Funding roundup

Former Piedmont Virginia Community College student Shakira Turner explains how the college's Network2Work program benefited her. The program just received a $1.35 million gift from Dorothy Batten. (Photo: PVCC)

Piedmont Virginia Community College (PVCC) announced a $1.35 million gift from Dorothy Batten in support of the college’s Network2Work program. Batten’s commitment includes an outright gift of $150,000 per year for the next three years, and a dollar-for-dollar challenge gift of $150,000 per year for the next three years, matching additional contributions from community members made to Network2Work.

Network2Work is a community network that connects job seekers to the skills and resources they need to become valued employees and helps employers find the quality employees they need for their companies.


Rio Hondo College will use a $664,220 Child Care Access Means Parents in School (CCAMPIS) grant to subsidize child-care costs for student parents. The college’s Child Development Center (CDC) has the capacity to serve 105 children.


Oakton Community College will use a $676,512 National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to support students interested in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields. The five-year grant will provide approximately 50 scholarships for full-time students to attend the college tuition free. The college will work to recruit high-achieving, low-income students.

The grant also provides for mentors for students and funds STEM events, including symposiums and transfer opportunities to four-year colleges.


College of Southern Maryland (CSM) Foundation Director Ila Shah and her husband Vinod K. Shah continued their support of CSM and commitment to student success by giving the college a $100,000 gift to mark Vinod Shah’s recent birthday. The funds will bolster the Southern Maryland Nursing and Health Alliance Scholarship set up by the Shahs in 2016 to provide financial support for students who are pursuing careers in nursing, pre-nursing, medical lab technician or phlebotomy technician.

“When you support education, you are giving a gift which is really remarkable,” Vinod Shah said. “Being a doctor, I think saving lives is important but with education, it’s more than saving lives. You are making a life.”

In addition to being the foundation director, Ila Shah is a retired pediatrician. The co-founder of MedStar Shah Medical Group, she is a leader in the health sciences industry locally and globally. She uses her expertise and network of colleagues to reduce barriers to education and healthcare.

College of Southern Maryland Foundation Director Ila Shah and her husband, Vinod K. Shah, present a $100,000 gift to the college. (Photo: CSM)

Elsewhere in Maryland, Hagerstown Community College (HCC) received a three-year, $98,372 grant from the Alice Virginia and David W. Fletcher Foundation to improve job training programs and enhance economic development opportunities. The college is leading an initiative to help Washington County become part of the ACT Work Ready Communities. Through the grant, HCC plans to offer new workplace skill assessments for students, work with employers to help match students with jobs, grow interest in manufacturing jobs and equip a lab to meet student needs for hands-on instruction.

HCC also received a $96,627 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to boost student performance in composition classes and produce curricula to support writing across the disciplines. The grant project, “Bridging the Antietam,” will focus on memory and its constructions as expressed through the folklore, narratives and interpretation of history of the Antietam Creek region that HCC serves. The project also will focus on how memory changes history and the lives of those within that history.

North Carolina

Cape Fear Community College’s (CFCC’s) Solar Car Challenge Project is off to the races thanks to a $17,480 grant from Constellation, an Exelon company. Students in the mechanical engineering technology program have spent the last semester researching and designing the solar cars and will begin building this upcoming spring semester in preparation for a three-hour endurance race in May.

Also at CFCC, five student veteran received $4,500 in scholarships from the Southeastern Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America.

About the Author

Tabitha Whissemore
is a contributor to Community College Daily and managing editor of AACC's Community College Journal.