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A lifetime of service to students and leaders

When Karen Campbell, Ph.D., was working on her bachelor’s at the University of Richmond, a mentor there suggested she look at higher education as a place where she could make a difference.

Campbell took that advice to heart and has spent 30 years helping students find their paths to success.

After working in area universities for more than a decade, Campbell joined TCC in 2005 as a Career Coach in area high schools. In that role, she directly supported students beginning their higher education journeys.

Campbell with high school students.

Over the years, Campbell has served in various leadership positions before being selected to the top spot for student services. She currently serves as vice president for student affairs and provides college-wide leadership for admissions, recruitment, registration, advising, education accessibility, student success, student activities, career services and more.

“I enjoy what I do every day,” Campbell said. “It’s rewarding to provide support for those who come through our doors as they prepare for the work they want to pursue.”

In her free time, Campbell also serves as state chair of the American Council on Education’s Women’s Virginia Network. The mission of the group is to identify, develop, advance, and support women in higher education.

“We all give our time to make sure women in Virginia have the skills and confidence to go to the next level if they choose to do so,” Campbell said.

 “We encourage women to consider positions out of their comfort zone and to also look at their skills through a different lens,” she added. “Ultimately, we encourage, engage and provide a network to help women leaders advance to the positions they seek.”

For those who may be considering careers in higher education in the future, Campbell says it is still a great place to make your mark while making a difference for others.

“I want everyone to know that higher education is a place you can learn and grow as a professional. It’s also a place where you can help other learners understand who they are and create confidence to build the leaders of the future.”

In her free time, Campbell enjoys traveling to experience different cultures and to learn people’s stories.  So far she has visited 25 countries and territories.

A $10K gift that keeps giving

It seems a little quieter around Tidewater Community College’s Norfolk Campus now that Business Professor Peter Shaw has retired from teaching.

Shaw was often seen in front of a TV camera doing interviews with local TV reporters about business issues of the day. Interestingly, Shaw completed more than 100 interviews over the last decade.

Shaw got his start at TCC as a student in the 1970s. He was the first of three children in his family to earn a degree. “My mom was a single parent and resources were tight. I came to TCC because the price was right and it was also very accessible,” he said.

A proud TCC alumnus, Shaw earned his Associate of Science in Business Administration in 1976. He continued his studies earning a bachelor’s in business from Old Dominion University and a master’s in business from William & Mary.

Shaw established a scholarship for TCC students just before he retired in 2022. The Business Pathway Scholarship was launched in 2021 with a $10,000 gift and has already provided scholarships for five students.

“I remember working my way through TCC and later Old Dominion and William & Mary. I got help from a lot of people and this is my way of paying back the generosity I received,” Shaw said.

Professor Peter Shaw with President Marcia Conston (left) and Dean Nancy Prather-Johnson.

Shaw taught business administration and management for 25 years at TCC. He says his fondest memories are those aha moments. “When you look in a student’s eye and see that they get it. Those are the moments I’ll treasure above anything else,” he said.

Shaw was well-loved by his students and recognized for his real-world knowledge of the topics he taught. He often mentored students and connected them with opportunities. One of his students, Griffin Leach, landed a summer internship at Towne Bank, thanks to the connections made by Shaw. Leach went on to work as an investment analyst on Wall Street and today is working in Washington, D.C. with a private equity group.

TCC alumnus Griffin Leach.

Recognized for his teaching excellence numerous times during his career, Shaw was TCC’s Professor of the Year in 2010 and he received the John and Suanne Roueche National Teaching Excellence Award from The League of Innovation in the Community College in 2012.

Shaw continues to serve the community as vice chair of the board of Future Hampton Roads. You can also still see him on local TV stations talking about current business issues.

“TCC is where I began my college journey and my gift to TCC is my way of saying I have not forgotten that,” Shaw said. “I see my contribution as a way of paying ‘rent’ for living in our society.”

If you would like information about TCC scholarships or would like to help students in need, please reach out to TCC’s Educational Foundation by emailing