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Featured Articles

NOVA faculty inspires students by sharing his early struggles in education

As a child growing up in Youngstown, Ohio, Michael Turner was not a huge fan of attending school. He was placed in special education classes from the time he first began school up until the ninth grade. Despite several odds against him, he is now able to share with students his story of adoption, overcoming obstacles and the importance of education as the Dean of Students at Northern Virginia Community College’s Woodbridge Campus.


Annandale Veteran of the Month: Dylan Hoffstatter

After serving almost eight years in the Marine Corps, veteran and first-year NOVA student Dylan Hoffstatter is working toward another one of his childhood dreams. Growing up in Wisconsin, he wanted to do two things: join the Marine Corps and study medicine.


NOVA cybersecurity student prepares to enter Marymount’s graduate program

When Ibrahim Bah started attending classes at Northern Virginia Community College, he already had a bachelor’s degree in computer science from a university in his home country of Sierra Leone under his belt. His original plan was to earn a degree in information technology at NOVA. But after taking his first cybersecurity class, Ibrahim found a new passion.


NOVA-Alexandria Announces Winner of Inaugural Film Pitch Competition

The committee for NOVA-Alexandria’s very first Film Pitch Competition recently announced this year’s winner. Led by film professor Lucy Gebre-Egziabher, the committee decided to use the story idea written by Northern Virginia Community College student Joann Bonanno to create this year’s project for Film Without Walls.

Joann Bonanno

NOVA Workforce Development Hosts Cybersecurity Employer Roundtable

Workforce Development at Northern Virginia Community College hosted its very first Cybersecurity Employee Roundtable on Nov. 13. The College welcomed representatives from the U.S. Senate, Raytheon, Triple Point Security and Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Technical Solutions Division for a discussion and to speak directly with 15 NOVA students who are currently in the cybersecurity program.

group shot of cybersecurity roundtable

NOVA’s Medical Education Campus prepares students for careers in healthcare with modern simulators and equipment

As the first specialized community college campus in the Commonwealth of Virginia, the Medical Education Campus (MEC) at Northern Virginia Community College continues to offer exceptional quality education through realistic classroom instruction. The MEC is well-equipped with the most modern and technically-advanced equipment to ensure its graduates emerge and are prepared for their desired medical profession.


NOVA inducts new cohort of students in women’s empowerment campus organization, WISE

Thirty-two Northern Virginia Community College female students were inducted into Women in Search of Excellence (WISE), a mentoring program which supports the educational success and leadership abilities of students. Young women from two of NOVA’s campuses, Woodbridge and Manassas, joined the organization’s mission toward professional and academic enrichment during an annual induction ceremony held at each respective campus.


Presidents of Regional Colleges and Universities Discuss U.S. Dreamers

University and college presidents joined together in support of protecting U.S. Dreamers by participating in the panel discussion “Dreamers Making a Difference on Campuses and in Communities” on Monday, Oct. 16. Faculty, staff, students and supporters quickly filled the Copley Formal Lounge at Georgetown University for the event. The discussion was moderated by the university’s president John J. DeGioia.


NOVA students publish creative works on diversity and feminism

Within the walls of their ENG 273: Women in Literature classroom, a total of 22 students at Northern Virginia Community College’s Woodbridge Campus composed essays, poems and short stories to celebrate diversity and feminist ideology. What started off as a final project, has now developed into a testimonial compilation, “Stolen Tongues: A Women in Literature Class Anthology.”

Aida Campos and Reuben Chavez

International Student Nurtures Love of Computers and Soccer at NOVA

We can confidently say that luck runs in the family of second-year Northern Virginia Community College student Oscar Ikundi. A few years ago, his sister won the lottery in their homeland of Cameroon. A year later, his father also won the lottery. With the means to travel, Ikundi and his father moved to the U.S. for more opportunities.


MAN UP expands across NOVA Campuses with new members inducted at annual ceremony

Northern Virginia Community College’s MAN UP program has strengthened in membership and popularity for male students. A total of 39 new inductees from three of NOVA’s campuses pledged an oath to academic excellence and personal growth on Oct. 5th at MAN UP’s annual Induction Ceremony. The event was held at the NOVA-Woodbridge Lakeside Theatre.


A beautiful story behind NOVA-LO sculpture

There is a beautiful sculpture set outside the Reynolds Building at NOVA’s Loudoun campus by Vietnamese artisan Vinh Do. It is silver and delicate and gives the impression of a bird taking flight. There is an equally beautiful story behind the work.

Dr. Bev Blois, Dr. Sung Nguyen, NOVA Loudoun students An Huyen and Thu Nguyen

NVTC and NOVA - A Partnership that Matters

Northern Virginia’s technology companies have an urgent need for talented employees. I heard that loud and clear the other day when one of our region’s leading CEOs called me to discuss strategies for the challenges he and other tech employers are facing. The challenges are clearly reflected in the data, validating the angst that our technology employers are feeling and the urgency for our region to be laser focused on workforce development


NOVA-Annandale Celebrates 50 Years with Heritage Celebration

Northern Virginia Community College’s Annandale Campus celebrated 50 years with a Heritage Celebration on Friday, Sept. 22. NOVA faculty, staff, students, community members and a number of elected officials attended the event to recognize the anniversary as NOVA President Scott Ralls dedicated an interpretive sign at the historic site on campus where the original farmhouse once stood.


NOVA Cross Country Looks Toward NJCAA Championship

NOVA’s cross country team started off the 2017 season with some fresh new talent and the goal of winning the National Junior College Athletic Association national championships.


Veteran NOVA student pursues second associate degree from alma mater

While enlisted in the United States Army, Dallas Lockley took his first college-credit course. He always knew he wanted to attend college, but lacked self-confidence and motivation to further pursue his education. With a little push from his comrades in the Army, in 2014 he decided to attend NOVA. After graduating in May with a degree in general studies, the NOVA alum has now returned to the Woodbridge Campus to earn a second associate degree, this time in social science.


NOVA, Prince William police departments discuss positive interactions with citizens

In an effort to further develop positive relationships among citizens and local law enforcement, Northern Virginia Community College’s (NOVA) Police Department and the Prince William County Police Department partnered to host a free community-relations training session, “Safe Passage Home: Simulations and Discussion of Citizen-Police Interactions.” The event was held on Sept. 9 at the NOVA-Woodbridge Campus Lakeside Theatre.

Sgt. Ben Grantham

NOVA Volleyball Team Starts 2017 Season with a Win Over Allegany

The women of the Northern Virginia Community College volleyball team are starting their 2017 season off right. With a 3-0 win over Allegany College of Maryland, the Lady Nighthawks are even more determined and encouraged to have an amazing season on and off the court.


NOVA offers free financial literacy resources for students

When it comes to financial literacy, students at Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) are at a distinct advantage. However, NOVA’s Financial Literacy Program provides a plethora of educational resources for students to increase their awareness of personal financial management.


NOVA Annandale Opens Digital Anatomy and Physiology Laboratory

The Annandale Campus hosted a ribbon cutting and celebration ceremony for the official opening of its Digital Anatomy and Physiology Laboratory in the CS Building. Anatomy and Physiology Assistant Dean Cindy Miller explained that the Math, Science and Engineering Division – with the help of MSE Acting Dean Mary Vander Maten and MSE Dean Abe Eftekhari who’s on sabbatical – the faculty was able to dedicate space for the lab and new equipment.

Anatomage Table

International Student Finds Easy Transition Through NOVA

Before Pirouz Ebadi Rab moved to Virginia, he considered moving to other states in the United States because he had family in different regions. His sister – a NOVA graduate – encouraged him to move to Northern Virginia and attend NOVA to help with his transition. What Pirouz found, he said, was the opportunity to attend college and learn from different cultures.

Pirouz Ebadi Rab

Virginia native attends NOVA to change career path

Northern Virginia Community College student Wayne Yee is not your traditional student. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in computer science from Old Dominion University, and he works full time in the computer science field as a government contractor.

Wayne Yee

NOVA Student Life hosts first NOVASGA Advisory Board meeting

NOVA’s Student Life Office called together student government leaders from all six campuses to form a college-wide SGA Advisory Board. This group will help to eliminate lines drawn between individual campuses and to achieve one voice and common objectives across all campuses.


NOVA Alumni Studying Mining Engineering at Penn State with Hopes to Make a Difference in His Home Country

Kevin Toe always wanted to be an engineer. He has known that since graduating high school, but he wasn’t always sure what type of engineering he wanted to pursue. With the resources and opportunities at NOVA, Kevin was able to figure out exactly what he wanted to do in the engineering field and map out his next steps, which include Pennsylvania State University and possibly returning to his home country Burkina Faso, West Africa to help improve mining extraction laws.

Kevin Toe

NOVA Student Studies Abroad in Ireland

Shenley Ross, a student at Northern Virginia Community College’s Alexandria Campus, spent some of her summer studying abroad in Ireland for three weeks after receiving the 2017 Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship.

Shenley Ross

Two NOVA OTA students to receive $1,000 in VOTA scholarships

Based on their commitment and dedication to the profession of occupational therapy, Heather Nielsen and Laurie Seril, occupational therapy assistant (OTA) students at NOVA’s Medical Education Campus, will receive scholarships provided by the Virginia Occupational Therapy Association (VOTA). Both NOVA students will be awarded the scholarships at the VOTA Annual Conference on October 14 at the Renaissance Portsmouth-Norfolk Waterfront Hotel in Portsmouth, Va.

VOTA Scholarship recipients

NOVA-Woodbridge offers new Career Transfer Exploration Center for students

The Woodbridge Campus of Northern Virginia Community College is offering a newly-designed Career Transfer Exploration Center (CTEC) to accommodate each student’s career goals and academic needs. The career center will be used as a resource for career assessments, occupational information, goal planning and employment resources. An official opening and information session was held on June 27 for NOVA students, faculty and staff.


NOVA-Alexandria GM ASEP hosts luncheon for 2017 graduates

The General Motors Automotive Service Educational Program (GM ASEP) at the Alexandria Campus of Northern Virginia Community College recognized and celebrated its 11 graduates from the class of 2017 at an on-campus luncheon.

NOVA students

NOVA announced as first NVTC Academic Partner

The Northern Virginia Technology Council (NVTC) announced today that Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) has signed on as its first ever NVTC Academic Partner. This new partnership reflects NVTC and NOVA’s joint commitment to ensuring the Northern Virginia region has a robust pipeline of highly skilled information technology workers.

NVTC logo

NOVA faculty honored for excellence in teaching and learning

Thirteen faculty from Northern Virginia Community College were honored on May 27 at the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) International Excellence Award dinner in Austin, Texas as part of their annual conference.


GM Strengthens Partnership with NOVA Automotive Program

The partnership between Northern Virginia Community College and General Motors (GM) goes all the way back to 1982 when NOVA first offered the GM Automotive Service Education Program (ASEP) for students. Since then, the program at NOVA-Alexandria alone has graduated more than 700 students who quickly received job offers and jump started their careers in the automotive industry.

NOVA Alexandria Provost Annette Haggray

Former NOVA Students Graduate from Catholic University

Five former Northern Virginia Community College students who completed the architecture program graduated from Catholic University (CU) in May 2017 with degrees in architecture after getting a head start at NOVA. Allan Pernot and Ciara Young completed their coursework at the Alexandria Campus, and James Freeze, Austin Neal and Romina Zevallos completed the program at the Annandale Campus.

CUA grads

Mother and son graduate from NOVA together

Diana Trejo was both a proud graduate and a proud mother when she and her son, Samuel, participated in the Commencement ceremony for Northern Virginia Community College on May 14, 2017.

Diana and Samuel

Chilean Educators Visit NOVA Alexandria Campus

Northern Virginia Community College’s Alexandria Campus welcomed the Embassy of Chile and representatives from various professional institutions and technical colleges in Chile on May 24. The group of educators met with Alexandria Provost Annette Haggray and the campus deans to discuss online education, graduation, retention and employer/employee relationships.

NOVA Alexandria faculty and staff

U.S. Army Reserve and NOVA alum help to train EMS students

Through a joint effort with the Army National Guard, students pursuing a degree in Emergency Medical Services (EMS) at NOVA’s Medical Education Campus (MEC) are learning how to provide critical care for trauma patients through aero-medical emergency training.

EMS students

NOVA-Medical Education Campus honors Nursing grads at pinning ceremony

A total of 161 spring graduates at the Medical Education Campus of Northern Virginia Community College were honored for successfully completing the Nursing program at NOVA. The Nursing pinning ceremony was held in the Spratley Auditorium at Falls Church High School on May 13.

MEC grad

NOVA congratulates 2017 graduating class

Northern Virginia Community College celebrated its 51st graduation on Sunday, May 14. U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine delivered the commencement address to about 1,500 graduating students at Jiffy Lube Live in Bristow, Va. The 2017 Commencement theme was Believe, Aspire, Achieve.

Scott Ralls

Ralls participates on panel on how America perceives higher ed.

On Thursday, May 11, NOVA President Scott Ralls participated in a panel discussion at the New America Foundation in Washington, D.C. The event featured experts in higher education to discuss findings of a new report, Varying Degrees: How America Perceives Higher Education. The report, done in partnership with the Gates Foundation, gauged American’s perception of the value of a college education. In addition, a three-student panel featured two outstanding NOVA students and a student from Southern New Hampshire University. Danielle Douglas-Gabriel, education reporter for the Washington Post moderated the student panel.

Scott Ralls

May 2017 graduate India Mazzaro receives prestigious awards

India Mazzaro recently received two impressive awards. She was named a 2017 Coca-Cola Community College Academic Team Gold Scholar, an award given to just 50 community college students across the nation that includes a $1,500 scholarship. In addition, she is one of the top 10 students on the Phi Theta Kappa All-Virginia Academic Team.

India Mazzaro

NOVA graduate thrives academically despite challenges

In May 2017, NOVA student Martha Gizaw will be taking the first step toward achieving her goal to become the first African-American female to earn a doctorate in computational neuroscience. With an impressive 3.92 GPA, she’ll receive two associate’s degrees in science and computer science. Prior to enrolling at the Woodbridge Campus in Fall 2015, Gizaw was not a fan of public speaking. Now, as the recipient of the 2017 Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship, she believes NOVA has changed her life.

Martha Gizaw

Alexandria Recognizes Faculty and Staff at Netherton Awards

On April 27, the Alexandria Campus celebrated and recognized college, campus and adjunct faculty and staff for their achievements during the 2016-17 academic year. The recipients received their awards during the annual Jean C. Netherton Awards Ceremony.

Alexandria Provost Annette Haggray

NOVA nursing grad attributes academic success to MEC faculty

Since enrolling in the nursing program at NOVA’s Medical Education Campus (MEC), Fabiola Astorga has anticipated receiving her associate degree in May 2017 to enhance her career in healthcare. With help from NOVA instructors and staff, she feels confident to enter the workforce as a highly-trained maternity nurse.

Fabiola Astorga

Community Enjoys 2017 NOVA Student Film Festival

Students, faculty, staff and community members packed the lecture hall at Northern Virginia Community College’s Alexandria Campus during the 2017 NOVA Student Film Festival (NSFF) on April 27. The festival – in its fourth year – highlights short films created by students and allows students to use the skills they’ve learned about making and exhibiting films for the public.

Alexandria Provost Annette Haggray

NOVA Student Endures After Two False Starts

NOVA student Samantha Blain is all smiles when talking about her experience at Northern Virginia Community College. Her motivation – even when she’s just a little discouraged by the “what ifs” – is knowing that everything will fall in place in time. Samantha’s education journey is a testament to this; after two false starts, the single mom is preparing to graduate with an associate degree in business administration in May 2017.

Samantha Blain

MAN UP honors academic achievement at recognition ceremony

On April 27, MAN UP held its third annual recognition ceremony at the Woodbridge Campus. As a minority male mentoring and leadership development program, students were honored for their personal development, leadership skills and academic performance.

Man Up

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.