The 2015 New Horizons conference for faculty members across Virginia’s Community Colleges began with a flurry this week when a Northern Virginia Community College faculty member arrived as the keynote speaker.
Not just any faculty member, but Dr. Jill Biden, a full-time career community college educator – and wife to Vice President Joe Biden.
When she can get away from her duties at NVCC, she travels the country visiting community colleges and supporting community college education, and hosted the first White House summit on community colleges three years ago. “Teaching is not what I do,” she told the crowd of nearly 1,000 at the annual New Horizons conference. “It’s who I am.”
“This is the time for community colleges to shine,” she said. They are the key to providing an education that is “accessible, affordable and attainable for all Americans.”
The Roanoke Times headlined their Virginia section Thursday with a photo and story on the visit:
“You are all my peers…..Many of my students are just like yours, determined to improve their lives, to provide for their families and make a difference in their communities.”
The Times also quoted Central Virginia and Virginia Western faculty member Kellee Barbour:
“She’s literally one of us,” Barbour said of Biden. “She answers to the president of a college. She deals with the same students and frustrations and joys and successes in the classroom as all of us.”
Check out the Roanoke Times article, as well as the television report on WDBJ-7.
Biden’s keynote address was one of two keynotes for the annual conference; scholar and educator Ken Bain, author of a classic book on “What the Best College Teachers Do,” was the second. Well over 150 sessions, peer group meetings, and e-learning opportunities continued through Friday, April 3 at the Hotel Roanoke.
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