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BC Employees Earn Distinctions

A host of Bluefield College faculty and staff were involved in a variety of professional distinctions and transitions during the fall of 2016.

Chris Shoemaker

January 19, 2017

Kelly Bittler


Valerie Burrell


Dr. Bonny Dillon


Werner Lind


Scott Polhamus


Mike White


Kelly Bittler departed the college after 11 years of service. A 2003 BC graduate, Bittler joined the staff in 2005 as an area coordinator for women’s residence halls before being promoted to director of residence life and summer programs and then later director of student activities and student counseling.


Dr. Paul Bennett joined the BC faculty as an assistant professor of economics after teaching at Lord Fairfax Community College and George Mason University and working more than 30 years in information technology, including project management, requirements analysis, software design and development, security architecture, audit control design, risk analysis, configuration management, change management, testing, and deployment.


Dr. Thomas Brewster joined the Bluefield College faculty as an associate professor of education. He came to BC with more than 25 years of experience in education, including four years most recently as superintendent of Pulaski County Public Schools. His career also includes work as a teacher at Graham High School, assistant principal at Tazewell High School, principal at Pocahontas High School, assistant professor and director of institutional assessment at Concord University, adjunct instructor at Virginia Tech, Radford University and Bluefield College, and student services coordinator and deputy superintendent for Pulaski County Schools. A 1991 BC graduate, he has also served on the Bluefield College Board of Trustees and was named BC Alumnus of the Year in 2013.


Valerie Burrell joined the Bluefield College staff as an admissions counselor for online students. A 2009 graduate of BC’s adult degree-completion program, Burrell has worked with media, mental health and government agencies. She also holds experience in counseling and ministry with The Empowerment Place.


Dr. Bonny Dillon, professor of psychology and chair of the Department of Human Services, was awarded the prestigious Board Certified PTSD Clinician distinction from the American Psychotherapy Association (APA), the nation’s leading organization to promote and support the profession of counseling. An appointment with the APA is known to demonstrate a person’s dedication to counseling and a willingness to devote time and energy to the field. Dillon also just recently traveled to Florida to counsel the families of the victims of the summer mass shooting in Orlando, where 49 people were killed and 53 wounded in a terrorist attack/hate crime inside a nightclub.


Jordan Dillon joined the BC staff as an administrative assistant for enrollment and finance. A Bluefield, West Virginia, native and recent graduate of Bluefield State College, Dillon’s work experience before Bluefield College includes three years as a medical assistant for two doctors’ offices and work with the Orthopedic Center of the Virginias.


Tara Garland-Matthews, a licensed professional counselor who teaches in BC’s online human services program, was named a master addiction counselor (MAC) by the National Certification Commission for Addiction Professionals (NCCAP). The certification allows her to practice substance use disorders counseling at the master’s degree level. A 2011 recipient of BC’s Wampler-Caudill Distinguished Faculty Award for the adult degree completion program, Garland-Matthews joined BC in 2009.


Dr. Abigail Heiniger, assistant professor of English, served as a presenter at the annual meeting of The American Folklore Society and the International Society for Folk Narrative Research. As a result of her presentation, “The Lost Slipper: America’s Dangerous Obsession with Making it Fit,” Dr. Heiniger received an invitation to publish with Marvels and Tales. Her previous publications include the book Jane Eyre at Home and Abroad and numerous articles.


David Hite joined the BC faculty as an assistant professor of business after serving as professor and chair of the Department of Business at Virginia Intermont College. Hite is also a human resources consultant, having worked with Roadrunner Markets, Volkswagen Group of America, Northup-Grumman, Tempurpedic, U.S. Department of Energy, and Alpha Natural Resources. Before teaching and consulting, he worked with Eastman Chemical Company, Tennessee Valley Authority, and the University of Tennessee.


Librarian Werner Lind’s book review of The Deathcats of Asa’ican by Andrew M. Seddon was published in the Autumn/Winter 2016 issue of The Ark, a Roman Catholic magazine based in Great Britain. Lind’s other publications include additional reviews and articles, four short stories, and a novel, titled Lifeblood. He is also an active member of the Association of Christian Librarians.


Alex Marcus departed BC after three years of service. He came to Bluefield as an admissions counselor after serving as a fundraiser with the Rainmakers organization, a communications and policy intern at the Family Research Council, and a leader for Young Life. He was promoted to BC’s assistant director of traditional admissions in the spring of 2016.


Michael McGill joined the BC faculty as an associate professor of communication after teaching at the University of Pikeville, the University of Virginia’s College at Wise, and as an adjunct instructor at Bowling Green State University and East Tennessee State University. McGill has had numerous publications and conference presentations throughout his career.


Dr. John-Scott Moir, a teacher, performer, singer and conductor with more than 25 years of experience in music, joined the Bluefield College faculty as an assistant professor of music and director of choirs and voice. Before BC, Dr. Moir taught at Crown College, University of Minnesota-Duluth, University of Wisconsin-Barron County, Syracuse University, State University of New York, Northwestern College, and Kent State University. He has also served as an opera singer, conductor and dancer.


Scott Polhamus joined the Bluefield College staff as a traditional admissions counselor. A 2011 BC graduate, he has also worked as an account manager for business supplies, a ministry assistant for the Roanoke Valley Baptist Association, a camp and conference staffer, and a summer missionary intern.


After 32 years of service to Bluefield College, Blair Taylor, director of maintenance and facilities manager, retired. Taylor joined the BC family in 1984 as a member of the housekeeping staff before working his way up to director of maintenance. Throughout his tenure, Taylor was well known and loved by his colleagues and students for his strong work ethic, “pleasant” and “helpful” attitude, and “friendly” and “outgoing” personality. Longtime housekeeper Elizabeth Stanton has been named the new facilities manager.


Ordell Walker, head coach for football, stepped down from his position as leader of the Rams. Walker joined the BC family in 2013, just one year after the revival of intercollegiate football at Bluefield College. He led BC to its first intercollegiate football win in more than 70 years en route to a 5-39 overall win-loss record. Leaving with Coach Walker: his wife, Beth, a BC health and wellness counselor and a volunteer leader of BC’s Pursuit Women’s Ministry.


Mike White was named athletic director after serving more than a year as interim AD. White has also served BC as head coach for baseball for 10 years. This past year, he earned his 300th career coaching win, and in 2009 he led the Rams to a National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) National Championship. That same year, he was named NCCAA Coach of the Year, and in 2013 he received the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Coach of Character Award.




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