Bluefield University in the News


by | Jan 6, 2012

With the start of a new academic year at Bluefield College and with recent growth on the BC campus, the school welcomed a host of new faculty and staff for 2011-2012.

Trent Argo joined the BC family as the new vice president for enrollment management. He came to Bluefield after serving six years as dean of enrollment management at Oklahoma Baptist University, 13 years as director of admissions at Campbellsville (KY) University, and additional time as an admissions consultant for various colleges and universities.

Melissa “M.J.” Baker joined the sports staff as head coach for women’s basketball. Before Bluefield, she served as head women’s basketball coach at Spartanburg (SC) Methodist College, assistant women’s basketball coach at Spring Hill (AL) College, and head girls’ basketball coach at John Curtis (LA) Christian School, where she was named Louisiana’s Class AA Coach of the Year.

Lisa Bales joined the BC administrative staff at its Fredericksburg (VA) Regional Office as the coordinator of inSPIRE online admissions for the Greater Fredericksburg area.

Paula Beasley joined the BC family as a circulation supervisor for Easley Library. She came to Bluefield from Ashland, Kentucky, where she served as manager of The Education Station. Her experience also includes two years as a library media specialist at South Grade (FL) Elementary School, 10 years as a library technical services clerk at Palm Beach (FL) Atlantic University, and two years as a pre-school teacher at KinderCare Learning Center in Florida.

Erika Bell joined the BC staff as a new assistant athletic trainer. She came to Bluefield from West Virginia Wesleyan College, where she earned a master’s degree in athletic training in 2011. She also holds a bachelor’s degree from Marietta (OH) College.

Debbie Checchio came to Bluefield as the new director of financial aid. In fact, she served in the same position years ago before taking a position at Virginia Tech as a higher education policy and planning specialist for the Office of Budget and Financial Planning. Before her first BC stint, Checchio worked 14 years for the Auditor of Public Accounts for the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Joining the college as an administrative assistant for Academic Affairs is Nicki Childress. Childress is a recent graduate of Bluefield College.

Mike Compton joined the BC family as an assistant coach for football. An All-American football player at West Virginia University, Compton played 12 seasons in the National Football League. His coaching experience includes two years as an assistant at Tazewell (VA) High School and one year as head coach for Patrick Henry (VA) High School.

Caroline Dixon joined the administrative staff as a human resources assistant after working several years with First Sentinel Bank and First Community Bank. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Bluefield College

Kevin W. Downer joined the BC faculty as a professor of exercise and sport science. Downer holds a master’s degree in sport management from West Virginia University and a bachelor’s degree from California University of Pennsylvania.

Pamela Fox joined the BC family as an admissions coordinator in the Greater Roanoke area for the inSPIRE online degree completion program.

Stacey Hairston came to Bluefield as an assistant coach and defensive coordinator for football. After five years in the National Football League (NFL) and Canadian Football League (CFL), Hairston worked as an assistant coach, special teams coach and defensive coordinator at Ohio Northern University before serving as an assistant coach for the CFL’s Edmonton Eskimos.

Brian Hall joined the Athletics staff as head coach for men’s and women’s golf. In addition to his duties at BC, Hall is a special education teacher at Pulaski County (VA) High School. He attended David Lipscomb (TN) University.

Joining the BC staff as director of online degree programs is Dr. Dale Henry, the founder and president of Your Best Unlimited, an organization that trains more than 100,000 professionals and executives each year. A onetime associate dean of professional and graduate studies at Tusculum (TN) College in Tennessee, Dr. Henry has served as a consultant for Levi Strauss, AT&T, FedEx, Xerox, Sun Trust, and the Disney Company. Hired as Dr. Henry’s assistant for the online degree program is Bryan Maddox and as coordinator of online media, Micah Stephens.

Bruce Hopler joined the staff as a director of spiritual formation. He has 18 years of experience as a church planter, developer, and pastor. He also holds a master of divinity degree in Biblical languages.

Joining the staff as an information technology application developer is Chip Lambert. His experience includes several years as a database manager and programmer. He graduated rom Bluefield College in 2009 and is pursuing a master’s degree in enterprise software architecture from Capella University.

Ryan Lambert joined the BC sports staff as an assistant coach for baseball after a stellar playing career for the Rams. Before graduating from BC in 2010, Lambert helped lead the baseball team to a National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) championship in 2009 and a school record for wins in a season (33) in 2008.

Dr. Robert Lange joined BC’s faculty as interim director of the public safety and criminal justice portions of the inSPIRE degree completion program. Dr. Lange has 34 years of professional experience, including 22 years in the United States Marine Corps and additional experience in national security. He also has taught at various community colleges.

Dr. Carolyn Keen Lewis joined the BC family as a professor and director of the school’s new nursing program. Before BC, Dr. Keen served as chair of Nursing Education at Spalding (KY) University, assistant dean of the Nursing Division at Bluegrass (KY) Community and Technical College, and associate professor of nursing for the University of Kentucky.

Wakunuma Nanuma came to BC to serve as a financial aid counselor for non-traditional students. In addition to administrative support, she will assist inSPIRE degree completion students and eSPIRE online degree students with financial aid matters.

Chase Neidig joined the Athletics staff as sports information director. His experience includes service as president and director of Tourbeau Sports Group, a sports video production, sports media, and team branding enterprise. Neidig, who will also serve as an assistant coach for BC’s men’s soccer team, also has worked as director of player development and public relations for the Dayton (OH) Dutch Lions Soccer Club.

Joining the BC faculty as an assistant professor of biology is Dr. Martin F. Offield. He holds a doctorate in cell biology from Vanderbilt (TN) University, a master’s degree from Texas A&M University, and a bachelor’s degree from Liberty (VA) University.

Tammy Pennington joined the BC family as an assistant director of the new nursing program. Before Bluefield, she served as coordinator of the registered nursing program at Virginia Highlands Community College and adjunct instructor for nursing at Wytheville (VA) Community College.

Kim Potts joined the BC family as the coordinator of inSPIRE online admissions for the Greater Richmond area.

Dr. Kathryn Irene Moody Rieger joined BC’s faculty as an assistant professor of English. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English and French literatures from Samford (AL) University, a master’s degree in French literature from the University of Florida, and a Ph.D. in English literature from Western Reserve (OH) University.

Tim Robinette joined BC’s staff as a computer technician and fine arts technology coordinator. He holds a bachelor’s degree in computer programming from Bluefield State College.

Joining BC’s sports staff as head coach for men’s and women’s tennis is Mark Sarver. Sarver is a graduate of Bluefield College, where he played varsity tennis and basketball before continuing his studies at Bluefield (WV) State College. His experience includes 28 years as a secondary schools teacher and coach at Bluefield (WV) High School, Graham (VA) High School, and Bland (VA) High School.

Tara Shelley came to BC as an assistant athletic trainer after earning her master’s degree in athletic training from Shenandoah (VA) University. She also holds a bachelor’s degree from Florida State University.

Joining the BC sports staff as head coach for women’s volleyball is Brian Votaw. Votaw’s previous experience includes coaching at Gilead (OH) Christian School (OH) and Highland (OH) High School. He also has experience on the national scene as a coach for the 15-U National Team for Club Mintonette in Ohio.

Kristen Walker came to BC as the new head coach for women’s softball after a stellar playing career at Covenant (GA) College, where she was a four-year starter on a team that earned two NCCAA National Championship appearances and one NCCAA Mid-East Region title. While a student at Covenant, she also worked as director of intramurals athletics, coordinator of athletic facility operations, and the athletics admissions assistant.

Brenda Workman joined the BC staff as an administrative assistant for the Office of Enrollment Management. She also serves as director of the college’s Fine Arts Community School and is a liaison between BC and homeschool students.

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How do transferring credits work?

  • Each College or University completes a transcript review in order to decide which courses transfer. Sticking to general education classes generally makes transferring credits simple. All Early College courses at Bluefield University are general education classes that should transfer to another accredited institution.

Is an Early College student considered, and treated, as a transfer student when they become a full-time college student if they have earned enough credits to be a Junior?

  • No. Since they have not graduated from high school, they are considered a first-time college student regardless of how many credits transfer. However, by transferring credits when they enroll as a full-time student, they will have to take fewer classes to receive their bachelor's degree, which shortens the length of time to earn the degree.

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