A host of Bluefield College faculty and staff earned a variety of professional development distinctions during the winter and spring of 2011.
Debbie Checchio was named the new director of financial aid in May 2011. 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. She holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Liberty University and is a certified public accountant (CPA).
In February 2011, the Appalachian College Association presented a Mellon Foundation Grant Award to BC’s Dr. Gerardo Cummings, associate professor of languages and director of Global Education. The award will provide funds for Dr. Cummings to attend a spring 2011 Salzburg Global Seminar in Austria to research “Instrumental Value: The Transformative Power of Music.”
Werner Lind, assistant professor and assistant director of Easley Library, published a short story, titled “The Gift,” in March 2011 with Trestle Press. The supernatural short story is also available online as an e-story with Amazon, Smashwords and other electronic book services. Lind also published a supernatural romance novel, titled Lifeblood, in 2004 with Silver Lake Publishing, along with two short stories and a number of articles and reviews in prominent periodicals over the past several years.
Dr. Rob Merritt, professor of English and faculty advisor for BC’s Honor Society, was elected in April 2011 to serve on the Executive Committee of the Virginias Collegiate Honors Council. Dr. Merritt will represent four-year private colleges on the Executive Committee.
Wakunuma Nanuma was promoted in February 2011 from administrative assistant to financial aid counselor for non-traditional students. In addition to her administrative support, she will now assist inSPIRE degree completion students and eSPIRE online degree students with financial aid matters.
Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell announced appointments to 33 boards and commissions in January 2011, including the appointment of BC President David Olive to the Tourist Train Development Authority. Dr. Olive is also a Board of Director member of the Council of Independent Colleges of Virginia, the Virginia College Fund, the Appalachian College Association and the Rotary Club of Bluefield, West Virginia.