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TCC Perry Glass Wheel Arts Center’s grand opening set for Sept. 20

The TCC Perry Glass Wheel Arts Center  is featuring two new exhibitions, “The TCC Revolving Art Faculty Exhibition” and “Barbara Kobylinska: Imaginary Creatures,” through December 31.

The artist’s reception and grand opening will be held on Sept. 20 from 6 – 7:30 p.m.

Galleries and events are free and open to the public.

In the first-floor gallery, selected members of TCC’s Visual Arts Center faculty will show their work in a wide variety of styles and approaches. Media include painting, encaustic, sculpture, glass, pottery, drawing, photography, mixed and more. Works will rotate on an ongoing basis.

A display of sculptural work by Virginia Beach’s Barbara Kobylinska is on exhibit in the second-floor gallery. Mixed media animals — a kangaroo, mole, monkey, cheetah, giraffe, fish, bugs and others — are made from found and recycled objects. The colorful and imaginative works portray the artist’s unique and whimsical interpretation of the natural world.

The TCC Perry Glass Wheel Arts Center is located at 128 W. Olney Road in Norfolk.

Gallery hours are Thursday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. For more information, call Shelley Brooks at 757-822-1878, or visit

Remembering Vinnie Lanier, a TCC student for more than four decades

Vinnie Lanier started classes at Tidewater Community College in 1976. During her 40-plus years here, the Norfolk resident earned more than 128 credits, taking classes that caught her fancy and kept her mind sharp.

Lanier, 85, lost her life on Feb. 17, after being struck by a hit-and-run driver in Norfolk.

“Ms. Vinnie was a woman of strength, determination and courage. She was known as ‘Ma Vinnie’ by students and those who knew her from the community,” said Angela Scott, admissions assistant. “Ms. Vinnie would often attend class and then go home and bring high school seniors back here to enroll. Sometimes this happened several times a day.”  Vinnie Lanier

Even after a recent hospitalization, Lanier returned to campus for spring semester, taking English and math classes.

“I first met Ms. Vinnie when I was her academic advisor,” said Kia Hardy, interim dean of student services. “Once you started talking with her, time would fly by. She lived each day to the fullest and was always sharing her wisdom. We knew her smile. Her voice. She was our grandma on campus. We were here to help her, but she was helping us, too.”

Lanier was a long-time parishioner of the Basilica of St. Mary in Norfolk. A celebration of her life will be held there on Feb. 22.

“Vinnie was an excellent example of Catholicism at its best. She lived her faith. She exuded it just by her presence,” said Oretha Pretlow, pastoral associate at St. Mary’s.  “Vinnie was always willing to help people and was interested in building people up and enhancing their lives. Her life was the best version of who she was.”

Added TCC administrator Latoya Smith, “Ms. Vinnie always stressed the importance of education. She was an example to the younger generation, showing them that if she could go to school, they could do the same thing. She believed that the best way to reach people was to be an example.”

Lanier’s legacy will live on in the students and TCC alumni who got their start in college because of her encouragement.

“We will miss her bubbly personality and her stories,” said Stacey Newton, enrollment services assistant. “She was one of a kind — a true inspiration.”

First generation alumna overcomes the odds to earn a second degree

A visit from a Tidewater Community College career coach resonated with Granby High student Alexis Knight.

Growing up in low-income housing, Knight didn’t plan on going to college. No one from her family ever had.

Today the 22-year-old is a TCC graduate working toward her bachelor’s in human services at Old Dominion University. She takes pride in that accomplishment, which included persevering after she became a mother during her time at TCC.

“I thought that would be the end of my education, but the people at TCC rallied around me, helped me make a plan to take a semester off, and then got me back on track with my degree,” said Knight, whose son, Kevin Jr., is 3. “My time at the college was transformative, and I grew so much. I know I wouldn’t be where I am today without TCC.”

Alexis Knight
Knight enjoys helping people with her work at Sentara.

Knight’s family provided support and cared for the baby so she could continue her education. “My family rallied around me, they believed in me and encouraged me to do my very best,” she said.

Knight connected with Kia Hardy, interim dean of student services, who ensured she was on track to graduate in two years. Hardy directed Knight with support services from the Women’s Center and Learning Assistance Center.

“Ms. Hardy was pregnant at the time and seeing her working and getting ready for her child, well, that motivated me to do the same thing,” Knight said. “I’m extremely thankful to TCC for helping me grow and giving me the foundation to be successful.”

Knight, who earned her Associate of Science in Social Sciences in 2017, will graduate again in May from ODU. A social work intern for a Sentara rehabilitation center, Knight is hopeful that she will transition into a full-time patient advocate upon graduation.

Knight also works part-time at Walmart, where she promotes TCC to others. “I used to think less of myself until I found out that I could do this. No matter where you come from, or even if you have a child, you can do this.

“I feel like I’m paving the way for my son and nieces. I may have been the first in college, but I know I won’t be the last.”

Discover your inner scientist as TCC celebrates Women’s History Month

Tidewater Community College celebrates Women’s History Month with a keynote speech by a nationally recognized scientist, a women’s empowerment symposium and a luncheon geared toward female students returning to college.

All events are free and open to the public.

Ainissa G. Ramirez, who aims to awaken the inner scientist in everyone, will deliver an address on March 27 at 12:30 p.m. at the Virginia Beach Campus Student Center in room K-320.

A scientist herself, Ramirez co-authored “Newton’s Football: The Science Behind America’s Game,” which tackles topics that include why woodpeckers don’t get concussions to how improved helmets actually make the game more dangerous.

Ramirez graduated from Yale University and earned her doctorate at Stanford University.

TCC Women’s History Month Events
An assortment of free, public activities throughout March will be held at each of TCC’s campuses. Events are subject to change and are on a first-come-first-served basis.

Chesapeake Campus

Returning Women’s Luncheon

March 22, 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Chesapeake Campus Student Center

Representatives from student support services and TCC’s Women’s Center will be on hand for networking.  Regina Brayboy, executive director of Healthy Suffolk, will present the keynote address. RSVP at

Norfolk Campus

Why Does She Matter?

March 15, Noon – 2 p.m.

Norfolk Campus Student Center, 5th Floor

LaJuan Hines-Rome, founder and director of She’ Matters GIRLS, Inc., a Norfolk based nonprofit that connects females ages 6 to 22 with mentors, will speak.

Documentary Day – “Hidden Figures”

March 21, Noon – 2 p.m.

Norfolk Campus Student Center, Women’s Center (3rd Floor)

Learn about women’s contributions to NASA during a showing of “Hidden Figures.”

Portsmouth Campus

Vision Board Workshop

March 12, Noon – 1 p.m.

Portsmouth Campus Student Center, room E-126

Create and design your own vision board and explore techniques for successful goal setting.

Her Story Pop-up

March 13, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Portsmouth Campus, lobby of Building A

Challenge your knowledge of women’s contributions to culture and advancement and win prizes.

Women’s Empowerment Symposium

March 23, 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Portsmouth Campus Student Center

Following the national theme of Women’s History Month, “Nevertheless, She Persisted,” the symposium will include plenary sessions, a keynote luncheon and a girl power exhibition fair. Reserve your seat at

Women’s Empowerment Pledge

March 28, 12:30 – 1:30 p.m.

Portsmouth Campus Student Center, Commons

Support women in their lives and pledge to be an agent of change on campus.

Virginia Beach Campus

Film – “She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry”

March 12, 10 a.m.

Virginia Beach Student Center, Movie Lounge

Filmmaker Mary Dore chronicles the events of the feminist movement from 1966 to 1971.

Voter Registration Drive

March 15, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Virginia Beach Campus Student Center Café

Register to vote in honor of the 19th Amendment.

Visual Arts Center

Her Story Pop-up

March 21, 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Challenge your knowledge of women’s contributions to culture and advancement and win prizes.

See and hear the sounds of TCC’s Literary Festival from April 2-5

Celebrated performer Charlotte Blake Alston, internationally renowned for her oral storytelling ability that enhances traditional and contemporary stories from African and African-American cultural traditions, will be the keynote speaker for Tidewater Community College’s 17th annual Literary Festival that runs from April 2-5.

The master storyteller, narrator and librettist will deliver her animated presentation at 12:30 p.m., on April 2 at the Virginia Beach Student Center, room K-320.

“Discovering Identity” is the theme for the annual literary festival. All events are free and open to the public.

Philadelphia’s Alston often combines the sounds of traditional instruments, such as the djembe, mbira, shekere or the 21-stringed kora, with her own melodic voice to engage her audience. She has appeared at Carnegie Hall, the Smithsonian Institution, John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the National Storytelling Festival and the National Black Storytelling Festival.

Others reading at the festival are:

Eric Hause

April 3 at 12:30 p.m., Norfolk Campus Student Center, 5th Floor

Norfolk’s own Hause has been an LGBTQ advocate since 1989. He has been involved with Hampton Roads Pride, Hampton Roads Business Outreach, the LGBT Life Center and Outer Banks Pridefest. He and husband Andrew Roberts publish and Outlife757 magazine, Coastal Virginia’s LGBTQ media, as well as the Coastal Virginia Gay Wedding Showcase.

Kevin So

April 4 at 12:30 p.m., Chesapeake Campus Academic Building, Black Box Theatre

Dubbed the Chinese-American Bruce Springsteen, the singer has produced 13 independently released CDs, including “Leaving the Lights On,” which confronts identity, relationships, history, family and racism. So launched his career in the early ’90s when he appeared on Fox TV’s “Big Break.”

Drew Anderson

April 5 at 12:30 p.m., Portsmouth Campus Student Center, Multipurpose Room 128

The New Orleans-bred and Washington, D.C.-based hip-hop artist, slam poet, producer, screenwriter and veteran middle and high school teacher connects with audiences thanks to his knack for satire. Anderson published his first collection of poetry in 2001, “Droopy: Dat Boy’s A Fool,” through his company Broke Baller Enterprises.

TCC faculty members and students will also read from their original works on the following dates and times:

April 3

Chesapeake Campus Student Center, room 4311 – 12:30 – 1:30 p.m.

Norfolk Campus Student Center, 5th floor – 12:30 – 1:30 p.m.

Portsmouth Campus Student Center – 12:30-1:30 p.m.

April 4

Virginia Beach Campus Student Center – 12:30-1:30 p.m.

For more information, call TCC’s Information Center at 757-822-1122. For maps and directions, visit

Accelerated Degree puts your education in high gear

Interested in fast-tracking your education? Tidewater Community College’s Accelerated Degree may be for you.

TCC is accepting applications for students interested in earning an Associate of Science in General Studies in just one year through its Accelerated Degree program. Upon completion, students may transfer their credits to a four-year college or university to work toward bachelor’s degrees.

This five-session program satisfies freshman and sophomore general education requirements at most Virginia public colleges and universities. Students who complete the degree and meet the GPA required for admission at their transfer institution will likely be admitted as juniors.

“The Accelerated Degree gives students the opportunity to complete a bachelor’s degree in three years,” said Jeffery Boyd, provost of the Norfolk Campus. “It’s a great fit for recent high school graduates and adult learners who are motivated and disciplined.”

Accelerated Degree students attend classes in eight-week sessions on the Norfolk Campus for nearly one year to earn the necessary 61 credits. Classes are tentatively set to meet Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The academic schedule is:

Session I: Aug. 20 – Oct. 15, 2018
Session II: Oct. 17 – Dec. 14, 2018
Session III: Jan. 14 – March 11, 2019
Session IV: March 18 – May 11, 2019
Session V: May 13 – July 9, 2019

Students who participate in the accelerated program can save thousands by completing two years of college at TCC versus a four-year institution. In addition, students receive personalized attention with a low faculty-to-student ratio and regular academic advising.
Want to know more?
Prospective students must complete admission requirements that are specific to the Accelerated Degree. The first step is to apply for TCC admission, and then contact Cassandra Small for more information. Small can be reached at 757-822-1723 or

Need more help? Contact TCC’s new student support team at 757-822-1111 or

Visit for details.
Here’s what recent graduates are saying about the Accelerated Degree

James Pettway

James Pettway came to TCC after serving as a hospital corpsman in the Navy for five years. He selected the program because he wanted to get through school quickly. “I grew up poor and was the definition of, ‘It takes a village to raise a child.’ I never even considered college before. I didn’t have the ambition or the drive. My first and only job before the Navy was at Walmart.”

While in the Navy, Pettway discovered his passion for medicine. At TCC, he learned he could be successful in the classroom. “When I got through those first courses, I realized that I was capable. I applied the same ambition and focus I used in the Navy to be successful. I did it because I put my head down and believed I could.”

Pettway is now at George Washington University studying nursing.

Stephanie Leggett graduated from Granby High in 2016, and while she took AP classes, she didn’t make the grades. She learned about the Accelerated Degree program from her high school guidance counselor.

Stephanie Leggett

“This program has shown me that I can accomplish great things,” she said. “I can get a degree in one year and things can get better. For me, it was important to be challenged so I wouldn’t get bored.”

Leggett excelled in the classroom and jumped into campus life. “The college is really diverse, and there’s a lot going on outside the classroom,” she said. “I see things differently now and believe anything is possible.”

Leggett transferred to Old Dominion. She wants to be an attorney to advocate for social justice.

Honoring the life of King every day on the job at TCC

Thomas Chatman remembers a time when college was not in his future. Now Tidewater Community College’s coordinator for First Year Success is at work on a doctorate while making sure others understand the value of higher education.

Chatman is the recipient of TCC’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Distinguished Service Award, given annually to honor the life achievements of King.

“Each of us has a duty to serve and not for our own needs, but for the greater good,” he said. “My mission in life is to help others live the best life possible.”

His life easily could have gone in a different direction. He was not college bound until he joined COYS, a leadership development program at Currituck County High School in North Carolina.

With the support of two mentors, Chatman made the grades and scored well on the SAT – and found friends for life.

Chatman, 46, now spends his days helping students discover their roads to success, including first-generation students like himself. He knows the transition to college can be difficult, so he works to make sure small bumps don’t become major obstacles for students.

“Mr. Chatman is very deserving of this recognition,” said Emanuel Chestnut, dean of student services on the Norfolk Campus. “A true servant leader, his character is unimpeachable, and his work ethic and compassion is unparalleled.”

Chatman coordinates student orientation, academic alert programs and student development course offerings for his campus. He also serves as the acting dean of student services on the Norfolk Campus when needed.

Recent accomplishments include spearheading mobile advising at TCC, which enables academic advisors to set up stations around campus and visit students on the go.

He also launched computer training workshops for new students, providing them with the necessary skills to be successful in school. He partnered with faculty, staff and Barnes & Noble representatives to collect supplies for new students including flash drives, notebooks, pens, paper and even backpacks.

Chatman is currently working on an initiative called the Power of 2, a mentoring program that matches students with professionals in their area of study.

A motivational speaker, Chatman delivers talks on leadership on TCC’s campuses and in area churches and high schools. The Moyock, N.C., resident is a member of Weeping Mary Church of Christ and active with his three teenage children, Brianna, Thomas and Brennan.

“I’m humbled by this award and see it as a mandate to continue my work,” Chatman said. “Also, my oldest is about to go to college and I want her to know the importance of doing more than what is required.”

Chatman holds a master’s in counseling from the University of Minnesota, a bachelor’s in elementary education and psychology from Elizabeth City State University and a certificate in public management from Virginia Commonwealth University. His doctorate will be in community care and counseling from Liberty University.