Latest Southern News

2009 Harmony Week Steering Committee

The 2009 Harmony Week Steering Committee at Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College met on Thursday, November 20th at the Chief Logan Conference Center. The meeting's purpose was to discuss the upcoming activities to be held at all of Southern's campuses.

Ron Lemon, vice president for development at Southern stated, "The meeting was very productive and well attended. We look forward to another great year of activities. Southern's partnerships with the local NAACP, the local school systems and our corporate sponsorships from Pepsi, Logan Bank and Trust, Logan Regional Medical Center and Aracoma Drug provide the key support for the month long celebration of diversity, history and cultural enrichment in our area."

Harmony Week began at Southern in January of 1996 and celebrates it's 13th year in February of 2009. The upcoming Harmony Week programs begin on February 2, 2009.

Pictured front row seated, l-r, Edith Williams, Barbara Jean Webster, Randy Skeens, Eunice Hairston, Tehseen Irfan and Dee Kapourales. Back row standing Ron Lemon, Cindy Crigger, William "Tank" Williams, Fazal Masih, Beth Deaton, Peggy Vance, Christine Browning, Crystal Hensley, Jenny Francis, Reverend Peppy Francis and Claude Williams. Also in attendance was the Reverend Audie Murphy.

Southern Employee Receives West Virginia Community College Association Award

Teri M. Wells, student records assistant at Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College recently received the 2008 Person of the Year Award presented by the West Virginia Community College Association during a state conference held at Stonewall Resort in Roanoke, WV.

This award is given to employees representing each community college who have made a substantial contribution and significant impact on the operations of their institution. "I am so pleased that Teri was selected for this award. She is an asset to Southern, our community and students," stated Southern's President Joanne Jaeger Tomblin. Wells continues to assist those currently serving in the military by helping them enroll in online courses at Southern. She has served on Southern's Academic Affairs Committee, Classified Staff Council, and Enrollment Management Committee. She has assisted with the Tech Prep campus visits, the Logan County Arts and Crafts Fair, Harmony Week, and miscellaneous recruiting events. She has also served as a volunteer member of the Southern Samaritans and was an original member of Southern’s Student Speakers Bureau. She was instrumental in bringing the portable Vietnam Wall to Logan and is also active with volunteer work at her church. She is married to Kevin Wells and they have two children, Katelynne and Kevin Jr.

Shell Family Scholarship Winner

Virginia Kimler of Pecks Mill, WV has been awarded the 2008 Shell Family Scholarship to attend Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College. The Shell Family Scholarship was established in 2007 by native Logan Countian and Huntington resident, Robert Shell, Jr., his wife Lena, mother Doris and other Shell family members.

Kimler plans to earn an Associate Degree in Arts at Southern and then transfer to Marshall University to pursue a Bachelors Degree in Secondary Education with a major in biology and a minor in arts. She aspires to become a high school biology teacher.

"I love it here at Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College. The atmosphere is great and the people are friendly. I was nervous about attending college in the beginning, but everyone here is willing to help you if you have a problem."

Kimler, a graduate of Logan High School, is the daughter of Donna Jean Miller and the step-daughter of George Estil Miller of Pecks Mill.

Persons interested in applying for the Shell Family Scholarship may obtain an application by going to Southern’s web site

Pictured are l-r Southern President Joanne Jaeger Tomblin, Southern Foundation President George Kostas, Virginia Kimler and Vice President of Development Ronald E. Lemon.

President Tomblin Addresses Rotary

New programs, construction of a technology center and the success of the Major Gifts Campaign Vision 2020 were the focus of Joanne Jaeger Tomblin, President of Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College, as she spoke to members of the Williamson Area Rotary Club on Tuesday, September 2nd at The Brass Tree. President Tomblin highlighted upcoming plans for the Williamson Campus, including the construction of a new Technology Center. A ground-breaking ceremony is planned for the spring of 2009.

During the 2007 West Virginia Legislative session, the legislature agreed to the sale of bonds for the purpose of constructing new campuses and technology facilities for the state's community and technical colleges. Southern is scheduled to receive between $6 and $8 million dollars for the construction of a technical facility at its Williamson Campus. Although planning for these facilities is still in the preliminary stages, President Tomblin discussed some of the possible programs that may be available once the new facility is constructed. College officials are currently working with business and industry in the region to determine what programs may be needed locally. "We continue to work closely with Major General Allen Tackett on the acquisition of the National Guard Armory property. The College still intends to purchase the Armory when it becomes available, however, but due to the timing of the bond funds, the College will need to begin construction and complete the new facility within three years of receiving the funds. Therefore, the new facility will be constructed at another location on the current College property," President Tomblin stated.

New programs being offered at the Williamson Campus include Respiratory Care Technology and a certificate program in Electrocardiology (EKG). The college also houses a day care center on campus which has helped numerous students with their children as they attend classes. The state has now focused their efforts on the recruitment of adult students and retraining the current workforce. President Tomblin stated, "The new technology center will assist the College in attaining these goals. Community and technical colleges have the technology and the curriculum to train workers quickly at an affordable cost, and we are excited to do so."

Since Southern launched its Academy for Mine Training and Energy Technologies in September of 2006, approximately 4,000 people have been trained for jobs in the mining, gas and oil industries. Most of the skills acquired are a result of hands-on training via simulators, such as a rock truck and an underground coal mine.

Even though Southern's enrollment is expected to increase this year, President Tomblin pointed out that southern West Virginia still has the lowest college going rate in the state. Southern representatives continue to visit area schools in an effort to increase that number by offering dual credit classes, which affords students the opportunity to earn college credit for classes they are taking in high school. The college's Foundation also helps, by providing scholarships for qualifying students in southern West Virginia and eastern Kentucky. The Southern Foundation distributed $142,000 in scholarship monies last year alone, and is expected to increase in 2009, President Tomblin said.

With less state funding available, the college has prepared for the future by initiating its very first Major Gifts Campaign with a goal of seven million dollars by the year 2010. Since the fall of 2006, the Vision 2020 major Gifts Campaign has received more than $6.4 million in contributions and pledges to sustain faculty, support new programs, provide financial assistance and to keep tuition at a low cost.

"Our employees and the community have been very supportive. Several businesses have stepped up to provide additional scholarship money. We recently received a $40,000 donation from Cotiga Development Company and we continue to partner with Cotiga in developing the Appalachian Leadership Academy which was established by General Robert "Doc" Foglesong," President Tomblin said. Four students were inducted into the academy last December and 10 more are expected to qualify as fellows this year.

"It is important that we, as a community, support young people in leadership roles. We must give them a reason to stay in southern West Virginia where they can earn a good salary with benefits and support a family. This is a great area to live and we at Southern want to be the place people think of first for education and training."

For more information about programs offered at all campuses of Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College, visit the web site at

Pictured are Mike Baldwin, Ted Williams, Cecil Shannon, Vinnie Kudva, Southern's President Joanne Jaeger Tomblin, Gordon Hensley II, Paul McCallister and Rocky Ball.

During a press conference on August 26th the Cleveland-Cliffs Foundation made a donation of $10,000 to establish four scholarships at Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College, Wyoming/McDowell Campus. The scholarships will be awarded to students entering the mine management and energy technology fields. On hand for the check presentation were l-r, Delegate Richard Browning, D-Wyoming; Vice-President of Workforce, Community and Economic Development Allyn Sue Barker; President Joanne Jaeger Tomblin; Director of the Academy for Mine Training and Energy Technologies Carl Baisden, Jr.; Cleveland Cliffs District Manager-Public Affairs Jim Kosowski; and Director of Wyoming/McDowell Campus Operations David Lord.

ALA Lunch

Williamson, WV - Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College recently received a generous donation of $40,000 compliments of Cotiga Development Company as an ongoing commitment to provide scholarships for students in the Tug Valley area. The company is also the sponsor of the Appalachian Leadership Academy, Cotiga Chapter based at the Williamson Campus of Southern.

Cotiga continues to assist students in completing their college education close to home by attending Southern in an effort to grow leaders in southern West Virginia and eastern Kentucky. The Appalachian Leadership Academy will prove to be an integral component to the success of future business and government leaders.

"Cotiga has been a long-time, committed partner to providing Tug Valley area students with the opportunity to continue their education at Southern. This is another chapter in our relationship with Cotiga that will benefit students for years to come," said President Joanne Jaeger Tomblin.

The four fellows who were inducted last fall into the academy recently met with representatives from Cotiga, Southern and the ALA Board of Directors to share stories about their first year experiences and the leadership skills they have acquired as a result of participating in the program. Now in their second year, Shannon Carbello of Delbarton, Kevin Whitt of Varney, Rita White of Delbarton, and Dee Dee Williams of Crum, are helping recruit applicants for this year's academy. Each one said they are becoming more confident and are learning each day what it takes to be a good leader.

"The leadership academy has been a great experience for me and I am becoming more comfortable with becoming a leader," Williams said.

Those who are selected as fellows this year will also receive a full scholarship to pay for tuition, fees and books, according to Pauline Sturgill, director of the Appalachian Leadership Academy at Southern. Sturgill is conducting interest meetings this month at the Williamson Campus. Those selected as Cotiga Chapter Fellows will have the opportunity to develop into skilled citizens and future leaders by focusing on character, leadership and technical excellence, Sturgill said. She hopes to have 10 members this year.

Mingo County's own General Robert H. “Doc” Foglesong established the Appalachian Leadership and Education Foundation in the fall of 2006. Its mission is to recruit and educate young men and women who are academically qualified, exhibit a strong work ethic, and demonstrate leadership qualities, but who would otherwise find college unattainable.

"More than anything else, the way you run your life defines your character and for leaders, good character is paramount," said Foglesong.

Last year Southern joined Marshall, Shepherd, Concord, Mississippi State and West Virginia Parkersburg Community College as ALEF partners. Establishing a student leadership chapter at the Williamson Campus in partnership with Cotiga Development continues to be a perfect match.

Williamson Campus representatives Rita Roberson, Mary Hamilton, Dr. Cindy McCoy, Karen Preece and Stella Estepp will continue to serve as student mentors of the leadership academy.

Some of the benefits of being selected for the leadership academy are:

* College counseling, academic support, and retention services.
* Leadership through Service Program.
* Internships and career development workshops.
* Parent support services and advisory groups.
* Grants and scholarships to financially challenged young men and women.
* Leadership curriculum under the direction of General Foglesong.

For more information about applying for the leadership academy at Southern, contact Sturgill at 304-896-7371 or email her at

Pictured are l-r, Appalachian Leadership Academy Director Pauline Sturgill, Cotiga Development Company Administrative Assistant Charlotte Curry, ALA Fellows Dee Dee Williams, Kevin Whitt, Shannon Carbello, and Rita White, Southern's President Joanne Jaeger Tomblin and ALA Board Member Dee Kapourales.

First Lady Visits With AmeriCorps Members

APPALREAD's 2008-2009 class of AmeriCorps members met First Lady Gayle Manchin on the Logan Campus, August 6, 2008. The AmeriCorps members will be serving as reading coaches in elementary schools across Boone, Logan, and Mingo Counties during the coming school year. APPALREAD is a program of Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College and is funded in part by the West Virginia Commission for National and Community Service and The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation.

Pictured left to right, front row: Sarah Howell, and Jessica Cooper. Second row, Mary Spaulding, Whitney Kessler, Pauline Sturgill (APPALREAD's Director), First Lady Gayle Manchin, Susan Trammell, Sandra Cox, Kayla New, Angela Dotson (APPALREAD Coordinator), and Tensia Spence. Third row: Anita Purdue, Donna Blankenship, Tiffany Lowe, Joyce Hill, Tonia Fitchpatrick, Michelle Steele, Samantha Wilson, and Carolyn Lucas.

West Virginia State Board of Education Visits Southern

President Joanne Jaeger Tomblin hosted members of the West Virginia State Board of Education during a visit to Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College on August 6th. The group, including First Lady Gayle Manchin, toured the new 55,000 square foot Allied Health and Technology Center and the Logan campus. They also visited the Academy for Mine Training and Energy Technologies where they experienced a rock truck simulator.

Pictured are l-r, State Superintendent of Schools Dr. Steven L. Paine, President Tomblin, Mrs. Manchin, Superintendent of Lincoln County Schools David Roach and State Assistant Superintendent of Technical and Adult Education Services Dr. Stanley Hopkins. Superintendent of Logan County Schools Wilma Zigmond and college administrators joined the group for a discussion about Southern's new academic programs and workforce training.

CEDAR of Southern West Virginia, Inc. held its annual scholarship banquet on May 27th at the Logan Country Club. Opening remarks were given by CEDAR President Georgene Robertson.

Scholarships were presented by Joanne Jaeger Tomblin, president of Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College and Foundation board member George Kostas

to the following recipients: Chelsea Anderson of Van High School; Barbara Blankenship, Iaeger High School; Courtney Blankenship, Gilbert High School; Jordan Browning, Tug Valley High School; Cody Elswick, Sherman High School; Kandice Hatfield, Gilbert High School; Brittany Miller, Matewan High School; Courtney Newsome, Tug Valley High School, Pete Spano, Logan High School and Crystal Toppings, Truthway Christian Academy. These scholarships were created through the partnership of CEDAR and Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College.