Michael Garvin. Courtesy of Virginia Tech.

Here’s a round-up of education briefs from around Southwest and Southside. Want more education news? There’s no full-time education reporter west of Richmond. You can help change that. Help fund us.

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Tech one of five involved with new transportation center

Virginia Tech has been chosen as one of five institutions to lead the new Build America Center.

Funded by a $5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation, the center will offer educational programs, information, and resources for transportation agencies in all areas of alternative and innovative project financing and delivery. 

The University of Maryland will serve as national lead of the center while Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech, Purdue, and Stanford contribute as regional partners. Virginia Tech will oversee the eastern regional center, with Michael Garvin, professor of civil and environmental engineering, acting as its director.

The center will act as a knowledge hub and go-to resource for state departments of transportation and other public agencies seeking alternative financing and solutions for transportation infrastructure projects. It also will be a valuable resource for transportation officials to access training for financing and project delivery. The center plans to provide cutting-edge research tools and serve as a collaborative environment to further guide advances in these areas.

Garvin explained that the eastern regional center will coordinate forums such as webinars and peer exchanges as well as offer technical assistance for transportation officials during project planning and procurement. The center’s research also will focus on supporting public agency decision-making through projects that identify best practices or develop specific guidance or tools.

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Danville Community College announces fall registration

Danville Community College has announced details about fall registration, which is now open.

DCC Enrollment and Advising Services, Business Office/ Student Accounts, and Financial Aid Office, will be open for walk-ins with no appointment on Wednesdays in August from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm in the Wyatt Building on the DCC Campus. Prospective students can come in to inquire about classes, apply to attend DCC, register and pay for classes, and apply for financial aid.

DCC will also be holding an Open Enrollment Event on Saturday, August 20, from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. to provide weekend access to those who wish to apply and enroll in classes for the Fall Semester.

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Patrick & Henry names four board members

The Patrick & Henry Community College Board has added four members: Sean Adkins, Belinda Bryant, Robert Foster, and Shana LeGrant. These members were appointed by their respective localities to fill vacancies that arose last year.

Sean Adkins is the Director of Economic Development and the Executive Director for the Economic Development Authority (EDA) for Patrick County. His career has almost entirely been spent as a public servant for non-profits and local governments in the fields of community and economic development. He earned his undergraduate degree in Business/Organizational Studies from the University of Connecticut, his Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree from the University of Miami, and originally came to Virginia for the PhD program in Public Policy at Virginia Tech.

Belinda Bryant received her Bachelor of Science, with a major in Social Work, from Longwood University through New College Institute. She graduated from PHCC in 2016 with an Associate in Arts and Science (General Studies) with a minor in Human Services and is currently employed at HopeTree Family Services as a Regional Director for their DDM (Developmental Disabilities Ministry) program. She travels to four group homes within a two-hour radius from Martinsville.

Robert W. Foster is a native of Henry Count and attended Patrick Henry Community College earning a Certificate in Architectural Drafting and Associate Degree in General Studies before transferring to Radford University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice with a concentration in Probation and Parole in 1988. He has been employed with the Virginia Department of Juvenile Justice for over thirty years, serving as a Probation Officer, Probation Supervisor, Court Service Unit Director and beginning in 2011 serving as the Regional Program Manager for the Western Region of the Commonwealth.

Dr. Shana LeGrant is a Technical Assistance Associate at the North Carolina Early Learning Network, Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute. She has two decades of successful experience in providing support and training to preschool through fifth grade teachers across the state of North Carolina. Dr. LeGrant holds a B.S. in Elementary Education, an M.S. in Curriculum and Instruction, an Ed.S. in Curriculum and Instruction, and a Doctorate in Education. Her research revolves around teacher self-efficacy for delivering literacy instruction to students in early childhood classrooms, grades preschool through second grade.

Sean Adkins was appointed by Patrick County to fill the unexpired term of Dr. Clyde DeLoach.   He will be eligible for his first full four-year term in 2023.

Belinda Bryant, Robert Foster, and Dr. LeGrant were appointed to represent Henry County and began their first four-year term in July 2022.