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Logan, WV - Bestselling author, performer, and motivational speaker, Nicole Johnson will be the featured speaker at the first annual Women's Leadership Institute set for June 10 and 11 at the Chief Logan Conference Center.

The women's networking forum is being hosted by Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College and features a host of leadership developing workshops. Registration has already reached the maximum of 150 participants but a waiting list has been created.

Nicole Johnson is one of the most sought-after creative communicators in America today. Her unique ability to blend humor with compassion as she captures the inner-most feelings of women facing life's daily struggles, has enabled her to create a unique sense of community for women of all ages.

Playing to sold-out crowds of approximately three million women as part of the nations's largest women's conference, Nicole Johnson's "Fresh Brewed Life" message is giving "Hope for the Daily Grind" to thoughtful women who are motivated but often find themselves overextended.

Other conference highlights include Dreama Denver, wife of legendary television personality Bob Denver, best known to millions of fans as lovable Gilligan in the classic sitcom GILLIGAN’S ISLAND. Also speaking will be Dr. Marie Gnage, president of West Virginia University, Parkersburg.

"Southern’s first annual Women’s Leadership Institute promises to be an experience women will be talking about for years to come," said Joanne Jaeger Tomblin, Southern's President and the First Lady of West Virginia.

Southern will honor a woman of outstanding character and integrity who has demonstrated dedication, leadership and commitment to the advancement, promotion and development of the cultural, educational, social, economic or political welfare of our region. The highlight of Friday evening will be the presentation of the 2011 Women of the Year award. Local business women Diane Barnette has been selected to receive this prestigious honor.

Barnette is a Logan County resident and entrepreneur who is dedicated to community service and the betterment of our area. A graduate of Logan High School and Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College with an Associate’s Degree in Business Administration, Barnette has been a professional business woman since 1987. Her keen sense of business and entrepreneurial spirit has led her and her husband Ronald to own and operate three successful businesses in Logan County: Mining Repair Specialists; Fountain Place Cinema 8; and her newest business, Gatti’s Pizza. Cumulatively, she has more than 80 employees within her businesses.

The first annual Women’s Leadership Institute is a partnership between leaders representing business, social services, K-12, higher education and the community who are working together to provide a forum where all women, regardless of age, color, ethnicity, and/or socio-economic status are empowered to use their unique abilities and talents to serve as leaders for the betterment of society.

Cotiga Donation to Southern

A generous donation was recently presented to the Southern West Virginia Community College Foundation by representatives of Cotiga Development Company LP. The check presentation was made during the Cotiga Fellowship Luncheon held at the Williamson Campus on May 20th. The $21,000 donation will be used to support student scholarships. Pictured are l-r, Southern's Vice President for Economic, Workforce and Community Development Allyn Sue Barker; Williamson Campus Director of Operations Rita Roberson; Vice President for Development at Southern Ronald E. Lemon; President of Cotiga Development Richard Snowden; Cotiga's Manager of Resources Edward Curry and Program Specialist Tammy Mays.

"Cotiga has been a long-time supporter of scholarships at Southern. We appreciate their long-term commitment and service to the Tug Valley area. This gift will provide many educational opportunities to Mingo County students. We are very blessed to have them as a community and education partner," Lemon said.

“I would like to nominate Tim Weaver.

Tim has served the college for many years now, and he is a person that students feel comfortable approaching with both academic and personal matters.  He volunteers in his community and often participates in recruiting activities for the college.  During the Spring 2011 semester, he has been very busy travelling between the Wyoming and Boone campuses as well as travelling to South Charleston a few nights a week for his graduate work.  He is truly an asset to Southern and he is well deserving of Faculty of the Month.”

2011 CIC Award

Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College recently received the H.L. Boling Above and Beyond the Call of Duty Award during the 2011 Critical Issues Conference held in Daytona Beach, Florida. The conference was sponsored by the International Society of Mine Safety Professionals. The award recognizes institutions of higher learning for leadership, vision, integrity and trust.

The International Society of Mine Safety Professionals was founded to promote the development of health and safety professionals throughout the international mining community. Saving lives and reducing injuries through better leadership, planning, and practice are primary goals of the Society.

Pictured are l-r, Allyn Sue Barker, H.L. Boling, Southern President Joanne Jaeger Tomblin, Carl Baisden, Ralph Farley, Pete Browning and Kimball Alvey.

Technology Center Groundbreaking

Ground was broken at a for construction of a 25,000 square foot Applied Technology Center on the Williamson Campus of Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College.

Steve Lacek

I would like to nominate Steve Lacek. He is very active at the college. He is an excellent teacher. He is always willing to help any of the students, he pitches in and helps other instructors at the college. He is a member of the National Association of Developmental Educators and the West Virginia Association of Developmental Educators as well. He serves on numerous committees including Vice Chair of the Faculty Senate. I think he is well deserving for faculty of the month.

 -Beverly Slone

Arch Coal Donation

Arch Coal Foundation Presents $25K Gift to Mine Academy at Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College

Arch Coal Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Steven F. Leer, on behalf of the Arch Coal Foundation, presented a gift of $25,000 to Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College’s President Joanne Jaeger Tomblin.

In June 2010, the Arch Coal Foundation pledged a total of $100,000 over four years to the Mine Academy at Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College. This is the second of four equal contributions to be made by the Foundation.

“We strongly support education and Southern’s Mine Academy,” said Leer during his public remarks at the Clay Center in Charleston, W.Va.  “We’re pleased the Arch Coal Foundation can support this important regional community and technical college, which is located near our Mountain Laurel and Coal-Mac operations.”

The Arch Coal Foundation was formed in December 2005 with an initial endowment from Arch Coal, Inc.  These funds are used to support organizations that engage in improving the quality of life in the communities in which Arch Coal operates.  The Arch Coal Foundation focuses much of its giving in the area of education, including contributions to schools, as well as through sponsorship of its signature program – the Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Awards – that recognizes top classroom teachers in West Virginia, Wyoming and Utah.

St. Louis-based Arch Coal, Inc. (NYSE:ACI) is one of the world’s largest coal producers, with more than 160 million tons sold in 2010.  Through its national network of mines and 4,700-person workforce, Arch provides 15 percent of the annual U.S. coal supply.  In West Virginia, Arch subsidiaries operate the Mountain Laurel mining complex near Sharples, and the Coal-Mac mining complex near Holden.

Believe, Achieve and Succeed award recipients for 2011 are Benita Murphy and Dwight Neal. Pictured are l-r, President Joanne Jaeger Tomblin, Benita Murphy, Dwight Neal, Rev. Audie Murphy and Rev. Randy Skeens. The awards were presented during a candlelight vigil held at the Word of Life Church as part of Harmony 365 activities sponsored by Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College in partnership with the Logan/Boone Chapter and Williamson Branch of the NAACP and the West Virginia Humanities Council.

First Lady Kicks Off College Completion Tour

Charleston, W.Va. - First Lady Joanne Jaeger Tomblin will underscore the importance of college completion during a series of events at each of West Virginia's community and technical colleges beginning this Monday. The First Lady will travel to the institutions and present them with the College Completion Challenge, a call to action developed by the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) and the Association of Community College Trustees that aims to increase student completion rates nationwide.

"We are seeing more and more West Virginians pursue postsecondary credentials, but we need a stronger emphasis than ever before on college completion," the First Lady said. "West Virginia's future economy will be strong only because of a well-prepared, educated workforce - and increasing the ranks of those with a college degree or certification is the best way to reach that goal."

Over the next five weeks, the First Lady will meet with the president of each institution as they commit to this challenge, signifying a unified statewide effort to realize an additional 16,000 West Virginians with certifications or degrees by 2015. In addition to signing on to, "Accepting the College Completion Challenge: A Call to Action," each president will receive a resolution developed by the Community and Technical College System of West Virginia (WVCTCS) that embraces the commitment of the AACC. Robert Brown, Chairman of the WVCTCS, and James Skidmore, WVCTCS Chancellor, will join the presidents in signing this resolution.

Globally, America is falling short in postsecondary achievement - and by the year 2018, more than 60 percent of jobs will require a college certificate or degree. In West Virginia, at least 20,000 additional citizens will need postsecondary credentials to meet projected workforce needs. During the past three years, enrollment in community and technical colleges has increased 21 percent and tuition has been held to an average increase of $67 per year. Concurrently, the number of college credentials awarded by community and technical colleges has increased by 24 percent.

As part of the college completion tour, the First Lady will visit with college officials, local businesses and industry representatives to discuss their ideas and issues related to community college education in West Virginia.