Posted on Monday, July 13, 2015

The 5th class of Valley Proteins Fellows began its year this week with a leadership program and orientation to the year-long fellowship. The most prestigious scholarship awarded by the Virginia Foundation for Community College Education, the program helps promising second-year students pursue their academic goals and strengthen their leadership skills. 


Led by facilitator Karen Grimm, Valley Proteins Fellows brainstorm about creating a mission for themselves and their group.

Nine students are participating this year, including (shown above, left to right): 

  • Kristin Schaefer, J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College
  • Pascal Shukuru, Thomas Nelson Community College
  • Patrick Fritz, Piedmont Virginia Community College
  • Augusto Infantas, Northern Virginia Community College
  • Anna Bailey, Germanna Community College
  • Tiffany Riggs, Lord Fairfax Community College 
  • Elaina Schweiker, Eastern Shore Community College
  • Fintan Horan, Piedmont Virginia Community College
  • Joshua Justus, Southwest Virginia Community College

In addition to receiving full tuition, book expenses and fees, the Fellows participate in a unique curriculum of intellectual and cultural activities designed to expand their community involvement and cultivate a strong foundation for a successful future.  

The program is made possible this year by generous support from Valley Proteins Inc.'

Susan Hayden

Susan Hayden worked for Virginia's Community Colleges for 25 years in the Institutional Advancement office before retiring in December 2015. She currently is on special assignment regarding the 50th anniversary of Virginia's Community Colleges.


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    Annabelle Smyth

    Congratulation on the great achievement! That is awesome. Keep up the great work, and don’t take your schooling for granted.

    • ?

      Patrick Fritz

      Ms. Smyth, thank you for your kind words. It is an incredible opportunity and achievement for me and all of the 2015 Fellows. As an adult returning to school after 21 years in the workforce, I have a much greater respect for the importance of education. The doors that have opened for me after one year at Piedmont Virginia continue to amaze me. While I was quite successful in the professional world my lack of education closed so many doors and put up so many insurmountable hurdles that have already been removed. The other Fellows are truly inspiring to me and I have full faith and confidence that the 2015 Fellows will all go on to change their worlds and make their immeasurably improve their communities.

      Thank you again for your kind words.


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