Tag Archives: nvcc-alexandria

NOVA-IN-CHINA opportunity

Dear NOVA Community members,

Would you like to go to China with us to attend Chinese language classes, travel and visit cultural sights in Beijing, Wuyishan, Xiamen, Nanjing and Shanghai when you elect to join us for bothof the programs described below: Program #1 Language Studies in China and #2 Cultural Exploration. Or, choose only Program #2 Cultural Exploration and travel with us to culturallyenriching cities and places. Whichever program you choose, you will be immersed in Chinese culture and experience first-hand its beauty and history.

Both programs are open to all students and members of the community.  Some scholarships will be available for qualified students. (All dates, itinerary, and price may be adjusted.)

Contact: Dr. Dali Tan, Assistant professor of Chinese, China Coordinator, dtan@nvcc.edu <mailto:dtan@nvcc.edu> or 703-933-5078.

Information Meeting: Wednesday, November 13, 2013 at Alexandria Campus, Bisdorf Building 0342, 8:00pm.

If you can’t come to the information meeting, please contact Dr. Tan if you are interested and she can set up individual meetings with you to talk about the trip and to answer your questions.


May 17 to June 2, 2014
Morning language classes for beginners and those with background
Travel and Excursions in Beijing, Wuyishan, Xiamen, Nanjing and Shanghai

The program, open to all VCCS students and people from the community, will take place in two stages. Participants may elect to join us for both of the following opportunities or just the travel portion of the program.

(1)   Language Study in China (Friday, May 17 to Thursday, May 22, 2014):
Business Chinese for Beginners (CHI 103) or Business Chinese for Intermediate Level Learners (CHI 295) for 3 credits each or enrichment Chinese Language and culture classes

  *   Intensive language classes at a Chinese university with NOVA faculty for credits or with local instructors for non-credit language and culture classes

  *   Language and cultural exchange with Chinese professors and students
  *   Cultural classes and sightseeing excursions as well as service learning at  local sites

(2)   Cultural Exploration (Thursday May 22 to Monday, June 2, 2014, tour only participants leave DC on May 21, 2014): Beijing, Wuyishan, Xiamen, Nanjing and Shanghai

Introduction to the bustling streets of China’s largest cities, as well as to Chinese life at its most basic, beginning in Beijing. See the most famous landmarks of China, including Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, the Great Wall, the Summer Palace and the Temple of Heaven in addition to famous Olympic venues like the Bird’s Nest and Water Cube.  Travel continues to Wuyishan to view the magnificent Tianyou Peak and to ride on a bamboo raft on the beautiful Nine-Crooked Creek.  Then fly to Xiamen to explore Gulangyu Island and visit the famous South Putuo Temple as well as Xiamen University, known for having the most beautiful campus in China. Take another flight to Nanjing where you will have opportunity to visit the Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum and have an exchange event at Nanjing Institute of Industry Technology. Then move on to Shanghai to visit the Shanghai museums and the Yuyuan Gardens and explore the Bund and Nanjing Road and get a bird’s eye view of the entire city of Shanghai from the top of the “Oriental Pearl Tower.” We’ll fly back to the United States with the group and arrive home on Monday, June 2, 2014.  Language learning will continue to be a focus of the program. We will take full advantage of this immersion experience to arrange many structured opportunities for participants to practice what they have learned during the intensive language studies program, so they can further enhance their linguistic proficiency and deepen their cultural understanding during the cultural exploration part of the program.


For more information contact Dr. Dali Tan | Assistant professor of Chinese | China Coordinator | dtan@nvcc.edu<mailto:dtan@nvcc.edu> | 703.933.5078


Faculty Spotlight: Prof. Sherry Trachtman





Beach Baby Sherry“I learned to walk on the beach at the Jersey Shore”


In the 1950’s and 60’s, my grandparents had a beach house on the Jersey Shore in a quiet family-oriented town with big Victorian hotels and penny arcades along the wide boardwalk.  On weekends, we somehow packed 12+ family members into the 4 small bedrooms. Before breakfast, the men loaded the car with our heavy wood and canvas beach chairs and umbrellas. Popa drove the 2 short blocks and backed up to the boardwalk to unload. Forming a line, my uncles and Dad would pass our equipment over the fence and onto the sand to set up our family encampment. After everyone ate (usually in shifts in the tiny kitchen), the family walked to the beach in a caravan of strollers and wagons toting food hampers, toys and kids, to claim our space for the day.


Sherry for SpotlightTo keep me from toddling off too far (like into the ocean), my mother attached my carriage harness (a 50’s version of a car-seat strap) to a chair on a short rope. Tempted by the interesting foods and folks in the adjacent family groups, I soon learned how to walk on the sand.  Kids then could safely be given the freedom to visit neighbors in the beach-blanket community, and according to family lore, I’d put on my mother’s sunglasses, exclaim, “Dark in here”, and head off to other enclaves 5 feet away, to sample their Armenian or Italian tidbits.


By the time I was five, I could walk behind my Dad, stepping in his footprints to avoid the hottest sand, and help carry back all the ice creams. I could walk to the trash cans near the boardwalk, to the ocean’s edge with my pail and shovel, and to the life guard stands to compete for a seat underneath. The life guards stood up often with lost, crying kids on their shoulders and blew their whistles to alert the families. No kid wanted to miss that show! These exciting early childhood summers started my journey as a life-long explorer.


Hilary Clinton wisely taught us that it takes a village to raise kids, and the Jersey Shore beaches of the mid 20th Century were little villages of 3 generation families who watched out for each other. The art department at NOVA, Alexandria is a little village, too. We may not be enjoying surf and sand, but we are a community, do have fun while learning, and there are often interesting international foods to try.

SGA Leadership Training Program – Leadership Institute

SGA Leadership Training Program – Leadership Institute

Northern Virginia Community College, Alexandria Campus

November 15, 2013


Opening Session

9:00 am -Welcome and Overview – Introduction  (room 132)

                facilitated by SGA Vice President Christos Vodas               


9:30 am – Keynote Address: What Leadership Means 

facilitated by Dr. John Shosky


10:00 am – Group Session #1: Organizational Management

facilitated by Dr. John Shosky


10:45 am – Group Session #2:   Goal Development
facilitated by Dr. John Shosky
11:30 am – Group Session #3: Crisis Communication
facilitated by Dr. John Shosky


Break (15 mins)


12:30 pm – Lunch with Dr. John Shosky: Character Formation      


01:30 pm – Provost/Dean – Working with Administration             


02:00 pm Breakout Sessions #2

  1. Crisis Communication – Dr. Mayers  (for SGA) (room 132)
  2. Small Group Communication – Ms. Acosta (for Student Ambassadors)(room 131)
  3. Team building – Ms. Chelsee (for Club Leaders) (157)


02:30 pm – Closing Ceremony/Awards Presentations

NOVA Now Accepting Nominations for Student Excellence Recognition

NOVA Now Accepting Nominations for Student Excellence Recognition
Northern Virginia Community College has two outstanding opportunities to recognize exceptional students during the 2013-14 academic year:  The “Who’s Who Among Students in American Junior Colleges” publication and the SEAL Awards Honor.

The “Who’s Who Among Students in American Junior Colleges” is a national publication that recognizes students from across the United States for academic excellence. NOVA’s SEAL Awards Banquet recognizes our students that best exemplify Service, Engagement, Academics, and Leadership among our student community.

Students, Faculty, or Staff may nominate students that best display these attributes.

Please submit all nominations for consideration by Wednesday December 11, 2013 at 5 pm.  See link at bottom of email.  There is only one application form for both the “Who’s Who” and NOVA SEAL Award. Student must have earned 30 or more credits by the conclusion of the Fall 2013 semester for both awards.

SERVICE: Community service, volunteer efforts on or off campus
ENGAGEMENT: Participation in a community organization, active in a campus club or organization, campus enhancement, student life**
ACADEMICS: Cumulative GPA of 2.75 GPA or better
LEADERSHIP: Leadership in a student club, student government, campus committee, or community leadership position.

** If self-nominating, please provide a letter of recommendation to your campus Student Life Coordinator by December 11th to support your nomination.


Application Deadline: Wednesday December 11, 2013 at 5:00 pm

For more information, please contact Brian Anweiler, College-wide Student Life Coordinator at banweiler@nvcc.edu.


Blackboard Training Sessions

Blackboard Training Sessions


There will be Blackboard Training offered on November 22 and November 25.


Blackboard I (Moving Content Online)   November 22    9:00 AM-11:00 AM      AA 256

Blackboard II (Communication)            November 22    11:30 AM – 1:30 PM    AA 256

Blackboard III (Tests and Grade Center) November 25  12:00 PM – 1:45 PM    AA 259


You can register for the trainings at https://www.nvcc.edu/faculty-and-staff/technology/tac/tactraining/register/.


Free Workshops in Movement & Voice for NOVA Students and Employees

Free Workshops in Movement & Voice for NOVA Students and Employees

Tuesday, November 19

Movement Workshop: Viewpoints to Choreographic Theatre

Schlesinger Concert Hall

6:00 to 10:00 PM

Wednesday, November 20

Voice Workshop: The Labyrinthine Voice

Schlesinger Concert Hall

6:00 to 10:00 PM

These workshops focus on activating imagination.

Actors – Singers – Dancers – Teachers – Public Speakers

Deepen Your Breathing

Get Out Of Your Head and Into Your Body

Connect With Others


Attire: Please dress in comfortable movement clothing that does not restrict your stomach or lower belly. We will work barefoot.

Please Sign Up for One or Both Free Workshops by sending an email to:

Kate Yust Al-Shamma, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Theatre

NOVA Alexandria


Student Spotlight Special Edition: Helping Hands Program made a difference in MMR’s life!


Helping Hands

Student Spotlight


A few months ago, M.M.R (the student asked that we use her initials instead of her name) visited our office to request Helping Hands textbook assistance.  Helping Hands is a textbook fund administered by the Provost Office.


This fund allows the Provost Office to provide textbook assistance to students who do not have financial aid.  The following is an excerpt from a letter I received from M.M.R.:


Dear Ms. Nicci:

I want you to see that the $215 for my French book was not a waste of money, but rather it has prevented wasted potential.

My professor studied abroad, so at first glance I did not understand her grading system.  I talked with a representative of a local university on campus who told me to keep up my GPA.  She thinks it will open doors for me.

My relationship with GOD and college are my life now.  When I go to sleep in my car at night, I am not at all unhappy, especially if I have eaten enough that day, because my mind is on my coursework.  I look forward to the day when I will receive a scholarship to some university that will include hot meals.  Then I can really focus on my coursework without having to worry about where I will get food that day.

We had a big 7 page exam today given in two parts.  I was the last person finishing because I spent a lot of time proofreading and correcting ridiculous mistakes.  At least I finished.  If my professor grades our exams by next class period on Thursday, I will either bring it by or scan it and email it to you.

Thank you so very much for not allowing my GOD-given potential to go to waste.





As a homeless woman, MMR has decided to re-position herself for success.   Whether she knows it or not, she is an inspiration to me.  She is a testimony of hope and perseverance.

Our office would like to help as many students as possible.  Unfortunately, our limited funds prevent us from helping more students.  If you would like to donate to the Helping Hands fund, please contact alprovost@nvcc.edu.

Your tax-deductible donation will not go to waste.

Women’s Center November Events

November 2013 Calendar Women’s Center

November 6 :    11:15am-12:15pm         AA 351

Round Table – Putting STEAM into STEM – Rebecca Kamen’s work explores the nexus of art and science. She has exhibited and lectured all around the world including NIH, MIT and many other world class institutions. Hear her talk about her experiences and inspire discussion about how the boundaries of art and science are more fluid than we think and how each discipline can inform and inspire the other.

November 6:     3:30pm-4:30pm              AA 351

Peer-to-Peer Mentoring – Anyone is free to participate in sharing with other students challenges, celebrations and support.

November 7:     2pm-3pm                          AA 351

Gay Straight Alliance

November 7:     4:30pm-7pm                    AA 196

Women’s Center and Psychology Department team up to show “Crazy Like Me”, a film about five interwoven stories that focus on mental illness and its impact on those it affects, their friends and families. After the movie there will be panelists to discuss issues surrounding depression, bipolar, and PTSD.

November 13:   11:15am-12:15pm         AA 351

Round Table: Dr. Abeba Fekade leads a discussion about resilience.

November 14:   2pm-3pm                          AA 351

Gay Straight Alliance

November 19:   2pm-3pm                          AA 351

Round Table – Topic to be announced

November 20:   4:30pm-7:20pm              AA 196

Movie: “Girls Rising” (http://www.girlrising.com/) offered by Women’s Studies, Psychology, and cosponsored by AAUW. The film tells about nine girls from around the world and the strength of the human spirit and the power of education to positively transform the world.

November 21:   2pm-3pm                          AA 351

Gay Straight Alliance

November 26: 2pm-3pm                            AA 351

Round Table: Topic to be announced

Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Michelle Gaston





Growing Up With The Groundhog

Phil“Have you heard of Groundhog Day?”

     ‘Oh yeah…Punxsutawney Phil.’

“Yes, Punxsutawney…that’s where I’m from.”

At home or abroad, that’s the typical start to my conversation with anyone asking about my origins.  Some might get bored having the same conversation repeatedly, but I don’t.  It’s nice chatting with someone who’s immediately familiar with my little hometown in Western Pennsylvania.  And it’s also nice to know that many of them will remember me every February 2nd—Groundhog Day!

“Groundhog Day” began 127 years ago with Germans that immigrated to Pennsylvania.  Accustomed to hedgehogs predicting winter’s length, they soon found a suitable replacement rodent in America—the groundhog.  To this day, if our beloved rodent Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow at dawn, six more weeks of winter await.  If there’s no shadow, then spring is just around the corner.

GobblersKnobThe big event occurs in a wooded area atop a hill known as “Gobbler’s Knob”—a fitting name since the early settlers used to eat groundhogs there.  Fortunately, that’s no longer part of the tradition!

Although Phil spends most of his days in his cozy burrow at the local library, he does make appearances at special events.  Years ago, my mom’s family raised groundhogs as pets, and often their animals would travel as emissaries for Phil.

Punxsutawney is a quiet little town filled with friendly people—I would not have wanted to spend my childhood anywhere else.  On Groundhog Day, thousands of people from all over the world travel to my hometown just to see Phil.  Will you join them next year??  If you aren’t into celebrating on a cold winter day, consider a trip for the Groundhog Festival in June.  Two yearly celebrations in two different seasons—an appropriate tribute to our furry little weather prognosticator in the “Weather Capital of the World.”

Post Election Conference

POST ELECTION CONFERENCE  | 2013 Virginia Elections

VA Elections VA Elections Schedule

The conference will include discussions on:

  • National Implications of the Virginia Election
  • Implications of the Election for the future of Virginia – State and Local Panels
  • Economic Implications of the Virginia Election

Morning Program (09:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.) | AA-196 (Bisdorf Building)

Evening Program (07:30 p.m. – 09:00 p.m.) | AA-158 (Bisdorf Building)


For more information please contact Linda Rodriguez | lirodriguez@nvcc.edu