UVA Wise Hosts Western Drive-In Conference

The University of Virginia’s College at Wise hosted the VAEOPP Western Drive-In Conference on May 12, 2015. The theme of the day was “Under Construction: Building Self & Others” as a reference to the host site’s continued campus improvements. The attendees (32 in total) were greeted by Sanders Huguenin, Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.

Our keynote speaker was Jewel Worley, Vice Chancellor for Compliance and Conduct and a license professional counselor. She used her vast higher education and counseling background in her presentation: Risky Business: What (or Who) is Holding You Back? She shared humorous family anecdotes (the ever adventurous Momma Ida) to address some very important self-reflection ideas and provide some activities for professional and personal development.

After a “build your own” themed lunch, including ice cream sundaes, the attendees were able to split off for productive program-specific discussions. Attendees then rotated through two sessions.

Josh Moore, a UVA-Wise Math & Computer Science instructor, led a demonstration of 3D printing and laser cutting. Attendees received key chains and other 3D printing items created by Josh for the event. Brian McKnight then delivered a presentation on the College’s Center for Appalachian Studies, to include a discussion on the region’s rich history and culture and strategies to encourage students to embrace their region and its resources.

The conference ended with a surprise “thank you” for attendees. Many of their students secretly sent in photos that stated how TRIO had impacted their lives. It was one last way to recognize our theme and encourage our members. Several door prizes were given, including 3D printing items and books by campus and local authors.  To demonstrate our appreciation for Christie Hardbarger, MEAEOPP President and Mikael Davis, VAEOPP President, traveling to the far southwest corner of the state, we presented them with Woodbooger (our Bigfoot) t-shirts, Wise County coal, moonshine jelly and other items from UVA at Wise.