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News & Press: University News

Virginia Western Biotechnology Program Honored by the State

Thursday, January 25, 2018  
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Virginia Western Community College’s biotechnology program has been honored at the State Library of Virginia in Richmond during the Virginia Mathematics & Science Coalition’s Programs that Work awards.

The Coalition reviews exemplary programs for which there is evidence of a positive impact on student or teacher learning. Virginia Western was one of only 10 programs to be recognized.

Started in 2015, Virginia Western’s Biotechnology career studies certificate program is designed to help students acquire additional skills to gain employment in the fields of Biotechnology, health sciences, or scientific research.

“We are delighted to be honored for our biotechnology program and it is reconfirmation that this is making a difference for our students,” said Amy White, dean of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). “We believe that exposing students to advanced level laboratory techniques will open the door for them to high-demand healthcare and science careers in the Roanoke Region.”

The Virginia Mathematics & Science Coalition evaluated proposals based on the extent to which they: Represent innovative, exemplary programs that have proven effective with all students or teachers; Demonstrate the important science concept skills or processes students and teachers learned as a result of the programs; and Document impact on teaching and learning.

White and Assistant Professor Stacie Deaver attended the Programs that Work event in Richmond and shared details of the biotechnology program through a poster presentation to colleagues and state legislators. They showed the impact that gaining additional knowledge in the biotechnology field is having upon students.

“This honor reinforces the hard work and dedication of our faculty to provide relevant and career-advancing educational opportunities for our students,” Deaver said. “The unique inquiry-based learning methods presented to students in these courses provides not only the necessary advanced technical skills, but vital life skills such as problem-solving and critical thinking that will follow them throughout the rest of their lives.”

“I have been really excited about the program all along, especially when I am able to apply my academic knowledge in the practical environment,” said Farzana Rahman, a former biotechnology student. “This program, along with the professor, definitely have encouraged me to believe in ‘the sky is the limit’ if I wish to pursue it. Therefore, I hope to take the vital lessons as a concrete foundation to pursue a field in medical research in the near future.

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