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Winter '10 - 2011 | Fall 2010 | Summer 2010 | Spring 2010
Winter '09 - 2010 | Fall 2009 | Summer 2009 | Spring 2009

Winter '10 - 2011

Speed mentoring

TCC students bound for the workforce got the chance to meet with mentors from their chosen professions. Sponsored by the Women’s Center’s Network for Empowering Women Students, participants gathered on Feb. 23 in the Forum at the Portsmouth Campus to ask questions and learn the ins and outs from working professionals.

Photo by: Nikko A. Knapp-Castillo Photo by: Nikko A. Knapp-Castillo
Terri Thompson, claims manager with State Farm, talks with Denise Handel (right), a student from the Norfolk Campus. Portsmouth Campus student Sherron Roberts (left) meets with Christine Damrose-Mahlmann, a licensed professional counselor and TCC staff member.
Photo by: Nikko A. Knapp-Castillo

Carol McGrath (left), a student from Virginia Beach Campus, gains insights from
Gwen Williams, self-sufficiency case worker with Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing.

Former Workforce Solutions instructor wins Civilian of the Year

Former TCC instructor Andre Grisham has been named Civilian of the Year for the Navy Supply Corps School (NSCS) in Newport, R.I.

A past Norfolk resident whose four grown children live in South Hampton Roads, Grisham joined NSCS in 2008 as an instructor and curriculum manager for disbursing and Navy cash. Grisham taught similar courses through TCC’s Workforce Solutions office at Norfolk Naval Base from 2000 to 2008.

Grisham, 50, a retired Navy disbursing clerk, credits his time at TCC as the launch pad for his teaching success. “It’s rewarding having my work recognized by this Command,” Grisham says.


Transfer Fairs bring colleges to campus

Baccalaureate-bound students at the Portsmouth Campus got the chance to meet with representatives from more than 10 colleges and universities including Old Dominion University, Virginia State University and Randolph College on Feb. 21. The day gave students the chance to chat with college staffers, and obtain information about program offerings and campus highlights.

Photo by: Nikko A. Knapp-Castillo Photo by: Nikko A. Knapp-Castillo
Stewart Lee, admissions advisor with ECPI, talks with students. Allen Brewer meets with Will Travis, transfer coordinator with Virginia State University.
Photo by: Nikko A. Knapp-Castillo
The Storm hams it up with Amy Henderson (left) and Sarah Balestino.
On Feb. 23 students at the Visual Arts Center revved up their transfer options by meeting with representatives from colleges specializing in preparation for careers in the visual arts including Savannah College of Art and Design and Maryland Institute College of Art, as well as other four-year institutions. Staffers gave tips on portfolio presentation and program highlights.
Photo by: Nikko A. Knapp-Castillo


Photo by: Nikko A. Knapp-Castillo

Dana Pilkington (left) and Eleazar Sunglae check out Savannah College of Art and Design resources. Morgan Wolf (right) chats with Jeff Whelan with Elizabeth City State University.

Computer Club members revamp laptops, computers

Slow-running laptops and PCs were tuned-up by Computer Club members during two afternoon sessions held in mid-February. Club member Mike Rodby (right) shows student Daniel Sileo the ins and outs of his laptop and works to get it running smoothly.

The tune-up sessions included a raffle to raise money for the club’s successful Computers for Student Success program, which reworks and distributes computers for students in need, thanks to in-kind donations of computers and accessories. Club member Henry Lattimore shows off the laptop for the raffle.

Photo by: Nikko A. Knapp-Castillo Photo by: Nikko A. Knapp-Castillo

Hal Poe entertains, educates during visit to TCC

TCC and the Virginia Beach Public Library welcomed Hal Poe to speak on the life and works of his relative, Edgar Allan Poe, on Feb 5 at the Virginia Beach Campus. Part of the library’s Big Read program, the event showcased the famous American poet, encouraging guests to study his works during the month of February. Event attendees received a copy of Great Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe. Encouraging students to learn more about Poe’s works, TCC presented the big-screen version of the haunting tale, The Fall of the House of Usher, starring Vincent Prince on Feb. 7.

Photo by: Nikko A. Knapp-Castillo Photo by: Nikko A. Knapp-Castillo
Photo by: Nikko A. Knapp-Castillo

Wearing red for hearth-health awareness

On Friday, Feb 4, more than 40 employees in TCC’s Green Building joined the American Heart Association in the mission to fight heart disease in women. Wearing red on February Fridays has become iconic for the healthy heart battle. And TCC district staff helped out, collecting more than $250 for AHA’s local chapter while having fun garbed in red. A silent killer for many, “Heart disease is still the No. 1 killer of women, taking the life of 1 in 3 women each year”according to the AHA.

Black History Month 2011

Celebrating the rich contributions of African Americans, TCC holds a month-long tribute every February. Featured activities include performances, workshops, lectures and entertainment at each of its four campuses in Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth and Virginia Beach.

Storyteller Dylan Pritchett brought to life tales told in the early days of slavery. The stories promoted family strength and engaged guests with messages about character and survival.

Photo by: Nikko A. Knapp-Castillo
Photo by: Nikko A. Knapp-Castillo
Photo by: Nikko A. Knapp-Castillo

Dancing for freedom. The Nubian Dance Theatre presented an inspirational program depicting the African American struggle for freedom as told through music, song and dance.

Photo by: Nikko A. Knapp-Castillo
Photo by: Nikko A. Knapp-Castillo
Photo by: Nikko A. Knapp-Castillo

Dressed and ready to roam, students tell the story of famous Civil War-era African Americans. Students were encouraged to stop costumed representatives and ask questions about who they are, what they accomplished and why they were important.

Photo by: Nikko A. Knapp-Castillo Photo by: Nikko A. Knapp-Castillo

Actor Mike Wiley portrays more than 20 characters in this true story of Henry “Box” Brown, a slave who saw no alternative to his condition, but to mail himself to freedom in a small crate. Wiley recreated, with humor and drama, a somber but essential touchstone of our nation’s history.

Photo by: Nikko A. Knapp-Castillo Photo by: Nikko A. Knapp-Castillo
Photo by: Nikko A. Knapp-Castillo

Lance Williams, Ph.D., a professor with Northeastern Illinois University, led a conversation about the social, musical and financial impact of the Hip Hop movement.

Photo by: Nikko A. Knapp-Castillo Photo by: Nikko A. Knapp-Castillo

SAAB comes to Virginia Beach Campus

Guests gathered in the Advanced Technology Center Auditorium on Jan. 25 for the launch of the TCC Virginia Beach chapter of Student African American Brotherhood (SAAB). A core group of TCC instructors, counselors and administrators were involved in forming this local group to provide mentoring initiatives for men of color at TCC’s Virginia Beach Campus. The goal: to encourage participants to excel in all areas of life including academically, socially, culturally, professionally and in the community. The guest speaker for the group’s launch was Tyrone Bledsoe, Ph.D., founder of SAAB nationally. Blesdoe encouraged new members and “welcomed all men to consider joining the group as they gear up to serve the community.” - Jan. 25, 2011

Photo by: Nikko A. Knapp-Castillo
Virginia Beach Campus Provost Mike Summers welcomes speaker Tyrone Bledsoe to the campus.
Photo by: Nikko A. Knapp-Castillo Photo by: Nikko A. Knapp-Castillo

Guest speaker Tyronne Bledsoe encourages new members and welcomes others to join SAAB. Students can find out more by contacting Emanuel Chestnut at or Karla Guilford-Shipp at

Sharing skills for Extreme Makeover project

A band of TCC interior design and horticulture students rallied on Jan. 20 in a first gathering for the “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” project for a needy family in Hampton Roads. In coming weeks, the students will apply their skills and learn from design and landscape professionals while helping the good-neighbor effort.

Photo by: Nikko A. Knapp-Castillo Photo by: Nikko A. Knapp-Castillo

Up to 4,000 people packed the Convention Center in Virginia Beach for the pep rally that pumped up the crowd from 7 to 9 p.m. About 50 TCC students assembled, some wearing TCC scarves and carrying a college banner. The ‘village of volunteers’ will completely dismantle a home and build a new house to suit the chosen family – all in less than a week. The episode featuring the Hampton Roads project will air on ABC about two months after the home’s completion.

Gingerbread wow!

Snow-covered porches, candy-land walkways and festive frosting trees adorn this year’s gingerbread village, a delicious creation made to put smiles on faces during the holiday season at the Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters (CHKD).

Photo by: Nikko A. Knapp-Castillo
TCC’s culinary team created a gingerbread wonderland.

Created by baking students and instructors of TCC’s Culinary Arts program, and donated to CHKD for display in their main lobby, the gingerbread collection boasts more than 25 hand-crafted masterpieces.

While CHKD sold the houses as a fund raiser, the public was invited to view the gingerbread village for a few days and feast their eyes on a sweet treat.

CHKD reported that sale of the gingerbread houses brought in $800 to the hospital.

Photo by: Nikko A. Knapp-Castillo Photo by: Nikko A. Knapp-Castillo
Children enjoy the magical display of sweet surprises.
Photo by: Nikko A. Knapp-Castillo

Photo by: Nikko A. Knapp-Castillo

New technology connects students in online settings

Taking online learning to a new level, Russ Meade, TCC business professor, began using VoiceThread, an interactive, web-based application to give students the opportunity to see and hear each other.

One of the first to use this technology for online learning, Meade notes, “In today’s high-tech, fast-paced world, students seem to enjoy online debates as part of the learning process. And in this setting, they can have their say quickly and easily.”

TCC’s work with the technology so impressed VoiceThread LLC that the company decided to feature Meade’s write-up about his class, as an example of innovative online learning. (To view the link, click on and go to community and then library.)

The service is free and students can post their views using a microphone, webcam, cell phone or by typing in their responses. “When students can hear and see each other, it provides a connection that’s really great,” Meade adds. “It humanizes the online classroom experience like nothing else.”

To get the conversation going, Meade introduces the topic and asks students to post responses. “It’s so simple, yet so effective,” he adds.

TCC students recently participated in a forum with another college and “did extremely well,” according to Meade. Students often keep the conversation going long after their assignments are completed.


TCC’s faculty/staff team enjoyed some healthy competition during this year’s WorldQuest event, a Jeopardy-style game designed to test participants knowledge of current events, geography, international affairs, history and general knowledge. TCC’s team included Jennifer Andrade, Jill Choudhury, Betty Credle, Cynthia Darden, Dixie Dickinson, Elizabeth Gardner, Deland Magby, Jan Mullis, William Rodner, Sylvia Ross and Lee Startt. Sponsored by the World Affairs Council of Greater Hampton Roads, the group strives to educate and engage grassroots America in world affairs.

Photo by: Nikko A. Knapp-Castillo Photo by: Nikko A. Knapp-Castillo

Staffers help make the holiday bright

During this season of giving, the TCC family reaches out to children and families in need with holiday outreach on all four campuses including the Salvation Army’s Christmas charity programs, toy drives and help for a student in need.

At the Chesapeake Campus, volunteers gather to create stockings and bears to bring holiday cheer to children in Hampton Roads. Part of the Salvation Army’s outreach, the campus donated more than 150 finished masterpieces, continuing the tradition started six years ago.

Photo by: Nikko A. Knapp-Castillo Photo by: Nikko A. Knapp-Castillo

Chesapeake Campus “elves” Joyce Banks, Christie Bradley and Dianne Parker prepare gifts for area children.

Staffers at the Virginia Beach campus stuffed to the brim 75 stockings for The Salvation Army drive. Every year, hundreds of children are touched by this program, receiving a gift under the tree, when otherwise they may go without any Christmas remembrance.

Photo by: Nikko A. Knapp-Castillo

Arvie Larsen, Annette Nealy and Vera Holmes pack boxes of good cheer for distribution to families in need.

For more than a decade, Norfolk Campus and district office faculty and staff helped make the holidays bright by brining in “angel gifts” for the Salvation Army Angel Tree campaign. From clothes to toys to mittens and scarves, more than 115 boys and girls are showered with holiday gifts.

Photo by: Nikko A. Knapp-Castillo

Debra DeMills, Roger Fuller and Isabel Thomas ready "angel" gifts for delivery.

Faculty and staff at the Portsmouth Campus adopted a student in need, providing gifts and gear for a young mother and her child. They also collected a huge pile of toys for Toys for Tots during their holiday social.  The campus also collected more than 75 Angel Tree gifts, a holiday tradition for the campus for more than 22 years.

Photo by: Nikko A. Knapp-Castillo

Gifts are piled high for the Portsmouth Campus Angel Tree drive, organized by the Minority Affairs Club. Student volunteers Alexis Towe (left) and Jasmine Stevens ready gifts for area children.

Fall 2010

Ringing in the season with song

The TCC Choral Ensemble performed at the TCC Roper Performing Arts Center, bringing holiday cheer to a lively audience. The group sang some familiar melodies including Deck the Halls, The Twelve Days of Christmas and Carols Three. The program theme, Winter Concert of Seasonal Music, brought joy and peace to holiday revelers. Led by David Warren, with piano accompaniment by Mary Lester, the ensemble includes 13 singers. – Nov. 24, 2010

Photo by: Nikko A. Knapp-Castillo

Getting jazzy

TCC’s Jazz Ensemble paid tribute to the season with a performance at the TCC Roper Performing Arts Center on Nov. 24.

The five-member group played jazzy holiday favorites and other selections including Yard Bird Suite, Stolen Moments and Song for My Father. Dave Bennett and David Grice were on trumpet, Justin Lassiter on guitar, Sean Coleman on bass, Sunny Chang on drums and Lori Selvy on keyboard.

Under the direction of Chris Card, music faculty member at the Norfolk Campus, the group has been in existence for five years. Part of the training includes a TCC music offering on jazz improvisation techniques

Art faculty display works during 41st exhibition

The 41st annual Art Faculty Exhibition kicked off with an opening reception on Nov. 19 with guests viewing works and enjoying light refreshments. Twenty-four faculty members displayed recent drawings, paintings, pottery, glass, photographs, computer generated imagery and mixed media. Participating full-time faculty included Ed Francis, Ed Gibbs, Rob Hawkes, Corinne Lilyard-Mitchell, Craig Nilsen and Tom Siegmund. Visual Arts Center Director Christina Rupsch also participated.

Photo by: Nikko A. Knapp-Castillo

Photo by: Nikko A. Knapp-Castillo

Photo by: Nikko A. Knapp-Castillo

Guests enjoy faculty art in a myriad of mediums from glass to pottery to photography.

The evening also featured announcement of faculty works selected for the Anne S. Iott Permanent Art Collection, housed at the VAC. The artists are Pamela Barcita with "Hungry Serpent," mixed media on hardshell gourd; Chad Alan Clark for "The Tristoneflector," glass, metal, stone; and Ed Gibbs with "357 Objects Arranged on Two Long Horizontal Panels," C-prints.

The exhibition continues through Jan. 6. Most of the faculty works are available for purchase. - Nov. 19, 2010

Photo by: Nikko A. Knapp-Castillo

Faculty members Chad Alan Clark, Ed Gibbs and Pamela Barcita, with VAC Director Chris Rupsch (second from right), were recognized with works chosen for the college’s permanent art collection.

Storm Thanksgiving shootout brings split for TCC

TCC’s highly competitive men’s basketball team took a break from regular season play to host the Storm Thanksgiving Shootout, Nov. 20 and 21, with TCC, Northern Virginia Community College, Davidson County Community College and Community College of Baltimore County. The Storm battled, coming away with a split in two games in the weekend’s action. Competing against No. 4-ranked Davidson County Community College on Saturday, the Storm fell 114-92. On Sunday, against the Community College of Baltimore County, TCC held on, winning 81-79.

Photo by: Nikko A. Knapp-Castillo
Photo by: Nikko A. Knapp-Castillo
Photo by: Nikko A. Knapp-Castillo
Derrick Tate, Jared Whittington and Eric Holt battle it out and win during Sunday’s game.

Transfer Day brings 20+ colleges to campus

Students talk with representatives from more than 20 colleges and universities during Transfer Day, held on Nov. 16 at the Virginia Beach Campus. The day gave students the chance to chat with college staffers, and obtain information about program offerings and campus highlights.

Photo by: Nikko A. Knapp-Castillo Photo by: Nikko A. Knapp-Castillo

Virginia Professor of the Year – Jim O’Brien

TCC Professor James P. O’Brien enjoyed the spotlight at a special awards luncheon and reception in Washington, D.C., in honor of his selection as the 2010 Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching Virginia Professor of the Year. (News Release)
Here are photos from the event:

TCC honors America’s vets

TCC honored veterans with activities on all campuses on Veterans Day, Nov. 11, including luncheons, guest speakers and commemorative photo-taking. At the Portsmouth Campus guests chronicled their days of service by placing pins on a large world map showing where they travelled during their military careers.

Photo by: Nikko A. Knapp-Castillo Photo by: Nikko A. Knapp-Castillo
Photo by: Nikko A. Knapp-Castillo Photo by: Nikko A. Knapp-Castillo

Math honors group grows its numbers

TCC inducted new members to its math honor society, Mu Alpha Theta, on Nov. 12, bringing the total to more than 25 members. Students qualify for membership by earning a grade of ‘B' or better and completing a semester of college algebra, precalculus or higher level math.

TCC’s chapter hosts its first inter-school math contest on Nov. 29, giving students the opportunity to compete as teams on a test developed by the Rocket City Math League. “When students find out that we offers links to contests and scholarships that can earn them distinction, while having fun, it peaks their interest,” notes Julia Arnold, one of the faculty advisors for the group.

TCC is the first community college in Virginia to install a Mu Alpha Theta chapter, the math honor society for two-year colleges.

Mu Alpha Theta members and faculty co-sponsors include (front row)Hussam Halak, Tocara Simmons, Genevieve deGuzman, (second row) Professor Richard Gill, Adam Lechy, Wesley Roy, Marvin Wilborne III, Professor Judy Gill, Dr. JuliaArnold, and (back row) Christopher Shingledecker and Professor Joe Joyner. New inductees no tpictured are Khang Ton, Rebecca Bissell, Stacy Kee, Noelle Powell and Joshua Monroe.

Students “Bulldoze” Hunger, Win 3 Canstruction awards

TCC’s Engineering Club swept top awards in this year’s Hampton Roads “Canstruction” contest, part of a national design/build competition to raise awareness and canned goods for local food banks. (News Release)

Photo by: Bradley Smith Photo by: Bradley Smith

Lady Storm - learning on the fly

The Lady Storm Classic, held Nov. 6-7 at Oscar Smith High in Chesapeake, proved to be a wake-up call for the Lady Storm. Competing against Community College of Baltimore County, Lenoir Community College and Wake Technical Community, the Storm learned difficult, but necessary, lessons.

In the first game against Lenoir, the Lady Storm rode the wave of emotion battling in a back-and-forth first half and trailing 33-37 at intermission. The adrenaline faded early in the second half as Lenoir applied full-court pressure to wear down the Storm. Lenoir pushed their lead to 20, but the Storm rallied. A three-pointer, with three minutes to play, cut the Lenoir lead to just eight points, but the Storm could not recover.

Sunday brought the chance of redemption for the Storm against the favorite Wake Tech. The game began with Wake jumping to an early lead and, although the Storm fought to the finish, they lost, but earned the respect of their competitors.

Photo by: Nikko A. Knapp-Castillo Photo by: Nikko A. Knapp-Castillo

Kiana Carpenter and Allison Black (right) play hard during the Lady Storm Classic.

Author Janine Latus talks about dating violence, domestic abuse

Best-selling author Janine Latus spoke to students at the Portsmouth Campus about her fight against domestic violence and her book, If I Am Missing or Dead: A Sister’s Story of Love, Murder and Liberation. A compelling teacher and speaker, Latus is a spokeswoman for Amy’s Courage Fund, which gives money directly to women who need a way out of abusive relationships. Her work has appeared in O, the Oprah Magazine, More, Woman’s Day, Family Circle, Parents, All You, American Baby and in-flight magazines for US Airways, American Airlines, Continental Airlines and TWA.
- Oct. 27, 2010

Highlighting red flags in relationships

Students and staff planted hundreds of red flags this October on TCC’s four campuses to highlight relationship violence. Shown here, student Aimee Barett-Battle plants a sea of red, part of the Red Flag Campaign, the first statewide public awareness effort to address issues like stalking, emotional abuse, coercion, sexual assault and isolation. Brought to TCC by the Women’s Center during October’s Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the campaign hopes to draw discussion about dating violence and provide workable solutions for college students and others. - Oct. 27, 2010

Photo by: Nikko A. Knapp-Castillo Photo by: Nikko A. Knapp-Castillo

Speakers offer hope during breast cancer awareness month

TCC’s Women’s Center hosted a Breast Cancer Awareness program with special guests Meyera Oberndorf, past mayor of Virginia Beach; Reggie Osby, TCC business manager at the Norfolk Campus; and Shelby Johnson, a graduate student intern from Norfolk State University. The theme – surviving and thriving – was personified by all three speakers, as they shared their personal stories of victory over breast cancer, which claims about 40,000 lives in the U.S. each year.

Racing for hope and a cure

More than 75 TCC staffers donned running shoes and pink gear for the 11th annual Race for the Cure at the Virginia Beach oceanfront on Saturday, Oct. 16. Remembering those whose lives have been touched by breast cancer, the TCC team joined hundreds of others for the 5K run and fitness walk to raise funds and awareness for the fight against breast cancer. As in years past, TCC was the largest team for educational entrants.

Photo by: Nikko A. Knapp-Castillo Photo by: Nikko A. Knapp-Castillo
Photo by: Nikko A. Knapp-Castillo

Nationally-funded Health IT program draws 300+ applicants

As head of one of five U.S. consortiums preparing a pioneering workforce to make healthcare records electronic, TCC launched its first Health Information Technology (Health IT) Workforce Solutions Program session on Sept. 28 and 29. The two start-up orientation classes filled the auditorium with more than 300 applicants. This first cohort will finish in March; three more will follow in sequential six-month sessions.

Offered in evening classes, the certificate program focuses on unique skill sets for first-ever jobs in health IT, identified at the national level. Below, Vice President Daniel DeMarte and program director Gretchen LeFever addressed students.

Instructors: Tamara Turner, Iesha Little-Moore, Heather Hagan, Stuart Anderson and John Morea


Leadership series features top executives

In support of women attaining leadership goals, TCC’s Women’s Center has launched a Women’s Leadership Speaker Series. Kicking off the talks, Deborah H. Butler, executive vice president-planning and chief information officer with Norfolk Southern Corp. spoke on Oct. 4 about leadership characteristics including communications and developing networks, as well as benchmark leadership styles. All talks are free and open to the public. Sessions are held at 6:30 p.m. in the Advanced Technology Center at the Virginia Beach Campus. For future dates and reservations, click here.

On Oct. 19, Linda Whitley-Taylor, executive vice president of human resources for Amerigroup Corp., discussed key strategies for succeeding as a leader. These included setting and articulating a vision, executing on five or six initiatives, setting aggressive goals and having a passion for winning. She also shared ways that leaders can quickly derail. When concluding her remarks, Whitley-Taylor noted, “Ultimately leaders must fix something, build something or learn something new, while ensuring they are visible along the way.”

Deborah K. Stearns, senior vice president of Harvey Lindsay Commercial Real Estate, talked with students on Nov. 1. She shared her personal story of moving forward in the workplace despite challenges. Stearns urged students to follow six points for success including: think for yourself; ask for what you want; be the best you can be; get involved; be realistic and pragmatic and balance your life.



TCC President Deborah M. DiCroce delivered a keynote address on Nov. 30, describing leadership as a journey, as she shared stories of success and urged students to anticipate setbacks and continue moving forward. Referencing her rich experience in leadership positions, the president urged students to live by four tenets that incorporate structure, human resources, and political and symbolic frames.

Classified staff goes green, gives big

Classified staffers are going green. They learned environmentally-friendly solutions for the office and home during Professional Development Day, held Sept. 24 at the Chesapeake Conference Center.

The day included a session on Feng Shui, the ancient Chinese system of aesthetics believed to use the laws of heaven and earth to improve life. Alex Reichardt, interior design instructor, gave pointers on incorporating Feng Shui into any setting.

In keeping with years past, President Deborah M. DiCroce gave an update to the 120-plus attendees, and answered questions during a special session.


Photo by: Nikko A. Knapp-Castillo Photo by: Nikko A. Knapp-Castillo
Photo by: Nikko A. Knapp-Castillo Photo by: Nikko A. Knapp-Castillo
The day included a school supply drive for the Salvation Army’s Write Stuff campaign. Staffers loaded the donation table with school essentials. Here, leaders capture the moment before delivering the ample donation.


Books in the Park features TCC authors

Book lovers got a special treat when attending the third annual Books in the Park. They enjoyed author readings by two of TCC’s own: professors Bob Kunzinger and Tom Williams. TCC staff shared information about the college and the 10th annual Literary Festival coming in April. Books in the Park included dozens of local and regional authors, many of whom were on hand to autograph copies. TCC Storm added a mascot’s touch, thrilling children and posing for pictures with all ages.


Photo by: Nikko A. Knapp-CastilloTCC co-hosts FEMA training for emergency managers

Doing their part to aid emergency management education, TCC and the City of Virginia Beach hosted FEMA’s “Continuity Managers Train-the-Trainer” course Sept. 13-15 at the Portsmouth Campus. Pete Sommer, TCC’s director of emergency preparedness (standing), David Guglielmo, TCC’s director of facilities management (far left), and Bruce Aird, director of financial information systems and operations for the city, took part in the training. The 2 ½ day course focused on managing, planning and implementing continuity programs for emergency situations. The TCC directors in attendance are part of TCC’s Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP) Team. With this training they can train other TCC staff in continuity planning.

Photo by: Nikko A. Knapp-Castillo

Photo by: Nikko A. Knapp-CastilloTCC staffers give blood, help community

Students and staffers gave the “gift of life” during fall blood drives held on all four campuses. The American Red Cross Bloodmobile stopped at the Virginia Beach Campus on Sept. 14, and many students and faculty started the day by rolling up their sleeves. The Red Cross reports a continual need for blood donations with only 38 percent of Americans eligible to donate, and only three of 100 citizens stepping up to give this precious commodity. - Sept. 14, 2010

Photo by: Nikko A. Knapp-Castillo

Photo by: Nikko A. Knapp-CastilloTCC staffers “Live United”

Putting community needs front and center, TCC staffers joined a team of more than 1,700 volunteers for the 19th annual United Way Day of Caring. More than 45 TCC volunteers spent the workday at three local agencies: Dreamkeepers Academy, Girls Inc. and Greenbrier Family YMCA. The group used elbow grease and a good deal of muscle doing much needed projects including painting, landscaping and completing small repairs.
- Sept. 10, 2010

Photo by: Nikko A. Knapp-Castillo


Healthy Living series launches for fall

Students and staff kicked off fall with a focus on healthy living. The Women’s Center’s Healthy Living series began with a talk by Sharon Salsman, a dietician with Maryview Medical Center. Salsman spoke about the benefits of fiber and urged attendees to eat fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as high-quality protein. Guests also learned about a reference book, Eat This, Not That, that makes healthful choices easier to find. - Sept. 8, 2010

Photo by: Nikko A. Knapp-Castillo Photo by: Nikko A. Knapp-Castillo

Hispanic Heritage Month at TCC

TCC celebrates diversity and the contributions of Hispanic Americans during Hispanic Heritage Month with music, fiestas, dance lessons and speakers on all four campuses. The celebration kicked off with a well-attended keynote address by Carolina DeRobertis, below, best-selling author of The Invisible Mountain and creative writing professor at University of San Francisco.

Photo by: Nikko A. Knapp-Castillo
The theme of the 2010 National Hispanic Heritage Month is: Heritage, Diversity, Integrity and Honor: The Renewed Hope of America. TCC’s events and activities, Sept. 15 through Oct. 13, will pay homage to this theme by recognizing the spirit and contributions of Hispanic Americans, not only in this community, but nationwide.
Photo by: Nikko A. Knapp-Castillo
Photo by: Nikko A. Knapp-Castillo
Photo by: Nikko A. Knapp-Castillo

TCC Professor Gabriela Toletti, above right, who serves on the college-wide Hispanic Heritage Month committee, introduced the keynote speaker.


Festivities featured Latino cuisine, shown here enjoyed by students at the Norfolk Campus.
A colorful exhibit of renowned Mexican artist Frida Kahlo’s work caught the interest of passersby at the Learning Resource Center on the Norfolk Campus.
Students and staff test their knowledge of Hispanic cultural facts during the Think Fast Game Show.  
Students gather to learn the tango with dance instructor Jonathan Green who teaches dance at TCC and with the Virginia Beach Steppers.

TCC Storm teams start season

Photo by: Nikko A. Knapp-CastilloWith the soccer season just underway and basketball tryouts this weekend (beginning Sept. 17), the TCC Storm teams are poised for an active fall schedule. TCC Athletics kicked off pre-season with an orientation for players and parents with icebreakers, rules and regulations, the ethics of fair play, and expectations for teamwork and collaboration. TCC Athletics coordinator Vincent Gary, below center, assembled coaches and players to start the season with gusto and high spirits. To keep up with men’s soccer and men’s and women’s basketball schedules, visit the athletics website.

Photo by: Nikko A. Knapp-Castillo Photo by: Nikko A. Knapp-Castillo Photo by: Nikko A. Knapp-Castillo
Photo by: Nikko A. Knapp-Castillo Photo by: Nikko A. Knapp-Castillo
Summer 2010

Area fleet managers invest in TCC auto students

TCC students studying automotive or diesel technology have a new scholarship opportunity. Tidewater Area Fleet Manager’s Association (TAFMA) has announced the new TAFMA Scholarship that will award four $500 scholarships annually to TCC students.

TAFMA officials presented a $2,000 start-up check for the scholarship during a luncheon meeting held July 21.

Membership in TAFMA is open to all municipal and private fleet managers who have direct responsibility for the management, maintenance and repair, acquisition and replacement of automotive fleets located in the Hampton Roads Area.

TCC’s Automotive and Diesel Technology programs enroll more than 400 students who attend classes at the college’s 30,000 square-foot state-of-the-art Regional Automotive Center opened in 2008 in the Oakbrooke Business and Technology Park in Chesapeake.

Math honors students have a new opp at TCC

TCC has become the first community college in Virginia to install a Mu Alpha Theta chapter, the math honor society for two-year colleges. With TCC math faculty serving as advisors, the TCC chapter inducted its first 10 charter members on July 23.

The selected TCC students for Mu Alpha Theta qualified for membership by completing one semester of college algebra, precalculus or higher level math and earning a grade of B or better. Members are eligible for scholarships and have the opportunity to participate in society-sponsored math contests and conferences. High schoolers who were active in Mu Alpha Theta at their schools qualify for membership in the TCC group when they enroll at any TCC campus.

TCC Mu Alpha Theta members and sponsors shown here are Taylor Roy, Darrell Poff,Julia Arnold, Steve Buski, Michael Babcock, Gloria Wigfall, Joe Joyner, Judy Gill and Richard Gill.

PE offerings keep students working body, mind

While busy class schedules keep students’ minds on the go, TCC helps them stay in shape as well. The college’s four campuses offer myriad ways to work the body and satisfy phys-ed requirements, with choices of about 20 different PE courses, available on and off campus. Offerings run the gamut from ballroom dancing to Pilates to weight training to yoga to tennis to bowling to martial arts and golf.

Working body and mind is part of the curriculum; students need at least two credit hours of physical education or health to earn an associate degree with the college.

TCC partners with area business to offer state-of-the art fitness programming. Students can take Pilates classes at TR Dance Center in Norfolk and Wellness One Fitness Center in Chesapeake, with weight training available at Lynnhaven Jazzercise Center in Virginia Beach and Wellness One.

Self defense, martial arts and tai chi chuan classes are held at King Tiger Martial Arts Center and Great Neck Martial Arts Center in Virginia Beach and Blackhawk Karate and Kick Boxing in Chesapeake.

Students can sign up for aerobic fitness at Fitness 19 in Chesapeake and Lynnhaven Jazzercise, and take water aerobics and swimming at the YMCA in Virginia Beach.

Bowlers can hone their skills at AMF Chesapeake Lanes and golfers can tee it up at Bow Creek Golf Course in Virginia Beach and Chesapeake Golf Club. In addition, tennis enthusiasts can serve it up for credit at Tidewater Tennis Center in Norfolk.

Spring 2010

Remembering those who serve

With its long history of service to military members, the TCC family recognized service members stationed abroad with letters penned during Military Appreciation Month held in May.

Dozens of students at the Norfolk and Portsmouth Campuses signed notes and letters destined for service members overseas. The hand-written creations were written with pride during separate campus events.

Portsmouth Campus students stepped up during Spring Fling to hand-write notes for military men and women.

At the Norfolk Campus, students celebrated Military Appreciation Month with a week of activities including times for letter writing.

Earlier this year, TCC ranked second in the nation for enrollment of post 9-11 GI Bill participants, which include service members from every branch.

Innovative teaching ideas shared at New Horizons

TCC faculty and staff shared innovative teaching methods and project ideas with peers at the Virginia Community College System’s New Horizons conference held April 7-9 in Roanoke.


Presentations varied, with many focusing on rapidly changing technology designed to enhance today’s learning. Topics included Globalizing the Community College Experience, Getting Hooked on Smart Boards, Building a Virtualization Program and a GPS/GIS workshop.

TCC presenters were JoAnn Boyce, Rodney Clayton, Thomas Feist, Glenn Fox, Paul Gasparo, Robert Guess, Mary Hanlin, Bill Harlow, Jim Hines, Michele Marits, Lisa Nicolace, Susanne Rauch, Joseph Reish, Peter Shaw, Bonnie Startt, Ian Taylor and Mike Williams.

Ringing in spring with song . . . The TCC Choral Ensemble performed on the Virginia Beach and Norfolk campuses April 28-29. The group sang some familiar melodies including Amazing Grace, The Turtle Dove, Jenny Rebecca, And So It Goes and Cheres Fleurs. The program theme, Songs for a Spring Concert, displayed the power of music to express feelings and emotions. Led by David Warren, with piano accompaniment by Mary Lester, the ensemble includes 16 singers. Sound of song - Listen here for melodies from spring. - April 29, 2010

Auto Center hosts State SkillsUSA diesel contest
TCC student wins a first place at State Auto Tech contest

TCC’s Regional Automotive Center hosted the State SkillsUSA Diesel Equipment Technology Contest on April 24, with automotive faculty member Beno Rubin serving as contest chair. Seven contestants – all district winners from around the Commonwealth – competed in the contest, which includes high school and college students. Joining business and industry representatives, instructors and family members turned out to observe and support the contestants.

Local businesses and municipalities supported the contest by providing breakfast, lunch and gifts for the students, as well as loaning trucks and engines for show and demonstration purposes. The vehicles included a fire truck and new emergency response vehicle from the City of Chesapeake.

At the same time, TCC automotive student Paul Jodun placed first in the post-secondary division of the State Automotive Technology contest held at the Hampton Coliseum. He will compete for the National Championship, set for June 20-25 in Kansas City. TCC’s Automotive and Diesel degree and certificate programs moved into the new 30,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art Regional Automotive Center last year.

Women Can! session fills the Forum . . . Hampton Roads women, many from area high schools, came out in droves for TCC’s Women Can! event to explore non-traditional career options. Held on April 16 at the Forum on the New Portsmouth Campus, the event featured a video showing women at work in real-life examples of successful careers.

More than 100 women checked out TCC’s women’s career session.

Representatives were also on hand to talk about career possibilities with wages ranging from mid-$30,000s to upper $40,000s in areas like trucking, welding, auto technology, heating and air conditioning, computer networking and law enforcement. TCC offers training opportunities that prepare women for these careers in two years or less.

Chesapeake firefighter Tammy Barnes, a graduate of TCC’s Fire Science program, helps a student dress in “turn-out” gear.

Photo by Lorraine EatonTCC sweeps top spots in cooking competition . . .(See blog feature and photos by Lorraine Eaton, The Virginian-Pilot)

Cooking to win – TCC student teams of two participated in the third annual Student Culinary Competition on April 19, sponsored by the American Culinary Federation. Squaring off against other TCC teams and those from the Culinary Institute of Virginia, participants got busy chopping, sautéing, and plating an appetizer, entrée and a dessert – all in 90 minutes, from recipes revealed moments before the clock started ticking.

Professional chefs kept tabs on the students’ progress, scoring them every step of the way. At the end of the completion, TCC teams swept the top spots: Kathleen Ortiz and Tammy Lessard, 1st place and a bronze medal; Joshua Wilson and Shay Acker, 2nd place; and Shelina Gunn and Jessica Bunch, 3rd place.

Spring Job Fair showcased 40 employers . . . TCC hosted its spring Job Fair on April 7, connecting students and others seeking work with more than 40 area employers. Held at the Advanced Technology Center on the Virginia Beach Campus, the fair offered information on career positions, internships and part-time job opportunities. Job seekers had the opportunity to meet with representatives from a variety of organizations including BAE Systems, Cox Communications, Norfolk Fire and Rescue, Sentara Medical Group, Virginia Troops to Teachers Program, Waddell and Reed Inc.

Tornado ready . . . Preparing for a worst-case scenario, TCC staffers and students participated in the annual statewide tornado drill at 9:45 a.m. on Tuesday, March 16. When it comes to tornadoes, they can strike anywhere, anytime, with the right weather mix.

During the drill, hall wardens directed everyone on each of TCC’s four campuses to hallways or other safe areas, noting how a crouch position could be needed for several minutes.

The importance of practicing safety measures is clear: 39 tornadoes blasted Virginia in 2008, the second-highest number ever recorded in the commonwealth.

Photo by Bradley Smith

Photo by Bradley Smith    Photo by Bradley Smith

Winter '09 - 2010

Health and wellness the focus for Professional Development Day . . . It’s a known fact, that health plays a vital role in success at home and work. With that in mind, organizers of the spring Classified Professional Development Day focused on the health and wellness of staff members.

Held at the Chesapeake Conference Center, the event addressed popular concerns including a presentation by professionals from CommonHealth, the employee wellness program of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Attendees also enjoyed a health fair featuring a variety of providers from dentists to doctors to fitness centers to a sleep lab and Overeaters Anonymous.

 Photo by Bradley Smith

In keeping with years past, President Deborah DiCroce gave an update to the 120-plus attendees and answered questions during a special session.

Photo by Bradley Smith      Photo by Bradley Smith

The day included a food drive for the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia with more than 341 pounds of food collected for the needy. Classified Association members capture the moment with President DiCroce before delivering the ample donation.

Early Alert aids student retention . . . TCC’s Early Alert program for struggling students has expanded to serve all campuses. Designed to provide a safety net for students, the program works by developing a partnership among faculty, students and counselors. It starts with faculty members referring students to Early Alert for poor academic performance. After assessing the situation, counselors provide myriad services, from homework review to time management to study skills. Counselors often connect students with other college services such as those provided by the Women’s Center, disability services or financial aid.

The program connects with hundreds of at-risk students each year. In an average semester, counselors work with more than 375 students, providing consultations and support.

NASA-Langley technology manager explains challenges of space commerce . . . TCC economics students are tapping into hot business topics of the day through a unique value-added breakfast series underway at the New Portsmouth Campus. The first talk at the new campus, held in the Forum, explored Launching a New Realm of Commerce in Space, presented by Doris L. Hamill, technology program development manager at NASA's Langley Research Center. Professor Bill Conner launched the series last year, drawing between 40 and 100 students and guests to each talk. TCC at Barnes & Noble co-sponsors the series, providing breakfast. Here, following her talk, Hamill shows charts to students from TCC's Phi Beta Lambda business group. - Feb. 23, 2010

Black History Month at TCC

TCC celebrates the rich contributions of African Americans during Black History Month held each February. The month-long event includes performances, workshops, lectures and entertainment at each of its four campuses in Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth and Virginia Beach.

Photo by Bradley SmithLance Williams, assistant professor of inner city studies education at Northeastern Illinois University, discussed the explosion of hip-hop music in American culture. He also touched upon the international business community’s exploitation of rap and hip-hop music to profit from the purchasing power of today’s young people. - Feb. 4, 2010

Photo by Bradley Smith

Photo by Bradley Smith

Students sampled a variety of dishes during the third annual Soul Food Sampler event. While learning about southern traditional foods, students tasted barbeque chicken, baked beans and corn bread. - Feb. 10, 2010

Photo by Bradley Smith

Stories bring to life times of old. Performer Dylan Pritchett took guests back to the early days of slavery with tales of survival and teachings that promoted family strength and  character. - Feb. 11, 2010

Photo by Jerry Altares    Photo by Jerry Altares

Photo by Jerry Altares

Area leaders in industry share tips for success in life and business during a career panel discussion. Students were encouraged to ask questions and actively participate in the forum. Panel members included (left to right) Shepelle Watkins-White, Valerie Harriell, Cirilo McLaine, Cliff Hayes, David Seals and Jonathan White. - Feb. 25, 2010


Helping Haiti . . . TCC students and staffers reached out to help the people of Haiti following the earthquake that rocked the country in mid-January. Student volunteers collected more than 10 boxes of toiletry items for victims of the quake, including anit-bacterial soap and gel, shampoo, lotion, band-aids, gauze and toothpaste. Physicians for Peace, a local group that has established programs in Haiti, are transporting the items to those in need. Collections continue with donation boxes located in most classrooms. “Faculty and staff are encouraging students and others to give,” says Irene Owens, Student Government Association president, Norfolk Campus. “With a disaster of this magnitude it’s up to all of us to do our part to help.”

TCC employees can donate funds for Haiti relief through the Commonwealth of Virginia Campaign (CVC) as well as a Blue Ridge Community College student group as they help re-build a school. - Jan. 28, 2010

Photo by Jerry Altares    Photo by Jerry Altares

Irene Owens and Logan Skeen ready donation for delivery to Kenneth Hudson with Physicians for Peace.

Jewish Film Festival at TCC . . . TCC partnered with the Marilyn and Marvin Simon Jewish Community Center to present the 17th annual Jewish Film Festival at the TCC Roper Performing Arts Center, Jan. 23-31. The culturally-rich event featured six full-length and five short films including Zrubavel, a unique film showing a multigenerational family of Ethiopian immigrants and their assimilation into Israel. Following the showing, TCC offered a panel discussion about the film, the first feature-length production created by Ethiopian-Israeli filmmakers. Panel members were (left) Rabbi Michael Panitz with Temple Israel and an instructor of religion at Old Dominion University and Naaman Wood, instructor of speech and film at TCC. - Jan. 25, 2010

Photo by Bradley Smith   Photo by Bradley Smith

Photo by Bradley Smith

Glittering gowns for Booker T. students . . . All dressed up with somewhere to go. Students at Booker T. Washington High in Norfolk will soon receive more than 30 prom dresses and accessories donated by students, staff and faculty at TCC’s Norfolk Campus. “Going to the prom is a right of passage for high school seniors and we think everyone should have a chance to go, even when money is an issue,” says Irene Owens, Student Government Association president at the Norfolk Campus. - Jan. 20, 2010

Students (left to right) Emily Wilson, Jennifer Morgan and Irene Owens ready the gowns for delivery. Deserving teens will receive the apparel to wear during senior prom events this spring.

TCC hosted over 350 people for state budget hearing . . . More than 120 individuals signed up to speak before state legislators about Gov. Timothy Kaine's proposed budget for 2010-12 at a public hearing hosted by TCC at the New Portsmouth Campus on Jan. 7. Members of the House Appropriations and Senate Finance committees are conducting a series of public hearings statewide before the General Assembly session begins Jan. 13.

Photo by Jerry Altares

TCC President Deborah M. DiCroce welcomed the legislators and spoke of key roles played by the state's community colleges as they educate, re-tool and prepare the workforce of tomorrow. The challenges are many, with record-breaking enrollment hikes in the face of recent and potential budget cuts. - Jan. 7, 2010

Photo by Jerry Altares Photo by Jerry Altares

Computer giveaway benefits students . . . Students with the Virginia Beach Campus Computer Club delivered holiday cheer with the first-ever refurbished computer giveaway for deserving students at TCC. “It’s tough for students to get their work done without a home computer. We decided to make a difference,” says Gary Noah, the club’s advisor and an information systems technology professor.

Kecia Dear and Erin Barnette, two recipients of new home computers, listen to Gary Noah, professor of information systems technology, explain computer upkeep.

A request for used computers and accessories netted more than 20 computers this fall for the club to refurbish and distribute. “We have 30 members, and many of them worked diligently cleaning and repairing systems,” adds Noah.

The first giveaway happened in early December with five students receiving computers. With more than 30 initial applications, the students’ stories varied, but all showed a significant need for the systems.

The club plans to continue refurbishing donated computers and to accept more student applications for the systems. Contact Gary Noah at for more information. - Dec. 23, 2009

Darleen Wright works to repair a donated home computer, while Roderick Cruz vacuums the inside of another system. Both computers will be donated to students who need them.

A sampling of new-graduate profiles . . .
December 2009

Culinary Arts students make sweet moments at CHKD . . . TCC culinary arts baking students and instructors outdid themselves this year, custom-designing nearly 20 gingerbread fantasies for Children's Hospital of the King's Daughters. On Dec. 11 the team unveiled the creations - including Frosty Land, a village with lights in the snow, a log cabin with shredded-wheat roof, a hillbilly house and a detailed historic building - displayed in the Surgical Waiting Room for families awaiting news of their children.

Among the first gingerbread house admirers were Dr. Earl Crouch, an ophthalmologist fresh out of surgery (below left), and CHKD volunteer Dale Pearson (lower center).

For the first time, the artful gingerbreads will be donated for a silent auction at CHKD to benefit the hospital.

"This not only gives the students a creative baking experience," says program head Don Averso. "It also gives them a chance to share their skills in a community service capacity. It's a labor of love for all of us."

FOX, WAVY and WVEC TV news noted the project, with FOX's Cheryl Tan also tapping TCC expertise in a how-to piece for her a.m. cooking segment, to air before the holidays.


Portsmouth Public Schools' staff tour new campus . . .

Sharing highlights of the New Portsmouth Campus with the city's high school principals, guidance counselors and student services managers, Portsmouth Provost Terry Jones gave a tour on Dec. 9. Portsmouth Public Schools (PPS) Superintendent David Stuckwisch brought the group to campus to see First College classrooms and offices and what the new facility offers.

The First College Program, a successful, innovative partnership with the city’s public schools, helps qualified high school seniors earn college credits. Stuckwisch has described the program as "a unique model that provides new pathways for our students, whether they pursue a bachelor's degree or seek employment," adding that the new campus offers wonderful opportunities for their students to continue their education. More than 100 students are enrolled in First College this spring. Next year First College will add technical and career tracks, to include welding and HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning).

Strategically located just off Interstate 264 on land donated by the City of Portsmouth, TCC's new $65 million Fred W. Beazley Portsmouth Campus opens for business on Dec. 21; spring semester classes begin on Jan. 11. The new campus will serve more than 10,000 students annually.

Provost Terry Jones describes the student services area, various classrooms and labs and the high-end library to about 20 Portsmouth schools staff.

Before the group finished the tour (photo-left), Marie Shepherd, PPS student services director, talked about the welding program with TCC instructor Jesse Cannady (far right).

Portsmouth schools Superintendent David Stuckwisch (above right) discusses with Craig Hill, PPS career and technical education coordinator, where First College students will arrive by bus. Facilities, Planning and Development Director John Massey pours over room lay-outs with Provost Jones, an ongoing, critical process until the campus opens.

Holiday cheer comes from sharing . . . TCC’s 2009 holiday outreach – to benefit hundreds of local families – on all four campuses included participation in the Salvation Army’s Christmas charity programs and a food drive for the Union Mission.  

Faculty and staff at Chesapeake Campus filled 150 stockings and decorated 150 bears for the Salvation Army Dress-a-Bear and Christmas stocking programs. The campus has participated in this program for more than five years. 

“This is a true community project and without the help of students, staff and clubs like Phi Theta Kappa and Circle K, the program would not be successful,” says Joyce Banks, TCC’s project coordinator and supervisor of media resources at the Chesapeake Campus.  

The Virginia Beach Campus spread holiday cheer by stuffing 75 stockings for the Salvation Army Christmas Stocking program. Every year, hundreds of children are touched by the Army’s Stockings and Bears programs.    

Photo by Jerry AltaresChristie Bradley, Stacy Armstrong, Joyce Banks and Dianne Parker work together to dress Christmas bears.

Photo by Jerry Altares

Photo by Bradley Smith Angel Tree volunteers Janelda Scott, Debra DeMills-Smith and Florence Baines organize donations. 

Staffers at TCC’s Norfolk Campus and district office helped make the holidays bright for needy children by supporting the Salvation Army Angel Tree program. Gifts for 120 kids were collected including toys, clothing and shoes. 

“I remember a time when without the Salvation Army my family’s Christmas would have been bleak,” recalls coordinator Debra DeMills-Smith, audiovisual supervisor at the Norfolk Campus. “It’s a real joy to be able to give back.” 

For more than a decade, the Norfolk Campus family has been adopting “angels” each holiday season. And Portsmouth Campus staff, in the midst of moving to the new campus, remembered their neighbors by donating 75 Angel Tree gifts for needy children.   

Photo by Bradley Smith

College-wide food drive benefits area homeless 

Boxed macaroni and cheese, peanut butter, canned fruits and more were collected this semester by students on all four of TCC’s campuses for the homeless families and adults served by Union Mission. Organized by the Student Government Association, the non-perishable food items were valued at more than $1,100. “We had such a great response. Students seem to be feeling the effects of the recession and were motivated to help others in our community,” says Irene Owens, president of the SGA on the Norfolk Campus and project coordinator.

Photo by Bradley Smith
Photo by Bradley Smith

SGA members also spent time sorting clothing for homeless children and adults. Kristen Hewitt, Jennifer Morgan, Emily Wilson, Irene Owens and Jevon Saunders prepare items for delivery into the shelter.

TCC family gives generously . . . During harsh economic times, TCC staffers dug deep to support charities here and around the state through this year’s Commonwealth of Virginia Campaign. A total of $26,822 was collected for hungry families, at-risk youth and others in need.

More than 1,300 charities receive funding through the Commonwealth’s workplace-giving campaign. TCC’s coordinator, Wendy Webb, was assisted by campus representatives Mary Beth Apperson, Leona Davis, Margaret Dutton, Jackie Fernandez, Nancy Jones, Gwen Smith, Janet Sydenstricker, Monica Terry and Paula Wood.

Fall 2009

TCC Engineering Club takes top award . . . TCC won Juror's Choice award in this year’s Canstruction, an engineering competition that raises awareness about hunger and brings in large food donations for the area Foodbank. TCC also won a new award for using the most cans.

Photo by Bradley Smith

TCC’s Engineering Club used more than 11,286 cans (almost 5 tons) to build their entry which reflected the theme, “Stop Hunger in its Tracks.” The structure featured a train coming out of a large, arched tunnel, and included lights and sound. Motion sensors, activated when a visitor steps near the structure, turn on the train headlight and crossing lights, as well as the sounds of a train whistle.

Photo by Bradley Smith Photo by Bradley Smith

TCC’s 20-member team worked for six hours – despite the impending nor’easter – to create the structure in a 10̍ by 10̍ space on Nov. 11 at d’Art center in Norfolk. “This is the 11th consecutive year that we’ve been involved in Canstruction,” says Paul Gordy, TCC engineering program head and faculty advisor of the engineering club. “It’s great to be part of something that helps the community and provides a learning opportunity for students.”  - Nov. 19, 2009

Photo by Bradley Smith Photo by Bradley Smith
Farm Fresh has donated all the cans for TCC's structures each year, thanks to Susan Mayo and Bruce MacCall, shown front left. TCC's Paul Gordy, shown right, described the team's project to WTKR, channel 3.

Gail Della PianaTCC celebrates International Education Week . . . A variety of activities included a talk about service learning with Gail Della Piana, a retired professor from Miami University in Ohio. Passionate about serving others, Piana shared her experiences, which included 12 years of travel with students to Ghana, West Africa – where TCC is planning a study abroad experience.

Photo by Bradley Smith

Photo by Bradley Smith        Photo by Bradley Smith

After the talk, students gathered with members of the International Student Alliance and put their creative skills to work painting murals showing their interpretation of the importance of global awareness. - Nov. 19, 2009

TCC hosts Grow by Degrees briefing . . .

TCC hosted teens from Norfolk Public Schools . . . NPS students toured TCC’s Norfolk Campus to learn about career paths and college life during Disability Awareness Month, held each October. The group toured the culinary department, library, student services and the TCC Roper Performing Arts Center. They also participated in a workshop offered by the college’s Workforce Solutions division. - Oct. 21, 2009


Exchange faculty enriches global perspectives . . . In October, TCC welcomed exchange faculty member Vera Ivy Yeboah-Badu, a professor of biology from Sunyani Polytechnic in Ghana, West Africa. TCC faculty spent two weeks with the professor, sharing educational techniques and learning about the history and culture of Ghana. The Virginia Council on International Education (VaCIE), a partner program of the Virginia Community College System, selected TCC faculty for the exchange experience.

Yeboah-Badu, hosted by Geraldine Wright, TCC biology professor, has a deep interest in sustainable agrarian methods, which promoted visits to TCC’s Horticulture program, as well as how community colleges operate. She hopes to bring back information to help her school consider developing a community college.

At TCC, Yeboah-Badu observed classes, interviewed administrators, talked with student groups, visited libraries and pursued academic activities of interest. In turn, Wright will travel to Ghana in May to learn from Yeboah-Badu and her colleagues at Sunyani Polytechnic.

VaCIE connects educators from Ghana, India, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom with faculty from Virginia community colleges. - Oct. 2009

Racing for a cure . . . Damp, drizzly weather did not deter participants of the TCC team as they raced for a cure. With more than 120 participants, the team took the top award in the education category for the fifth year, raising funds and awareness to fight breast cancer through the Susan G. Komen event. TCC’s Race for the Cure team honored one of its own - Judith Hatcher, dance instructor, who lost her fight against breast cancer early this year. - Oct. 17, 2009

Flu ready - TCC helps staff avoid the dreaded seasonal flu . . . TCC staffers rolled up their sleeves to protect themselves from the seasonal flu. Flu shots were offered on TCC’s four campuses, as well as the Visual Arts Center and the Regional Automotive Center. Vaccines were administered by healthcare workers from Farm Fresh Pharmacies, in partnership with the college’s employee health insurance plan.  - Sept. 29, 2009

Delaina Rhichardson administers vaccines to Lou Tinan and Becky Hubiah.

A day to recharge . . . Classified staff gathered for a day of learning during this year’s Professional Development Day, held at the Chesapeake Conference Center. President Deborah DiCroce gave an update to the 120-plus attendees, and answered questions during a special session.

The group also focused on teamwork and team building through stories and a presentation by author and storyteller Harriette Johns Arrington, dean of academic programs at Paul D. Camp Community College. Also, Claudia Macon talked about budgeting during these tough economic times.

As a community project to accompany the day, staff members collected school supplies for The Salvation Army. - Sept. 25, 2009





Classified Association members ham it up with Capt. Matt Satterlee, with the Salvation Army, before turning over the ample donation to the group.


Hispanic Heritage Month at TCC . . . TCC kicked off Hispanic Heritage Month with fiestas, music, dancing and presentations including one by TCC’s own Gabriela Christie Toletti. A native of Uruguay, Toletti spoke about Praising our Hispanic American Cultural Patchwork. The celebration continues through mid-October, with events on all four of TCC’s campuses. (For all the events see News Release.)

- Sept. 15, 2009 - Oct. 15, 2009

Keynote speaker Hector Cantú spoke to TCC students and others at the Roper Performing Arts Center on the college’s Norfolk Campus. An award winning journalist and the co-creator/writer of the newspaper comic strip “Baldo,” Cantú spoke about his work and bringing a Hispanic perspective to day-to-day life through the gentle humor of “Baldo” and the family portrayed in the comic strip.

Kevin Brady, assistant professor of History, talked about Tejanos under the Texas flag. Tejanos are considered the first families of Texas. They came from Spain and Mexico and first inhabited the Texas frontier from the late 1600s through the late 1800s, nearly 150 years prior to the Texas Revolution. They are credited with creating the areas first towns, governments, missions, ranches and roads.


History professor and author William Paquette, Ph.D., spoke about 12/21/2012, the Mayan Calendar and the End of the World. He noted that the Hopi and Mayan elders do not prophesy that everything will come to an end. Rather, this is a time of transition from one World Age into another. The free, public talk attracted a large student audience and included Paquette sharing art work and images from the Mayan era.

Students enjoyed dancing lessons and a Spanish feast during one of final days of the TCC celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month.

Batten Faculty Development Center at Norfolk Campus opens
with great faculty interest
. . .

TCC welcomed faculty and staff into the new Batten Faculty Development Center on the Norfolk Campus earlier this month. Designed to support use of technology in teaching, the center includes the newest technology for faculty experimentation and training to enrich course delivery.

Faculty and administrators have daily access to the facility, outfitted with state-of-the-art instructional technology, software and resource materials. Each campus houses a Batten Faculty Development Center, providing all TCC faculty with tools to improve teaching and learning in the classroom.

The Batten Faculty Development Centers were made possible through a gift of $1 million from the late Frank Batten Sr., founder of Landmark Communications, and are part of the Batten Program for Technological Innovation and Leadership at the college.   - Sept. 3, 2009


A Day of Caring - TCC joins the annual volunteer day across the region . . . More than 50 TCC staff members joined neighbors and co-workers for a day of community involvement during this year’s United Way Day of Caring. A little muscle went a long way with volunteers painting, landscaping and repairing playground equipment and fencing at a home operated by For Kids Inc., an organization assisting homeless families in Hampton Roads.
- Sept. 11, 2009


FOX-TV features TCC in "Kelly Can" segment . . . Visual Arts Center ceramics professor Dianne Hottenstein (top left photo) volunteered recently to show Fox reporter Kelly Gaita (top right) the basics of "throwing a pot." The taping went over an hour and was condensed into a segment for a morning news clip, as well as placed on their website. Nick Vitale (top left), the new Face of FOX43 who taped the session, took photography classes at the VAC a few years back before living in California. Welcome back, Nick; glad you remembered your TCC experience! - Sept. 1, 2009



Summer 2009

Students flock to register and find enrollment advice at TCC's four campuses . . .

This summer, students of all ages, groups and purpose have been flocking to TCC for academic counseling, program exploration and enrollment. TCC facilitators on each campus have led hundreds of new students through FOCUS orientation sessions, including campus tours and enrollment coaching.

Right, a case in point, admissions coordinator Shameka Weaver (left) advised new student LaToya Pollard (center) and returning student Chelsea Shira, who were looking at different degree programs.   - Summer 2009

Camp Osprey tunes kids into nature . . .

For the fifth year running, TCC’s Camp Osprey has offered a nature-packed adventure experience for children. In two sessions, 40 campers, ages eight to 11, joined biology instructor Lisa Behm for a week of outdoor activities, lab work and classroom instruction.  

“TCC’s Chesapeake Campus is an Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary, and part of our work is to promote environmental stewardship,” says Behm. “We’re charged with encouraging our future environmental leaders. The more experiences they have in nature, the more informed they will be when making decisions for our world.” 

Camp Osprey includes daily nature hikes, fishing, crabbing, instruction on the use of a compass, lab experiences with microscopes, bird field identification, animal field signs and tracks, and a live animal presentation by the Virginia Zoo. 

Behm adds, “I’ve been running this camp for five years now, and every session has an ah-ha moment. Last year’s happened when we were inside the classroom. The children were fidgety, so I took them to the pond for crabbing. As soon as we got the lines baited, they calmed down and were so peaceful. Watching them connect with nature is worth everything.”  - Aug. 4, 2009

Interior design students win prizes in real-life builder’s project . . . Students in the Advanced Rendering Class of the Interior Design program applied their skills to a real-life design contest this summer. They took on a challenge from the Ainslie Group, residential homebuilders, to prepare design ideas for two new units at their Lake Archway Project off Indian River Road.

 “Be as creative as you want,” was the advice given to the students by Jeff Ainslie, president and owner of the Ainslie Group. The project included, in color, a floor plan, great room and dining room perspectives, and a scale model of the kitchen/eat-in area, said professor Alex Reichardt.  

Judging, held July 27 at TCC’s Chesapeake Campus, was conducted by Ruby Ainslie, design specialist for Ainslie Group, and Ross Millard, an architect for the Ainslie Group. The judges looked for three main components: originality, presentation and livability.  

The award winners were (shown below, left to right) Brenda Davis – first prize, Michelle Alderman – second prize, and Heather Dickinson – third prize. The top three winners received iPod’s from Ruby Ainslie and Ross Millard for the Ainslie Group, and the top eight winners received $25-$100 gift certificates by Ron Steele, manager of Artarama.

Other Student Work . . .


All about weeds – from green roofs to lawns . . . Summer means TCC Horticulture students can take a seasonal class on weeds. An elective in the Horticulture program, “weed science,” focuses on the management of weeds in turf grass, ornamentals, greenhouses, nursery production, aquatic situations and green roofs. 

Students learn about herbicide-resistant weeds, invasive-plant determination and management, as well as federal and state noxious-weed laws. 

“This class is geared for students working, or planning to work, in the commercial green industry,” says Sherry Kern, TCC horticulture instructor. “We do lots of hands-on work and even take weed walks to identify different weeds.” 

As with most horticulture offerings, there is an undercurrent about environmental concerns. “When you look at the environmental impact and money spent on weed control, it becomes important to investigate other non-chemical options,” adds Kern. “And while many weeds are only eliminated with herbicides, some can be controlled by hand weeding and other techniques.” 

For homeowners, Kern advises that the best defense is a good offense. “If you have a full, healthy lawn with no bare spots, you’ll have a better chance at maintaining it with regular fertilizations and weed-control treatments.” - July 16, 2009

 Students learn about aquatic weeds with guest speaker Laurie Fox, an expert who visited the class.

Dreams of "chefery" . . . A group of 20 teenagers with dreams of culinary careers filled TCC’s Culinary Arts Department kitchens June 23-26. The young chefs-in-training from Hampton Roads high schools had the unique opportunity to work in TCC’s professional kitchens as part of Summer Chefs, a week-long experience offered by the Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP).


Walter Ellerbe, a Johnson & Wales University alumnus and Alumni Council President who will be opening Ellerbe’s New World Cuisine in Ocean View this fall, served as the TCC chef instructor. The teens concluded their training, which included college readiness lessons, with a sophisticated buffet lunch.

The rising seniors were selected as a result of their performance in C-CAP’s Cooking Competition for Scholarships, held in March. C-CAP Summer Chefs is made possible by funding from the Tidewater Tech Prep Consortium.




Kunzinger engages audience at book reading . . . Professor and author Bob Kunzinger read excerpts from his works including Out of Nowhere: Scenes from St. Petersburg, Penance and Prof, at TCC’s Barnes and Noble at MacArthur Center. Dozens of listeners gathered for the readings and book signing that followed. Kunzinger has written several books and teaches English at TCC’s Virginia Beach Campus. - June 6, 2009

Spring 2009 U comes to TCC . . . TCC’s tech-savvy students will soon have a new way to learn. Using instructional applications from iTunes University, faculty and staff are learning how to produce podcasts of lectures and reading materials for student use in the classroom and at home. Barry Adams, Ph.D., with Apple Corp., came to campus twice this spring to demonstrate the creation of innovative podcasts that engage students. - April 21, 2009

TCC helped roll out the Wizard, a college and career assessment website, at an event held at Earl Industries on April 29 . . . Potential and current college students can now explore careers, scholarships and programs best suited for their individual interests and abilities through a new "one-stop shopping" website. TCC hosted the regional demonstration of the "Virginia Education Wizard," a free service available at, on April 29 at Earl Industries LLC in Portsmouth. Designed by Craig Herndon, the tool developed from an idea of Chancellor Glenn DuBois, head of the Virginia Community College System. - April 29, 2009

TCC President Deborah M. DiCroce takes a look at the site with Chancellor DuBois as I.C. Norcom High School student Laricia Bowman works the keypad.

Kadeem Hall, an I.C. Norcom student, explores the website with help from Craig Herndon, director of educational resources and Wizard, and Paulette Turner, I.C. Norcom guidance counselor. students draw cityscapes . . . Mason Andrews works with architect students from Hampton University at TCC's Norfolk Campus, which is noted for its interesting mix of architecture styles. Working to draw urban spaces, the group sketched the surrounding buildings, including the Andrews building, named after Andrews’ father, the late Mason C. Andrews, the physician who delivered America’s first in-vitro baby. - May 13, 2009 for the world of work . . . Students connected with representatives from more than 50 businesses and organizations during career days and job fairs held college wide in April. Participating organizations ranged from BAE Systems to Hampton Roads Navy ROTC

to Sinclair Communications to Virginia State Police. - April 8, 2009

Here, students chat with TV station CW27 representative. talk . . . Addressing regional issues with gangs, TCC held a workshop on the subject this spring. Presenter Lt. Rick James with the Norfolk Police Department talked about gang statistics including risk factors and signs and symbols. A similar session held in December at TCC helped raise awareness of this issue.

Connie Meyer talked with students at the Norfolk Campus about sexual assault awareness prevention. Sponsored by The Women’s Center, Meyer gave tips and strategies to identify and prevent violence against women. Meyer, and husband Bruce Meyer, were given the Citizen-Advocate Award by the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy for their work on legislation to require religious ministers to report child abuse and neglect statewide. Meyer serves as lay president for Prevent Child Abuse Hampton Roads, while Mr. Meyer serves as vice president for advocacy for the group, as well as a member of TCC’s college board.
- April 14, 2009

Taking back the night . . . Faculty, staff and students at TCC’s Norfolk Campus participated in Take Back the Night, an event designed to protest rape and violence against women. The local event was part of the internationally held march and rally, which enables women to move freely at night, fear-free. TCC’s marchers carried hand-made signs and walked the streets of downtown Norfolk. The event included a rally with student speakers and a performance by TCC’s jazz band. - April 13, 2009 sweets for spring . . . To close the month of sweet treats on Fridays at Barnes and Noble at TCC in MacArthur Center, TCC chefs created Banana Foster Popcorn Mix following a recipe by renowned chef, author and magazine editor Patrick Evans-Hylton, who signed his latest book, Popcorn, following the TCC demonstration.
- April 17, 2009

TCC Horticulture Club's annual plant sale . . . Dozens of horticulture students have nurtured hundreds of bedding and vegetable plants in TCC's climate-controlled greenhouses since January to fill the 26th annual plant sale with colorful selections. Held Saturday, April 18, in the Chesapeake Campus greenhouses, the sale raised funds for educational activities for the Horticulture Club


Each year guests can choose from assorted flats of annuals, geraniums, peat-pot veggies and "proven winner" hanging baskets. Quantities are limited and available during sale hours only on a first-come, first-served basis. For horticulture program information go to or call 822-5090.

Celebrating Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream . . . TCC honored the life and dream of slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. in an awards dinner on March 27. With music, a multimedia montage and speakers, the evening celebrated Dr. King’s teachings, the success in electing the first African American president of the United States, and three exemplary citizens who embody King’s principles. (News Release)

The award recipients are: Haroleen Ray, dean of student services/TCC Portsmouth Campus – TCC Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. College Distinguished Service Award; Samuel F. Coppage Jr., associate professor of information technology/Old Dominion University – TCC Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Distinguished Service Award; and student Jason Elliott – TCC Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarship recipient.

Setting Sights on Innovative New Library

TCC and the City of Virginia Beach took the next step in planning for their joint-use library by hosting a community forum on March 16. Employing innovative strategies - including gleaning citizen input - is part of the partners' approach to designing one of the biggest and most innovative libraries in the region.

At 120,000 square feet, the library will be one-third bigger than the city’s Meyera E. Oberndorf Central Library. Designed by one of the nation’s leading library architects, it will offer services for everyone - from college students to retirees to youngsters learning to read.

Deborah M. DiCroce, President, TCC

Jim Spore, City Manager, Virginia Beach

For the project, RRMM Architects of Norfolk has teamed with two California firms, Carrier Johnson Architects of San Diego - nationally known for their library designs - and Anderson Brulé Architects of San Jose who are specialists in developing and designing joint-use libraries.

With construction expected to start in summer 2010 and the new library to open in fall 2011, the library will be located at the corner of Rosemont Road and Faculty Drive on TCC’s Virginia Beach Campus. The joint-use library is a $53 million project (including equipment and furnishings), of which the state will provide some $42 million and the city about $11 million.

Gordon Carrier, Carrier Johnson

Sam McBane-Mulford, ABA Architects

Kevin Krumdieck, ABA Archittects

Front: John Massey, Director, Facilities, Planning & Development, TCC,
and Frank Dunn, Vice President, Administrative Services, TCC

Tornado ready ... TCC enacted a tornado drill across its campuses on March 17, as part of a statewide initiative from Gov. Timothy Kaine. Students were led to safer interior locations by specified building wardens. TCC Alerts, the college’s emergency notification system, was activated just prior to the drill.

TCC held its first tornado drill last year in March. Here, Marilyn Medley directs students to a safe zone in the student services area, Norfolk Campus.

At work in Hampton Roads and beyond ... Teens from area high schools learn about occupational technology careers - including auto repair, emergency medical technology and welding - through dual-enrollment classes with TCC. Here, as part of a video for high schools, City of Portsmouth videographer Annette Hebring films Portsmouth Public Schools' students learning about automotive technology.

As part of TCC’s celebration of Women’s History Month, the Women’s Center presented Karin Stamy, attorney with Norfolk Southern Corp. and a member of TCC’s Educational Foundation Board. Stamy got her start at Dutchess Community College, continuing her studies at Cornell University and State University of New York at Buffalo’s law school.

“I started as a researcher for a pharmaceutical company, but decided to make a switch to law,” she recalls. “My success started at a community college, because it allowed me access to a great four-year school.”

Stamy worked at a law firm in New York, before relocating to Hampton Roads to work for Norfolk Southern, a Fortune 300 company. Her job there involves safety and environmental law. “At TCC we say ‘from here, go anywhere’ and it’s true – this is a great place to launch yourself.”        - March 23, 2009


Tim O'Brien

Lit Fest 2009, April 13 - 16 ... Writers as Evidence of Change, the theme of this year’s festival, reflects the work of visiting and resident authors, who wil lread, perform and sign books or CDs on TCC’s four campuses. The guest authors (by order of appearance) are Tim O’Brien, whose short story collection, The Things They Carried, was named by the New York Times as one of the 20 best books of the last quarter century and was a finalist for both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award; Joe Tennis, TCC alumnus, author of From Beach to Bluegrass and award-winning news-features writer; Stephen Katz, winner of the Photographer of the Year award and photographer for The Virginian Pilot; and Yusef Komunyakaa, professor and distinguished senior poet at New York University who debuts his first poetry-to-music CD this month.

TCC faculty will read from their works the second night of the festival. These published authors include Rachel Ankney, Nancy Jolemore, David Kiracofe, Bob Kunzinger, Sylvie Shapero, Doug Thiele, Tom Williams and John Williamson.

Sweets for spring ... TCC culinary arts students whip up treats at Barnes & Noble at TCC in MacArthur Center . . . Chefs-in-the-making in TCC's Culinary Arts program dipped and swirled melted chocolate on fresh strawberries on March 27 in the first of three 1 p.m. demonstrations and tastings at Barnes & Noble at TCC in MacArthur Center. On lookers witnessed how to make these Tuxedo Strawberries and heard about the next two tastings on April 3 - Bananas Foster, a flaming flavorful favorite - and April 17 - Bananas Foster Popcorn Mix, made from a recipe by renowned chef, author and magazine editor Patrick Evans-Hylton, who will sign his latest book, Popcorn, following the TCC demonstration.


TCC celebrates Women’s History Month with life stories shared by successful women in Hampton Roads. The kick-off speaker, Joanne Batson, CEO of the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia, noted her strong work ethic that led to a varied career including starting her own business and a woman’s magazine before moving to non-profits, first the YWCA, then, the American Red Cross, then the American Heart Association before heading up the Foodbank.

Batson urged students to get involved and be a mentor. “Hopefully, what I leave with students is the desire to be a mentor, not just with women, but whenever they can. So many people helped me on my journey, and now it’s my role to give back as much as I can."         

  - March 3, 2009