LFCC computer science professor recognized with state award

For Immediate Release:
June 19, 2018

Primary Media Contact:
Sally Voth
Public Relations Specialist
[email protected]
Phone: 540-868-7134

Virginia Secretary of Education Atif Qarni presented LFCC Computer Science Professor Melissa Stange with a Creating Excellence Award last week in Richmond.

Dr. Stange and the college’s computer science program received the Virginia Community College System (VCCS) Post-Secondary Career and Technical Education Program Award.

It was one of three VCCS Post-Secondary CTE State Awards and 16 awards in total given by the VCCS and the Virginia Department of Education honoring exemplary CTE programs and partnerships around the state. 

“As a division superintendent, I saw firsthand the value of K-12 partnerships with community colleges and local employers,” Superintendent of Public Instruction James Lane says. “The combined efforts help maximize the potential of every learner and provide transformative educational opportunities with companies that provide real-world experiences for students.”

LFCC’s associate of science degree with a computer science specialization is a new program. Its third year recently wrapped up, while the computer science career studies certificate program has just completed its first year. There are 150 students currently enrolled in the degree program, and 62 in the certificate course.

Dr. Stange was nominated by LFCC Dean of Academic, Student Affairs and Outreach Brenda Byard.

“This is an annual recognition of innovation in career and technical education at the secondary and post-secondary level,” Dean Byard says. “They recognize community partnerships. Melissa was doing so many things with middle school students and high school female students.”

Initiatives Dr. Stange is involved in include the Worlds of Work! career expo, a two-day career exploration fair for seventh-graders managed by the LFCC Career Pathways Consortium – which includes the CTE directors from area school divisions – in partnership with area businesses and organizations; a high school STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) day at LFCC; and presentations about women in STEM fields she has given at area schools.

Additionally, she has worked with middle schools and high schools in Frederick County to start after-school coding clubs, and has coordinated technology internships with area corporations, such as Valley Health, Shentel and Navy Federal Credit Union.

Dr. Stange recently graduated from the FBI Citizens Academy, which she pursued so she could better understand what the bureau is looking for in student interns. She has also been successful in obtaining various grants to further her efforts both at LFCC and with the local school divisions.

“It’s kind of overwhelming,” Dr. Stange says of her state recognition. “It’s awesome. And, it’s really the students’ award. They have been so wonderful, volunteering and going with me on various initiatives and sharing their advice. They give me suggestions on how to make our computer science program even better.”

She has been at LFCC since 2004, and earned an associate of applied science degree in data processing from Chattahoochee Valley Community College, a bachelor of science degree in computer information systems from Shenandoah University, a master of science degree in computer science from Nova Southeastern University, a master of business administration degree from Averett University and a doctoral degree in applied management and decision sciences from Walden University.


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.