For Immediate Release:
September 24, 2008
Primary Media Contact:
Public Relations Specialist
MIDDLETOWN and WARRENTON, Va. – Lord Fairfax Community College (LFCC) recently added nine new faculty members to its team of high-performance employees.
Karen Backo, a Warrenton resident, joins LFCC as an assistant professor of nursing at the Fauquier Campus. Before working at LFCC, Backo served as an adjunct nursing instructor at George Mason University and taught in the clinical setting at various facilities in Fairfax County. She also worked in the Birthing Center at Fauquier Hospital. Currently, Backo works part time at Georgetown University Hospital on their postpartum unit. She is a registered nurse and is certified in inpatient obstetric and maternal newborn nursing. Backo holds an associate degree in nursing from Mt. San Jacinto College, a bachelor's degree in nursing from Loma Linda University and a master's degree in nursing education from George Mason University. She is currently working toward a doctoral degree in nursing education from George Mason University.
"I am a firm believer that you have to give back what you know. Teaching nursing students is my way of giving back to the nursing profession," Backo said. "There is a deep sense of satisfaction in teaching the students to think critically and pay attention to detail in their practice of nursing. I also enjoy working in nursing research to validate the nursing practice."
Lomalyn Bement, a Front Royal resident, joins LFCC as an instructor of Spanish at the Fauquier Campus. Previously, Bement taught Spanish full time at Stockton and Wichita high schools in Kansas and part time at Butler County Community College in Kansas, Idaho State University in Idaho, Shenandoah University and LFCC. Bement has travelled to Guatemala, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru and Spain and has lived in Argentina.She holds a bachelor's degree in foreign languages from Southwestern College of Winfield and a master's degree in second language acquisition in Spanish from Kansas State University.
"I enjoy working with students and helping them learn Spanish. I especially like seeing the understanding in a student's eyes when something has ‘clicked,'" Bement said.
Samuel Dillender Jr., a Frederick County resident, joins LFCC as an associate professor of chemistry at the Fauquier Campus. Dillender has been working as a part-time instructor for LFCC since 1997. At this same time, he worked at O'Sullivan Films as a senior research chemist and manager of the Research and Development's Finishing and Analytical Groups. Dillender holds a bachelor's degree in chemistry from the University of Georgia, a master's degree in chemistry from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, a master's degree in business administration from the University of Richmond and a doctorate in chemistry from Virginia Tech.
"I enjoy the interaction with students and seeing the ‘light bulb' come on when they understand a chemistry concept," Dillender said. "I especially like teaching and showing how chemistry affects and impacts all of our daily lives."
Richard Elam, a Winchester resident, joins LFCC as the associate dean of learning for humanities, mathematics and social sciences at the Middletown Campus. Elam will be responsible for supervision of all part-time instructors in the division. Before moving to Virginia, Elam served as chair of the humanities and social sciences division at Hill College in Hillsboro, Texas. Twenty-nine years ago, he began working at Hill College as an instructor of history and government. Elam holds an associate degree in liberal arts from Bee County College, now Coastal Bend College, bachelor's and master's degrees in history from Baylor University and a doctorate in history from the University of North Texas.
"I enjoy seeing the sense of accomplishment on the part of students who succeed, especially those who are first-time college students," Elam said.
Soraya Green, an Amissville resident, joins LFCC as an instructor of nursing at the Fauquier Campus. Since August 2007, Green has served LFCC as a part-time instructor while working full time at the Culpeper Surgery Center. She has more than 19 years of experience in nursing. Green holds an associate degree in nursing from Pasadena City College and a bachelor's degree in nursing from California State University, Dominguez Hills. She will begin pursuing a master's degree in nursing education at Old Dominion University this fall.
"The challenges and rewards that come with teaching nursing are exceptional in the fact that we, as nursing educators, have helped to establish a foundation for the success of future nurses," Green said.
Jonathan Noyalas, a Martinsburg resident, joins LFCC as an assistant professor of history at the Middletown Campus. Noyalas has been a part-time instructor at LFCC since 2003 and is the founding director of LFCC's Center for Civil War History through the Office of Workforce Solutions and Continuing Education. He has authored three books and edited two others on Civil War era history and published numerous articles, reviews, essays and book chapters on a variety of historical topics. Noyalas is also active in battlefield preservation and is currently serving as the Civil War historian for the Historic Resource Study at Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park. Noyalas holds a bachelor's degree in history from Shenandoah University and a master's degree in history from Virginia Tech.
"I take great pride in helping students connect with the area's local history - it shows them that history is tangible and close," Noyalas said.
Teresa Overton, a Fredericksburg resident, joins LFCC as an assistant professor of mathematics at the Fauquier Campus. Previously, Overton taught mathematics at Northern Virginia Community College's Woodbridge Campus. She holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Mary Washington College and a master's degree in mathematics from Virginia Tech.
"I enjoy working with students so that they come to understand and enjoy mathematics," Overton said.
Jennifer Schaefer, a Winchester resident, joins LFCC as an assistant professor of English at the Middletown Campus. Her previous work experiences include teaching part time at LFCC and Shenandoah University and serving as the director of the Foundation of the State Arboretum of Virginia, located at the University of Virginia's Blandy Experimental Farm. Schaefer's connection with LFCC extends back to her senior year of high school when she participated in the College's Dual Enrollment Program. Schaefer holds a bachelor's degree in English from Virginia Commonwealth University, a master's degree in English from Clarion University and a master's degree in public administration with a concentration in nonprofit management from George Mason University.
"My ability to help students improve their writing and instill in them an appreciation for literature has a direct and lasting impact on their success in life. My role as a teacher allows me to share in my students' individual achievements," Schaefer said.
Brenda Wiens, a Winchester resident, joins LFCC as an associate professor of biology at the Middletown Campus. Wiens moved to the area five years ago from Portland, Ore., and she has been teaching at LFCC as a part-time instructor since 2006. Her previous work experience includes serving as a postdoctoral fellow conducting research at Oregon Health and Sciences University. In addition, she taught anatomy and physiology part time at George Fox University. Wiens holds a bachelor's degree in marine biology from Occidental College and master's and doctoral degrees in zoology from Oregon State University.
"I have enjoyed teaching since my first experiences as an undergraduate at Occidental College. I enjoy working with students and sharing my enthusiasm for biology," Wiens said.
Founded in 1970, Lord Fairfax Community College is a multi-campus public institution of higher education. With four locations — Middletown, Warrenton, Luray-Page County and most recently, Vint Hill— the College serves eight localities in the Shenandoah Valley and northern Piedmont regions. The localities are the counties of Clarke, Fauquier, Frederick, Page, Rappahannock, Shenandoah and Warren and the city of Winchester. LFCC offers more than 75 associate degree and certificate programs in a wide variety of disciplines, in addition to providing access to bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs offered on site by a four-year institution. LFCC also serves the business community by offering workforce preparation programs for employees and employers. LFCC serves more than 9,000 unduplicated credit students and more than 11,000 individuals in professional development and business and industry courses annually.
Lord Fairfax Community College (LFCC) is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award associate degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Lord Fairfax Community College. Lord Fairfax Community College is an equal opportunity institution providing educational and employment opportunities, programs, services, and activities and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, age, religion, disability, national origin, marital status, political affiliation, sexual orientation, or other non-merit factors. LFCC also prohibits sexual misconduct including sexual violence or harassment.