Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Germanna mourns the passing of Dean Mary Gilkey

Germanna Community College Dean of Nursing and Health Technologies Mary Gilkey passed away Tuesday, June 25 at VCU Medical Center in Richmond of apparent heart failure. She had been battling an autoimmune disorder for some time. She was 55.

“With the passing of Dean Gilkey, Germanna has lost a leader whose boundless energy and enthusiasm helped the college double the size of its nursing program and graduate two classes a year,” said GCC President David A. Sam. “Our communities have lost a champion for quality health care for all their citizens.

  “Dean Gilkey worked diligently with area hospitals to anticipate and meet health care needs,” Dr. Sam said.
 “She loved her students and the College dearly.  The students she inspired will be her legacy. She will be missed.”
 Dr. Sam said the College’s deepest sympathy goes out to Dean Gilkey’s husband Charles and their three daughters, Claire, Caroline and Chelsea.

When Dean Gilkey, who came to Germanna in 2009, was 15, she began training as an aide in a nursing home. She said she was appalled by the inhumane "warehouse" approach in dealing with the elderly there. She decided to devote her life to improving care for patients.
 “It gave me a passion to take care of people,” she said.  “I’ve never stopped learning. And I’ve never stopped having that passion in my belly.”

Kim Casey, a 2013 Germanna nursing graduate, talked about Dean Gilkey coming to an awards ceremony in May despite being ill. "I went over and hugged her and told her daughter Chelsea how much it meant to us," Casey said, her voice filled with emotion.
In addition to working in hospitals and as a health insurance company in her native Hampton Roads area, she had a private practice as a psychotherapist.

Dean Gilkey had said her dream was to expand Germanna’s nursing and health technologies facilities at the College’s Locust Grove Campus.
 Dr. Patti Lisk is serving as Germanna’s Acting Dean of Nursing and Health Care Technologies.

Friday, June 28 7:30 p.m. Visitation 
Holloman-Brown Funeral Chapel
6568 Indian River Road
Virginia Beach, Va.

Saturday, June 29 11 a.m. Funeral Mass
Saint Matthew's Catholic Church
3314 Sandra Lane
Virginia Beach, Va. (this is just a few blocks from Holloman-Brown)

Interment following the Mass
Woodlawn Memorial Gardens
6309 E. Virginia Beach Blvd
Norfolk, Va,

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Agreement with U.Va. eases path to BSN

A new agreement between  the School of Nursing at the University of Virginia and the Virginia Community College System, including Germanna Community College, will guarantee admission to the school’s RN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing program.

The part time, 21-month program is designed to make it easier for full-time working nurses  to get their BSN. There will be one class a week, with a  clinical settings program in the second year that allows students to practice what they’ve learned in class.

“Germanna has gone a little bit further,” said Dr. Patti Lisk, acting Dean of Nursing and Health Technologies at GCC. “We have made it possible for students to attend the University of Virginia classes here on campus at Germanna through interactive video for their first year of study.” She said the classes will be broadcast from Germanna and that students at GCC will be able to converse with University of Virginia faculty as if they were in the same classroom..

Germanna will begin offering the program in the Fall of 2014.

Dr. Lisk said Germanna students will save both in terms of commuting time and on travel expenses  because they will only travel to U.Va. for the second year. 

“Germanna Community College is pleased that our ongoing partnership with the University of Virginia has resulted in yet another opportunity for our graduates,” GCC President David A. Sam said. “This program makes it very easy for RNs to earn their BSN by offering the program at Germanna. We wish to thank all who made this possible, including Culpeper Regional Hospital and Connie Kincheloe.”

Culpeper Regional Hospital and the U.Va. Medical Center have been partners since 2009.

Connie Kincheloe is a member of the GCC Educational Foundation Board, the U.Va. Medical Center Operating Board and Culpeper Regional Health System Board.

 "Congratulations to the U.Va. School of Nursing, the Virginia Community College System, and particularly Germanna Community College for this groundbreaking agreement,” Kincheloe said.

 She called the agreement “a great opportunity for our colleges and our students,” and “ an enormous value to the Commonwealth of Virginia with the growth statewide of our BSN workforce,"

 Germanna Educational Foundation Board member Joe Daniel said: “The University of Virginia has confirmed the quality of the students and the instruction at Germanna with this articulation agreement..  U.Va. Is an outstanding school and I am confident that the Germanna students will perform at the very highest level."

Friday, June 14, 2013

Math in Action Conference simply adds up for area teachers

Students who’ve sweated out a summer school math class while their friends were at the pool might smile at the idea of their math teachers brushing up on their skills in June.

But the teachers really want to. That’s what Germanna’s Center for Workforce and Community Education learned when representatives visited every school system in the region to ask in what areas they needed assistance.

The result is Math in Action: A Conference for Math Teachers by Math Teachers to be held at Germanna's Fredericksburg Area Campus from 8:30 4:30 p.m. on June 24.

“It’s the first time we’ve done something like this,” said Kimberly Rodenberg, GCC Business & Career Coordinator. “We went around to the school systems and asked how we could help with professional development. Hands down, math teachers wanted help dealing with the strict changes in math requirements.  We partnered with all of the schools to bring in teachers who could share best practices with each other. We hope to make this an annual event.”

The conference is designed for teachers interested in helping students achieve at the highest possible levels in math.  Attendees will hear the latest about mathematics instruction from the Virginia Department of Education’s Dr. Deborah Wickham and Christa Southall.

 Teachers will then have the opportunity to participate in break-out sessions focused on instructional strategies for the teaching of math.  All break-out sessions will be conducted by teachers sharing best practices, helping to build a network of support throughout the region

 “The teachers will be sharing their methods and skills,” said Brenda Tanner, a former superintendent of Madison County schools who is working with Germanna’s Center for Workforce as a consultant. "That makes it somewhat unique.” She  believes the conference will have a lasting effect, creating a virtual network of “teachers supporting teachers.”

Breakfast and lunch will be included.

The conference registration fee is  $79.

To register, call 540-891-3012

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Germanna may soon be a step closer to a Stafford campus

A Stafford Planning Commission meeting might produce a major step forward in the effort to establish a Germanna Campus in the county. But significant steps in the process would remain, GCC President David A Sam tells Bill Freehling of The Free Lance-Star and

The proposed Germanna campus in Stafford might look like this.


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

GCC Middle College scholarships available for Fall 2013

Germanna Middle College graduate Terra Painter of Madison County
Four $500 scholarships are available through funds awarded to Germanna Community College's Middle College  by the Community Foundation of the Rappahannock River Region, Youth in Philanthropy organization. These funds were awarded to assist Middle College graduates in their pursuit of higher education at Germanna Community College. The application deadline is 5 p.m. Friday July, 12 2013. To learn how to apply, please contact Carolyn Bynum, at or call 540-834-1053. Any Middle College graduate is eligible to apply.

The Middle College Program is designed to meet the needs of those between 18-24 years old who have not graduated from high school. The comprehensive goal of the program is to have the students complete the Middle College Program, enroll in a certificate or degree program at Germanna, and enter the workforce. Academically, the focus of the program is to help students prepare for the GED and earn college credit simultaneously. Our small class setting provides a unique environment that engages the students in critical thinking and problem solving. Every staff member serves as a mentor, advisor, and student advocate.