Travis Gyorko – Student Highlight

Post-secondary education is generally a big change for a student that recently graduated from high school. Depending upon choice of program, maturity, comfort in new environments, and a host of other factors, new post-secondary students can find it difficult to transition from the high school environment to college.  Travis Gyorko, WVJC Business Administration student and Student Government Association President, found himself in just this situation after high school. “It [traditional college] was a very different experience for me and I wasn’t able to fully adjust to it. “ His transition was so difficult that Travis was not successful in his first attempt at college.  Like so many others, he found himself at a crossroads. “I bounced around from odd job to odd job not really knowing what I wanted to do with my life.”

As time passed, Travis began a hobby that would change his life.  He began craft-brewing ale.  At first, it was a hobby to do after work.  Over time, Travis found that it might be more than just a hobby.  It has been said that when you love what you do, you won’t work a day in your life and this is exactly what Travis began to feel.  His concern was that he did not know how to take this skill and turn it into a business.  Not feeling comfortable going into something like this blind, Travis began searching for education options that would work for him and his new found passion.  “I heard about being able to get a degree in 18 months [at WVJC] and that they had a business program.”

Travis decided to enroll at WVJC Morgantown. “I chose WVJC…to turn my hobby…into a full-time career.” Travis had a very different experience at WVJC than he did at his first college. “I love the hands-on approach my professors have given me and each one has taken the time to get to know me.  I never would’ve had an experience like this [in his first college attempt] and that really has appealed to me since joining the junior college.”

Travis has excelled as a student at West Virginia Junior College Morgantown and is even the SGA President. “My favorite class has been Fundamentals of Taxation. It was a lot of work but I appreciate being able to have the knowledge of how to do my own taxes.” He also added, “The professors are really passionate about helping their students succeed and the college offers a very student friendly environment.”

If you have any questions about the Business Administration program at WVJC or would like additional information, please contact West Virginia Junior College at 304-296-8282 or wvjc.edu.

Jim Tuell – Student Highlight

Jim Tuell is a student in the Business Administration program at West Virginia Junior College Charleston. Jim has always had an interest in the business field.  He grew up helping his family operate a small business and has always been passionate about learning new strategies to help the business be successful.

Before attending WVJC, Jim took some courses at other colleges. He felt a slight disconnect with the classes he attended at the other schools. Jim wanted a fast track, career-ready school that cares about students’ success. Jim is the first generation in his family to attend college and he appreciates the opportunity to stay close to home while taking courses. The flexible class schedule at WVJC allows Jim to have more quality time with his family and friends.

When asked what life experiences influenced his decision to attend college, Jim said, “My first week at work I was stung by nine yellow jackets and finally decided that I should go to college.” In his spare time, Jim writes jokes and does stand-up comedy.  He enjoys the student life at WVJC and says it is a great way to make friends and be more engaged in the community. What has been his favorite experience so far? Jim said “I’ve made friends so fast here with like minds that only want to see me succeed. I didn’t get that anywhere else!”

During WVJC’s annual career fair, Jim had the opportunity to interact with local business leaders, which lead him to his externship. The curriculum at WVJC incorporates an externship opportunity to allow students real-world experiences in their field of study. Jim said, “I believe the career courses combined with the externship experience will provide me with all of the tools I need to be successful.”

One of Jim’s favorite classes in the Business Administration program is Sales and Customer Service. Jim said, “I learned so much in that class and I use it every day!” Our instructors also provide guidance and career advice, working closely with students to understand their individual goals.

When asked what advice he would share with others considering WVJC, Jim said, “Do it! It’s worth it. If I had to do it all over again, I would have gone to WVJC first because they got me closer to where I wanted to be in life more than anywhere else has before.”

For more information on all the degree programs, WVJC has to offer, request information here!

Warren Preece – Student Highlight

One of the great things about West Virginia Junior College Online is the humanization that occurs in the online environment.  Now, if you are reading this and have never experienced an online course somewhere along the way; that statement might sound a little odd. How is it possible to humanize a virtual environment?  To explain that, I want to introduce you to Warren Preece.

Warren has a story similar to so many students in our school. He went to college right out of high school, ended up making the mistakes that so many make by not attending classes, letting immaturity get the best of him, etc. Warren was in college for a year, and ultimately ended up leaving school and going to work.

Warren went to work at various retail store locations, and was working for a large grocery store chain when he decided that there had to be something more for himself and his family. So, he took a look at WVJC. After working with admissions, he determined that taking classes online was his best chance at something more, because he could continue working and supporting his family, while attending school on his own time. While he expected to have the flexibility he needed, he quickly found that his other favorite part about attending WVJC was the faculty. “I also love the faculty and how helpful and understanding they have been.” – Preece

The reason, Preece says, that this became his other favorite part about attending WVJC was that he met a much greater challenge while attending school this time than he did in his first attempt at college. You see, Warren found himself diagnosed with a very serious illness, one that would stop most people in their tracks in all phases of their life, but it wouldn’t stop Warren. “I wasn’t sure I was going to continue (due to the illness).  I was getting behind on my work. My teachers (were) so understanding and supportive. I cannot thank them  enough for everything they have done.”  Warren and the faculty that he worked with were able to communicate and work through his struggles to make sure he could continue in school during this very difficult time and the faculty was as happy as anyone when his health status improved.

Now, with a positive outlook on his health, Warren looks to his future. Ultimately, he wants to make sure that in five years he is with his family, healthy, and happy. However, happy includes fulfilling his dream of owning his own business, which he feels he will be vastly prepared for upon completing his program.

Warren was able to experience the human element of WVJC’s online program, which is something that we pride ourselves on. Whether it is through video based discussions, faculty that are quick to respond and seek relationships with students that lead to success, or the interaction with peers from class to class, these are services that WVJC Online strives to provide to every student.

If this sounds like the type of online education that would make you successful, check out our website at wvjc.edu or give us a call today at 877-25ONLINE!

Jess Lowe – Admissions Advisor Highlight

Hi!  My name is Jess Lowe and I am the High School Admissions Advisor for WVJC Morgantown and Online! I’ve been a part of the WVJC family for about a year and a half, and my favorite part of working here, aside from all the amazing students and families that I get to help, is working alongside such dedicated and caring faculty and staff.

I am the proud mom of 3 amazing kids and I have a strong belief that each new day provides the opportunity to do better than the day before, which usually means I’m in pursuit of some goal! Those goals vary, but are often related to exercise, eating healthy, reading a new book, or watching a documentary. I spend a lot of time with my family, enjoy music of any kind (except new country), and love to hike/ camp, read, bake, garden, and crochet. I’m super competitive and play a lot of card and board games with my family.

I absolutely love to explore and someday hope to spend my retirement traveling the continent in my Food Truck. This will allow me to fulfill my lifelong dream of living completely untethered to any particular place and meeting as many people and experiencing as many different cultures as possible.  My first stop is going to be Red Rocks Amphitheater near Denver, Colorado. Stop by and let me know which other areas I should put on my bucket list.

If you are a high school senior, there is a good chance that you will meet with me on your journey toward college. If you have any questions about WVJC, would like to tour our campus, or need to know the next scholarship deadline, feel free to reach out to me at lowe.jessica@wvjc.edu. I look forward to meeting you!

Maurice Faulkner – Student Highlight

Maurice Faulkner is a student in the Network Administration/Security program at WVJC Charleston. Maurice picked WVJC because it was local and easily accessible. Maurice was interested in a career that is in high demand and included his love of technology and computers. Having heard the commercials for WVJC, he decided to schedule an appointment to see if this was the right college for him. Right away he noticed the friendly environment. “It just felt like it was the right choice.” He learned that he could start on the path toward a career he was interested in and the environment was positive and encouraging.

Maurice’s interests include video games and working on computers. “I enjoy taking apart things and putting them back together while learning how they work,” Maurice said.  His curiosity has fueled his career choice. Maurice said, “Technology jobs are moving into the future of day to day lifestyle.” He couldn’t be more on point with the high demands of IT professionals and the increasing developments in technology.  Our IT department offers an enriched experience that will prepare students for various IT positions and establish a mindset for growth.

Maurice speaks highly of his experience at WVJC and he enjoys the environment.  Like other students, Maurice feels that the WVJC faculty and staff really do care about student success, as evident in WVJC’s core values. WVJC’s core values include: work ethic, exemplary, caring, accountability, relationships and excellence (WE CARE). Maurice emphasized that he enjoyed this approach and other learning aspects WVJC promotes. Maurice wanted to recognize Instructor Bill Sigler and IT Director, Tom Pinkerton. “They have taught me a bunch. Whether it be computers or networking. I think they go beyond to help the students to succeed.”

Maurice says “if anyone was wanting to better their life and start a great future on the path to success, then they should pick WVJC because it’s a friendly college and the staff members are nice and professional. The teachers teach you many things at this college and if you pay attention, you will succeed.”  Maurice is gearing up to complete his degree next year.

To other potential students, Maurice says to “Keep your head up and pay attention to what the instructors and directors have to say. Show up and get involved during the study groups. If your program has a club, help in the club. It’s a good experience if you put your mind to it because the college is there to help anyone who is willing to learn.” After graduation, Maurice wants to find a position in networking or computer repairs and then pursue a bachelor’s degree in computer science.

Maurice has found the perfect way to integrate his past experiences and a passion for technology and computers. Maurice served as a firefighter for four years. Firefighters are equipped with problem-solving skills to tackle an emergency effectively and safely. Networking Administration/Security shares the same mindset as fighting fires. Maurice needs to see the smaller inner workings of the big picture to plan his approach. This is another example of a student focused on a career that incorporates his previous experience and interests.

Have you thought about a career that will not feel like a job? Have you had other adventures that can apply in finding your career? Find your next adventure with interest at www.wvjc.edu today!

Lisa Phillips – Graduate Highlight

Lisa Phillips is a graduate of WVJC Online’s Clinical Medical Assistant program.  Lisa is employed in her field and loves what she does.  However, to really understand her story, we have to go back to the beginning.

Lisa, like so many others, jumped right into college after high school.  After a short time, she felt that it was not a good fit and exited that school.  She went home, found a job working as a receptionist in a medical clinic, and started a family.. but always knew there was more.

When she decided to go back, she did her research.  “I did my research and spoke with a few people who I knew that attended WVJC and they told me how great of an experience they had. I knew then that it was time to make the leap and apply. I chose to attend WVJC for the Clinical Medical Assistant program, because I love the healthcare field.”

When we asked her why she chose WVJC, she said “I love the healthcare field. I have been a CNA since 2007 and wanted to further my career in the health field. I chose healthcare, because I love to help people and learn new things every day.”

Once in school, she found the experience to be everything she had heard about.  “My favorite part of attending WVJC was that it was very convenient for a mom of two daughters who was also working full time. They were very easy to work with and helped me with any questions and concerns I ever had. I admired all of the teachers that I had while attending.”

Now that Lisa is a graduate, she truly has found success.  “We have an amazing team here (at her new career) and I get to work with multiple specialties on a weekly basis. I am learning so much and gaining a ton of experience. I am employed as a Medical Assistant. I help to room the patients and gather their medical histories in order for the providers to know everything they can prior to their visit. I also help assist with procedures such as corticosteroid injections, catheterizations, etc.”

Lisa said, “I would refer anyone to WVJC if they wanted to further their career path, because they have been wonderful to me and helped me the whole way through. Day, night, weekends, holidays, if I had questions they were there to listen. Don’t be afraid to take the plunge and go for it. It’s never too late.”

If you are interested in taking Lisa’s advice and learning more about what WVJC has to offer, click HERE.

Richia Riggleman – Student Highlight

“It’s magic how much you can do when you believe in yourself and have great support!” – Richia Riggleman, WVJC-Morgantown student

A side effect of success is an appreciation of the journey to get there. Often times, it’s not just one event, one person, or one thing that made the journey better, but rather the journey itself. WVJC specializes in fast track programs designed to get you out and working in a career in a short time frame. The best-kept secret, though, is that we also specialize in creating relationships with our students that help guide them to success. This blog is about one such relationship.

Richia Riggleman is a student at WVJC Morgantown, studying in the Legal Office Assisting program. Since beginning her program, she has earned a 4.0 GPA, feels accomplished, and has more confidence in her abilities as a student. However, to understand Richia’s journey, you have to go back to the beginning.

When Richia graduated from high school, she made the same decision that many do in her shoes, and went to the biggest school she could find, following friends in the process. After a couple of years, she realized that she had not been in a position to take college seriously enough and it had taken a toll on her in many ways. Richia decided to take some time off and work to try to get by, but after a while, none of it seemed to be working.

It was at about this moment that she started looking into going back to school. She was discouraged after her previous experience, but after quite a bit of communication with Matt in WVJC’s admissions department, she decided to give it a go. In addition to working with Matt, Richia also worked with the financial aid department. “The financial aid staff did everything they could to get me back into classes and further my career,” Riggleman said.

Once in classes, Richia found herself in a different sort of environment than she was used to. Her favorite part of school so far, in fact, is the confidence she has gained as a student. “At other colleges, I just felt discouraged and felt like they were not the right fit.”

With time and hard work, and the relationships developed with Legal Office Assistant Program Director, Bryce Adkins, and Academic Dean, Brittany Nuzzo, Richia has grown into an outstanding student and leader. It’s not just the support at the school though, Richia cites family and close friends as assistants to her success. Specifically, her Mom and partner, Harry, have kept her spirits high and helped her outside of class to be sure she had what she needs to be successful.

In Richia’s own words, “It’s magic how much you can do when you believe in yourself and have great support!” We are all so proud of Richia!

If you have ever been in similar shoes and thought giving college another try was the right thing for you…but did not know how to get started, here is your chance!  Who knows, maybe it will be your story we are telling next…..

Dalerae Stocker – Student Highlight


Have you ever felt lost?  Have you ever felt like you needed a change in career paths, but just don’t know where to start?  This is how Dalerae felt before she decided to contact WVJC Online.  When her admissions advisor first called her, Dalerae recalls, “She actually listened to me and knew how to make my hope a reality!”  From that day forward, Dalerae has been working diligently toward her goal of becoming a Medical Assistant.  Her goal is to help people.   She is currently a Social Worker. However, there is not much positive change in that role.  The daily, positive change, no matter how small, is what she craves.

This is a feeling she has had before.  In fact, Dalerae has tried numerous times to complete her education without success.  “My first college was OU, and the classes were much too large to get the one on one that I needed. My second college was the University of Rio Grande. The classes were small, but they didn’t have the ability to work around my work schedule. My third was Indiana Wesleyan. It was also online, but lacked the communication I needed.”  Then she found WVJC Online.  The online program that WVJC offered fit all of her needs, so she took the leap.

Almost a year into her time at WVJC Online, Dalerae is doing great in the Clinical Medical Assistant Program.   She is supported by the faculty and staff and is able to openly communication even the smallest of questions.  Dalerae’s favorite part of her online program at WVJC is the ability to get in touch with faculty at any point, which encourages her to ask more questions, which translates into more success.  The ability to find assistance quickly and easily from instructors has made the classes that much easier to understand. She also enjoys the flexibility that the online courses at WVJC offer.  Everything has a due date, but you are able to easily complete the assignments around your work and family schedule.

After graduation, Dalerae would ideally like to work as a Medical Assistant in a Pediatric office. She plans on continuing her education in the future while working with children.

A few tips from Dalerae are: Log into your online campus daily at the same time to avoid procrastination.  Also, stick to your schedule.  These two things can help tremendously when dealing with daily life while completing an online program.

Kevin Mayhew – Student Highlight

Kevin Mayhew is enrolled in the Pharmacy Technician program at West Virginia Junior College Morgantown.  He knew through research that the healthcare field was something that intrigued him and believed that it would be a good fit and allow him to help people.  Kevin believes that pharmacy “is the art of creativity and expertise to potentially save a life.” He has always described himself as an artistic person and compounding is “where the magic happens.” If you vary the recipe even slightly the product will be ruined.


Prior to coming to WVJC, Kevin chose a different educational path.  While there, he changed his major a few times trying to find a good fit, but nothing seemed right for him.  His family taught him that there is “never a problem, only a solution.” He began to look elsewhere and speak with others about opportunities closer to home. He had a conversation with Diane, WVJC Morgantown’s Registrar and family friend. “She is just an angel! Diane told me about the program options, length of time, and the personal small class size. She told me I should come in to get information. So I did.” At that time Kevin had already completed two years of college and was over an hour away from home.  What made WVJC Morgantown most appealing was that the program was only 18 months long and was less than 30 minutes from his home. Kevin is excited that he will officially graduate in August 2019.

The support Kevin has received from his family keeps pushing him toward his career goals. “My family constantly reminds me that I am capable.” The WVJC students and staff have become an extended family of support for Kevin. Jaime, the Pharmacy Technician program director, “knows each of her student’s strengths and uses them to help build us up. She won’t quit on you and is very patient. Jaime tells me often that I have ‘strengths’ and that I ‘can do this’.  Kevin doesn’t know where he would be without all of the supportive people in his life.

Kevin recommends taking the time to find out about fields of study that interest you. When you are pursuing your degree, “remind yourself of the goals that brought you to WVJC. It will help to keep you motivated to want to do it.” Kevin’s career goals have him looking for careers in the Virgin Islands. He is looking for a career in a community where “everyone will know him and he will know them.”

Cierra Weaver – Student Highlight


Cierra Weaver is not only a full-time student but also a full-time mother. She attends West Virginia Junior College Bridgeport where she is earning her associate degree in Clinical Medical Assisting. Cierra began her journey at WVJC in September of 2017, at the age of 21. She had never attended college before and was concerned about the balance of attending school while taking care of her son. Once she started, she knew she has no reason to worry. “It’s convenient for my son and me. The 18 month programs are short and will help me get into my field quicker”, she says. Cierra is motivated by her son and looks forward to giving them both a better life. Before she began her medical assisting classes at WVJC, she worked part-time at a local newspaper company.

Cierra had previously obtained her CNA, but she felt like there was something more for her out there. She says, “I just wanted to step up and be something more.” Her favorite part of attending WVJC is “being able to go to school, do homework, still find time to work, and be with family.” It is important to Cierra that she is able to spend quality time with her son. She is torn between two of her favorite instructors, Nicole Holyfield and David Cutright. “All of their classes are fun and enjoyable, no matter the subject.”

Cierra’s idea of a perfect day is “feeling fully rested, a coffee in my hand, homework turned in on time, learning from my teachers, and being able to go home and enjoy my day.” Cierra is busy planning her future and setting goals. After graduation, she wants to be working as a medical assistant in a small doctor’s office. She wants her personal life to thrive as well. “I want to be married, have a house, and just provide my son with happiness.”