Virginia College news: Pensacola, Jackson & Augusta

Oct 10, 2011

Pensacola: Instructor Lindsey Manning recently gave her contemporary literature class the chance to create their own short stories. Then, the class held a writers' theatre where faculty and staff members could hear their stories.

"It's important that my students have a chance to expand upon and demonstrate their creativity," said Ms. Manning. "I've conducted a writers' theatre on three occasions now, and it's always great to see what the students do with the assignment."

Two thumbs up to aspiring writers and enabling instructors!

Why do Pensacola staffers Michelle Sims, Dana Burge and Marianne Falacienski deserve to be called the Career Services Dream Team? One reason is a recent Professional Association of Health Care Office Management (PAHCOM) event, sponsored by Virginia College. The team networked with healthcare professionals including office managers and human resources recruiters on behalf of students and graduates.

The all-day event at the civic center featured seminars on Medical Billing and Coding and healthcare information privacy.

Jackson: A recent Friends and Family Day featured a radio station live remote, hamburgers and hot dogs and a dunking booth to raise money for United Way. Faculty, staff and students were able to dunk the Dean (Will Brancamp), President (Milton Anderson, pictured), and instructors Stanley Sims, Anthony Witherspoon, Arinell White, plus Mike Kelley from Facilities Maintenance.

Augusta: After providing chair massages to soldiers and their families at this summer's Dwight David Eisenhower Army Medical Center's Organizational Day, Therapeutic Massage students received Certificates of Achievement from the Army.

Pictured are (first row) Shannon Canales, TM Program Director; Judy Symonette, Army; and students Kimberly Windham, Carla Lampp, Alice Barron, Deborah Benefield and Alex Eldridge. (Second row) Sargant McCaldery, Army; and students Colleen Crosby, Shawnda Kettles, Wanda McLean, Rachel Robelen, Lacy Harrington and Malikita Dunbar. (Third row) student Melanie Brookman.

Speaking of Therapeutic Massage, Augusta student Shawnda Kettles recently won an unusual and coveted prize: a year-long mentorship with massage therapy author and thought leader Laura Allen.

Ms. Kettles was selected from hundreds of entries based on her essay. In part, it reads:

I am determined to succeed in this profession. I have NEVER given into my circumstances. I was evicted from my home last year and moved into a low-income mobile home park with my three daughters. I didn't want to but it was the only place that I could afford to without quitting school. My family has tried to convince me to "leave this massage thing alone and find a real job," but I have stayed in and worked through my struggles and continue to do so, and keep a smile on my face.

Mrs. Allen, I NEED your mentoring. I am currently studying your book for my licensing examination. I attended your full day class at the American Massage Conference in Atlanta, where I volunteered this year, after selling some items from my home to pay for my bus ticket and hotel room. I am confident that with your guidance, I will be successful and have a long career. I am eager to build a successful career in pain management and eventually, I want to open a non-profit to serve those who can't afford massage but suffer with chronic pain. I am a good student who maintains my grades, does things for others because it makes me feel good, and works hard to make my girls proud of me. I will also make you proud and will do honor to your work.