Latest Southern News

Cotiga Donation

Cotiga Development Company recently gave a generous financial gift to the Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College Foundation. The gift will be used to increase the number of scholarships. Southern's President Joanne Jaeger Tomblin said that she is very appreciative of Cotiga's ongoing support which has made it possible for numerous, non-traditional students from the Tug Valley area to attend college.

In recent years, there has been an increase in non-traditional students attending college for technical skills training and career changes.

Pictured are l-r, Southern Foundation member Nancy Ramey; Cotiga Manager of Resources, Edward L. Curry; President Tomblin; and
Vice-President of Development Ronald E. Lemon.

Dominion Resources Services, Inc. recently made a generous donation to Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College's Vision 2020 Major Gifts Campaign.

According to President Joanne Jaeger Tomblin, the college has raised over $5 million since the fund raising campaign began last fall. Campaign priorities include new academic and entrepreneurial programs and student financial assistance.

Pictured l-r, are Nicholas "Corky" DeMarco, executive director for West Virginia Oil and Natural Gas Association; Dr. Kathy D'Antoni, vice chancellor, West Virginia Community and Technical College System; David Harris, senior production coordinator, Dominion; Robert C. Orndorff, Jr., director for state and local government affairs, Dominion; President Tomblin; Wendell Hill, supervisor gas transmission operations, Dominion; and Ronald E. Lemon, vice-president for development at Southern. The group took a tour of the college's new Allied Health and Technology Center which is nearing completion and visited Southern's Academy for Mine Training and Energy Technologies' training simulator.

Southern West Virginia Community and Technical recently hosted its third annual Rural Leaders Grant Program on the Logan Campus.

Fifteen participants, representing three rural communities from Logan and McDowell counties, completed 35 hours of training in leadership development and community capacity building. Upon completion of their training, each team received a $1,000 mini-grant to fund a project in their community.

The Logan County Hard Drive Project, lead by Southern student Barry Carter II, intends to provide computers to low income students in the Man community.

The McDowell County One Voice Project, lead by Tom Hatcher, Mayor of War, is working to form a coalition around drug awareness and prevention issues. A second McDowell County team,
the Northfork Neighborhood Watch, was lead by Parker. This team intends to teach youth and seniors crime prevention strategies.

Phi Theta Kappa Society's All-West Virginia Academic Team

Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College student Teresa Smith has been named to the 2007 All West Virginia Academic Team. Smith was recognized by First Lady Gayle Manchin during an awards ceremony held April 19th at the State Capitol. Smith, a resident of Foster, WV, is a second year nursing student.

Pictured, l-r, are Southern's Vice-President and Dean of Allied Health Pamela L. Alderman, Smith, Manchin, and Chancellor for the West Virginia Council for Community and Technical College Education James L. Skidmore. The American Association of Community Colleges recognizes Phi Theta Kappa as the official honor society for two year colleges.

Attorney General Darrell McGraw today announced the distribution of $60,000 to the Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College. This money comes from the third installment in the $10 million dollar settlement with PurduePharma, the manufacturer of the drug Oxycontin.

This funding will go to support the Southern West Virginia Communityand Technical College's School of Nursing and is the second of three annual installments of $60,000. This contribution will help expand the nursing programs' drug abuse prevention and rehabilitation education programs. Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College's Allied Health Program has received state and national recognition and presently has approximately 200 students in its nursing program. Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College has an enrollment of approximately 5,000 credit and non-credit students at all four facilities.

During a press conference held at the Logan Campus, McGraw stated, ‚The nursing program of Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College provides the people of Logan County an opportunity to be educated at home and it provides southern West Virginia with a reliable source of qualified nurses. The expansion of the nursing program with the funding presented here today will provide training for nurses in drug abuse prevention and in rehabilitating drug abusers. It is important that there are adequate facilities and institutions to educate future nurses about drug abuse in order to strengthen and protect our communities.

Under the Purdue Pharma settlement, West Virginia will receive $10 million dollars over four years. The bulk of the money, including $1 million dollars from an earlier distribution this year, has been used to fund Day Report Centers to help fight the scourge of drug abuse that wrecks communities. Organizations state-wide are receiving funding to carry on the fight against drug abuse through education and outreach programs. This funding will serve more than twenty counties across West Virginia.

Pictured are Nursing Instructor Barbara Donahue; Vice-President of Academic Affairs Cathy L. Cox-Smith; Attorney General Darrell McGraw, Jr.; Southern President Joanne Jaeger Tomblin;
and Vice-President and Dean of Allied Health Pamela L. Alderman.

Students at Mingo County High School Business Symposium

Southern West Virginia Community and Technical hosted the first annual Mingo County High School Business Symposium on March 9 at the Williamson Campus. Students from Burch, Gilbert, Matewan and Williamson competed as mall developers by creating their own management team, business advertising, and financial plan.

The winning business concept was White Flag Lazer Tag created by Jon Bobbera, Brandon Burgraff, John Price, Rachel Simpkins and Kristen Epling. They received t-shirts and a certificate of appreciation.

Also pictured are Susan T. Rice, entrepreneurship coordinator for WVDE; Pauline Sturgill, director for Community Development/APPALREAD; and Rod Smith, marketing director for Williamson ARH Hospital, sponsor of the event.

Youth Day in Williamson

Dramatist Illene Evans portrayed Harriet Tubman (1820-1913) on Monday as Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College kicked off Harmony Week 2007 at the National Guard Armory in Williamson. Nearly 500 students from Matewan, Williamson, Riverside and Kermit enjoyed a presentation of "The Underground Railroad Life and Times" by Evans. Tubman, also known as General Moses, was a field slave who escaped in her early 20's only to return to the south many times to rescue and free fellow slaves. Evans will be performing on Wednesday, February 28 at the Logan Street First Baptist Church in Williamson beginning at 6:30p.m. The event is being sponsored by Southern in partnership with the Williamson Branch NAACP and Youth Council.

Director of Development Ronald E. Lemon; Southern President Joanne Jaeger Tomblin; Civil Rights Award Recipient Willene Hairston Moore; Williamson Campus Director Rita Roberson; and Williamson Branch NAACP President John W. Fullen are pictured following a reception on September 9th at the Logan Street Baptist Church. Mrs. Moore was honored for receiving the West Virginia Civil Rights Award 2007 presented to her by Governor Joe Manchin III. Southern partners with the NAACP every year to sponsor Black History Month programs and Harmony Week activities at area schools.

Carl Baisden Speaking to the Tug Valley Mine Institute

Safety, technology, and training a new generation of workers for the modern coal industry was the focus of a presentation given by Carl E. Baisden, director of the Academy for Mine Training and Energy Technology at Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College during Thursday night's Tug Valley Mine Institute dinner held at The Brass Tree.

Baisden, who has over 20 years experience in the coal industry, said the academy is using equipment simulators and providing hands on training to students in an effort to prepare a safer, more knowledgeable work force. He said having experienced, properly trained, drug free workers are vital to the future success of the coal industry as well as enticing a new generation into the field. "We can not afford to let another generation get away from us. We've got to tell them about career choices in the industry and that it is not the same coal mines that their grandfathers and fathers worked in," Baisden said. "There has been such a change in the industry over the past five years." Since Southern opened its mining academy in October of 2006, over 700 students have taken training classes and 15,000 hours of contact time have been logged. And the academy is continuing to grow. Baisden announced that a new Mine Training Simulator Facility is in the works for downtown Logan which will include a Mine Ergonomics Lab. "This is going to bring us to the forefront," Basiden said. A Caterpillar rock truck surface simulator is currently being used for training at the college's district office which is located beside the Logan Campus. Perry Jobe and James Bryant are the instructors.

He said the financial benefits for the coal industry will be accomplished through training, safety, and production which will increase the bottom line. Baisden is actively recruiting younger students and recently brought teachers to Arch Coal's Mountain Laurel complex for a tour. By informing teachers about new ways to mine coal and the benefits of its good paying jobs, they can share that information with their students. "I've got to entice young people to come into your industry," Baisden told members of the Tug Valley Mine Institute He said there are many good opportunities for women in today's coal industry and pointed out that his wife, Lori, a graduate of Southern, currently works in human resources at Arch Coal.

Mine training classes being offered this spring at Southern's mining academy include: Mine Foreman Leadership, Assistant Mine Foreman - Underground, Assistant Mine Foreman - Surface, EMT-M-Plus, 40-Hour Surface Mine Apprenticeship, 80-Hour Underground Mine Apprenticeship, and Surface Equipment Simulator Training. Tuition assistance is available to qualified applicants. Funding is being provided by a grant through the U.S. Department of Labor. For more information about these classes, contact Sandra Podunavac at (304) 792-7160, ext. 229.

The Tug Valley Mine Institute meeting will be broadcast later this month on Southern's Channel 17.

Pictured l-r are Allyn Sue Barker, vice-president for Economic, Workforce and Community Development at Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College; Carl E. Baisden, director of Southern's Academy for Training and Energy Technology; Georgene Robertson, president of the Tug Valley Mine Institute; and Ben Hardman of Fletcher Mining Equipment.