Monday, October 20, 2014

Getting to Know: Student Success Coach Brian Ogle



I    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--Student Success Coach Brian Ogle works with students at the Fredericksburg Area Campus in Spotsylvania.
Brian Ogle

·   Where are you from?
I grew up in Williamsburg, VA. I came up to Fredericksburg in 2004 when I started college at the University of Mary Washington, and I loved Fredericksburg so much I decided to stay. I now live in South Stafford, a few minutes away from downtown.

·   Where did you go to high school and college?
I went to high school at Lafayette High, then attended the University of Mary Washington starting in 2004. I graduated in 2008 with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology, and I am happy to say I use my degree every day!

·    How long have you worked at Germanna?
I started part-time in November 2010 with the Dual Enrollment program, an opportunity that allowed me to explore many different areas of the College. That evolved into a full-time position and through that experience I learned just how cool it is to work in higher education, as well as gained an appreciation for Germanna’s goal to expand access to educational opportunities.

·     What do you like about working at Germanna? 
The people. I am very privileged to work with a group of compassionate, intelligent, and committed employees. Our students are inspiring, coming from all walks of life but sharing in common their goal to advance their education. As a Coach I get to work directly with students to empower them with skills for life-long learning—it’s incredibly fulfilling.

·   What’s the biggest challenge you face in your job?
Un-jamming the copiers! I seem to have a knack for causing jams, and am far less skilled in resolving them.

·   What’s your advice for Germanna students?
Please, check your student email. We want our students to become actively engaged in our campus community, and the first step toward that goal is tuning in to student email. In college I benefited tremendously from my involvement outside of the classroom—in campus clubs, guest lectures, and special events. I hope to share that with our students.

·  For students graduating from high school and thinking about college?
I hope students come out of high school with a hunger to learn more, attend college to gain a more worldly perspective, and upon graduating from college are inspired to become a contributing world citizen. Sometimes high school students think of college as the next destination after high school, but it should be a journey that inspires personal growth. College is what you make of it!

·   For older students thinking about returning to college?
It’s never too late! Here at Germanna we serve many adult students, and many of our employees attended college as adults. We can relate to older students who may be attending school part-time, working full-time, and are supporting a family, and we welcome every learner into our campus community.

·     What misconception does the public have about community colleges and community college students?
Having spent many evenings at recruiting events, I’ve heard many different takes on community colleges from students, parents, and community members. Some think we only offer job training, others don’t know that our credit courses transfer to four-year colleges/universities, or that we exist merely to serve “under-achieving” students. Of course, that’s not true, so I always confront those misconceptions with a simple statement: through Virginia’s community colleges, students can start anywhere and go anywhere. We specialize in meeting students where they are, and act as a springboard to success, empowering them to reach their goals.

·     Are you married and do you have children?
My partner and I share our house with four furry friends—two dogs and two cats.


·     Fun fact about you?
Here are a couple: I am part of the approximately 10% of the world’s population who are left-handed.
When I graduated from college, I had hair down to my shoulders. After a bad haircut before a job interview that summer, I decided to cut my own hair and have done so ever since. You may have already noticed!
I’ve played the guitar for half my life, and my most prized possession is an acoustic guitar my Dad made. I have a life goal to learn this skill from him.
I consider myself a “revolutionary” gardener, and believe in the power of a garden to change the world—one backyard plot at a time. To paraphrase Henry David Thoreau, I have great faith in a seed.

·     What’s your favorite book?
I must admit I start more books than I finish. Here are several:
Personal interest – The Market Gardener, by Jean-Martin Fortier; a step-by-step guide to starting a small-scale sustainable farm.
Best books from high school – Siddhartha, by Herman Hesse, and Civil Disobedience, by Henry David Thoreau.
Best book from college – Power and Powerlessness, by John Gaventa; a case study demonstrating the role of ideology in shaping how we think of conflict, and why oppressed peoples often don’t recognize and combat their oppression.

Your favorite movie?
The Big Lebowski—though I still don’t know what it all means! There Will Be Blood was also a recent favorite. I like nature documentaries, too.

Your favorite TV show?
I don’t have cable, and try not to spend too much time in front of screens outside of work. But I do enjoy the occasional dose of The Daily Show.

·     Your favorite sport and team?
I’m not too big into any particular sport, but I love being outdoors—camping and hiking especially.

·     Your favorite music?
I like a lot of different artists, but most recently have been into artists featuring a pedal steel guitar. My favorite album of all-time is The Grateful Dead’s American Beauty.

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