 304-896-7354 or
Guest Speakers on Logan Campus

Several guest speakers visited the Logan Campus to speak to nursing students during their recent workshop. The morning began with a presentation from Dignity Hospice to orient the first year nursing students to end-of-life care. Additional presentations were made by representatives of the Tug Valley Recovery Shelter, the Logan County Sheriff's department, and the Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Christopher White. Together, they discussed the procedures and legalities surrounding the growing domestic violence crimes within our area. The afternoon session included a presentation by Melissa Kirk on Sexual Assault.

Anna James

Anna James is being recognized as the Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College, March Faculty Member of the Month.

James graduated from Eastern University in Philadelphia and earned her MFA in Writing at Queens University of Charlotte.

She joined the faculty in 2011 and holds the position of English Instructor/Transitional Studies. 

James states that she wants her students to leave class knowing what they should and to be prepared for the next level course.  “I think a key responsibility is to instill a sense of confidence in my students that they can not only pass my course, but also achieve their goals and dreams in life,” said James. “Because so many students limit themselves, I try to help them to dream bigger dreams and to open themselves up to wider possibilities than they've ever imagined,” she added.   

James serves on various committees and in the summer she volunteers with College Summit as a Writing Coach, helping high school seniors craft exemplary college entry essays. 

She boasts her greatest accomplishment here was getting the job.  “I'm a lucky dog,” she said. “I still have to pinch myself that I get to do what I love.”

Her greatest challenge is learning how to get students to carry what they've learned in her course out the door and into their lives.  “Some students want to learn for the course grade, not for life.  I'm trying new strategies this semester.”

James has two daughters, Shelby 11 and Sonora 14.

Carol Howerton is being recognized as the Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College, February Faculty Member of the Month.

Howerton graduated from Concord College with a BS in Mathematics and Computer Science. She earned her MS at the College of Graduate Studies in Management Systems.
She joined the faculty in 1988 and has held the position of Department Chair Technology and Engineering since 2000. She is responsible for coordinating technology programs and curriculum development. She also teaches IT/CS courses. Howerton conducts professional development activities for the faculty. Those activities include Blackboard, softchalk and Quality Matters.
Howerton serves on various committees. She is community college representative to the WV Engineering Science and Technology Scholarship committee, Southern’s representative to West Virginia Virtual Learning Network committee and the Southern Regional Educational Board committee.
On campus she is a member of the North Central Request for Change Committee, Technology Strategic Planning Committee, NSF Grant Committee,?and Enrollment Management - Registration Committee. She serves as faculty representative on the Technology Committee.
Her community activities are many. She assists with the Christmas Outreach Project for her church. She enjoys working with youth sports programs and has coached or assisted with tennis, basketball and baseball team for the past 13 years.
”I love what I do,” Howerton said. “I always try to put the students first. It is very rewarding to watch someone who has struggled finally understand it .I enjoy helping students achieve their goals.”
Howerton and her husband, John, live in McConnell. They have two children; Michelle, a Pharmacy student at WVU and Tyler a freshman at Southern.