News at PVCC


VRS May Member News 2012 Special Edition

posted May 8, 2012, 8:00 AM by Elizabeth Hernandez   [ updated May 8, 2012, 8:01 AM ]

To Virginia Retirement System (VRS) Eligible Faculty and Staff,

The  VRS May Member News 2012 Special Edition is now available. This issue provides an overview of pension reform and other key legislation as well as a link to the 2012 Legislative Summary 51kb.
I encourage you to read this issue which has information on changes to VRS plans effective January 2013.

The Web address for the newsletter is To make sure you receive important information, including legislative changes, as quickly as possible, you can subscribe directly to Member News.


Yvonne Carey, manager, human resources

PVCC Team Completes Montalto Challenge

posted May 8, 2012, 6:03 AM by Erin Hughey-Commers   [ updated May 8, 2012, 7:58 AM by Elizabeth Hernandez ]

A walking team from PVCC participated in the Montalto Challenge on Saturday, May 5. The 5k race led to the top of Jefferson's "high mountain," a summit of 1,282 ft. with breathtaking views of Charlottesville and beyond. Pictured here are Jessica Glendinning (PVCC alum), Corinne Lauer, Erin Hughey-Commers, Kristin Garrett, and Valerie Palamountain with PVCC in the distance (note the green roof of the Dickinson building and the red brick of the Main Building to Valerie's right). This is the second year that a walking team from PVCC has participated in the annual Montalto Challenge. Go team!!
Click on photo to view larger.

PVCC Awarded Grant from Office of EMS

posted Apr 20, 2012, 12:52 PM by Charlotte White   [ updated May 2, 2012, 8:14 AM by Elizabeth Hernandez ]

PVCC was recently awarded an EMS Training Equipment Special Initiative Grant for Accredited ALS Training Programs from the Office of Emergency Medical Services. The grant is in the amount of $102,808.83 for an adult and child human simulators. Be sure to congratulate Matthew Cathcart, paramedic program director, for his hard work in obtaining the grant.

"Fun in the Garden" April 21

posted Apr 17, 2012, 12:32 PM by Erin Hughey-Commers   [ updated Apr 18, 2012, 6:08 AM by Elizabeth Hernandez ]

Get out your favorite garden tools and join in the Fun in the Garden this Saturday, April 21, from noon until 3 p.m. hosted by the Horticulture and Environmental Club. Plant summer vegetables, prepare new garden beds, and learn how to use the hula-hoe! Community members of all ages are encouraged to come out for a day of fun and learning in the PVCC Community Garden. Get a sneak preview of the action by viewing this "stop animation" footage of the last garden day at

PVCC Horticulture Featured on "Virginia Home Grown"

posted Apr 11, 2012, 5:51 AM by Elizabeth Hernandez

PVCC’s horticulture program and classes at the historic Morven estate in Albemarle County will be featured on the PBS TV program “Virginia Home Grown” that airs Tuesday, April 24, at 8 p.m. on PBS stations in Charlottesville and Richmond. The feature includes a taped interview with Cole Burrell, assistant professor of horticulture, and shows film of PVCC students in Morven’s beautiful Japanese garden in a class taught by Ian Robertson, horticulture instructor. Ian also will be interviewed during the program’s live in-studio segment.
Cole discussing the horticulture program with the show’s producer and host Amy Williams.
Ian in the Japanese garden.

Now Accepting April Nominations for ABCD Awards

posted Apr 3, 2012, 6:07 AM by Elizabeth Hernandez

Do you know of a faculty or staff member who has gone "above and beyond the call of duty" recently? Do you know of an action that merits recognition and reward? You may be aware of a co-worker who developed and executed a clever idea, offered his/her unsolicited assistance, or really came through for you or someone else in a bind.
The ABCD Award is one way to officially recognize and thank an individual who undertakes something that goes beyond his/her normal job. Recipients receive a cash award of $100 and a framed certificate of appreciation. The employee must have gone above and beyond the call of duty one or more times and the action of the employee must have resulted in one or more of the following:
  1. Helped the college to better achieve some aspect of its mission.
  2. Helped promote student learning and development.
  3. Provided a service that would not have occurred or would have taken much longer to occur.
  4. Helped the college achieve the highest quality possible in some function, activity, or service.
  5. Performed a service that is unusual, exceptional, and generally not performed by others.
Guidelines and a nominating form are available from Pat Buck, assistant to the president and special projects coordinator at . You can also find copies of the nomination form/guidelines in the faculty/staff lounge.
Nominations may be submitted between the 1st and 15th, either electronically or on paper to the Office of the President (room 244 or The Awards Committee selects the recipient(s) and announcements are made in eNews.
On behalf of the members of the Awards Committee, I encourage you to submit a nomination. (Awards Committee: Ali Bouabid, Pat Buck, Yvonne Carey, Charlotte Glover-White, David Lerman, Becky Parkhill, Jan Reed, Margaret Willis)

Ancient Egyptian Math Decoded April 15

posted Mar 29, 2012, 6:07 AM by Claudette Borgersen   [ updated Apr 11, 2012, 1:12 PM ]

Piedmont Virginia Community College’s Department of Mathematics will host author and lecturer Michael St. John on Sunday, April 15, from 2 until 4 p.m. in the Main Stage Theatre of the V. Earl Dickinson Building. This event is free and open to the public.


St. John’s presentation, “Give or Take a Cubit or Two,” will focus on the way numbers were expressed and used thousands of years ago. St. John will present the unique mathematical system of ancient Egypt and how it stands up to the systems we use today. From counting grain to building pyramids, he will show how the cubit was arrived at and how it was used in everyday life. Illustrations of known cubits will be shown and a unique reproduction of a cubit from the New Kingdom tomb of Maya will be analyzed and demonstrated.


St. John was educated at Canterbury and Manchester universities. As an instructor, he became intrigued by the methodology of ancient Egyptian arithmetic and the measuring systems used in antiquity. His research resulted in the publication of The Palermo Stone – An Arithmetical View (1999), Three Cubits Compared (2000), and a new English edition of Richard Lepsius’ The Ancient Egyptian Cubit and Its Subdivision (2001). He reproduced the hieroglyphic texts and illustrations for all three volumes, published by Museum Bookshop Publications.


For additional information, call Jon Hexter at 434.961.5439 or email

Japanese Club Visits Morven Gardens

posted Mar 28, 2012, 6:46 AM by Elizabeth Hernandez   [ updated Mar 28, 2012, 6:56 AM ]

The PVCC Japanese club and our Japanese class visited Morven Japanese Garden on Friday, March 23. At the house in the garden, we had tea ceremony.

The tea master, Johnny Fogg, was my former student who took my Japanese class at PVCC several years ago. After taking my class, he received the scholarship for the Urasenke School of Chanoyu in Kyoto, Japan, and studied tea ceremony over there for a year. At the garden, he made an informative lecture about Japanese traditional tea ceremony and made tea for us.

It was such a beautiful day as all the blossoms were in bloom in the garden and had such a peaceful moment all together. We had the moment of the cultural concept called “Ichi-go ichi-e”, that literally means one time, one meeting, and means that each meeting is unique and we should cherish every meeting because this will never happen again. I think we all had such a precious moment of “Ichi-go ichi-e” together. Additional photos of the Japanese Club's trip to Morven Japanese Garden can be seen on the PVCC Facebook page.

Noriko Donahue
Instructor of Japanese

New Names Added to Donor Wall

posted Mar 28, 2012, 6:33 AM by Elizabeth Hernandez   [ updated Mar 28, 2012, 6:36 AM ]

The next time you’re walking down the central hallway in the main building, take a look at the PVCC Educational Foundation Donor Wall. In 2011, five donors reached the level required for posting on the wall - their cumulative giving reached or exceeded $50,000. The donors are:
Rose and Robert Capon
Ethyle Cole Giuseppe
Charlottesville Area Community Foundation
Dominion Resources
The Mary Morton Parsons Foundation
20th Century Merchants Fund of the Charlottesville-Albemarle Retail Merchants Association

These gifts reflect our individual and collective striving for excellence. Our community sees that effort and responds generously. Thanks to each one of you for doing what you do so well.
Mary Jane King
Director, Institutional Advancement and Development

Fun in the Garden March 31

posted Mar 27, 2012, 10:19 AM by Erin Hughey-Commers   [ updated Mar 28, 2012, 6:16 AM by Elizabeth Hernandez ]

On Saturday, March 31, the PVCC Horticulture & Environmental Club will host Fun in the Garden from 1 - 4 p.m. in the PVCC Community Garden near the Dickinson building. Community members are invited to bring children, friends and neighbors to the garden for an afternoon of seeds, water and dirt! friends and neighbors to the garden for an afternoon of seeds, water and dirt!

Activities will include preparing garden beds, planting seeds and perennials and hanging the garden gate. Snacks and beverages will be provided.

Since 2010 the PVCC Community Garden has donated almost 1,000 pounds of fresh, delicious food to our local hungry. Come help us prepare the garden for another busy growing season and bountiful harvest!

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