Leadership Team

MEET YOUR BLUEFIELD COLLEGE LEADERSHIP TEAM

Trent Argo

Vice President for Enrollment Management

Bio

Trent joined the Leadership team in October 2011. He holds the M.M. M.E., and BM degrees from Campbellsville University. He has over 23 years of experience in higher education enrollment management. Prior to arriving at Bluefield College, he served as a consultant for domestic and international universities, with special concentration in Brazil. Trent served as the Dean of Enrollment Management at Oklahoma Baptist University from 2003-2009 and was the director of admissions at Campbellsville University from 1990-2003. Trent is married to Sandra Lima Argo and they have seven children: Emilio, Chelsea, Lucas, Lais (a freshman at Bluefield College), Alex, Rachel (a ninth grader at Graham High School), and Bruno (an eighth grader at Graham Middle School). Trent has served on many state, regional, and national committees in the field of recruitment and retention. He is also a veteran of the United States Air Force.

Ruth Blankenship

Vice President for Institutional Advancement

Bio

Ruth is a graduate of Emory and Henry College with a BS and is a graduate of Virginia Tech with an MA in Accounting. Before coming to Bluefield College she worked for Brown Edwards and Company as an auditor. Ruth is married to John Blankenship, a Virginia Cooperative Extension Agent and they have a son, Matthew. The Blankenships live in the farming community of Thompson Valley and participate in running the family farm.  Ruth is an active member of the Pleasant Hill United Methodist Church, a member of the Tazewell County Fair Board of Directors, a member of the Thompson Valley Fire and Rescue Auxiliary, Bluefield (Virginia) Rotary, a Tazewell County 4-H Volunteer and has represented Virginia 4-H regionally and nationally. Ruth is active in working to seek economic development for this region by serving on Bluefield, Virginia’s Economic Development Authority and is chairwoman for the Southwest Virginia Workforce Investment Board.  Ruth and her family enjoy spending their spare time on South Holston Lake.

Mimi Merritt

Assistant Professor of Communication; Director of Institutional Effectiveness; Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs

Bio

Mimi teaches journalism and communication law classes at Bluefield College. A graduate of Duke University with a bachelor’s degree in English, she earned her master’s degree in journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In addition to teaching, Mimi serves as faculty advisor for the online student newspaper, The Rampage; as Director of Institutional Effectiveness; and as secretary of the Faculty Committee, which she chaired for five years. Before coming to Bluefield College, Mimi worked 12 years as a journalist for newspapers in North Carolina and Virginia; as an information specialist at Virginia Tech; as a technical writer and editor for PDR Communications in Lexington, Kentucky; and as a writing tutor and freelance journalist. She is married to Rob Merritt (Dean of the College of Arts and Letters at BC), and they have two children: Charlie and Caroline. Mimi is a member of Christ Episcopal Church in Bluefield, West Virginia, where she has taught Sunday school and served on the Vestry. She served eight years as president of Blue Mountain Performing Arts, a non-profit community concert provider for which she is now a grants writer.

David Olive

College President

Bio

David accepted the call to become the ninth president of Bluefield College in July 2007.  He is a native of Maryville, TN and the son of a retired Baptist minister.  David received his Bachelor of Science degree in business management at Tennessee Technological University, his Doctor of Jurisprudence from The University of Tennessee College of Law, and his Master of Divinity at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.  Kathryn and David have been married 23 years and are proud parents of Kayla (a sophomore at Carson-Newman University) and Will (a ninth grader at Graham High School).  He serves on the Executive Committee for the Council of Independent Colleges of Virginia, the Virginia College Fund, the Appalachian College Association, and the board of directors for the Mid-South Conference. He also is a member of the Rotary Club of Bluefield, WV and participates as a member of the Jenzabar President’s Advisory Council.

Diane Shott

Assistant to the President

Bio

Diane came to Bluefield College on September 22, 1999 as the Office Manager in the Office of Institutional Advancement.  In April of 2000 she began her current position as the President’s assistant.  Diane graduated from South Charleston High School (WV) and holds both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Home Economics education from Marshall University.  She was a secondary school teacher prior to the birth of her children.  She is married to James “Smokey” Shott and they have two children: Ryan and Katherine.  Ryan is in the US Air Force, stationed in FL. Katherine is married to Allen Collins and they reside in Bluefield, WV.  Diane also has two step-daughters and six step-grandchildren.  She is an active member of First United Methodist Church in Bluefield, VA, where she sings in the choir, plays hand bells, and serves on various committees.

David Taylor

Vice President for Student Development; Title IX Coordinator

Bio

David received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Bluefield College and earned his Master of Divinity from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. It was the fellowship of First Baptist Church in Princeton, West Virginia, that ordained David into the gospel ministry. He and his wife, Lisa, have two children, J.D. and Ben. David brings with him over 19 years of ministerial experience in Virginia Baptist churches.

Laura White

Vice President for Finance and Administration

Bio

Laura arrived at Bluefield College in April of 2013. She is a Certified Public Accountant and holds a Master of Arts degree in Computer and Information Resources Management from Webster University. She also has a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Accounting from the University of Arizona. Prior to arriving at Bluefield College, Laura was a Financial Analyst in Abingdon, Virginia, for People Incorporated and a Finance Director for Central Presbyterian Church in Bristol (VA). Additionally, she was an instructor at Emory and Henry College for five years, where she taught accounting and business law classes. Laura has two children, Josh and Lauren, both of whom attend Virginia Tech. She and her family attend Celebration Church in Blountville, Tennessee. Laura has also proudly served in the United States Army as a military intelligence officer.