Ashley Goodwyn, an early childhood special educator listens as April Walker reads “If You Take a Mouse to the Movies” to children attending the 1000 Books Before Kindergarten presentation.

Early reading encouraged at RCC library event

Ashley Goodwyn, an early childhood special educator  listens as April Walker reads “If You Take a Mouse to the Movies” to children attending the 1000 Books Before Kindergarten presentation.

Ashley Goodwyn, an early childhood special educator listens as April Walker reads “If You Take a Mouse to the Movies.”

“1,000 Books Before Kindergarten,” a program of the nonprofit 1,000 Books Foundation, was presented to young children and their parents at the Rappahannock Community College-Richmond County Public Library on February 7, in order to encourage the practice of reading to newborns, infants, and toddlers. Twenty families signed up for the program; each of the children received informational handouts, a reading journal, and a pencil. They were then encouraged to choose a book from a selection of easy readers provided by the library. Children who reach such milestones as finishing 100 books will be rewarded with prizes, and will have their photos displayed in the library as well as on the RCPL Facebook page.

Left to right: Ashley Goodwyn, an early childhood special educator with the Northern Neck Regional Special Education Program, listens as April Walker, executive director of the Family Development Center at Walnut Street Day Care, reads “If You Take a Mouse to the Movies” to children attending the presentation. Studies show that families who read aloud to their children starting at birth can strengthen language skills, build vocabulary, and create a lasting bond.

Walker mentioned that sometimes parents ask what they will get out of reading to their children: “Why do it?” Her response is: “How do children spell ‘love’? T-I-M-E.”

College librarian Dan Ream, who also serves as director of the Richmond County Public Library, tells parents, “If you have a favorite book, the library will be glad to get a copy in for you to read to your child.” He suggests further that any extra copies be donated to the library, “so they can be shared.”

Civil rights and entertainers linked in RCC presentation

Galen Abdur-Razzaq played and lectured on “Jazz and the Civil Rights Movement” at Rappahannock Community College on February 13, 2017

Galen Abdur-Razzaq played and lectured on “Jazz and the Civil Rights Movement” at Rappahannock Community College on February 13, 2017

A concert given at RCC’s Warsaw Campus on February 13 featured jazz flutist Galen Abdur-Razzaq. After the lunchtime performance, which was broadcast live on the RCC Facebook page, Abdur-Razzaq traveled to the Glenns Campus, where he gave a talk about the many popular entertainers who supported the early civil rights movement. Some of those who took a public stand against the discriminatory practices of the times, using their influence to speak to the consciences of the American people, were Leonard Bernstein, John Coltrane, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Harry Belafonte, Sydney Poitier, Charlton Heston, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis, Jr., Nina Simone, Charles Mingus, and Ray Charles.

The concert and lecture were sponsored by RCC’s Student Activities Office, as part of its series of Black History Month presentations.

A large group of Lancaster High School students toured RCC’s Warsaw Campus on February 8. They are shown with the college mascot, Squall the Seagull.

Lancaster students tour RCC

A large group of Lancaster High School students toured RCC’s Warsaw Campus on February 8. They are shown with the college mascot, Squall the Seagull.

A large group of Lancaster High School students toured RCC’s Warsaw Campus on February 8. They are shown with the college mascot, Squall the Seagull.

Twenty Lancaster High School students enjoyed a guided tour of Rappahannock Community College’s Kilmarnock Center, the headquarters of its Workforce Development Office, on February 8. This included a demonstration of the new “Mechatronics” factory logistical training hardware, as well as the training rooms dedicated to plumbing and residential electronics. The students asked many perceptive questions about the available training and career opportunities.

“This was fabulous!” said Workforce vice president Jason Perry. “We had parents of students from the tour call us the same day to sign up for some of our courses.”

The group’s next stop was RCC’s Glenns Campus, where they learned about many of RCC’s career and transfer programs, some of which feature hands-on training equipment: a virtual welding machine, robotic patients that allow nursing students to practice their skills, and a fully-equipped ambulance for realistic EMT training. Other presentations covered RCC’s biology and science programs, and the resources for academic research at the college library. Finally, a representative of the Financial Aid Office discussed how to pay for college classes.

RCC-RILL looks at King George history

“A Visit to Historical Sites in King George County” will be the topic of an upcoming RCC-RILL course on March 31, and April 7 and 14. The instructor is Elizabeth Lee.

“A Visit to Historical Sites in King George County” will be the topic of an upcoming RCC-RILL course on March 31, and April 7 and 14. The instructor is Elizabeth Lee.

“A Visit to Historical Sites in King George County” will be the topic of an upcoming course from the Rappahannock Community College Educational Foundation’s Rappahannock Institute for Lifelong Learning (RILL). Classes will take place on March 31, and April 7 and 14 (Fridays), from 1 to 3 p.m.; the first session will meet at the King George Museum, King George Courthouse, with further locations to be announced.

Many historic sites still exist in King George County, but often they are not open to the public. This class provides an opportunity to explore some of these sites, including the surrounding areas. Historical sketches of two related sites will be presented each week.

Instructor Elizabeth Lee graduated from King George High School and the University of Mary Washington. She is a past president of the King George County Historical Society, director of the King George County Museum and Research Center, and the author of several books on King George County. A current project is titled “The Last Hope, John Wilkes Booth’s 34-Hour Escape Through King George County, Virginia.”

Advance registration, with a tuition payment of $35, is required to take this course. For more information on “A Visit to Historical Sites in King George County” and other RILL courses, or to register, please call Sharon Drotleff at RCC’s Educational Foundation office (804-333-6707), or e-mail her at sdrotleff@rappahannock.edu.

The Educational Foundation expresses sincere appreciation to the Bank of Lancaster’s Golden Advantage program, and to Rappahannock Westminster-Canterbury, for their generous support of RILL in 2017.

RCC-RILL class features horticulturist Laura Anne Brooks teaching “The Ultimate Accessory in Interior Design: the Flower Arrangement” on Mar. 28 in Saluda.

RCC-RILL discusses flowers as décor

The Rappahannock Community College Educational Foundation’s Rappahannock Institute for Lifelong Learning (RILL) is pleased to feature prize-winning horticulturist Laura Anne Brooks in the single-session class “The Ultimate Accessory in Interior Design: the Flower Arrangement,” to be held on March 28 (Tuesday), from 1 to 3 p.m., at Christ Church Parish Hall in Saluda.

In this class, Brooks will teach participants to create floral designs suitable for any room in the house. Your own fabrics, wall covering, paint, and furnishings will showcase the form, color, and texture of a personalized flower arrangement; you should bring your own clippers, container, flowers, and small accessories to fit the space in the room you have chosen. Both amateur decorators and professionals are welcome, but class size is limited to 15 to allow for more personal attention.

Laura Anne Brooks is a fellow of the Washington National Cathedral School of Flower Arranging, a past president of the Garden Club of Virginia’s Middle Peninsula chapter, an instructor at the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden in Richmond, and a frequent speaker at Virginia federated garden clubs and church altar guilds. Her work can be viewed through Ikebana of Richmond, and is often featured at the Virginia Museum of Fine Art.

Advance registration, with a tuition payment of $30, is required to take this course. For more information on “The Ultimate Accessory in Interior Design: the Flower Arrangement” and other RILL courses, or to register, please call Sharon Drotleff at RCC’s Educational Foundation office (804-333-6707), or e-mail her at sdrotleff@rappahannock.edu.

The Educational Foundation expresses sincere appreciation to the Bank of Lancaster’s Golden Advantage program, and to Rappahannock Westminster-Canterbury, for their generous support of RILL in 2017.

RCC students honored for top grades

Ashley Schwartz (left) and Isabella Cashin (right) were invited to join RCC’s “A” Club in recognition of her excellent grades for the Fall 2016 semester.

Ashley Schwartz (left) and Isabella Cashin (right) were invited to join RCC’s “A” Club in recognition of her excellent grades for the Fall 2016 semester.

Ten Rappahannock Community College students were recognized as members of the “A” Club during a luncheon sponsored by the college’s Student Support Services (SSS) Office on February 3. The “A” Club luncheons, held soon after the beginning of the fall and spring semesters, single out SSS participants who were enrolled in at least two classes during the preceding semester(s), and earned an A or an S (satisfactory) in each class.

The featured speaker was RCC professor Charles Crook, who recommended, “Get the broadest education you can. Life will throw many twists and turns at you, and you seldom wind up where you think you will.” He mentioned his own early ambition to work on sports cars, which morphed by way of a military enlistment into a passion for electronics and a job as a radio broadcast engineer.

Crook’s experience in the military convinced him that he needed more education, but he felt that it was then too late to enroll in a four-year college. He therefore chose a community college, which allowed him to pursue his educational goals through part-time study. Fifteen years later, having gone on to earn bachelor’s and master’s degrees, he realized that the “mission, philosophy, inclusiveness, and personal touch” of a community college was something he wanted to return to as a teacher. He has been a full-time RCC faculty member, teaching chemistry and physics, since 2004.

Those invited to celebrate with the “A” Club on this occasion were: Samuel Barber, Amherst; Doris Kendall and Kashaila Veney, both of Essex County; Sara Gregory, Sharice Murrell, Christina Pyatt and Ashley Schwartz, all of Gloucester County; Lacey Worley, King William County; Isabella Cashin, New Kent County; and Marley Kimmitt, Northumberland County. While many of the club members were prevented from attending the luncheon by work, family, or other commitments, Cashin and Schwartz attended in order to accept their certificates in person.

For the 2016-17 academic year, RCC was awarded $302,452 to offer assistance to its students through the Student Support Services program. The United States Department of Education established this program to help remove social, cultural, and economic barriers to higher education; it provides RCC students who meet its guidelines with individualized academic and personal counseling, tutoring, and cultural and social enrichment opportunities. The Department of Education makes these services available through the TRIO series of federal grant programs.

Steve Patt is the director of RCC’s new Diesel Mechanics Technology career studies certificate program.

RCC expands diesel certificate program

Steve Patt is the director of RCC’s new Diesel Mechanics Technology career studies certificate program.

Starting in May 2017, Rappahannock Community College will offer a career studies certificate in Diesel Mechanics Technology. This program, initially offered for dual enrollment high school students, will be available for adult learners in the evenings.

The program’s aim, from the very start, will be to train competent diesel mechanics for entry-level positions. According to its director, Steve Patt, there is a dire need for this skill set locally and over a wider area.

“I am a technician that we are making into an instructor,” says Patt, who has worked 36 years as a diesel mechanic, shop owner, and foreman. “I bring the ‘real life’ to the program.”
A New Kent resident, Patt has been teaching at the Bridging Communities Career and Technical Center in New Kent for the past two years. It is thanks to this partnership with Bridging Communities that makes the RCC Diesel program possible. Evening learners will meet in both the RCC and Bridging Communities spaces, in the renovated historic New Kent High School.

The graduates of Pat’s high school program have been quite successful in the working world. His very first diesel class graduated just five students, he says, and four of those are fully employed in the field. He is especially excited about the prospects for his adult students, whom he proposes to start with an engine-rebuilding class, “beginning with the basics, with a good look at the diesel internal combustion engine and how it works.”

Patt is advised by a committee representing local industries with a keen interest in the outcome of his program; among others, Carter-Caterpillar and James River Equipment. He is also working with additional companies who are interested in setting up internships with his high school and adult students.

“All of these businesses are going through a ‘graying’,” says Patt. “Their older technicians are starting to retire. There’s a definite need for younger technicians willing to learn and to work their way through the ranks.”

“My goal is to make students entry-level mechanics,” says Patt. He explains that when students complete the program and begin work, perhaps with John Deere or Caterpillar, the company will train them to their equipment specifications. Patt sees it as his responsibility to get them to that skill level.

Patt notes that due to RCC’s location, graduates of his program who want to stay on dry land can work for any number of Richmond-based firms. But should they enjoy working near the water, there are many jobs in Deltaville, Urbanna, and other places throughout the Northern Neck and Middle Peninsula.

“Even the big sailboats that you see on the river, one might think that they are all wind-powered, but many of them have diesel generators for air conditioning and power below deck,” says Patt.

“I tell my students that this course is structured for trucks, but there are so many needs in this area.” He mentions marine and forestry applications, and adds, “We’re on the I-95 corridor, from Florida to Maine, and there is so much going on just north of Richmond. I have expressed to my guys and gals — we’re trucks, but we’re so much more.”

Those who are interested in the new Diesel Mechanics Technology Career Studies Certificate at RCC are encouraged to visit www.rappahannock.edu/diesel for complete details.

RCC Logo Graphic

RCC-RILL explores dead zones

The Rappahannock Community College Educational Foundation’s Rappahannock Institute for Lifelong Learning (RILL) will collaborate with the Virginia Institute for Marine Science (VIMS) on one of its Spring 2017 courses: “Dead Zones in Chesapeake Bay and around the World.” VIMS scientist Dr. Elizabeth Shadwick and Ph.D. student Ike Irby will present the topic and lead discussion at VIMS’s Gloucester Point campus on March 22 and 29, and April 5 (Wednesdays) from 1 to 3 p.m.

During Session One, Dr. Shadwick will examine the impact of more than 400 dead zones—areas of sea floor with too little oxygen for most marine life—in waters around the world. Class participants will learn how these zones form, and how VIMS is monitoring areas of concern from the Chesapeake Bay to the Baltic Sea. The second session will cover the effects of climate change and nutrient reductions, as Ike Irby explains his Ph.D. research, particularly concerning EPA mandates on the subject. After each of these sessions, VIMS Outreach staff will moderate open discussions, and the final session will consist of a walking tour of VIMS laboratories and research related to dead zones.

Dr. Elizabeth Shadwick holds a bachelor’s degree from McGill University, a master’s degree from the University of Alberta, and a doctorate from Dalhousie University. Ike Irby is a joint doctoral/master’s degree candidate between VIMS and the College of William and Mary’s Program in Public Policy. He holds a bachelor’s degree in geology with a minor in physics from Bowdoin College.

Advance registration, with a tuition payment of $35, is required to take this course. For more information on “Dead Zones in Chesapeake Bay and around the World” and other RILL courses, or to register, please call Sharon Drotleff at RCC’s Educational Foundation office (804-333-6707), or e-mail her at sdrotleff@rappahannock.edu.

The Educational Foundation expresses sincere appreciation to the Bank of Lancaster’s Golden Advantage program, and to Rappahannock Westminster-Canterbury, for their generous support of RILL in 2017.

RCC professor Dr. Tom Mosca, pictured with his service dog, Ghillie, has recently been honored with the President’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

RCC’s Mosca earns presidential award

RCC professor Dr. Tom Mosca, pictured with his service dog, Ghillie, has recently been honored with the President’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

RCC professor Dr. Tom Mosca, pictured with his service dog, Ghillie, has recently been honored with the President’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

Dr. Tom Mosca, a professor of mathematics at Rappahannock Community College, has recently received the President’s Volunteer Service Award from former United States president Barack Obama. The award is a tremendous honor, and its recipients deliver a powerful message that encourages others to take action. Various levels of recognition are based on the number of volunteer hours served; Dr. Mosca’s award represents the highest level, the President’s Lifetime Achievement Award, for those who contribute more than 4,000 hours of service over their lifetimes.

Mosca’s volunteer work was performed as a member of the Coast Guard Auxiliary, whose mission is to promote boating safety and augment the security of the country’s waterways and coastal regions. Reflecting on his service, he says that he has participated in more search-and-rescue missions than he can recall. These missions were often carried out under extremely hazardous weather conditions. Only the fact that lives were at risk could justify putting out to sea in such conditions; however, Mosca is proud to relate, “We always came back with the people that were in distress.” In addition, Mosca’s unit has participated in operations to detect drug smuggling, and has several times—notably during the two weeks following September 11, 2001—been called on to take over the duties of regular Coast Guard or Navy personnel who were needed elsewhere.

“Your volunteer service demonstrates the kind of commitment to your community that moves America a step closer to its great promise,” said President Obama in the letter that accompanied Dr. Mosca’s certificate.

All of these actions are made even more admirable by the fact that Mosca has been confined to a wheelchair since an accident in 1984. Determination and hard work—without which, he says, nothing worth having can be obtained—allowed him to earn his bachelor’s (CNU, 1988), master’s (VCU, 1989), and doctoral degrees (W&M, 1997), after which he began teaching at RCC. During his years with the Coast Guard Auxiliary, he has acted as a coxswain and participated in all on-the water duties, as well as serving in many on-land administrative positions. Though naysayers said it couldn’t be done, he has also learned to pilot an airplane and an ultralight aircraft. He is a certified scuba diver and an avid photographer, and enjoys offshore fishing, especially taking his 30-foot boat out off Hatteras to catch mahi-mahi and tuna.

RCC-RILL focuses on climate change policies

Dr. Gregory Haugan to discuss Climate Change

Dr. Gregory Haugan teaches the RILL class “Impact of Greenhouse Gas Emissions Policies on Tidewater Virginia,”

Concerned citizens will appreciate the opportunity to take “Impact of Greenhouse Gas Emissions Policies on Tidewater Virginia,” one of the Spring 2017 courses sponsored by the Rappahannock Community College Educational Foundation’s Rappahannock Institute for Lifelong Learning (RILL). Global warming expert Dr. Gregory Haugan will conduct the three sessions on March 13, 20, and 27 (Mondays), 1-3 p.m., at RCC’s Kilmarnock Center, Room 100.

It is widely acknowledged that reducing greenhouse gas emissions is necessary in order to mitigate dangerous climate changes. Guidelines toward this goal have been set both for the world and for individual nations, but questions of extent, timing, and cost remain. In this course, Dr. Haugan will discuss the implications for our part of Virginia, and the likely outcomes affecting our children and grandchildren.

Dr. Gregory Haugan is an engineer with advanced degrees in business. This course is the fifth on aspects of global warming and climate change that he has taught for RILL. Haugan is a resident of Northumberland County, a frequent volunteer, and an active management and engineering consultant.

Advance registration, with a tuition payment of $35, is required to take the course. For more information on “Impact of Greenhouse Gas Emissions Policies on Tidewater Virginia” and other RILL courses, or to register, please call Sharon Drotleff at RCC’s Educational Foundation office (804-333-6707), or e-mail her at sdrotleff@rappahannock.edu.

The Educational Foundation expresses sincere appreciation to the Bank of Lancaster’s Golden Advantage program, and to Rappahannock Westminster-Canterbury, for their generous support of RILL in 2017.