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News Releases @ TCC

Three of them made Top-Ten Team
One also named 1 of 50 Coca-Cola Silver Scholars, All-USA

HAMPTON ROADS, VA (April 14, 2011) – Celebrating academic excellence and community involvement, Tidewater Community College recognizes six students or recent graduates selected for three award programs:  All-Virginia Academic Team; Top-Ten Team – the highest honor for community college students in Virginia; and a 2011 Coca-Cola Community College Academic Team Silver Scholar – one of 50 winners in the nation.

Alphabetically, the All-Virginia Academic Team winners are: Tianna Blackmon (also Top-Ten); Adam Chakir; Brooke Edwards (also Top-Ten and Coca-Cola Silver Scholar); Maryia Kvashenka (also Top-Ten); Matthew Naneville; and
Christina Parker.

Tianna Blackmon
Adam Chakir
Brooke Edwards
Maryia Kvashenka
Matthew Naneville
Christina Parker

~ Coca-Cola Silver Scholar: Chesapeake resident Brooke Edwards, 19, selected for the Top-Ten Team, also was named – among 50 in the nation – a 2011 Coca-Cola Community College Academic Team Silver Scholar, based on rankings in the All-USA Academic Team competition. She was listed as a winner in the April 11 edition of USA Today. Passionate about animals and the environment, Edwards plans to put her love of the outdoors to work in conservation and environmental science. She came to TCC as a student ambassador from Deep Creek High. While at TCC she shared her time as president of Circle K International, Phi Theta Kappa (PTK, the national community college honor society), vice president of fellowship, Student Government Association (SGA) senator and as a student worker in the provost’s office. She also volunteers through her church’s food pantry. Edwards graduates in May with a 3.9 grade-point average (GPA) and plans to pursue a bachelor’s in environmental science.

~ A Top-Ten Team member and the first in her family to pursue higher education, Tianna Blackmon, 21 and a Chesapeake resident, graduates TCC this May with plans to become a pediatrician. An Indian River High graduate, Blackmon says that TCC helped her ‘come out of her shell’ and prepared her to be a leader. Blackmon served as the Chesapeake Campus president of PTK, SGA senator and as a member of Circle K International. She also shared her time with Paint Your Heart Out Chesapeake and Our House Families, an agency working to prevent homelessness. Blackmon maintained a 3.9 GPA – a great start toward a medical degree.

~ A Top-Ten Team member who now attends The College of William & Mary, Maryia Kvashenka, 24 and a Virginia Beach resident, came to America from Minsk, Belarus to improve her English skills and decided to stay to pursue a degree. Prior to coming to the states, she completed three years at Minsk State Linguistic University, studying English, German and Spanish. Kvashenka recalls having “culture shock” at first, but was surprised by the resources and the college staff’s interest in her career goals. At TCC she became deeply involved with the International Student Alliance and served as PTK treasurer and, later, president. She also volunteered as a dental assistant with the American Red Cross, all while maintaining a 3.9 GPA. Coming from a family of medical practitioners, she plans to pursue a degree in dentistry.

~ Virginia Beach resident Adam Chakir, 43, left his family and all that was familiar to come to America for better job opportunities. A native of Morocco, he holds a bachelor’s degree in math from the University of Hassan Second. At TCC, Chakir earned an information systems technology (IST) degree, as well as a database specialist certificate. A PTK member, Chakir maintained a 3.8 GPA. An assistant engineer with an industrial company that manufactures insulators for electric utilities, he plans to change paths and earn a bachelor’s in IST and obtain a job in that field.

~ A recent Windsor High graduate, Matthew Naneville, 20 and a Windsor resident, came to TCC because it was an affordable, quality option for continuing his education. This May he graduates with an associate degree in science and plans to earn a second associate degree from TCC – this one in respiratory therapy. From there, he’ll pursue a bachelor’s in health science from Old Dominion University (ODU). Naneville plans to become a respiratory therapist in a children’s hospital and credits his time at TCC as the place where he “cemented his career goals.” While at TCC, he shared his talents in the Learning Assistance Center, tutoring students in math and science. A PTK member, Naneville graduates in May with a 3.8 GPA.

~ A graduate of Nansemond River High in Suffolk, Christina Parker, 20, considered other colleges, but chose TCC, noting it’s “a good fit” for her, that her professors and counselors go the extra mile to ensure her success. At TCC Parker shares her time as secretary of both the Rotaract Club and the Baptist College Ministry Club, a member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Club and a tutor in the Learning Assistance Center. She also volunteers as a women’s advocate through the YWCA, providing support to families dealing with domestic violence. Parker has a 3.9 GPA and aims to graduate in December with an associate degree in science. She plans to continue at ODU with a dual major in psychology and biology, working toward her goal to become a psychiatrist.

Each Top-Ten Team winner will receive a $500 award; the national Coca-Cola Community College Academic Team Silver Scholar will receive a $1,250 award and a silver medallion. Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society administers the Coca-Cola Community College Academic Team Program and recognizes Coca-Cola scholars during recognition ceremonies held in 37 states. The All-Virginia winners will be honored at a luncheon in Richmond on April 20.


Laurie White

Tidewater Community College - the largest provider of higher education and Workforce Solutions services in Hampton Roads - topped 45,000 students in 2009-10. The 16th highest associate-degree producer in the nation, TCC offers more than 150 programs including business administration, culinary arts, general studies, modeling & simulation, network security, nursing, and automotive technology. Among the fastest-growing two-year institutions in the United States, TCC was founded in 1968 as a part of the Virginia Community College System. The college serves the South Hampton Roads region with campuses in Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth and Virginia Beach as well as the TCC Jeanne and George Roper Performing Arts Center in Norfolk’s theater district, the Visual Arts Center in Olde Towne Portsmouth, the Regional Automotive Center in Chesapeake, and the Advanced Technology Center in Virginia Beach. Forty-five percent of the region’s residents attending a college or university in Virginia last fall were enrolled at TCC. For more information, visit