Funding roundup

Eastern West Virginia Community and Technical College received a wind turbine nacelle from NextEra Energy Resources. Curtis Hakala, a department chair at the college, and Nelson Booth, associate wind site manager for the Mountaineer Wind Energy Center, pose in front of the nacelle. (Photo: Eastern WV)

Eastern West Virginia Community and Technical College wind energy turbine technology students will benefit from the donation of a wind turbine nacelle from NextEra Energy Resources, LLC.

Weighing about 63,000 pounds, the nacelle houses all the generating components of a wind turbine. The college will incorporate it into the wind energy turbine technology curriculum and provide students with hands-on training.

“Wind technician is one of the fastest-growing jobs in the United States, so the direct experience these students can receive from working with the equipment will help them as they progress in their journey to becoming a wind technician,” said Shanelle Wilson, NextEra Energy Resources project manager.


Foothill College can expand its online offerings thanks to a $500,000 Improving Online CTE Pathways Grant from the California Community Colleges’ Virtual Campus – Online Education Initiative.

The college will build new online certificates in cloud computing and digital marketing. Both certificates will be offered online beginning this fall. The cloud computing certificate is being developed in collaboration with Amazon Web Services (AWS). For the digital marketing certificate, Foothill College will collaborate with Facebook and Pathstream.

The funds also will help to expand support services for online students, which includes developing an online orientation and enhancing online student services such as counseling and tutoring.


Savannah Technical College has received a gift of $300,000 from Maura Sovchen and her sons Christopher and Alexander to expand the college’s culinary program.

The Maura and David Sovchen Demonstration Kitchen will provide space for master classes, continuing education and community-based instruction for the general public. David Sovchen passed away in January at the age of 72. He built a successful career in the hospitality industry and had served on the STC board of directors.

“We are deeply appreciative of this support,” said STC President Kathy Love. “David was a long-time advocate for our culinary arts expansion, and it was his intention to play a lead volunteer role in our fundraising efforts. I am so grateful that Maura and their sons have chosen to create this kind of enduring legacy for their family.”

The late David Sovchen, a longtime supporter of Savannah Technical College and the Savannah Culinary Institute, in 2017 presented gifts to the first students selected for an academic exchange with the Academy of Toulouse. (Photo: STC)


Mott Community College (MCC) will use a $100,000 gift from the McFarlan Charitable Corporation to help develop the Family Life Center (FLC) at the college. The gift will support the Mott Eats Food Pantry, which will be a key service of the new center.

FLC will serve as a resource hub to help MCC students and their families address such basic needs as food, housing, childcare and transportation. Development of the center will also enable the college to expand its Early Childhood Learning Center and increase enrollment from 75 children to 125.

“By developing a Family Life Center, we can reduce barriers that prevent our students from completing their education and strengthen our role as a safe haven in the community,” said MCC President Beverly Walker-Griffea.

New York

Rockland Community College’s Connection Center Hunger Relief Initiative got a boost with a $5,000 grant from the TD Charitable Foundation. The center provides non-academic supports for students and their families through on-campus or community-based resources to that help with housing, childcare, clothing, food, legal services and more.

North Carolina

Pitt Community College (PCC) will use a $15,201 grant from International Paper Company to buy new handheld radios for campus police officers.

“As technology changes, so does the need for faster, more reliable channels of communication,” said PCC Police Chief Tyrone Turnage. “The college needed to upgrade to a dependable model that will allow for fast and clear communication in the event of a campus emergency.”


Northampton Community College (NCC) has received a $299,336  grant from the National Science Foundation to build a “culturally responsive” degree program in information security. A goal is for the program to be designated as a Center of Academic Excellence for two-year colleges.

“Workers with cybersecurity skills are needed in almost every industry sector including government, healthcare, finance, education, retail and energy,” NCC President Mark Erickson said in a release. “This grant will help us meet growing regional needs for this high-demand career while recruiting diverse students and supporting them through completion.”

As part of the program, NCC will develop a recruitment plan that attracts underrepresented students into the cyber security field and a retention plan that supports completion, transfer, career placement and/or advancement. The college also will develop a faculty/staff recruitment plan to create a diverse pool of qualified and culturally-competent candidates for computer science faculty positions.


Pellissippi State Community College’s new workforce development center is closer to becoming a reality thanks to donations from two longtime supporters. Clayton, headquartered in Maryville, and the Clayton Foundation each have pledged $250,000 to the project.

The Ruth and Steve West Workforce Development Center will be a 53,000-square-foot building and that Pellissippi State and the Tennessee College of Applied Technology Knoxville will use. Pellissippi State’s part of the building will house a Smart Factory MegaLab featuring industry 4.0 curriculum and offer classes in computer information technology, culinary arts, electrical engineering technology and mechanical engineering technology.

“This effort supports great jobs and successful careers for our children and grandchildren right here at home in Blount County,” said Pellissippi State President L. Anthony Wise, Jr.

The center is expected to open in 2021.

Elsewhere in Tennessee, Cleveland State Community College (CSCC) received a grant for $100,000 from DENSO North America Foundation. The funding allows CSCC to get additional hands-on equipment for the mechanical power transmission and fluid power systems courses.

About the Author

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