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