PVCC Student: Jolie Nyiramahirwe
Jolie Nyiramahirwe demonstrated a special interest and ability in the sciences, particularly chemistry, when she was a student at Albemarle High School. Her passion for these subjects led her to enroll in PVCC's Associate of Science transfer degree program in preparation for a bachelor's degree. She expects to graduate this summer.
"I love taking chemistry at Piedmont," said Jolie, who cites Professor Barbara Heyl as one reason why. "I feel very comfortable with the way Dr. Heyl teaches, and when we go into the lab to experiment, we can see exactly what she was talking about in the classroom."
Jolie said that she especially likes using the lab equipment in the new Kluge-Moses Science Building, where she is currently doing an independent study that focuses on the relationship between termites and parasites. "It's fun because it involves a lot of work with microscopes. What's interesting to me is the termite depends on the protozoa to digest the wood, and the protozoa would die without the termite."
Just five years ago Jolie was living in a refugee camp in Burundi, having fled the raging civil war in neighboring Congo. After months of waiting, she was finally granted status along with her brother and sister to come to the U.S. Jolie took an instant liking to Central Virginia, her high school and her classes.
Jolie said she chose PVCC because of its small size, closeness to home and financial aid which has covered all of her tuition and expenses. She is a member of the International Club at PVCC and works part-time at Farmington Country Club.
Despite her flair for science, Jolie said she hasn't decided yet whether to major in chemistry or nursing when she enters a four-year college this fall. Having already been accepted at Liberty University, she has applied to the University of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University, and James Madison University and is also looking at Old Dominion University. But regardless of which college or major she chooses, Jolie said she will "definitely take chemistry."
PVCC Faculty: Matthew Cathcart
Emergency Medical Services Program Director
What He Teaches at PVCC
Matthew teaches six classes at the College: Emergency Medical Technician-Basic, Introduction to Advanced Life Support, Advanced Life Support Medical Care, Advanced Patient Assessment and 12-Lead ECG Interpretation.
What He Likes Best about Teaching
Matthew began volunteering as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) in high school and remembers the excitement of learning something new. Now as a faculty member, Matthew enjoys recognizing the same excitement in his students. "It's the 'a-ha' moment," said Matthew. "It's when my students suddenly recognize that they just learned something for the first time."
Matthew wanted to be a photographer and even earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in art history at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. Throughout college and during his senior year in high school, he volunteered or worked part time as an EMT. After college graduation, he found his options for a well-paying career in photography were few and far between and that his real love was being an EMT. Seventeen years later, Matthew is still an EMT and has certifications as a flight paramedic, fire fighter and mobile intensive care paramedic. Before joining PVCC, he was an instructor of cardiac life support, neonatal resuscitation and trauma life support in Pennsylvania and North Carolina. Matthew has a Master's of Health Administration degree from the University of Phoenix and a Certificate of Paramedic Sciences from Rescue Training, Inc.
What He Does for Fun
With such a busy lifestyle, Matthew enjoys the simplicity of spending time with his wife and two children, ages 2 and 4.
PVCC offers an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Emergency Medical Services and Career Study Certificates in EMS-Intermediate and EMS-Paramedic. For more information about these programs of study, log on to www.pvcc.edu/programs or contact PVCC's Admissions and Advising Center at 434.961.6551 or email@example.com.