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News Releases @ TCC


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

                            Cynthia Pedigo                          Debra Benham                      Joanne Diddlemeyer                

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. – (July 2, 2008) – Tidewater Community College has recognized three of its own with special awards in 2008.

  • Professor of the Year Award – Chesapeake resident Cynthia Pedigo, J.D., associate professor of paralegal studies, received this peer award given by the TCC Faculty Senate to recognize teaching excellence at the college. Working behind the scenes to build the paralegal program, Pedigo recruits and hires adjunct faculty from the legal profession, including practicing and retired attorneys. She has valuable industry knowledge, and last year added an immigration law course because of the increased need for those services in the region. An attorney and avid researcher, she teaches introduction to law and the legal assistant, real estate law, law office administration and bankruptcy law.
  • Special Achievement Award – Virginia Beach resident Debra Benham, professor of information technology, received this peer award established by the TCC Faculty Senate to recognize accomplishments that go above and beyond the call of duty. An expert in web design, Benham shares her knowledge with TCC students, faculty, staff and the community. Benham is a master-certified internet webmaster. She earned this certification to build her knowledge and increase effectiveness in the classroom. Benham’s students routinely create websites for charities and businesses, building connections and gaining real-world experience for the marketplace. Benham has been cited for her content knowledge, professionalism and communication skills by students and peers alike.
  • Administrator of the Year Award – Virginia Beach citizen Joanne Diddlemeyer, Ph.D., received this award from the TCC Administrative Association in recognition of work that advances the college’s mission and goals, promoting opportunities for leadership, training and mentoring among TCC employees and students. Diddlemeyer, dean of languages, mathematics and science at the Norfolk Campus, supervises 30 full-time and more than 100 adjunct faculty, often functioning as champion for both faculty and students, welcoming all with an open-door policy. An advocate and role model for professional development, she encourages training and peer networking, and launched a comprehensive mentoring program, pairing adjunct faculty with full-time faculty. Diddlemeyer has been an educator for over three decades, teaching every grade level from kindergarten to graduate school, in three states and two countries. Next year she plans to return to full-time teaching at TCC.



Laurie White
Media Relations

Tidewater Community College - the largest provider of higher education and Workforce Solutions services in Hampton Roads - enrolls over 38,000 students annually, the second largest undergraduate student body in Virginia. The 35th largest community college in the nation, TCC is among the 20 fastest-growing large two-year institutions in the United States. Founded in 1968 as a part of the Virginia Community College System, the college serves the South Hampton Roads region with campuses in Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth and Virginia Beach as well as the TCC Jeanne and George Roper Performing Arts Center in the theater district in downtown Norfolk, the Visual Arts Center in Olde Towne Portsmouth and a regional Advanced Technology Center in Virginia Beach. Forty-six percent of the region’s residents attending a college or university in Virginia last fall were enrolled at TCC. For more information, visit