Second Chances: Cathy Edwards

The School of Hard Knocks Meets the School of Second Chances

Almost every student at Blue Ridge has a story. It isn’t always obvious by looking at them, but the path many took to get here was fraught with obstacles and stumbling blocks, with financial hardship or severe illnesses, with loss or setbacks and personal sacrifice in all forms. Life has thrown them many curves, but here at BRCC, they’ve found a home and the support needed to pursue their passions with renewed purpose.

Cathy Edwards

Cathy EdwardsCathy Edwards’s life changed forever in a doctor’s office in 1992. Her young daughter was undergoing testing because she exhibited symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. When her family physician could not determine the cause, further testing at Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago revealed a devastating diagnosis: Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia.

“I was in a world of disbelief,” Cathy says. “It was a long time before I could really accept it. I was in denial. I kept saying, ‘We’re going to bring her home and she’s going to be okay.’”

Her daughter endured months of chemotherapy and seemed on the path to recovery. “The doctors told us if she could go five years, she’d be in remission. At 4 years and 8 months, it returned,” she says. Another long battle against the disease, which included cranial radiation, was successful, and her daughter, now 26, is considered in remission.

Later after moving to the Valley, Cathy became caregiver to other loved ones with different types of cancer and severe health problems. This propelled her to want to study something in the healthcare field. She began her Blue Ridge journey in Continuing Education courses for Medical Office-Reception, Medical Office-Operations, and Medical Terminology. After completing that coursework and passing the National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT) exam for Medical Office Assistants (MOA), she is now pursuing a Career Studies Certificate in Medical Coding-Hospital, which she hopes to complete in May. Continue reading

Extended Registration Hours for Spring 2015

Extended office hours for advising and in-person registration:

  • Friday, January 2:  8:15 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
  • Monday, January 5 – Tuesday, January 6: 8:15 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, January 7:  8:15 -10 a.m./1 – 6:30 p.m. (offices closed 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.)
  • Thursday, January 8:  8:15 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.
  • Friday, January 9: 8:15 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, January 10: 10 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Web registration is also available for most students; new students need to complete an admissions application.

Appalachian Heritage Arts Evening with The Steel Wheels a Success

The Steel Wheels in concert at BRCC

For some, it was “Girls Night Out.” Others came from afar or just passing through, while others were from down the road a piece. Some learned about it months ago; others heard about it mere hours before the concert began. One thing is for certain: all 900+ in attendance at The Steel Wheels concert enjoyed a picture-perfect Valley “almost fall” evening of great Americana music. Continue reading

Welcome Week 2014

All Week

Open play corn hole, disc golf, volleyball.

Monday 8/25

  • 10 a.m.-noon:  “Be Calm & Get Fit”, Rec Center (Complete 4 fitness activities for giveaways.)
  • 11 a.m.-2 p.m.: Music by DJ Derek Frye, Campus Commons
  • 11 a.m.-2  p.m.: Therapy Dogs, Library
  • Noon-2  p.m.: FREE pizza and giveaways Campus Commons

Tuesday 8/26

  • 10-11 a.m.: Drunk Driving simulator-VA State Police, P/T Courtyard
  • 11 a.m.-1  p.m.: FREE sno-cones/College bingo, Plecker Patio
  • 1-1:45  p.m.: Mountain Heritage Cloggers, Black Box-V135
  • 2-3  p.m.: Pottery demonstration, T Bldg. Bridge
  • 3-3:45  p.m.: Mountain Heritage Cloggers, Black Box-V135

Wednesday 8/27

ALL DAY Spirit Day-Wear your BRCC pride for door prizes BRCC Campus

  • 10 a.m.-noon: FREE cookies & coffee, Coffee Corner
  • 11 a.m.-1  p.m.: FREE popcorn, Plecker Patio
  • Noon-2  p.m.: Chin Hamaya Daiko Drumming/Dance, Campus Commons

Thursday 8/28

  • 9 a.m.-4  p.m.: Free snacks and KEY card Student Activities  (Complete an information “tour” for prizes.)
  • 10-11 a.m.: Drunk Driving simulator-VA State Police, P/T Courtyard
  • Noon-2  p.m.: FREE hot dogs and drinks, Plecker Patio
  • Noon-3  p.m.: “Be Calm & Get Fit”, Rec Center (Complete 4 fitness activities for giveaways.)
  • 1-2  p.m.: Blue Ridge Mountain Dulcimer Players, Black Box-V135
  • 3-4  p.m.: Blue Ridge Mountain Dulcimer Players, Black Box-V135

Friday 8/29

7 a.m.-noon FREE snacks at all Information Tents

BRCC Garners 6 “Great College to Work For” designations

The Chronicle 2014 Great College to Work ForBRCC recently participated in The Chronicle of Higher Education’s 2014 survey of “Great Colleges to Work For.”  The final results were released on 7/21/2014 and BRCC was once again recognized as a “Great College to Work For.”  BRCC achieved recognition in 6 of the 11 two-year college categories.  The primary factor in deciding whether an institution received Great College to Work For recognition was employee feedback.  According to the Chronicle’s criteria, BRCC was recognized in the following areas:

  • Collaborative Governance
  • Teaching Environment
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Respect and Appreciation
  • Professional & Career Development Programs
  • Supervisor/Department Chair Relationship

This is the 6th consecutive year that BRCC has achieved this “Great College To Work For” designation. Continue reading