Celebrate with Patriot Players!

patriotPlayersYou’re invited to celebrate the first-year anniversary of Patrick Henry Community College’s Patriot Players!

This Thursday, April 17 from 5-7 p.m. at Walker Fine Arts Theatre, past and present members of Patriot Players will commemorate a year of bringing musical theatre and collegiate-level instruction of performing arts to the community. The event is free! It starts with a meet-and-greet followed by an announcement of the upcoming season.

“This is a fun tradition we would like to start within the Patriot Players,” said Devin Pendleton, artistic director. “We will have guest speakers, awards for our actors, and we’ll will take time to recognize all of our amazing sponsors.”

To announce the upcoming season, actors will dress in costume as a character from an upcoming show and perform a number from the musical.

“We’re so excited about our next season – we hope to get the entire community on board,” Pendleton said.

With a new season in the works, Walker Fine Arts Theatre will undergo a facelift – just in time for the opening of “Shrek: The Musical.” Renovations to the current lighting and sound systems will be completed by May 23. Pendleton said they also are working to offer patrons an option to purchase tickets online.

“Everyone gave us feedback and we listened,” he said.

Patriot Players Director Jane Leizer said she’s very excited about what the Patriot Players have been able to accomplish over the past year.

“We have some wonderful things we’re introducing for the next season – there’s something for everyone,” she said. “We’re also looking forward to enhancing our coursework in performing arts.”

The Patriot Players are planning a busy upcoming season with two shows per semester, one show during the summer and a few special events and trips.

The next big thing for Patriot Players is the performance of “Shrek,” which opens May 30-31 at 7 p.m., June 1 at 2 p.m. and June 5-7 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $15 and they go on sale May 2. To find out more about the show, visitwww.patrickhenry.edu/patriotplayers or call (276) 638-8777 ext. 0460.

Looking for a summer internship? Submissions Due by April 18

Registration is open for summer internships through the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research (IALR). They will host one intern in the Information Technology Department, two interns in the Advanced Learning Department and up to five interns with the Center for Sustainable and Renewable Resources (CSRR).

Interns must be rising high school seniors or above and have an interest in a STEM career. Excellent oral and written communication skills and the ability to work well in a team-based/collaborative atmosphere are essential.

For more information and to apply visit the website: http://www.ialr.org/index.php/advanced-learning/k-12-programs/stem-internships. All submission materials must be received at IALR by Friday, April 18 at 4 p.m.

If you have questions regarding IALR internships, please contact Tonya Mills at tonya.mills@ialr.org or 434.766.6745.



‘Welding girls’ make sparks fly

PHCC Welding girls1

(From left) Lauren Hall, Lynn Eaton and Alexandria Divinie are the only three female students currently enrolled in the welding program at Patrick Henry Community College.

In a career largely populated by men, some women might think twice about signing up. But three women enrolled in the welding program at Patrick Henry Community said they didn’t have any second thoughts about their intended careers.

“My grandpa is a welder, my dad is a welder and my brother is a welder – I’ve been around it my whole life,” said Alexandria Divinie, who will finish the welding program this summer. “They’re really proud of what I’m doing.”

Divinie started at PHCC in 2010 when she came back through the Middle College program to earn her GED (General Education Development) certificate. She has already certified in MIG (metal inert gas) welding and is working to gain other certifications.

First-year student Lynn Eaton said she was introduced to welding in her high school agriculture class and “just loved it. The kicker is I thought I wanted to do early childhood education. But after moving in with my last foster family and helping with the kids, I learned very quickly that I do not like bodily fluids.”

Eaton transitioned to PHCC from Franklin County High School through the Great Expectations program. From there, she said she met Dwight Bower, a welding instructor at PHCC, and decided welding was the program for her.

Lauren Hall started at PHCC as a student in the human services program, but found it wasn’t the right fit.

“My mom always said I needed to find a trade because it was good for you,” she said.

At a wine convention, Hall said she saw someone with little butterflies welded out of spoons. “I was like, ‘I could totally do that.’ And then I got into the welding program and realized it was nothing like that. It was dirty, heavy and rough – and I loved it.”

Hall said her family didn’t think she would be interested in the program.

“They knew I was going to try it, but being me, I don’t think they thought I would like it or finish it,” she said. “But they are enthralled that I’m getting ready to finish up this summer.”

Being the only three females in a class full of men could be intimidating to some, but Divinie said she feels like one of the guys.

“I feel really comfortable; I thought it was going to be awkward and weird because I’m a girl, but everybody has treated me just the same,” she said. “They’re like brothers.”

Hall said, “They really treat you like another one of the guys. Sometimes I’ll be welding and there will be two or three people peeking in your booth ready to tell you what you did right or wrong. All my classmates are really helpful.”

Bower said Divinie, Eaton and Hall have been a joy to have in class.

“They do as well as the guys do,” he said. “If you really think about it, women have an advantage over some men because they have better handwriting. Welding is an art.”

Bower said they put the pressure on for everybody else to do well in class. Eaton also works with Bower as a work-study student cutting metal, doing cleanup and organizing supplies.

“These girls are going to have promising careers,” he said. “The certifications they’re earning can go anywhere in the nation – they are the key that unlocks the door, but they still have to go in and prove they can do it.”

PHCC offers instruction for seven different welding certifications. Welding Instructor Randy Smith said his student Divinie is on her way to finishing most of them.

“She’s taken a flux-cored arc welding test. It came back x-rayed, and now she’s certified,” he said. “She’s in the process of taking her second welding test … Welding runs in her family, and she’s taken to it very quickly. She wants it all – she’s a welder.”

Christy Yaple, director of the Middle College and Great Expectations programs, said she’s very proud of Eaton and Divinie and what they’ve accomplished.

“The Middle College and Great Expectations staff could not be more proud of these two ladies,” Yaple said. “Both of them have surpassed many obstacles in their lives and have proven to have the drive and determination to reach their academic, career, and personal goals. We are truly overjoyed to be part of their experience as they continue on this successful path.”

Looking to the future, Divinie said she hopes to get a job working for a company like Deere-Hitachi, which produces parts for various John Deere and Hitachi machinery.

Eaton said she’s hoping to stay in school for a while, but after graduating, she wants to work in the shipyards around Virginia Beach.

Hall said she wants to pursue a position at FreightCar America in Roanoke, and maybe move to Virginia Transformer Corp. after gaining some job experience.

**Scholarship Alert – Due by April 23**

Check out these opportunities for scholarships from the Virginia Community College System. Scholarships are due by April 23.

The Honorable Gerald Baliles Commonwealth Legacy Scholarship

Two scholarships of $2550 will be awarded to first-time college students at Patrick Henry Community College to recognize Governor Gerald Baliles’ many contributions to the improvement of education for all Virginians.

Kathy Camper Commonwealth Legacy Scholarship

Created by friends and family to honor a long-time information technology staff member with Virginia’s Community Colleges, this scholarship provides financial assistance to students pursuing careers in information technology or childhood education. One scholarship of $2,500 will be awarded.

The John T. Casteen III Commonwealth Legacy Scholarship

One scholarship will be awarded to a full-time community college student attending any Virginia Community College who plans to transfer to the University of Virginia. One scholarship of $3,000 will be awarded.

The Eva T. Hardy Commonwealth Legacy Scholarship

Two scholarships will be awarded to meritorious community college students who demonstrate potential for public service and civic leadership. Two scholarships of $4,300 (tuition, fees and books) will be awarded.

Click here for a full listing: http://www.vccs.edu/giving/scholarships/

Calling all Disney Lovers

PHCC Disney2Come and see the PHCC Patriot Players perform in a free show for the community!

“Once Upon a Disney: Music Revue” comes to the stage at Walker Fine Arts Theatre at 7:30 p.m. March 13.  This event is a “give-what-you-can” fundraiser to benefit the Patriot Players performing arts program at PHCC.

Devin Pendleton, artistic director of Patriot Players, said a variety of members make up the cast, including current PHCC students, alumni, nurses and high school students.

“And all of the cast members are huge Disney fans,” he added.

Picking a show that would appeal to many people throughout the community was important for this fundraising event, Pendleton said.

“We wanted to provide an event that the community can enjoy with their entire families,” he said. “They can come, see the magic of Disney and pay what they want to pay. Every donation is accepted and encouraged.”

Pendleton said the show will feature several mash-ups and compilations of Disney songs that will make the audience see Disney in a new way.

This show will feature a full orchestra with eight to nine parts, including Deborah Burgess, musical director, on the piano. Others will play the keyboards, drums, violin, flute and bass.

The cast includes Tyler Amos, Sidney Coulson, Stacey Davis, Jeanelle Doby, Cailan Doby, Steve Doby, Valeria Edwards, Sarah Foley, Nelson Harper, Robbie Hendrix, Alyssa Hollandsworth, Kristina Hudson, Brandon Martin, Heather Minter, Demi Richardson, Samantha Roberts, Bailey Sharp, Lanessa Sharp and Isaiah Young.

After Disney, the Patriot Players are kicking it in high gear for “Shrek: The Musical.” Auditions are Monday, March 17 from 6-9 p.m. and on Wednesday, March 19 from 6-9 p.m. Performances will be held May 30- 31 at 7 p.m., June 1 at 2 p.m. and June 5-7 at 7 p.m. For additional information, call (276) 638-8777 ext. 0460 or visit www.patrickhenry.edu/patriotplayers.

Students by day, rockers at night


Wenn Harold (right) on bass. Griffin Haley (center) on guitar. Riggs Roberson (left) on guitar.

“We decided when it’s not fun anymore, we’ll be done. But it’s never not going to be fun. We love what we do.” – Wenn Harold

They’re PHCC students by day. But at night, they pick up their guitars, drumsticks and keyboards and they rock out to huge crowds.

The Band with No Name got its start during an open mic night at Mtn. Jax Restaurant and Pub in uptown Martinsville. Bassist Wenn Harold said one band mate knew another who might be interested and it grew from there.

“We started playing at the open mic night about two months ago, and people in the audience just started calling people telling them to get over here,” he said. “On our best show, we had around 120 people that packed this place out.”

Harold said it has been a lot of fun playing with other members of the band, but the highlight, so far, would be performing for executives from the U.K.-based firm Kilgour Industries Ltd., who were recently in town to announce a $27.3 million investment in Martinsville.

“We thought it was pretty cool that Kilgour came to see us,” Harold said. “Since they’re from Britain, we started playing Rolling Stones for them and they loved it. We did ‘Symphony For The Devil.’”

Members of Unnamed Band include Harold; Riggs Roberson on vocals and guitar; Austin Janey on keyboards; Griffin Haley on guitar, harmonica and vocals; Camry Harris on drums, and Ted Alt joined them in a Feb. 21 performance on saxophone.

Harold said the band plays everything from Muddy Waters and Joe Cocker to Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan. They even throw in a little Lynyrd Skynyrd for local fans.

“We play all kinds of stuff,” Harold said. “When I was growing up, I was a big funk fan. Flea (from Red Hot Chili Peppers) is my hero. And I love Donald ‘Duck’ Dunn. He was my favorite bass player.”

Harold said he’s been playing music his whole life, but picked up bass about six years ago. Haley said he’s played for about five years, and Janey said he’s been on the keyboards for more than 12 years.

Roberson said he’s been playing for more than a decade.

“My playing style is on the jazzy, bluesy end of the southern rock spectrum,” he said. “Duane Allman (Allman Brothers Band) and a lot of slide guitar.”

Roberson has played in other bands including Mainstreet Moonshine, which performed at Rooster Walk and other regional venues.

Members from the Unnamed Band come from various backgrounds of music. Harold and other members of the band agreed – that’s what makes the band work.

“We all just have fun when we get together and play,” Harold said. “We decided when it’s not fun anymore, we’ll be done. But it’s never not going to be fun. We love what we do.”

All members of the band are PHCC students, except for Roberson. Harris is enrolled in PHCC’s Culinary Arts program, and Harold studies visual arts and graphic design. Janey and Haley are enrolled in two-year programs, and Alt is a dual enrollment student through Patrick County High School.

Check out Mtn. Jax Restaurant and Pub for upcoming show dates featuring the Unnamed Band. The band also has played at other venues, including Honduras Coffee Shop in Stuart.


Austin Janey on keyboards.


Griffin Haley on guitar. Also sings vocals, plays harmonica.


Riggs Roberson (left) on vocals, guitar. Griffin Haley on guitar.


Ted Alt on saxophone.


Camry Harris on drums.


Riggs Roberson on guitar.


Wenn Harold on bass.

Transfer Info for Spring 2014

Learn more about transferring to a four-year institution at these transfer workshops scheduled throughout the semester.

Main Campus – West Hall Room 208 – April 22 from 1:30-2:30 p.m.

Franklin County – March 11 from 1-3 p.m. and April 23 from 1-3 p.m.

Patrick County – April 17 from 1-2 p.m.

 You can also visit a college of your choice. Check out the college visits planned this semester. Sign up for these trips in the Student Support Services Office, located on the first floor of the LRC – Room 109B.

March 26, 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Radford University

March 27, 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Ferrum College

March 31, 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. James Madison University

April 3, 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. University of Virginia

April 8, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Averett University

April 9, 6 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Virginia Tech

April 14, 6 a.m. to 4:40 p.m. Lynchburg College

April 15, 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Virginia Commonwealth University

April 16, 6:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Liberty University


TBA 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Winston Salem State University

TBA 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. A&T University

TBA 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Jefferson College of Health Sciences

Have any questions? Call Jennifer Hollyfield at 656-0306.