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Winners were chosen from all four TCC campuses

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. – (Oct. 15, 2010) – Several Tidewater Community College faculty and staff members were honored as Virginia Community College Association (VCCA) Showcase recipients at the annual conference held at the Renaissance Portsmouth Hotel Sept. 30-Oct. 2. Honorees were chosen by their peers for significant contributions to education and the college, and for their commitment to professional and personal development.

Tiffany Amanda Rector
Charles Dennis
Lois Radford
Craig Nilsen
Diana Homsi
Arvalla Larsen

Tiffany Amanda Rector, a Chesapeake resident and educational support specialist in the Enrollment Services department at the Chesapeake Campus, was recognized for going above and beyond her regular duties. She routinely works TCC holiday registration events and open house activities held in the summer months. Rector volunteered on the TCC team for Paint Your Heart Out and delivered food to Chesapeake Care Clinic volunteers.

Norfolk resident Charles Dennis, computer lab administrator at the Portsmouth Campus, was selected for his dedication to student development. He served as advisor to the Beating the Odds group, a student club geared toward mentoring young men, which was recognized with an Urban League Service Award. Dennis also led campus community service projects including United Way Day of Caring and Toys for Tots. He also shared his time with Oasis, a local soup kitchen center.

Portsmouth resident Lois Radford, coordinator of learning resources at the Chesapeake Campus, was selected for her dedication to student learning. She obtained Kindles and iPods for use by library patrons, coordinated Freedom Calls, a video conferencing service for families with deployed military members, and was instrumental in earning a Bill and Melinda Gates Grant for her Learning Resource Center.

Professor of graphic design Craig Nilsen, a Virginia Beach resident, was honored for his innovative teaching style. Nilsen examined non-traditional modes of journalism during the National Summit on Arts Journalism - New Media. He exhibited award-winning works during the 40th annual Art Faculty Exhibition at the Visual Arts Center (VAC). He also designs the printed pieces for other VAC exhibitions and continues as a working artist.

Assistant professor of biology Diana Homsi, a Virginia Beach resident, kept her skills current by attending seminars pertaining to her teaching areas of anatomy and physiology. A recent brain-cancer survivor, Homsi shared her time with the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, as well as the American Heart Association Heart Walk. She also volunteered with her church, Kempsville Presbyterian, working in the missions and hospitality areas.

Virginia Beach resident Arvalla Larsen serves as veteran affairs’ advisor and certifying official at the Virginia Beach Campus. Retired from the U.S. Navy, Larsen is dedicated to meeting the educational needs of Hampton Roads veterans. She also served as past chair and current member of the college’s Classified Association. Larsen was also the campus contact for the VCCA and an active United Way Day of Caring volunteer. She serves on the board of Magic Hollow Community Association.


Laurie White

Tidewater Community College - the largest provider of higher education and Workforce Solutions services in Hampton Roads - topped 45,000 students in 2009-10. The 16th highest associate-degree producer in the nation, TCC offers more than 150 programs including business administration, culinary arts, general studies, modeling & simulation, network security, nursing, and automotive technology. Among the fastest-growing two-year institutions in the United States, TCC was 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, the Regional Automotive Center in Chesapeake, and the 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