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CTE Employee Spotlight New Employee

Welcome Andy Chaves, NOVA SySTEMic’s New CTE Coordinator!

Andy is excited to join NOVA SySTEMic as our new CTE (Career and Technical Education) Director. Andy promotes and supports public/private partnerships through CTE programs. He served as the Chair of the National Advisory Board and Executive Committee of DECA while also serving on the Board of Directors of DECA, Inc.

Andy is a retired executive from Marriott International, Inc. where he worked for almost 31 years. He spearheaded Marriott’s youth strategies and partnership efforts supporting engagement initiatives across the globe. A graduate of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, he has more than 35 years of experience in the Hospitality Industry.

Andy was Board Chairman of Hospitality High School of Washington, DC, A Public Charter School.  He represented Marriott as liaison to the National Urban League, UnidosUS, NBMBAA, Prospanica, NABA, NRAEF’s ProStart, AH&LA Hospitality and Tourism Management Program (HTMP) and various CTE programs and councils. He has served on the Advisory Board for career and technical program resources development with the Glencoe McGraw-Hill publisher.

Andy was also the founding President of the Montgomery County Public Schools Students Foundation for Hospitality and Restaurant Management (FHRM). As a Human Resources professional, Andy understands that investing in young people and giving back are essential for the future growth of any industry.  These public/private partnerships are what make career and technical education (CTE) programs succeed.  His greatest mentoring efforts are in raising his two children and encouraging them to become life-long learners and continuous career explorers.

Andy can be reached at machaves@nvcc.edu

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New Employee NOVA IET

New IET Employee Spotlight

Chris Russell: IET Project Manager

Chris was first drawn to STEM outreach in high school, where he worked as a robotics camp instructor and a peer tutor. Chris earned his BS in Chemistry Education from the University of Virginia, an MA in Communication Arts from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and will defend his PhD in Screen Cultures at Northwestern in December 2021. His dissertation, “Nerds, Hackers, and Gamers: Performing Masculinity in Computing Cultures,” examines the historical relationship between masculinity and computers as it developed during the 80s and 90s. In addition to his historical work, Chris has worked to broaden participation in the STEM disciplines through developing inclusive and research-centered outreach programs.

Prior to coming to NOVA, Chris was a research fellow at the Game Changer Design Lab at the University of Chicago, where he worked to design and implement game-based STEM enrichment camps for at-risk youth. After his tenure at Game Changer, Chris went on found his own educational game company, working with Ashburn non-profit JASON Learning to publish a suite of analog games for middle school science classrooms. At NOVA, he hopes to help grow the IET division’s capacity to produce innovative STEM programs and integrate empirically-proven strategies into practice.

Chris recently moved to Fairfax, VA and can be found surveying regional playgrounds with his two kids, Kieran and Maya.

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IET Newsletter New Employee

New Employee Spotlights – Oct 2019

We’re glad to welcome two new team members to the IET division, Brittany Hollis, who is an IET Career Coach and Valerie Seidel, a graphic designer with NOVA SySTEMic.


Brittany Hollis

Brittany holds a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC Chapel Hill) and a Master’s degree in Higher Education Administration from North Carolina State University (NC State). Before coming to NOVA Brittany worked in the Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) Living Learning Village at NC State as the graduate assistant overseeing the WISE peer mentor program. In this role she planned student development, academic, career, and social events and activities and supported and advised WISE student leader staff.

Brittany also has experience working in Institutional Equity and Diversity departments at NC State and UNC Chapel Hill, piloting new initiatives focusing on equity in Higher Education. She has also presented programs and trainings on issues related to social justice, STEM education, and diversity and inclusion at the local, state, and national level.

Brittany taught High School Biology for two years in the Charlotte Mecklenburg School System before moving into the Student Affairs and Higher Education Profession. In her free time, Brittany enjoys listening to podcasts, writing, and all things DIY.

Brittany can be reached at bhollis@nvcc.edu


Valerie Seidel

Valerie started her career as a clothing production coordinator at Ann Inc. in New York City. After college, she secured an Event Coordinator position at Heritage Hunt Golf and Country Club in Gainesville, VA. She was introduced to hands-on STEM through volunteering at robotics competitions for NOVA, and will use her expertise in event management, graphic design, and fashion to promote STEM throughout the community. Valerie holds a bachelor’s degree in Merchandising with a minor in Business from Virginia Commonwealth University. In her free time, she loves to sew, craft, create, cuddle with her cat and binge watch Netflix.

Valerie can be reached at vseidel@nvcc.edu