Exceptional community college educators from across Virginia recognized through the 2020 VCCS faculty awards

Home|Blog|Exceptional community college educators from across Virginia recognized through the 2020 VCCS faculty awards

virtual classroom in silhouette “Let’s face it, the old saw about ‘better late than never’ isn’t much consolation,” acknowledged VCCS Chancellor Glenn DuBois. “These extraordinary faculty members really deserved to be applauded by hundreds of their colleagues at an awards banquet. But when our New Horizons conference was cancelled in the spring due to the COVID-19 emergency, that wasn’t possible, so we hope they’ll understand how proud and grateful we are for their dedication and extraordinary performance.”

Professor Bright holding kitchen utensils


Rappahannock Community College culinary arts professor Hatley Bright has received the VCCS’s highest faculty honor for 2020. The Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence is conferred to a single instructor who distinctly represents the teaching excellence found at Virginia’s Community Colleges.

Bright’s students benefit from her diverse and wide ranging background working in multiple industry settings, such as hotel resorts, bed and breakfast inns, catering and fine dining, entrepreneurial experience in culinary retail and private cooking instruction.

She was part of the team that designed and implemented the Culinary Arts Program at RCC in 2007, has developed several courses for the program, and oversaw the design and construction of a professional culinary lab that has significantly increased enrollment.

In addition to her instructional duties, Bright co-chairs RCC’s Food Insecurity committee, is instrumental to RCC’s annual Preakness Party fundraiser, has served as Faculty Senate President, and continues to serve as the food coordinator for the annual Remote Area Medical mobile clinic that provides free medical services for approximately 800 community members and feeds 350 volunteers.

Professor Piercey


Central Virginia Community College psychology professor Julie Piercy has received the Susan S. Wood professorship for Teaching Excellence. The award, created by the Virginia Foundation for Community College Education (VFCCE) recognizes a VCCS faculty member who demonstrates faculty excellence, dedication to students and academic leadership.

The award also honors Dr. Wood’s 40 years of service to Virginia’s Community Colleges.

Piercy’s 20-year career with the VCCS includes recognition for Excellence in Teaching, leadership through SACS Quality Enhancement Plan management, Coordination of Articulated Learning Outcomes across the VCCS and direction of the Central VA Community College Student Conduct Committee.


The annual faculty awards also recognize about 9,000 adjunct faculty members who make a tremendous difference across the system. Three were spotlighted this year for their positive impact, receiving the George B. Vaughan Leadership Award for Outstanding Adjunct Faculty, made possible by support from the VFCCE.

Vaughan had served as president at two Virginia community colleges before becoming a national leader in training college administrators. This year’s winners ( Below, l to r): Sherry Crickenberger, Adjunct Faculty, Computer aided Design CSC Program Head, Va. Western Community College; Patrick N. Farley, Ed.D, LPC, NCC, Adjunct Professor, Virginia Highlands Community College; Mark Sunderlin, Adjunct Assistant Professor, Information Technology,Lord Fairfax Community College

Professors Crickenberger, Farley and Sunderlin


The Excellence in Education (EIE) Awards Program provides an annual opportunity to showcase, celebrate, and share ideas and innovations across the VCCS that contribute to improving student outcomes and reaching our strategic goals.

Unfortunately, because the coronavirus forced cancellation of the New Horizons conference and associated budget items, the 2020 EIE awards were not formally conferred. However, three finalist were identified from the high quality submissions. We wanted to share these outstanding entries here:

Submission Title: Great Teaching, Student Success, and ACUE at PVCC
College: Piedmont Virginia Community College
Team Member: John Kingsley

The team found that teacher effectiveness in the classroom through engaging students is a significant contributor to student success, and it recommended comprehensive professional development for all faculty around pedagogy. PVCC selected ACUE’s Course on Effective Teaching Practices.

PVCC has committed to offering the course each year to 30 full-time and adjunct faculty. Qualitative and quantitative results show that faculty are improving their teaching effectiveness and engagement with students.

Submission Title: Rappahannock Community College/Haynesville Correctional Center Second Chance Pell Grant Program
College: Rappahannock Community College
Team Members: Eric Barna, David Keel, Deborah Hughes, Marlene Cralle, Matt Brent

Rappahannock Community College’s Second Chance Pell Experimental Site is one of two in Virginia, and 63 nationally. College programs, like this collaboration between RCC and Haynesville Correctional Center, are vital because they provide access to an under-served population, help prepare incarcerated students to re-enter their communities with job-ready, critical thinking and writing skills, and help the state deal with a shortage of skilled labor. The completion rate for students in this program is 47%.

Submission Title
Reaching for the G.O.A.L.: A Long-Term Loan Laptop Program at PVCC
College: Piedmont Virginia Community College
Team Members: Crystal Newell, Jacqueline Carrell

The G.O.A.L. program is a long-term loan laptop program targeted to students who demonstrate financial need. The main objectives of the program are to reduce technological barriers and increase student success. This program reduces the digital divide and supports the mission and strategic plans of both the College and the VCCS.
To learn more about the VCCS Office of Student Success and Professional Development, click here.


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