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International student finds success, friendship at NOVA

When Denise Foz graduated from high school in the Philippines and moved to the U.S. with her mother, she had plans to attend a four-year university – and she will. But her first stop was Northern Virginia Community College where, in May 2017, she’ll receive a associate of arts degree in liberal arts with a specialization in psychology.

Denise Foz

NOVA-Annandale hosts Annual Green Festival

More than 300 students and community members registered to participate in the 2017 Green Festival on April 26 at the Richard J. Ernst Community Cultural Center at the Annandale Campus. The festival included panel discussions, an information fair, a screening of the film A Plastic Ocean, giveaways, a raffle for a kayak and a keynote address from National Geographic’s Sandra Postel.

Sandra Postel

NOVA-Annandale Hosts 3rd Annual STEM Fair

More than 220 students submitted 96 projects in three different categories of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) for NOVA-Annandale’s 3rd Annual STEM Fair on April 18 in the forum of the Richard J. Ernst Community Cultural Center. This year’s theme was “Turn On Your Inner STEM.” The students engaged with judges, faculty, staff and their peers who attended the event, explaining their research, results and their interests in various topics.

STEM fair

Annandale Campus Acknowledges Student Accomplishments

During its 2017 Student Achievement Awards Ceremony, Northern Virginia Community College’s Annandale Campus acknowledged 50 students for their accomplishments and for receiving prestigious scholarships to continue on their educational journeys. The ceremony was hosted at the Richard J. Ernst Community Cultural Center at the Annandale Campus.

Student award winners

NOVA Forensics Team Takes Home Gold at Nationals

In April, the Northern Virginia Community College Forensics Team competed at the 2017 Phi Rho Pi National Tournament where they performed excellently during a week-long competition in debate, public speaking and literature in Tysons Corner, Virginia.

Forensics team

Students Present Academic Work For Dr. Joseph Windham Student Voices Conference

Thirty-five NOVA students presented projects, research and academic studies during the annual Dr. Joseph Windham Student Voices Conference on April 20 at the Alexandria Campus. More than 40 people attended the event to engage in a learning experience on some of the students’ major achievements during spring 2017.

NOVA Forensics Team members

Two NOVA graduates named 2017 Jack Kent Cooke Scholars

Northern Virginia Community College is pleased to announce that two of its 2017 graduates, Martha Gizaw and Amanullah Waheed have been awarded the prestigious Jack Kent Cooke (JKC) Foundation Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship. The scholarship provides up to $40,000 per year for tuition, books, living expenses and required fees for the final two to three years necessary to earn a bachelor’s degree at a four-year college or university.


NOVA student contributes to American Journal of Physiology research

NOVA Professor Dr. David Fernandez and student Jetta Walker are on the cusp of being published in the American Journal of Physiology following their recent contributions to a research project led by Dr. Pamela Tuma and her graduate students at Catholic University.

Dr. David Fernandez encouraged NOVA student Jetta Walker

Academic Success Center Helps Student Excel in Math

When NOVA student Dani Erbe returned to the classroom after a 12-year break, she was determined to complete her degree. Working full-time for Fairfax Water, Dani often has long week days – completing work at her job then attending classes and tutoring sessions at NOVA part time.

Student and tutor

NOVA Idol gives NOVA students their moment in the spotlight

They say every minute a star is born and for the past 14 years, NOVA Idol has been showcasing local stars with its annual production. This year was no exception as the aspiring stars stepped into the spotlight Friday, March 31 to take the stage at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center at the Alexandria Campus. The event featured three variety acts and nine singers.


Alexandria Professors Discuss Trips to Cuba

On March 28, four Alexandria Campus professors discussed their recent trips to Cuba as part of the Liberal Arts Division’s week of seminars entitled Cuba: Culture and Concept. Professors Araceli Bachner, Lucy Gebre-Egziabher, Peter Ruffner and Gloria Ward spoke to an audience of 20 students, faculty and staff about their recent travel experiences.

NOVA Professors

Brazilian educators complete professional development training program at NOVA

In partnership with Northern Virginia Community College, the TESOL Training for English Faculty from the Federal Network of Professional and Technological Education Institutes of Brazil provided a total of 74 Brazilian educators with the opportunity to build a mutual understanding of the English language through a non-degree program of academic and cultural studies.

Dr. Hill and educators

Alexandria Campus Welcomes Exchange Students from Scotland

Through a partnership with higher education institutions in Dundee, Scotland, the NOVA Alexandria Campus welcomed six students from Dundee & Angus College for the spring 2017 semester. Liberal Arts Division Dean Jimmie McClellan emphasizes that the City of Alexandria and Dundee are culturally and economically linked, and it gives the two cities the opportunity to collaborate and create partnerships.

Dundee Students

NOVA-Alexandria Faculty Visit Abertay University in Scotland

Some of NOVA-Alexandria’s faculty spent some of their spring break lecturing at Abertay University in Dundee, Scotland. Professor Meredith Aquila and Dr. Lynette Garrett met with Abertay staff and students – strengthening the partnership between the university and NOVA’s Alexandria Campus.

NOVA Professors Lynette Garrett and Meredith Aquila visited Abertay University, Dundee & Angus College and local schools in Dundee, Scotland, the sister city to the City of Alexandria.

More than 700 patients receive free dental care at NOVA’s Medical Education Campus through Mission of Mercy

For the 14th consecutive year, the Medical Education Campus of Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) has partnered with the Northern Virginia Dental Society to provide free dental services for low-income residents of Northern Virginia. Mission of Mercy, also known as "M.O.M.," offered high-quality dental care to approximately 700 to 1,000 local patients on Friday, March 10 and Saturday, March 11 at the campus in Springfield.

Scott Ralls

NOVA Foundation Board Member awarded Prince William Chamber Charles J. Colgan Visionary Award

Carlos Castro, owner of Todos Supermarkets, a NOVA Foundation Board member and a highly regarded community leader, received the Prince William Chamber of Commerce Charles J. Colgan Visionary Award on Tuesday, Feb. 28. Castro is an author and also the subject of articles in USA Today, Washington Post and Huffington Post chronicling his tremendous success following immigrating to the United States from El Salvador as a young man and working multiple jobs in his early days in America. Castro was nominated for the Colgan award, named in honor of the late state Senator, by several chamber members who cited his extraordinary vision, leadership and motivation.

Business Awards

Alexandria Women’s Center Hosts Elect Her Training for Female Students

For the third year, NOVA-Alexandria’s Women’s Center partnered with the American Association of University Women (AAUW) and Running Start to host “Elect Her” on February 24. More than 50 female students from all six campuses participated in conversations about their interest in running for Student Government Association (SGA) office and getting involved in politics on a local, state and national level.

 Elect Her training program

Annandale SGA Vice President Finds Career Path at NOVA

As a student at Bishop Ireton High School in Alexandria, Andrea Luna wanted to attend a four-year university and was hesitant about community college. But Andrea came to the realization that she didn’t feel strongly about one particular higher education institution over another and wasn’t sure what she wanted to study.

Photo of Andrea Luna

NOVA faculty honored for helping cardiac arrest victim at metro station

Debra Anderson, a biology and health science adjunct instructor at Northern Virginia Community College, was one of two individuals honored on Feb. 7 by Alexandria Fire Chief Robert C. Dubé, Metro General Manager/CEO Paul J. Wiedefeld and Metro Transit Police Chief Ron Pavlik for saving the life of a cardiac arrest victim at the Braddock Road Metro Station in Alexandria.

Metro and Alexandria Fire Departments

NOVA-MEC honors local seniors for American Heart Month

In recognition of February’s designation as American Heart Month, Northern Virginia Community College’s Medical Education Campus (MEC) hosted a heart health luncheon to promote healthy living habits for local seniors on Feb. 2.

MEC faculty and students offered high blood pressure screenings to seniors.

NOVA student snaps photo of historic home in Arlington

When NOVA photography student Joe Gossman found out that a Lustron home in Arlington may be torn down, he set out to capture a photo of it in all of its historic glory. Gossman’s goal for this project was to get an iconic photo of the home in an effort to, in a way, preserve it. To do this, he decided to step back in time and use old school photo processing techniques

NOVA student Joe Gossman

Jim Klock: From NOVA to Hollywood

After almost 20 years, former NOVA student Jim Klock still attributes his success to when he received a little nudge in the right direction from a drama class professor at NOVA-Alexandria. Klock, who enjoyed acting in high school before becoming a law enforcement officer, said he never would have become the actor, director or producer he is today if he hadn’t heard some words of encouragement from Professor Brenda Lewis-Holmes.

Jim Klock and actress Gugu Mbatha-Raw

NOVA students tour National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center

More than 10 students from Northern Virginia Community College who are interested and enrolled in the cybersecurity degree program recently visited the Department of Homeland Security’s National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center and National Infrastructure Coordinating Center in Arlington.

NOVA students

NOVA History Professor teaches classes at detention center

Professor Michael Oblinger taught in public schools for 31 years and is an adjunct professor at Northern Virginia Community College’s Alexandria Campus. Even with decades of experience, Oblinger said his students at the William G. Truesdale Adult Detention Center in Alexandria always keep him on his toes.

Professor Michael Oblinger teaching history

NOVA-MEC professor uses Fulbright scholarship to develop midwife degree program in Africa

After setting a personal goal to travel abroad to help the underprivileged, Dr. Fonya Atabong, an assistant professor of Nursing at the Medical Education Campus of Northern Virginia Community College, championed the development of a three-year midwife degree program at the University of Buea (UB) in Cameroon, Africa – her country of origin.

Dr. Atabong

NOVA Continues ‘Model Partnership’ with The Posse Foundation

Representatives of The Posse Foundation recently visited the Annandale Campus for information sessions with veteran students. Along with Posse Trainer Joe Prive, Posse Associate Vice President Lamont Gordon spoke with students about the organization and opportunities. They also met and spoke with President Scott Ralls and Provost Pam Hilbert.

Posse Foundation

Woodbridge inducts first class of students in women’s empowerment campus organization, WISE

Twenty-six female students were inducted into Women in Search of Excellence (WISE), a mentoring program which supports the educational success and leadership abilities of students. The first annual induction ceremony was held on Oct. 20th at the Woodbridge Campus of Northern Virginia Community College. The guest speaker for the event was Dr. Kimberly M. Holmes, director of retention and student success at George Mason University.

Newly inducted mentees of WISE

Alexandria Liberal Arts Diversity Committee Hosts Panel Discussion

On October 20, the Liberal Arts Diversity Committee at the Alexandria Campus hosted its annual Dr. Joseph Windham Series on Race Relations panel discussion for students, faculty, staff and the community. More than 50 people attended the event to discuss this year’s topic, “Different Narratives and Perspectives in Mass Media.”


American University Professor Speaks on Political Elections at Annandale

American University Professor Dr. Allan Lichtman recently spoke to students, faculty, staff and community members for Constitution Day at the Annandale Campus. More than 100 people showed up to hear Lichtman speak about predicting political elections and to ask questions about the 2016 presidential elections.

American University’s Dr. Allan Lichtman

Alexandria Liberal Arts Hosts Guest Lecturer from Scotland

The Alexandria Campus’ Liberal Arts Division recently welcomed Dr. Adrienne McLaughlin of Abertay University in Dundee, Scotland to give a guest lecture to NOVA students on the recent Brexit vote affecting countries in the European Union.

Dr. Adrienne McLaughlin

Television host and entrepreneur Paul C. Brunson speaks at MAN UP event

Northern Virginia Community College has honored its fourth president, Dr. Robert G. Templin, Jr., by naming a building at its Loudoun Campus after the man whose passion is to advance education in the region and nation. Dr. Julie Leidig, provost of NOVA’s Loudoun Campus, hosted the ceremony on Thursday, Sept. 8.


NOVA names newest building on Loudoun Campus after former president

Northern Virginia Community College has honored its fourth president, Dr. Robert G. Templin, Jr., by naming a building at its Loudoun Campus after the man whose passion is to advance education in the region and nation. Dr. Julie Leidig, provost of NOVA’s Loudoun Campus, hosted the ceremony on Thursday, Sept. 8.

Dr. Templin

Giles-Brown appointed as Medical Education Campus DMS Program Director

Leigh Giles-Brown, has been appointed as the new diagnostic medical sonography (DMS) program director for Northern Virginia Community College’s Medical Education Campus (MEC). Giles-Brown has several years of experience working as an ultrasound educator and professional sonographer. Prior to joining the MEC, she was an assistant professor for the DMS program at Howard Community College in Columbia, Md.

Leigh Giles-Brown

NOVA’s Vet Tech expert appointed to Virginia Board of Veterinary Medicine

Dr. Tregel Cockburn, assistant dean and associate professor of the Veterinary Technology program at Northern Virginia Community College’s Loudoun Campus has joined the Virginia Board of Veterinary Medicine, an organization that regulates the licensure and practice of veterinary medicine in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Dr. Tregel Cockburn

Local high school students solve murder mystery at NOVA’s NCSI Academy STEM Camp

Seventy-five high school students from across Northern Virginia explored a forensics mystery during the week-long summer NCSI Academy STEM camp at Northern Virginia Community College. The students learned cutting-edge laboratory techniques during the camps held at NOVA campuses in Alexandria, Annandale, Manassas and Woodbridge.

NCSI students

NOVA students explore Mars through NASA Community College Scholars program

Northern Virginia Community College students Bridget Velasquez and Logan Eggers share a common interest in aerospace and physics. Eggers did well in high school, graduating with a 3.66 GPA. Velasquez says she excelled in English but her STEM grades were a “smattering of C’s and D’s.” Neither thought they would end up participating in the prestigious 2016 NASA Community College Scholars (NCAS) program.

NASA scholars

NOVA-Annandale plays Pokemon Go to interact with students

The Mark R. Warner Student Services Building (CA) has always been a hub of activity on Northern Virginia Community College’s Annandale Campus. The building houses the Barnes and Noble Bookstore and Starbucks, counseling and testing centers, business services, admissions office and other services – making it a one-stop shop for students.

NOVA student Larry Nguyen shows his character

Chair of local Workforce Board to lead NOVA College Board

The Northern Virginia Community College Board, on May 26, elected Todd Rowley as its incoming Board Chair to replace Dr. Michael Wooten whose term ends this spring. Rowley is senior vice president and commercial market executive at Cardinal Bank, headquartered in Tyson’s.

Todd Rowley

Former ESL student  earns Nursing degree at NOVA

Amina Amisi is a spring 2016 graduate from NOVA’s Medical Education Campus (MEC). With plans to pursue a career in nursing, Amisi graduated summa cum laude, with two associate degrees—one in nursing and the other in general studies.

Photo of Amina Amisi

NOVA graduate thrives despite health challenges

In May, approximately 7,600 students will graduate from Northern Virginia Community College and each has a story about his or her educational journey. One of these students is Nana Adwoa Ofori at NOVA’s Manassas Campus.

Photo of Nana Ofori

NOVA students named to PTK Top Ten and All-Virginia Academic Team

Northern Virginia Community College student Abigail Allen was selected as a member of the Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Top Ten All-Virginia Academic Team. She received the award at a ceremony and luncheon held April 20 at the Double Tree by Hilton in Richmond.

PTK All-Virginia Academic Team honorees

NOVA-Woodbridge students organize nationwide inNOVAtion hackathon

Students from various colleges and universities across the county gathered on the Woodbridge Campus of Northern Virginia Community College to participate in a hackathon event organized by five NOVA cybersecurity and information technology students. The event was held at the Regional Center for Workforce Education and Training (RCWET) on April 8-10.

NOVA-Woodbridge students organize nationwide inNOVAtion hackathon

Automotive Industry Requires Tech Savvy Employees

NOVA provides students with the technical skills and knowledge necessary to enter this demanding – and rewarding – profession. Many of the program’s instructors are NOVA graduates with advanced training and years of real-world experience in the automotive field.

NOVA students repairing a truck in the Collision Repair certificate.

MEC Supplements Education with Virtual Anatomy Table

With the new Anatomage Table, instead of standing in front of a table with an actual human cadaver, students can trade the smell of formaldehyde for a digital anatomy library full of over 120 pathological examples.

NOVA Nursing and Allied Health students examining a human cadaver with the new Anatomage Table.

High-Tech Music Recording Studio with First-Rate Instruction

The Higher Education Center at NOVA’s Loudoun Campus includes a state-of-the-art recording studio for NOVA’s Music Recording Technology program. The new studio contains the industry standard SSL console that records in high definition to software-based recorders.

NOVA student at work at NOVA Loudoun recording studio.

NOVA’s Medical Campus: Bridging Current and Emerging Technologies

The Medical Education Campus at Northern Virginia Community College is the only specialized community college campus in the Commonwealth of Virginia. NOVA’s state-of-the-art Medical Education Campus was built in the summer of 2003 and is home to all of the college’s Nursing and Allied Health Programs—ten in all.

Students in the Patient Simulators Lab.

NOVA Year Up Student Shifts Career Focus from FBI Profiling to Cybersecurity

Second-year NOVA student Christian Galvan said he hadn’t considered a career in cybersecurity. Having moved with his family from El Salvador to the U.S. when he was 8 years old, Galvan said he had dreams of becoming a professional soccer player. His aspirations eventually evolved to wanting to study psychology so he could be a profiler for the FBI.

Photo of Christian Galvan