Latest Southern News

Thomas Heywood
The Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College Board of Governors is pleased to announce its 2016-2017 slate of officers, as elected during its regular Board meeting. Mr. Thomas A. Heywood, Attorney, Bowles Rice McDavid Graff and Love of Charleston was elected as Board Chair; Ms. Wilma J. Zigmond, retired Superintendent of Logan County Schools, was elected as Vice Chair; and Logan businessman, Mr. Glenn T. Yost, was elected as Secretary. The 12-member Board of Governors is the governing body of Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College. Of the 12 members, nine are citizen members appointed by the Governor, and three are institutional members elected by the constituent group they represent faculty, classified staff, and student body. Members of the Board of Governors work cooperatively with the college president and administration to establish institutional governance and strategic planning. In addition to Heywood, Zigmond, and Yost, citizen members appointed by the Governor include F. Rammie Barker, Kevin Zachary, Jada Hunter and George Kostas. Southern's institutional members include Russell Saunders (faculty representative), Virginia Stepp (classified staff representative), and a student representative to be named.
Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College today announced that Jack D. Dilbeck, Ph.D., has been named Vice President for Academic Affairs. Dilbeck joins Southern from Elizabethtown Community and Technical College in Elizabethtown, KY, where he served as Dean from June 2006 to June 2016. His responsibilities at Elizabethtown included management for the Fort Knox Campus, Off Campus Services, Institutional Effectiveness/Research, Web Services, and the adult education centers in Grayson, Meade, Nelson and Washington Counties. "Dr. Dilbeck will bring tremendous expertise to the college, and we are pleased to appoint him to this vital role," said Dr. Robert E. Gunter, President of Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College. "I am confident that he will provide effective leadership for our faculty, staff and students with a robust long-range vision for our academic and student services programs." Active in his community, Dilbeck served as a member of the Hardin County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, a member of Hardin County United, and a Member of AUSA. Previously, he served as the Business Division Chair and Associate Professor of Business at Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana from August 1996 to June 2006. Dilbeck’s credentials include a Ph.D. in Higher Education Leadership from Indiana State University, an MBA with emphasis in management from Webster University, and a Bachelors in Business Administration from McKendree University. “I am excited about the direction the College is moving, “ said Dilbeck. “I look forward to joining the Southern family.” Dr. Dilbeck will begin his new role on June 27, 2016.
If you are thinking about a career in the craft beer industry, now is the time. Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College is currently exploring the opportunity to establish The Business of Craft Beer – Brew Master program of study. It could be an ideal fit if you are looking for a career change or advancement, or have dreamed about opening your own brewery and want to make it a reality. This program will provide you with industry specific knowledge directly from the craft beer experts across the State of West Virginia. The Business of Craft Beer Program Highlights: • Learn from those who have the career you want. All instructors and guest speakers will be currently working in their respective industry. • You can keep your day job. All required classes and discussions will be offered in the evening to accommodate busy schedules. • Get your foot in the door. We are currently exploring opportunities to intern in breweries across the state to allow you to put theory to practice. Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College will be hosting community forums to explore opportunities and concerns within our service area. If you have ever thought about learning the art and science of craft beer brewing, then attending one of these forums will provide the college with data to move forward on this degree opportunity. Check the schedule below and attend the forum closest to you to have your voice heard. June 7, 2016 Williamson Campus - Room 433 1601 Armory Drive, Williamson, WV 5:30 – 7:00 PM June 13, 2016 Logan Campus – Building A - Room 111 2900 Dempsey Branch Road, Mount Gay, WV 5:30 – 7:00 PM June 14, 2016 Boone-Lincoln Campus – Room 110-B 3505 Daniel Boone Parkway, Suite A, Foster, WV 5:30 – 7:00 PM June 23, 2016 Wyoming-McDowell Campus – Student Commons 128 College Drive, Saulsville, WV 5:30 – 7:00 PM
Each year members of the Classified Staff and Faculty of Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College have the opportunity to nominate colleagues for the Savas-Kostas Award. This award is presented to those who exhibit and demonstrate outstanding and distinguished service to Southern. The Savas-Kostas family provides funding through the Southern West Virginia Community College Foundation and present the award each year at Southern’s commencement exercises. The recipients are selected by members of the Savas-Kostas family based on the nominations received and the award criteria. Financial Aid Counselor, Stella Estepp and Student Program Advisor at the Boone/Lincoln Campus, Brian Carter were selected as this year’s classified staff recipients. Estepp, began her career at Southern in 1998. She is dedicated to helping students at the Williamson Campus receive the financial assistance they need to attend college. Carter, has the important role of assuring that students are provided with the correct educational path toward meeting their academic and career goals. Faculty members selected are Lora Foster and Erica Farley. Foster joined the faculty at Southern in 2012. She serves as coordinator of the Medical Assisting program. Under her direction the graduates have achieved a 100% passage rate on certification exams and 100% employment success. Farley is a Computer information technology instructor. She has served as a trainer for the National Science Foundation grant activities, and has provided professional development training for Southern employees on Governance Days. Pictured: Stella Estepp, Erica Farley, Dr. Robert E. Gunter, Lora Foster and Brian Carter
Olympics for welding? Well, sort of. Winning medals in welding at the recent SkillsUSA state competition was a big deal for Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College student teammates Brandon White, Michael ‘Chase’ Starkey and James Brown. “Just to win something at the state level was huge for us,” said White. SkillsUSA is a national student organization for high school and college students enrolled in career education programs that help develop skills, personal growth, and leadership and technical proficiencies. The welding team members said they were confident going to the state competition. “I kind of figured we were going to do well,” said Southern instructor Sheridan Taylor. “These students are talented and had done a good job preparing not only for the competition, but also for how to make a career out of welding.” “Sheridan told us, ‘Don’t go and try to finish the project in a hurry; focus on quality, not quantity,’ and we did,” Starkey said. The students designed and built a small welding table that can be used for small projects. “We had to apply different welding techniques, and we got to use a lot of math skills to read the blueprints and apply all our welding processes,” White said. “These students are great,” Taylor said. “Not only can they read the design plans, they take an idea from concept to completion, and performance proves their competence.” Starkey sees welding as not only a technical career but as art. “It’s an opportunity to work with your hands. The process is so powerful and you are controlling it, it’s beautiful!” “These young men have always shown a lot of promise in terms of their ability to apply their welding skills,” Taylor said, adding that they enjoy welding and look forward to each project. CTC programs in high demand The economy is changing and technical programs such as welding, mechatronics, electrical engineering technology and information technology are in high demand. According to the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics the growth rate for these careers will be higher than average through the year 2018. Most of these programs do not require a four year degree and success can be found with many of the certificate programs as well. Starkey and White are planning a career on the pipeline. Both are currently employed while attending classes but look forward to the working independence graduation will bring. Getting ready for next year Planning for the SkillsUSA event has already begun for next year. Taylor says they now have a team with the experience needed to bring home the gold. “2016 was a learning year. We hope to have more students, more coaches and more programs represented next year.” If you are interested in a technical career or more information on the programs Southern provides visit us online at
Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College recently participated in the 46th Annual SkillsUSA West Virginia State Leadership and Skills Conference held at Camp Dawson in Kingwood, WV, Monongalia County on April 15 and 16, 2016. Southern students Brandon White and James Brown brought home a silver medal in the Team Competition Welding/Fabrication and Michael ‘Chase’ Starkey received the bronze medal in the Individual Welding Competition. “This was Southern’s first trip to SkillsUSA and our students did very well, “ said Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College President Dr. Robert E. Gunter. “This is a test of industry standards and our students are not only meeting those standards, but they are excelling.” SkillsUSA, a national nonprofit organization, provides career and technical education students with quality experiences in leadership and skills development. Recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, SkillsUSA has been cited by the U.S. Department of Labor as a “successful model of employer-driven youth development training programs.” The success of SkillsUSA is directly related to the involvement of students, teachers, administrators, and business and industry partners. This year’s theme was “Connecting You to Career Success,”. Keynote speaker for the event was businessman, Jim Justice. For more information on technical programs at Southern visit us online at . Pictured : James Brown, Welding Instructor Jim Brown, Welding Instructor Sheridan Taylor, Michael ‘Chase’ Starkey and Brandon Whit
Velva Pennington, Executive Assistant to the Vice President for Finance and Administration has been selected Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College 2016 Employee of the Year. Having served on Southern’s team since 2008, Pennington is dedicated to the mission and values of Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College. She is known as a team player. Her dedication to serving the staff, faculty, and students are noted by her co-workers in her nomination for this honor. They describe her as someone who is dedicated, patient, always supportive, an inspiration, optimistic, and compassionate. She is always willing to go above and beyond to help anyone Her supervisor described her as being a model employee and dedicated to the College and the Finance Department. Her nominator said, “Velva is a true example of, not only how an employee should be, but how a person should be.” Pennington is a resident of Dingess, West Virginia and is actively involved in church and community activities. She is a member of the Trace Church of God where she is a Sunday school teacher and serves as Family Training Hour Director. She is a member of a Christian Fellowship Bowling League which raises money for different charities throughout the community. In her spare time she enjoys riding and racing ATVs. She says it was a surprise and an honor to be named employee of the year. “I work with so many great people that are more deserving of this award. I just want to say thank you.” Pennington says she likes working at Southern because she feels she can make a difference. “The college is a vital part of the community and I love being part of the college to help represent West Virginia in a positive way. One of my ultimate goals is to prove to others around the world that West Virginians can be and are educated. This is a very important goal to me because it seems like the only publicity that West Virginia receives is negative and I would like to share the positive aspects of our great state and the accomplishments of its people. I feel that working at Southern will help me accomplish this goal.” Pennington holds an Associate in Applied Science in Business Administration from Southern, a Bachelor of Business Administration from Marshall University, and a Master’s in Integrated Marketing from West Virginia University.
Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College will be participating in a Job and Resource Fair coordinated by the office of Senator Joe Manchin. The event will be held on May 6th from 10am until 3pm at the Chief Logan Convention Center. Not only will job seekers have an opportunity to find out who’s hiring but also learn ways to improve their job opportunity outlook. Attendees may get tips to make a good first impression and “Dress for Success” with Goodwill Industries of Kanawha Valley,get information and tips on resumes, interview skills and future workshops from Southern Community and Technical College, sign up for assistance with WorkForce WV, discuss veterans benefits that you may be eligible for with the WV Department of Veterans Affairs, learn about apprenticeships with the RCBI National Advanced Manufacturing Apprenticeship Program, talk about services that you or your family may be eligible for with State Agencies, such as Department of Health and Human Services, the Bureau for Child Support and others.
Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College will celebrate all graduates at the 2016 Commencement Ceremony to be held Saturday, may 14th at the Coalfield Jamboree in downtown Logan. Natalie Roper, Executive Director of Generations West Virginia will be the keynote speaker. The ceremony will begin at 10am. In addition to the all-campus ceremony on May 14th, Allied Health and Nursing Division, will host separate, personalized graduation ceremonies for their students, where graduates will be recognized with an awards event and nursing pinning ceremony. The Allied Health Awards Ceremony will be at 2pm on Thursday, May 12 at the Savas-Kostas Performing Arts Center on the Logan Campus. Also to be conducted at the Savas-Kostas Performing Art Center is the 2016 Nursing Pinning Ceremony. This event will begin at 6pm. Southern invites all graduates, families and friends to attend both ceremonies to fully experience the pomp and circumstance, and joy and pride, that marks one of the most memorable times in a student’s life. We can't wait to celebrate with you!