The new name, and logo, for what has been Dabney S. Lancaster Community College. Courtesy of the school.

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

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Mountain Gateway awarded $3 million

The Economic Development Administration has awarded a $3 million grant to the Mountain Gateway Community College Real Estate Foundation for  for renovation of a workforce development center, according a release from the U.S. Commerce Department.

This project will support the establishment of a manufacturing training center to meet local employers’ existing and future workforce needs, as well as an entrepreneurial innovation laboratory. This EDA grant will be matched with $750,000 in local funds and is expected to create or retain 110 jobs and generate $2 million in private investment, according to the department.

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Two grants awarded for workforce development in Southwest Virginia

The U.S. Department of Labor and the Appalachian Regional Commission have made grants to two groups in Southwest Viriginia for workforce training, according to a release from Rep. Morgan Griffith, R-Salem.

The New River/Mount Rogers Workforce Development Area Consortium has been awarded $1,441,292.

Southwest Virginia Community College has been awarded a $1,378,568 grant.

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More than $20,000 raised to support scholarship at Virginia Western

A golf tournament has raised more than $20,000 to support a scholarship at Virginia Western Community College.

Darla Summers, who is a nursing instructor at Virginia Western Community College, established the Second Chance Scholarship in 2021, to honor a loved one and to raise awareness about addiction. The scholarship is open to any Virginia Western student, but priority will be given to students who have been affected by addiction and/or who wish to promote a safe and drug-free community or those students who have dedicated their lives to helping people find a second chance in life.

Additionally, students must have a minimum G.P.A. of 2.5, be enrolled for nine or more credits and have two letters of recommendation. The $500 scholarship will be given to up to two students per academic year. The scholarship will help cover a student’s academic expenses such as tuition, books and other fees. Summers said the main goal of the scholarship is to support students regardless of their past, while also raising awareness about addiction.

More information about the scholarship can be found by going to:

The Second Chance Scholarship is one of more than 100 Educational Foundation scholarships available to Virginia Western students for the spring 2023 semester. The application is open now and the deadline to apply is Oct. 31, 2022. Apply online at or contact Scholarship Coordinator Carolyn Payne at or (540) 857-6371.

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Karin Saoub. Courtesy of Roanoke College.

Roanoke College professor selected for Science and Technology Policy Fellowship 

Karin Saoub, the M. Paul Capp and Constance Whitehead Professor of Mathematics at Roanoke College, has been selected for the Science & Technology Policy Fellowship from the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Saoub is one of seven mathematicians among the 300 highly trained scientists in the organization’s 50th class of fellows who will help inform actionable, science-based policies throughout the U.S. government. Saoub has been placed as an adviser to the director of the Office of Science in the U.S. Department of Energy.  

Selection for the program was based on an involved application process that included 13 interviews and a writing assignment to research a topic at the level of a 50-page scientific paper but condense it down to a short briefing memo. The fellowship will require similar projects that involve condensing and explaining science so it is informative but accessible to an audience of policymakers and elected officials.  

Fellows like Saoub will learn firsthand about federal policymaking and implementation, while the U.S. government benefits from the contributions of highly trained scientists and engineers. Many of the policy hearings in Congress are supported by scientists like Saoub, who help agency staff prepare for hearings and other situations where they must testify before Congress or in the public arena.  

“It’s really about building the bridges between science and policy,” Saoub said in a statement.

Saoub said the idea to apply for the fellowship came from one of her students.  

“Several years ago, I worked with a student who came up with a project to look at how to use math to combat gerrymandering,” she said in a statement. “It was really interesting to think about how the skills that we teach in math could be useful in a broader sense. This broadened my own view of what I could do beyond teaching and my research. It was cool that something a student came up with has sort of shifted my focus years down the line. It will also help me to see more varied career paths for our math students.”   

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