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Marcella Martin turned her life around

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (June 2, 2011) – Tidewater Community College’s Women’s Center has awarded Chesapeake resident Marcella Martin the Mary Pat Liggio Leadership Award.

Martin found her path to success over the past few years, overcoming hardships and discovering inner strengths along the way. As she approaches age 40, she proudly expects to receive an associate degree from TCC in December, with plans to then transfer to Old Dominion University.

Her determination to go to college and succeed came after a serious health scare, when Martin vowed to change her life. Enrolling at TCC, she learned to manage her dyslexia and excelled, including taking part in the Student Government Association. She also participated in the WISE (Women Inspiring Self-Empowerment) mentoring program, and met with members of the General Assembly in Richmond to speak about the importance of community colleges.

Martin received the leadership award from the Network for Empowering Women Students, an advisory group for TCC’s Women’s Center, at the annual Women's Leadership Breakfast held by TCC President Deborah M. DiCroce on May 3.

The mother of two teens, Martin says, “I want my children to see the importance of education and perseverance.”

The Liggio award is sponsored by TCC’s Women's Center, which serves as a resource on women's issues and works to promote an atmosphere where diversity, inclusiveness and equity are valued.


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