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User Spotlight: Holly Walker, John Tyler Community College

Get to know Holly Walker, Public Relations Manager with John Tyler Community College

Tell us a little about yourself. 

I?ve always had a passion for education. Growing up, I was the kid who couldn?t wait for the school year to get underway because it meant I?d be back in a classroom, learning something new. While in college, I discovered my love for communications, and that discovery inspired me to pursue a career in journalism. I spent 14 years at Channel 12, Richmond?s NBC affiliate, working as a news producer before my desire to work in academia led me to become part of the John Tyler Community College family. I hold a bachelor?s degree in mass communications from Virginia Commonwealth University and a master?s degree in liberal arts with a focus on communications from the University of Richmond.

What is the focus of your work?

By 2018, 64% of jobs in Virginia will require education and/or training beyond high school. At John Tyler Community College, our focus is on giving the people in our community access to a high-quality, affordable education. We offer a variety of programs ranging from associate degrees to career studies certificates. Some are designed for students who want to transfer to a bachelor?s degree program after graduation, while others prepare students for entry into the workforce. We also embrace the concept of lifelong learning, understanding that people often need or want to learn new skills to stay competitive in the workforce or to allow them to pursue new careers. 

Why do you love about your work?

Getting to work with and write about students and alumni whose lives are changed by John Tyler Community College is an amazing part of my job. I enjoy hearing their stories, learning about their goals, celebrating their successes, and understanding how John Tyler Community College has impacted them. I get to write about a mother who earned her GED and then came to Tyler with her daughter to pursue a degree. I get to share stories about a high school student who graduated with a degree from John Tyler before completing high school and about a master?s degree holder who came to Tyler so that he could pursue his dream of becoming a nurse. I get to talk about a Tyler alumnus who transferred to a four-year institution and then graduated at the top of the class and about students who overcome obstacles they thought would prevent them from finishing college.

What’s coming next that has you most excited?

I am excited about new programs being offered by the college, including a new Cyber Security program that starts this fall. Also this fall, we are going to be offering five degrees that can be earned completely online, giving our students even more scheduling flexibility. In addition to growing our programs, we are expanding our Midlothian Campus. Construction is now underway on a new academic building that will include an engineering lab, an outdoor classroom and learning lab, a black box teaching theatre, a recording studio, computer labs and more.

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