RCC merits Dominion grant

Rappahannock Community College is one of just 39 colleges in the eastern United States to receive grants for the 2014-15 school year from the Dominion Foundation (the philanthropic arm of Dominion Resources, parent company of Dominion Power). Projects in energy, environmental studies, engineering, or workforce development are eligible for Dominion’s Higher Education Partnerships.

RCC’s science faculty happily accept a $35,000 check from James Beasley, external affairs manager of Dominion Virginia Resources.

RCC’s science faculty accept a $35,000 check from James Beasley, external affairs manager of Dominion Virginia Resources.

RCC’s $35,000 award will support the Virginia Coastal Communities program. This sequence of of specialized courses and experiences in sustainability sciences will prepare high school and college students for jobs and future studies, as well as instilling the responsible citizenship needed to help manage, preserve, and protect Virginia’s coastal resources. By teaching them to understand environmental interactions, the program will enable students to design and implement interventions that promote sustainability.

“The grant,” notes biology instructor Lisa Tuckey, “will allow us to create an Arts and Sciences transfer degree with specialization in sustainable science. Students of the program will benefit from instruction and mentoring, including off-site educational opportunities, that directly emphasize conserving an ecological balance of our natural resources.

Chemistry and physics professor Charles Crook adds, “The new Sustainable Science specialization will include a completely new two-semester chemistry sequence, as well as student research projects. This grant will allow us to purchase much of the specialized equipment that the associated new labs and projects will require.”

RCC Educational Foundation (RCC EFI) director Cherie Carl comments, “The grant submission was a collaborative effort between RCC EFI and the academic division of RCC. We thank the Dominion Foundation for making this opportunity available to support our students and faculty. It makes a tangible difference in our community and throughout the region.”

“We hope to draw attention to the vital work you are doing, and spur others to take action as well,” said Dominion Foundation president Hunter Applewhite in the letter of confirmation sent to RCC EFI. Referring to the grant program in general, he said, “This year’s projects are exceptional, and reflect both Dominion’s focus on the environment and the future of energy. We are privileged to invest in these innovative efforts and to partner with the forward-looking teachers who are leading them.”

Dominion and the Dominion Foundation are dedicated to improving the physical, social and economic well-being of the communities served by Dominion companies. In pursuit of this end, they support nonprofit causes that meet basic human needs, protect the environment, support education, and promote community vitality.