James Zeisler, executive chef at Owens Food Court. Courtesy of Virginia Tech.

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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Virginia Tech executive chef wins culinary competition 

James Zeisler, executive chef at Owens Food Court at Virginia Tech, won the National Association of College & University Food Services’ 2022 Mid-Atlantic Conference Culinary Challenge. The annual competition recognizes exceptional culinary expertise within collegiate dining and rewards a combination of organization, talent, technique, taste and style.

Zeisler’s score also earned him a silver medal from the American Culinary Federation, whose standards were used in judging the challenge.

Zeisler competed against three other collegiate chefs from the region in Norfolk in March. The timed competition required the chefs to prepare a creative entree featuring one mandatory ingredient — a whole turkey — in a nutritionally balanced plate. Zeisler advances to the association’s National Conference in Spokane, Washington, in July to compete before a live audience against winners from the other five regions.

Zeisler said in a statement that he enjoyed the chance to make a fresh play on a traditional American meal. “My turkey was brined, seasoned with sage and thyme, wrapped in prosciutto, and stuffed with arugula and cotija, a Mexican cheese. I kept the traditional sweet potato puree but added a mushroom and Brussels saute, and instead of cranberries for tart contrast, I went with pomegranate foam.”

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Eric Adams. Courtesy of VCEDA.

VCEDA awards grant to . .

The Virginia Coalfields Economic Development Authority has awarded a $10,000 seed capital grant to Weeping Willow Café & Tap House in Lebanon.

The restaurant, owned by Eric Adams, will hold a ribbon cutting ceremony with the Russell County Chamber of Commerce on Saturday, June 4 at 2 p.m.

 The business projects three full-time and three part-time employees, according to  Jonathan Belcher, VCEDA executive director/general counsel.

“If it hadn’t been for the grant from VCEDA, it would have been really difficult to do this project in a timely manner,” Adams said in a statement. “It was definitely a Godsend to help us out.”

Adams worked with the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Southwest Virginia Community College (SWCC) in developing his application to VCEDA and received a letter of support from the Russell  County Industrial Development Authority.

The restaurant will be open five days a week. Current hours are from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Closing hours will be extended as the beer taps become operational.

About the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority Seed Capital Matching Grant Fund: VCEDA region for-profit businesses one year and under with less than 10 full-time employees are eligible to apply for dollar-for-dollar matching grants up to $10,000 from the VCEDA Seed Capital Matching Fund. Applicants work with the Small Business Development Centers at Mountain Empire and Southwest Virginia community colleges to prepare the applications to VCEDA that include detailed business and financial plans. Businesses must be located in or plan to operate in the VCEDA region in southwestern Virginia that includes Buchanan, Dickenson, Lee, Russell, Scott, Tazewell, and Wise counties and the City of Norton. 

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The New River Community College nursing scholars. Courtesy of the school.

New River Community College recognizes its first nursing scholars

New River Community College recently recognized the recipients of the first class of NRCC Nursing Scholars, a new scholarship program that fosters opportunity and success for outstanding high school junior and senior students who show interest and ability in NRCC’s Nursing Associate of Applied Science degree.  

Audrey Bucy of Radford High School, Greta Dargel of Montgomery County (homeschool), Melanie Gallimore of Floyd County High School, Mary Graham of Radford High School, Paige Lilly of Pulaski County High School, and Elaina McCoy of Blacksburg High School were awarded scholarships at a ceremony held at NRCC on May 16.  At the event, each student was presented with a new stethoscope. 

Scholarship students and their families were greeted by NRCC President Pat Huber, Vice President of Instruction and Student Services Peter Anderson, Dean of Arts and Sciences Sarah Tolbert-Hurysz, NRCC Educational Foundation Executive Director Angie Covey, Coordinator of Nursing Lorrie Coe-Mead, nursing faculty Debra Massaro and Jessica Windle, and advisors Kassey Davidson and Fran Scartelli. 

“This new nursing scholarship creates opportunities for students in the New River Valley to get a debt-free education in a rewarding and in-demand career pathway,” said Huber in a statement “The program will not only change the lives of our students, but it will also prepare them to serve their communities as health care heroes.” 

Nursing Scholars will receive support from advisors who are charged with helping scholars make the best possible transition from high school through completion of NRCC’s nursing AAS degree. The scholarship consists of level one and level two awards. High school (public, private and homeschool) juniors and seniors who reside in NRCC’s service region (Floyd, Giles, Montgomery and Pulaski counties and Radford) may apply for level one scholarships.

Nursing Scholars must demonstrate outstanding academic achievement, leadership and citizenship. Applicants must have a 3.75 high school grade point average or better and demonstrate superior levels of leadership and citizenship in the application essays. 

Detailed information about the program can be found on NRCC’s website at www.nr.edu/nursing/scholars. For more information about the Nursing Scholars Program at NRCC, contact Lynn Taylor at 540-674-3631 or ltaylor@nr.edu.  

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Forest Service opens McClintic campground

The USDA Forest Service has opened the McClintic primitive campground to visitors on a first come, first served basis. There is no water available at the site and campers will need to pack in all their water needs. A vault toilet is provided. Group Sites remain closed. 

Campers should be aware that the McClintic roadside portal sign was vandalized and not visible while travelling. Travelers can use these coordinates: Latitude 37 59 1.0000 N; Longitude 79 58 0.9998 W.

McClintic Campground is on the north side of Lake Moomaw.

For more information please contact the James River and Warm Springs Ranger District at 540-839-2521, visit website www.fs.fed.us/r8/gwj or follow on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GWJNF and Twitter: https://twitter.com/GWJNF

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Appalachian College of Pharmacy students recognized

Appalachian College of Pharmacy students in the Class of 2022 were recently recognized for their achievements during an awards ceremony held on campus. Students in the classes of 2023 and 2024 will be recognized June 9.

“Our annual awards ceremony the perfect time to recognize our pharmacy students for their hard work and their achievements and a time when we also recognize the best of the best among our faculty and staff,” said ACP Dean Susan Mayhew. “I am so proud of each and every one of them for the many ways in which they have helped, continue to help and will help in the future to advance the profession of pharmacy.”

Awards presented were as follows:

The Dean’s Award, presented by Mayhew, was earned by Matthew Bates.

The award recognizes a student’s outstanding achievement and unselfish devotion to his or her class, the college and the profession. Bates, who earned his undergraduate degree from Liberty University, served as president of his class all three years and was a member of Phi Lambda Sigma and Kappa Psi.

During his time at ACP, he was a two-time winner of the ACP Outstanding Leadership Award. He graduated with members of his class earlier this month and was chosen by his peers as the student speaker. He is currently an intern at Walgreens in Bristol and plans to continue to work there.

The dean also recognized students named to the Dean’s List, who included Mahdieh Moslemi, Chelsey Couch, Tyler Goins, Landon Feuchtenberger, Alexis Inman, Ken Marshall, Gabrielle Perry, Maggie Haynes, Walter Lester, Sally-Kella Mbah, Melissa Plowman and Priyal Vyas. Students named to the Dean’s List are those who have achieved a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher.

Mahdieh Moslemi was the winner of the highest grade point average award. Dr. Ingo Engels presented the award.

The Community Service Award was earned by Alexis Thurston. Dr. Ed Talbott made the presentation. The community service award recognizes  outstanding service through the ACP Pharmacists in Community Service (PICS) program.            

Dalton Pierce Oliver was the winner of the Distinguished Service Award. Dr. Caterina Hernandez made the presentation. The award recognizes demonstrated academic excellence, leadership and outstanding service commitment to the college and greater community. 

The Outstanding Student Leadership Award was presented to Sally-Kella Ndeuh Mbah. Dr. Charla Thompson made the presentation. The award recognizes a student who has exemplified outstanding leadership qualities and demonstrated interest in either community pharmacy or health system pharmacy practice. 

Maggie Elizabeth Haynes and Walter Aaron Cody Lester were winners of the professionalism award. Wade McGeorge made the presentation The award recognizes the ideals of professionalism and excellence in patient care in all aspects of the recipients’ academic pharmacy career. 

The Academic Excellence in Pharmacy Award went to Mahdieh Moslemi. Dr. Jeremy Boltz made the presentation. The award recognizes excellence in academics and professional motivation in the profession of pharmacy. 

Winners of the Distinguished Interprofessional Education Scholar Award were Jenna Tage, Dalton Oliver, Machaela Keene, Mackenza Harris, Allen Garcia, Aaron Justice, Dylan Caudill, Olakunle Akinola, Hanaa Abdelati and Brent Bailey. Dr. Kris Preston made the presentations.

The VIATRIS Excellence in Pharmacy Award was presented to Chelsey Noel Crouch by Dr. U.S. Rao. The award is given to a graduating senior in the top 25% of their class academically, demonstrating high professional motivation and the intent to enter into practice upon graduation.

Tyler Glen Goins was the winner of the VPHA Research and Foundation Student Award. Dr. Randall Cole made the presentation. The competitive award is presented annually to one student from each school of pharmacy in Virginia. Nominated students must have achieved above average scholastic results (top 25% of his or her class academically); have demonstrated the ideals of professionalism and excellence in patient care in all aspects of his/her academic pharmacy career; have demonstrated exceptional service and commitment to the profession of pharmacy through involvement in professional organizations and other extracurricular learning opportunities; intend to apply their knowledge of patient care to achieve better outcomes of drug therapy and health care delivery as a practitioner of pharmaceutical care upon graduation; and be a member of the student organization at their school.

The NCPA Student of the Year Award was earned by Alexis Louise Inman. Dr. Randall Cole made the presentation. The recipient must be an active member of NCPA who has contributed to the continued success of the NCPA student chapter at their pharmacy school.

The Wolters Kluwer Clinical Drug Information Award of Excellence in Clinical Communication was awarded to Gabrielle Viers Perry. Dr. Brent Gravelle made the presentation. The recipient of the award is in the top 25% their class academically; and possesses superior verbal and written clinical communication skills.

The VSHP Excellence in Health System Pharmacy Award was presented to Alexis Louise Inman. Dr. Richard Nicholas was the presenter. To be awarded, the recipient must demonstrate excellence in patient care activities in health system pharmacy practice; demonstrate an interest in pharmacy practice in health-system pharmacy (e.g. hospital, home care, managed care, long-term care) through work experiences, didactic/experiential experiences, or both; demonstrate intent to pursue a career in health system pharmacy upon graduation; and be a member of and have been active in the student VSHP chapter.

Merck Awards were presented by Dr. Faisal Hossain to Ken Kawashima Marshall and Landon Elliot Feuchtenberger. The Merck awards are given to students who have shown outstanding proficiency in medicinal chemistry.

ACP faculty and staff members were also recognized. Dr. Ingo Engels was recognized with the Outstanding Science Faculty Teaching Award; Dr. Ed Talbott was recognized with the Academic Excellence in Clinical Teaching Award; and Dr. Angie Mutter was recognized with the Administrative Staff Member of the Year Award.

Dr. Randall Cole was recognized as the Student Organization Advisor of the Year and was also recognized with the Preceptors of Excellence Award, the Community Outreach Acclamation Award and the Distinguished Alumni Award. Dr. Cole was a Class of 2014 graduate of ACP.

The Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes distinguished contributions in the fields of public health and public service, the performance of outstanding activities in the interest of the college and its students and an outstanding record in the profession of pharmacy.

Additional awards were presented to: 

  • Lora Reynolds, FNP, Johnston Memorial Diabetes Care Center, who was recognized as the Preceptor of the Year. The award is given to recognize outstanding preceptors who have had a positive impact on students’ experiential education.
  • Dr. Mohammad Faisal Hossain, who was recognized with the Preceptor of Distinction Award. The award recognizes an outstanding preceptor amongst ACP pharmaceutical sciences faculty who has had a positive impact on students’ experiential education. 
  • Dr. Caterina Hernandez, who was recognized with the Above and Beyond Award. The award recognizes the professor who has gone “above and beyond” in providing academic support, tutoring, career counseling, or mentoring.