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News Releases @ TCC

Professor of the Year, Special Achievement, Administrator of the Year


James E. Perkinson

Joan E. Casteel

SOUTH HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (July 10, 2009) – Tidewater Community College has recognized three of its own with annual special awards.


Professor of the Year Award – Norfolk resident William D. Conner, assistant professor of accounting and economics, received this peer award established by the TCC Faculty Senate to recognize teaching excellence. He joined TCC three years ago, after a career in public accounting and teaching at Old Dominion University and Roanoke-Chowan Community College. Conner, who teaches on TCC’s Portsmouth Campus, instituted an Economic Breakfast Series, inviting local business leaders to speak with students on campus every month. The series, an instant success, is so popular that recent meetings have been standing-room only. Conner has also been active in arranging work-related opportunities for his students, including internships and job interviews. Serving as faculty advisor, he has also increased interest and participation in Phi Beta Lambda, a club for students to network and explore business topics and projects.

Special Achievement Award – Chesapeake resident Joan E. Casteel, associate professor of information technology and business, received this peer award from the TCC Faculty Senate to recognize accomplishments that go above and beyond the call of duty. Casteel created an Oracle “virtual machine image,” enabling students to access the entire database on their personal computers without having to install the program. She also implemented a recruiting effort for database specialist career studies, an Express Track program. The author of two books on Oracle, Casteel was one of the principle investigators for the National Science Foundation grant for career pathways. Casteel’s main priority is her students, and she spends much of her weekend time assisting them as they prepare to take Oracle certification exams. Casteel also maintains TCC’s Oracle servers that support classroom instruction.

Administrator of the Year Award – Suffolk resident James E. Perkinson, dean of business, public services and technologies at TCC’s Chesapeake Campus, received this award in recognition of contributions that advance the college’s mission and goals. During his 31 years at TCC, Perkinson has gained the respect of students, faculty and staff alike. Instrumental in the growth of the Chesapeake Campus, Perkinson served in a critical role with planning and development of the Regional Automotive Center, as well as coursework at the Tri-Cities Center. He also added more offerings for Workforce Solutions and the BAE Systems apprentice program, and made numerous additions to the curriculum in his academic division. Engaged in many activities related to college governance, Perkinson serves on TCC’s Curriculum and Instruction Committee. With a mind on professional development, Perkinson is on the executive committee for the annual Virginia Community College System’s New Horizon conference


Laurie White
Media Relations

Celebrating its 40th year, Tidewater Community College - the largest provider of higher education and Workforce Solutions services in Hampton Roads - enrolls nearly 40,000 students and has the second largest undergraduate student body in Virginia. The 23rd highest producer of associate degrees in the nation, and the 35th largest community college, TCC is among the 20 fastest-growing large two-year institutions in the United States. Founded in 1968 as a part of the Virginia Community College System, the college serves the South Hampton Roads region with campuses in Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth and Virginia Beach as well as the TCC Jeanne and George Roper Performing Arts Center in Norfolk’s theater district, the Visual Arts Center in Olde Towne Portsmouth and a regional Advanced Technology Center in Virginia Beach. Forty-six percent of the region’s residents attending a college or university in Virginia last fall were enrolled at TCC. For more information, visit