Sarah Haynie

sarah haynieThis year marks the 50th Anniversary of Rappahannock Community College. RCC graduates form the backbone of our local economy —  our healthcare providers, bankers, lawyers, small business owners and trades-people. It’s hard to go through your day without being served by an RCC alum is some way. RCC’s Faces of 50 spotlights our alum, like Sarah Haynie.

Sarah Haynie has always been driven and independent. She graduated from Northumberland High School at the age of 16 with dual enrollment college credits already under her belt and was eager to enroll in a four-year institution.

Haynie admits that she didn’t want to go to Rappahannock Community College. Her mom, however, had researched RCC and knew it would be a smart start to her daughter’s college years. She encouraged her to complete a two-year degree close to home.

Once Haynie visited campus and spoke with several RCC professors, she realized the bias she held about her local community college was completely unfounded. She says, “I realized, why not live at home, gain experience, work and save money all while still getting that amazing education?”

Attending College While Working at a Day Care

Working long shifts at a day care, playing club softball, and meeting new people, Haynie says attending RCC was “just like a regular college experience except you get to go home to your parents’ house and eat their food!”

She still has fond memories of taking breaks from the seriousness of college courses to shoot pool in the student lounge with friends.

Haynie says she received excellent guidance, support, and inspiration from RCC professors. Namely, her advisor and dual enrollment math instructor Bob Parker, who guided her through RCC and wrote her a letter of recommendation to The College of William and Mary. Before taking one of Dr. Lisa Hill’s psychology classes, Haynie planned to pursue a career in education.

“Dr. Hill is one of the reasons why I chose to be a psychology major,” she adds. Parker and Hill were very encouraging and passionate about their jobs and their students, observed Haynie.

The College of William and Mary

After just three semesters, Haynie graduated from RCC and went on to earn a bachelor’s from William and Mary. She is now working on a master’s degree in clinical mental health from William and Mary while interning at the Middle Peninsula Northern Neck Community Services Board as an intensive care coordinator for youth and family services. 

Upon completion of her master’s, Haynie hopes to work as a juvenile justice counselor.

Dual Enrollment: Take College Courses While in High School

Rappahannock Community College is celebrating 50 years of breaking down barriers to education in the Middle Peninsula and Northern Neck. RCC’s dual enrollment program allows students to simultaneously take college courses while still in high school.

Learn More at RCC

Dual enrollment is just one of the pathways to higher education offered by RCC. Find out more about RCC, dual enrollment and career study pathways by calling us in Warsaw, Virginia at 804-333-6730 or email

nursing on zoom

RCC Nursing Students Zoom Ahead

Senior level nursing students give their final Change project presentations on Zoom.

Although, not what they originally planned, students have really risen to the occasion. Faculty are blown away by the work RCC nursing students have put into their projects on topics such as: the importance of teamwork, communication, leadership and professionalism in nursing.
Their research efforts have been tremendous! Not only are they looking at current issues and trends but they also came armed with positive solutions incorporating the latest technologies with a consideration for budget and fiscal responsibility.
These are the future nurses of our community.
Great job, Rappahannock Nursing! 
For more info, contact:
Becky White, MSN, RN, CNE
Associate Professor of Nursing, Health Sciences Division

nursing on zoom
tracey jones

Ruth Greene’s Class Really “Speaks” to RCC Students

ruth greeneRuth Greene’s Public Speaking (CST 100) class is a stellar example of how well Zoom (video-conferencing) works for online education.

For one student, it has not been easy. Her classmates stepped up and offered great stories of encouragement, practical activities to help one another stay focused and more. One noted how she rarely chooses online courses because of the lack of face-to-face accountability and interaction. 

However, some of these students noted how they don’t normally talk in class — but through Zoom — they are now speaking and sharing more.

Additionally, we determined the need for a place to simply vent and share, with folks you can trust. Our class is small, so trust has been built quickly. This resulted in a decision to create a virtual student lounge in the discussion board area.

The students committed to step up and offer encouragement to their classmates. “It was so humbling to hear how our course has become such an important part of their stability in this time of chaos,” Ruth says. “Granted, we began developing this community from day one. It surely made the transition easier, or so said the students.”

Ruth adds, “The best part for me was to hear how our course is an effective learning/engagement face-to-face alternative. Yes, I know that is an exaggeration, but still nice to hear such passion! The sharing was a huge lift for the students — and for myself, as well.”

tracey jonesTracey Jones, a student in Ruth’s Public Speaking class adds her voice: “My Public Speaking class with Mrs. Greene is hands down one of the best classes I have taken at RCC.

As the ‘oldest’ member of the group, I feel almost like a ‘mom’ towards my classmates. Each one has brought new rewards to my personal and academic life.

Rebecca — who wants to be a teacher — I refer to her as the ‘coach.’ Rebecca motivates us with pep talks and helps keep us on the learning pathway. Her future students will be lucky to have her as a teacher! 

Eric — who is shy, but super-smart.

Daniel — our resident anime guru.

Maria — who always brings smiles to our faces.

Janae — the quietest of our group; she helps to balance those of us who aren’t. 

Diamonta — who gives great feedback and works while going to school.

Emma — our high school student, who is wise beyond her years and brings a bit of her culture to share with us every time she speaks. 

Karianne — a new mom, who is juggling school and a precious baby boy.

Each member of our class brings a skill set that each of us needs. I had worried that going to an on-line forum would impact us in a negative way. That maybe our connections were just in ‘seeing each other every week. Thankfully, this has turned out not to be the case. We continue to support and assist each other through the Zoom sessions each week. It is almost like we still are meeting in person.

Mrs. Greene is our glue. She helps us stick to the plan while allowing us to remain as individuals. She guides and instructs us while helping us reach our full potential. I can honestly say I will be sad when this class ends. 

All of my classmates have become special and important to me. I know each one of them will achieve great things. I wish them the best and thank them for enriching my life.”

Learn more at Rappahannock Community College


heather brown

Heather Brown

heather brown

Heather Brown

This year marks the 50th Anniversary of Rappahannock Community College. RCC graduates form the backbone of our local economy — our healthcare providers, bankers, lawyers, small business owners and trades-people. It’s hard to go through your day without being served by an RCC alum is some way. RCC’s Faces of 50 spotlights our alumni. Let’s meet Heather Brown.

It isn’t surprising that Heather Brown, paramedic and emergency manager for Lancaster County, became an EMT (emergency medical technician). Her parents were EMTs and her maternal grandmother was the first EMT in Gloucester County almost 50 years ago.

Her journey at Rappahannock Community College is a bit different from others as she already had a bachelors and a master’s degree before enrolling in RCC’s EMS program. “Self-motivation is required in the paramedic program. There is a lot of work you have to do on your own,” says Brown. “I was working two jobs, volunteering, and spending time with family while going to school. So I really fine-tuned my time management skills. But, the best part of the program is bonding with classmates and that continues throughout our careers and into the field.”

We’re All Family

The bonding experience — especially in smaller programs like at RCC — is important because classmates help others in the field and during testing, explains Brown. The instructors are supportive because they were once students themselves. They set a great example of “if they can do it, so can I,” she adds. Brown credits Ellen Vest, EMS faculty at RCC, with offering a lot of support. “We’re all family.”

Brown’s full-time job is with Lancaster County Emergency Services as a Paramedic and Captain of Emergency Management. She also volunteers with Gloucester Volunteer Fire and Rescue Squad as a paramedic and firefighter, where she has been a member for almost 16 years.

Critical Need for Trained EMS Workers

Brown believes that earning an advanced degree can change a person’s perspective of the world and challenge them to think critically. There is a critical need for EMS workers everywhere and the opportunity to travel — cruise ships, movie sets, race tracks, concert venues and more — all require EMS on site. For example, Seth Craig, adjunct instructor at RCC, worked on filming locations. There’s a lot more to being an EMS than riding around in a ‘band aid box’, says Brown.

“I love what I do. It’s very rewarding. I’m helping people,” she adds.

Rappahannock Community College is celebrating 50 years of breaking down barriers to education in the Middle Peninsula and Northern Neck. Emergency Medical Services (EMS) is just one of the 5 degrees, 6 certificates, and 26 career studies programs offered through RCC, in addition to about 50 guaranteed admissions agreements with colleges and universities across the state and region.

To learn more about the EMS program at Rappahannock Community College,
contact Ellen Vest