Piedmont Virginia Community College Graduates Named in First Cohort of Piedmont Scholars Program
Charlottesville, Va. – September 9, 2021 – Piedmont Virginia Community College (PVCC) is proud to announce the designation of ten of its recent graduates as Piedmont Scholars. The inaugural cohort of Scholars – Sara Abdullah, Sam Alsamaraee, Dino Bukic, Justin Cary, Quana Dennis Jr., Camille Garcia, Casey Halfacre, Liam Kidd, James McIvor and Christian Garcia Rivera – have all transferred to the University of Virginia and have been awarded scholarships covering full in-state tuition and fees.
The Piedmont Scholars Program, announced in March, is an endowed fund that provides scholarships to qualifying PVCC graduates who are transferring to UVA. All in-state students who apply for transfer admission to UVA as full-time, degree-seeking students, and who will earn an associate degree from PVCC, are eligible to be considered.
Among the initial Piedmont Scholars, Abdullah transferred from PVCC into the McIntire School of Commerce. Alsamaraee and Kidd are enrolled in the School of Engineering and Applied Science. Dennis transferred to the School of Education and Human Development, while Bukic and Garcia are now enrolled in the School of Nursing. Rivera is in the College of Arts and Sciences along with Halfacre, McIvor and Cary.
“I salute these 10 outstanding students who comprise the inaugural class of Piedmont Scholars. For hundreds of students each year the pathway to a UVA degree begins at PVCC. The UVA-PVCC partnership has been a national model for many years and the Piedmont Scholars initiative takes our partnership to an even higher level,” stated PVCC President Frank Friedman.
PVCC and UVA have had a unique partnership since the 1980s. Each year, approximately 150 students transfer from PVCC to UVA, many of whom have attended local high schools in Charlottesville, Albemarle and the surrounding counties. The Piedmont Scholars Program elevates the partnership and enables a broader, more diverse pool of PVCC students to attain their educational goals of a bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia.
“PVCC helped me get in the mindset of problem solving,” said Kidd. My experiences there helped me challenge myself and prepared me for the biomedical engineering major that I’m pursing. I am still in awe that I was selected for this incredible scholarship and sometimes I am still overwhelmed by the fact that I get to attend Mr. Jefferson’s university.”
Garcia, who is now in the UVA School of Nursing, emphasized the importance of the award. “It is an incredible honor to be named one of the first Piedmont Scholars! This scholarship will help me immensely with covering the cost of my education and transitioning into my role as an RN,” she said. “To have the stress of financial burdens lessened is a true blessing.”
Garcia has a four-year degree and is a graduate of the PVCC Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) program, which she found “more mentally and emotionally challenging than anticipated.” She continued, “I feel as though after completing the ADN program at PVCC, I can do anything. My time at PVCC taught me how to be flexible and that I'm capable of accomplishing anything I put my mind to.”
The Piedmont Scholars will be honored at a celebratory reception September 23, 2021, at Piedmont Virginia Community College.
To learn more about the Piedmont Scholars Program, visit www.pvcc.edu/transfer/gaa/uva.
About Piedmont Virginia Community College
Established in 1972, Piedmont Virginia Community College is a nonresidential two-year institution of higher education that serves Central Virginia – principally, residents of the City of Charlottesville and the counties of Albemarle, Buckingham, Fluvanna, Greene, Louisa, and Nelson. PVCC is one of 23 community colleges in Virginia that comprise the Virginia Community College System. PVCC is committed to providing access to a college education for all who can benefit, an opportunity for each student to reach her/his potential and excellence in all programs and services. Visit www.pvcc.edu.
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Liam Kidd, Justin Cary, James McIvor, Camille Garcia, Quana Dennis, Sara Abdullah, Christian Garcia Rivera.
Not pictured; Sam Alsamaraee, Dino Bukic, Casey Halfacre.