2005 News Archives
Bluefield College Announces London Scholars Recipients
Bluefield College continues to offer its students an academic experience that reaches far beyond the walls of a college classroom to regions around the world. Just ask BC student Jessika Lineberry of Draper, Virginia, who will be traveling to London, England, in the spring of 2006 as the college's most recent recipient of a London Scholar Award for study abroad.
For more than a decade, Bluefield College has awarded scholarships to students for educational enrichment opportunities by way of study abroad. Through the school's International Programs, students have traveled to London, England; Oxford, England; Southern England; and Paris, France. This spring, Lineberry will become the latest student to participate in the London Scholars Program.
"The foreign travel for study and enrichment is a significant part of the college's overall academic program," said Dr. Wayne Massey, director of BC's International Programs. "The study abroad opportunities include tours of London, plus trips to Paris to visit theaters, museums and art galleries. It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."
Lineberry, a junior at Bluefield College, will receive a study-abroad scholarship in the amount of $8,000, which will provide a full semester of college study in London, England for the spring 2006 semester. The award will cover virtually all expenses, including tuition, travel, room, books and even a weekly stipend for food and a personal allowance.
The $8,000 scholarship is granted through Bluefield College as a member institution of the Private College Consortium for International Studies (PCCIS). The funding is made available to PCCIS through the Appalachian College Association (ACA). The program that Lineberry will participate in is directed by International Enrichment (IE), an organization based in Chicago, Illinois, specializing in study and enrichment opportunities for American college and university students abroad.
While in England, Lineberry will study at Imperial College, a branch of the University of London, located in central London. The courses she will complete will cover a wide academic range, including a class in "British Life and Culture" designed to familiarize American students with the rich heritage of the English people. She will also enroll in "Post-Colonial British Literature," "The Psychology of Childhood," and "Cross-Cultural Psychology."
In addition to her classroom studies, Lineberry will participate in numerous study trips both in and beyond the United Kingdom. She will take field trips to Stonehenge, Bath, Stratford-upon-Avon and Canterbury and will also do research at the British and London Museums as well as other places of educational and cultural interest within greater London.
Lineberry is the daughter of Steven and Tracy Lineberry of Pulaski, Virginia, and the granddaughter of Louise and Leo Lineberry of Martinsville, Virginia, and Peggy Yates of Mountain City, Tennessee.
Travel opportunities through Bluefield College are available each year for students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends. In fact, an upcoming trip to England and Scotland is currently being planned for May 2006. Details, though presently tentative, are available on the Bluefield College web site under "International Programs." Those interested should contact Dr. Massey by phone at 276-326-4275 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
The Bluefield College London Scholars Program is just one of many confirmations of the quality of the academic experience at BC. Further proof of the school's academic excellence is its recent listing among the top 50 comprehensive colleges in the South in U.S. News and World Report's "America's Best Colleges" and the recent reaffirmation of accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
BC offers 18 majors of study, including business, teacher education, and criminal justice, and many of the school's classes are taught in nine state-of-the-art SMART classrooms with high-tech presentation tools, projection devices, SMART Boards, computers, DVD and VHS players, and surround-sound audio systems.
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Seniors Accept Diplomas during 14th Annual Winter Commencement
One hundred five Bluefield College seniors were encouraged to "live in the moment" as they celebrated the culmination of their undergraduate college career and accepted diplomas during the school's 14th Annual Winter Commencement, Saturday, December 17.
Bluefield College President Dan MacMillan welcomed the capacity crowd of family, friends, faculty, staff and students to Harman Chapel and the BC campus. The president spoke about the significance of the day and the significance of the season.
"Like the wise men who found the way, the truth and the life in their search for the Christ-child, I pray that through your experience at Bluefield College you have found the truth -- not just knowledge, but the truth," Dr. MacMillan said. "We congratulate you for recognizing the value of education, and it has been our honor and privilege to be a part of this pursuit with you."
Assistant Professor of Business Dee Shoemaker, the faculty member selected by students to offer the Commencement address, urged the graduating seniors to "appreciate this precious moment." She reflected on the loss of two Bluefield College seniors, killed earlier in the year in unrelated car accidents, and spoke of how the tragedies had caused her to reconsider how she spends each day.
"It is so easy to take tomorrow for granted," Shoemaker told the graduates, "and the assumption that we have tomorrow encourages us not to take full advantage of today. We put things off and miss out on wonderful opportunities. I hope, at least for today, I can convince you to live in the moment."
Using points from North Carolina State men's basketball coach Jim Valvano's speech given while accepting the Arthur Ashe Courage Award just prior to his death from cancer in 1993, Shoemaker asked the students to consider how they will spend this day and the rest of their days.
"Live life to the fullest and appreciate every precious moment you are given," said Shoemaker, who teaches in both the traditional and adult degree-completion programs at BC. "Spend today focused on today. This is such a special moment in each of your lives. Don't assume you can really absorb all of this in tomorrow."
Outstanding seniors Melody Dawn Kitts and Judy Arnold Rea offered student addresses for the day. Both Kitts and Rea were selected by BC faculty to serve as student speakers as the exceptional graduating seniors from the winter class of 2005.
In her speech, Kitts, a BC art major from Tazewell, Virginia, spoke about the opportunity she was afforded at Bluefield College to grow "spiritually, not just intellectually." She also shared her views on "the heart of Bluefield College."
"Much to my surprise," said Kitts, president of the BC Art Club and recipient of the 2004 Art Award, "I found the classes at Bluefield College to be small, but the hearts of the faculty to be large. I am thankful for their personal dedication to my education."
Rea, an adult student in BC's degree-completion program in Martinsville, Virginia, spoke about the "confidence, courage, character" and "commitment" she developed as a working adult earning her degree in organizational management and development. And, she thanked Bluefield College for equipping her for more than just a career.
"Bluefield College has paved the way for the future of my life," said Rea, an employee for the Stanley Furniture Company for some 32 years. "I'm now ready to make a difference in my family, my community and my life."
In addition to the Commencement honor, the graduating seniors were also recognized during a baccalaureate program earlier in the day. The traditional faith-focused ceremony that has become a prelude to Commencement since President MacMillan joined the college in 1997 featured words of motivation from keynote speaker The Honorable Jack S. "Chip" Hurley. Judge Hurley, who sits on the bench for the 29th Judicial General District Court of Virginia, encouraged the seniors not to see the day as the end of their learning and to allow God's plans to be their plans for the future.
"The truth is, God has a plan for each and every one of you," said Hurley, who also serves as a member of the BC Board of Trustees. "But, how can you know what that plan is? While you may not have a Bluefield College professor to guide you any more, you have a new teacher, the master teacher Jesus Christ, and a new syllabus, the Bible. Continue to learn and continue to be transformed in the likeness of God."
During Commencement, Vice President for Academic Affairs Elizabeth Gomez, Registrar Cathy Matherly and President MacMillan conferred the 105 bachelor's degrees.
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Seniors Honored during Graduation Dinner
Bluefield College graduating seniors were the guests of honor during a recent President's Reception and Dinner paying tribute to the BC winter class of 2005.
Alumni Director Teresa Stanley welcomed the seniors, while Dr. Don Caudill, professor of business, offered greetings and congratulations from the BC faculty. In his remarks, Dr. Caudill encouraged the graduates to "live a life of service."
"There have been people - parents, spouses, children, faculty, staff and others - who have made sacrifices and who have given much to get you to where you are today," Dr. Caudill told the seniors. "On behalf of the faculty, I wish you a life of giving and of service. In other words, I wish you a life of joy and happiness."
Alumnus Dr. Wayne Massey shared his congratulations with seniors. He, a Bluefield College grad who earned an associate's degree in 1959 before becoming a professor of English at BC and sending his two sons to the college, spoke about "perspective." Some day, he advised the graduates, they, too, will develop multiple perspectives of BC, which might prompt them to realize the importance of giving back to the institution.
"As the days and years pass," said Dr. Massey, who earned his bachelor's degree from Virginia Tech, his master's degree from Western Carolina University, and his Ph.D. from Ball State University, "you will have the opportunity to give back to your alma mater. I encourage you to do so. Bluefield College is a place you can support."
During the dinner, each of the seniors received three gifts from the college: a BC portfolio and Rick Warren's book "A Purpose Driven Life." The final gift, a dollar bill, President Dan MacMillan asked the graduates to give back to their alma mater.
Gifts from donors, he said, are what make up the difference between student tuition and the real cost of a Bluefield College education. Donors, he added, subsidize the students' education in the amount of $5,000 per year, per student. Without investments from former BC students into the lives of current BC students, he said, the BC seniors would not be where they are today.
"Many people believe that meaning in life comes from amassing things, getting things," Dr. MacMillan said. "But, true meaning comes from giving, serving, being generous, and investing in the lives of other people as people have invested in yours."
Dr. MacMillan challenged the soon-to-be graduates by giving each of them a pledge card with their dollar. He asked the graduating seniors to make their first financial contribution to the future of Bluefield College by giving the dollar back to BC along with a commitment to give more in the future.
The President's Reception and Dinner honoring the winter class of 2005 also included special music from Bryant Moxley, assistant professor of music. The BC seniors graduated during the school's 14th Annual Winter Commencement, Saturday, December 17.
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Bluefield College Men's Soccer Team Wins National Championship
Peaking at the right time is everything. The BC men's soccer team did just that in capturing the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) National Championship, defeating William Jessup (CA) University 2-0 in the USCAA title game on November 5 to earn the school's first ever national championship for soccer.
The Rams, who won three straight games against the top seeds en route to the USCAA crown, opened play with a dramatic 7-6 come-from-behind win against two-seed and defending USCAA National Champion Robert Morris-Lake County. The Eagles stormed out to a seemingly insurmountable 4-0 lead before BC rallied for the one-point comeback quarterfinal victory.
The Rams used solid defensive play to oust top-seed Southern Maine Community College 3-0 in the semifinal round of the tournament. Freshman goalkeeper Philip Owens of Huntington, West Virginia, gained the shutout in goal, making three saves, including a tremendous stop on a corner kick, which he tipped into the post to preserve an early 1-0 lead.
In the championship match against William Jessup, BC seniors Chris McCall of Jacksonville, Florida, and Onel Nacius of Delray Beach, Florida, scored the two lone goals to lead the Rams to the 2-0 title victory. McCall, who had a career-high 12 goals this season, got BC on the board in the 21st minute. Nacius, who also registered his career-best 12th goal of the season, scored in the 50th minute.
"Everything came together at the right time for us to win a national championship," Coach John Birkelbach said. "No one will ever take this away from us. I'm sure 20 years from now I'll look back on it and it'll bring a smile to my face then."
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BC Board Dedicates Skidmore Center and Elects New Trustees
Members of the Bluefield College Board of Trustees dedicated a new facility management center on campus during their recent fall meetings. The Board also approved six new terms of service for trustees and recognized the dedication of three retiring members of the Board.
Three years ago in the summer of 2003, Bluefield College lost its maintenance facility, at that time housed in the school's old gymnasium, to an unexpected fire. While insurance covered part of the loss, BC's maintenance staff found itself without a home until additional resources could be acquired to construct a new facility. That's when longtime BC supporter and trustee David Skidmore, the owner of E. Dillon and Company in Swords Creek, Virginia, stepped in to fill the gap.
"David is one of the most generous, yet humble people I know," said BC President Dan MacMillan during the dedication ceremony. "He is a man of tremendous honesty and integrity, and this building (a new BC maintenance center) would not have been completed without his efforts."
In addition to financial contributions, Skidmore provided gifts-in-kind in the form of building blocks, decorative stone, and equipment and labor from E. Dillon and Company. He also solicited other support for the construction from the Boxley Company, Citizens Building Supply and Home Center, and Pounding Mill Quarry. As a tribute to his efforts, the BC Board of Trustees unanimously approved naming the facility after Skidmore and dedicating the building to him during the fall Board meetings.
"We're grateful for not only his personal contributions, but for his efforts in recruiting others to give to this project," said trustees Dr. Dan Grabeel and Eva Easley, speaking on behalf of the Board. This building means a lot to the members of our maintenance staff."
The new Skidmore Facility Management Center more than doubles the previous space available to BC's Maintenance Department. In fact, before the new center, maintenance equipment was housed in various locations on campus. And, because the new building is state-of-the-art, Skidmore said, it allows the college to make a good impression on visitors.
"The image of the school begins first with the way the campus looks," Skidmore said in his remarks to the Board. "The Maintenance Department gives visitors their first impression of the college. The school's success starts with the maintenance crew."
Skidmore recognized the members of BC's Maintenance Department and noted their tremendous loyalty to the institution: Blair Taylor (director, 21 years of service), Clay Wagner (25 years of service), Pon Wagner (22 years of service), Cora Lester (five years of service), Yvonne Bratton (four years of service), Wayne Cole (three years of service), Jennifer Wilson (one year service), and Teresa Wilson (one year service).
In addition to his contributions to the new Facility Management Center, Skidmore, a resident of Bluefield, Virginia, has served as a BC trustee for 10 years, including a stint as chairman of the Board.
"This was an opportunity for me," Skidmore said about supporting the construction of the new building for BC, "one in which I received a blessing. I always get more back from this school than what I give."
During its annual fall meetings, the Board of Trustees also elected six trustees to serve its organization. Re-elected to a second consecutive five-year term were Dr. David Dockery, pastor of First Baptist Church in Princeton, West Virginia; Julie Hull Johnson, BC alumna and vice president and trust officer for First Century Bank in Bluefield, West Virginia; and Denton Millsaps, an investment consultant with Edward Jones Investments in Princeton, West Virginia. New trustees approved for their first five-year term of service included Tem Marshall, a BC alumnus and retired director of information technology for Hewlett-Packard in Atlanta, Georgia; Kimberly Moore, an adult probation officer from Bluefield, West Virginia; and Susan McDougle Tussey, a BC alumna and retired school teacher in Henrico County, Virginia.
In addition, the Board recognized the dedication of retiring trustees, rotating off the committee for a required one-year hiatus after two five-year stints of service, including: Dr. Bill Boothe, a BC alumnus and retired consultant from Wellington, Florida, with ten years of service on the Board; Doug Hawks, a BC alumnus and owner of a construction company in Monroe, Georgia, with ten years of service; and Margaret Leonard, a BC alumna and retired school teacher in Blacksburg, Virginia, with ten years of service.
In other business, the Board of Trustees approved decreasing its term of office from five years to four years, still allowing the option for two consecutive terms to be served before requiring the one-year break, and making provisions to grandfather current trustees elected to the five-year terms.
Finally, the Board approved revisions to the curriculum for its adult organizational management and leadership major and accepted a proposal to develop a trustee steering committee to explore the possibility of creating an intercollegiate athletic football team.
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Bluefield College and Virginia Baptist Mission Board Partner to Identify Church Leaders
The Emerging Leaders Team of the Virginia Baptist Mission Board (VBMB) recently spent the day on the campus of Bluefield College, collaborating with BC leaders on how to identify and train future leaders for the Baptist General Association of Virginia (BGAV).
Visiting the Bluefield College campus for the first time as an entire group since the creation of the VBMB's Kingdom Advance initiative, the Emerging Leaders Team toured BC facilities, participated in the school's celebration of Baptist Heritage Day, and spent time in discussions with BC President Dan MacMillan, Vice President Elizabeth Gomez, and Campus Minister David Taylor.
"Our hope is that this visit will strengthen the relationship between the Virginia Baptist Mission Board and Bluefield College," Taylor said, "and will help us better coordinate our efforts to grow the leadership for Virginia Baptist ministries."
Created through the VBMB's Kingdom Advance initiative, the Emerging Leaders Team is designed to help identify emerging leaders who are sensing God's call to ministry and to nurture, develop, reinvest and deploy these God-called leaders for Virginia Baptist churches.
Team members visiting the Bluefield College campus included Team Leader Susan McBride, Collegiate and Young Adult Ministry Strategist Greg Alexander, Youth Ministry Strategist Ken Dibble, Children's Ministry Strategist Diane Smith, and Adult Ministry Strategist Leslie Straw.
McBride said the purpose of the visit was to learn more about the benefits and the ministries available at Bluefield College "to be able to share that with Virginia Baptists across the state." She said the Emerging Leaders Team also hoped the visit would benefit the Kingdom Advance vision.
"Together we hope to discover new ways of identifying future leaders for Virginia Baptists," McBride said, "in order to train them and to help them find their place in God's kingdom."
The Emerging Leaders Team offers programs for leadership development that help Virginia Baptists identify their gifts and serve and lead in ways that bring glory to God and build up the church. Members of the Emerging Leaders Team are responsible for recruiting, nurturing and training directors of collegiate ministries and developing strategies to help churches reach collegiate and young adults for the Kingdom. They also encourage college students and young adults to be world-class leaders in their communities, the world, and the church.
"Virginia Baptists are about 15 years away from a leadership crisis in our churches," said Dr. John Upton, executive director of the Virginia Baptist Mission Board, in the VBMB publication 'Truthfully Speaking.' "We're doing a better job of talking people out of their call to ministry than in helping them find their call. We need a deliberate program of leadership development that begins with children and continues through young people, college and seminary students and adults."
The Emerging Leaders Team visit to Bluefield College is not the first time the two have partnered to strengthen their relationship and to build on the efforts of the Virginia Baptist Mission Board to identify and encourage potential church leaders.
In December of 2004, the college and the Emerging Leaders Team joined forces to host a two-day retreat designed to guide high school students seeking to follow God's call to the ministry. The retreat, entitled "Called to Ministry...What Now?," addressed questions and issues posed by students that related to all forms of ministry, including music, missions, youth, pastoral, higher education, social, drama, and recreation.
The project, hosted at Colonial Avenue Baptist Church in Roanoke, Virginia, provided the students with resources to pursue their calling, allowed them the opportunity to hear from other teenagers who were feeling the same call to ministry, and gave them practical advice about what they need to do now to prepare for living out their calling.
Dozens of students from Virginia Baptist churches across the Commonwealth participated in the BC/Emerging Leaders retreat. The youth, from Northern Virginia to Southwestern Virginia and Richmond, Martinsville and other areas in between, took part in workshops, breakout sessions, group discussions, fellowship, a ministry fair, and worship -- all for the purpose of helping them discern their call to ministry.
"Bluefield College is one of our valued Virginia Baptist partners," McBride added, "and we want to let everyone know here how much we value our relationship. We're committed to Bluefield College, and we're looking forward to our future together."
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Alumnus Phillip Brasher Readies for Duty in Iraq with Trip to Alma Mater
Bluefield College alumnus and Army National Guard Blackhawk helicopter pilot Phillip Brashear, the son of legendary Navy diver Carl Brashear, recently returned to his alma mater for the second time in just six months to speak to current BC students.
Brashear, who spoke for the college's Annual Media Appreciation Day this spring, was back on campus to challenge BC students to honor their commitments and to overcome life's obstacles as he shared his own adversities and spoke about his preparation for a tour of duty in Iraq.
One of Bluefield College's most distinguished young alums, Brashear grew up in Portsmouth, Virginia, before joining the Navy in 1981 where he was assigned to a helicopter unit and realized he wanted to fly -- something a little surprising to most, since he wasn't following in his father's footsteps.
Brashear's father, Carl, is a legendary deep-sea diver in Navy circles. The eldest Brashear, despite adversity, exclusion and resistance, was the first ever African-American Navy diver and one of only seven enlisted men in history to be enshrined in Naval Archives. In fact, Carl Brashear's historic life on the sea was portrayed in the Hollywood movie "Men of Honor," starring Cuba Gooding, Jr. (as Carl) and Robert DeNiro.
However, despite the midshipmen's legend, his son, BC's Phillip Brashear, decided flying was his passion, and today he flies Blackhawk helicopters for the Army National Guard in Richmond, Virginia. In fact, that attachment will take Brashear to Iraq in just days where as a Blackhawk helicopter pilot he will assist U.S. Marines for one year in patrolling the Syrian border to protect Iraq from insurgents.
"I'm honoring my commitment to my country," Brashear told BC students about his tour of duty in Iraq. "You, as a student at Bluefield College, must honor your commitment to yourself, your family, your professors, and your school."
During his early years of flying, Brashear learned about Bluefield College's adult degree-completion program in Richmond. After "failing" a year at Old Dominion University earlier in life, he said, finishing his degree was something he knew he had to do, despite his success in the National Guard.
"I felt like I let my parents down when I dropped out of college," said Brashear, who in addition to his service with the Army National Guard works full time as a customer liaison specialist for the Army Team at the Defense Supply Center in Richmond. "I was overwhelmed when I thought of the challenge of balancing college with family and a career. I questioned my ability, but [BC President Dan] MacMillan told me to have faith, and to trust in God and the system at Bluefield College. I did, and it all worked out."
While working at the Defense Supply Center and flying, Brashear earned his bachelor's degree in organizational management and development from Bluefield College in 1999. Through the "faith and love" provided from the college and his family, he said, he overcame the obstacles found in balancing work, family and earning a college degree. He told the BC students that, like he and his father, they, too, could "overcome the odds." He encouraged the students to embrace adversity and to see the challenges of life as an opportunity to grow.
"You can make it," Brashear told the BC students. "Don't let obstacles keep you from getting your college education. You have an advantage over other college students in America. You have a staff and faculty that is personally committed to God and to providing you with a Christian college education."
In addition to his tour of duty in Iraq, Brashear was also activated in a Presidential Recall in 2001 to serve in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Outside of his military work, he shares his wisdom and accomplishments through speeches at local schools, colleges, churches and other civic organizations. He was also recently selected to serve as a role model for minority recruiting for the military at the Essence Music Festival in Louisiana.
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Students Get Hands-on Experience through BC Teacher Education Program
Teachers in local school systems can always use a little help in the classroom, and college students studying to become tomorrow's teachers can always benefit from hands-on experience. That mutual gain is exactly what Bluefield College seniors are giving and getting through BC's student-teaching program.
Through the Bluefield College Division of Education's student-teaching program and thanks to the cooperation of local school systems, area teachers are getting that needed volunteer assistance. And, Bluefield College seniors studying to become tomorrow's educators are getting the practical experience they'll need for the future.
Often dubbed by teachers and students alike as the most interesting and rewarding part of the teacher licensure curriculum at BC, the student-teaching program places seniors in local secondary schools each fall and spring semester for on-the-job training.
The BC Teacher Education Program, aligned with Virginia Standards of Learning and approved by the Virginia State Board of Education, has graduated highly qualified teachers for more than a quarter of a century, thanks in large part to the practical experience gained by the students prior to graduation.
Seven Bluefield College Teacher Education seniors or currently participating or are waiting to participate next semester in the school's student-teaching curriculum for the 2005-2006 academic year. They are Jessica Duncan of Bramwell, West Virginia; Juanita Jenene Saunders of Bluefield, West Virginia; Bradley Sutphin of Max Meadows, Virginia; Jennifer Gossler of Lynchburg, Virginia; Amanda Hollingsworth of Pulaski, Virginia; Kreg Welch of Greeley, Colorado; and Nicole Hall of Bluefield, West Virginia.
Duncan is the daughter of Ricky and Debbie Duncan and is a graduate of Princeton High School. She is also a member of Who's Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities and a member of the Student Virginia Education Association (SVEA). She is doing her student teaching this semester.
Saunders, the daughter of Mel and Holly Saunders, is a graduate of Bluefield High School. She is a current member of the East River Town Band and an active member of Mapleview Church of Christ where she is a youth sponsor and Sunday School teacher. She, too, is a member of SVEA and is student teaching this fall.
Sutphin is the son of Dale Sutphin and Dawn Thompson and is a graduate of Fort Chiswell High School. In addition, he is a member of SVEA, and he will be participating in the student teaching program in the spring of 2006.
Gossler, the daughter of Tom and Sandy Gossler, is a graduate of Timberlake Christian School. She is a member of Sigma Tau Delta, Pi Lambda Theta, and SVEA. She will be student teaching next semester, the spring of 2006.
Hollingsworth, the daughter of Jerry and Jeanette Hollingsworth, is a graduate of Pulaski County High School. A member of SVEA, she will be student teaching in the spring of 2006.
Welch, the son of Ron and Janet Welch, and the husband of Mary Grace Welch, is a Greeley West High School graduate. Before Bluefield College, he attended Sterling College in Sterling, Kansas. At BC, he is a member of SVEA and has served as a resident director. He will be student teaching in the spring.
And, Hall is the daughter of Sandra Farley and the wife of Stephen Hall. She is a graduate of Montcalm High School and a member of BC's SVEA. She will be student teaching in the spring of 2006.
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Bluefield College Introduces Tuition Discount for Military Personnel
In an effort to show its appreciation to the men and women who serve in America's armed services, Bluefield College in Bluefield, Virginia, has announced a new tuition discount for military personnel who enroll in the school's adult degree-completion program across Virginia.
The discount - a 35 percent cut in regular tuition - is available to all active duty military members who choose to pursue their undergraduate degrees through one of the three regional sites for BC's adult degree-completion program. Through regional offices in Roanoke and Richmond, Virginia, and its main campus in Bluefield, Virginia, Bluefield College offers three bachelor's degree opportunities for working adults: behavioral science, criminal justice, and organizational management and leadership.
"We want to show our appreciation to military personnel for their service, dedication, commitment and sacrifice for our country," said Tim Haven's, BC's director of enrollment management. "Bluefield College is pleased to extend this 35 percent tuition discount to all active duty military members." Currently, adult tuition at Bluefield College is $4,320 per semester. With the 35 percent discount of $1,520, military personnel will pay just $2,800.
The college's adult degree-completion program is designed specifically for the working adult. With classes meeting just one night a week, through this convenient, accelerated program, students with some previous prior college credit can earn their bachelor's degree in as little as 13 months.
The behavioral science major offers students the opportunity to learn under faculty members who are licensed psychologists, counselors, and social workers with years of professional and academic experience. The program is designed for students working in or interested in fields ranging from human services to health care to advocacy.
"This brand new program has proven to be extremely popular since its inception in 2004," Havens said.
The criminal justice degree-completion major, which meets the high standards of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, offers students the opportunity to study under faculty who bring years of executive-level, legal, clinical, academic, and practical experience to the classroom.
"For more than 15 years, Bluefield College has led the way in making criminal justice education a reality for those already working in or seeking to enter the field," Havens said.
The organizational management and leadership major, recently updated by faculty at BC, is the school's longest-running degree-completion program, led by instructors who possess excellent academic credentials and diverse experience in small businesses and major corporations.
"Trained leaders are in demand by business, government, non-profit organizations, and other employers," Havens said, "and this major is designed to prepare its graduates to help meet that demand."
To enroll in BC's adult degree-completion program, students already must have completed 54 transferable college credits with a cumulative grade point average of 2.0. The college does award six semester hours of college credit to any student who has completed one year of military service. Additional credit may be awarded for other documented military training, evaluated on an individual basis. To enroll, students must also have access to the Internet and a personal e-mail account.
Further evidence of Bluefield College's commitment to the armed services is the school's recent distinction as a Servicemember Opportunity College (SOC), an award granted by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities for colleges that demonstrate "a commitment to fair, equitable and effective policies and practices toward members of the military." Steve Kime, president of SOC, said the distinction also shows that BC "recognizes and deals with the special conditions faced by military students who want to obtain a college education."
Virginia residents who enroll at Bluefield College are also eligible for the state's Tuition Assistance Grant. Any award from TAG will be calculated as part of the 35 percent discount with BC.
To find out more about Bluefield College, its adult degree-completion program, and/or the new 35 percent military tuition discount, visit the BC web site at www.bluefield.edu, or call any one of the three BC regional offices: Bluefield (800-872-0176), Richmond (888-276-0999), and Roanoke (800-817-3554).
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Bluefield College Golfers' Challenge Provides Support for Athletics
Bluefield College recently hosted its Fourth Annual Golfers' Challenge at Fincastle Country Club in Bluefield, Virginia, and local golf enthusiasts who participated or supported the project helped the school earn nearly $13,000 for BC student-athletes.
Eleven teams sponsored by local individuals, organizations and businesses competed in the captain's choice scramble. Prizes were awarded to the first and second place team finishers. Awards were also presented to the individuals with "the longest drive" and "the closest shot to the pin."
First place honors for the Challenge went to the Joy Mining Machinery team, made up of Mark Stowers, Rodney Hurst, Tim Yearout and Ted Yost. Second place went to the foursome of Miners and Merchants Bank, including Cameron Forrester, David Havens, Joe Kiser and Garnet Lester.
The "closet to the pin" award went to New People's Bank player Steve Mitchem, while the award for the "longest drive" went to BB&T's Kevin Horne.
Other prizes were presented to participants by the college. Golfer Larry Slagel won a round of golf for four on the Cobb Course at Glade Springs Hotel and Conference Resort. Raymond Mulkey won a round of golf for four on the Meadows Course at The Greenbrier. And, Linda Taylor won a 50-50 drawing sponsored during the Challenge.
Corporate sponsors for the event included A.G. Edwards and Sons, David Bailey Associates, BB&T Banks, the Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Citizens Building Supply and Home Center, William E. Clarke, Jr., First Community Bank, First Sentinel Bank, Flowers Baking Company of West Virginia, Joy Mining Machinery, Robert G. Leonard, McDaniel Consulting Services, Miners and Merchants Bank, New Peoples Bank, Richwood Golf Club, Rish Equipment Company, Scott and Stringfellow, and Taylor Optical Company.
Individual participants included Philip Ayers, David L. Bailey, Jr., Kenny Billings, Bruce Bishop, Brian Blankenship, Gary Blankenship, Joe Crigger, Eddie French, Billy Good, Bob Brown, Bill Clarke, Paul Dearfield, Cameron Forrester, Chip Hardy, David Havens, Kevin Horne, Judge Jack "Chip" Hurley, Rodney Hurst, Joe Keatley, Joe Kiser, Debbie Kitts, Frank Kovach, Bob Leonard, Garnet Lester, Paul Looney, Will Mathena, Doug McDaniel, Brad McMillion, Steve Mitchem, Raymond Mulkey, Jeff Murray, Charles Paschall, Senator Phillip Puckett, Greg Shupe, Bob Slagle, Larry Slagle, Mark Stowers, Bobby Swain, Dr. Donald Taylor, Linda Taylor, Larry Turner, Mary Turner, Debbie Wall, Tom West, Roland Wheeler, Ted White, Thurman Williams, Tim Yearout and Ted Yost.
Other supporters of the BC Golfers' Challenge included Draper Valley Golf Club, Fincastle Country Club, Fountain Springs Golf Course, Glade Springs Resort, The Greenbrier, Dr. and Mrs. Robert M. Jones, and Rick White.
The $13,000 in proceeds from the Golfers' Challenge will help the BC Athletic Department with expenses for recruiting, travel, equipment, and other Athletic Department needs.
The event was organized by BC's Annette Tabor, coordinator of athletic programs. She was assisted in the process by Russ Hill, BC's head coach for women's softball and assistant coach for women's basketball, along with members of the BC Office of Institutional Advancement, Ruth Blankenship, Betty Carroll, Amy Havens and Teresa Stanley.
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Expert Karate Instructor Teaches Martial Arts at Bluefield College
The arrival of expert karate instructor Kimo Wall on the campus of Bluefield College just weeks ago to offer martial arts training and mentoring to BC students was an answer to prayer.
Doug Minnix, a BC instructor of exercise and sport science and faculty advisor for the college's Karate Club, had been praying about finding the resources and the opportunity to bring an Okinawa karate expert with faith in Christianity to the school. Little did he know, Kimo Wall had his eye on Bluefield College as a place where he could teach people to defend themselves, heal, and find God.
"His goal is to teach traditional Okinawa karate to people who have a certain level of knowledge about martial arts," Minnix said. "He had heard about Bluefield College and wanted to bring his knowledge here to the students. So, he decided to come and help out."
Wall, who grew up in Hawaii from American Indian descent, helped out by teaching Okinawa karate and offering Thai massage to BC students. During a number of instructional sessions, he, a seventh degree black belt, coached the students in the arts of self-defense, weapons, Ji Gung and Kunk Li. And, while many of the students learned much about the martial arts through Wall, also known as Kimo Sensei, they also enjoyed his healing offered Thai massage.
"Most people don't think of Thai massage as therapeutic," Minnix said, "but that's exactly what it is. It's a combination of a passive range-of-motion or stretching techniques and acupressure using body parts on pressure points."
And, therapy is exactly what the Thai massage participants enjoyed, particularly one local gentleman who had chronic back pain from an injury sustained in a mining accident. After getting a massage from Wall, Minnix said, "the man was pain-free for a week."
Other area residents benefited from Wall's visit to Bluefield College as BC's Karate Club, who sponsored the month of "Month of Martial Arts," opened the karate classes and massage sessions to the public. For example, local karate instructors took part in the martial arts instruction, while physical therapists from Westwood Health Care and Rehabilitation Center in Bluefield, Virginia, took part in the massage therapy sessions. In addition, Wall also traveled to Abingdon and Claypool Hill, Virginia, to offer massage sessions for locals.
"He is very impressive and highly experienced," Minnix said about Wall, one of the most highly respected instructors in the United States in the art of Okinawan Goju-ryu, Karate and Kobudo (ancient weapons art). "His credentials are impeccable. This was a great opportunity for the highly experienced and beginning martial artist alike."
Minnix said that Wall also integrated his Christian faith into his sessions by, among other methods, sharing his testimony and offering prayer before karate and therapy sessions.
Wall began his study of martial arts in Hawaii at a very young age. As a young man, he joined the U.S. Marines where he was afforded the opportunity to train with "the dinosaurs" or martial arts masters throughout Okinawa, China, Thailand and Taiwan, including the creator of combative art, Seiko Higa. While a Marine, he also served on a variety of secret missions.
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Bowman Leaves Legacy Behind at Bluefield College
After four years as a student at Bluefield College and four more years as an administrator for the school, BC Dean of Students Dan Bowman has bid farewell to the institution. The 1994 Bluefield College graduate has accepted the position of associate dean of students at Radford University in Radford, Virginia.
Bowman came to Bluefield College in the fall of 2001 from William Byrd High School in Roanoke, Virginia, where he served as a guidance coordinator for one year. In Roanoke County, the BC alumnus also worked two years as a guidance coordinator for Northside Middle School. His experience also included tenures as director of guidance at Liberty and Jefferson Forest High Schools in Bedford County, Virginia, until the opportunity arose to return to his alma mater.
"I feel blessed to have the wonderful opportunity to serve in this new capacity," Bowman said in 2001 about becoming the dean of students at BC. "I look forward with great anticipation to being a part of an outstanding college that is making a difference in the lives of students."
And, make a difference for students is exactly what Bowman did. During his four years as dean of students at Bluefield College, he spearheaded three major renovation projects to benefit students. New bathrooms, lighting and window treatments were a part of a significant overhaul to the women's residence hall. New window treatments were installed in all the windows in the men's residence hall. And, the school's Student Activities Center was improved with new televisions, entertainment centers and decorations. Bowman also organized a committee to study and guide the planning of a new $6 million student activities center for the school in the near future.
Under Bowman's leadership in Student Services, the college's on-campus residential enrollment grew by about 10 percent. Retention under "Dean Dan," as students affectionately called him, averaged 85 percent. And, the disciplinary process for students improved thanks to Bowman's new Values-Based Discipline Program.
"I hope that through my work here at Bluefield College I will be leaving the school in a better situation than it was when I came," Bowman said. "Hopefully, and most importantly, I hope I've been able to touch some lives, and I hope that some of the projects we've accomplished will make the lives of students a little bit better here."
While dean, Bowman developed a business partnership with Cellular One that will bring scholarship money to students at Bluefield College. During his tenure, the administration also realigned the Department of Athletics to fall under his supervision. In his final days with his alma mater, the BC dean of students won approval for a Tobacco-Free Policy on campus, banning the use of all tobacco campus-wide and strengthening the part of the school's Purpose Statement that refers to healthy living. Bowman is quick to give credit for all of these achievements to the Student Services staff.
"The Student Services staff and the members of the Department of Athletics are a big part of the success that you see at Bluefield College," Bowman said. "They are a great staff of people who care about our students and who want to do things that are in the best interest of the students."
Bowman's last day will be September 2. Shortly after, he will become the associate dean of students at Radford University, where he will be primarily responsible for counseling services, disability services, student support services, judicial affairs, and the RU Parent Association. The move will also allow Bowman to begin his pursuit of a doctoral degree at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg. A native of Roanoke, Virginia, he will also be living near family in the Roanoke Valley.
"I really have enjoyed working at Bluefield College," Bowman reflected. "I've enjoyed the people and the relationships here the most. This has been a wonderful opportunity for me to work with young people and to become involved in their lives on a daily basis. That has been great."
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Trautmann Adds Beauty to BC Campus
Sophomore Josh Trautmann, although a Christian studies major, spent his spare time this summer working on art. With a desire to give back to BC, he volunteered to refurbish the two Guenther sculptures on campus, near the Cox Visual Arts Center.
In 1980, Ted Guenther, a local businessman, created the two sculptures and donated them to the college. And, considering the pieces had not undergone any restoration since that time, BC Art Professor Walter Shroyer decided they needed to be refurbished. With little time of his own for the project, Shroyer said Trautmann's willingness to step in was an answer to prayer.
"I always liked these sculptures," Shroyer said, "because they help show that we are a modern-thinking college."
With experience in the Marine Corps with working on the structures and bodies of helicopters and a willingness to serve, Trautmann started on the project shortly after the end of the spring 2005 semester.
"There (in the Marines), I had a chance to learn how to work with metal," Trautmann said. "When I saw the sculptures, I knew they needed to be refurbished or they would be lost. I had some time and wanted to help restore them."
The job took Trautmann all summer long to finish. He sanded the sculptures down to bare metal, heated them with a torch to reshape some of the bent areas, and then painted the pieces with three coats of outdoor paint. After the reconditioning, the works were moved from their original locations to the Art Center "to help accent the building," Shroyer said.
"The work Josh did turned these neglected sculptures into a bright spot on campus," said Shroyer. "Before, they were painted with a primer brown paint and were damaged and rusting."
"Hopefully I have helped improve the beauty of the campus," said Trautmann, who also thanked Shroyer and David Sharp for their contributions to the project, "and restored a gift that all will enjoy."
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College Welcomes New Faculty and Staff
Bluefield College recently welcomed a host of new full-time faculty and staff to the BC family to start the fall 2005 semester. Four new full-time instructors joined the college this fall, while 19 new employees were added to the administrative staff since the fall of 2004.
Dr. Cynthia Bascom joined the college as an associate professor of communications. Her previous teaching experience includes five years as an assistant professor of communications at Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana, and three years as an instructor of communications and an instructor of marketing at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio.
Dr. Bascom's experience also includes a year as a Muppet designer for Henson Associates in New York, New York, and three years as a stuffed toy designer for Animal Fair, Inc. in Edina, Minnesota. She holds a Ph.D. in mass communications and a master's degree in business administration from Ohio University. She earned a bachelor's degree in fine arts from Denison University in Granville, Ohio.
Dr. Bill Shockley joined the BC faculty full time this fall as a professor of business after teaching part time in the school's adult degree-completion program since 2000. His experience also includes teaching stints with Averett University in Danville, Virginia, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Florida, Troy University in Alabama, Southside Virginia Community College in Alberta, Virginia, and Kansas-Newman College in Wichita, Kansas.
Dr. Shockley has also served as a director of education for ITT Technical Institute in Richmond, Virginia, and as an instructor and a total quality advisor for the United States Air Force. He holds his doctoral degree from Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, a master's degree in logistics management from Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant, Michigan, and a bachelor's degree in professional aeronautics from Embry-Riddle.
Dr. Donna Watson joined the Bluefield College faculty full time also after teaching part time in the BC Division of Education. She served as an adjunct instructor of education and a student-teaching supervisor at Bluefield College since 1996. Before that, she was a middle school math teacher in McDowell County, West Virginia, for 16 years.
Dr. Watson's experience also includes six years as an adjunct instructor in math education for the West Virginia College of Graduate Studies, two years as an adjunct instructor of computer literacy at Bluefield State College, and several years in secondary education with Graham High School in Bluefield, Virginia, and McDowell County's War Elementary School. She earned her Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction from Virginia Tech in Blacksburg. She also holds a master's degree in secondary education from Radford University in Radford, Virginia, and a bachelor's degree in English from Bluefield College.
Dr. Garnett White, a professor of psychology and chair of the BC Division of Social Sciences, comes to the college after 15 years in private practice in Richmond, Virginia, where he assessed and treated patients with mood disorders, grief, attention deficit disorder, and disabilities. While in private practice, he also taught psychology and pastoral care as an adjunct instructor at the John Leland Center for Theological Studies, Virginia Union University, John Tyler Community College, J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College, and VCU.
Dr. White holds a Ph.D. and a master's degree in counseling psychology from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) in Richmond. He also earned a Ph.D. and a master's degree in religion from Vanderbilt University. His bachelor's degree in history he received from the University of Richmond. He has also completed post-doctoral work in the Department of Gerontology at VCU.
The college also welcomed several new full-time staff members for the fall 2005 term, including: John Birkelbach, head men's soccer coach; Elizabeth Clement, library reference assistant; Amy Ellison, assistant registrar; Adam Fuller, security officer; Jason Gillespie, head men's basketball coach; April Hall, assistant volleyball and softball coach; Steve Harden, assistant men's basketball coach; Cris Hill, secretary for enrollment management; Russ Hill, head women's softball coach and assistant women's basketball coach; Carly Kestner, financial aid processor; Chip Lambert, database analyst; Leslie Lambert, admissions counselor; Kim Lester, head women's soccer coach; Sarah McCloud, admissions counselor; Dena Monroe, assistant to the registrar; Jeff Ray, head women's volleyball coach; Mike Scolinos, head men's baseball coach; Kelly Somers, area coordinator for the women's residence hall; and Mark Vinson, head athletic trainer.
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BC Professor and Fulbright Scholar Shares Experiences of Teaching in the Middle East
What a difference a year makes!
When Bluefield College professor Dusty Anderson began his lecture for the first day of school on the BC campus this fall, he did so in an entirely different setting from last year's opening day.
In fact, the BC associate professor of information technology began the 2005-2006 academic year at Bluefield College with an entirely different view of the world, an entirely different perspective on other cultures, and a wealth of new experiences and knowledge to share with his students.
You see...Dr. Anderson spent the last academic year, August 2004 through June 2005, as a Fulbright Scholar and professor at the University of Bahrain in the Middle East -- an honor and experience he earned by being selected by the United States Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.
The distinguished award, granted few for "academic and professional achievements" and "extraordinary leadership potential in the field of information sciences," afforded the BC professor the opportunity to teach classes, do research and to grow professionally and personally -- experiences he'll now share with students and faculty at home at Bluefield College.
Miles away from home in the Kingdom of Bahrain, situated in the Arabian Gulf, off the east coast of Saudi Arabia, Dr. Anderson -- BC's first ever Fulbright Scholar -- taught visual programming, network administration, web site security, and systems architecture to students at the University of Bahrain's College of Information Technology.
As a westerner with a doctorate, he was also asked to assist with curriculum development, technical advising, and senior project supervision. In addition, he conducted research for the university and with students pursuing graduate school. And, while he gave much to the school and its students, he said he gained even more.
"It was a great opportunity for me to visit and become immersed in another country, culture and religion," Dr. Anderson said. "The mystic nature of the trip far outweighed the financial, logistical and psychological vicissitudes."
As a professor at the University of Bahrain, Dr. Anderson taught full-time Bahraini students during the day and on occasion instructed part-time students from nearby countries in night classes.
"It was nice to see things that are the same in academe -- the curious students, the technical problems, and the importance of communication," Dr. Anderson said about the classroom comparison, "and the things that are different -- the respect toward faculty, the gender issues, and the oil money to spend."
In his spare time, Dr. Anderson toured the Kingdom of Bahrain, learning much about its history and culture and getting to know some of the people of the island and others from the Middle East. He said the people of Bahrain were hospitable, the food plentiful, the music lively, and the weather balmy. He added that he particularly enjoyed "filling up [his] car with petrol for around $7." And, while he enjoyed this time overseas, he said he also developed a greater appreciation for the benefits found in Bluefield and in America.
"I learned to think more globally," Dr. Anderson said about his experience in the Middle East, "to be more empathetic toward international students, and to appreciate the enviable educational, political, technical and religious environment in the United States."
Now, back home in the familiar confines of a Bluefield College classroom, Dr. Anderson will share what he learned abroad with students on the BC campus. As one of only seven faculty selected nationwide in his discipline to serve as a Fulbright Scholar in 2004-2005, he will bring valuable, yet unparalleled knowledge to the BC classroom and continue to confirm the quality of the faculty and the academic program at Bluefield College.
"This is yet one more example in which a Bluefield College faculty member has received national recognition," said Dr. Elizabeth Gomez, BC's vice president for academic affairs. "It is further evidence that our faculty members are second to none with regard to their professional expertise. We are blessed that such faculty choose to spend their careers here at Bluefield College where the focus is not only on academic excellence and achievement, but also on nurturing students and challenging them to live up to their potential."
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Bluefield College Student Beautifies Bluefield Community
Bluefield College senior Amanda Parks is just months away from graduation, but the BC art major is already putting her education to good use, beautifying the Bluefield community with her mural paintings.
Most recently, the Bluefield College student from Mechanicsville, Virginia, completed a mural for the Salvation Army in Bluefield, West Virginia. In the early stages of planning an after-school program on site, the Salvation Army wanted a mural within its facility that would, according to Parks, "inspire the kids to follow their dreams." Needing an artist, Salvation Army Board member Eva Easley contacted Bluefield College.
"I was probably selected because I've done large murals before," Parks said about the invitation from the Salvation Army and BC art professor Walter Shroyer to paint the mural. "Walter also knows I have to earn a living while I'm in school. Everything seemed to just fall into place."
The most significant piece to fall in place for Parks was a Service Learning Grant from the Appalachian College Association. Designed to help students at Appalachian colleges become more familiar with community service agencies and to find ways they can give back to their communities, the grant provided the funding Parks needed to complete the mural.
"When I first heard about doing the mural, I didn't see how we could do it as a volunteer project," Shroyer said, "but the grant provided the income. We applied, and we got it. It was an answer from God."
The Salvation Army requested that Parks paint a large mural that not only inspired kids in its after-school program to follow their dreams, but also educated them about West Virginia's beautiful landscapes and renowned people, like John Nash, Don Knotts, Homer Hickam and Pearl S. Buck.
With that idea in mind, Parks worked ten consecutive weeks on the project, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and 9 a.m. to noon on Fridays. Hundreds of people visiting the Salvation Army with other service projects watched Parks' work in progress, not to mention the children, parents and other visitors now viewing the mural through the after-school program.
"Amanda did a great job with this project," Shroyer said. "The mural is quite large, and pictures just don't do it justice. You have to see it in person to really grasp the enormity of this project. I really enjoyed being her faculty mentor on this."
Parks will graduate from Bluefield College in December with a bachelor's degree in fine arts and a concentration in painting, and while her school days at BC may be over, she said she hopes her artistic days in Bluefield are just beginning.
"I would definitely like to continue mural painting," Parks said. "I'm grateful for the opportunities Bluefield College has given me already with the college, the community and outside of the community to do that. After college, I would like to work as an artist, beginning right here in Bluefield."
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Bluefield College Students Enjoy Improved Residence Halls
Bluefield College students recently returned to campus for the fall 2005 semester to find that the administration had been busy during the summer break improving living conditions on campus.
During its spring 2005 meetings, the BC Board of Trustees approved a resolution to bring significant renovations to the women's residence hall, Rish Hall. Using funds from the college's endowment, under the direction of Dean of Students Dan Bowman, the administration began the $200,000 restoration project shortly after the students dismissed for summer break. The improvement effort, the building's first since 1959, brought new bathrooms, new window treatments and new lighting to the facility...just in time for the return of students this fall.
"We think students were pleasantly surprised with the improvements we made to Rish Hall over the summer," Bowman said. "We've heard a lot of good feedback about the difference the work made."
Bowman said that the improvements to Rish will not only benefit current students by "creating a living environment that is pleasing to the students," but also impact the college's efforts in recruiting prospective students. BC Student Government Association President Jaimie Hobbs agreed.
"Some of our living conditions have not been ideal in the past, but we know the college is taking big steps in the right direction to change that," Hobbs said. "The changes should do a whole lot to attract students here and to keep them here."
Bowman, who will actually be departing the college soon to become the associate dean of students at Radford University, said the Rish Hall improvement project, like many other renovation efforts on campus, is all about the best interests of BC students.
"I hope that through my work here at Bluefield College I will be leaving the school in a better situation than it was when I came," Bowman said. "Hopefully, and most importantly, I hope I've been able to touch some lives, and I hope that some of the projects we've accomplished will make the lives of students a little bit better here."
During his four years as dean of students at Bluefield College, Bowman has spearheaded two other renovation efforts to benefit students. New window treatments were installed in all the windows in the men's residence hall, Cruise Hall, and the school's Student Activities Center was improved with new televisions, entertainment centers and decorations. The college has also developed a committee to study and guide the planning of a new $6 million student activities center for the school in the near future.
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New Bluefield College 'Live the Challenge' Web Site Goes Live
How would you like to remodel a room in your house? Wouldn't we all relish the thoughts of a new bathroom or an additional bedroom or playroom? Most often we do this type of job when the need becomes so urgent that we must do something to be able to reach our goals.
Well, that's exactly what happened to the Bluefield College web site. The site has been remodeled, and beginning August 12, the college will launch this brand new web site to better meet the needs of prospective students, current students, alumni, faculty, staff, parents and friends. And, according to organizers, those visiting www.bluefield.edu will find an exciting new home page, which has been streamlined to fulfill several purposes.
"The goal of this web site renovation project has been to make the new site externally focused for marketing purposes, but also to make it as internally-friendly as possible," said Crystal White, BC's web project coordinator. "Statistics show that prospective students, both traditional and adult, go to the Internet first to research their college choice. With all of the great new technology we have installed on this campus, why would we want to be left behind when it comes to e-recruiting? It is now the number one way to start checking out schools."
According to research conducted by Noel-Levitz, more than 80 percent of prospective students use the Internet as a tool in the college search. Fifty-six percent of polled students reported that they would rather look at a web site than read a brochure sent to them in the mail. And, while the choice between web site and viewbook is almost an even race, White added, it is vitally important to have a web presence that is appealing to the college's target audiences.
"This does not negate the need for the web site to be as internally-friendly as possible," White said. "It has been the goal of the web site designers and project manager to make the site very user friendly for the myriad of folks who use it on a daily basis."
Quick links are available, White added, so that web users can get to key areas of interest on the web site, in the library and an online writing/tutoring lab. The web site, she said, also features an online bookstore and an area specifically designed for online giving.
The new site will be housed and supported by E-zekiel, whose parent company is Details Communications, a marketing company that has served the college in a variety of capacities in the past, including designing BC viewbooks and other promotional pieces.
Employees responsible for maintaining the web site recently completed training for the new site and are now busy tweaking respective areas for the August 12 "go live" date.
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Bluefield College Students Take Music Ministry on Mission to Europe
While most college students spent their summer break relaxing on vacation, a group of Bluefield College students spent the time in service on mission.
In fact, 24 BC students took part in a music mission trip to Europe with the Virginia Baptist Mission Board in what turned out to be the largest single international mission trip in Bluefield College history.
Despite a longstanding tradition of student service and missions, which includes recent trips to China, Poland and South Africa, never before had this many students from the college come together for a mission cause. The 24 Bluefield College students, who make up the music ensembles Praise Singers and Variations, traveled this summer to Italy, Austria and the Czech Republic to share the love of Christ and the message of the Gospel through song and music ministry.
"This mission experience was more than I had expected," said Gina Adkins, a BC music student from Colonial Heights, Virginia. "It just reaffirmed my decision to go into the music ministry."
Joining Adkins as student members of BC's Variations and Praise Singers on the European mission, designed by the Virginia Baptist Mission Board in partnership with Baptist churches in communities in Italy, Austria and the Czech Republic, were Alex Taylor of Chesterfield, Virginia; Tina Lester of Dodgeville, Michigan; Lindsey Rhoney of Fishersville, Virginia; Tanna Cabaniss of Pulaski, Virginia; Vanessa Bradshaw of Bluefield, Virginia; Mary Peery of Bluefield, Virginia; Charon Wood of Tazewell, Virginia; Sharde Sherman of Dillsburg, Pennsylvania; Tracey O'Donnell of Montcalm, West Virginia; Leah Gilbert of Springfield, Virginia; Bethany Branch of Bluefield, Virginia; Morgan Cassady of Martinsville, Virginia; John Thompson of Richmond, Virginia; Jonathan Vandermark of Richmond, Virginia; Brian Ferguson of Roanoke, Virginia; Jeremy Hardy of Chesapeake, Virginia; Adam McAllister of Bluefield, Virginia; Princess Patterson of Roanoke, Virginia; Kris Hardy of Chesterfield, Virginia; Mike Lavoie of Fredericksburg, Virginia; Matt St. Clair of Glasgow, Virginia; Meghan Garrett of Bluefield, West Virginia; and Cassie Godfrey of Gastonia, North Carolina.
The two BC musical groups performed four separate concerts in three days in Milan, three concerts in the Czech Republic, and two concerts in Austria. They toured and sang in churches and Cathedrals in Italy and Austria, and even offered an impromptu performance in a monastery, which turned out to be one of their more memorable experiences.
"Kids and tourists just kept coming in, stopping and listening to us sing," Adkins said. "We didn't know if they could understand us, but we could tell they were being blessed."
Before going to Europe, the BC music students learned Italian, German, Czech and Romanian languages in preparation for their ministry. While there, they led Bible studies and served in local churches meeting music ministry needs. They offered performances and witnessed in high schools, on street corners, and in town squares. But, despite all they gave, they said they received much more in return.
"I really enjoyed the love and compassion of the people there and how grateful and appreciative they were for our ministry," Thompson said. "They welcomed us. They wanted us there. Crowds would stop and listen to us just for the love of music. The whole experience just reaffirmed for me the idea that music is cross-cultural. We can worship God together, even if we don't speak the same language."
Bryant Moxley, chair of BC's Department of Music and director of Variations, along with Praise Singers director Dr. Eugene Thomas and accompanists Susan Allen, Lisa Moxley and Dr. Elizabeth Gomez, served as faculty advisors for the students. Moxley thanked Virginia Baptist churches and other supporters who helped make the mission experience possible. Churches, families and BC alumni, trustees, faculty, staff and friends, Moxley said, gave more than $51,000 over the past year to underwrite the mission. Serving on mission, he added, is something everyone should consider.
"The mission experience takes us out of our comfort zone to a point where we are more dependant on God and more dependant on one another," Moxley said. "The opportunity to experience that bond between people of different cultures because we are a community of faith in Jesus Christ is life-transforming. And, you don't have to be a trained professional to go. We are all missionaries. We're called to share the love and the good news of Jesus Christ."
BC's Praise Singers and Variations will be performing locally in churches throughout the fall of 2005. For a complete schedule of their performances, e-mail the BC Office of Public Relations. In addition, Variations has been invited to perform at Carnegie Hall in January 2006.
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Bluefield College Approves Tobacco Free Policy
Bluefield College is committed to promoting and encouraging healthy lifestyles...in "mind, body and spirit," according to the school's Purpose Statement. And, as part of its efforts to promote healthy living, physically, the administration recently approved a Tobacco Free policy for its entire campus.
Scheduled to become effective August 15 just prior to the start of the fall 2005 semester, the new policy, according to Dan Bowman, BC's dean of students, is a revised version of the school's previous Tobacco Use Policy. The older Tobacco Use Policy prohibited the use of tobacco in any college facility or entry areas adjacent to campus buildings, but did allow the use of tobacco in designated smoking areas outside on campus. The old policy, Bowman said, "strongly encouraged" students, faculty, staff and visitors to "refrain from the use of tobacco" on campus. The new Tobacco Free Policy, he added, takes an even stronger stand.
"Considering our commitment to healthy living and the United States Surgeon General's stance concerning the danger of smoking, tobacco use and second-hand smoke, Bluefield College will no longer allow smoking or the use of smokeless tobacco anywhere on campus," Bowman said. "The entire campus will be tobacco free. Smoking and smokeless tobacco use will be prohibited."
Bowman said the administration believes the stronger stance will not only promote the institution's purpose of "providing opportunities for growth of mind, body and spirit," but will also support the findings of medical science, consideration due to others, and the desire for a clean campus.
"With this new policy we hope to confirm the message that smoking and the use of tobacco is not a good health decision," Bowman said. "As an institution, we can't promote the value of providing opportunities for the growth of mind, body and spirit while allowing students to take part in something that is not good for the body."
Bowman added that the college is committed to assisting students, faculty and staff who have a desire to give up tobacco habits. Support services for smokers and tobacco users, he said, are available through the school's Office of Health Services.
"We want what's best for our students in all facets of their college experience at Bluefield College," Bowman concluded. "That's what this new Tobacco Free Policy is all about."
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