Aaron Noble. Courtesy of Virginia Tech.
Aaron Noble. Courtesy of Virginia Tech.

Here’s a roundup of education briefs from around Southwest and Southside:

Noble named to lead Tech department

Virginia Tech has named Aaron Noble as the new head of the Department of Mining and Minerals Engineering.

Noble is a three-time alumnus of the department that he will lead beginning June 25.

His research has focused on scientific discoveries that lead to technology development, maturation and commercialization, and he has served as assistant director of the Center for Advanced Separation Technologies.

His research has produced 42 peer-reviewed articles and eight awarded or pending U.S. patents, four of which have been licensed to various industry affiliates. Outcomes from his work promote and support the sustainable production of mineral resources through improved energy and processing efficiency and reduced waste. In addition, Noble is an award-winning teacher, having received the departmental outstanding instructor award every year since 2018 as well as college-level teaching awards in 2021 and 2022.

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Jean Case to deliver Tech graduation address

Jean Case will deliver the keynote address at Virginia Tech’s University Commencement ceremony on Friday, May 12. She is the chairman of the National Geographic Society, CEO of the Case Foundation, and founder of For What It’s Worth.

She worked as a top executive at America Online for nearly a decade, where she oversaw all marketing that established AOL as the No. 1 internet brand and the first internet company to go public.

After leaving AOL, Case and her husband, Steve, created the Case Foundation to address social challenges.

The University Commencement ceremony will begin at 8:30 a.m. on May 12 in Lane Stadium. A complete schedule of commencement ceremonies and additional commencement information can be found online at commencement.vt.edu.  

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Bryan Slater to speak at Ferrum College graduation

Virginia Secretary of Labor and Ferrum College alumnus Bryan Slater ’82 will be the keynote speaker for the College’s 107th commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 6. 

Slater has over 20 years of political experience serving the public, non-profit and private sectors. In Virginia, Slater served as Secretary of Administration for Governor James Gilmore.

He was the White House liaison to the U.S. Department of Labor under President George W. Bush and a congressional relations officer for the Department of Housing and Urban Development under President George H.W. Bush. 

Most recently, Slater served as Assistant Secretary for Administration and Management at the U.S. Department of Labor and Assistant Secretary of Administration for the U.S. Department of Transportation under President Donald Trump.

He received his associate’s degree from Ferrum College and his bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Richmond. 

The Ferrum College commencement ceremony honoring the class of 2023 will take place at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 6 in W.B. Adams Stadium on campus. 

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Hindu priest to present two lectures at the University of Lynchburg

Brahmachari Sharan, who directs Hindu life at Georgetown University, will present the University of Lynchburg’s 2023 Turner-Warren and Shumate lectures. Both events are free and open to the public.

Sharan’s Turner-Warren Lecture on Life and Faith — “Living with Faith: A Hindu Among the Jesuits” — will take place at 4 p.m. April 23 at First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) at 3109 Rivermont Ave. in Lynchburg. Sharan will discuss life as a Hindu spiritual leader in a Jesuit environment and what made him decide to take on that role.

His Jennie Cutler Shumate Lecture — “The Spirituality of Difference: Dharmic Perspectives on University Life” — will be presented at 7 p.m. April 24 in Snidow Chapel on campus. In this talk, Sharan will highlight the importance of interfaith work in a university setting.

Sharan is the only Hindu priest serving as a chaplain at a university, as reported in a 2016 Washington Post story. Born in Britain, he trained as a priest at ashrams in India, completed his doctorate in Sanskrit at the University of Edinburgh, and later taught at universities in Wales and London.

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New River CC opens registration for nurse aide program

Registration is now open for New River Community College’s nurse aide program that begins on April 24.  

The 13-week program runs April 24 through July 20 (class ID #25469) with lectures Mondays from 6 p.m.-10 p.m. and skill labs on Tuesday from 6 p.m.-10 p.m.

The course also includes five clinical day Saturday sessions in June and July (6/3, 6/10, 6/17, 6/24, and 7/1) from 6:45 a.m. to 3:15 p.m.  Upon completion of the program, students are eligible to apply to take the National Nurse Aide Assessment Program (NNAAP) exam to become a Certified Nurse Aide.

Nurse aides help patients or clients with health care needs under the supervision of a registered nurse or a licensed practical nurse. They provide hands-on care to patients, helping with bathing, dressing and the basic activities of life. Daily activities a nurse aide might encounter include taking patients’ temperature, blood pressure and other vital signs. 

The nurse aide program is eligible for tuition assistance through the G3 program. This program provides Virginia residents who qualify for in-state tuition and whose family income falls below an identified threshold with tuition assistance. Additional financial assistance may also be available. 

To register, email Amber Slusser-Brillhart at asbrillhart@nr.edu or call (540) 674-3600, ext. 4435. 

Nurse aide is one of several NRCC FastForward programs that provides affordable, short-term training through the Office of Workforce Development. For more information about FastForward program offerings, visit https://www.nr.edu/fastforward/

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Griffith holds Service Academy Day on May 6 in Wytheville

Rep. Morgan Griffith, R-Salem, will host his 2023 Service Academy Day event on Saturday, May 6, from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm at the Wytheville Meeting Center located at 333 Community Boulevard, Wytheville.

The event will feature representatives from each of the U.S. Service Academies, the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets, the Virginia Military Institute, and other Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) programs.

Students in surrounding jurisdictions, outside of the Ninth District, may attend to receive information about the Service Academies and serving in the military.

For more information, contact Josh Hess at (540) 381-5671 or Josh.Hess@mail.house.gov