Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Getting to Know: Lead Student Success Coach Antwan Perry



      In an effort to help students from enrollment to graduation Germanna Community College has launched a new Student Success Coach Program. The coaches will stay with students all the way through their time at Germanna, giving them the help they need to succeed in college and in life.
We'll meet each of the coaches in a series of Q&A profiles--Lead Student Success Coach Antwan Perry works with students at the Fredericksburg Area Campus in Spotsylvania.
Antwan Perry
·     Where are you from?
I am from Chesapeake and currently live in Fredericksburg.
Where did you go to high school and college?
I     I graduated from Oscar Smith High School in Chesapeake. I graduated from Hampton University with a B.A. in Political Science, M. Ed. From Regent University in Student Affairs, Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study from Regent University in Higher Education, and current Ed.D. student also at Regent University in Higher Education with an emphasis in Teaching.
How long have you worked at Germanna?
I have worked at Germanna for a little over 3 years.
What do you like about Germanna?
I like that everyone is focused on the success of the student. Germanna is very student-centered and student focused.
·     About being a Student Success Coach?
I like being a Success Coach because I get to focus my efforts on those students who might otherwise fall through the cracks without this specialized attention.
What’s the biggest challenge you face in your job?
The biggest challenge that I face is that I am limited to a certain number of students when so many others need help. I try to find balance by focusing on my assigned students, and checking in with those others who need help as well.
What’s your advice for Germanna students?
My advice is to take advantage of all of your learning opportunities, and enjoy the time as Germanna as much as you can because you never get this time back!
For students graduating from high school and thinking about college?
For those considering college I would say do it! There is no other experience like it in the world, and education can literally change the entire trajectory of your life!
For older students thinking about returning to college?
For older students I would say, do it! The maturity that one would bring to the classroom coupled with the desire to learn can make for a very successful student experience.
What misconception does the public have about community colleges and community college students?
One misconception about community colleges is that they are not comparable to four-year colleges and universities; in actuality faculty at Germanna also teach the same courses at other area 4 year colleges and vice versa. All VCCS colleges are accredited by the same accrediting body of 4 year colleges and universities in in Virginia and across the country. So this means GCC and UVA, UMW, and GMU, for example, are all accredited by the same accrediting body.
Are you married and do you have children?
I am married to Yolande, and do not have any kids yet. However, when we have a child, if it is a boy, I will name him Richmond…she hates that name.
Fun fact about you?
In college I was a drum major in the marching band. If you have ever watched the movie “Drumline” you can understand how exciting it is to hold that position in an HBCU marching band.
What’s your favorite book?
I do not have a favorite book; however, I love the mostly anything by Maya Angelou and Toni Morrison.
Your favorite movies?
My favorite movie is the academy award nominated move, “The Color Purple”; however, “Scarface”, “Mommie Dearest”, “Steel Magnolias” and “Dead Ringer” get honorable mentions.
Your favorite TV shows?
Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Golden Girls, Martin, and Family Guy
Your favorite sport and team?
The Hampton University Pirates!!!!!

Apply for PTK All USA and Coca-Cola academic team scholarships now


Germanna Community College will continue its involvement with the All-USA Community College Academic Team and the Coca-Cola Community College Academic Team programs in 2015. 
Germanna student Stefano Sarris was selected as a 2014
 Phi Theta Kappa All-Virginia Academic Team member and
 was named a Coca-Cola Silver Scholar and 
All-USA Community College Academic Team member.
The collaboration of USA Today, the Follett Higher Education Group, the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation, The Coca-Cola Foundation, AACC and Phi Theta Kappa will lead to students being featured in an April issue of USA Today and the awarding of nearly $350,000 in scholarships to outstanding community college students.  We have the opportunity to nominate up to two students per campus to participate in this competition, and our college has the opportunity to receive national press recognition should one of our nominees be identified as a scholar.   
In addition to recognition by USA Today, Follett, and Coca-Cola, nominees to these programs are recognized in All-State Academic Team programs held in 38 states. All-State Team programs may offer students academic scholarships, stipends, newspaper coverage, medallions and/or certificates. By nominating students to the All-USA Community College Academic Team national program, we are able to provide additional scholarship opportunities for nominees to which they would otherwise not have access. 
At this time, we are seeking qualified applicants.   In selecting nominees to represent our institution, we ask you to consider the eligibility criteria to determine if you might be a good fit for the scholarship.  The scholarships look to award students with outstanding academic rigor and grade point averages; participation in honors programs; awards, honors, and recognition for academic achievement, and service to the college and community.
In addition, the focal point of the application is the essay. This should center around one endeavor undertaken by the student that utilized their community college education to improve their respective community or college.  Judges look for innovative, creative, original and lasting achievements or undertakings.
For more information about the scholarships available, or to apply, please visit http://www.ptk.org/become-a-member/scholarships/academic-teams
Preliminary applications must be submitted no later than November 4, 2014. 
For more information, contact Becky Morris at rmorris@germanna.edu



Monday, October 13, 2014

College tour makes stop at Germanna Wednesday

Germanna Community College students planning to transfer will have the chance to meet with admission representatives from approximately 50 colleges and universities during the annual College Tour Transfer Fair. Representatives will be available 9 a.m.-11 a.m. at GCC’s Fredericksburg Area Campus in Spotsylvania and 12 p.m.-2 p.m. at Germanna’s Locust Grove Campus.

The tour will then move on to Spotsylvania Towne Centre from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday. For more information, call Germanna Career Transfer Counselor Sheryl Williamson at 540/834-1043.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Getting to Know Germanna's Student Success Coaches: Kathleen Rockis, Locust Grove




 In an effort to help students from enrollment to graduation Germanna Community College has launched a new Student Success Coach Program. The coaches will stay with students all the way through their time at Germanna, giving them the help they need to succeed in college and in life.

We'll meet each of the coaches in a series of Q&A profiles--first, Kathleen Rockis, who works with students at the Locust Grove Campus.

Kathleen Rockis, Student Success Coach

Where are you from?

Kathleen Rockis

I've lived all over the U.S. and world growing up in a military family however, I claim Louisiana as my home and where I grew up. Now I live in the Massaponax area of Spotsylvania County.

Where'd you go to high school and college? 

I attended Massaponax High School,  home of the Panthers, then came to good ol' Germanna to get my associates, transferred to get my bachelor's from the University of Mary Washington (Go Eagles!) in psychology. Now I am in the process of working on my master's to be a licensed professional counselor.

 How long have you worked at Germanna? 

In total, about 5 months.

 What do you like about working at Germanna? About being a Student Success Coach?

I like working with the students here, hearing their stories, working with them on formulating goals. The best part about being a success coach is sharing in those victories with a student, and finally seeing all the work pay off in the form of being accepted into the nursing program, passing a test, receiving that 4 year school acceptance letter or earning that degree. It’s wonderful!

 What’s the biggest challenge you face in your job? 

Finding the time to eat lunch.

 What’s your advice to Germanna students?

 Experiment with all sorts of different classes and utilize every opportunity that is available. Do not be so focused on one broad idea that you close yourself off to many great opportunities that are at your fingertips. This is a time to truly enjoy the process, ask questions (even if you think they are goofy), and discover as many new possibilities. 

 To students graduating from high school and thinking about college? 

Ask questions and be active in your education. Whether that means visiting your advisor to check to make sure you are on track with your degree, or being active in sports and student government. Get active! Be in the present while knowing where you want to go.

  To older students thinking about returning to college? 

No time is better than right now! What is that saying, “age is nothing but a number, baby”. You have gained valuable insights into the world, them! Those insights can bring great perspective to a class.

 What misconception does the public have about community college?

No matter the colleges or universities you attend- Harvard, UVA, UCLA, JMU, UMW or Germanna- it is all in what you make it. So while you are here make it great! Get active in the school, take classes that are interesting to you. In those classes you will meet people with common interests. Join student groups and clubs. College is all what YOU make it.

 What's your favorite color? 

Aqua! Color of the ocean.  

  Fun fact about you?

 I coach Baton twirling and finally “retired” last year from the sport as an advanced twirler while representing UMW in competition.

 What’s your favorite book? 

Almost too many to name… "The Historian," hands down amazing!

  Your favorite movie? 

It's a toss-up between "Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark" and the original "Blues Brothers" movie.

  Your favorite TV show?

 This is totally nerdy but I am obsessed with anything on The History Channel.

 Your favorite sport and team? 

Favorite sport baseball, and my team is the one and only Chicago Cubs… Just one before I die!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Assoc. Prof. Phyllis Smith a Virginia Nurse of the Year finalist


Phyllis Smith, an associate professor of nursing at Germanna Community College, is a finalist in Virginia March of Dimes Virginia Nurse of the Year Awards.
Assoc. Prof. Phyllis Smith

Three hundred and twenty-five nurses were nominated and 121 were chosen as finalists. Twenty-one will receive awards at the Virginia March of Dimes Awards Gala Nov. 1.

Dr. Carolyn Pevey, Pam Duff win VCCA Showcase Awards

Dr. Carolyn Pevey and Pamela Duff won Virginia Community Colleges Association Showcase Awards for their faculty and staff work at Germanna Community College at last week's 2014 VCCA Conference at the Key Bridge Marriott in Arlington.

Dr. Carolyn Pevey


Dr. Pevey was nominated by Dr. Gayle Wolfe, who wrote, in part:


"Dr. Pevey is a dedicated and enthusiastic member of the Social Sciences department. She is an excellent instructor. Her Principles of Sociology courses contain a research project in which students actually than just reading about it in the library. The level of student engagement is quite extraordinary. Her students’ assessment scores on scientific reasoning are improving as a result of her dedication to this course element. Carolyn is a passionate instructor who sets high and attainable standards for her students."
Pamela Duff


Duff is executive assistant to Germanna President David A. Sam.
Her nomination was written by Dr. Pevey,  who said in part:


"Pam Duff exemplifies the culture of service that is one of the core values of Germanna Community College. Although she must be one of the busiest people on campus, [she can always be counted on] ... to go the extra mile ...  she supports faculty in delivering course content, achieving professional development, and managing student issues."

Germanna won the following communications awards:



  • 1st Place Annual Report -GCC Educational Foundation
  • 2nd place- GCC Annual Report
  • 2nd place - Magazine Advertising
  • 2nd place - Newspaper Advertising
  • 2nd place- Writing - Michael Zitz 
  • 3rd place - Publication-external 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

GCC, in the business of hope, won't be slowed by cuts, Dr. Sam says


Germanna Community College is in the business of hope, and despite state budget cuts, business will continue to be good.
That’s the message GCC President David A. Sam delivered to about 300 faculty members and staff during his State of the College address Tuesday at the Daniel Technology Center in Culpeper.
Germanna Community College President Dr. David A. Sam gave a "State of the College" report to faculty and staff gathered for College Learning Day at its  Daniel Technology Center in Culpeper Tuesday.
Germanna Community College President Dr. David A. Sam gave a State of the College report to faculty and staff gathered for College Learning Day at its Daniel Technology Center in Culpeper Tuesday.
Good planning has helped Germanna deal with recent state budget cuts, Sam said.
He said a contingency fund set up to deal with a potential dip in state funding or enrollment has helped. There have been no layoffs at Germanna and none are planned.
“We’ve balanced the budget doing as little harm as possible,” he told the crowd at Germanna’s biannual College Learning Day, an event focused primarily on professional development.
“Instead of buying things we needed or hiring people we needed, we put some money in the contingency fund, hoping we wouldn’t need it later,” Sam said. “We planned for a budget cut and/or enrollment decline and we are OK today.”
Dr. Yanyan Yong Dean of Academic Technology and Learning Support at Germanna Community College, listens to a "State of the College" address by GCC President David A. Sam during College  Learning Day at the Daniel Technnogy Center on Tuesday,
Dr. Yanyan Yong Dean of Academic Technology and Learning Support at Germanna Community College, listens to a State of the College  address by GCC President David A. Sam during College Learning Day at the Daniel Technnogy Center on Tuesday,
He warned, however, that more state cuts may lie ahead and that difficult choices may have to be made. Sam has asked staff to look for areas where the college might save money, but said Germanna’s belt is already tightly cinched.
The figures are subject to change, but Rick Brehm, Germanna’s vice president for administrative services, estimated that GCC will see about a $250,000 cut this year and approximately a $300,000 cut next year.
Under an agreement between the governor and the General Assembly last week, the cuts for higher education would be reduced from an average of 5 percent this year and 7 percent next year to an average of 3.3 percent in each year. The target amounts for each of the institutions vary depending on the number of out of state students enrolled and dependence on the state general fund.
Numbers are subject to change.
Germanna President David A. Sam gave a "State of the College" report to faculty and staff gathered for  College Learning Day at the Daniel Technology Center Tuesday.
Germanna President David A. Sam gave a State of the College report to faculty and staff gathered for College Learning Day at the Daniel Technology Center Tuesday.
Sam said enrollment, which has been declining at many colleges around the nation in part because of a demographic decline in the number of graduating seniors, has been flat, but steady over the past couple or years after rapid growth in the previous five years.
Germanna serves about over 7,000 students on the credit side in addition to thousands who receive non-credit workforce development training each year.
Because of demographic trends, enrollment isn’t likely to increase until 2017 or 2018, he said, when there will be more high school students coming through the pipeline nationally.
Sam talked about steps Germanna is taking to help meet a state goal of tripling the total number of credentials—degrees and certifications awarded over the next five years.
He said the college’s new Student Success Program, which features the introduction of  seven Student Success Coaches,  led by Antwan Perry, will play a critical role.
Sam said the Student Success Coaches are “The only people whose job it is to constantly pay attention to a group of students --an arm around the shoulder, and if necessary, a kick in the seat of the pants.”
Germanna Community College English Prof. Cheryl Huff  leads a breakout session on Open Ended Resources during the school's  College Learning Day at its Daniel Technology Center Tuesday.
Germanna Community College English Prof. Cheryl Huff leads a breakout session on Open Ended Resources during the school's College Learning Day at its Daniel Technology Center Tuesday.
“If we can do more to get students engaged,” he said, “we can help students succeed.”
He said that Germanna can’t depend on a bowl-bound football team or a March Madness qualifying basketball team to boost enrollment.
In any case, those things don’t make for better teaching, he noted.
Sam said that what Germanna can depend on is the fact that its faculty and staff sincerely care about students  and get involved with them in a way that’s difficult for large universities to match.