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Convocation recognizes RCC employees

Rappahannock Community College’s Convocation, an all-day meeting for full-time faculty and staff, took place on October 8 at the old Beale Memorial Baptist Church building in Tappahannock. The traditional announcement of service awards for staff members who are marking five-yearly anniversaries of their employment by the college or by the Commonwealth of Virginia was first on the agenda.


Receiving recognition for five years of service were mathematics instructor Linda Deptola, assistant professor of information systems technology Michael Greene, associate professor of nursing Sara Headley, human resources analyst Bridgit King, and assistant professor of administration of justice Jack Moore. For 10 years: testing technician Rose Jones, library assistant Ruth Lynn, and GED outreach coordinator Faye Oliver (Lynn and Oliver each completed their ten-year service periods in 2012). For 15 years: financial aid technician Mary Frances Brown. For 20 years: vice president of instruction and student development Dr. Donna Alexander, network technician Scott Peebles, assistant professor of history Cheryll Tassone, and technical services assistant Bronsene Turner (Both Alexander and Turner performed part of their service to the Commonwealth in other state employment). For 30 years: accountant Rebecca Beaver. Lastly, Leslie Smith was recognized for 40 productive years in a series of positions at RCC, culminating in her present standing as dean of technology and distance learning.

Two of the honorees—Scott Peebles and Cheryll Tassone—also received commemorative silver cups to mark their completion of 20 years at RCC.

The event included several morning breakout sessions covering topics of general interest, such as health and fitness tips, yard and garden tips, popular phone apps, getting the most out of books and news items through Google searches, and—from Chef Hatley Bright, head of RCC’s Culinary Arts program—updated versions of traditional ginger-flavored holiday desserts. All participants then reconvened for a talk on Virginia’s sickness and disability program, and its provisions for family and medical leave. The lunchtime speaker was Susan McFadden of Open Door Communications, who presented “The Branding Path,” explaining the process of creating a “brand image” which is immediately recognizable to the public, and unifies the college’s attempts to tell the RCC story.

Afternoon sessions included staff departmental meetings, and, for faculty members, specialized instruction on teaching styles. Also covered were the personal and professional development opportunities that RCC makes available to its employees, methods of defusing difficult situations that may arise when dealing with colleagues or the public, and what RCC staff should know about the college’s sexual harassment policy.

The final presentation of the day was a showing of the video “212: The Extra Degree” (available online at, which emphasized the importance of sustaining one’s efforts until they produce outstanding results, just as water does not convert to the steam which can power a locomotive until it absorbs enough heat to raise its temperature to the boiling point. A single degree—from 211 to 212—makes the difference, as just a few seconds can make the difference between “going gold” at the Olympics, and not winning a medal at all. However, rather than spelling out the specific implications for the work of the college, presenter Harriet Dawson allowed RCC employees to draw their own conclusions as they departed.


Photo: A number of RCC faculty and staff members received five-yearly service awards at the college’s Convocation on October 8. Left to right: Ruth Lynn, Scott Peebles, Sara Headley, Mary Frances Brown, Leslie Smith, Linda Deptola, Faye Oliver, Cheryll Tassone, Jack Moore, Bridgit King, and Rose Jones.

Not pictured: Dr. Donna Alexander, Rebecca Beaver, Michael Greene, and Bronsene Turner.

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