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Juneteenth Closure

TCC will be closed Wednesday, June 19, in observance of the Juneteenth holiday.

“I enjoy working on this team, as everyone works together to get the job done.” — Penny Chase

Penny Chase is TCC’s Wage Employee of the Year. As a trade technician on the Virginia Beach Campus, Chase is known for going the extra mile in her position.

“Penny comes in every day and gets in her golf cart and does what is asked of her, plus more,” said Regina Simmons, custodial supervisor at the Virginia Beach Campus. “Penny is always willing and ready to help. I’ve seen her stop and help students who may be lost or have questions. Everyone knows who she is and speaks highly of her.”

Chase, a Virginia Beach resident, has worked at TCC since 2017.

Chase is largely responsible for the exterior appearance of the Virginia Beach Campus grounds. She ensures that all 80 outdoor trash cans are emptied each shift and picks up any debris littering the campus. She handles a myriad of tasks, largely outdoors, during the cold winter months and hot summers.

Chase says curb appeal is important and she wants to do her part to make a good impression when people come to campus.

“I am both honored and humbled by this award because the people I work with put in far more hours and have more responsibility than I do,” she said. “I enjoy working on this team, as everyone works together to get the job done.”

Chase also noted, “The best part is that I’m outside and get to see an air show with the Navy jets flying overhead each day!”

Chase says her children and grandchildren are her favorite accomplishments. She is the mother of a son, Paul Primmer, and a daughter, Philena Brant. She has three grandchildren who she enjoys spending time with.

In her free time, Chase can be found fishing from any nearby shoreline.

“One thing I always try to do is treat people fairly and work hard.” — Tommy Armstrong

Thomas “Tommy” Armstrong was recognized by the college’s Classified Association for his innovative leadership as facilities manager for Trades Services on the Virginia Beach Campus. Armstrong’s department covers the physical maintenance of the campus, which includes 126 acres of land and 13 buildings.

Armstrong and his team oversee the electrical, plumbing, HVAC and other system needs of the campus. They also respond to all after-hours emergencies, prepare for storms, and clean up after any weather event.

“Tommy believes in top-of-the-line service and performance. He does not cut corners and is willing to roll up his sleeves as a supervisor to accomplish all that needs to get done,” said Virginia Beach Campus Dean Kia Hardy.

Armstrong, a Currituck, N.C. resident, says he is humbled by this award. “It means a lot. One thing I always try to do is treat people fairly and work hard,” he said. “This award is the best I’ve ever received.”

He continued, “I’m accepting this award on behalf of myself and the staff I lead. They are all remarkable and work hard every day to ensure we have a safe and operational campus.”

Armstrong started at TCC in 1994 and has worked in facilities management on every campus. While working in the Electrical department Armstrong was instrumental in installing the fiber optic cabling, that provides phone and internet services across the college.

He also was involved in the building of the new Portsmouth Campus, as he was the trades manager at that campus between 2009-2013.

 A man of faith, Armstrong prays for the safety of staff each day. He said, “We work on systems that can cause severe harm or even death. Before coming to work I pray that my staff can go home at the end of each day and also for the knowledge, skills and ability to do all that we are asked to do.”

Armstrong was raised on a farm in North Carolina. He earned a degree from Guilford Technical Institute and is certified by the Department of Professional Regulations as a Master Electrician.

Tommy enjoys spending time with his wife of 36 years, Marie Armstrong, who has always supported his work as a maintenance manager. During inclement weather, she would pack his suitcase and food to get him through time spent on campus overseeing snow removal and monitoring conditions.

The couple has a side catering business and are known for their Carolina-style barbeque and their chicken. They also grow vegetables in a year-round garden. The couple have two grown sons and also cared for their niece, Victoria Smith, who had special needs and passed away at age 32 in 2022.

“My mamma always said a good name is better than riches,” Armstrong added. “She always wanted me to get the ‘Good Citizenship’ award, and I never did because I was very mischievous. This award represents that for me. I finally made it!”

“I love showing students that art is all around us.” — Alison Napier

Alison Napier is the recipient of the Outstanding Adjunct Faculty Award. She is an art historian recognized for her significant contributions to course development and her focus on student success. 

Her passion for Art History comes from her curious nature and investigative spirit. “Art History is fascinating because you look at history, what’s happening in the world, and the cultural impact and then you are able to see how those factors result in the artwork of the day,” she said. “You really get to play an art detective.”  

Napier saw that Art History had a stigma of being for the elite and was drawn to being a professor in order to help everyone understand the joy of the subject. Throughout her career, Napier has taught at a variety of schools. She spent 20 years teaching at high schools and has worked at both small and large universities.

She enjoys teaching at a community college and working with a diverse student population who are all in different places in their lives. She says, “I love showing them that art is all around us and how it all ties together in the big picture.”

As an accomplished teacher of online courses, Napier was approached by the Distance Learning department and asked to create Open Educational Resource versions of four art courses. She created those course offerings, and now they use free online resources instead of textbooks.

Napier recognizes that oftentimes class resources can provide a financial barrier to students, and she gladly made these contributions to course development. In addition, she applied the same free resources in her own classes to help keep students enrolled and moving forward in their education.

Napier said, “I was honored to receive this award, and it is proof that we are overcoming the stigma around online courses. It is an acknowledgment not only of me, but of all online teachers.”  

Outside of teaching at TCC, Napier is a doctoral candidate writing her dissertation and working a full-time job. She holds two master’s degrees from Old Dominion University – one in humanities and art history and the other in applied linguistics and teaching English as a second language. She is at work on her doctorate in American studies and material culture from the College of William and Mary. 

She enjoys free time with her husband and two Labrador retrievers. Napier also enjoys driving her jeep to the beach, swimming and going to art museums to stay current on art exhibits to share with her students.

“It’s wonderful to see students grow in their knowledge of this emerging field.” — Judy Gill

Judy Gill, director of Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) operations and associate professor of mathematics, was honored by the Faculty Senate with the Faculty Special Achievement award for her development of the Drone Pilot Program at TCC.

Gill, who joined the college full-time in 2004 teaches UAS and developmental and college-level math. “I am honored to be recognized by my peers with this award,” she said. “It means a great deal to me.”  

Gill was motivated to start the drone program at the college because she had always been passionate about new technology. She saw UAS or drones growing in popularity and becoming an indispensable tool in many industries. She wanted to find a way to help meet the country’s growing need for drone operators.

Gill began teaching drone classes at TCC during Fall Semester of 2022. The full program will be up and running in 2024.

“TCC’s drone classes provide students with a place to utilize their creativity while gaining knowledge in a subject they are enthusiastic about,” said Gill. “It is wonderful to see students grow in their skills and knowledge of this emerging field.

Gill earned her Federal Aviation Administration’s Part 107 UAS Pilot License and began training to teach drone operations in 2018. She was one of the first faculty in the Virginia Community College system to participate in the Geospatial Technician Education-Unmanned Aircraft Systems Institute at Virginia Tech. The program was funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation, administered by the Virginia Space Grant Consortium. 

During the program, she learned to plan missions, fly drones, collect data, and maintain Unmanned Aircraft Systems. 

Through TCC’s hands-on program, students will learn how to plan missions and fly drones as well as gain the knowledge necessary to obtain their FAA Part 107 UAS pilot license. In addition to the skills necessary for operating drones, Gill finds that her students learn interpersonal communication skills and how to collaborate with a team to accomplish goals.

Gill’s passion for drones extends outside of the classroom. She enjoys attending drone light shows when they come to the Hampton Roads area. These displays feature 200-300 drones flying in formation while displaying colorful lights with accompanying music. She also enjoys flying drones for fun and learning about drones both in a recreational and educational setting.

A Virginia Beach resident, Gill holds a master’s in computational and applied mathematics from Old Dominion University and a bachelor’s in mathematics with a concentration in economics from Christopher Newport University. When she is not flying drones, Gill enjoys spending time with her family and pets, going to the beach, and playing pickleball.

“TCC is more than a college. It’s a place that changes lives.” — Heather Boone

Heather Boone is the Professor of the Year, chosen by the Faculty Senate. Professor Boone has taught Graphic Design at the college since 2008 and is being honored for her dedication to student success and engagement.

Boone, a Virginia Beach resident, teaches typography, publication design, interaction design and systems design in online, in-person and hybrid formats.

“TCC is more than a college. It’s a place that changes lives,” Boone said. “Some students have so many obligations with families and full-time jobs and it’s rewarding when they reach their goals, find meaningful work and then reach out to tell you how well they are doing.” 

Her recent accomplishments include preparing for the new Visual Arts + Design Center, which is set to open on the Norfolk Campus in the fall. “It’s great to be in downtown Norfolk with plenty of design businesses and activity,” Boone said. “In addition, the design space is beautiful, and we have a lot of room to spread out.” 

Boone recently reworked the Associate of Applied Science in Graphic Design degree with Professor Mary Lee Shumate. The new degree is cohesive and covers all areas of design from visual communication to website design to motion graphics.

“It is so rewarding when you see students realize they love this career. They become excited by every project and want to see the classes just keep going,” she said. “Helping students find their path is the best part of the job.” 

Boone serves as the faculty advisor for the 340 Art and Design annual publication, formerly 340 High Street, and has facilitated ten editions. The most recently printed 23rd edition honors the journey of the Arts Center from Portsmouth to the Norfolk Campus. The 24th edition is currently in production and Boone is scheduled to begin the 25th edition with students in the Fall Semester at the new Arts + Design Center.

When she isn’t teaching, Boone spends free time with her son, William. The pair enjoy swimming, traveling and frequent trips to New York City. William is following in his mom’s footsteps with a passion for art and design. Recently awarded art student of the year in his grade, William is currently designing his own typeface.

Boone holds a Master of Fine Arts in design and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in painting and printmaking from Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts. She is also an alum of the School of Visual Arts in New York City and Winchester School of Art, part of the University of Southampton, in the U.K.

TCC celebrates annual award winners

Tidewater Community College recognizes five faculty and staff members from across the college with annual special awards on Aug. 17, 2023.

Selected by their peers, the honorees received their awards at TCC’s 2023 Fall Convocation held at the college’s Chesapeake Campus.

Professor of the Year
Heather Boone – Professor of Graphic Design

Heather Boone is the Professor of the Year, chosen by the Faculty Senate. Professor Boone has taught Graphic Design at the college since 2008 and is being honored for her dedication to student success and engagement.

Boone, a Virginia Beach resident, teaches typography, publication design, interaction design and systems design in online, in-person and hybrid formats.

“TCC is more than a college. It’s a place that changes lives,” Boone said. “Some students have so many obligations with families and full-time jobs and it’s rewarding when they reach their goals, find meaningful work and then reach out to tell you how well they are doing.” 

Her recent accomplishments include preparing for the new Visual Arts + Design Center, which is set to open on the Norfolk Campus in the fall. “It’s great to be in downtown Norfolk with plenty of design businesses and activity,” Boone said. “In addition, the design space is beautiful, and we have a lot of room to spread out.” 

Boone recently reworked the Associate of Applied Science in Graphic Design degree with Professor Mary Lee Shumate. The new degree is cohesive and covers all areas of design from visual communication to website design to motion graphics.

“It is so rewarding when you see students realize they love this career. They become excited by every project and want to see the classes just keep going,” she said. “Helping students find their path is the best part of the job.” 

Boone serves as the faculty advisor for the 340 Art and Design annual publication, formerly 340 High Street, and has facilitated ten editions. The most recently printed 23rd edition honors the journey of the Arts Center from Portsmouth to the Norfolk Campus. The 24th edition is currently in production and Boone is scheduled to begin the 25th edition with students in the Fall Semester at the new Arts + Design Center.

When she isn’t teaching, Boone spends free time with her son, William. The pair enjoy swimming, traveling and frequent trips to New York City. William is following in his mom’s footsteps with a passion for art and design. Recently awarded art student of the year in his grade, William is currently designing his own typeface.

Boone holds a Master of Fine Arts in design and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in painting and printmaking from Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts. She is also an alum of the School of Visual Arts in New York City and Winchester School of Art, part of the University of Southampton, in the U.K.


Faculty Special Achievement
Judy Gill – Professor of Mathematics

Judy Gill, director of Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) operations and associate professor of mathematics, was honored by the Faculty Senate with the Faculty Special Achievement award for her development of the Drone Pilot Program at TCC.

Gill, who joined the college full-time in 2004 teaches UAS and developmental and college-level math. “I am honored to be recognized by my peers with this award,” she said. “It means a great deal to me.”  

Gill was motivated to start the drone program at the college because she had always been passionate about new technology. She saw UAS or drones growing in popularity and becoming an indispensable tool in many industries. She wanted to find a way to help meet the country’s growing need for drone operators.

Gill began teaching drone classes at TCC during Fall Semester of 2022. The full program will be up and running in 2024.

Gill earned her Federal Aviation Administration’s Part 107 UAS Pilot License and began training to teach drone operations in 2018. She was one of the first faculty in the Virginia Community College system to participate in the Geospatial Technician Education-Unmanned Aircraft Systems Institute at Virginia Tech. The program was funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation, administered by the Virginia Space Grant Consortium. 

During the program, she learned to plan missions, fly drones, collect data, and maintain Unmanned Aircraft Systems. 

Through TCC’s hands-on program, students will learn how to plan missions and fly drones as well as gain the knowledge necessary to obtain their FAA Part 107 UAS pilot license. In addition to the skills necessary for operating drones, Gill finds that her students learn interpersonal communication skills and how to collaborate with a team to accomplish goals.

Gill’s passion for drones extends outside of the classroom. She enjoys attending drone light shows when they come to the Hampton Roads area. These displays feature 200-300 drones flying in formation while displaying colorful lights with accompanying music. She also enjoys flying drones for fun and learning about drones both in a recreational and educational setting.

A Virginia Beach resident, Gill holds a master’s in computational and applied mathematics from Old Dominion University and a bachelor’s in mathematics with a concentration in economics from Christopher Newport University. When she is not flying drones, Gill enjoys spending time with her family and pets, going to the beach, and playing pickleball.

Outstanding Adjunct Faculty
Alison Napier –
Assistant Professor of Art History

Alison Napier is the recipient of the Outstanding Adjunct Faculty Award. She is an art historian recognized for her significant contributions to course development and her focus on student success. 

Her passion for Art History comes from her curious nature and investigative spirit. “Art History is fascinating because you look at history, what’s happening in the world, and the cultural impact and then you are able to see how those factors result in the artwork of the day,” she said. “You really get to play an art detective.”  

Napier saw that Art History had a stigma of being for the elite and was drawn to being a professor in order to help everyone understand the joy of the subject. Throughout her career, Napier has taught at a variety of schools. She spent 20 years teaching at high schools and has worked at both small and large universities.

She enjoys teaching at a community college and working with a diverse student population who are all in different places in their lives. She says, “I love showing them that art is all around us and how it all ties together in the big picture.”

As an accomplished teacher of online courses, Napier was approached by the Distance Learning department and asked to create Open Educational Resource versions of four art courses. She created those course offerings, and now they use free online resources instead of textbooks.

Napier recognizes that oftentimes class resources can provide a financial barrier to students, and she gladly made these contributions to course development. In addition, she applied the same free resources in her own classes to help keep students enrolled and moving forward in their education.

Napier said, “I was honored to receive this award, and it is proof that we are overcoming the stigma around online courses. It is an acknowledgment not only of me, but of all online teachers.”  

Outside of teaching at TCC, Napier is a doctoral candidate writing her dissertation and working a full-time job. She holds two master’s degrees from Old Dominion University – one in humanities and art history and the other in applied linguistics and teaching English as a second language. She is at work on her doctorate in American studies and material culture from the College of William and Mary. 

She enjoys free time with her husband and two Labrador retrievers. Napier also enjoys driving her jeep to the beach, swimming and going to art museums to stay current on art exhibits to share with her students.

Classified Employee of the Year
Tommy Armstrong – Facilities Manager – Trade Services

Tommy Armstrong was recognized by the college’s Classified Association for his innovative leadership as facilities manager for Trades Services on the Virginia Beach Campus. Armstrong’s department covers the physical maintenance of the campus, which includes 126 acres of land and 13 buildings.

Armstrong and his team oversee the electrical, plumbing, HVAC and other system needs of the campus. They also respond to all after-hours emergencies, prepare for storms, and clean up after any weather event.

“Tommy believes in top-of-the-line service and performance. He does not cut corners and is willing to roll up his sleeves as a supervisor to accomplish all that needs to get done,” said Virginia Beach Campus Dean Kia Hardy.

Armstrong, a Currituck, N.C. resident, says he is humbled by this award. “It means a lot. One thing I always try to do is treat people fairly and work hard,” he said. “This award is the best I’ve ever received.”

He continued, “I’m accepting this award on behalf of myself and the staff I lead. They are all remarkable and work hard every day to ensure we have a safe and operational campus.”

Armstrong started at TCC in 1994 and has worked in facilities management on every campus. While working in the Electrical department Armstrong was instrumental in installing the fiber optic cabling, that provides phone and internet services across the college.

He also was involved in the building of the new Portsmouth Campus, as he was the trades manager at that campus between 2009-2013.

 A man of faith, Armstrong prays for the safety of staff each day. He said, “We work on systems that can cause severe harm or even death. Before coming to work I pray that my staff can go home at the end of each day and also for the knowledge, skills and ability to do all that we are asked to do.”

Armstrong was raised on a farm in North Carolina. He earned a degree from Guilford Technical Institute and is certified by the Department of Professional Regulations as a Master Electrician.

Tommy enjoys spending time with his wife of 36 years, Marie Armstrong, who has always supported his work as a maintenance manager. During inclement weather, she would pack his suitcase and food to get him through time spent on campus overseeing snow removal and monitoring conditions.

The couple has a side catering business and are known for their Carolina-style barbeque and their chicken. They also grow vegetables in a year-round garden. The couple have two grown sons and also cared for their niece, Victoria Smith, who had special needs and passed away at age 32 in 2022.

“My mamma always said a good name is better than riches,” Armstrong added. “She always wanted me to get the ‘Good Citizenship’ award, and I never did because I was very mischievous. This award represents that for me. I finally made it!”

Wage Employee of the Year
Penny Chase

Penny Chase is TCC’s Wage Employee of the Year. As a trade technician on the Virginia Beach Campus, Chase is known for going the extra mile in her position.

“Penny comes in every day and gets in her golf cart and does what is asked of her, plus more,” said Regina Simmons, custodial supervisor at the Virginia Beach Campus. “Penny is always willing and ready to help. I’ve seen her stop and help students who may be lost or have questions. Everyone knows who she is and speaks highly of her.”

Chase, a Virginia Beach resident, has worked at TCC since 2017.

Chase is largely responsible for the exterior appearance of the Virginia Beach Campus grounds. She ensures that all 80 outdoor trash cans are emptied each shift and picks up any debris littering the campus. She handles a myriad of tasks, largely outdoors, during the cold winter months and hot summers.

Chase says curb appeal is important and she wants to do her part to make a good impression when people come to campus.

“I am both honored and humbled by this award because the people I work with put in far more hours and have more responsibility than I do,” she said. “I enjoy working on this team, as everyone works together to get the job done.”

Chase also noted, “The best part is that I’m outside and get to see an air show with the Navy jets flying overhead each day!”

Chase says her children and grandchildren are her favorite accomplishments. She is the mother of a son, Paul Primmer, and a daughter, Philena Brant. She has three grandchildren who she enjoys spending time with.

In her free time, Chase can be found fishing from any nearby shoreline.

TCC alum lands dream job at NASA

Kyle Epperly is a Tidewater Community College alum twice over. He earned his first associate degree in Automotive Technology in 2006. For the last 12 years, he worked at Hall Automotive as a master technician.

Kyle came to TCC once again looking for a new career. He wanted work that was less physically demanding, more challenging and on the cutting-edge of technology.

He found TCC’s Mechatronics degree online and started a new journey.

While at TCC, Kyle learned about an internship opportunity at NASA Langley. He applied and began working there in January of 2023. He is now an engineering technician apprentice and working on testing structures for spacecraft.

Mechatronics is suited for students like Kyle with a passion for technology who enjoy hands-on work. He said, “The transition from being an automotive technician to working in mechatronics has been easy. I’m still doing what I’ve always loved which is working with my hands and technology.”

Mechatronics students spend about half the time in classroom instruction and the rest in state-of-the-art laboratories. Kyle said, “What I liked most about TCC is that it gave me the skills that I actually use in my job now. Every class was hands-on which really helped me understand the material. You don’t just learn theory but get to see how the systems really work.”

The Associate of Applied Science in Mechatronics covers motor controls, hydraulics, computer programming, pneumatics, programmable logic controllers and more. The broad industry allows students to use the degree to specialize in something they love or do something different each day.

Kyle is part of the Materials and Structures Experiment branch where he performs tests to ensure that materials measure up to NASA’s durability expectations.

The mechatronics industry is constantly growing and expanding which provides people the opportunity to continually increase their knowledge in the field. There are plenty of advanced manufacturing firms in Hampton Roads that provide graduates with ample job prospects. According to the Department of Labor Job Outlook, mechatronics technicians earn a median salary of $60,360 per year or about $29 per hour.

Kyle is confident he made the right decision to return to school and pursue this career. He said, “I am grateful that my family was so supportive and pushed me to find the time to pursue this degree while still working a full-time job. It was worth all the hard work.”

For more information regarding Mechatronics at TCC, contact Thomas Stout at tstout@tcc.edu or call TCC’s Virtual Student Support Team at 757-822-1111.

TCC faculty get an up-close look at offshore wind project

New jobs are on the horizon for offshore wind turbine technicians, welders, electricians and more to support Dominion Energy’s Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind (CVOW) facility, which will include 176 wind turbines.

Tidewater Community College is gearing up to offer additional industry training. With help from the city of Virginia Beach, it’s investing in $300,000 worth of wind turbine equipment.

TCC has also developed a curriculum for Offshore Wind Energy Technicians. The new certificate will launch as the jobs become readily available.

There are currently two wind turbines located 27 miles offshore, with the remaining structures to be constructed up to 50 miles into the Atlantic Ocean.

This month, TCC faculty member Steven Capaldo, assistant professor in the Engineering, Maritime and Skilled Trades Pathway, spent the day on the water touring the area and getting an up-close look at the turbines. He traveled on a boat with Dominion Energy representatives and got an insider’s look at what’s to come.

“It was spectacular to see the structures and learn more about this vital program for our region,” Capaldo said.

Since 2010, TCC has offered a Career Studies Certificate in Renewable Energy Technologies that prepares students for careers in the manufacturing and installation of clean energy technologies such as wind and solar. However, new classes have been designed with an emphasis on Mechatronics, Electrical Technology and Electronics Technology, which are specifically relevant for technicians for the offshore wind farm.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated in 2022 that the mean average annual wage for wind turbine service technicians is $59,880. Technicians are trained to inspect, diagnose, adjust or repair wind turbines. They will perform maintenance on wind turbine equipment including resolving electrical, mechanical and hydraulic malfunctions.

The CVOW initiative will include the turbines, as well as three offshore substations, undersea cables and new onshore transmission infrastructure to deliver emissions-free wind power to homes and businesses.

TCC’s effort to train the next generation of wind energy technicians is being led by Dean David Ekker in the Engineering, Maritime and Skilled Trades Pathway and faculty members Capaldo and Anthony Jones, who teach the maritime trades.

TCC staffer pays it forward at the CMVE

Meet Ed Sivells. He is a proud Navy veteran who is paying it forward at TCC.

Sivells is one of the certifying officials for the Center for Military and Veterans Education (CMVE). Last week, he submitted the 1 millionth application to certify a military-related student for educational benefits through the Veterans Administration’s new enrollment management site.

To mark the occasion, Ed is being featured in a video for the VA. And sharing his story.

Sivells is a retired Navy senior chief petty officer. He was a culinary specialist who served the Office of the Secretary of Defense, preparing meals in the White House. He also spent time in Washington, D.C. as an enlisted aide to Admirals.

When he retired from the military, he came to TCC to earn an associate degree and landed a position as a work-study student in the CMVE. He became a full-time staff member in 2017. “I found my calling in this place. When I saw the opportunity to serve military members and their families, it sparked a passion in me.”

He added, “You can hear the sound of relief in their voices when we help them find a path forward. I know what it’s like to walk in their shoes and this job is my way of giving back.”

Sivells earned a Hospitality Management degree from TCC and a bachelor’s in business administration from Regent University.

Sivells encourages other veterans to follow in his footsteps. “TCC is a veteran-friendly school with people here to help. TCC made me feel comfortable in the transition from the military and I’m grateful. Now it’s my joy to make things happen for other members of the military community.”

For more information about the CMVE, visit here.

TCC selected as an education partner for Amazon’s Career Choice Program

Tidewater Community College has been selected as an education partner for Amazon’s Career Choice program, providing Amazon’s hourly employees access to all of TCC’s career and technical programs, as well as the college’s transfer programs that enable students to a build solid academic foundation and save on the cost of college.

TCC President Marcia Conston says, “Tidewater Community College is proud to partner with Amazon’s Career Choice, providing more higher education opportunities for Amazon’s growing workforce in Hampton Roads.” She added, “TCC offers multiple, flexible pathways for students to learn while working full, or part-time. This partnership with Amazon is ideal for students who want to work for an organization that invests in their education and in their futures.”

TCC is one of the largest providers of higher education in the state of Virginia. The college has campuses in Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth and Virginia Beach, as well as the Regional Automotive Center, the Center for Workforce Solutions and the Visual Arts and Design Center which is opening soon.

Amazon’s Career Choice program is an educational benefit that empowers employees to learn new skills for career success at Amazon or elsewhere. The program meets individual learners where they are on their education journey through a variety of education and upskilling opportunities including pre-paid college tuition, industry certifications designed to lead to in-demand jobs, and foundational skills such as English language proficiency, high school diplomas and GEDs.

Amazon Fulfillment Center in Suffolk, Virginia.

Amazon’s Suffolk location is home to around 2,500 employees who have an opportunity to take part in Amazon’s Career Choice program. The 3.8 million-square-foot facility is automated with hundreds of robots that help the workers push out the majority of Amazon packages that are delivered in Hampton Roads. 

Amazon’s Career Choice program has a rigorous selection process for third-party partner educators, choosing partners that are focused on helping employees through their education programs, assisting them with job placements, and overall offering education that leads to career success. 

“We’re looking forward to Tidewater Community College coming on board as an education partner for Career Choice, adding to the hundreds of best-in-class offerings available to our employees,” said Tammy Thieman, Global Program Lead of Amazon’s Career Choice program. “We’re committed to empowering our employees by providing them access to the education and training they need to grow their careers, whether that’s with us or elsewhere.”

TCC grads make strides in careers

Meet Nina Vahadi and Delaney Theilman. They are both Tidewater Community College graduates who earned Engineering degrees in May.

During summers both grads are making strides in their careers.

They are now encouraging others to follow their lead. “If I can do this, so can anyone. Take your time and don’t burn out,” Delaney said. Nina added, “Stick to your guns, and don’t let doubt take over. Just keep going!”

Nina and Delaney on TCC’s Norfolk Campus.

Nina, who landed an engineering aide position at Lockheed Martin, is spending this summer as a NASA intern and is working on the Lucy mission. During its 12-year primary mission, Lucy will explore a record-breaking number of asteroids, flying by one main-belt asteroid, and seven Trojans.

“This is really exciting because the mission is focused on the Trojan asteroids to interpret how our solar system started,” Nina said. “I’m going to be working on the hardware for a test flight simulator and can’t wait to get started!”

Last summer Delaney was the leader of TCC’s team for the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) Model Design Competition held in June. She led her team to take third place. “Practice makes perfect, and we did plenty of that preparing for this competition,” she said. “We had to come up with our own ideas and not use any kits.”

This ASEE competition is open to students at both 2-year and 4-year colleges. All of the TCC’s participants were members of the Engineering Club and the STEM Club.

Both women say they received phenomenal support from the college. They credit their professors for providing quality education. And also, for supporting them in outside projects.

“When I wanted to bring a wind project to the school, they backed me up and helped me write the grant proposal for the Repowering Schools Small Wind Turbine Research,” Delaney said. “That project is continuing even after I graduate from TCC.”

Nina added, “And when I wanted to bring NASA’s RockOn! program to the school they helped me get the funding.” The RockOn! program enabled students to learn and apply skills in building experiments for suborbital space flight. Student teams from across the nation participated in the program.

Looking back Nina says it’s amazing to see her forward progress. “I started studying biology and was thinking about the healthcare field. And then I realized that I wanted to build things and I found engineering,” she said.

Delaney never thought college was for her until the pandemic hit. “I found myself needing to retrain,” Delaney said. “I’ve been obsessed with Legos forever and spent hours watching TED Talks with women engineers. I was really inspired by their stories and decided to give engineering and TCC a try. I’m so glad I did!”

Both women are proud to represent women in the STEM fields. “There are many women in history who inspire us and have left big footprints for us to follow,” Delaney said. “But you still feel accomplished each step of the way and that in turn helps you keep going.”

Looking ahead, Nina is pursuing an engineering bachelor’s degree at Old Dominion University and will be working full-time at Lockheed Martin. Delany will continue her education at Virginia Tech and is studying computer and systems engineering.

Delaney is a proud Navy wife who has two dogs named Luna and Nova. Nina and her boyfriend also have two dogs they call Rocky and Billy.

Boy Scout leader finds a home at TCC

Zach Grinvalsky just completed his first year at Tidewater Community College and is confident he made the right choice by attending community college. Zach chose TCC because of the flexibility it gave him to work and help support his family while receiving a college education. When starting college last year, he was unsure of what to expect but has since found a supportive community that is always there to help him achieve his dreams.

Zach is on track to earn an Associate of Science in Business Administration with the goal of pursuing a career as a corporate lawyer. He originally started at TCC undecided about what to study, but TCC’s Career Services Center helped him discover his passion for law. He says, they were very helpful in leading me on the right track and getting me connected.”

Outside of classes, Zach is the national chief of Boy Scouts of America’s Order of the Arrow, the scouts’ leadership and mentorship program. He credits TCC with preparing him for this role by teaching him effective time management and organizational skills.

He says “I took what I had learned about staying organized at school and pivoted that into my position at Order of the Arrow.” When he is not attending classes, working or fulfilling Order of the Arrow responsibilities, Zach loves to spend time outside. He and his friends go to the beach, go hiking and walk his dog, Kit.

Zach believes community college is an excellent choice for many students as it offers a lot of flexibility. He says, “TCC specifically has a lot of great programs if you want to pursue different career paths. It is something special that you should take advantage of.” He encourages students to utilize the beautiful campuses and many resources that TCC has to offer.

Skilled Trades Academy expanding to offer more training options for students

A celebratory event marked the start of the expansion of Tidewater Community College’s Skilled Trades Academy (STA) in Portsmouth.

The expansion will provide an additional 12,000 square feet of space for workforce training.

The STA opened in 2019 and is currently a 20,000-square-foot academy, located at 3303 Airline Blvd. It is one of the largest trade academies run by a community college on the East Coast and the only one of its kind in Virginia. It provides short-term workforce training for in-demand careers in construction, maritime trades and more.

Mayor Shannon Glover with President Marcia Conston.

“We are growing because we want to address our workforce needs in the community,” said TCC President Marcia Conston. “Students come here with no background in the skilled trades and leave with skills that enable them to provide for their families long term.”

TCC student Jacob Talmage came to the STA to train for a new career. “I saw the welding program on TCC’s website, decided to give it a try, and now I’m working full-time as a welder in the maritime industry,” he said.

The program included a ceremonial wall demolition with speakers using sledgehammers to knock it down!

The expansion of the facility comes at a time when 79 percent of Hampton Roads businesses express concerns about training employees.

Portsmouth Mayor Shannon Glover shared his enthusiasm for the expansion of the academy. “Thank you TCC team for direct action to meet the demand for skilled workers in our region,” Mayor Glover said. “We know that as we give people a future, we are saving their lives.”

The current trades offered at the academy are marine coating, pipefitting, pipe laying, welding, carpentry, roofing, sheet metal, wind energy and electric vehicle repair. The expansion will increase program capacity in these offerings by 63 percent.

In addition, the expansion will increase program offerings by 33 percent. New programs include building maintenance, heavy equipment operator, logistics, shipfitter, electrical and HVAC.

The event was sponsored by Elizabeth River Crossings OpCo (ERC) and Virginia Ship Repair Association (VSRA) and TCC’s Educational Foundation.

Event speakers included Tamara Williams, President Marcia Conston, Anna Bonnett, Delceno Miles, Mayor Glover and student Jacob Talmage

ERC Chief Executive Officer Anna Bonnet reflected on their commitment to supporting student success and now expanding that commitment to grow the academy. “We are proud to provide significant financial support for this expansion project,” she said. “As an infrastructure company that connects our cities through tunnels and roads, we are pleased to now connect our region’s workforce to higher-paying, more stable careers.”

TCC Educational Foundation board member Fred Pasquine noted that the STA is a place where people are able to work with their hands and their minds. Pasquine also serves on the VSRA advisory board, giving him a unique perspective on student success. “TCC is equipped to help students succeed with training opportunities,” Pasquine said. “But they can’t do it alone. It takes industry engagement to meet the needs of our community.”

TCC students with Talmage (left).

To date, 96 percent of students who are certified in training programs through the STA are hired by regional employers. They are career-ready and have the in-demand trade skills, as well as the soft skills needed to succeed on the job.

New Child Development Centers opening at TCC Campuses

Tidewater Community College values quality education for both you and your children, which is why new TCC Child Development Centers will be opening on the Portsmouth and Norfolk Campuses starting Fall Semester 2023. These centers will provide quality care and developmental learning for children of TCC students, helping them thrive while their parents pursue higher education. Full-time students with a FAFSA on file with the Financial Aid office are eligible to apply for child care scholarships.

The first center will open on the Portsmouth Campus in mid-August followed by a second location on the Norfolk Campus opening in January 2024. The Child Development Centers will be staffed by TCC’s Early Childhood Development program alumni and students. They will focus on teaching children school readiness and important skills through play. 

Ciera Streeter, director of TCC’s Childhood Development Centers, urges all students with children ages 3-5 to apply for this opportunity. She said, “Parents will be able to attend in-person classes, complete internships or program requirements and feel relief from financial barriers, all while their children receive high-quality care.”

TCC Child Development Center services are available to any currently enrolled TCC student in need of child care. In addition, students can use financial aid to cover child care costs. Students can authorize TCC to charge the cost of child care services to their remaining financial aid, after the cost of tuition, fees and any bookstore charges have been deducted.

Thanks to a grant from the U.S. Department of Education, TCC is also able to offer the Child Care Access Means Parents (CCAMPIS) in School scholarships. Students with children and financial needs can receive reduced or no-cost child care. To learn more and apply, visit here. The scholarship will be open for applications between June 15, 2023 – Aug. 25, 2023.

Each center will provide safe, convenient and consistent child care five days a week. Center hours are Monday – Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. for children 3 to 5 years of age, with after-school and drop-in care available for children up to 12 years of age.

The TCC Child Development Centers are in the following locations:

  • Norfolk Campus, Norfolk Student Center, TCC Child Development Center, Room 213
  • Portsmouth Campus, Portsmouth Student Center, TCC Child Development Center, E101

To learn more about child care at TCC and to register your child, visit here. For more information, contact Streeter at cstreeter@tcc.edu or by calling 757-822-1099.

For information about TCC’s CCAMPIS scholarship, please contact LaShell Currie, Childcare Provider liaison by emailing lcurrie@tcc.edu or calling 757-822-1796.

Tidewater Community College Launches Rivian Technical Trades Program

Hampton Roads, VA (June 12, 2023) – Tidewater Community College has launched the Rivian Technical Trades program, a partnership program with electric vehicle maker Rivian designed to train the next generation of electric vehicle (EV) technicians. The program’s first cohort of students joined in March of this year and will complete their training as part of this program this summer.

The program involves five months of training with a focus on electric vehicle service and light repair. Upon completion of the program, students have the opportunity to become Rivian Service Technicians or enter the high-demand EV service job market in a similar capacity.

“We are thrilled to partner with Rivian to provide this quality training opportunity for future technicians,” said Tamara Williams, Vice President of TCC’s Center for Workforce Solutions. “With interest increasing for electric vehicles, this training is just what is needed to prepare the workforce of the future.”

This program is an earn-and-learn program, where students are paid $26 per hour as part of their internship at a local Rivian Service Center if they maintain at least a B average in their coursework.

Student technicians learn the latest electric vehicle technologies inside the classroom and put those theories into practice with hands-on training at the college’s Skilled Trades Academy, as well as at Rivian Service Centers during their paid internships. As part of this partnership, Rivian has provided two vehicle lifts, an alignment rack, and three Rivian vehicles – a Rivian R1T pickup, R1S SUV and one of the company’s custom electric delivery vans for Amazon – to the college for onsite training.

“The Rivian Technical Trades program provides training that will unleash students’ potential to become electric vehicle technicians,” says Nana Danso, Rivian’s Senior Manager of Workforce Development. “It’s specifically designed to spark careers in the burgeoning electric vehicle service sector by building on the skills needed to power the future through electric mobility with a flexible, bi-directional approach.”

The program caters to those who have already completed an automotive technology degree or transitioning military members with relevant experience. Participating students are also required to have a basic knowledge of electrical systems.

To learn more about the program, call TCC’s Center for Workforce Solutions at 757-822-1234 or email workforce@tcc.edu.

ABOUT RIVIAN
Rivian exists to create products and services that help our planet transition to carbon-neutral energy and transportation. Rivian designs, develops, and manufactures category-defining electric vehicles and accessories and sells them directly to customers in the consumer and commercial markets. Rivian complements its vehicles with a full suite of proprietary, value-added services that address the entire lifecycle of the vehicle and deepen its customer relationships. Learn more about the company, products, and careers at rivian.com.

ABOUT TIDEWATER COMMUNITY COLLEGE
Founded in 1968, Tidewater Community College (www.tcc.edu) helps students of all ages and backgrounds achieve their educational and career goals. TCC is the largest provider of higher education and workforce solutions in southeastern Virginia, serving both students and local employers with in-demand academic and career programs. It is one of 23 schools that make up Virginia’s Community Colleges.

Learn about everything TCC offers at Open House on June 3

Find your future at Tidewater Community College. Learn about TCC’s programs, including information technology, engineering, culinary arts, health sciences, maritime technologies and the many other potential career paths and transfer opportunities the college offers. 

Take the next step by visiting TCC’s Open House on June 3, from 9 a.m. to noon, at the Norfolk and Chesapeake Campuses. Registration is not required, but recommended and can be done by visiting here

Visit our website for a complete listing of programs. There is plenty of time to enroll for fall classes, which begin on Aug. 21. 

All are invited, especially: 

  • 2023 high school graduates and their families; 
  • adults who want to start or finish a degree, learn a new field, or advance in their careers; 
  • active-duty military and veterans, their spouses and dependents. 

You will be able to apply to TCC; learn about financial aid, grants and scholarships; explore academic options; tour campuses; and learn about campus life at all locations. 

If you have an eye on a four-year college, TCC can help get you there, too. Transfer agreements allow a student to complete the first two years of a bachelor’s degree at TCC and gain guaranteed admission to most Virginia colleges and universities. 

Locations for TCC’s Open House are: 

  • Chesapeake Campus: Student Center 
  • Norfolk Campus: Student Center 

Accommodation requests related to a disability should be made to the Office of Educational Accessibility by emailing oea@tcc.edu or calling 757-822-7751. 

For more information, call 757-822-1111 or email enroll@tcc.edu or visit this site

New TCC-ODU Monarch Ready program creates pathway to success

A new agreement between Tidewater Community College (TCC) and Old Dominion University (ODU) provides students with a new path to higher education. The new TCC-ODU Monarch Ready program was created to increase student success in Hampton Roads.

The program offers students who need additional collegiate preparation prior to enrolling at ODU a chance to excel at TCC and guarantees their admission to ODU upon the completion of at least 24-credits at TCC with at least a 2.5 GPA. Students can continue at ODU and participate in TCC and ODU’s established reverse-transfer program, followed by auditing for degree completion at TCC after they become students at ODU.

“The Monarch Ready program is another excellent opportunity for Old Dominion University and Tidewater Community College to continue in partnerships,” said Dr. Marcia Conston, TCC President.  “This program will benefit students who are seeking to enroll in college. TCC is excited to provide 24-credits of academic preparation for students who will transfer seamlessly to ODU.  I extend many thanks to Dr. Hemphill for his continued focus on student success.”

Students who participate in the TCC-ODU Monarch Ready program receive joint orientation into the program, as well as specialized, personalized assistance via academic advisors and academic success mentors. Individualized co-advising and access to on-campus support are also available. In addition, Career Development Services, Military Connection Centers, as well as the Student Resource and Empowerment Center and the Center for Military and Veterans Education are available. Athletic events, Transfer Tuesday, financial literacy workshops, faculty spotlights and other events and services make for a comprehensive experience.

“Through the Monarch Ready partnership with Tidewater Community College, Old Dominion University is committed to building a pathway for students to succeed. This program will positively impact the social mobility of students across Hampton Roads,” said President Brian O. Hemphill, Ph.D. “I commend the team at ODU and TCC for their diligence in creating a sustainable framework to help students achieve their goals.”

Students who are interested in the TCC-ODU Monarch Ready program can receive information directly from TCC and ODU. To learn more about the agreement visit: https://www.tcc.edu/tcc-odu-monarch-ready-program/

TCC celebrates more than 1,800 grads during May Commencement

There was a celebratory feel during Tidewater Community College’s 76th Commencement exercises as keynote speaker Lt. Gov. Winsome Earle-Sears led graduates to say together, “I did it! I did it! I did it!”

Earle-Sears, a TCC alumna, shared a message of encouragement with graduates, as she knows what it’s like to walk in their shoes. “Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined from where I sat as a student graduating from TCC that one day I would be before you as second in command in the former capital of the Confederate states. Here I am.”

Family and friends gathered to celebrate more than 1,800 graduates at Chartway Arena on the campus of Old Dominion University. The evening graduation on May 8 was presided over by President Marcia Conston.

During the Lt. Governor’s address, she recalled her father’s early days in America. “My father arrived 17 days before Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his ‘I have a dream speech.’ My dad had $1.75 in his pocket and he worked hard and used that money to get an education because he knew the doors would open as Dr. King said.”

Lt. Gov. Winsome Earle-Sears was the keynote speaker at TCC’s May Commencement.

She went on to tell graduates that their newfound knowledge will become part of our narrative and highlight that Virginia is a great place to live, work and raise a family.

“Here you are today. Our country needs you to do well. We in America are not on this planet by ourselves. There are countries that mean us harm,” she said. “While America is not perfect. She is the best we’ve got. So, we are not going to burn our own house down. No! We have a saying in church in fact ‘I may not be what I’m supposed to be, but I’m not what I use to be.’ And that’s America. In fits and starts she is getting there.”

Earle-Sears added, “I’m so honored to be here to celebrate what you have accomplished. God bless you and God bless our great Commonwealth of Virginia.”

Student Speaker Jacob Ramirez.

The speaker for the graduates, Jacob Ramirez, 21, completed an Associate of Science in Engineering and is transferring to Virginia Tech where he will study computer engineering. A 2021 graduate of Salem High School, Ramirez wanted to stay close to home for college.

Ramirez said, “At TCC I’ve met and interacted with all kinds of people, each one with their own story to tell. I’ve learned from those experiences. And also learned the value of taking the time to get to know people wherever you are.”

He added, “Our time at TCC is just the first stop. We have transfer students going away to colleges, people going into the workforce and students who have already started their careers and families and returning to pursue degrees. Congratulations class of 2023. We’ve each taken a separate journey to get to where we are. And from here we can go anywhere!”

Ramirez participated in the STEM and Engineering Clubs while at TCC, completing many projects with classmates. He gained close friends and three from his core group will head to Tech with him in the fall.

The ceremony continued as families and friends cheered and snapped photos. Graduates crossed the stage and joined a TCC alumni network of 100,000 and counting.

If you missed graduation, you can watch the TCC livestream.

Summer programs help high school grads prepare for next steps

Tidewater Community College has been awarded a Title III grant to provide summer programs for recent high school graduates of Norfolk and Portsmouth Public Schools.

The college has space for fifty students in each of the two programs being offered by TCC. High school graduates will spend two weeks on TCC’s Norfolk and Portsmouth Campuses and prepare for their next steps to college and careers.

The Excellence Institute on Norfolk Campus will be held July 24 – Aug. 4. The Summer Bridge program on Portsmouth Campus will be offered August 7-17. The full-day programs include catered breakfasts lunches daily.

The Excellence Institute on the Norfolk Campus is a retention tool designed to increase academic and professional self-efficacy through environmental and experiential learning opportunities. Self-efficacy is a pivotal key to success. The Institute is designed for students who desire support in cultivating a successful mindset and a plan for the life they want.  

“It only takes one decision to change the trajectory of a student’s academic and professional career,” said Khadijah Peak-Brown, TCC’s Connect2TCC coordinator on the Norfolk Campus. “Let this be one of those good decisions. It is my firm belief that joining the Excellence Institute this summer will catapult students’ academic and professional efficacy.”

Excellence Institute program benefits include:

  • Professional profile development, which includes a professional photoshoot, resume writing, LinkedIn profile and interview preparation.
  • Help with navigating the transition from high school with college and career readiness training.
  • Exclusive individualized networking opportunities that match students’ aspirations. 
  • Curated experiences to boost students’ self-efficacy.
  • Interactive sessions to help with selecting career paths and majors.
  • Support with the FAFSA, TCC application process and course selection.
  • Personal development that includes financial literacy, time management, self-regulation and dynamic learning style development.
Khadijah Peak-Brown (left) with students from the Excellence Institute in 2022.

Upon completion of the Excellence Institute, students who choose to attend TCC will have access to two years of on-demand, 1-on-1 Success Coaching to continue cultivating the academic and professional work they started. “If they come here, my goal is to keep them here and support them for the next two years. It will be an honor to join the Institute scholars on that journey,” says Khadijah Peak-Brown.   

To learn more about the Excellence Institute and to apply, visit here.

The Summer Bridge program is for students who are nervous about attending college, want help succeeding in college and wish they had a personal mentor.

“This new program aims to increase the success, college retention and graduation rates of Portsmouth High School students,” said Jabari Colon, Connect2TCC coordinator on Portsmouth Campus. “During a pre-college program, participants engage in evidence-based intensive psychosocial and personal development programming. Participating students will build knowledge and skills to increase their individual and cultural strengths and improve family relationships.”

Summer Bridge program benefits include:

  • Connection with a personal mentor.
  • Learn skills that will help students get the jobs they really want.
  • Engage in group sessions that will push personal development, helping students reach their greatest potential.
  • Participate in team games and personal fitness activities.
  • Connect with other first-year students and key support staff at the college.
  • Receive guidance on financial aid and student and life resources available at TCC.
  • Learn creatively in academic strengthening workshops.
  • Train on how to navigate campus systems.

The Summer Bridge program is also serving students who have elected not to attend college. Students who plan to enter the workforce will be part of the “Bossing Up Academy” with an emphasis on teaching entrepreneurship in their chosen trade. At the conclusion of the two-week program, students will be given the opportunity to learn more by pursuing a Career Studies Certificate in Entrepreneurship at TCC.

And while these programs are designed for recent high school graduates from Norfolk and Portsmouth Public Schools, all are welcome to apply to attend. Contact Khadijah Peak-Brown on Norfolk Campus by emailing kpeak-brown@tcc.edu or calling 757-822-1199. On Portsmouth Campus, reach out to Jabari Colon at jcolon@tcc.edu or by calling 757-822-2413.

“I definitely got my money’s worth at TCC.” – Student Speaker Jacob Ramirez

Jacob Ramirez found his career path in computer engineering at Tidewater Community College.

A 2021 graduate of Salem High School, Jacob wanted to stay close to home for college. He enrolled at TCC’s Virginia Beach Campus to study engineering. While there, he took computer engineering classes and found his purpose.

“I thought I was going to be a music person. That changed when I was able to fix a hinge on a shower door at my house. That’s what got me thinking about engineering and then it all came together at TCC,” he said.

This May, Jacob, 21, is earning an Associate of Science in Engineering. Jacob is the Speaker for the Graduates and will share his story during the 76th Commencement Exercises on May 8.

While at TCC Jacob participated in the STEM and Engineering Clubs. He also competed in the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) Robotics competition with a team from TCC that took third place nationwide. Those experiences helped him learn to work on a team and offered hands-on training for his chosen career field.

“I gained experience in designing and problem-solving and learned how to actually build something,” he said. “We do this in class, but the clubs and activities take it to a whole other level.”

Jacob expanded his learning at the college by including musical studies. He was part of TCC’s Jazz band and took several music classes. An experienced band member from Salem High, Jacob is proud to become a member of the Virginia Tech marching band next fall.

“There’s a lot of learning to be done at TCC,” Jacob said. “I had the chance to interact with a diverse student body, making me more well-rounded as a student and a future computer engineer.”

A member of Phi Theta Kappa, the honor society for two-year schools, Jacob holds a perfect 4.0 GPA at TCC. “I enjoyed the people at TCC, the professors, the community. It was better than I could have imagined,” he said.

Jacob will transfer to Virginia Tech in the fall of 2023. He will be a junior in the computer engineering baccalaureate program.

A Virginia Beach native, Jacob gained lifelong friends at TCC, and three of them will attend Virginia Tech alongside him.

“I definitely got my money’s worth at TCC. But the best part is that I’m ready for the next steps,” Jacob said. “And I have a group of friends that are joining me on the journey. What could be better than that!”