RCC Scholarship Recipients and Donors Honored

scholarship receptionThe Rappahannock Community College Educational Foundation, Inc. (RCC EFI) hosted its annual scholarship program reception on October 23, 2019 to honor the 2019-2020 scholarship recipients and donors.       

Dr. Robert Gates, RCC EFI board president and scholarship donor, began the presentation by recognizing the attendees’ commitment to higher education. “We are grateful to have the ability to award more than $500,000 thanks to our donors,” stated Gates. “We are committed to helping students succeed at RCC.”

“What a great community college,” exclaimed College President Dr. Shannon Kennedy, as she welcomed guests, congratulated students who received scholarships, and thanked donors for their generosity. “I’d like to congratulate the students for two reasons. The first is on your excellent decision to attend RCC. The staff and faculty genuinely care about you and your success; and second that you cared enough about your education and future that you applied for scholarships.”

Support is Transformational

Kennedy continued by also acknowledging the donors, “I hope you realize the impact your generosity has on students. Your support is transformational for them.”

Scholarship recipients and donors individually stood to be recognized as Dr. David Keel, dean of student development, announced the awardee names and the respective donors. 

Tammy Rogers, recipient of the Patricia Royal Perkinson and the Charles and Elizabeth Ryland Memorial Scholarships, delighted in the opportunity to meet Ryland family members. “After 23 years of employment with the same company, the owners sold the business, and I was out of a job. I like helping people so I decided to go to RCC for nursing, and I love it. It’s been tough, mentally and financially. Without the scholarships I wouldn’t be able to do this,” explained Rogers.

William Martin, founder of the Martin Family Engineering and Science Scholarship, met a recipient of his scholarship, Wraith Hostler, who expressed his appreciation for Martin’s support.

“Students shouldn’t be held back by money. They need to be encouraged,” responded Martin when asked why he created the scholarship. “I learned about RCC’s Educational Foundation and scholarships at the annual Preakness Party and realized my money would have a greater impact on a larger number of people if done through the community college,” said Martin. The Preakness Party is the Educational Foundation’s annual fundraising event.

cooke-breslauScholarship sponsor Dr. Dorothy Cosby Cooke talked with Melissa Bredlau who received one of the many scholarships funded annually through Dr. Cooke’s endowed fund. Bredlau said the scholarship was very important to her as she pursues her RN degree. “I already had a bachelor’s degree so I can’t qualify for federal or state financial aid,” explained Bredlau.

The Generosity of Donors

From single mothers to recent high school graduates, students in their teens to those in their 30s and 40s, each scholarship recipient had a different life story but all expressed the same sentiment—the generosity of donors is instrumental in helping them fulfill their education goals.

Sarah Pope, RCC EFI Executive Director, said that the foundation awarded $575,500 in scholarships to more than 300 students for the last academic year.  The average award was $1,900 which covers about 40% of full-time tuition for the year at RCC.

The scholarship application for the 2020-2021 academic year is open until February 15, 2020.  Students need to complete just one online application ( to qualify for more than 100 different scholarships earmarked specifically for RCC students. 

Establish a Scholarship

If you are interested in learning more about how to establish a scholarship, go to: or contact Sarah Pope, RCC EFI Executive Director at or 804-333-6705.

dr kendra wood

Dr. Kendra Wood Recognized for Excellence in College Advising

dr kendra wood

Dr. Kendra Wood

Dr. Kendra Wood, Coordinator of Advising at Rappahannock Community College, was chosen out of many advisors from member institutions to win the EAB Advising Excellence Award at this year’s NACADA (National Academic Advising Association) conference. This award recognizes an academic advisor who has shown exceptional dedication to improving their advising practices, and who goes above and beyond in their commitment to students with the help of EAB technology. Navigate is an application that students use to complete several tasks, such as pick a major, register for classes, and communicate with their advisors.

“Kendra Wood is attuned to student needs—she can translate those student needs, and the factors required for student success, to faculty and staff.  Because of her ability to lead students, staff, and faculty in a warm, caring way, Kendra has moved our college from zero to 100%, and near perfect, adoption of Navigate with everyone smiling as we continue to move forward.  Kendra has been focused on managing our leadership team, the teaching faculty, and the Student Development Team to ensure that we improve outcomes and the student experience and we want to use this opportunity to recognize Kendra and thank her for her work,” said Dr. Donna Alexander, RCC’s Vice President of Instruction and Student Development & Chief Academic Officer.

kennedy and crowther

The Local Scoop on RCC

kennedy and crowtherRCC Presidents Featured

The Fall/Holiday 2019 edition of the Local Scoop features current RCC President Dr. Shannon Kennedy and President Emeritus Dr. Elizabeth “Sissy” Crowther.

The Local Scoop is published by The Local Accent, LLC, in Kilmarnock, and is available free at many locations across the Middle Peninsula and Northern Neck.

Be sure to check out the 50th Anniversary of RCC announcement on page 25. 

The Local Scoop is available online and you can read each article by clicking the links below:


Dr. Kennedy

Dr. Crowther


Local Scoop photos by Corey Miller

bobbie blair

Bobbie Blair

By Jennifer Rose Bryant

bobbie blair

Roberta “Bobbie” Blair. Photo by Abby Parsons.

At 14 years old, Roberta “Bobbie” Blair already knew she was meant to be of service to others. After “retiring” from her long and rewarding career as an Interventional Radiology Technician spanning more than five decades, she decided she wasn’t ready to stop helping the community.

Relocating from Houston, Texas to Burgess, Virginia, to retire and be near family, Blair found retirement to be a little too quiet. She figured that volunteering as a driver for the local rescue squad would provide some action, plus re-connect her with the medical field she had enjoyed for so long. After driving for only a short time, Blair knew she needed more of a hands-on role in helping the local community as a first responder.

Never Too Old to Succeed

Blair enrolled at Rappahannock Community College to become certified as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT). Thanks to the “Senior Citizen Higher Education Act” Blair says that the tuition waiver “made it possible for her to get into RCC for EMT school. On Social Security it would’ve been very difficult — if not impossible — to pay for classes.” She finished her EMT Basic in 2013 and EMT Intermediate level training in 2015.

Going back to school in her late sixties, she says, “I was a little worried about my old brain, and if I’d be able to retain the new knowledge.” At times she says it was a struggle, adding that basic training was a breeze, but the intermediate level final took her six times to pass. Perseverance and the support of RCC faculty, like former adjunct professor Jerry Andrews, and current EMS Program Head Ellen Vest, were crucial to her success.

In spring 2015, at 71 years old, Bobbie Blair walked with the Rappahannock Community College graduating class on the Warsaw campus.

Possessing a lifetime of technical knowledge and life experience, she is grateful to still fulfill her life’s mission. Comforting people in some of the worst moments of their lives, she says brings her “a joy and a peace” knowing she is able to help.

You can find Bobbie Blair running rescue and helping to save lives in Northumberland County.