Sunday, December 22, 2013

She's gone from homelessness to helping others find work

Kimberlie Morris, who was once homeless, has earned a degree in business administration with help from the Germanna Community College Educational Foundation, and is helping others find work through the GCC Center for Workforce Adult Career Coach program.
"I never thought this day would come,” said her father, who is receiving treatments for skin cancer. “She’s fought through a lot. I just love her to death--she’s my pride and joy.”--Jeff Branscome, The Free Lance-Star

Read her story of perseverance in The Free Lance-Star.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

'You can change someone's world'

"One is not born into the world to do everything," Henry David Thoreau wrote over 150 years ago, "but to do something.”

Tuesday night Chris Snider exhorted fellow graduates at Germanna Community College's Fall Commencement Tuesday to dedicate themselves to making a difference.

Snider, a 43-year-old aide to U.S. House Majority leader Eric Cantor, went back to school determined to get his degree 25 years after dropping out of the University of Virginia. Snider, a former Culpeper Town Council member, always felt something was missing. Germanna President David A. Sam presented him with an Associates of Arts and Sciences in Business Administration, which he earned while working full-time as Cantor’s district representative in Culpeper.

“Be the change that you envision for the world,” Snider said in his commencement speech. “Allow your ideals to frame your actions. There is no greater testament to your beliefs than to put them into practice through your actions. You may not be able to change the world, but you can change someone’s world. And if you do that, you have changed the world for them.”

Snider was among 591 students who received 988 degrees and certificates.

During the ceremony, Sam recognized Germanna Prof. Rich Gossweiler, who is retiring after 45 years of teaching in the Virginia Community College System. Gossweiler, who teaches at GCC's Locust Grove Campus, received a standing ovation from a crowd of about 2,000.

Mark Ivory, a nurse anesthesist at Mary Washington Hospital, was the graduate speaker. He talked about Germanna’s role in determining his career plans.

“GCC provides the young and the not so young an opportunity to go to school on an affordable budget,” Ivory said. “ I look at the cost of school today and shudder at what it will cost my four kids to go to school. Even though I went to Germanna for six years, a year at GMU and two and a half at VCU/MCV, my total educational expense was only $45,000. During the time I spent becoming an anesthetist, I could have gone to med school. However, I would have had at least $150,000 of debt and at least another three years of a residency. Choosing to go to nursing school at Germanna prepared me for a lucrative job without leaving me with an enormous debt. This is why I have suggested to many young people including my four honor roll children that their plans for their future begin at Germanna.“

Friday, December 13, 2013

Gov. McDonnell appoints Germanna's Theresa Brosche to State Health Board

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell today announced the appointment to the State Board of Health of Theresa Middleton Brosche RN of Spotsylvania County, an Adjunct Faculty member for Germanna Community College's Nursing Program,and Henry N. Kuhlman of Henrico County, Manager of Inventory and Advanced Logistics with Owens & Minor.
"I am honored to be appointed to the State Board of Health by Governor McDonnell," Brosche said. "I will carry out the mission of the State Board of Health, and I will do my best to advocate for the citizens of the Commonwealth."

There was never any question whether Warren Buffett was going to college

When he was growing up, there was never any question whether Warren Buffett was going to college.

Same thing with sister Bertie, the youngest of three children.

But their mother didn't think Doris, her eldest child, was smart enough. She said it would be a waste of time. Doris proved her mother wrong. Now she explains why she identifies with community college students and supports them at Germanna Community College.

Doris, Warren and Bertie Buffett didn't look very happy as children on Christmas Day in Omaha, Neb.
The Buffett siblings recreate the scene as adults.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

More on Germanna's new student printing service

• Beginning with the spring 2014 semester, Germanna Community College will deploy ePRINTit printing kiosks and table top printers at its campuses and centers.

• Experience at other institutions demonstrates a significant reduction in wasted paper and print toner resulting in cost savings to the institution. Germanna will direct print savings towards current-year, student-oriented programs.

• This will be a pay for print system. Printing charges will be eight cents per page for black and white and 40 cents per page for color.

The national average is 10 cents for black and white, 50 cents for color.

• Students will have $2 loaded to their accounts for the Spring and Fall semesters, providing up to 25 free pages of printing. Additional funds can be added to accounts as needed through credit/debit cards, cash via the bookstore and use of financial aid funds via the bookstore.

• Please refer to the printing web page for information regarding printer locations, FAQs, and instructions on how to use the system. The printers will be available in January, at the start of the Spring semester.

• Students will be able to print what they need, where they need it, from desktops, laptops, tablets and even from their cell phones.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Germanna engineering students build a better bridge

Teams of Germanna Community College physics and engineering students were asked to build bridges made only of newspaper and masking tape. The bridges had to be strong enough to support a 3 kg mass while minimizing the amount of material used. A 4 in. high x 5 in. wide object had to be able to pass underneath them. And the bridge had to be free-standing. Bridges were weighed and the lightest bridge that met all other requirements was declared the best.

Deans Shashuna Gray and Denise Guest, Dr. Lisa Murphy and Dr. Davyda Hammond were judges.

Pictured at right, first place and most original design went to Josh Lyons, Dan Ward, Kari DeShazo, and Roaa Abbas. Their bridge had a mass of 136 g, and was able to withstand a load of 7,000 g before it gave way.

Second place and lightest structure went to Zilmara Montecinos Bonnet, Tyler Merrell, and Will Desposorio. They presented two different designs. Their heavier bridge had a mass of 116 g, and was able to withstand a load of 5,000 g before it collapsed.

Third place went to John Hewitt, Tyler Smith, Amanda Agpaoa, and Patrick Wright. Their bridge had a mass of 112 g, and was able to withstand a load of 10,000 g before it succumbed.

Pictured at left, Junior Engineer Award Honorary competitor - Alex Fetea, a 5th grader at Parkside Elementary School. His bridge had a mass of 70 g, and was able to withstand a load of 4,000 g before it broke.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Germanna physics students tackle real-life problems

Four teams of students in Dr. Mirela Fetea's Germanna Community College Physics 242 class were asked to identify an environmental problem on one of Germanna’s campuses and come up with a detailed plan to fix it. They described what the problem is, how it was created and came up with solutions.
A team consisting of Jacob Westbrooks, R.J. Yakabouski, Reuben Strangelove and Troy Townsend finished first with a proposal to replace a four-way stop at the entrance of GCC's Fredericksburg Area Campus in Spotsylvania with a European style roundabout. They showed that the roundabout would save fuel and time and reduce air pollution. Watch Mythbusters--4-Way Stop vs. Roundabout video that was part of the presentation:
A team consisting of Andrew Hallet, Sarah Kaufman, Tyler Kosco, Adam Sharrow and Chau Tran finished second with a proposal to replace or supplement paper towels in campus restrooms with electric hand dryers. They found that this could save the college tens of thousands of dollars from year to year. They also found that washing thoroughly with soap and water was much more critical to preventing the spread of illness than the means of hand drying. The presentation:

New student printing service starts in January

Beginning with the Spring 2014 semester, Germanna Community College will deploy ePRINTit printing kiosks and tabletop printers at its campuses and centers.

Over the last year there has been a dramatic increase in student generated printing with a corresponding increase in the amount of unwanted printed pages being discarded. Not only does this have a negative impact on the environment but also increases costs to the college.

Germanna's Daniel Technology Center in Culpeper

Charges will be eight cents per page for black and white and 40 cents per page for color. Students will have $2 loaded to their accounts for the Spring and Fall semesters providing up to 25 free pages of printing. Additional funds may be added to accounts as needed through credit/debit cards, cash, and/or financial aid.

While the implementation of a pay for print system will significantly reduce waste and cost, an added benefit is the availability of convenient access to printing. For instance, students now will be able to remotely send a document to a printer from their home computer or mobile device and then, at their convenience, call for the document to be printed at one of 7 available printers. Under this program, students will be able to print what they need, when they need it and where they need it.

More detailed information will be coming soon including a Germanna web site providing information on printer locations, FAQs and instructions. Information will also be available at the printers

Friday, December 6, 2013

For Commonwealth Legacy Scholar Jasmine Kellaway, Germanna was the smart choice

Jasmine Kellaway, a 2013 Mountain View High School graduate, has friends who went straight to major universities. She decided to stay home in Stafford County and go to Germanna Community College. It was a decision that required wisdom and maturity rare in an 18-year-old.

“I guess you could say I have a lot of smart friends,” said Kellaway, this year’s GCC Educational Foundation Commonwealth Legacy Scholar.

Germanna student Jasmine Kellaway

“I thought it would be smarter for me to save money by going to Germanna, getting my associate’s degree, then transferring to Virginia Tech,” Kellaway said. “Two years at Germanna is a lot less expensive than two years at a university. I want to be an engineer and Germanna is a really good stepping stone for transferring to Virginia Tech with the guaranteed transfer agreement.”

She graduated from MVHS with distinguished honors and a grade point average of 4.28. At MVHS she was a member of the National Honor Society, was vice president of the International Baccalaureate Discussion Club and a member of the Future Business Leaders of America--and was part of an FLBA national business ethics competition. She was Student of the Month for May 2013.

She plans to pursue bachelor’s degrees in both electrical engineering and business at Tech, and may further her educational goals by obtaining a master's degree in engineering. “The classes at Germanna are a good size for me,” Kellaway said. “You have a lot of one on one time with professors. College credit she earned at Mountain View through Germanna’s Dual Enrollment program may help her earn her associate’s in less than two years.

“I haven’t had a professor yet I didn’t like,” she said.

Prof. Davyda Hammond has encouraged her to get involved with the Engineering Club, which travels to competitions at universities. Dr. Hammond is working with GCC Experiential Learning Coordinator Cheri Ober to help Kellaway get an engineering internship.

“Jasmine set the standard for exceeding expectations on day one of my Engineering Graphics course and has continued to impress me with her work ethic and aptitude over the entire semester,” Dr. Hammond said. “She loves to learn and challenge herself in the classroom; yet, she is not only concerned about mastering the course material for herself. She helps her fellow classmates by sharing her knowledge so that everyone in the class can produce their best work. She is highly intelligent, conscientious, and considerate--a rare combination. I look forward to watching and witnessing her growth as a learner and as an aspiring engineer as she continues her studies at Germanna.”

Kellaway said she considers herself fortunate to have graduated from high school at a time Germanna's new Engineering Program is taking off--there were 228 students in the program in Fall 2013--and just a year after the college opened its impressive new Science & Engineering Building and Information Commons.

The Commonwealth Legacy Scholar award, in honor of J. William Price III and Patricia Price, is $3,000.

“I really look forward,” Kellaway said, “to being part of an engineering firm, starting at the bottom and working my way up.”

Germanna's Science & Engineering Building

Friday, November 22, 2013

VIDEO: 'Standing Next to History' on Nov. 22, 1963

Culpeper Media Network's Germanna Today cable show takes a look at "Standing Next to History," a program commemorating today's 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy featuring an eyewitness from Nov. 22, 1963 and GCC history faculty members Dan Carter and Stuart Smith.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Germanna's Anita Newhouse is GCCEF Alum of the Year

She didn't think she was good enough. She was wrong.

Last Friday night Anita Newhouse accepted the Germanna Community College Educational Foundation Steve B. Jones Alumnus of the Year Award at the GCCEF Annual Dinner at Stevenson's Ridge.
 A friend convinced Newhouse, who thought she wasn't smart enough for college, to go to Germanna. With support from faculty and staff, she excelled, earning her associate's degree, then going on to earn a bachelor's degree while working at GCC. She's now manager of Germanna's Welcome Center. "I was that student in the parking lot, scared to come in, who I'm helping now," she told the crowd.
GCCEF Alumnus of the Year Anita Newhouse
Before registering at Germanna, Newhouse was hesitant to pursue higher education, coming up with excuses not to enroll.

“I have a child. I work full time. I wasn’t a good student in high school,” she said.

. “The truth is my self-esteem and confidence were so low that I honestly didn’t think I would be successful. I thank God I listened to a friend who convinced me to enroll at Germanna in 2000. She suggested taking one class at a time until I was used to that and then taking more than one class each semester. As time passed, I became more confident and I held my head higher.”
It was the encouragement of Randy Martin, an associate professor of business management, and Sarah Somerville, coordinator of counseling, both of whom work at Germanna’s Locust Grove Campus, that kept her going.
Newhouse was 29 when she started at Germanna. Her goal was to earn a bachelor’s degree by the time she was 40. She did it with half a decade to spare, graduating from the University of Mary Washington at the age of 34.
Along the way, she received a Virginia Community College System Chancellor’s Fellowship.

Anita Newhouse with family, GCCEF President Jane Wallace (left)
and GCC President David A. Sam (right)
The Welcome Center combines counseling, financial aid and admissions resources.
Newhouse said she can identify with “the hesitation, the anxiousness, the worry and the fear” some students she assists feel as they enter community college.
She also knows firsthand how those feelings may be overcome.

“If you have the burning desire to do it, follow your dreams and don’t let age or anything else hold you back from you want to do. Believe me, you can,” Newhouse said.

The Henrico native, who grew up in Spotsylvania County, graduated from Courtland High School in 1994 and from Germanna in the spring of 2006 with an associate’s of applied science in business management.
She graduated from UMW in the spring of 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in leadership and management.
Newhouse began working at Germanna in 2006, while she was a student.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Germanna Community College Board to meet at 5 p.m. Nov. 21 at Locust Grove Campus

The public is invited to attend the upcoming meeting of the Germanna Community College Board on Thursday, Nov. 21, 2013, at 5 p.m. The meeting will take place in Room 100 of the French Slaughter Building at the College’s Locust Grove Campus in Orange County A sign-up. sheet will be made available 30 minutes prior to the beginning of the meeting for those interested in addressing the Board.
Germanna Community College is a two-year, public institution of higher education, serving the counties of Caroline, Culpeper, King George, Madison, Orange, Spotsylvania, Stafford and the city of Fredericksburg.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Video: Germanna students, faculty, staff and The Gettysburg Address

Germanna Community College students, faculty and staff participated in Ken Burns' Learn the Address project to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2013.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Germanna President David A. Sam a top tweeter

Germanna's Dr. David A. Sam has been rated one of 10 community college presidents to follow on Twitter.
Education Dive says:
 "many of Germanna Community College President David A. Sam's tweets feature links to articles and developments at the Virginia institution, as well as stories related to students. Mixed in among those posts, however, are bits of 'wit and wisdom' that make giving his account a follow even more worthwhile. Additionally, he posts links to his Goodreads reviews of books he has read, and in October, several of his tweets spotlighted famous people who attended community colleges."

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

'Standing Next to History' at a moment that changed everything

Standing Next to History panelist Jim Martin was a reporter on Nov. 22, 1963

WHEN Jack McNairy rode his motorcycle into the crowded city of Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963, it quickly became clear to the 18-year-old high school student that going all the way into downtown wasn’t going to work. There were just too many people. His mother may have gone there that morning to catch a glimpse of John and Jackie Kennedy, but young McNairy quickly changed gears and decided to park just off the Stemmons Freeway not far from Dealey Plaza to catch a peek. When he saw the presidential motorcade come flying by moments later, seemingly doing 60 with an agent holding on in the back with a gun in his hand, the young man’s initial reaction was, “How rude. They aren’t waving or anything.”The reality of that day, when the country’s young president was shot and killed 50 years ago this month, would become real to McNairy all too quickly.

Germanna history Asst. Prof. Stuart Smith explained why JFK was in Dallas.

Dr. Ann Woolford talks to students and community members about JFK's death 

Part of the crowd at the Standing Next to History JFK panel discussion.

Left to right, Dan Carter, Stuart Smith, Jim Martin, Jack McNairy

Germanna President David A. Sam recorded a message for the audience
Germanna history instructor Dan Carter

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Germanna's Adult Career Center can help you get back on your feet

People's pasts ought not determine their futures, especially if they are trying to get back on their feet.

The Germanna Community College Center for Workforce & Adult Education's Adult Career Center, the Thrive Healing Center, an organization that provides comprehensive services to women, and VA Cares, a statewide program that gives support for ex-offenders needing to re-enter the workforce, have recently joined forces to provide a process for select women in need of help. Thrive will take the lead in determining the best fit for each person. Some may be sent directly to the Adult Career Program and Michelle Beverage for help with resumes and the job search. Others will begin with life coach courses at VA Cares led by volunteers at Thrive. Together the organizations hope to make a difference for women trying to restart their lives.

"“I’m looking forward to working together with Thrive & VA Cares to help coach these women toward successful career pathways," Beverage said.

All services funded by a U.S. Department of Labor ETA grant award. This is the creation of the grantee and does not necessarily reflect the official position of the USDOL.



Saturday, November 9, 2013

'Young, battle-scarred, and trying to navigate an academic field very different from the world they had come to know.'

On the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, Jacob Brooks was a student at Dundalk Community College in Baltimore.
The events of that day were about to change his life, and the lives of many thousands of other patriotic young men and women who would enlist as a result of the Sept. 11 attacks, forever. 
 More than a decade later, Brooks, now a Germanna Community College student, like thousands of other vets, is struggling to make the transition back to civilian life and playing catchup with friends who chose not to serve in the military. 
Jacob Brooks

“When 9/11 went down, I took it very personally,” he says. “I decided to enlist. It was the fastest route to get where I wanted to go, which was overseas.”
His father, grandfather and great uncle had served in the military, but “I was never interested till 9/11.”
He was disappointed when he was initially assigned to a mechanized unit, where he spent his first three years in the Army. “I wanted to be in the light infantry,” the Spotsylvania County resident says.
Brooks eventually got his wish, at one point serving four months attached to 1st Platoon, B Company, 1-502nd Infantry Battalion of the Army’s 101st Airborne Division-- the unit about which Time  International and editor Jim Frederick wrote the book “Blackhearts: One Platoon’s Descent into Madness in Iraq’s Triangle of Death.”
 “Now you have a volunteer Army,” Brooks says.  In past wars, he notes, soldiers “usually served one tour and that was it.” Because there is no longer a draft, he says, “Now you go back again and again, serving forty-some months in combat. Now guys are making a lifetime of combat.”
Brooks suffered concussions in improvised explosive device blasts and a number of other wounds and injuries in Iraq. The ligaments in both hands were torn in a fall during combat seven years ago. He’s 31 years old and he’s in near constant pain. 
“I see pictures of my buddies missing two legs and an arm on Facebook and looking happy as a bird,” he says. “What do I have to complain about?”
Still, he admits leaving the military and making the adjustment to civilian life and college hasn’t been easy. 
“That freedom is a blessing and a curse for them,” says Bob Dixon, Germanna’s first Veterans Support Counselor, who was an Army artillery officer during the Gulf War and served in Afghanistan.
It’s strange to be outside the structured, demanding environment of the military. It’s even stranger to be sitting in a classroom next to teenagers just out of high school, some of whom are texting on the phones during lectures.
“He was on the upside of almost being a lifer and his life took this turn,” Dixon says. “Suddenly, he finds himself pushed out. 
“You’re RG III and you blew your leg out,” Dixon says, drawing an analogy to Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III. “There are physical wounds and emotional, social and psychological wounds.”
“In combat, you have a heightened sense of awareness and you can’t replicate that. You can go rock climbing, mountain climbing—you just can’t replicate that.”
“Joy doesn’t even register in my brain,” Brooks says. “Contentment, peace, none of that. A picnic, going to a water park, going to a pool—those things, nah. The toughest thing is that everything seems so dull, so boring. The bar [for excitement] is up here,” he says, holding his hand high.
Dixon says Brooks “really connected” with Germanna English Prof. Cory MacLauchlin.
“Obviously,” MacLauchlin says, “I’m seeing more and more vets coming back to school. Young, battle-scarred, and trying to navigate an academic field that is very different from the world they had come to know.”
Brooks, MacLauchlin says, is in the process of redefining himself and is a talented writer. 
“Jacob has a big personality,” the Germanna professor says. “He carries a presence when he walks into a room.”
Brooks completed three combat tours in Iraq, serving in one of the bloodiest parts of that war as a platoon sergeant in charge of 30 troops.
“When you’re in a position like that, your hormones—adrenaline, cortisol get pumped up so you can cope,” he says.  “Then the longer you’re back here, the harder it gets. Once you start to look back on it as a normal person, it really is a lot harder.  That’s why Vietnam vets have struggled later on. They’re no longer in that mindset” and they still have the memories.
Perhaps without even realizing it, Brooks has been helping others to understand.
“There were points in class when he made me very self-conscious--in a good way,” MacLauchlin says. “ I mean, a year ago, this guy was fighting a war, getting shot at nearly every day, and now he has to listen to me drone on and on about the importance of citation and ways to make your writing ‘flow.’ It was a powerful learning experience for me in that sometimes we need to put what we consider ‘critical’ in perspective with how another person sees the world.”
Dixon says our region is “rife with guys like Jake.” The details are different, but the general story is the same. Germanna and other colleges in Virginia must prepare to help thousands of them make a difficult transition, but one with a potentially huge payoff. 
“The veterans are a tremendous resource to society,” Dixon says. “They’re mission-focused, with proven results. They know how to organize resources and people.  Why wouldn’t we want to leverage that in the community?”

Sunday, November 3, 2013

'Target Car' eyewitness to be part of JFK discussion Nov. 5 at Germanna

When shots rang out in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963, Jack McNairy was there.
The 18-year-old high school student watched as President John F. Kennedy’s motorcade sped away from Dealey Plaza.  An official flashed a badge and asked McNairy to give him a ride to Parkland Memorial Hospital. Once there, McNairy stared in disbelief into the president’s blood-splattered limo moments before the Secret Service ordered it cleaned and sent it back to Washington.

Germanna Community College history instructor Dan Carter will moderate a Tuesday discussion with McNairy and Jim Martin, who was a young newspaperman covering President Kennedy’s assassination from a Washington perspective. GCC Asst. Prof. Stuart Smith will explain the political climate that led to the president making his fateful trip to Dallas. A discussion with the audience will follow. The event, which is open to public, free of charge, will be held at Sealy Auditorium in the Workforce Building at Germanna’s Fredericksburg Area Campus in Spotsylvania from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m
McNairy says what he saw in the limo indicated the shots that hit the president came from behind--possibly from the School Book Depository Building--where Lee Harvey Oswald was perched, and not from the grassy knoll on the Northwest side of the plaza, as some conspiracy theorists have speculated.. McNairy played a key part in the Discovery Channel's 2008 investigative program, "Inside the Target Car."
An interactive video feed in room 114 at Germanna’s Locust Grove Campus  and room 118 at GCC's Daniel Technology Center will allow student and area residents in those locations to watch and hear the event live and ask the panelists questions.
For more information, email or call 540/846-5163,

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Prof. Shockey knows firsthand the difference community colleges make

When Michael Shockey was 13 years old, he weighed 240 pounds.
“I was mocked,” he remembers. “I didn’t want to go to school.”
Because of bullying, he did poorly academically.
Germanna adjunct Professor Michael Shockey

His troubles didn’t end there.
By the time he was 16, he was hospitalized for acute, nonspecific pericarditis—a painful and dangerous inflammation of the sac around the heart.
“I had these enormous difficulties, pressures,” 63-year-old Shockey, an adjunct professor of psychology  at Germanna Community College and senior minister at Calvary Southern Methodist Church in Stafford, says now.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Holocaust survivor speaks to packed house at Germanna

Holocaust survivor and Virginia Holocaust Museum co-founder Jay Ipson spoke to a packed house Monday at Germanna Community College's Fredericksburg Campus in Spotsylvania as part of a GCC History Department event.
Holocaust survivor Jay Ipson speaks at Germanna's Sealy Auditorium on Monday.

Germanna Assistant Professor of History Katie Eskridge arranged to have Ipson speak. He stayed for an hour after his formal talk, answering students' questions.
He was raised in Lithuania, placed in a concentration camp at age  6 in 1941 and escaped with his parents in 1943. He arrived in Richmond with his parents in 1947, when he was 12.
Ipson has been appointed by Gov. McDonnell to his Virginia Israel Advisory Board.
He has been a board member of the Anti-Defamation League.
 A standing room only crowd heard Holocaust survivor
Jay Ipson speak during a history department event.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Judi Bartlett elected VCCA president for 2014-15

Judi Bartlett, Germanna Community College's Stafford County Center Coordinator, has been elected president of the Virginia Community College Association for 2014-2015.
Bartlett was previously an Associate Dean of Instruction at Germanna. She also teaches Web design and other technical courses at GCC. She has 15 years experience in higher education.
Prior to that, she was a technology analyst for the federal government, where she helped the General Services Administration prepare for the year 2000 rollover problem, also known as Y2K and the Millennium Bug.
Bartlett has mentored students in Germanna's Great Expectations program, which helps young people who are aging out of the foster care system complete high school, gain access to a community college education and make the transition to living independently. She has served on Germanna's faculty senate as a non-voting member and is a member of the college's Threat Assessment Committee.
Germanna Stafford County Center Coordinator Judi Bartlett


Sunday, October 20, 2013

Eyewitness to be part of Germanna JFK event


When shots rang out at Dealey Plaza on Nov. 22, 1963, Jack McNairy was a Dallas high-school student who watched as President John F. Kennedy’s motorcade sped away.  A Secret Service agent asked the 18-year-old McNairy to give him a ride to Parkland Memorial Hospital. Once there, McNairy stared in disbelief into the president’s blood-splattered limo moments before the Secret Service ordered it cleaned and sent it back to Washington. McNairy interviews played a key part in the Discovery Channel's 2008 investigative program, "Inside theTarget Car."  What McNairy saw seems to support the Lee Harvey Oswald as lone gunman theory reinforced by Larry Sabato in his new book "The Kennedy Half-Century: The Presidency, Assassination, and Lasting Legacy of John F. Kennedy."
Jim Martin was a young newspaperman covering President Kennedy’s assassination from a Washington perspective.
Germanna Community College history instructor Dan Carter will moderate a discussion with McNairy and Martin and GCC Asst. Prof. Stuart Smith will explain the political climate that led to the president making his fateful trip to Dallas. A discussion with the audience will follow.
The event, which is open to public, free of charge, will be held at Sealy Auditorium in the Workforce Building at Germanna’s Fredericksburg Area Campus in Spotsylvania from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Nov. 5, 2013.
An interactive video feed in room 114 at Germanna’s Locust Grove Campus  and room 118 at GCC's Daniel Technology Center will allow student and area residents in those locations to watch and hear the event live and ask the panelists questions.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Stafford County approves land for permanent Germanna Center

Germanna Community College moved a step closer to a permanent center in Stafford County last night when the county's Board of Supervisors approved development and land needed for the project.
 GCC President David A. Sam has said of Stafford: “We are here to stay. We are here for the long haul. Stafford County is one of the best places for us to partner in terms of workforce development… We expand to meet the needs of our communities.”
  Stafford, the county with the largest population in Germanna’s service area, is a logical place for GCC to grow, he said.
 The permanent center would be another in a series of steps in raising Germanna’s profile in Stafford to meet community needs, beginning with the Stafford County Center (which has exceeded its 1,000 student capacity) in August 2009 and the GCC Automotive Center in August 2012.
When a permanent center opened, the college would close those facilities, which are rented, and consolidate at the permanent site southeast of the intersection of U.S. 1 and Hospital Center Boulevard.
 Dr. Sam has said Germanna would respond to the needs of Stafford’s growing, evolving business community at the permanent center with, among others, professional and technical studies programs, workforce business and professional development courses and homeland security-related courses including cybersecurity

A conceptual drawing shows what a permanent  Germanna
location in Stafford County may look like

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Don't miss College Transfer Tour 2013

Don't miss the 2013 College Tour Wednesday from 9 a.m.-11 a.m. at the Locust Grove Campus and noon to 2 p.m. at the Fredericksburg Campus in Spotsylvania and at Spotsylvania Towne Center from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Prof. Davyda Hammond, Middle College's Shavanta Hayes honored

Germanna Community College Engineering Prof. Davyda Hammond and Germanna Middle College Program Administrative Assistant Shavanta Hayes were honored with Virginia Community Colleges Association Showcase Awards Oct. 4 at the 31st Annual Conference at the Virginia Beach/Norfolk Hotel and Conference Center.

Prof. Lisa Murphy,  Prof. Davyda Hammond (right) during
 Germanna President's Leadership Academy graduation 

Criteria for faculty awards are:

 Excellence in teaching
 Significant contributions to education in general
 Significant contributions to the community college

DR. DAVYDA HAMMOND, who received a Faculty Showcase Award, was nominated by Prof. Lisa Murphy, who wrote:
“Since her arrival in August of 2011, Davyda Hammond has revitalized the Engineering program at Germanna. She brings practical engineering experiences into her classroom, including frequent use of a 3-D printer to build student designs, and a visit by a local engineering firm to help the students create concrete samples and test their strength.
  “In addition to expanding learning opportunities in her lab, she introduces her students to the world beyond their campus. As the founding sponsor of the Applied Engineering Club, she took a student team to the American Society of Mechanical Engineers Student Professional Development Conference at the University of Virginia, where they competed against junior and senior students from five university engineering programs, and placed in all of the competitions. She also led students in competing in CANstruction, a combination engineering challenge and service project in which students collected canned food for the local food bank and used it to create structural art.
“Dr. Hammond’s leadership extends beyond the lab and classroom. She has created a second track for the Germanna Community College engineering program to include electrical as well as mechanical engineering."
   "…Dr. Hammond is interested in providing practical learning experiences and research opportunities for Germanna engineering students. She is also interested in increasing the involvement of underrepresented groups in STEM careers."
   She received the 2013 Outstanding Faculty Advisor Award for her work with the Germanna Applied Engineering Student Club. She is also a graduate of the Germanna’s President’s Leadership Academy, a year-long program designed to develop rising leaders and she attended the Chair Academy in April 2013.
   In addition to her teaching duties, Dr. Hammond continues to conduct research focused on the health impacts of urban air pollution. Her most recent publication, “Cardiovascular impacts and micro-environmental exposure factors associated with continuous personal PM2.5 monitoring”, is under review by the Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology.
  Dr. Hammond has a Ph.D. in Environmental Health Engineering from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, Irvine and a Mechanical Engineering from Auburn University.
  She is a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the International Society of Exposure Science, and the American Public Health Association.
Criteria for staff awards are:
Significant contributions to education in general
Significant contributions to the community college

Shavanta Hayes, second from right, was nominated by
 Middle College Director Carolyn Bynum (right)

SHAVANTA HAYES received a Staff Showcase Award.
She is pursuing an associate’s degree in Business Administration at Germanna.
She was nominated by Middle College Director Carolyn Bynum, who wrote:

"Ms. Hayes graduated from GCC’s Middle College Program in 2008 while working full time in retail. Upon completion of Middle College, ,she continued to work full time and pursue an associate’s degree in business.
“In 2010, she applied for the Middle College Administrative Assistant position and was unanimously chosen because of her passion for the program.
“Even though her position as administrative assistant is in itself a full-time job, she serves as a mentor, advisor, role model, and advocate for Middle College students and is able to inspire them in ways that no other staff member can because she has been where they are. She encourages them to strive to be the best that they can be. She sets a shining example to all who are willing to push themselves and strive for a better life."
Upon her graduation from Germanna in May of 2014, Ms. Hayes plans to transfer to Hampton University to pursue her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business administration. She has served on Germanna’s Black History Month Committee and Commencement Committee. She has been a recipient of the Doris Buffett Sunshine Lady Scholarship for two years and of the Ray and Joyce Zachmann Scholarship.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Germanna Today TV goes inside GCC's Virtual Hospital

The latest Germanna Today cable TV episode hosted by GCC President David A. Sam and Prof. Ashley Anglin features a tribute to the late Dean of Nursing Mary Gilkey and a look at the college's Virtual Hospital.

New printing kiosks will cut waste

Coming soon – New green initiatives:
Germanna Community College will deploy printing kiosks at its campuses and centers, providing students with convenient access while generating less waste.
 Students will be able to print what they need, when they need it and where they need it. 
Printing charges will be eight cents per page for black and white and 40 cents per page for color. Beginning January 2014, students will have $2 loaded to their accounts each semester, providing 25 free pages of printing. Students may load additional funds to their accounts as needed. 
Watch for location information and additional details in the coming weeks.

Friday, October 4, 2013

GCC's Adult Career Coach Program making a difference for displaced workers


Lisa Marsh spent seven years styling hair, a job she loved. But after hurting her back, she knew she needed to find another career.

After graduating from Germanna Community College with a degree in business management, she turned to Germanna's Adult Career Coach Program for help. Michelle Beverage, a career coach, and Marie Hawley, career counselor, helped her with resumes and interviewing and supported her each step of the way.

 “The program was an amazing experience for me,” Lisa said.
 The Adult Career Coach Program is a grant-funded free program that guides adult displaced workers through determining what career switch may be appropriate and how to navigate that path.
 Lisa believed her journey was eased by having people at Germanna she could call on.
 “Michelle gathered all my information and put it in a database. She helped me with interviewing skills, and she gave me advice on the "dress" for interviewing. Anytime I had an interview, I emailed her, and there was a pep talk coming right back to me,” said Lisa.
 Changing careers can be overwhelming. Michelle helps with decisions about credit and noncredit courses, certification, and even financial aid. She helps folks access the Virginia Wizard, which can guide someone toward his interests and strengths. She can also connect people to Cheri Ober, the experiential learning coordinator at Germanna. Cheri helps people on the credit side who want to do an internship.
 Most important is making sure students can afford and pay for the classes. “The paperwork for FAFSA (federal financial student aid) and the Workforce Investment Act  can be daunting,” Michelle said. “People need someone to help them through the process.”
 Her office is located at the Virginia Workforce Center in Spotsylvania County, also called the One-Stop. As people walk through the door, they can visit the Virginia Employment Commission and see Michelle at the same time for help with free services.
 Lisa was one of those who benefited.
“Lisa was very motivated. She followed up on everything she was supposed to do. From the beginning, she was on top of her game,” Michelle said.
 The Adult Career Coach Program can help remove barriers, help people figure out which direction to take, and nudge them along in the process of finding a new job. Germanna offers courses and certificates in health care, industry and construction, and technology among others. As a career coach, Michelle helps people get back on their feet.
 Lisa is now working at Germanna in the financial aid office. “I can't say enough about Michelle.  She never led me down the wrong path.  She worked very hard to help me.   She's an amazing woman, very good at what she does,” said Lisa.
 For more information about the Adult Career Center and how to register, call Michelle Beverage at 540-736-8041 or email
 All services funded by a U.S. Department of Labor ETA grant award. This is the creation of the grantee and does not necessarily reflect the official position of the USDOL.

Holocaust survivor and co-founder of Virginia Holocaust Museum to speak at Germanna

Holocaust survivor and Virginia Holocaust Museum cofounder Jay Ipson will speak in Sealy Auditorium at Germanna’s Fredericksburg Area Campus in Spotsylvania at 11 a.m. on Oct. 22. Admission is free and open to the public.
Holocaust survivor Jay Ipson
“Mr. Ipson survived one of the most horrific events of the 20th century” said Kellie Bradshaw, associate professor of history at Germanna.  Broad definitions say 11 million people were killed in the Nazi system.  This number includes Soviet POWs, ethnic Polish people, Romanian people and nearly 6 million Jewish people from Europe. Much of this violence and death was centered in the part of Europe where Mr. Ipson is from. “
 Prof. Bradshaw said new research by the United States Holocaust Museum estimates that 15-20 million died or were imprisoned in the Nazi ghetto and camp system.

“Mr. Ipson's story of survival is something I believe everyone should hear,” she said.

Ipson was co-founder of the Virginia Holocaust Museum.

He was raised in Lithuania, placed in a concentration camp at age  6 in 1941 and escaped with his parents in 1943. He arrived in Richmond with his parents in 1947, when he was 12.

Ipson has been appointed by Gov. McDonnell to his Virginia Israel Advisory Board.

He has been a board member of the Anti-Defamation League, chairman of the Automotive Engineers Virginia Section, and Chairman of the Curriculum Committee of the Virginia Vocational Center.

Germanna’s Fredericksburg Area Campus is located off U.S. 17 near Cosner’s Corner in Massaponax.

For more information, email


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

He was at Dealey Plaza and Parkland Memorial Hospital on Nov. 22, 1963. This Nov. 5th, he'll be at GCC for 'Standing Next to History' 50th anniversary JFK assassination panel

To observe the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination, Germanna Community College will host "Standing Next to History," a panel discussion featuring an eyewitness who was at Dealey Plaza at the time of the shooting and at Parkland Memorial Hospital moments after the presidential limousine arrived there.   

The event will be held in Sealy Auditorium at Germanna’s Fredericksburg Area Campus in Spotsylvania from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Nov. 5, 2013. Admission is free and it’s open to the public.

When shots rang out at Dealey Plaza on Nov. 22, 1963, Jack McNairy was a Dallas high-school student who watched as President John F. Kennedy’s motorcade sped away.  A Secret Service agent who had been left behind asked the 16-year-old McNairy to give him a ride Parkland Memorial Hospital. Once there, McNairy stared in disbelief into the president’s blood-splattered limo before the Secret Service ordered it cleaned and sent it back to Washington.

 McNairy, who will be part of Germanna's "Standing Next to History" panel discussion, was interviewed for the Discovery Channel’s 2008 “Inside the Target Car,” which, it said in a press release at the time, employed “cutting-edge forensics and Zapruder film archives to definitively prove that the fatal bullet was fired from the Texas School Book Depository.” 

Another member of the panel will be Jim Martin, who was a young newspaperman covering President Kennedy’s assassination from a Washington perspective.

Germanna history instructor Dan Carter will moderate the discussion with McNairy and Martin and GCC Assistant Professor of History Stuart H. Smith III will explain the political climate that led to the president making his fateful trip to Dallas. Audience questions will follow.

McNairy's Discovery Channel interview begins at the 8 minute mark in the video below.




Sunday, September 29, 2013

GCC Center for Workforce to host second Startup Weekend Fredericksburg

Germanna Community College’s Center for Workforce and Community Education will host the second 54-hour Startup Weekend Fredericksburg Jan. 17-19 at the college’s Fredericksburg Area Campus in Spotsylvania.

Christine Goodwin is a member of FredXchange, which is putting the weekend together. She is CEO and co-founder WishStars, an online platform that brings corporate donors and educators together, was tabbed in December for one of the Center for Innovative Technology’s GAP 50 Entrepreneur Awards.
She explained in May, prior to the first Startup Weekend Fredericksburg, that Virginia has the highest concentration of information technology skilled and professional services people of any place in the country – and the many of them live in our region:
“Our greatest resource in this area is the incredibly talented human capital we have. And yet every day, we send more than 15,000 of them into Northern Virginia and D.C. to work. Too many people have resigned themselves to accept that to live here they must spend 12-14 hours a day five days a week getting to and from work in the worst traffic in the country.”
She said startups are the way to keep the talent, profits and jobs home in our area.
“We felt that … the only way to do this was to bring local entrepreneurs, interested enthusiasts and local economic development authorities together with angel and venture capital investors from Silicon Valley, Washington D.C. and Boston together for 54 hours to give the talent in this area a platform for launching.”