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Alumni Profiles

Mike Paris headshot
Mike Paris – Full Circle Community Impact and Inspiration

Before Mike Paris became the bureau manager for the city of Norfolk’s Economic Development Department, he was earning his associate in general studies from Tidewater Community College. Originally from Massachusetts, Paris was unsure what his future career would entail but was advised the degree would transfer well to any four-year program he pursued in the […]

Photo of Deborah Barnes
Deborah Barnes – Associate of Science, General Studies (Dec. 2023)

Deborah Barnes’ graduation from Tidewater Community College has been 14 years in the making. Barnes started taking classes at TCC back in 2009 as a single mom of two kids. While Barnes was studying social sciences and general studies, she sought out academic counseling and tutoring help from the Open Door Project, where she met […]

Chef Heather Tripple at work in Virginia Beach.
TCC alum lands top chef spot at local eatery

Heather Tripple is a proud Tidewater Community College alumna. She got her start in the TCC kitchens under the tutelage of Chef Deanna “Dee” Freridge. She is now the head chef at The Stock Pot in Virginia Beach. Heather earned her Culinary Arts degree in 2014. She remembers the long days of school and work […]

Hannah and children.
From TCC to the mission field in Romania

Hannah Căldăraru found her “anywhere” at Tidewater Community College. She got her start on TCC’s Chesapeake Campus in 2014 and earned a social sciences degree three years later. She also jumped into student life and was part of the Breakaway Bible Club, serving as president for a year. In that role, she helped lead weekly […]

Kyle Epperly at TCC's Norfolk Campus.
TCC alum lands dream job at NASA

Kyle Epperly is a Tidewater Community College alum twice over. He earned his first associate degree in Automotive Technology in 2006. For the last 12 years, he worked at Hall Automotive as a master technician. Kyle came to TCC once again looking for a new career. He wanted work that was less physically demanding, more […]

TCC alumnus Tony Lankford at Tony's Unisex Salon.
TCC alums pay it forward

Tidewater Community College alum, Tony Lankford, is passionate about giving back to the community that has always supported him. Tony received his Associate of Science in Social Sciences from TCC before following in his family’s footsteps as a third-generation barber. He is hard at work and owns Tony’s Unisex Salon in Norfolk. Tony credits TCC […]

Delaney Theilman and Nina Vahadi on TCC's Norfolk Campus.
TCC grads make strides in careers

Meet Nina Vahadi and Delaney Theilman. They are both Tidewater Community College graduates who earned Engineering degrees in May. During summers both grads are making strides in their careers. They are now encouraging others to follow their lead. “If I can do this, so can anyone. Take your time and don’t burn out,” Delaney said. […]

Jacob Ramirez at TCC's Norfolk Campus.
“I definitely got my money’s worth at TCC.” – Student Speaker Jacob Ramirez

Jacob Ramirez found his career path in computer engineering at Tidewater Community College. A 2021 graduate of Salem High School, Jacob wanted to stay close to home for college. He enrolled at TCC’s Virginia Beach Campus to study engineering. While there, he took computer engineering classes and found his purpose. “I thought I was going […]

Katerina Diatlova on TCC's Norfolk Campus.
From Russia to a good life in America

Katerina Diatlova came to the United States from Russia with a passport, suitcase and $80 in her pocket. All of her life she was desperate for the American dream, watching endless episodes of “Hannah Montana” and “Gossip Girl.” She was part of the International Exchange Visitors Program initially, but the dream faded when the opportunities […]

Rachel Kay Fitzgerald on Virginia Beach Campus.
TCC grad earns degree one year after diploma

Rachael Kay Fitzgerald has big plans for a future in politics. “I’ve always loved reading and writing. But when I learned about our government, I was hooked and knew I’d one day work in politics,” she said. Rachael Kay was an early 2022 graduate of Nansemond River High School. At 17, she started at Tidewater […]