Employees Earn Professional Distinctions (Winter '14)
A host of Bluefield College faculty and staff earned a variety of professional distinctions during the fall of 2013.
January 28, 2014
Dr. Thomas Kinney
Dr. Carolyn Lewis
Dr. Larry Sinsabaugh
Samantha Bales joined the BC family as a Business Office accounting assistant for the purpose of serving as a student financial advocate. A graduate of Bluefield State College, she is in charge of student charges, collections, and general receipting.
B.J. Bauer joined the college as head coach for golf. A 1998 graduate of BC, Coach Bauer is a Bluefield native who has worked at Wells Fargo in Bluefield since graduating from college. While a student, he helped lead the Rams golf team to several conference championships and national tournament appearances under the tutelage of Sports Hall of Fame coach Dewayne Belcher.
Dr. Cindy Bascom, professor of communication and chair of the Communication Department, was named dean of the College of Professional Programs. Dr. Bascom is a recipient of BC’s Distinguished Faculty Award and was the college’s first female teacher to be promoted from associate professor to the rank of full professor.
Jim Butski joined BC as the new head coach for women’s volleyball after serving in the same position at Florida Christian College where he was named the 2011 National Christian College Athletic Association South Region Coach of the Year. He also holds 15 years experience as a teacher at Indian Rocks Christian School and Martin County High School.
Dr. Kim Farmer, associate professor of criminal justice, was named chair of the Department of Criminal Justice, replacing retiring chair Dr. Robert Lange. A graduate of Bluefield College, Dr. Farmer helped develop BC’s original adult degree completion program in criminal justice and continues to teach in the program in its current online format. She is also a pre-law advisor for students.
Barbara Gillespie joined the college as the new director of Easley Library. Before BC, she served more than 30 years as a library media specialist with Virginia Public Schools, most of that time with Tazewell County Schools at the elementary, middle and high school levels. Gillespie has also served as an adjunct instructor with the University of Virginia at Wise, and in March 2013 was named the Virginia Association of School Librarians Clinch Region Library Educator of the Year. She is a member of Tazewell Presbyterian Church where she participates in the chancel and hand bell choirs.
Tim Hartin joined the BC family as sports information director. Hartin’s experience includes work as a graduate assistant SID at Liberty University, where he earned a master's degree in sports management. Prior to Liberty, Hartin studied sports management at Thomas College in Maine, where he also served as a student supervisor for sports information.
Timothy Hegerich joined the BC Admissions Office as a transfer counselor after working five years in Admissions at Brewton Parker College in Georgia. He also has experience as a bi-vocational pastor.
Sierra Hoover joined the BC family as an admissions counselor. She is a graduate of Newberry College where she worked in the Admissions Office during her senior year. At Newberry, she also played women’s varsity tennis team and was active in a number of student organizations.
Dr. Thomas Kinney, associate professor of history, published two articles. Author of the award-winning book, “The Carriage Trade: Making Horse-Drawn Vehicles in America,” he published “Looking Back at Horse-Drawn Commercial Vehicles” in the magazine “World on Wheels” and “High Gloss: Sherwin-Williams and the Birth of Modern Paint” in the magazine “Timeline.” Dr. Kinney has published 11 articles and 22 book reviews throughout his career. A freelance historian, writer and museum consultant, he is also a frequent presenter and lecturer, and will, in fact, lead a discussion at the 2014 International Carriage Symposium in Colonial Williamsburg in February.
Jennifer Lamb came to BC to serve as the assistant registrar and assessment counselor. She brought nine years of higher education administration experience to the school, including seven years of work with veteran students. She also has experience with multiple database systems and will serve as BC’s veterans certifying official, working closely with students who receive veteran’s benefits for education.
Andrew Lawrence, director of online programs, published an article in The EvoLLLution, a grassroots online newspaper for and by professionals. The online publication focuses on news and research about the impact of non-traditional higher education programs, and Lawrence’s article discussed the rapidly growing culture of online learning, including the importance of partnering with technology-savvy allies and connecting with industry specialists through professional organizations.
Dr. Carolyn Lewis, dean of the School of Nursing, retired from the college in December 2013. As the inaugural dean of BC’s School of Nursing, she was responsible for leading the charge of developing the new nursing degree. During her two years with BC, she gained accreditation for the nursing program with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). She also developed a Guaranteed Admission Agreement with the Virginia Community College System to draw students and nurses statewide into the BC School of Nursing. She will remain a consultant for the college.
Alex Marcus came to BC as an admissions counselor after serving as a fundraiser with the Rainmakers organization. A graduate of the University of Tennessee, Marcus has also served as a communications and policy intern at the Family Research Council. Outside of his professional career, he has logged more than 1,000 hours of community service and served as a Young Life leader in Fairfax, Virginia.
Ashley Mingo came to BC to serve as an admissions counselor after working the same position at Greenville College in Illinois. She also holds experience as an academic advisor at Greenville College.
Casey Palmer joined the Bluefield College family as director of the New Opportunity School for Women (NOSW). A 2012 BC graduate, she worked a year as a producer for WDBJ-TV. While a student, she volunteered at the Abel Crisis Pregnancy Center and the Blue Ridge Women’s Center, which helped developed her passion for serving women, which she will do now through the NOSW.
Judy Pedneau joined the college as director of human resources. She actually served as the BC Bookstore manager in 1999, between personnel positions for a coal company and a media company. Pedneau brings more than 25 years of human resources management experience to the college, most recently having spent nine years with The Kroger Company/Bluefield Beverage as a human resources and regulatory compliance manager.
Tammy Pennington, assistant director of nursing, left BC in August 2013. During her tenure, she helped develop the college’s first-ever nursing program. A nurse for 14 years, Pennington has worked in medical, surgical, intensive care, and emergency room acute care settings. She has also worked in home health, school nursing, and mobile intensive care transports.
Tom Price joined the BC family as head coach for women’s soccer. He came to Bluefield from Southern Wesleyan University in South Carolina, where he served as head coach for women’s soccer for eight years. His experience also includes stints as an assistant women’s college soccer coach and a head coach for high school and club soccer. A onetime youth minister, Coach Price will also serve as an assistant coach for men’s soccer.
Tim Robinette rejoined the BC staff as an information technology database analyst. He worked at the college in 2012 as a computer technician and fine arts technology coordinator. In his new position, he will provide Jenzabar database support and implement software solutions for the new dental school.
Dee Shoemaker, associate professor of business, left BC in August 2013 after 18 years of service. During her tenure, she served as chair of the Division of Business and was an award-winning faculty advisor for the school’s competitive business club, Phi Beta Lambda, which won the state championship or a runner-up honor in eight of the nine years she led the group. Shoemaker also was a recipient of BC’s Distinguished Faculty Award and an Honorary Alumna distinction.
Dr. Larry Sinsabaugh retired from the college after serving seven years in full time administration and nearly two decades as a part-time professor in the school's degree completion program. His most recent position was associate vice president for online programs. Before that, he served as dean of the College of Professional Programs. As an administrator, he developed curriculum for the degree completion program and designed recruitment and retention initiatives for degree completion students. As a part-time and later full-time instructor, Dr. Sinsabuagh taught management, behavioral science, and psychology courses. In addition to awards from the American Board of Vocational Experts, the Virginia Department of Rehabilitative Services, the United States Department of Labor, and the Virginia Rehabilitation Counseling Association, Dr. Sinsabaugh won BC's 2006 Alfred and Shirley Wampler Caudill Distinguished Faculty Award. While at BC, he has also authored books and articles on counseling, management, and vocational analysis.
Kelley St. Clair joined the BC staff as an associate vice president for finance and administration, where she will focus on the development of financial and administrative structures for the college’s new School of Dental Medicine. A certified public accountant, St. Clair came to BC after serving in various financial roles in the public sector since 1998.
Will Stella joined the BC family as an information technology support specialist, his first professional position after earning his bachelor’s degree in computer information systems from Concord University.
Laura White came to Bluefield to serve as the associate vice president for finance and administration, where she will focus heavily on the development of the financial and administrative structures of the college’s new School of Dental Medicine. As a certified public accountant with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a master’s degree in computer and information resources, she spent her early career in the U.S. Army in military intelligence and Special Forces. She also served in various finance roles in the private sector and as a teacher, trainer, and instructor in accounting, taxation, business law, and information systems. Her most recent job experiences include serving as the finance director for Central Presbyterian Church in Bristol, Virginia, and in a similar role for People Incorporated of Virginia in Abingdon.