Instructor of physical education Bruce Wasem, Andy Cox, director of teacher education, Cath Jones, USW head of research development and pedagogic practice, and assistant professor of education Elizabeth Dotson-Shupe. Courtesy of UVA Wise.

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

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UVA Wise prepares for study abroad program in Wales

The University of Virginia College at Wise is preparing to launch a study abroad program in Wales.

Three University of South Wales staff spent a week getting to know UVA Wise — its faculty, campus, surrounding region and partner secondary schools — in preparation for a new teacher education study abroad program between the two academic institutions.

The first students from Wales are expected this fall and UVA Wise students may cross the Atlantic next spring. The proposal will create a four-week study abroad program, including the opportunity to work with K-12 students in both Wise and Wales.

Earlier this month, Cath Jones, USW head of research development and pedagogic practice, Linda Davidge-Smith, USW head of initial teacher education, and Sallyann Seaward, USW senior lecturer in initial teacher education, toured the College’s campus.

The Wales group also met faculty, mentor teachers and students at Wise Primary School, Norton Elementary School and Union Primary School — anticipated partners in the exchange abroad program.

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UVA Wise names Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Management

Jeffrey Baylor. Courtesy of UVA Wise.

The University of Virginia’s College at Wise has announced that Jeffrey Baylor will join the College on July 5 as UVA Wise’s next Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Management. 

Baylor has been serving in the enrollment management field for just over 25 years, first at his undergraduate alma mater, Marietta College in Ohio. From there, Baylor led teams in advancing admissions and financial aid strategies and systems at several colleges and universities, most recently at West Texas A&M University. 

At West Texas A&M, Baylor led his team to set a new enrollment record in Fall 2020. He also developed and managed a recruitment plan to sustain long-term enrollment growth and integrated a financial services model to better serve students. Prior to his time in Texas, Baylor led enrollment management teams in Ohio, Florida and South Dakota, among other locations.

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Brookville grads with counsellor Amy Sawyer. Courtesy of Campbell County Economic Development.

Campbell County holds ‘signing day’

On May 20, Campbell County Schools celebrated the Class of 2022 graduates who are directly entering the workforce as a result of their education, training,and experience as Career and Technical Education students with a Signing Day event at the Campbell County Technical Center.

Campbell County Schools recognized a total of twenty CTE students from all four county high schools as they signed on to begin their careers at 14 different local businesses. 

On the day of the event, students and their new employers each signed letters of intent detailing the expectations for the student by the company and what these companies will provide in terms of compensation, benefits, and continued training.

Hancock Electric and ACW Electric each signed a graduate. Two local salons, Studio, Style & Spa and Southern Roots Hair Studio, found state-licensed workers from the Cosmetology program. Certified nursing assistant graduates will be filling positions at Generation Solutions, Heritage Hall Healthcare & Rehabilitation Center, Liberty Ridge Health and Rehab, as well as Runk and Pratt at Liberty Ridge. Simply Vanilla signed with a graduate from the culinary arts program. A variety of local automotive shops signed new workers, including Sandrof Auto Body, Piedmont Fleet Services, Bryant’s Garage and Body Shop, and Strong’s Automotive.

The employer with the most signees for the day was Bankers Steel, which signed a total of five new full-time employees from this year’s graduating class. Amy Sawyer, guidance counselor at Brookville High School, explained that Bankers Steel has a 16-hour per week, 10-week training program, called Bankers High, which these students attended. Students apply for the program after they and their parents attend an initial interest meeting often as early as 10th grade. Bankers Steel hosts an open house tour of their on-site training classroom to ensure expectations and advantages of their training program are clear. Both the student and potential employer benefit from this on-site training, as it provides each the opportunity to determine if the other is a good fit before deciding whether to hire or be hired, according to a release from Campbell County Economic Development.

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Pictured (L to R): Shannon Sutherland, Barbara Altizer with the Metallurgical Coal Producers Association, Caleb Scheoff, Anthony Lester, Shannon Moore, Brandon Rasnick, Will Altizer, Ricky Allen, Jordan Curry and Randy Moore with Virginia Energy. Courtesy of Virginia Energy.

Wellmore Coal wins Governor’s Cup

Wellmore Coal Company took top honors in the 35th annual Virginia Governor’s Cup Mine Rescue and Safety Contest held Wednesday, June 1st and Thursday, June 2nd. The competition was held on the campus of University of Virginia’s College at Wise. The rescue and safety contests were co-hosted by the Virginia Department of Energy (Virginia Energy) and the Metallurgical Coal Producers Association.

The mine rescue teams competed to conduct rescue and recovery operations in a staged mine disaster scenario laid out in the university’s David J. Prior Convocation Center. Team members donned full mine rescue gear, including oxygen breathing apparatus, to determine underground mine conditions, construct ventilation controls and locate and extract accident “victims”.

The teams were judged on their thoroughness in recording mine conditions on a map as they advanced into the “mine” and their ability to identify and respond to hazards that could endanger the team or trapped miners.

Individual coal miners also competed in the bench and preshift competitions. The preshift competition is designed for mine foreman and judges their ability to identify and rid the coal mine of any problems. Foreman do this check before the beginning of each shift to ensure the safety of their crews.

The bench competition has miners looking for problems in the breathing gear their team uses. Competitors need to quickly identify discrepancies that could put their teammates at risk if it causes the pack to not properly function.

Winners of the 35th Virginia Governor’s Cup Mine Rescue and Safety Competition included:

 Virginia Governor’s Cup Winner: Wellmore Coal Company

 2nd Place Team: Alden Resources

Bench 1st Place: BG4:  Casey Mooneyhan, Alpha Met Resources, Paramont Contura team

Bench 2nd Place: BG4:  Robby Middleton, Alpha Met Resources, Paramont Contura team

Preshift 1st Place: Joey Sykes, Alpha Met Resources, Paramont Contura team

Preshift 2nd Place: Frankie Moore, Alpha Met Resources, Paramont Contura team

Virginia Governor’s Cup Teams: Alden Resources,Coronado Buchanan Minerals Black Team, Coronado Buchanan Minerals Black Team, Alpha Met Resources Paramont Contura team, Virginia Small Operators Mine Rescue and Wellmore Coal Company.

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Salem Museum presents talk on the long rifle in history

In the 18th century, the long rifle played an important role in shaping Virginia’s history. Gunmakers brought their own distinctive personalities to the process of rifle making. Essential for survival on the Virginia frontier, this celebrated rifle became a surprise factor in winning American independence.

On Thursday, June 9 at 7 p.m., join renowned expert and Salem native Wallace B. Gusler for an in depth look at the impact of the long rifle on the development of colonial Virginia. Gusler was Colonial Williamsburg’s first Master Gunsmith, and later Curator of Furniture and Arms and Director of Conservation. With his many years of experience, he is a scholar highly regarded for his in-depth knowledge of 18th-century firearms.

This Salem Museum Speaker Series talk will be presented on Zoom. The Zoom link will be posted on the Salem Museum’s web site,, on the morning of the talk.

An in-demand speaker and exhibit consultant, Gusler served as the guest curator of The Long Rifle in Virginia exhibit at the William King Museum of Art in Abingdon. On display through October 31, the exhibit details the art and artistry of the 18th and 19th century long rifle gunmakers throughout the Virginia backcountry. This story of the Virginia frontier is also highlighted at the six regional museums which form the Virginia Settlement Trail, which follows the path of the Great Wagon Road. Learn more at the Wilderness Road State Park, Ewing; Natural Tunnel State Park, Duffield; William King Museum of Art, Abingdon; O. Winston Link & History Museum of Western Virginia, Roanoke; Frontier Culture Museum, Staunton; and the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley, Winchester.

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VDOT seeks comment on Willliamson Road in Roanoke

The Virginia Department of Transportation in partnership with the City of Roanoke invites residents and travelers to provide input on a transportation study to address safety, bicycle, pedestrian and transit needs along the section of Williamson Road (Route 11) between Orange Avenue (Route 460) and Hershberger Road (Route 101) in Roanoke.

The study will analyze the operational and safety issues. Public comments on the study will be accepted through an online survey June 6 – 20, 2022. Information about the study and the online survey can be found on the website or by using the direct link at