19 NOV 2013

Rockwell, Thanksgiving.jpg


We’re sure you’re giving thanks that this is the 14th week of the semester.

This week, Campus Council shares what’s on their minds, Bruce Wahl teaches us that we are all Math people, and the Wellness Report prepares us for the Great American Smokeout.

Thank you for all of your efforts this semester. We hope that the next few weeks go well for all of us. The ALW will return in January under a new editor, Marcus Henderson. Please keep him in mind as you have news to share in the spring.

STB Pumpkin

STB Tur-Pumpkin

We leave you with the Myths of Thanksgiving, courtesy of National Geographic: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2012/11/121120-thanksgiving-2012-dinner-recipes-pilgrims-day-parade-history-facts/

11 NOV 2013

CapitolHappy Veterans’ Day! Have you hugged a vet today? We have many military veterans of war and peace, of active duty and reserve, and of near and far on campus. Don’t be shy about offering a smile and a thanks for their service this week.

We are winding down the semester – try to keep your spirits and your energy up!

This week’s offerings challenge you to find your inner artist and fight crime. Also, we challenge you to solve the riddle of how our Campus Character saved Tom Clancy from pencil pushing.

One more issue this semester! So – send us your news.

Campus Characters

Ever heard of an insurance salesman named Tom Clancy? If you said yes, then you should know that good ol’ Tom wouldn’t have had a Red October if it weren’t for the work of our own Bob Laubach, Photography Department lab manager and photographer extraordinaire. Bob studied photography and ended up being recruited by an agency that is oft called The Company. There Bob became one of their best satellite image analysts. From Soviet submarine deployments to secret missions, Bob  worked a full career fighting the Cold War one image at a time. — But, The Company lost Bob to us many years ago and it’s been a huge victory for our students and our campus. Bob is an active photographer himself – do a Google search and you’ll see what we’re talking about. Take a trip to the Tyler Building and say hello to this quietly amazing man.                        

 Did You Know?

Human Resources invites you to check out the publication of our November issue of HR Connections.  This newsletter serves to inform the NOVA community on HR news, helpful information, and key updates.

Please view HR Connections on our HR intranet site at:


Report from the Front

Did you know that you are a photographer?

Yes, you are.


The Photography Department is on a quest to prove that you, campus citizen, are a photographer. You and your trusty cell phone have documented more than you think. They will prove it to you in the Tyler Gallery, where they have printers with photo paper and walls and tacks and labels. It’s egalitarian exhibition. You pick the photo. You choose the size. You choose your spot to display. The dream: to cover every inch of the gallery with life – your life. Our lives. All of us.

If you are trying to find ways to show your students the common human experience, consider making this an extra credit event. There are beautiful sunsets, funny pets, quiet moments, food – and more food, and people. Find the heartbreaking but all too human moment from one of the PHT faculty – a family scene at the side of a dying loved one. It will haunt you, uplift you, and make you want to hug someone.

Preview the show in this slideshow PDF and decide for yourself: PHT Dept. Cell Phone Photography Slideshow

You may ask: why are they going to all of this trouble? The FotoWeek DC 2013 Festival was their launch pad. While FotoWeek may have gone, the gallery display awaits you until the end of the semester.

For information, check out: http://www.nvcc.edu/alexandria/visual/photo/pdf/cellPhotography_info.pdf

As of 6:30 pm Monday Nov 11th, the Cell Photography show has 658 pinned prints and 478 images projected via #NVCCfoto for a total of 1136 photographs!

Safety & Wellness

In this month’s Public Safety Newsletter, NOVA Police solicit your assistance in identifying a person of interest in the recent sexual assaults on and near the Loudoun campus.  Please take a moment to review the photographs of the suspect as well as safety resources and tips to help keep you safe. Other items in this newsletter include:

·         Upcoming Pedestrian Safety Initiative at Annandale
·         College Emergency Management Committee Awards
·         DEA Drug Take-Back Event

To access the newsletter, please click on the following link:



5 NOV 2013

AL weekly (November 18th – 24th)

Bake Sale: Cupcakes and Turon

Event Description

Bake Sale: Cupcakes and Turon (Caramelized Banana Rolls).

Portion of the proceeds will support typhoon disaster relief.

Start Date:          11/18/2013         Start Time:          1:00 PM

End Date:            11/18/2013         End Time:            4:00 PM

Location Information:

Alexandria – Bisdorf

Room: Cafeteria

International Education Week


International Education Week Kickoff will include local diplomats and the NOVA community.

Start Date:          11/18/2013         Start Time:          1:30 PM

End Date:            11/18/2013         End Time:            2:30 PM

Location Information:
Alexandria Campus
3001 North Beauregard Street
Alexandria, VA 22311

International Education Week: Maiti Nepal Discussion

Maiti Nepal Discussion/Lecture with Dr. Reva Savkar and Dr. Robert Loser

The presentation by Reva Sankar and Robert Loser on Maiti Nepal is an organization dedicated to rescuing, rehabilitating, and stopping sex trafficking of Nepalese girls and women. http://www.maitinepal.org/

Start Date:          11/18/2013         Start Time:          3:00 PM

End Date:            11/18/2013         End Time:            4:30 PM

Location Information:

Alexandria – Bisdorf

Room: 196

Contact Information:

Name: Dr. Twyla Jones

Email: twjones@nvcc.edu

Job Search & Interviewing Skills Workshop

Unsure of how to conduct a job search or prepare for an interview? Learn the basics and do’s and don’ts from an employer’s perspective.

Start Date:          11/19/2013         Start Time:          10:00 AM

End Date:            11/19/2013         End Time:            12:00 PM

Location Information:

Alexandria – Bisdorf

Room: 196

Contact Information:

Name: Crystal Young

Email: cyoung@nvcc.edu

International Film Series: ‘The Dialogue’

Join us for the viewing of the movie “The Dialogue”

Start Date:          11/19/2013         Start Time:          12:15 PM

End Date:            11/19/2013         End Time:            2:15 PM

Location Information:

Alexandria – Bisdorf

Room: 158

NOVA Abroad

Bring your lunch followed by NOVA ABROAD an informative session that will introduce you to study abroad opportunities for the coming year Faculty members will be available to discuss the requirements and activities that will change your life! Bring a friend and feel free to ask questions as you prepare for your own study abroad experience.

Start Date:          11/19/2013         Start Time:          1:30 PM

End Date:            11/19/2013         End Time:            3:30 PM

Location Information:

Alexandria – Bisdorf

Room: 158

Movement Workshop: Viewpoints to Choreographic Theatre

These workshops focus on activating imagination. For 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 kyalshamma@gmail.com

Start Date:          11/19/2013         Start Time:          6:00 PM

End Date:            11/19/2013         End Time:            10:00 PM

Location Information:

Alexandria – Schlesinger Center  (View Map)

3001 N. Beauregard Street

Alexandria, VA 22311

Phone: 703.845.6156

International Film Series: ‘Arranged’

Come watch the international film “Arranged”

Location Information:

Start Date:          11/20/2013         Start Time:          12:00 PM

End Date:            11/20/2013         End Time:            2:00 PM

Alexandria – Bisdorf

Room: 158

Honors Student Symposium

Honors Student Symposium

Honors students from the following disciplines will be presenting: Humanities, Psychology, and Biology.

Location Information:

Alexandria – Bisdorf

Room: 196

Chinese Cultural Event

Start Date:          11/20/2013         Start Time:          4:00 PM

End Date:            11/20/2013         End Time:            7:00 PM

Come experience the Chinese culture at NOVA

Location Information:

Alexandria – Bisdorf

Room: Cafeteria

Movie: ‘Girls Rising’

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.

Start Date:          11/20/2013         Start Time:          4:30 PM

End Date:            11/20/2013         End Time:            7:30 PM

Location Information:

Alexandria – Bisdorf

Room: 196

Voice Workshop: The Labyrinthine Voice

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 kyalshamma@gmail.com

Start Date:          11/20/2013         Start Time:          6:00 PM

End Date:            11/20/2013         End Time:            10:00 PM

Location Information:

Alexandria – Schlesinger Center  (View Map)

3001 N. Beauregard Street

Alexandria, VA 22311

Phone: 703.845.6156

International Film Series: ‘Babies’

Come watch the international film “Babies.”

Start Date:          11/21/2013         Start Time:          12:00 PM

End Date:            11/21/2013         End Time:            2:00 PM

Location Information:

Alexandria – Bisdorf

Room: 196

International Festival and World Market

Come experience the world flavor of NOVA, students in traditional attire, music, dancing, cultures from around the world as you shop for early holiday gifts!

Start Date:          11/21/2013         Start Time:          1:00 PM

End Date:            11/21/2013         End Time:            7:00 PM

Location Information:

Alexandria – Bisdorf

Room: 196

Karaoke & Potluck

Start Date:          11/21/2013         Start Time:          5:00 PM

End Date:            11/21/2013         End Time:            7:00 PM

.Join KABIHASNAN (Filipino-American Student Organization of NOVA-Alexandria) as we sing songs, share and eat a meal. Bring a donation to support typhoon disaster relief.

Location Information:

Alexandria – Bisdorf

Room: Cafeteria

Veteran Benefit Information Session

Learn about VA Work-Study programs

NOVA Alexandria’s VET Success Program

Better understand your eligibility, benefits, and the regulations with:

– Post 9/11 (Chapter 33)

– Virginia Military Survivors and Dependent

Education Program (VMSDEP) Chapter 35

Start Date:          11/21/2013         Start Time:          5:00 PM

End Date:            11/21/2013         End Time:            6:00 PM

Location Information:

Alexandria – Bisdorf

Room: 329

Contact Information:

Name: Diana St. Amand-Campos

Email: dstamandcampos@nvcc.edu

Last Day to Withdraw Without Grade Penalty – Second 8 – Week Session


Start Date:          11/22/2013

End Date:            11/22/2013


28 OCT 2013

Welcome to Week 11!

Halloween1While this week may be full of spooks and spectacles, we hope it’s not too scary overall.

Learn how to sleep better and display your hidden photography talent. There are new people to meet in LTR and our Forensics team continues their victories across the Mid-Atlantic. Support the AtD folks TOMORROW at their Touchdown to Student Success event in AA158.

Should anyone ask you this week, we offer the origin of Halloween:


Campus Characters

The Library is pleased to introduce three new team members!

Library Staff

Michelle Jerney-Davis (left) finds it hard to answer the question “Where are you from?”  As a third generation Army brat and current Army Spouse, she has moved twenty-two times, and has never lived in any one place for longer than three years.  She’s lived too many places to list here, but highlights include several tours in Germany, as well as Colorado, California, Texas, and Hawaii.   Michelle has been married for twenty-one years (Whew!) and has two daughters, both of whom are attending James Madison University.  Despite all the moving, she still loves to travel and tries to make one big family trip every year.  When not travelling, Michelle loves to go see movies – in the theater, with popcorn – and average at least one new movie per weekend.  She’s a big college football fan and usually know what’s going on in the top 25 at any given point.  She really enjoys cookbooks and reads them like novels, but her family does not benefit from this love of cookbooks at all as the reading takes precedence over the cooking.  As a library specialist, Michelle is here to answer your questions.  She has a Master’s degree in Communication Studies and has been an adjunct instructor with NOVA Woodbridge for the past few years.    Come ask her about research methods or movie recommendations or APA format or the intricacies of the BCS.  Just don’t ask where she’s from!

Lora Khoury (middle) is originally from Southern Arizona, but has lived throughout the US since 2001 . Her  family has just returned Stateside from a year of living and traveling throughout the Middle East, including visits to to Petra and the Tokapi Palace which were two of the highlights.   Lora previously worked in the non-profit and educational sectors. Lora holds Master’s degrees in English Literature and in Library Science.   When not working at the Alexandria Campus library, she can be found chauffeuring her  kids to their activities or exploring local museums.  Guilty pleasures include reruns of the Golden Girls, reading humorous nonfiction, and singing at the top of her lungs in the car in traffic. She is also on a personal quest to locate the world’s most perfect cheese.

Robin Bartley (right) is the new Circulation and Intercampus Loan Specialist in the Library. She recently graduated from George Mason University, with a B.A. in English – Creative Writing, and is now pursuing her Masters in Library and Information Science.   Since joining the NOVA community, Robin has taken an active interest in the NOVA’S Women Center, and  started contributing to their blog on a regular basis.  In her free time, she likes to indulge her love of reading, and tries to knit through her constantly growing yarn stash. She is also an avid gamer when she has downtime from  studying.

Did you Know?

Did you know you can display your inner photographer in a gallery showing?

The Photography program is having a Cell Photography Exhibition.

This participation based show is OPEN to ANYONE who wishes to share their own vision captured with a cell phone.

The show consists of two parts:

  • Instagram projection and
  • print-and-pin at the gallery.

You can participate in either or both parts of the show. Please join us in the Tyler Gallery between Nov. 4 and Nov 7. to participate in the show. This link below has more details. Also see the poster below.


Report from the Front

The NOVA Forensics Team kicked off the 2013-14 season of intercollegiate competition in speech, debate and literature performance events quite memorably this month!   The first tournament of the season was October 5-6 for the George Mason University Virginia is For Lovers Swing.  Representing NOVA at this prestigious event were two first-year NOVA competitors.   Aaron Latta (AL) competed in Impromptu & Extemporaneous Speaking and Olga Lorenz (AN) competed in Poetry Interpretation.   Both students worked very hard to bring their events to a level of excellence that allowed them to seriously contend against major forensic powerhouses such as the University of Florida, the University of Akron, Ohio, George Mason University, Seton Hall University, and James Madison University!   At the tournament both our students came very close to advancing to the final rounds of competition and did a wonderful job for their first competitive college outing ever!

The second tournament the NOVA Forensic Team traveled to this month was the Cedar Crest College Speech and Debate Showdown in Allentown, PA!  The tournament was a one day event on Sunday October 21st, 2013 and was also attended by big schools such as Cornell University, Concordia University, George Mason University, Saint Joseph’s University, and James Madison University.  Representing NOVA this time were forensic veterans Diana Schwartz (AL) in Dramatic Interpretation, Nontobeko Masilela (LO) in Debate and Poetry Interpretation and Samuel Guyidde-Biasse (AL/AN) in Debate and Dramatic Interpretation.  Once again NOVA students came oh so close to advancing onward to final rounds and had a great educational experience at this one-day event!

This year the NOVA Forensics team boasts an impressive roster of hard-working students that represent the various NOVA campuses!  Though many are still in the process of writing their speeches, perfecting their literature performances and studying argumentation to increase their skills,  there is no question that great things are on the way this year for the NOVA Forensics Team!

Special thanks to Mr. Brian Anweiler, NOVA’s College-wide Office of Student Activities and everyone who continues to support students competing in this highly valuable academic activity!

Additionally a big thanks to the volunteer coaches of the NOVA Forensics Team: Professor Amy Schumacher (AL/AN), Professor Jackie Schillig (AL-retired), Professor Kush Jenkins (Loudon), Professor Bobbi Wallace (AL) Professor Jenny Lopez (WO), and Professor Terry Matlaga (LO) for helping students prepare their events for competition.

The NOVA Forensic Team’s next competitive outing will be November 9-10, 2013 at Seton Hall University!

If you have students who are interested in learning more about the team please contact Nathan Carter (CST) nacarter@nvcc.edu.

Safety & Wellness

Your Wake-Up Call: Top Tips to Get Back to Sleep

It’s the middle of the night and you’re wide awake. You need to be rested for your big day at work tomorrow. What can you do to get back to sleep? Here are seven ways to help you get back to sleep.

1. Get Out of Bed – If you wake up and can’t fall back asleep within 20 minutes or so, go to another room.  Do something quiet and non-exciting, such as listening to soothing music or reading something you’ve read before.  When you feel sleepy, go back to bed.

2. Don’t Stare at the Clock – Frequently checking the time will only add to your stress when you wake up and can’t get back to sleep. Try turning the clock away so it’s out of your sight line.

3. Keep the Lights Low – Light instantly affects your alertness level. If you get up to go to the bathroom, get a drink, or have a snack, keep the lights low. If you try to read, use a low-powered reading light. Avoid using back-lit screens such as computers, televisions, cell phones, and other devices.

4. Try Relaxation Techniques – Calm your mind and relax your muscles by using the relaxation technique that works best for you. Some methods you can try:

  • Deep breathing – This type of breathing, slow and from the diaphragm, mimics the way you breathe during sleep.
  • Meditation – This technique uses rhythmic breathing plus an image or a repeated phrase to quiet your mind.
  • Visualization –This is a type of meditation. It helps you distance yourself from stress by imagining the sights, sounds, and scents of a peaceful place.
  • Progressive muscle relaxation – It involves alternately tensing and relaxing muscles throughout your body, starting with your feet and working your way up.

You can learn these techniques by taking classes or using self-guided books or videos. You can also learn these methods from online videos or articles.

5. Try Biofeedback – This advanced technique requires special equipment and training from a specialist. But it can help you learn ways to control your own levels of tension. Once mastered, biofeedback training can help you get back to sleep.

6. Keep a Sleep Diary – This isn’t something you should do in the middle of the night. But during the daytime, keep a record of your sleep patterns and other habits. For instance, write down how often you woke up during the night, what disturbed your sleep, and how much caffeine or alcohol you had during the day. Then take the sleep diary to your doctor. It will help the two of you plan a strategy for getting better sleep.

7. Ask Your Doctor for Medication – Check with your doctor about prescription medication that can be used to help you get back to sleep.


© 2013 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved. Reviewed by Michael W. Smith, MD on May 31, 2013


If you have questions or concerns about this article, please email us at wellness@dhrm.virginia.gov

21 OCT 2013


So…have you measured your midterm by the weight of your grading or by the line of people in your office to complain? Ah…good times.

Things to make you happy: Today in 1879, Thomas Edison invented the light bulb and, in 1917, Dizzy Gillespie was born under one.

This week, we offer the intrigues of the Psychology Department. They have new courses and new projects. LTR has a new face, Kirsten Riddick (no known relation to Vin Diesel’s Riddick) – be sure to check our her profile and study her photo so you can greet her in the hallway. Happy tidings have arrived in the Real Life Section. Tony Ong keeps us on our toe’s in the Safety & Wellness Section.

Campus Characters

     Kirstin Riddick                  

The LTR division is pleased to welcome a new member to their team!

As the campus’ new Supervisor of ISD, Kirstin Riddick brings a focus on technology-integrated instruction and an expertise in curriculum development that effectively addresses every student’s learning style and abilities. Kirstin is an active learning advocate specializing in student motivation techniques, blended learning, and differentiated instruction. Prior to NOVA, Kirstin served as an Assistant Principal, Project Manager for Scantron (GlobalScholar),  and School District-Level Educational Technologist and Trainer.

Kirstin (a self-described “Jersey Girl”, music lover, and foodie) is  a  lifelong learner who enjoys giving back to the community.  She is an active member of  Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, where she recently served as the Technology Chairman of her chapter.  When she is not enjoying quality time with her best friend, sorority sisters, or God-children, you can find Kirstin at the movies catching the latest blockbuster or looking for a karaoke experience.  Thursday nights, she yields to her Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal addiction.

Did You Know?

The Alexandria Testing Center has new hours!

Monday through Thursday- 9:00 AM-9:00 PM

Friday and Saturday- 9:00 AM- 4:00 PM

Sunday- Closed

Report from the Front

This week we have some announcements from Beth Lanthier, AD of Psychology.

The PSY department is offering a new internship opportunity and PSY and SOC are offering new courses!

1)This fall the Psychology Department is proud to offer a new Internship for our students, in collaboration with the college’s Institute for Public Service (IPS) and Gateway Homes. Gateway Homes runs a residence for consumers (clients) who have been diagnosed with schizophrenia. The internship is one of several that are coordinated through the Liberal Arts division and the IPS.

Ed Andrews, LPC, a mental health clinician and Psychology instructor for almost 15 years, meets regularly with students for mentoring and, with input from the Director of the home, assigns the final grades for the Internship.  Students may take the course for one, two, or three credits, which in turn determines the number of actual hours the student will spend at the group home.  Each student submits a weekly log documenting some of the details of the experience with the consumers and a reflection on what was learned and felt from the interactions that took place in the past week.  Additional learning opportunities exist, such as a meeting with the Gateway Psychiatrist that took place this past Saturday and a recent CPI day-long training on de-escalating difficult situations.

There will be a meeting at the end of the semester when the interns will share their experiences and insights with the Dean and Assistant Deans from other departments and submit a final paper.  The students currently enrolled in the course have spoken highly of their experience at Gateway Homes and how much the staff, clients and experience have taught them so far this semester.

Any students who are considering adding the Internship to their program should begin by contacting the Psychology Department for more information.

2) PSY and SOC are offering two new classes in the spring semester and beyond. Please take a minute to read the descriptions. These classes will be an excellent option for many NOVA students, including Pathways students.

PSY 200: Principles of Psychology

What: This one-semester introduction class replaces the two-semester PSY 201/202 sequence. It transfers to most colleges directly as Introduction to Psychology. It will be a faster-paced class with less depth.


  • Students who are strong readers/writers, and are already in (or have completed) ENG 111.
  • Students who need a psychology elective.
  • This class is NOT acceptable for Psychology majors or people who need specifically PSY 201/202 as pre-requisites (such as nursing students) or for their majors.

Faculty: Full-time faculty member Dominique Hubbard will teach this class in the spring.

Note: Students cannot earn credit toward degrees for PSY 200 and PSY 201/202. The need to choose one track or the other. A psychology faculty advisor can work with students who declare psychology majors after taking PSY 200.

SOC 200: Principles of Sociology

What: This one-semester introduction class replaces the two-semester SOC 201/202 sequence. It transfers to most colleges directly as Introduction to Sociology. It will be a faster-paced class with less depth.


  • Students who are strong readers/writers, and are already in (or have completed) ENG 111.
  • Students who need a sociology elective.
  • This class is NOT acceptable for people who need specifically SOC 201/202 for the majors or as pre-requisites.

Faculty: Full-time faculty member Nicole Barreto Hindert (McCoy) will teach this class in the spring.

Note: Students cannot receive credit toward their degrees for both SOC 200 and SOC 201/202. They have to choose one track or the other.

Safety & Wellness

This week we are highlighting the great work that the NVPD do for all of us.

Check out the monthly newsletter courtesy of Officer Tony Ong (he is also highlighted for the award he recently received!).

Happy reading: http://www.nvcc.edu/current-students/police/psnewsletters/index.html (then click on the link to October’s newletter)

Here is the pdf file of the newsletter: publicsafetynewsletter_Oct2013


8 Oct 2013

Pumpkin-Patch1HAPPY OCTOBER!

If you thought October is just a month for pumpkins and ghouls, you don’t know half of what goes on this month! Check out the Safety & Wellness report to learn all you can celebrate this October. — We’ll give you the hint that tomorrow (Oct. 9) is Walk to School Day.

In our Report from the Front, Bill Schran tells us what the ISSC is up to this year. Our character this week continues our veteran theme and our Did You Know sheds more light on the world of Financial Aid.

Next week, we shall be on hiatus for midterm. Happy grading, everyone!

Please remember to send us your news!

The ALW Staff

Campus Characters


Meet Cindy Smith, Assistant to the Provost!

As a young adult, I considered joining the military – primarily for the educational benefits.  However, I decided to pursue my education on my own.  After earning my Bachelor of Science degree from Dakota State College in Madison, SD, I took a job teaching English in a small town in Iowa.  In my second year of teaching one of my students was absent for a week.  When he returned, I asked for his excuse and was intrigued to see that he had been processing for the Iowa Army National Guard.  I looked into it and ended up joining.  I enlisted as a Private First Class (E-3) since I already had a bachelor’s degree.  I attended basic training at Ft. Jackson, SC.

I worked full time for the Iowa Army National Guard as the State Training NCO for several years.  I achieved the rank of Staff Sergeant (E-6) by the time I left the service.  I benefited from my service in the National Guard in many ways.  I met my husband there and we got married under crossed cannons during summer camp (Field Artillery unit – they didn’t have swords) with our Battalion Chaplain performing the ceremony.  Since I enlisted under a student loan repayment program, the National Guard paid my student loans from my undergraduate degree.  I was eligible for educational assistance while I served and the Guard paid 90% of my tuition costs for my graduate degree at Drake University in Des Moines, IA.


Did You Know?


As you gear up to advise students, it’s good to know what is online from Financial Aid. This week’s Did You Know comes from the central Financial Aid Office and will prove helpful information for assisting students desiring aid in the Spring!


Valid High School Diploma or GED Required To Receive Financial Aid

In order to receive financial aid, a student must have the equivalent of a U. S. high school diploma.  The U.S. Department of Education requires colleges that receive federal funds to adopt procedures to determine the validity of a student’s high school completion status when the student applies for Federal Student Aid (FSA).

Students who possess a high school diploma that is determined to be invalid are ineligible to receive financial aid.  A diploma will be considered invalid if there is reason to believe that limited coursework was required to receive the diploma and/or a fee was charged by the agency that issued the diploma.

Requirements considered to be the equivalent of a high school diploma changed 7-1-2012. Students who wish to receive financial aid may establish eligibility by completing one of the following requirements if they do not have a valid high school diploma and did not complete a homeschool curriculum recognized by the state in which they lived at the time. [Enrollment means actively registered and attending classes.]:

First enrolled in an eligible program prior to July 1, 2012 –

  1. Completed GED
  2. Passed an approved Ability to Benefit Test and earned the minimum required score
  3. Enrolled in and passed a minimum of six curriculum credit hours
  4. Transferred six credit hours from a previous institution

First enrolled in an eligible program after July 1, 2012 –

  1. Completed GED

Students meeting other admission requirements will not be denied admission to NOVA but will not be eligible to receive financial aid until high school completion requirements are met.  As of the 2013-2014 award year, high school completion is a verification requirement for selected students.  If asked to submit this information, please do so promptly for your application to be processed.  Contact your campus financial aid representative if you have questions regarding this requirement.

The main Financial Aid site can be found at:


Report from the Front

This week’s report comes from Bill Schran, one of Alexandria’s several members on this committee, and the College’s Instructional and Student Services Committee. The ISSC is charged with the following:

The Instructional and Student Services Committee (ISSC) receives proposals from the College Senate, Campus Councils, Working Groups, and College community and makes recommendations pertaining to the quality of education in the College, student life and the welfare of the student body of the College. The committee studies, gathers information, conducts discussions and surveys the intellectual and/or student environment, academic standards and teaching-learning conditions in the College.


Instructional and Student Services Committee meeting minutes: ISSC Min 9 20 13

Please note subject areas the ISSC will be addressing this coming academic year.

Committee members chose the following topics for future meeting discussions:

  • Update on Developmental English
  • Changes to Student Handbook/“At NOVA, Expect the Best” document
  • Parking – for the spring
  • Update about implementation of QEP – GPS/student success policy changes
  • Starfish and CRM
  • Syllabi
  • Veterans Program
  • Final Exam Schedule

If you have any additional subjects that you feel need to be addressed, please send them to me.

William “Bill” Schran (ART), ISSC Faculty Representative, Alexandria, wschran@nvcc.edu

Safety & Wellness

Have you been looking for something to celebrate this October – other than Halloween?

This week’s tip comes to us via Kathy Clement and the CommonHealth Weekly.


October brings many special days, weeks, and entire month events dedicated to raising awareness about important health topics. National Health Observances recognizes each one at http://healthfinder.gov/NHO/. Below are links for more information about each health awareness topic.

 October 2013


30 Sept. 2013

Here we are at Week 7 – midterm looms but so does Fall Break!

In this week’s issue, we have news from Student’s Activities, Financial Aid, and a loving dog looking for a home.

In the Wellness section, we want you to be happy. Kathy Clement sends us ways to smile more.

Our Campus Character is sure to surprise you – a tiny healing warrior in our midst.

Have a great week!


Campus Characters

Remember the Fun Facts that went into the raffle bucket at Convocation? Well, we have grabbed them and want to share them!

Our fourth convocation character is: Biology Professor, Dr. Izanne Zorin.



A long time ago I was a combat medic in the Army National Guard out of South Carolina. People find this interesting because I am a small person and a nerd – so it just goes to show that you can’t judge a book by its cover. I appreciate my 7 years with the National Guard – I met wonderful people, had access to great equipment and had amazing experiences.

I enlisted to get the funding to complete my undergraduate degree, and the military did provide me with the GI Bill and other programs so that I graduated college with almost zero debt.

While training as a non-commissioned officer, I met my husband of 20 years – so I can thank the Army for that too. While deployed during the first Gulf war, my unit was tasked with running a hospital on a military base in Saudi Arabia.

The photograph is of me in the ER with an Egyptian nurse, Adnan, who made friends with all of us (he also proposed marriage to almost all of us women medics).

After seeing American and Iraqi soldiers and Saudi civilians with serious injuries and burns, I realized that we are all the same: when we are in pain or scared, we all need support and understanding regardless of our country of origin, race or religion.

Although I haven’t been in the military for years now, I will always be grateful for that experience.


Go Army!

Dr Izanne Zorin

Prof. of Biology

STB division


Did You Know?

As you gear up to advise students, it’s good to know what is online from Financial Aid. This week’s Did You Know comes from the central Financial Aid Office and is a tool that will prove helpful as students work ahead toward Spring!


The Financial Aid Shopping Sheet

How does this work? The Virginia Community College System (VCCS) and NOVA Financial Aid have teamed up to roll out the Financial Aid Shopping Sheet for the 2013-2014 award year.  The Financial Aid Shopping Sheet (PDF) is a consumer tool developed collaboratively by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Department of Education.  The standardized form is designed to simplify the information that prospective students receive about college costs and their financial aid awards so they can easily compare award packages and costs to make informed decisions about where to attend school.

The Shopping Sheet pulls together essential information for the potential student.  This includes the specific cost of attendance, a summary of awarded aid, and the FAFSA calculated Expected Family Contribution (EFC).  Additionally, the Shopping Sheet includes loan repayment information, institutional loan default rates, and graduation rates.  Putting this information in a standardized format will enable students and their families to make the most informed decision about college attendance.

To view your Shopping Sheet, log in to your My NOVA account >VCCS SIS: Student Information Center >Self Service >Student Center; scroll down to Finances >View Financial Aid >financial aid year (2014).  Select NOVA Shopping Sheet.

The main Financial Aid site can be found at:


Report from the Front

Viridiana Acosta is the new student life coordinator at the Alexandria campus, and has shared a break down of the new clubs and interest groups on campus.

Purpose of Student Life

The purpose of Student Life is to complement the academic experience and to enhance the overall education of students through the development of a wide range of programs, services, and activities. These events encourage exposure to and participation in a variety of social, cultural, intellectual, spiritual, recreational, and governance opportunities. Such experiences are meant to educate and enrich the lives of students, helping them reach their full potential. A committed staff strives to provide and promote the successful achievement of students’ organizational, interpersonal, and social skill development, which are necessary tools for living full lives.

List of Clubs (not including interest groups)

Kabihasnan (Filipino Club)

ESL Student Association

Gamers United

International Club

All African Student Union

Muslim Student Association


Chinese Intercultural Club

Gay Straight Alliance

NOVA Debators

Circle K


Phi Theta Kappa

Safety & Wellness

This week’s tip comes to us via Kathy Clement and the CommonHealth Weekly.


What would make you happy? A new wardrobe, a faster car, moving to a different city?  People often think these things are the key to feeling good, but experts say only about 10% of a person’s happiness is related to them.

Much more happiness — 90% — has to do with your general outlook on life.  You can learn a lot about your own worldview by paying attention to “self-talk” — the conversation you have in your head about yourself and the world around you.  Even more important, changing how you talk to yourself can actually help shift your perspective, too. Take a look at this week’s attachment to learn how.

CommonHealth Weekly Email 08 26 13 The Power of Positive Talking

For more ways to smile, check out this article too!



23 Sept. 2013

popeye-avec-un-parachuteAnother week begins and this time we have some good news to share!

As many of you know, Frances Villagran-Glover’s son Austin has been battling back from an unthinkable skydiving accident. After months of hospitals and rehabilitation, this is the week that Austin will come home! We are hoping to see Austin among our student ranks in the coming semesters. He’s a testament to how much a person can survive if the fight is in him. Congratulations to Frances, Austin, and all of their family!

In this week’s newsletter, we have: an update from the Personnel Services Committee, more advice from the police on active shooter response in the wake of last week’s devastation at the Washington Navy Yard, and the return of Christy Tanious, our Academic Success Coach.

Have a great week, everyone!

Campus Characters

Remember the Fun Facts that went into the raffle bucket at Convocation? Well, we have grabbed them and want to share them!

Our third convocation character is: English Professor, Alexander Morales
Purugganan. Bet you didn’t know we have a real life b-boy in our midst! ________________________________________________________________________

If I think deeply enough, I can still recall my b-boy crew’s congratulatory hands slapping my back, brushing the top of my head, and pulling my arms high into the air.  I can also still feel the heavy bass of the music seeping into my bones and hear the whooping and chanting from the crowd.  Above all else, I can distinctly remember the euphoric emotion and the sense of accomplishment after completing my best and most important windmill while battling against another more accomplished break dance crew in Los Angeles, California.

I was nine years old when I first started pop-locking and popping.  I danced at local parks, swap meets, and neighborhood parties, generating laughter from amused adults who smoked cigarettes and played cards.  One of the more respected, older neighborhood b-boys, “Flyman,” had asked me to join his crew after an impromptu afternoon battle at a park.  I was the youngest member of Flyman’s dance crew, so he took me under his b-boy wing, teaching me breakdancing moves to replace my pop-locking routines and presenting me with a new nickname, “Kid Krazy Legs,” because of the way my legs convulsed and kicked as I spun doing windmills, a dance move where movement is generated from legs twirling in the shape of a V.  In one particular battle against a rival dance crew, Flyman and I completed simultaneous windmills as a climactic touch – the oldest and youngest members of our crew leaving a lasting, and ultimately victorious, impression for the judging crowd.

Although my Kid Krazy Legs days have long since passed, I recognize that, in some ways, my b-boy experience has had a hand in shaping my confidence as a college instructor in the classroom.  I learned to respect the value of planning strategies and practicing my craft; I grew comfortable with “performing” while sets of eyes focused on me; and I became appreciative of the difficult task of consistently maintaining enough interest to keep my audience engaged.  I may not execute windmills anymore, but I still feel the same rush of success when my students become engrossed with the work we do in class and when they acknowledge the progression of their abilities not only as writers, but as college students.

Here he is with his son Declan last Halloween:

Campus Events

Schlesinger Center Events

September Sopranos presented
by The American Balalaika Symphony
Peter Trofimenko, conductor, artistic director

A Concert of Romantic and Sometimes Uproarious Songs
Featuring Soprano Soloist Victoria Sukhareva and Joellyn Giovetsis

Saturday, September 28, 2013, 8pm
Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall & Arts Center, NOVA, Alexandria Campus
Tickets: $20 in advance, $25 at the floor, $15 for seniors, students, and groups


Student Leadership Orientation and Training

Friday, September 27 to Sunday, September 29.

Attend workshops, hear motivational speakers and have opportunities to network with student leaders from other NOVA campuses.

Did You Know?

Now that you are knee-deep into the semester, did you know that there is help for you as you face students who are struggling?

The Academic Success Coach, Christy Tanious, can help you and your student to figure out a plan for success. Her office is located within ACE (Academic Center for Excellence) AA 229, her email is ctanious@nvcc.edu, and her phone is 933-8397.

Just fill out the online referral form: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?fromEmail=true&formkey=dDNKdDBnMjFVWU9aQmFMaGtvYXY0MVE6MQ.

“Dr. Christy”  (as we affectionately call her) will then contact you and the student directly and begin working out a plan.

Report from the Front

The Personnel Services Committee is a college-level committee comprised of classified staff, faculty, and college administrators. The committee serves everyone working for the College. This week’s report comes from Jose Zalles, the classified staff representative for Alexandria as well as the new vice chair of the committee.


Dear Alexandria,

The Alexandria Campus faculty and staff representatives on the Personnel Services Committee this year are: Stephanie Sareeram and Jose Zalles. The following are some personal notes taken at the first 2013-2014 committee meeting; additionally, attached is a draft of the minutes of the Personnel Services Committee which will be posted online the next few weeks after out next meeting.

Link: http://www.nvcc.edu/depts/committees/personnel/.

DRAFT of minutes from last meeting: DRAFT PSC Notes 09-05-2013

The topics that were covered from my personal notes were the following:

Committee Officers for 2013-2014

Chair: Jami Bryan Yazdani

Vice Chair: Jose Zalles II


Classified Emeritus Nominations

The Vice Chair will assist the committee with continuing to coordinate the nominations, select the candidates, and award this emeritus honorarium.

The deadline for nominations will be coming up soon, and announced shortly.


  • Retired classified staff with ten years of service
  • Nomination from peers

 Several Outstanding Issues in Committee

  • Questions regarding the process for faculty members when making the transition from full-time to adjunct – that is, are the faculty members required to redo the entire application process (including resubmission of transcripts and I-9?)
  • Suggestion of an appellate process to assist faculty and HR when dealing with complex VCCS 29 decisions; particularly, with respect to how credits are counted towards promotion.
  • Suggestion of having one day when college offices are closed thereby allowing the majority of Classified Staff to attend a Classified Staff Convocation on their campuses. (An example of such a date would be a weekday during Spring Break.)

Preparation for Next Month’s Meeting

The next Personnel Services Committee Meeting will be October 11.

Committee members are working on the following:

  • Working on securing one day college wide where offices may allow classified staff to attend a classified staff convocation.
  • Getting feedback from the campuses on the five areas of improvement within HR.

Should you have any issues or topics that you would like the committee to discuss, please send them to Stephanie or me at: ssareeram@nvcc.edu or jzalles@nvcc.edu; also feel free to stop by our offices in AA252, Liberal Arts.


Jose Zalles II, jzalles@nvcc.edu

Safety & Wellness

The tragedy at the Navy Yard reminds us that we need to be aware while we hope that we will be kept from the violence of our world.

Tony Ong offers the following report.


Please review the attached document, which has been created for your information in the aftermath of Monday’s tragedy at the Washington Navy Yard.

Active Shooter Article


OFC. Tony Ong
Community Resource/Crime Prevention Officer
Police Department
Northern Virginia Community College
3001 N. Beauregard Street
Alexandria, Virginia 22311
Office: (703) 933-1850
Cell: (703) 229-2527

16 Sept. 2013


Welcome to Week Five!

In this week’s newsletter, we offer information on a new office and initiative on campus, another adventurer from convocation, and tips to deal with the noise of the modern world. We also offer an updated Who’s Who list for the campus.

As you plant the seeds of knowledge all around campus, remember that it is apple season across the state! Consider plucking your own at one of the many local orchards…just wait until it’s the weekend, please. http://www.virginia.org/fall/apples/

We also highly recommend Homestead Farm in Poolesville, MD: http://homestead-farm.net/.

Have a great week!



I started teaching at the Alexandria Campus of NOVA in March 1984.  I was (young!) in my late 20’s, single, and ready for a new career.  I had been working in the business field since I graduated from college in the areas of banking, retail management, and training.  I brought all that experience to my classes, along with my years of teaching aerobic classes, which meant I was already comfortable being in front of a group.

I added two Master’s degrees to my resume while teaching here. Both added to my knowledge base and allowed me, over the years, to be promoted to the rank of full Professor.  I took on the role of an Assistant Dean starting in 2000, and I am now responsible for managing seven programs, including the large programs of Accounting and Business Administration/Management.

I also met my husband here, and we now have two grown daughters.  We travel a great deal—really, every chance we get—and I see that as an opportunity to learn more and to recharge the batteries.

As a teen, I swore I would never be a teacher!  Both my parents were teachers (elementary school level mostly) and I just knew I did not want to do that!  However, once I started running training programs (being the trainer), and then teaching aerobics classes, I realized I actually liked teaching.  Now I don’t teach little kids, so that is different, but this is now my 30th year of teaching at NOVA!


Here is an updated Who’s Who on Alexandria Campus. No matter how hard we try though we always seem to leave something out.

If you notice an omission or mistake please let us know!

Who’s Who on Campus


Community College Initiative Program- Alexandria

Community College Initiative Program or CCIP, is a joint program between NOVA, the United States Department of State, and other colleges in the Community College Consortium. The goal of CCIP is to help students from around the globe develop leadership, professional, and English language skills. The program began in 2009, and the 2013-2014 cohort is the first cohort on the Alexandria Campus.

The countries involved include Brazil, Dominican Republic, India, Indonesia, Turkey, Pakistan and others. There are 10 cohorts in different parts of the country, including Boston, San Francisco, Phoenix and Miami. The program selects students from underserved communities in different parts of the world, and provides them with a complete academic and cultural community college experience. The students are required to volunteer and intern in the United States, with the goal of developing a holistic set of skills by the end of their program year.

The coordinator for the Alexandria Campus is Amira Al-Khulaidy, and she will be working closely with these students to achieve their goals. The students are attending classes on campus, forming clubs and participating in workshops and conferences related to their fields of study. The main fields of interest this year include Business, Tourism and Media.

If you have any questions about the program, or an interest in finding out more, please contact Amira Al-Khulaidy at aalkhulaidy@nvcc.edu


Noisy stores, lawn mowers, hair dryers, and personal music players are putting us at a higher risk of hearing loss.

The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders estimated that “15% (26 million) of Americans between the ages of 20 and 69 have high frequency hearing loss due to exposure to loud sounds or noise at work or in leisure activities.” (http://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/statistics/Pages/quick.aspx)

The NIDCD has put together a short pamphlet on how to protect your hearing. http://www.nidcd.nih.gov/staticresources/health/hearing/NoiseInducedHearingLoss.pdf

Beth Lanthier, elanthier@nvcc.edu

9 Sept. 2013


Congratulations! You made it to Week Four!

This week’s theme is escapes. Our Report from the Front comes from Sylvia Rortedt, whose adventure in a faraway land brought her in touch with a NOVA student she’d never met. Our Wellness tip offers a mental break (no, not that kind) from our tendency to mull our thoughts into a vinegary mess. Our Campus Character helps us to embrace new challenges and to find adventure on home ice.

Should you be seeking an escape and need a novel idea, we recommend Baldwin’s Book Barn in West Chester, Pennsylvania. An 1820’s building filled to the rafters with books of all ages and varieties, not to mention a great dog and two friendly cats. Take a lunch and make a day of it. http://www.bookbarn.com/barnfront-good

Have a great week!

The ALW Staff

Campus Characters

Remember the Fun Facts that went into the raffle bucket at Convocation? Well, we have grabbed them and want to share them!

Our first convocation character is Margaret Emblom-Callahan, BIO, and her adventures on ice!


“Recently took up skating with her daughter and has not yet been taken from the ice by the medics”

I can do a mohawk on ice.  I know.  This is crazy!  First, I skate forward on one foot, tracing the line of a half moon, then I switch feet halfway through the moon and finish on one foot skating backwards!  If you had asked me a month ago, I would have said, “no way!” and I would have looked at you as if you had three ears.  Of course, if this were easy, I would have had no interest in learning how to do it.  I mean, what is the point of learning something you can already do?  On ice, I get the added thrill of failure to execute a move well means immediate bruising, possible concussion or a broken leg.  Some incentive to not mess up, huh?

Well, when learning to skate, take it from me, you WILL fall down, REPEATEDLY!  It reminds me of starting back to school at NOVA as an adult.  EVERYTHING was difficult.  Not because I couldn’t learn, but because I did not know how to learn efficiently, and I had other important influences in my life.  Instead of the ice making everything slippery, I had a family with health issues and later a daughter and I had to pay my own way.  Instead of bruises for my incentive to not fail, I had life goals.  I wanted to do something really meaningful with my life.

Nevertheless, just like on ice, each success was balanced by a fall.  With every fall in school, just like on ice, I had to shake it off, stand up and continue.  Eventually, I continued through a doctoral defense and a career teaching biology at NOVA!  While skating is a serious challenge to me, it is so similar to my academic and life goals that I think I know the secret to success – keep working at it, stand up after every fall, find pleasure in the challenges and I will succeed.

Campus Events

Events for week ending Saturday, 14 September 2013

Green Club Meeting

Start Date:       9/10/2013          Start Time:      1:00 PM

End Date:         9/10/2013          End Time:        1:30 PM

Event Description

Green Club Meeting. NOVA Alexandria’s student environmental group, the Green Club, is meeting Tues., 9/10 from 1pm to 1:30pm in Bisdorf 354. Come check us out and bring a friend!

Location Information:

Alexandria – Bisdorf Room: 354

Contact: Dr. Christine Bozarth

Email: cbozarth@nvcc.edu


Prospects for a Nuclear Weapons Free World: Saying No To Nuclear Weapons & Testing. 

Tuesday,10 September 2013

Discussion Time 12:30-2 pm

(AA 196). Reception 2-4 pm (AA 158)

Artist Karipbek Kuyukov was born in the area of Kazakhstan where the former Soviet Union conducted more than 470 nuclear tests. As a result, he was born without arms. Today, he paints his pictures using his legs and mouth and has become a well-known activist against nuclear testing, working to inform the world about the “health threats and devastating consequences” of testing nuclear weapons. Presented by the NOVA Institute for Public Service.

Honors Committee Meetings

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

12:00 – 13:00

Northern Virginia Community College- Alexandria Campus.

Liberal Arts Division Room 252 Bisdorf Bldg.,

3001 N. Beauregard Street, Alexandria, VA  22311

Office Phone:  703-845-6503.  Office Fax:  703-845-6186, Email: sgrant@nvcc.edu.

In addition to Exxon Mobil scholarship application / selection process we will include a general information session about honors (1 for faculty; 1 for students) to be held this fall.


Governor’s Debate

Liberal Arts, Governor’s Debate

Friday, 13 September 2013

11:00 – 14:30


Constitution Day Event

Department of Liberal Arts, Constitution Day Event

Friday, 13 September 2013

12:00 – 13:30


Have an event to post? Email Marcus Henderson, mhenderson@nvcc.edu.


Did You Know?

Ever need to have important documents notarized? Ever wonder how you’ll find the time to find a notary?

Look no further! We have TWO notaries on campus:

Nicci Dowd, the provost’s office manager, and Jessica Cedoz, our campus HR representative.


In Process

The following positions are in the hiring process.



Library Specialist II – posting closed

Library Specialist II – being posted online soon


Technology Trainer II – a new trainer should start soon!

Supervisor – to be posted


Trainer Instructor II – two positions in process of hire

In Search Of

The Academic Center for Excellence (ACE) is searching for tutors for the fall. If you have any outstanding students who are looking for good work and a strong résumé builder, please encourage them to apply. Students need to have an ‘A’ or ‘B’ in the courses they’d like to tutor and a 3.0 GPA. Interested students can pick up an application in AA 229. Feel free to pass along the attached flier. tutoring ad

A CAMPUS TECHNOLOGY COMMITTEE will be forming this semester.  This committee will be tasked with assessing current technology and training needs for faculty, staff and students.  The committee will also help develop the campus technology plan for 2013-2014. If you would like to be a member of this committee, please email fvillagrangl@nvcc.edu.

2013-2014 ALW Editorial Staff: Have you enjoyed the ALW? Would you like to be a part of it? We’re looking for intrepid souls to take on the challenge of serving as the information hub of the campus. If you are interested, please email either Stephanie Sareeram (ssareeram@nvcc.edu) or Cristina Vasilis (cvasilis@nvcc.edu).

Consider serving as a club advisor to one of our student organizations. Advisors play a crucial role in the growth, development, and success of our student organization program. And this is a GREAT way to connect and engage students outside of the classroom. If you are interested in serving please sign up for our “Advisor Waitlist.” The purpose of this waitlist is to help bridge the gap between students and potential advisors. Often times we have new students who want to start an organization but do not know faculty/staff well enough to reach out. If a club is struggling to find an advisor I would contact you with information about the club… if the club is of interest to you I will match you with the organization. It’s this simple! Please send me your contact if you are interested or if you have any questions. Thank you for your time and I hope you have a great Fall semester!!! Viridiana Guerra Acosta, Student Life Coordinator, vacosta@nvcc.edu, 703-845-6218.

The Alexandria Campus Honors Committee is seeking proposals to teach Honors/ Honors Option courses for spring 2014.

Course proposals may be for full Honors Courses OR Honors Options courses.
Faculty from all disciplines and courses in a variety of credit levels (1-5 credits) are encouraged to apply. Full Honors courses must be limited to an enrollment of 16 students.   Honors Option course do not have an enrollment minimum. Honors /Honors Option courses must include the 4 elements of the Honors Program: leadership, academic rigor, enrichment and research

Course proposals must be for one of the required courses in the Honors program curriculum:  English, math, humanities, natural science, behavioral science or general electives.

·        Spring 2013 Honors/Honors Option Courses:  November 1.

Submit an Honors/Honors Option Course Proposal Form  (attached) to my attention by the deadline. Submissions accepted via email or interoffice mail .
The Alexandria Campus Honors Committee will review and approve proposals within 1 week of the deadline.

A Sample Honors Course Proposal is attached for your reference.  For more information about the Honors program please see our college wide website or contact Shon Grant at sgrant@nvcc.edu. Website: http://www.nvcc.edu/academics/additional-learning-opportunities/honors/index.html

We are ready to start our Lyceum at NOVA-Alexandria!

I am asking any and every member of the NOVA-Alexandria community – students, staff, and faculty – to join our community conversation on a variety of topics.  The Lyceum Committee/Forum/Borg, or whatever we decide to call ourselves, will meet soon to come up with an array of topics and presentation ideas that will take place on a monthly basis throughout the academic year (Sep, Oct, Nov, Jan, Feb, Mar, and Apr).  My hope is that we will all learn and talk about issues that fall largely OUTSIDE of any one of our own individual areas of expertise, education, or interest – and we will, hence, learn more about what others here care about and work on.  Put another way, an interdisciplinary conversation.

The Lyceum organization has a small honorarium budget, which will increase our ability to tap into the rich
DC area for great speakers, academics, and passionate souls who might care to talk to us.

I believe we can start the academic year with a meeting to come up with a rough idea of the kinds of presentations or events that we want to pursue, and we can divvy up the workload so that one or two people can work on each event.  From that point on, we’ll work via email, or I can meet directly with those who need help in scheduling rooms and the “what-not” that goes into organizing an event.

Please understand that no idea or perspective is off the table: right, left, middle, science, social science, history, counseling, computers, technology, anti-technology, language, culture, anti-culture, library science, video game theory (is that a thing?), education, ethnicity, administration, or any other topic can all find a place at our Lyceum.  I am only certain of one thing: we dance with those who show up!  But – again – ALL ARE WELCOME AND ENCOURAGED TO SHOW UP!  Heck, even if you don’t show up, if you send me some ideas and contact information, I can look into it.

Let me know if you’re interested and we’ll get to work on setting up that quick and to-the-point meeting. This is going out to the ENTIRE NOVA-AL COMMUNITY.  Come one, come all.

Jack Lechelt, PLS, JLechelt@nvcc.edu



Real Life on Campus

Have news you’d like to share?

Have a colleague who should be recognized?

Write us and tell us all about them! Contact Cristina Vasilis, cvasilis@nvcc.edu, or Amira Al-Khulaidy, aalkhulaidy@nvcc.edu.


Report from the Front

You never know where NOVA students can be found. This week’s adventure report comes from Sylvia Rortvedt, formerly of LTR, the library, the campus. You won’t believe where she ran into a student…


I was one of a group of four staying at the Walaker Hotell in Solvorn, a very small town on the edge of the Lustrafjord in western Norway.  At dinner, our waitress Olivia, from Sweden, asked where we were from and said she had lived in the Washington, DC area several years ago to attend college.  Of course I asked where, and to my surprise and delight she said “NOVA, the Alexandria Campus.”  Our traveling companions were amazed at this NOVA connection 3,735 miles from Alexandria.  NOVA students can be found everywhere!



Want to report from the front? Contact Amira Al-Khulaidy, aalkhulaidy@nvcc.edu, or Steph Sareeram, ssareeram@nvcc.edu.


Safety & Wellness

This week, Beth Lanthier (PSY) will help you to stop obsessing about those things that drive you nuts.


Do you ever leave work but find yourself replaying some thoughts or events of the day? Or maybe you’re at work, but you can’t stop thinking about something you did or heard? It would be nice to be able to turn off those worries and unpleasant memories. Is there a mechanism to do that?

Daniel Wegner was a social psychologist who studied thought suppression for 25 years. He was a dynamic speaker, who made his research easy to understand. In short, it is difficult to make yourself stop thinking about something. However, he found five strategies to help turn off that thought.

Focus on an absorbing distractor thought instead.

Pick a time that will be your “worry time” and postpone your thought until then.

Reduce your multitasking. Focus on one thing at a time and it’s harder for unwanted thoughts to intrude.

Allow yourself to have the thought in a controlled way. After allowing yourself controlled exposure to the undesirable thought, it is less likely to intrude at other times.

Practice mindfulness and meditation.

For more about Dan Wegner and his research, check out: http://www.apa.org/monitor/2011/10/unwanted-thoughts.aspx

Dan died in July of ALS. Psychology has lost a brilliant thinker and inspiring teacher. You can read an obituary here: http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2013/07/daniel-m-wegner/

Beth Lanthier, elanthier@nvcc.edu