Thursday, March 21, 2013

Germanna Applied Engineering Club demos D.R.O.I.D. Diverse Remote-Operated Inspection Device

Thursday at GCC's Fredericksburg Area Campus in Spotsylvania, the Germanna Community College Applied Engineering Club and Dr. Davyda Hammond demonstrated a robot the club built "with the Fukushuma power plant meltdown disaster in mind. It has the ability to navigate into areas too dangerous and restricting to send personnel. Two onboard cameras allow both a forward-tilting view and a 310-degree pan and tilt view. Being able to see what is going on is only part of the D.R.O.I.D's mission. It's able to manipulate instruments from 10 inches away with its probe, drop remote sensors and retrieve sensors." The device weighs about nine pounds and "no dimension is greater than 14.25 inches." Club members used an Xbox controller to operate it via a Wi-Fi connection with an indoor range of 230 feet and "virtually unlimited range when connected over the Internet." It uses a laser guidance system and has a top speed of 1.56 miles per hour.

The club and D.R.O.I.D. made a strong showing at the recent ASME Student Professional Development Conference at the University of Virginia, finishing second in student design for D.R.O.I.D., second in Web page design by Tristan Jones, second in Poster Presentation by Andrew Hallet and fourth for an oral presentation by Brian Keefer.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Germanna, Rappahannock Area Community Services Board sign agreement to ease, expand student access to mental health services

Germanna Community College President David A. Sam and Ronald W. Branscome, Executive Director of the Rappahannock Area Community Services Board [RACSB], have signed a Memorandum of Agreement "to facilitate coordination of care between the two entities, to expand the array of psychiatric services available to students at GCC; to develop procedures for the management of mental health crises." ”
"This agreement will help our counseling staff provide better crisis intervention and referral service to students in need of mental health assessment and treatment. I'’m looking forward to working closely with RACSB staff to develop a plan to address mental health crisis and provide access to the RACSB Emergency Services Program,"” said Pam Frederick, Germanna Dean of Student Development. According to RACSB Executive Director Ron Branscome, “"RACSB has enjoyed numerous opportunities to collaborate with Germanna over the years. We are pleased to formalize our partnership. We want to ensure that GCC students have immediate and easy access to local, public mental health services." Founded in 1970, the Rappahannock Area Community Services Board (RACSB) provides public mental health, intellectual disability, substance abuse, prevention and early intervention services to the residents of the City of Fredericksburg and the counties of Caroline, King George, Spotsylvania and Stafford. RACSB operates six outpatient clinics that provide therapy; specialized counseling and case management services; psychological assessment; 24-hour crisis intervention; and medication management services. RACSB also offers mental health day support and residential services including crisis stabilization at The Sunshine Lady House for Mental Health Wellness & Recovery. To learn more, visit

GCC Educational Foundation Scholarship Reception: 'The very best thing you can do to pay back that investment is to succeed'

The Germanna Community College Educational Foundation thanked donors for their generosity at Annual GCCEF Scholarship Reception at GCC's Fredericksburg Area Campus in Spotsylvania.

About 275 students have received scholarship awards from the GCCEF this academic year, Foundation Executive Director Mike Catell said. "This represents more than $230,000 in total scholarship support, which has increased the last two years," Catell said.

Germanna President David A. Sam told scholarship recipients in the crowd that in addition to saying thank you, "The very best thing you can do to pay back that investment is to succeed."

Catell credited new scholarships from donors including Atlantic Builders, saying they helped spur continued growth in scholarship funding. He thanked Adam and Rhonda Fried. Adam Fried is CEO of Atlantic Builders.

Catell said "the continued investment from Mary Washington Healthcare" has boosted GCC's nursing program. He said MWHC President and CEO Fred Rankin and Jane and Larry Ingalls' support of the Jane Ingalls Nurse Educator Fellowship" has been critical. Rankin and the Ingallses were in attendance.

"Because of this, Germanna has helped more than six nursing faculty in three years work toward their MSN," Catell said. "We are pleased that two have secured their degree and are teaching at the college and one more is expected to finish by next spring."

He thanked Culpeper Regional Health System and its President and CEO Lee Kirk for support for dual enrollment nursing students at Eastern View High School.

Catell also expressed gratitude to the Fredericksburg Rotary Club and member Felix Fraraccio, who attended the event. Like · Comment

Campus to Career series: What does it really take to get hired today?

What does it really take to get hired today?

Kristen Reed of will be among the speakers at a Campus to Career series event at noon Tuesday, March 19 in room 212 of the Dickinson Building on Germanna's Fredericksburg Area Campus in Spotsylvania.

Also discussing what it takes will be:

Derrick Mestler, PHRm Sr. Leader, Human Resources, Spotsylvania Regional Medical Center

Kathy Sweere, Re-Employment Specialist, Virginia Workforce Center, Virginia Employment Commission

A resume review and a lesson in the art of "elevator" interviewing follow.

A free lunch will be provided.

The event is sponsored by GCC Career Services. For more information, email Career & Academic Counselor Marie F. Hawley at or call 540/834-1051.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Tuesday is Tornado Drill Day

A message from Germanna's Department of Police & Security Services:

During the past two years, 62 tornadoes hit Virginia, killing 10 people and injuring more than 100. Some 210 homes were destroyed, and more than 1,050 were damaged. Nearly every part of the state was affected.

We are now moving into tornado season and with that comes our yearly state wide tornado drill.

This year, Gov. Bob McDonnell has proclaimed Tuesday, March 12, as Tornado Preparedness Day. Germanna Community College will participate with two separate drills in order to cover each campus location.

The Fredericksburg and Locust Grove campus will hold their drill at 9:45 AM on March 12th. The Stafford Center, Auto Tech Center and Daniel Technology Center will conduct their drills on at 2 PM on March 12th.

Please take some time prior to the drill and locate the Severe Weather Shelter Areas around the campuses marked by the green signs. The drill will start with the tornado drill message being broadcasted over the emergency alert speaker system. The message will instruct everyone to move to the Severe Weather Shelter Areas and take cover. Once you have made it to a Severe Weather Shelter Area, crouch as low as possible to the floor, facing down and cover your heads with their hands. Anticipate once everyone is in a Severe Weather Shelter Area, possibly being there for approximately 5 minutes before getting the “All Clear” message.

Tornadoes are nature's most violent storms. They can appear suddenly without warning and can be invisible until dust and debris are picked up or a funnel cloud appears. Be prepared to act quickly.

Know the Signs

· Strong, persistent rotation in the base of a cloud

· Whirling dust or debris on the ground under a cloud base – tornadoes sometimes have no visible funnel

· Hail or heavy rain followed by dead calm or a fast, intense wind shift. Many tornadoes, especially in Virginia, are wrapped in heavy precipitation and can’t be seen.

· Loud, continuous roar or rumble, which doesn’t fade in a few seconds like thunder does

· If it’s night, look for small, bright, blue-green to white flashes at ground level (as opposed to silvery lightning up in the clouds). These lights are power lines being snapped by very strong wind, perhaps a tornado.

· Persistent lowering of the cloud base

Watches and Warnings

Learn the terms that are used to identify a tornado.

Tornado Watch: a tornado is possible in your area. You should monitor weather-alert radios and local radio and TV stations for information.

Tornado Warning: a tornado has been sighted in the area or has been indicated by National Weather Service Doppler radar. When a warning is issued, take cover immediately.

Preparing for Tornadoes

Get a NOAA Weather Radio with warning alarm tone and battery backup to get information directly from the National Weather Service. This is the quickest way to learn that a tornado is heading your way. Many models are available.
Know what tornado watch and tornado warning mean.
Determine in advance where you will take cover in case of a tornado warning. Keep this safe location uncluttered.
Storm cellars or basements provide the best protection.
If underground shelter is not available, go into a windowless interior room, closet or hallway on the lowest floor possible.
Stay away from windows, doors and outside walls. Go to the center of the room. Stay away from corners because they attract debris.
If you are in a high-rise building, you may not have enough time to go to the lowest floor. Pick a place in a hallway in the center of the building.
A vehicle, trailer or mobile home does not provide good protection. Plan to go quickly to a building with a strong foundation, if possible.
Get a kit of emergency supplies. Store it in your shelter location.
Practice tornado drills at least once a year
During a Tornado

When a tornado warning is issued, take cover in your safe location immediately or on the lowest level of the nearest substantial building. Protect your body from flying debris with a heavy blanket, pillows, sofa cushions or mattress.
If you can’t get to your safe location or the lowest level of a substantial building:
Open buildings (shopping mall, gym or civic center): Try to get into a restroom or interior hallway. If there is no time, get up against something that will support or deflect falling debris. Protect your head by covering it with your arms.
Cars and trucks: Get out of your vehicle and try to find shelter inside a sturdy building. A culvert or ditch can provide shelter if a substantial building is not nearby. Lie down flat and cover your head with your hands. Do not get under an overpass or bridge. You are safer in a low, flat location.
Outdoors. Try to find shelter immediately in the nearest substantial building. If no buildings are close, lie down flat in a ditch or depression and cover your head with your hands.
Mobile homes: Do not stay in mobile homes. Leave immediately and seek shelter inside a nearby sturdy building, or lie down in a ditch away from your home, covering your head with your hands. Mobile homes are extremely unsafe during tornadoes.
Stay in your safe location until the danger has passed.
--Department of Police & Security Services

(540) 891-3079 or 2-9-1-1

Four Germanna employees honored at Innovations Conference in Dallas

Four Germanna Community College employees are being honored at the League for Innovation in the Community College’s annual Innovations Conference going on through Wednesday in Dallas.
Named in honor of John E. and Suanne D. Roueche, leaders in the community college field and early proponents of the idea that every college employee has a role in how well students learn and succeed, the John and Suanne Roueche Excellence Awards celebrate outstanding contributions and leadership by community college faculty and staff.
Germanna winners Win Stevens, Sally Cool
and Garland Fenwick in Dallas.
The Germanna winners are:  Sally Cool, Manager of ACC and Testing Services, Garland Fenwick,  Winferd Stevens, Coordinator of Disability Services and Michael C. Farris, former Financial Aid Coordinator. Farris returned to his hometown as Director of Financial Aid at Randolph College in Lynchburg in February.
Win Stevens

Stevens said the conference provides an opportunity to tap into "new ideas to keep community colleges moving forward. This is a critical time for community colleges."
 He said being selected “is a great honor and I would like to thank all the great people who are working in community colleges who are giving their heart and soul to helping others.”
Sally Cool

Cool wrote:   “I am easily motivated just with watching our students grow and succeed knowing that our services had a hand in helping them on their way ... Communication is the key to a strong relationship with students as well as the college community. Perseverance is necessary to implement resources when they are needed and money is tight, and vision for the future; always thinking ahead of new initiatives that will keep improving the quality of our services. “

Garland Fenwick
“As a Facilities Manager, I am inspired and motivated to provide the most effective and efficient facilities,” Fenwick wrote.  “ I feel by providing safe and well maintained buildings and grounds, it creates an atmosphere that contributes to student learning. “

“I am truly honored to have been selected for this award,” Farris wrote. “I will continue to work hard so that students can achieve their dreams. Thanks to all who helped make this possible.”

 More than 800 colleges are League members.  According to its Web site, “The goal is to assist community colleges in developing policies, programs, and practices that place learning at the heart of the educational enterprise, while overhauling the traditional architecture of education.”
The organization is based in Chandler, Ariz.




Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Germanna's Cory MacLauchlin featured in BBC radio documentary set to air March 11

Congratulations to Germanna Community College English faculty member Cory MacLauchlin, who's featured prominently in the BBC documentary "The Curse of the Confederacy of  Dunces" set to air on BBC Radio 4 on March 11 at 11 a.m. EST.
He's the author of a biography of "A Confederacy of Dunces" author John Kennedy Toole titled "Butterfly in the Typewriter."
Cory is expecting a royal invitation from the Queen any day now...

Looming snowstorm delays HESI tests at Locust Grove Campus

If there's a blizzard, who'll take care of the human simulators
 in Germanna's Virtual Hospital?

Cameron Rodish, supervisor of the Locust Grove Campus Academic Computer and Testing Centers, says the possibility of snow Wednesday has resulted in the company renovating the LGC Testing Center in room 207F pushing the work back. That means room 203 will continue to serve as the testing center at LGC through Friday, March 15th.
 We will not be able to administer Health Education Systems, Inc. tests during this time. HESI is a company that produces standardized and customized tests for nursing students.
 We apologize for any inconvenience.