Skip navigation

Alumna gives back by designing The Community Feed at TCC

Step inside The Community Feed at TCC, and you feel welcomed. An inviting farmer’s market shows off the colors of the season — bright red apples and homegrown tomatoes make a splash alongside brilliant oranges and leafy greens. Ample seating encourages visitors to stay awhile and bask in the warm, engaging space on the second floor of MacArthur Center.

Credit TCC alumna Leisa Arrington for the beautiful touches. Arrington designed the campus-based pantry that offers healthy meal kits to the college’s students through a service that’s currently online only due to COVID-19. The initiative, a partnership between TCC and the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore, is meant to address food insecurity among students.

“I was truly honored to lend my skills to this project. I wanted this to be a re-imagined place of provision, guidance, healing and safety,” Arrington said.

At the front counter students can pick up preselected meal kits – offerings include pasta Bolognese and stuffed peppers and roasted asparagus — each designed to feed a family of four.

Arrington designed the space using elements of “modern rustic” and “industrial farmhouse” design styles. The open floor plan includes warm wooden cabinetry balanced with a consistent color palette of rich earth tones and textures. An eclectic selection of furniture and art pieces adds to the mix, inviting students to relax, rejuvenate and refresh.

“I was excited and on board with the project from day one,” Arrington said. “I saw this as my chance to bring people together and support them through those turbulent times in their lives.”

Arrington earned an Associate of Applied Science in Interior Design and a Career Studies Certificate in Acquisition and Procurement from the college.

She previously launched her own business, Proverbial Interior Design Solutions, in 1988. A skilled seamstress, she was taught the craft by her Aunt Mattie Jones at age 8. Arrington started her business making window treatments, bedding and slipcovers.

Today she provides complete interior design services for her clients, noting on her website, It’s all in the details.Especially when it comes to creating the room of your dreams.”

“The hands-on work and the class presentations at TCC based on real ‘clients’ were so beneficial,” Arrington said.

Arrington also found a mentor in Professor Lana Sapozhnikov.

“Ms. Lana was a tough teacher, which excited me about her,” Arrington said. “She constantly challenged us and raised the bar high. She instilled in all of her students the ideals, traits and knowledge necessary to become professional interior designers.”

TCC’s acquisition and procurement certificate helped her weather tough financial times. She learned how to land state and government contracts and navigate vendor systems for both Virginia and North Carolina.

“When business declined during the housing market recession in the late 2000s, I was able to earn contracts with Norfolk State and Old Dominion Universities,” she said. “That kept me going, as we were doing a variety of tasks from designing window treatments to cleaning chandeliers.”

A Christian and mother of five and grandmother of 14, Arrington is a proponent of community college, noting, “TCC was a great place to start and can provide the training for higher-paying technical jobs or launch you to a four-year school.”

More information about The Community Feed at TCC is available at here.  For questions, email Dean Thomas E. Chatman, Jr. or Dean Kerry Ragno.

TCC expands its online options so you can earn your degree without coming to campus

If you think you don’t have time to come to campus for college, consider pursuing one of Tidewater Community College’s online degrees or certificates. Three are brand new this fall semester, which starts on Aug. 19.

TCC offers 15 in-demand programs fully online. On the list: Business Administration, General Studies, Liberal Arts, Social Sciences, Accounting, Acquisition and Procurement, Criminal Justice, Hospitality Management, Industrial Technology, Management, Land Surveying and Technical Studies.

TCC’s newest online programs are:

*Associate of Applied Science in Hospitality Management
*Associate of Applied Science in Technical Studies with a Specialization in Technical Supervision
*Career Studies Certificate in Acquisition and Procurement

TCC’s online programs offer the identical degree or certificate you would be earning if you were attending classes on campus.

And with 24/7 access to your virtual classroom, you can fit college study into your schedule on your time.

New! Hospitality Management 

Tourism is among the top three industries in Hampton Roads, and businesses are eager to please tourists and business travelers. If you have a people-first mentality, TCC’s hospitality management degree can prepare you for a fulfilling career in the lodging industry.

You’ll take courses in supervisory management, accounting, communications, cost control and marketing – a wide range to prepare you with the business background necessary to succeed in this dynamic field.

New! Technical Studies 

Your technical knowhow gives you a head start with this degree. This program rewards you for technical skills and professional experience already mastered. Start with up to 23 credits of advanced standing.

TCC launched this degree specifically for skilled workers who need formal education to advance their careers. The program is also one of our Z-Degree offerings, meaning you will pay zero for textbooks.

New! Acquisition and Procurement

This certificate prepares you for employment or advancement in positions within the industry. Accelerated curriculum enables you to complete the program in just two semesters

Course work covers contract law, pricing, negotiations and other processes. You will learn how to process requests for materials, manage inventory and troubleshoot issues with orders. Students are also instructed in the fundamentals of contract pricing and negotiation.

Interested? Find one-on-one help with financial aid, academic advising and registering for classes on any campus during Special Enrollment Day on Saturday, Aug. 17 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. New students can also receive help from TCC’s student support team by calling 757-822-1111 or emailing