Latest Southern News

Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College’s Chawndala Tackett has been inducted into Phi Theta Kappa, the honor society for two-year college students.

Tackett was honored along with 19 other students from across West Virginia during a ceremony at the Governor’s Mansion. The West Virginia Community and Technical College System (CTCS), along with First Lady Cathy Justice, honored each student individually for their academic success, determination, and commitment to their communities.

Tackett will graduate from Southern on Saturday, May 12, with an Associate of Applied Science degree in Health Information Management.

“Chawndala’s induction into Phi Theta Kappa is a tremendous honor, and she represents the best of our students,” Southern President, Dr. Robert Gunter, said. “I couldn’t be more proud of her accomplishments and her recognition.”

Phi Theta Kappa is a premier honor society recognizing the academic achievement of community college students and helping them to grow as both scholars and leaders. The honor society is made up of more than 3.2 million members with nearly 1,300 chapters in nine countries.

Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College President, Dr. Robert E. Gunter, has named Rita Roberson as the college’s new Vice President for Institutional Advancement.

“Moving into the position of Vice President for Institutional Advancement will give me the opportunity to work closely with all of the communities in Southern’s service district,” Roberson said. “I look forward to working and partnering with schools, businesses and individuals in our effort to provide an education to all.”

Roberson began her educational career at Southern. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Marshall University, and then her Master of Arts in Counseling, with an emphasis in Community Agency, from Marshall University Graduate College.
She has been employed by Southern since 1985, and has most recently served as the Williamson Campus Director.

“Rita has brought huge levels of innovation to the college and most recently celebrated her latest success as the Southern Champion for our First Annual Southern Telethon hosted at Southern’s Williamson campus this past Sunday,” Dr. Gunter said. “I look forward to having her as part of my Executive Team and working with her to expand the Vision 2020 initiative by seeking additional donors to the College Foundation.”

Mount Gay, W.Va……Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College has named English Instructor Lillie Teeters its Employee of the Year. She received her award on Friday, April 27 during the college’s Governance Day.

Teeters has been an instructor at Southern since January 2016. She has been the creative force behind Southern’s student-published Sticks magazine. When the magazine was begun, the staff consisted of two faculty members, including Teeters, and one student. During this spring semester, the magazine had nine students on staff, with Teeters still at the helm as faculty advisor.

“I am both humbled and honored to have been selected for the Employee of the Year award,” Teeters said. “Sticks has emerged as a powerhouse of labor, love and the Southern community. The response to the magazine, its staff, the authors and artists proves that it has a place here at Southern. My hope is that the magazine gets bigger and better and we fill the Savas Costas auditorium up next year!”

She earned a Bachelor of Arts from Otterbein University in Ohio, and a Master of Fine Arts from Queen’s University in Charlotte, N.C.

“It’s always great to be able to acknowledge someone for their hard work,” Southern President Dr. Robert E. Gunter said. “And Ms. Teeters exemplifies all that this college is about.”

Mount Gay, WV - Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College is pleased to welcome Ms. Stephanie Tyree, Executive Director of the West Virginia Community Development Hub in Charleston, West Virginia, to address the Class of 2018 as its 46th Commencement Ceremony on Saturday, May 12, 2018.

Tyree joined “the Hub” in 2012 as a community-based policy director, creating a new program to engage West Virginia residents, and became its executive director in 2016.

With more than ten years of experience in policy, community development and community organizing, she has dedicated her career to advancing community-based, systematic solutions for rural, coal-impacted communities in Central Appalachia. Her work has taken her from New York City to Mingo County, WV to Prestonsburg, KY, and many places in between. During that time, her major interest and area of expertise has centered around developing tools to drive community collaboration, leadership engagement, and community-driven change to build strong resilient rural communities.

“My goal has always been to figure out how we can make our communities a better place to live, make it more livable and healthier,” Tyree said. “I think the environment is part of that discussion, but it’s not the only part.”

Tyree earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Pittsburgh (2003) and her law degree from NYU School of Law (2007). She was a 2016 BALLE Fellow, recognized as a “West Virginia Wonder Woman” by West Virginia Living Magazine in 2016, and was a recipient of the State’s Journal’s “Next Generation: 40 Under 40” Award in 2018.

Tyree was born and currently lives in Charleston, West Virginia with her husband and son.

“I wanted to get back to West Virginia,” Tyree said. “I felt like this is where I wanted to put down roots and raise a family. This is the place I feel connected to, and if I was going to make a place better, I wanted it to be my home state.”

The Commencement Ceremony will take place on Saturday, May 12, 2018, beginning at 10:00 a.m. at the Coalfield Jamboree Theater, 208 Main Street, Logan, West Virginia. The public is invited to attend.

West Virginia Governor Jim Justice recently appointed J. Chris Adkins of Danville, Eddie J. Canterbury of Logan, Samuel A. Stewart of Matheny, and Pat J. White of Man, to the Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College Board of Governors. They are filling the expired terms of outgoing board members.

In addition to the new appointments, Governor Justice reappointed Dr. Mason ‘Ed’ White of Logan, and Mr. Kevin Zachary of Chapmanville, to three-year terms ending June 30, 2021.

Mr. Adkins, president of the non-profit, Driven Knights, will serve through June 30, 2019, and succeeds Kevin Hill. Mr. Canterbury was appointed to serve a two-year term ending June 30, 2020, is a mortgage loan officer at Logan, Bank, & Trust, and succeeds Jada Hunter. Mr. Stewart, a Nationwide Associate Agent, will also serve through June 30, 2020, and replaces Glenn Yost. Dr. White, a retired employee of Logan County Schools, replaces Raamie Baker, and will serve a three-year term ending June 30, 2021. Adkins, Canterbury, and White are from the Seventh Senatorial District, and Stewart is from the Ninth Senatorial District.

“We are excited to welcome these new members to the Southern family and to have Dr. White and Mr. Zachary reappointed,” said President Bob Gunter. “We look forward to their collective experience, dedication, insight, and vision as we continue to move our institution forward to meet the needs of the communities we serve. I extend our sincere appreciation to Jada Hunter, Kevin Hill, Raamie Barker, and Glenn Yost for their outstanding service to the board,” President Gunter said. “They have devoted considerable time and energy to serving on the board during my tenure at Southern, and they have been instrumental in the progress made at the College throughout recent years.”

Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College provides accessible, affordable, quality education and training at each of its four campuses in Boone, Logan, Mingo and Wyoming counties, and its Lincoln Location in Hamlin, WV. For further information visit or call 1-866-SWCTC1.

Southern Pride Agreement

PRIDE Community Services and Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College have formed a partnership to build jobs by providing on-the-job training to displaced coal miners and others who have been economically affected by the decline in the coal industry. Through the partnership, PRIDE and Southern will work together to provide training opportunities in technical areas including plumbing, electrical, HVAC, welding, and residential contracting. Participants completing the technical training will have the opportunity to participate in business coaching, small business development, and entrepreneurial training; or complete next level training through academic programs such as Welding, Electrical Engineering Technology, or Mechatronics. Funded by an Appalachian Regional Commission POWER grant, the BuildJobs program began on July 1, 2017. This program serves Boone, Lincoln, Logan, Mingo, and Wyoming counties in West Virginia. Participants must reside in one of these five counties.

The BuildJobs program is 16 weeks in duration and free to participants. Applications are processed the first week including drug testing and background checks. Each participant must have a valid driver’s license and Social Security card. Participants are placed with a partner contractor or in a Southern classroom during weeks two (2) through 15. PRIDE’s Training Coordinator prepares participants to take required exams during the last week of the program by teaching test taking tips. PRIDE pays the licensure exam fee to be taken up to twice by each participant. If tools are required, PRIDE purchases tools for the participant to use during training, as well as, to help them get started in their new career. PRIDE also provides a $20 fuel stipend daily (excluding days off) to each participant.

Southern is partnering with PRIDE to articulate the technical training into credits toward the Technical Studies certificate and associate degree programs. Students can receive credit for the training provided by BuildJobs partners as well as other work experiences, then complete additional technical skills or work on business skills necessary to open and manage their own business.

According to PRIDE Project Director, Shelia Riddle, “The BuildJobs program will create a trained workforce to fill positions that continue to be in high demand. We are hearing from employers who want to hire qualified applicants, but these positions go unfilled because there continues to be a low supply of folks who are trained to fill these positions. The program will also create small businesses which will hopefully grow into big businesses. When businesses grow, so do communities and when our communities grow, so do our people.” Dr. Robert Gunter, President of Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College, stated “We are excited to work with PRIDE in this grant opportunity. It’s a perfect example of blending community services, workforce, academic, and business and industry partnerships to serve our communities and provide growth in job opportunities.”

For more information about the BuildJobs program, contact the PRIDE office at 304-752-6868, Sheila Riddle, Project Director, at 304-785-2433, Jason Compton, Training Coordinator, at 304-785-1264, or Carol Howerton, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs at Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College, at 304-896-7337.

Back Row (left to right): Dr. Deanna Romano, Vice President for Academic Affairs at Southern, Ms. Carol Howerton, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs at Southern, Mr. Samuel Litteral, Vice President for Finance and Administration at Southern, Ms. Shelia Riddle, PRIDE BuildJobs Initiative Project Director, Ms. Allyn Sue Barker, Vice President for Workforce and Community Development at Southern; Front Row (left to right): Dr. Robert Gunter, President of Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College, Ms. Lisha Whitt, Executive Director, PRIDE Community Services, Inc.

The Southern West Virginia Community College Foundation will sponsor a Telethon on Sunday, April 29, 2018, 2:00 PM - 6:00 PM at Southern's Williamson Campus Television Studio. Nate Siggers, the host of "Relate With Nate" which airs on Southern's Channel 17 and Eastern Kentucky Broadcasting, will host the Foundation's Telethon as it reaches out to raise funds for student scholarships to help those in need of financial assistance.

Through the generosity and support of many donors to Southern's Vision 2020, Major Gifts Campaign, the College and Foundation have been able to quadruple the number of scholarships provided to students. More than $145,000.00 in financial assistance has been awarded to approximately 130 students during the 2017-2018 academic year.

The upcoming Telethon, broadcasting live on Sunday, April 29th from 2:00 PM to 6:00 PM, will feature selected performances from throughout Southern's service area by local church choirs and individuals, as well as student testimonials from Southern Foundation scholarship recipients. This is a tremendous opportunity to showcase local talent, while helping students obtain their educational goals.

If you would like to volunteer to help with the production of the Telethon or wish to perform during the Telethon, please contact Ms. Rita Roberson, Director of Campus Operations, at [email protected] or 304-236-7648.


  • Student Career Fair: Thursday, March 8, 2018 from 1 p.m. to 2:15 p.m.

  • Community Career Fair: Thursday, March 8, 2018 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
  • What:
    Career fairs to highlight job opportunities for professions from all 16 career clusters. During the Student Career Fair, 10th grade West Virginia GEAR UP students from Boone County Schools will hear professionals from various careers discuss the education and training required for jobs in their respective fields. Professionals will also discuss which skills are in demand in their fields. The Community Career Fair will be open to the public and will allow community members to learn about career opportunities available.

    1:00 p.m. to 2:15 p.m.: Student Career Fair for Boone County students 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.: Community Career Fair open to the public

    The Student Career Fair will welcome 10th grade students who attend Boone County Schools. The Community Career Fair will be open to the general public. The event was organized by staff from the West Virginia GEAR UP program. West Virginia GEAR UP is a federally funded college readiness project coordinated by the Higher Education Policy Commission. The project serves students in 10 counties, including Boone, Fayette, Mason, Mercer, Mingo, Nicholas, Summers, Webster, Wirt and Wyoming counties. Partners for the event include U.S. Senator Joe Manchin, Boone County Schools, the Boone County Chamber of Commerce, the Boone County Development Authority and WorkForce West Virginia.

    Running Right Leadership Academy, 431 Running Right Way, Julian, W.Va.

    College presidents pose for recognition after signing the agreement with WorkAmerica. The partnership was dated to begin on March 1, 2018.
    CTCS partners with WorkAmerica to give students tools to find careers in their fields

    CHARLESTON, WV, March 5, 2018 - West Virginia’s community and technical colleges are partnering with WorkAmerica, which hosts an artificial intelligence powered online platform to help students and alumni obtain meaningful employment. The goal is to give community college students and graduates a foothold into jobs in their career fields right here in the Mountain State.

    WorkAmerica signed this agreement with the West Virginia Community and Technical College System (WVCTCS) to assist students and alumni as they build professional online profiles, connecting them to a vast network of employers. Driven by artificial intelligence, profile holders will also receive job feeds that match their educational background, skills, industry credentials and experience. Current students will be able to use WorkAmerica profiles to connect with local internship and apprenticeship opportunities in advance of graduation.

    “Our focus is on accelerating the connection between job seekers and employers needing skilled and qualified candidates. Using AI [artificial intelligence] in a mobile-ready platform brings a whole new level of efficiency to historic employment models and holds tremendous promise for the students and graduates of the West Virginia Community and Technical College System,” said Dave Garza, WorkAmerica’s Vice President of Workforce Partnerships.

    Students and graduates will have access to additional support services through WorkAmerica. This includes guided assistance in building and optimizing profiles, and maximizing value to prospective employers. Employers will be able recruit via email and instant messaging individuals with profiles matching the skills and qualifications they are looking for. Conversely, WorkAmerica profile holders will be able to apply for positions they are interested in directly through the free app.

    “Giving students access to these types of support services allows them to take control of their career paths as they seek job placements,” said WVCTCS Vice Chancellor Casey K. Sacks. “These tools will not only help them now, but in the future as they seek out career advancement by teaching students what skills to highlight to catch a potential employer’s eye.”

    Through their industry engagement efforts WorkAmerica will gather information about employer needs throughout the state, creating a better understanding of what jobs are available and the skills needed to succeed in those jobs. This will allow students and colleges to gear program choices toward the employment needs statewide. “This is an integral part of the community college system,” said WVCTCS Chancellor Sarah Armstrong Tucker. “Community colleges routinely partner with employers to create programs that meet statewide employment needs. The partnership with Work America is another way for us to guide students toward available jobs.”

    This partnership is just one of many ways CTCS works to make connections for students between higher education and available jobs and careers. Students who are interested in finding lasting careers in their fields after graduation or internships as they continue their path toward a degree are encouraged to reach out to their school counselors for more information and details.

    # # # If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Samantha Willis at 304.558.0087 ext. 265 or email at [email protected]

    The Community and Technical College system of West Virginia (WVCTCS) serves nine community and technical colleges with campuses throughout the state. Our mission is to promote and provide high-quality, accessible, and responsive education and training opportunities that maximize student learning, improve the standard of living for West Virginians, and contribute to the economic vitality and competitiveness of our state.

    Photo Caption: College presidents pose for recognition after signing the agreement with WorkAmerica. The partnership was dated to begin on March 1, 2018.

    Top Row (left to right): Dr. Chuck Terrell-President of Eastern WV CTC, Dr. L. Marshall Washington-President of New River CTC, Dr. Robert Gunter-President of Southern WV CTC, Dr. Jane Milley-Interim President of WVU at Parkersburg Bottom Row (left to right): Dr. Vicki Riley-President of WV Northern CC, Dr. Eunice Bellinger-President of BridgeValley CTC, Dr. Keith Cotroneo-President of Mountwest CTC, Dr. Johnny Moore-President of Pierpont CTC