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Richmond County Public Library at RCC Announces Summer 2019 Programs

Expanded Summer Reading Program at Richmond County Library Begins June 29, 2019

The long summer break from school can hurt the growth in children’s reading skills made during the school year. A fun way to help prevent that “summer slide” is participating in the Richmond County Public Library’s free Summer Reading Programs. This year’s Summer Reading Programs are not only for young children, but will also include activities for teens, tweens, and adults too.

The Kickoff Party for Summer Reading sign-ups will be on Saturday, June 29 with a Mad Science “Fire & Ice” show from 11:00am to Noon, followed by crafts, free books, and pizza while signing up from Noon to 1:00pm. This event will be held in the Rappahannock Community College Warsaw campus Lecture Hall and Student Lounge. As in previous summer reading programs, participating children can earn prizes as they read and attend fun-filled programs each week from late June until the end of July.

In addition, this year the library offers library activity bingo cards for older age groups that include options such as posing for a selfie with a library staff member, checking out a DVD, and other library activities. Upon completion of a bingo card, readers can turn them in for a treat at the library. The completed bingo cards will then entered into drawings that will be held for prize baskets that will include tickets to Richmond Squirrels baseball games, tickets to Luray Caverns, milkshakes at Northern Neck Burger, and other prizes.

Each Tuesday from July 2 until July 30, the library will offer a fun-filled program, held at the Richmond County Elementary/Middle School School Gym.  Here is the schedule…

Tuesday, July 2  (10 am) – Jonathan Austin ( Magician & Juggler)

Tuesday, July 9 (11 am) – Virginia Living Museum ( Live animals)

Tuesday, July 16 (11 am) – Children’s Theater of Hampton Roads ( Like Cats & Dogs)

Tuesday, July 23 (11 am) – Under the Sea ( What’s in the Ocean)

Tuesday, July 30 (10 am) – Sean’s Driscoll’s The Story Ship Theater( Aliens Alive)

 Questions? Please call Ruth Lynn at 804-333-6713.

RCC Press Release icon

Results from RCC Spring Math Contest Announced

On May 9, from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m., on the Glenns and Warsaw Campuses, Rappahannock Community College hosted the RCC Spring Math Contest.

This was the largest individual contest to date, with 172 students from 18 schools involved. The contest has been held for 45 years at RCC, the first being in 1974 under the direction of former RCC Warsaw Campus Dean Wallace Lemons.

Participating schools

  • Chesapeake Bay Governor’s School Warsaw (CBGSW)
  • Colonial Beach High School (CBHS)
  • Hamilton Holmes Middle School (HHMS)
  • King George Middle School (KGMS)
  • King William High School (KWHS)
  • King and Queen Central High School (KQCHS)
  • Lancaster High School (LHS)
  • Lancaster Middle School (LMS)
  • Middlesex High School (MHS)
  • Montross Middle School(MMS)
  • New Kent High School (NKHS)
  • Northumberland High School (NHS)
  • Northumberland Middle School (NMS)
  • Rappahannock High School (RHS)
  • Richmond County Middle School (RCMS)
  • Saint Claire Walker Middle School (SCWMS)
  • Saint Margarets School (SMS)
  • Ware Academy (WA)

Algebra 1
1st Anna Pierce (SMS) 22 correct
2nd Dillon J Miner (MMS) 18 correct tiebreak
3rd Samuel James Baker (NMS) 18 correct tiebreak

1st Lei(Janet) Shi (SMS) 35 correct
2nd Christie Hirning (RHS) 30 correct tiebreak
3rd Will Reger (NMS) 30 correct tiebreak

Algebra 2
1st Madison Giese (LHS) 26 correct tiebreak
2nd Maggie Collins (RHS) 26 correct tiebreak
3rd Nekhita Kassey (NKHS) 25 correct tiebreak

1st Brandon Bonner (NKHS) 25 correct tiebreak
2nd William McCarty (LHS) 25 correct tiebreak
3rd Mary O’Sullivan (CBGSW) 24 correct

Class of 2018

RCC celebrates graduates during 46th Annual Commencement

The 46th Annual Commencement at the RCC Warsaw Campus took place on May 11 and saw 400 students march and become alumni.

Glenda Lowery

Longtime RCC Professor Lowery honored with emeritus status

Glenda Lowery

Longtime RCC English educator, Glenda Lowery, will be honored as a professor emeritus during this Friday’s commencement ceremonies.

Glenda Lowery started her career at Rappahannock Community College in the Summer of 1979. She’s still at it.

This Friday at 6:30 p.m. at the RCC Warsaw Campus during the 2018 Commencement ceremonies, Ms. Lowery will be officially recognized as a professor emeritus, which recognizes her nearly 40 years of service to the College.

Looking back on all of those semesters, the Tappahannock native will tell you that she hadn’t planned to be at RCC for so long but is very happy that it turned out to be the case.

“I was going to VCU, and there was a masters degree called teaching in the community college,” she says. “I had to do an internship at a community college. So I walked into Mr. [Wallace] Lemon’s office and plopped myself down and said ‘can I do my student teaching here?’ and he said ‘fine’.”

She began teaching English for RCC full time in September 1981 and just ended her run at the end of 2016. But she’s done with RCC just yet. For almost a year, Lowery has been assisting Dr. Glenda Haynie on some projects, including massive college reaccreditation project. She is also involved in the upcoming 50th Anniversary of RCC, which will begin on January 9, 2020.

“Through the 50th anniversary, we can go back and look at former students and what they have done and celebrate that,” she says. “I am looking forward to that!”

Lowery says that the biggest change in the classroom was “obviously” the technology. Computers and devices like the iPhone made teaching and learning completely different.

“When you think about it, we were still using typewriters and Xerox machines when I started,” she says. And it was those tools that she and her students used to create the old RCC newspaper, which was called The Gull.

“For several years [The Gull] was based on just the Warsaw Campus,” says Lowery. “But when I started teaching at the Glenns Campus too, I would go there on Tuesdays and Thursdays. It was a project-based class called English 198, and I had two groups of students.”

Through the newspaper class and the many others she taught, one thing remained constant for her.

“I enjoyed interacting with the students and watching them grow and progress and take other classes and graduate,” she says.

And it was that drive which carried her through the 37 years of service, which is now responsible for pushing Lowery into a new type of relationship with RCC — becoming one of the few faculty who have been honored with emeritus status.

“I am humbled by it, and I would like to continue to be an ambassador and a representative of the College,” says Lowery. “It helps me maintain my ties here.”

Lowery has been married for almost 29 years. She and husband David have one daughter, two grandchildren and have always had dogs and cats.

“And I am trying to get chickens,” says Lowery.

“I think that RCC is a great institution and I think it’s a great place to work,” she says. “I have been here so long; I must have liked something about it!”

“There are people here that I feel like I’ve grown up with and they are part of my family,” says Lowery. “I’ve seen people here get married and have children then grandchildren. This place has a great culture and a great atmosphere.”

“I hope that we can help as many students as we can — I know we’ve helped a lot.”

Bugler William Gill

May 19 RCC Preakness Party Features Horses, Hats, and Brighter Futures

Bugler William Gill

Bugler William Gill calls guests together for the viewing of last year’s Preakness Stakes.

The 14th annual RCC Educational Foundation Preakness Party fundraiser celebrates the second race of the Triple Crown and raises funds for RCC students and college programs.  The funds support the RCC scholarship program, among other college initiatives, which provided over $400,000 in awards to students this academic year.

The magic starts a few days before the Preakness Stakes race day when the tent goes up at the party venue, which this year is at the c. 1730 landmark home Ben Lomond in Essex County.

An army of talented volunteers moves in to transform the tent into an elegant space with flowers; racing inspired props and white tablecloths.  Large screen television screens are installed to show a live feed of the May 19 Preakness Stakes, and table stations are set-up for area restaurants, wineries, and a craft brewery to showcase their cuisine and beverages during the event.

The volunteers have worked for months on selecting one-of-kind items and experiences for the silent and live auctions.  Some of the live auction experiences include: tickets to Hamilton at the Kennedy Center with an overnight stay at the Ritz Carlton; a Nag’s Head beach house vacation; an oyster roast for 20 people; a Shenandoah River tube ride for four with a Big Bobber cooler to take along; and a week in the Caribbean.

At 3:00 pm on Saturday, May 19, the event opens as guests in their colorful race day hats walk across Ben Lomond’s front lawn and are greeted by two magnificent thoroughbred horses before entering the tent.  Food, beverages, music, and the silent and live auctions follow, culminating with the Preakness Stakes viewing just after 6:00 pm.

Candice Yohnke, a Preakness Party scholarship recipient from Mathews County, sums up the impact of the party best when she writes, “The Preakness Party Scholarship is a tremendous aid to me as a first-generation, independent student.  I am a first-year student at RCC focusing on a Health/STEM associate degree. I plan on transferring to a four-year university after I graduate to pursue a bachelors degree in chemistry. Without the generosity of this scholarship, students such as myself would have a higher difficulty pursuing further education.”

The 14th annual Preakness Party is scheduled for Saturday, May 19 from 3:00 to 7:00 pm.   Ben Lomond is located 10 miles south of Tappahannock in Dunnsville.  The all-inclusive ticket is $100 per person, and 50% of the cost is tax deductible. For tickets, contact the RCC Educational Foundation at 804-333-6707.

Brittany Ward

Brittany Ward, Class of 2018, to share her story at RCC Commencement

Brittany Ward

Brittany Ward will represent the Class of 2018 during the 46th Commencement ceremony at the Warsaw Campus on May 11.

Brittany Ward does not have the typical college story to share. She started and stopped a few times until she finally figured it all out. Perhaps that’s why she is the perfect person to speak at Rappahannock Community College’s 46th Commencement ceremony on May 11.

Ward will confess that, in the beginning, she had never heard of RCC. She grew up in York County and graduated from York High School and claims to have never been over the Coleman Bridge. But one day, while working at the Canon plant in Newport News, she heard from a friend that a community college in Gloucester had a remarkable nursing program. She checked it out, and the friend was right.

“I fell in love with the school and fell in love with the area, and I decided I wanted to move over here,” she says.

Ward had always done well in school and admitted that, at first, she was not prepared for the rigors of a nursing program.

“I was in the ADN (associates degree in nursing) program back in 2013. I failed my second semester; had to wait a year,” she says. “I came back and finished that semester and did the summer. Came into the fall and failed that one too.”

“Growing up I had always done very well in school,” says Ward. “This was the first time that I ever really failed at anything, and it made me step back and think about things.

“I knew then that this is something that was going to be hard for me,” says Ward. “But I’ve always been told that when you start something, you finish it.”

She returned to RCC and started the PN (practical nurse) program in the Summer of 2016. She graduated in 2017 and then completed the LPN to ADN bridge program, from which she will graduate this Friday.

The work was hard, she will admit. But Ward can’t think of another job that she’d want to do or another way to give back.

“Nursing is so rewarding,” says Ward. “You meet all these different people, and you learn all these different stories, and you make these connections with people, that you wouldn’t be able to do elsewhere.

“You take care of people at their darkest time, and that is an honor. That’s something very special. That’s what I feel my purpose is.”

While at RCC, she was inspired by the work of her friends in the program and from the faculty who guided them along the way.

“This is the type of environment where you not only grow as a class, but you grow holistically and with your teachers,” says Ward. “These people dedicate themselves to your success.”

“They don’t have enough time for their own family, but they still try to put you first because they care about you. I don’t think you’ll get that anywhere else.”

As she has been at RCC for some time, she too has become a role model for the younger students coming into the program. The Practical Nursing faculty chose her to speak in 2017 last year to her fellow students at the end of year pinning ceremony. There is one story in particular that stands out to her when she was able to guide a new nursing student.

“There is a student in the first year who wanted to be a nurse but was worried about failing and hearing me talk about RCC’s nursing program,” says Ward. “It inspired him to apply, and he got in and found his calling and has loved every minute of it.

“We tend to forget that people are watching and when we share our stories with others, it just might be enough to change someone’s life and making a positive difference in someone’s life is what nursing is all about.”

Ward works currently at Henrico County Jail as an LPN-PRN in an “as-needed” capacity. But she is excited to share that she will soon start with Sentara in Williamsburg on the Orthopedic Nursing Unit.

“A lot of people at school, they don’t use their teachers, and these are your go-to people,” she says. “If you feel that you’re having problems, you need to come to them first.”

“RCC provides you with the tools that you’ll need — that and your mindset is what is going to take you places.”

Prof. Bob Parker

Professor Bob Parker to carry ceremonial mace for Commencement

Prof. Bob Parker

Prof. Bob Parker, who has worked at RCC since 2002, is beloved by many students past and present for his wry wit and excellent abilities to explain and break down complex mathematics.

Each year, Rappahannock Community College chooses a member of the faculty to carry the mace in the commencement ceremony. The mace, for RCC, is not a weapon but an ornamental symbol of authority carried by an honored member the staff. For commencement this year, that honored faculty member is Professor Bob Parker.

Parker, who has worked at RCC since 2002, is beloved by many students past and present for his wry wit and excellent abilities to explain and break down complex mathematics. Through this 16-year tenure, Parker has amassed a huge list of awards and accolades, both from within RCC and from outside organizations.

He moved to the Northern Neck from Virginia Beach in 1996, when he started teaching math and coaching golf at Northumberland High School. Since that time, he has also become a significant force in scouting throughout the region.

“I am currently a unit leader in Northumberland and the District Chair for the Northern Neck and Middle Peninsula Boy Scouts,” says Parker.  “I also will be serving on the National STEM scouting subcommittee starting this June and have worked at the last two Boy Scout National Jamborees in the STEM Area.”

STEM stands for “Science, Technology, Engineering and Math,” which is a major push among many educators across the country. So, it is fitting that Parker works within the scouting ranks to make STEM learning an emphasis.

Parker says that the most rewarding part of his job at the College is helping to make sense of math to his students who would not otherwise “get it.”

“Working with students to overcome struggles with math both inside the class and outside the classroom,” says Parker, is what motivates him each day.

While he’s the respected go-to guy for math at RCC, his wife, Patricia, serves nearly the same type of role at Germanna Community College. You can bet that the subject of “math” is a common one during dinner at the Parker house.

“Patricia and I have served on many state committees together,” he says. “We are very similar in our teaching style, so we are able to bounce ideas off of each other.”

The Parkers have two sons, who are both Eagle Scouts and graduates of Northumberland High, and both took dual enrollment classes at RCC. Their eldest son Ryan is an Occupational Therapist in Harrisonburg, while their younger, Adam, is a junior at the University of Utah.

In his free time, Parker enjoys camping, restoring a family home that has been in his family for 150 years and “occasionally playing golf.”

Gabby Balderson and Secretary Qarni

RCC hosts Virginia’s Secretary of Education for tour of Warsaw

Gabby Balderson and Secretary Qarni

Essex County resident and RCC student Gabby Balderson meets Secretary Qarni. They spent a few moments together chatting about Balderson’s transfer to George Mason University upon her graduation from RCC.

On May 2, Rappahannock Community College hosted Virginia’s Secretary of Education, Atif Qarni, for a visit to the Warsaw Campus. This was one stop of many for Qarni, who made his way to RCC as part of a state-wide tour of schools and colleges.

“Our tour started about six weeks ago, and I have about 2-3 weeks more to go,” says Qarni. “After we’re done, my office will take many of these recommendations to the governor — saying this is what we learned.”

Dr. Donna Alexander, RCC’s Vice President of Instruction and Student Development, met Qarni at the main entrance and took him on a tour of campus, giving him a look at the classrooms, labs, and technology that allows the College to function.

Since Qarni visited during exam week, most RCC students were in classrooms working on tests and could not be disturbed. But he was able to interact with a group of students from the Chesapeake Bay Governor’s School, who attend classes at Warsaw Campus. Qarni chatted with them for some time and eventually took a group photo with many of the students in the room.

Qarni’s experience in education comes directly from the classroom, as he was an eighth-grade teacher in Prince William County when Governor Ralph Northam asked him to serve in the administration.

After the tour, Qarni met with RCC faculty and staff and fielded questions from them as well. He made it clear to those gathered that community college is a big part of the plan for education in Virginia, and he expects that role to grow in the coming years.

“We see community colleges as a great mechanism, especially with dual enrollment,” says Qarni. “Whether a student graduates high school and goes right into the workforce or whether they use the community college mechanism to build a career pathway.

Qarni said that in his travels, he’s observed that every community college, every school, and every region does something well. He said that he’d like to take what each does well and elevate that knowledge and expertise to the state level.

“Here [at RCC] I’m noticing that there’s a really good transition with the students coming in,” says Qarni. “They are taking the classes, and they are planning it well. It’s a great process to have to help make higher education more affordable.”

During the meeting with faculty and staff, Qarni spent some time talking with RCC student Gabby Balderson, who will soon graduate from the College and transfer to George Mason University, the same place where Qarni earned his master’s degree. Qarni gave Balderson a few pointers on what to expect at GMU, and he asked her a few questions about her RCC experience as well.

National Ranking Badge

RCC Online Web Design program placed #3 in Nationwide Ranking

National Ranking Badge

In a recent ranking, Rappahannock Community College has the nation’s third-best “Certificate in Web Design & Development,” according to BestColleges.com.

In a recent ranking, Rappahannock Community College has the nation’s third-best “Certificate in Web Design & Development,” according to BestColleges.com. The ranking is based on statistical data and principles, including academic quality, affordability, and online competency.

The 2017 rankings reflect the most recent data available from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) and College Navigator, both of which are hosted by the National Center for Education Statistics.

According to the ranking, RCC’s online web design certificate is “designed for aspiring designers and business owners who need to promote their services” and “students gain a working knowledge of website design, construction, and management methods.”

“We are excited by this news,” says RCC Academic Dean, Dr. Marty Brooks, who oversees the College’s Web Design Career Studies Certificate, which can be taken completely online.

“Our Web Design career studies certificate offers a complete and affordable way to learn marketable web design skills and we have outstanding instructors,” says Brooks. “It’s wonderful to have an outside organization rank us so highly.”

BestColleges.com says that their goal is to “objectively assess relative quality based on academic outcomes, affordability, and the breadth and depth of online learning opportunities.”

The organization also points out that this field is growing so rapidly that the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 27% increase in web developer jobs through 2024.

PTK 2017-18

Meet the new members of the Phi Theta Kappa honor society

PTK 2017-18

Meet the 2017-18 class of inductees to the Phi Theta Kappa honor society.

On the evening of April 20 in the Essex High School theater, 84 Rappahannock Community College students were inducted into Phi Theta Kappa — world’s largest and most prestigious honor society for two-year college students.

Parents and friends packed the space to see their student walk onto the stage, sign their name to the roll and take their place as part of the very top academic minds of the school.

Students from each of the twelve counties served by RCC were in attendance, which includes Essex, Gloucester, King & Queen, King George, King William, Lancaster, Mathews, Middlesex, New Kent, Northumberland, Richmond, and Westmoreland; while some came from beyond those areas to play a part in the ceremony. Many of the students who became a part of Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) attend RCC through Dual Enrollment programs at their high schools. This allows them to take college classes while still in high school.

Not all those who apply for PTK membership are accepted, and the requirements are steep. To become a part, a student must have completed at least 12 hours of coursework that may be applied to an associate degree; have a grade point average of 3.5 and must adhere to the moral standards of the society.

Before their march to the stage, the students heard from someone who served in the United States Air Force and worked for years in higher education, both at RCC and for Old Dominion University, Dr. Gloria Savage-Early.

Savage-Early brought a message from her varied experiences — “be the best you.” She spoke on a variety of subjects, but all of her thoughts lead back to that common theme. To that end, she read a poem, which she wrote, that summarized her talk:

“Sometimes it seems that all I ever do is never quite enough; I do so much, and I say ‘I’m tired of doing all of this stuff.’ But there are others out there, striving, just like me. We can’t give up, so let’s just be… the best that we can be.”


Essex County

  • Caroline Andrews
  • Brian Balderson
  • Mandy Byrd
  • Jessica Mundie
  • Kainen Phillips
  • Elaine Walters
  • Emmaly Yarbrough

Gloucester County

  • Tyler Brown
  • Grayse Garrett
  • Caela Gilsinan
  • Tanner Laroque
  • Kim Lawrence
  • Susan Pinder
  • Olivia Pohorence
  • Nicole Pope
  • Samantha Prince
  • Elizabeth Roberts
  • Merrigrace Sabo
  • Abigale Waclo
  • Ian Walker
  • Micah Woodley

King George County

  • Susan Courtney
  • Alexa Croce
  • Cecilia Engbert
  • Lucia Engbert
  • Nicholas Jaynes
  • Luke Miller
  • Amanda Miner
  • Khalid Muhammad
  • Shawna Pfohl
  • Cherie Richards
  • Landin Thorsted
  • Mary Wells

King William County

  • Seth Bliley
  • Emani Braxton

Lancaster County

  • Savannah Eppihimer
  • Virginia Headley
  • William McCarty

Mathews County

  • Sarah Camacho
  • Melinda Edwards
  • Mackenzie Hilton
  • Jewel Mitchell
  • Rosalina Volo
  • John Wilhelm

Middlesex County

  • Suzette Babcock
  • Kathryn Bland

New Kent County

  • Noah Babin
  • Brandon Bonner
  • Sheena Johns
  • Makenna Pollard
  • Ian Rolston
  • John Shaffer
  • Matthew Wiechman
  • Taylor Yates

Northumberland County

  • Destiny Amos
  • Mikayla Barr
  • Brendan Farmer
  • Anna Jett
  • Kelsey Moss
  • Kimberly Taylor

Richmond County

  • Emily Brown
  • Kaetlyn Chatham
  • Rebecca Conley
  • Ian Dunn
  • William Moore
  • Tristan O’Bier
  • Kaitrin Self
  • Jedidiah Vandeloecht
  • Courtney Walder

Westmoreland County

  • Taylor Charles
  • Timothy Henry
  • Brittany Lloyd
  • Mary Osullivan