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P&HCC introduces new hires

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Patrick and Henry Community College President Greg Hodges announced new hires and promotions on the P&HCC staff at the regular College Board meeting that was held on Monday at the Dalton IDEA Center.

Hodges said starting at this board meeting, the board will be introduced to any new full-time employees that P&HCC has hired since the last board meeting, whether they have been newly hired or were previously employed at P&HCC but had applied and received a new position.

Introduced were P&HCC’s new Early Childhood Education Navigator Rachel Hodge, Director of Human Resources Jennifer Bowles, Graphic Designer and Social Media Manager Kaitlin Bryant, Coordinator of Student Success Center Sebrina Tatum, Dean of Student Success Meghan Eggleston and FastForward and Technical Studies Advisor Terrence Strickland.

P&HCC Board Chair Robert Haley also introduced new P&HCC board member Pamela Jamison Allen. Allen has been a member of the P&HCC Foundation board. She has received an associate degree from P&HCC and had been named a P&HCC Distinguished Alumna.

Allen has also worked with nonprofit organizations including Grace Network, United Way, Christmas Cheer and Piedmont Arts.

In other matters:

P&HCC Coordinator of Community Development Programs Matthew Ratliff spoke about the Fab Lab at P&HCC’s Thomas P. Dalton IDEA Center, saying that it has programs for multiple age groups, a variety of programs with different topics and equipment and strong relationships with community partners.

Hodges’ president’s report highlighted HIRE Virginia, a workforce development initiative to fill open jobs across the Commonwealth. He urged board members to contact area delegates to express support of the initiative.

P&HCC Vice President of Financial and Administrative Services Jack Hanbury reported on local funds, saying that investment performance was down 1.6% but, he said, this still outperformed the current market. For the fiscal year, they are up 2.84%, which also outperformed the market.

Hanbury said that the FY24 local funds requests contains a request for a 5% increase from the City of Martinsville, no increase from Henry County because it increased by 5% in the previous year and a request form Patrick County to increase funding by from $10,000 to $17,000 after the county lowered funding in the previous year. The board approved the request.

P&HCC Vice President of Academic and Student Success Services Chris Wikstrom spoke to the board about the meeting’s agenda item containing discussion of program discontinuances. He said that this is not the removal of these programs, just a credential realignment with state requirements that will help students get their associate’s degrees in four programs as efficiently as possible and with a better “employable outcome.”

The board approved the addition of a new program for automotive maintenance and light repair. This program is a CSC (Career Study Certificate) program with shorter credential requirementsy.

P&HCC Board Member and Legislative Committee Chair Monica Hatchett spoke about a statewide terminology adjustment to the sexual misconduct policy, and the board approved the amendment.

Wikstrom gave an update on academic and student affairs, saying that fall enrollment was up 2.69% over enrollment in fall of 2021 and that the numbers are trending in the same direction for the spring semester as well.

Rhonda Hodges gave the Workforce, Economic and Community Development update, saying that FastForward enrollment is up 66% compared to this time last year and that P&HCC remains the fifth largest producer in the Virginia Community College System even though it ranks 16th in size.

P&HCC Foundation Executive Director Tiffani Underwood reported that P&HCC Distinguished Almuni nomination applications are open and due by Feb. 20 and that Patrick and Henry Scholars applications are open and due by Feb. 1.

P&HCC Assistant Vice President of Student Engagement and Inclusion and Athletic Director Brian Henderson reported that the cumulative grade point average for student athletes is 3.1, the highest it has been in his time working there.

The board approved the appointment of John Buck as a professor emeritus, an award given to employees who had served the school for over 10 years before retirement and have accolades in the community.

The next P&HCC board meeting will be on March 20.

Monique Holland is a reporter for the Martinsville Bulletin. She can be reached at monique.holland@martinsvillebulletin.com or at 276-734-9603.

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