Ferrum College’s first graduating nursing students participated in a pinning ceremony at Vaughn Chapel on Friday, April 22, 2022. A total of seven students graduated with their nursing degrees at the 106th commencement ceremony on Saturday, April 23, 2022. Pictured left to right are nursing students Grace Wright, Casey Raggett, Shaun Cobb, Jennia Candy, and Christine Aigner. Not pictured are Jennifer Pittman and Shalita Armstrong. Courtesy of Ferrum College.

Here’s a round-up of news briefs from around Southwest and Southside. Send yours for possible inclusion to news@cardinalnews.org.

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Ferrum College marks first graduating class of nurses

When Ferrum College graduated the Class of 2022 recently, it also graduated its first class of nurses.  The 106th commencement ceremony held Saturday, April 23, 2022, saw a total of seven students graduating from either the RN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program or the pre-licensure BSN program, which launched in fall semester 2020 and spring semester 2021, respectively.

The college added the two new nursing programs to its curriculum to help address the nationwide shortage of nurses. “If the pandemic has taught us anything, it is that nurses are national heroes,” said Ferrum College President David Johns in a statement.

 The college’s pre-licensure BSN program prepares students to sit for the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses. The college also offers a 100% online RN to BSN program, which can be completed in as few as 18 months. Students accepted into the program must either hold an unencumbered RN license or be enrolled in an RN program within the Virginia Community College System. 

(For background on the nursing shortage, seeNational nursing shortage highlights challenges fo expanding nursing programs” by Cardinal’s Megan Schnabel.)

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Virginia Tech makes Top 100 in global rankings on sustainability

The Times Higher Education Impact Rankings, produced by Times Higher Education magazine, has ranked Virginia Tech No. 98 out of 1,406 universities spanning 106 countries.

The rankings aim to to be the only global performance tables that assess universities against the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals.

Virginia Tech ranked No. 19 out of 604 universities globally in the category of responsible consumption and production. This category measures universities’ research on responsible consumption and each’s approach to the sustainable use of resources.
Virginia Tech also earned a high ranking in the category of zero hunger (No. 36 out of 553), a category that considers a university’s research on hunger, their teaching of food sustainability, a commitment to tackling food waste, and a commitment to addressing hunger on campus and locally. The school’s Center for Food Systems and Community Transformation helped with the high ranking in this category.
Other top marks for Virginia Tech came in the categories of sustainable cities (No. 56 out of 783), climate action (No. 59 out of 674), clean water (No. 66 out of 634), reduced inequalities (No. 67 out of 796), and life on land (No. 87 out of 521).

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Wytheville Community College Bluegrass and Old-Time Jamboree will be May 21

This month’s free monthly Bluegrass and Old-Time Jamboree at Wytheville Community College will feature The Crooked Road Ramblers and Gap Civil on Saturday, May 21 from 7-9 p.m. The Jamboree will be held in the William F. Snyder Auditorium on the WCC campus in Wytheville, located at 1000 East Main Street. Attendees are encouraged to wear a face covering and practice social distancing.

The Crooked Road Ramblers are an old-time band from Southwest Virginia, steeped in the traditional music of the Blue Ridge. They have played at the Carter Family Fold, the Wayne Henderson Festival, Houstonfest, and many other venues across Virginia and North Carolina. They have won first place in the old-time band category at the Ashe County, Alleghany County, Laurel Bloomery, Fries, and Union Grove fiddler’s conventions in addition to a second place finish at the Galax Fiddler’s Convention. They were also named the Old Time Instrumental Group of the Year at the 2014 Blue Ridge Acoustic Uprising. The band was founded by fiddler Kilby Spencer, originally from Whitetop. The band includes John Perry on guitar, Donald Hill on guitar and vocals, Karen Carr on bass and vocals, Wayne Dye on mandolin and vocals, and Debbie Yates on banjo.

Hailing from Sparta, NC, Gap Civil performs old-time music deeply rooted in the traditions of the region. The group is a regular performer at the Jubilee in Sparta, the Alleghany Jubilee, and other regional dances, concerts, and fiddlers conventions. Gap Civil will get you dancing to the tunes of Caroline Beverley on guitar, Chris Johnson on banjo, and Lucas Pasley on fiddle.

Doors to the Snyder Auditorium open at 6 p.m., with music beginning at 7 p.m., Seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis. The event is free and open to the public. Donations will be accepted to help defray the travel expenses of the bands.

The WCC Bluegrass and Old-Time Jamboree was first organized in 2006. The event is hosted by WCC English faculty member, Jason Settle, whom you may find playing the fiddle along with one of the bands. The WCC Jamboree is an affiliated venue of The Crooked Road.