Marissa Keplinger – Student Highlight

Marissa Keplinger is a student in the Dental Assisting Degree program. Before coming to West Virginia Junior College, Marissa attended Salem University for nursing. Marissa stated that Salem University was not the right fit for her needs and felt, after much research, that WVJC would be able to meet her needs. Marissa said, “That the environment is what makes her love WVJC.” Marissa feels WVJC truly cares about their students and wants everyone to succeed, unlike feeling like a number in the crowd at larger colleges or universities where they don’t know who you are.

Marissa really enjoys the experiences at WVJC.  She appreciates that many of the classes are hands-on, which helps assist her in her future goals and career path. Marissa also looks forward to the externship, where she will spend time at a dental office to gain a better understanding of how a dental office runs.  She also stated that the training during classes helped her experience how it would be in an actual dental setting and how to conduct proper patient care, like practicing dental procedures on fellow students instead of the mannequin heads,

Marissa said,  “She had spent a great deal of time trying to find the right career path she wanted to take. She job shadowed in the hospital setting and even assisted a teacher but was not passionate about those career paths.” Marissa knew that dental assisting was something she was passionate about because teeth are the first thing she notices about a person, and she wants to help people achieve a pretty and healthy smile.

She chose the Dental Assisting program at WVJC because she wants to help boost the confidence of others by helping people feel better about their smile. That is something very rewarding to her. Marissa looks forward to the rest of her classes and is excited about the job opportunities that will be available once she completes her program.

If WVJC’s fast-track Dental Assisting program sounds like the perfect fit for you, and you’d like to find out how you can get started today, request information here!

Cody Joe – Student Highlight

Cody Joe has been in the medical field since the age of 19, working as a paramedic. While working as an EMS, he was able to help patients in some very significant ways and make a positive impact on their lives. During that time, Cody realized he wanted to make even more of an impact with patients, and he believes that by becoming a nurse, he will be able to spend more time with each patient catering to their specific needs.

Cody attends WVJC full time and works full time as a paramedic, but he doesn’t stop there. He caught the entrepreneurial bug, running his own business as a personal-body transformation coach, training clients using his nutrition certification, and working with manufacturers to produce his supplemental line creating his unique brand. He has been hard at work with his business since November 2020 and is pouring every bit of profit right back into it, striving for excellence, as he believes this will be his nest egg for retirement. Cody has offered his training and nutritional services to his current classmates at WVJC, and several students have already taken him up on this offer. Cody put together a plan with a healthier diet and achievable goals to get each of them into better physical shape and to help them create healthier lifestyles overall.

He plans to enroll in Chamberlain University to further his education and obtain his BSN degree after graduating from the Nursing program at WVJC. When he graduates from WVJC in December 2022, he plans to work alongside his wife in the ER. Cody would also like to continue his education by getting his Master’s Degree and then become a Nurse Practitioner while also working full time.

Cody has tremendous support from his wife, family, and friends as he embarks on this new adventure to learn new skills to make a real difference in patients’ lives. Cody chose WVJC because he heard good things from recent graduates about WVJC’s Nursing program. However, he says the most significant selling point is an accelerated program that offers a degree in just 18 months. WVJC is excited to have students like Cody, who are patient-oriented nurses making sure their needs are met.

To learn more about WVJC’s Nursing program, request information here!

United Hospital Center – Externship Highlight

As the need for highly qualified nurses grows, and nursing educators are struggling to fill clinical adjunct positions with qualified instructors, both healthcare facilities and nursing schools are looking for a creative means to bridge this gap. This is why the WVJC-Bridgeport/United Hospital Center Clinical Partnership was developed.

This partnership began with WVJC’s 2020 cohort of nursing students. United Hospital Center provides a clinical instructor for each nursing class to provide on-site training in various units at United Hospital Center. In return, WVJC provides $20,000 in scholarships to UHC employees enrolled in the Nursing program and selected by hospital administration to receive the scholarship. Through this partnership, not only does WVJC have excellent adjunct instructors, but students are also able to be fully immersed in the culture of UHC. In addition, this allows for a much smoother transition from student nurse to staff nurse if a new graduate chooses to work at UHC.

United Hospital strives to have excellent patient care, and its mission is to “enhance the health status of the citizens of north-central WV.” We are excited to be a part of a facility that provides amazing quality care and treatment to everyone. WVJC is proud to be associated with a healthcare facility with such a great reputation within our community.

In the future, WVJC is hoping to partner with other facilities to enhance student clinical experiences and to better prepare them to enter the workforce.

To learn more about the exciting partnerships occurring at WVJC, request information here!

How To Administer An
Intermuscular Injection

Today, watch Amanda Foster, West Virginia Junior College’s Clinical Instructor, and Leanna Helmick, a current Practical Nursing student, demonstrate how to administer an Intermuscular Injection.

This demonstration will inform you of the steps to take and the safety measurements to adhere to for you as a medical professional and the patient.  If you want to get into the medical field and want to learn more about intermuscular injections or other procedures like this, check out WVJC’s healthcare programs HERE.  Enjoy the video!



Molly Connell – Medical Assisting
Graduate to Nursing Student

Molly Connell is a returning graduate from West Virginia Junior College Bridgeport. She began her journey at WVJC in 2015 to pursue her Medical Assisting degree. At that time, Molly knew the medical field was her passion. She checked into WVJC and quickly discovered it was the place for her. Once enrolled and into the classes, she was happy to call this school her home. The small class size and the family-like atmosphere was what she was looking for. Molly said, “It was nice to be a part of a school that everyone in the building cared about your success.”

Molly is a hard-working young lady that is dedicated to many things. She is not only furthering her education for herself, but also setting an example for her two small children. Molly began working as a medical assistant at Stonewall Jackson Hospital, in Weston, shortly after graduating in November 2016.  After working as a medical assistant for some time she applied to a phlebotomy position at United Hospital Center, where she is currently still employed.

As much as she loves her journey and passion for the medical field, Molly knew she had the dedication to go even further. Once WVJC Bridgeport started their Nursing program, she knew that was the path for her. She quickly got in contact with the admissions advisor and began the enrollment process. Molly was accepted into the program. It was easy for the nursing staff to see her dedication and drive. She began classes in June 2020 and has enjoyed the process so far.

When talking to Molly about her day to day responsibilities, it became clear that she is a very organized and goal-driven young lady. Molly is a wife, mother of two children, a phlebotomist at UHC, and a WVJC nursing student. Many people would agree that is a lot. However, she is determined and continues to see the reward and the light at the end of the tunnel.

Molly looks forward to seeing how proud her family is of her when she finishes the Nursing program. In her spare time, she loves playing outside with her kids. She also looks forward to obtaining employment in the ER at UHC once she graduates. She said there are times she gets overwhelmed, but continues to stay focused and refer back to her favorite quote, “Never let the fear of striking out, keep you from playing the game.”

To learn more about WVJC’s nursing program, request information here!

Lyrik Hilliard – Student Highlight

Lyrik Hilliard is a medical assisting student at West Virginia Junior College Bridgeport. She began her college career at Fairmont State and was there until May of 2019. When she decided to take that summer off, she explored other colleges. Lyrik came across WVJC and decided to take the next step and enroll.

Some of the things that supported her decision to enroll at WVJC were the small classes, hands-on learning, and the fast-paced learning environment! She chose the Clinical Medical Assistant program because of the many career options.

Lyrik says that Mr. Cutright is one of her favorite instructors. “He is so interactive with the class. I am always very alert when it comes to that class. I’ve never dreaded attending his class. I like the fact that he writes everything on the board. I feel I learn better that way. I like the activities he plans for class and the way he really gets the class thinking.”

In 5 years, Lyrik sees herself married with children with a career in pediatrics, and possibly working on her bachelor’s degree. While she is thinking of her future, and taking courses at WVJC, she also currently holds a position on campus as a work-study for the staff and faculty. This opportunity has given her firsthand experience working with professionals and understanding the concepts of teamwork in the workplace.

When asked if she would refer a friend to WVJC, Lyrik said, “I would refer a friend to WVJC if they are wanting to be in a small school and learn. If they are eager to learn, then they should attend WVJC because you are constantly learning something new.”

To learn more about WVJC’s medical assisting classes, request information here!

Professionalism – Part 1

Professionalism is a key component to being successful in any work environment, but what exactly is it? In a nutshell, professionalism involves traits such as competence, reliability, honesty, integrity, respectfulness, compartmentalization, and positivity. Let’s break these traits down and evaluate what they mean in a professional capacity.

What does it mean to be competent in the workplace? Employers want to know that you will provide quality work, no matter the difficulty of the workload, and that you will work to gain skills and knowledge that will help you excel in your specific work environment. It is more than being competent in your area of expertise, but also your willingness to embrace new tasks, and take the steps necessary to accomplish them. Most importantly, it’s always providing a quality product or service that will benefit your workplace overall.

Equally as important is reliability. Employers want to know that you will complete tasks by the provided deadline, or in a timely manner.  Your employer has to be able to trust you. It is not easy for employers to delegate work and trust that it will get done efficiently and effectively. Any employee who shows that they are reliable and trustworthy will be seen as more professional.

Honesty, integrity, and respect are key in putting your best professional foot forward. You are your words. Make sure to honor them. In the workplace, you should always work to keep your values in line with your words and actions, and make sure you are presenting yourself in the best way possible. The more straightforward you are, the more professional you will seem. However, it is possible to be honest and straightforward in a respectful manner. Balancing your values, thoughts, and opinions with the respect you should have for your superiors is often difficult, but vital in maintaining professionalism in the workplace.

So now that we’ve discussed some ways as to what it means to be professional in the workplace, how do you attain these skills? WVJC is here to help! At WVJC, students learn their chosen craft, while simultaneously learning how to be professional. In every course our students take, we work on basic skills that prime the students to be professional employees. As if this isn’t enough, we also offer an entire course dedicated to teaching students exclusively about professionalism before they complete their program and enter the workforce. If you’re looking for an institute that will prepare you to enter the workforce in every capacity, WVJC is the place for you!

Kathryn Dean – Student Highlight

Kathryn Dean is enrolled in the Clinical Medical Assistant program. Prior to Kathryn attending WVJC, she worked full time as a certified CNA. Even though she enjoyed working as a CNA, Kathryn wanted a profession that would give her more home time and less physical stress.

After discussing with her husband, Kathyrn knew it was time to continue her education. She says, “ I chose WVJC-Bridgeport because of the program offerings, affordability, and location.” This would be her first college experience.

Even though Kathyrn has only been attending classes since June 2018, her favorite part of attending WVJC is meeting new people and accomplishing more than she thought she was capable of in her later stage of life.
She says her favorite teacher to her surprise is Mr. Cutright. “He pushes me beyond what I thought my limitations were, and I succeed.”

Kathyrn is set to graduate from the CMA program in December 2019. She says her ideal job is working in a doctor’s office with normal hours with weekends and holidays off to spend time with her family.

Presley Jordan – Student Highlight

Presley Jordan

Presley Jordan
Presley Jordan was getting ready to begin her senior year at Buckhannon Upshur High School, working part-time, and enjoying her summer vacation by relaxing and doing things outdoors with her friends and family, when she job shadowed at her dentist’s office. In her time there, she found that she really enjoyed helping people and would love a career in the dental field. She decided to explore the Dental Assisting program at West Virginia Junior College Bridgeport. Presley called High School Admissions Representative, Kristin Kirk, and set up a tour. She realized WVJC was a great fit for her.  Presley recalls, “Everyone was very hospitable and I loved the fact I could get my degree in just 18 months.”

Presley started her dental assisting classes in June 2018, just a few weeks after graduating high school. “I really enjoy the small classes and the friendly environment.,” says Jordan, “It makes the transition really easy.”  Morgan Baker, the coordinator for the Dental Assisting program, is her favorite instructor. “She genuinely cares and thoroughly teaches us the information we need to know to be successful.”

Presley is scheduled to graduate college in December of 2019 at just 19 years old.  She looks forward to her dream career as a Dental Assistant in a small scale dental office.  When asked how she would like her life to be in 5 years, she replied “In five years I will be 23, so I would like to be working as a Dental Assistant and coming home to my own living space.”  She also said she would like to be engaged to her boyfriend whom she has been with for 3 years. We at WVJC believe Presley will reach all of her goals and are happy to help her in her Dental Assisting career.

WVJC Bridgeport – Food Drive

By: David Cutright

                When an individual begins to achieve success in their life, not only do they have the ability to improve their own situations, but often times they have the ability to improve the situations of others. This is a value that West Virginia Junior College attempts to instill in their students throughout their educational journey. WVJC attempts to show the students the value and benefit of helping others through class projects and various community activities.

As many people know, students often times rely on the school system for providing breakfast and lunch throughout the school year. During the summer months the absence of this support can really create additional financial burdens, not only on the individual families, but also, on the charitable organizations that support these families.

When discussing possible community projects, Mr. Cutright’s Communications class decided they wanted to take the opportunity to do their part to help with this problem.  They decided that the class would hold a food drive to collect items for a local food pantry that needed assistance with getting supplies. With the assistance from several local businesses and several local media outlets to help spread the word, the class started a two week food drive to collect items for the local food pantry.

When WVJC’s administration heard about the project, they were very eager to help in any way that they could. In addition to the food collection activities on campus, the school decided to use the annual WVJC summer block party as a fundraiser for the food drive.

Each year WVJC Bridgeport holds their summer block party to not only welcome the new students, but to also have a day of fun for the current students and their families.  While admission to the block party was free, there were several activities to raise money for the food drive. There was a hotdog eating contest, various outdoor games that could be played for prizes, concessions, and most important to the students, the school had a dunk tank set up where students would be able to dunk their favorite teachers! Students could pay a small fee or pay with a food donation to participate in these activities.

The WVJC summer block party was a huge success with a very large turnout that helped accelerate the success of the food drive. Thanks to the food collection efforts of the local community and WVJC students and staff, we were able to provide over 200 individual meals for the food pantry. The summer block party also raised over $400 to be directly donated to the local food pantry.

Through these efforts, many local kids were able to get the food they need to help them through this difficult time. Representatives of the food pantry were very thankful as their supplies were dwindling.  Thanks to the efforts of the students, the school, and the community, what started out as a little class project ended up making a real difference for many kids in our community. It goes to show that when people get together and work to make a difference, some really amazing things can happen!