Latest Southern News

Dr. Debra Teachman Named Vice President for Academic Affairs
Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College today announced that Dr. Debra Teachman has been named Vice President for Academic Affairs and Student Services. Teachman joins Southern from New Mexico State University Alamogordo, where she served as Vice President for Academic Affairs. “Dr. Teachman embraces Southern’s values and is fully committed to helping our students succeed,” said Joanne Jaeger Tomblin, First Lady/President of Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College. “Her enthusiasm, leadership, past experiences, and focus on innovation will enable us to enhance our already outstanding instructional programs, responsiveness to our community, and yield exciting new opportunities for our students.” Her responsibilities at New Mexico State University Alamogordo included the oversight of all instructional programs, developing and maintaining community and statewide partnerships in instructional programming, fundraising and supporting the coordination of academic advising and admission/registration processes for the college. At NMSU-Alamogordo, Teachman is credited for successfully coordinating college and community efforts with legislative committees and with the NM Higher Education Department, resulting in planning funds for the Advanced Technology Center for Career/Technical programs in Automotive, Welding, Renewable Energies, HVAC, and Building Construction. Teachman also served as Interim CEO/President of NMSU-Alamogordo during a particularly difficult rebuilding period at the institution. Teachman’s career includes serving twenty -three years in higher education. Six of those years were spent at Marshall University in Huntington, WV as an Assistant Professor in English. Teachman says she welcomes the opportunity to return to West Virginia. She earned her bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in English from Northern Illinois University. She followed that with a doctorate in English from the University of California –Davis. “My life’s mission matches the mission of [Southern]. I am focused on and dedicated to providing strong, high quality educational opportunities to students who may otherwise be unable to pursue them, and to supporting the communities I am a part of through development of a strong, well educated workforce that has the skills and knowledge needed by those communities,” she said. Teachman’s appointment will begin in November. Southern provides accessible, affordable, quality education and training at each of its four campuses in Boone, Logan, Mingo and Wyoming counties and its Lincoln County High School location in Hamlin, WV. For further information visit or call 1-866-SWCTC1.
Southern Board of Governors Trustees Attend ACCT Congress

Southern’s Board of Governors Trustees joined nearly 2,000 community college trustees, presidents, professional board staff, and national and state leaders at the 44th Annual Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) Leadership Congress held October 2-5 at the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle, WA. Move the Needle on Student Success was this year’s theme. The ACCT Leadership Congress featured over 80 educational sessions on best practices for community colleges, fundamental and advanced trustee training, and a lively town hall meeting dedicated to determining priorities in the governance of community college student success initiatives. Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and former Microsoft CEO, and Jamie Merisotis, Lumina Foundation President and CEO, were keynote speakers for the Leadership Congress. Pictured l-r: Emma Baisden (Professional Board Staff), Debbie Dingess (Classified Staff Trustee), Stacy Dingess, President/First Lady Joanne Tomblin, Mary Nemeth-Pyles (Faculty Trustee), and Board Chair, Thomas Heywood.

McGraw Golf Tournament Held

The 1st Annual Mike McGraw Memorial Scholarship Golf Classic was held October 3rd at Twin Falls State Park. The event began with a plaque dedication attended by McGraw’s family. David Lord welcomed all and Bill Cline lead the opening prayer. Kim Gross, representative from the Governor’s Office made the Honorary Mountaineer presentation. This award is presented in recognition of an individual having demonstrated an expression of goodwill and respect for the people of the Mountain State. Merle Dempsey spoke of McGraws contributions and presented the plaque. The tournament concluded with a picnic dinner. Top scorers were; 1st place: Phillip Murphy, Ed Murphy, Randall May, Tommy Brown (52, -19); 2nd Place: Lazzer Graphics (54. -17); 3rd Place: Jim Prater, Tom Vogel, Larry Dolson, Pat Jack (62. -9)

Southern Participates in College Fair

Each year West Virginia launches a statewide College Fair Program that bring institutional representatives together from across the state to meet with high school students. Students have the opportunity to learn about the admissions process, the availability of educational programs and financial aid awareness. Thousands of high school juniors and seniors meet with institutional representatives to discuss the possibly of attending their institution upon graduation. Through the many college-planning and financial aid displays, these students are provided with information needed to help them in the college-readiness process. Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College is an active participant in the West Virginia College Fair program.

Sheliah Elkins Recognized as Southern's October 2013 Employee of the Month
Sheliah Elkins is being recognized as the Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College, October 2013 Employee of the Month. Elkins received her Associate Degree in Nursing from Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College. She continued her education at Marshall University receiving a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and a Master of Science in Nursing Administration. Elkins joined the allied health team in August 2005. In January 2007 she joined the nursing staff where she is currently an Assistant Professor. She is the lead instructor for NU 100 Essentials of Nursing and co-lead for NU 104 Nursing of the Child-Bearing Family. She defines her greatest student accomplishment as, “seeing the students in hospital clinicals when they finally have that light bulb moment. When what they have learned in the classroom finally makes more sense to them as they are taking care of their patients”. Elkins was recommended for this honor for serving “countless hours above and beyond her office schedule to assist the first year nursing students”. Her co-workers say that her door is always flooded with students before and after class. “She takes each student under her wing to assure their success whenever possible.” Elkins serves on several committees at Southern. She is currently serving as vice chair on the Assessment committee and serves on the Curriculum Development Committee for Nursing. Other organizations include Association of Perioperative Registered Nurses and Sigma Theta Tau- Honor Society of Nursing. She is a member of the Neighbert Memorial Methodist Church. Her hobbies include crafting and spending time with her family. She has one son and two grandchildren. She and her husband Chuck, live in Logan. Elkins shares her success at Southern with her co-workers. “My success here at Southern would not have been possible without the wonderful mentors and role models that I have in the nursing department. I work with compassionate, caring women that are always there for each other through thick and thin. Southern is fortunate to have so many dedicated faculty members. I am honored to have been nominated for employee of the month by my peers. “
Dr. Alderman to Speak at Rural Community College Alliance
Dr. Pamela L. Alderman, Dean for Career and Technical Programs at Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College, has been invited to speak at the Rural Community College Alliance 2013 Conference being held this week in Sunday River, Maine. This is a leading conference for the latest ideas, and best practices for rural community colleges. Her topic will be the “Development of a State-Wide Associate-Degree Nursing (AND) Common Curriculum”. The Rural Community College Alliance is a network and advocacy group that helps build the capacity of member community colleges to improve the educational and economic prospects for rural America. The Alliance seeks to reduce rural isolation and share effective solutions to problems facing distressed rural communities.
The Tug Valley Entrepreneurship Group was formed recently to promote entrepreneurship as an economic development strategy for our area. This group is conducting research on how other rural communities across the country are growing their local economies by supporting and encouraging entrepreneurs. This research is being used to help create an economic development strategy for our area. To date, the group has defined its mission and a four-year vision, focusing on three areas of perceived need: fostering an entrepreneurial spirit in our community, creating a one-stop shop to actively support local entrepreneurs, and attracting new business ventures to our area. The newly formed group has been meeting monthly at the Mingo County Redevelopment Authority offices. If you would like to participate in the group's efforts please contact Bruce Curry.
SGA Welcome Back Events
The SGA- Logan Campus sponsored activities for Welcome Back Week. Events included students celebrating Pajama Day, Black and Gold Day and complimentary pizza. Nominations were accepted for Mr. and Ms. Southern. Other upcoming SGA sponsored events are: American Red Cross will be on campus Oct. 14th from 10am-3pm and on Oct. 15th Sandy Sowell will bring her Laser Karaoke back to campus.
Southern Awarded 2014 Military Friendly Schools ® Designation

Victory Media, the premier media entity for military personnel transitioning into civilian life, has named Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College to the coveted Military Friendly Schools® list. The 2014 Military Friendly Schools® list honors the top 20 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools in the country that are doing the most to embrace America’s military service members, veterans, and spouses as students and ensure their success on campus.

“Inclusion on the 2014 list of Military Friendly Schools® shows Southern’s commitment to providing a supportive environment for military students,” said Sean Collins, Vice President at Victory Media and a nine-year Navy veteran. “The need for education is growing and our mission is to provide the military community with transparent, world-class resources to assist in their search for schools.” Complete survey methodology is available at

The Military Friendly Schools® media and website, found at, feature the list, interactive tools and search functionality to help military students find the best school to suit their unique needs and preferences. The 1,868 colleges, universities and trade schools on this year’s list exhibit leading practices in the recruitment and retention of students with military experience. These schools have world-class programs and policies for student support on campus, academic accreditation, credit policies, flexibility and other services to those who served.

Now in its fifth year, the 2014 list of Military Friendly Schools ® was compiled through extensive research and a data-driven survey of more than 10,000 schools nationwide approved for VA tuition funding. The survey results that comprise the 2014 list were independently tested by Ernst & Young LLP based upon the weightings and methodology established by Victory Media. Each year schools taking the survey are held to a higher standard than the previous year via improved methodology, criteria and weightings developed with the assistance of an Academic Advisory Board (AAB) consisting of educators from schools across the country. A full list of board members can be found at

A full story and detailed list of 2014 Military Friendly Schools® will be highlighted in the annual Guide to Military Friendly Schools ®, distributed in print and digital format to hundreds of thousands of active and former military personnel in early October.