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Welcome to Accounting Website
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Accounting Alumni/Outstanding Students

Mary Ann Dean
Mary Ann Dean


Casey Bentley
Casey Bentley


Amanda Price
Amanda Price


Cynthia Goad
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Brenda Wimmer


Anna Chisholm
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Kathleen Martin
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Reba Smart
Reba Smart


Vicki Belcher
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Rachael Bessler, Outstanding Student for 2016

Pictured from left: Bessler's husband Joshua Bessler, Rachael Bessler, and T. Ray Wurzburger, Associate Professor of Accounting. I wanted to go back to school but did not know if it was a good time. I knew the longer I waited the harder it would be, so I decided to go back to school. I looked at the catalog and decided that accounting would be the field of study that I would love. I loved math and working with budgets and bills. My husband and my family have been huge supporters for me. My husband even told me to just focus on school and he would work. Now that I’ve graduated and as I look back I am so glad I decided to get my Associate degree in Accounting. I can better manage my life financially. I am thankful to all the teachers that helped me understand some of the challenging classes. Jay Wright and Ray Wurzburger were a big help, especially in two of my more difficult classes. They both were very patient and explained the concepts to me, making it easier for me to understand. I’m thankful for all of the teachers and faculty at New River Community College for helping me be able to achieve this degree and making my life better.



Irina Evdokimova Outstanding Student for 2013

It is difficult and challenging to continue one’s college career in America as an international student. Coming from Russia, I began my American academic journey at New River Community College. It was one of the best decisions I ever made. I already had a Bachelor’s Degree in Management from a Russian university but, it occurred to me that, in order to be more competitive in the job market, it would be best to acquire a strong set of technical skills, including how to operate with and analyze accounting data, and get experience in a corporate world environment.

NRCC gave me a solid, broad foundation in Accounting and I earned my Associate Degree, attaining a GPA of 4.0.As a result, I was accepted into Virginia Tech’s MBA program from which I also graduated with a concentration in Finance. During my time there, I kept remembering my NRCC classes and my main instructor, Ray Wurzburger, with great appreciation. Because of his challenging and comprehensive instruction, the accounting class at Virginia Tech was actually quite easy for me. I applied skills acquired at NRCC to my finance classes at Virginia Tech with great success. The knowledge and sets of skills that NRCC gives are definitely applicable to the real world. One cannot get any better experience than that.

Thank you NRCC for helping me reach my goals!

Melissa Hill Outstanding Student for 2011

I was able to attend New River Community College using the TRA program due to TMD Friction closing their offices in 2009. This allowed me to have a focus during a very stressful transition period in my life. I worked closely with the accounting department at TMD and chose that as my new career goal.

I participated in the work/study program by working in the NRCC Admissions Office. This gave me the opportunity to observe how well they assist people in starting their NRCC degree/certificate path. They were supportive of me, even when I left their office to start my cooperative education job. I cannot say enough about all the instructors that I had for my various classes. But I want to say a special “Thank You!!” to my accounting teachers: Ray Wurzburger, Jay Wright and Connie Mersch. They bore the burden of my numerous questions with clear answers and humor!

I would especially like to thank Elaine Powell (Financial Aid Office), Candy Mady (Distance Education Office) and Kimberly Johnston (Admissions Office) and the Wytheville Workforce Center for their assistance in making the college experience possible for me.

I would also like to thank Creative Family Solutions for participating in the cooperative education program for the first time this year, and taking a chance on a rookie!

Last, but not least, I would like to thank my family for being so supportive and not complaining when it was “Pizza for supper AGAIN”!!

Attending New River Community College has been a challenging and rewarding experience.

I have been fortunate to get the opportunity to learn a new career in such an institution as New River Community College.

Charles K. Swanson Outstanding Student for 2009

Great! You’ve decided to attend college, and must now choose where. Well, consider this: NRCC is a top rated school in the Virginia Community College System. That’s the whole state. In choosing a course of study, I would highly recommend the Accounting program which I consider the best at New River Community College.

It is said that accounting is the language of business. True enough. However, that language does not have to be from another planet. The staff and professors at NRCC do an excellent job teaching, and guiding you through your learning process. Your own personal Rosetta Stone!

Whether you are taking this step from high school, or returning to college in order to further your personal growth, this program is pertinent. Accounting has an impact on your everyday activities also. Have you ever used the phrase “the bottom line is”? How about the terms credit or debit cards, CDs (not the music), 45% off sale!, add a 20% tip, stocks, bonds, IRAs, 401(k), and on and on. Think about it. Our lives revolve around methods of accounting. Knowledge is the best tool to keep your personal finances in order.

On a personal level, this program instilled a confidence in me that I hadn’t known I’d lost. I held management positions for over 20 years with Ethan Allen Manufacturing. After the cessation of operations, I looked around to see what I would do with my life. After much trepidation, I met with several professors at New River. Best decision I ever made. I wasn’t sure that I could attend college, and have it be a successful endeavor. I was wrong. Going through the accounting program at NRCC was not only fun (yes, I said fun), but provided me with a level of accomplishment I hadn’t known in years. You really can try new things you’ve never done before. Currently, I’m a real estate title examiner for a local attorney, and considering starting my own business.

Take the step. It will definitely be worth your while!

Charles K. Swanson
Class of 2009

Nancy Johnson Outstanding Student for 2008

I think the accounting program at New River Community College is an excellent program. The teachers are knowledgeable and are willing to go beyond the classroom to help each student understand their assignments. They create an environment in the classroom that makes students feel comfortable. I would recommend New River Community College to anyone entering the accounting program.

Terri Morris Outstanding Student for 2006

I had been thinking about returning to school for quite a while. Sometimes things just work out for the best. I’m the assistant county administrator in Floyd County, and my bosses are the Board of Supervisors. Three years ago, they changed my job duties to be more finance based, gave me a host of new duties, and required an associate degree in accounting within three years. My decision to return to school was made for me. Returning to school as an older student was very frightening. My thoughts were running in all directions – would I be able to do the work, am I too old to learn, how would the younger students treat me, am I going to make a fool of myself? My first accounting class was terrifying. But luckily, I had Jay Wright as a teacher for that first class, and with his encouragement and support, I made it through. I’m very thankful that he was my first teacher, the process was much easier. Also, and just as importantly, Ray Wurzburger was my advisor, and teacher in some classes, his support is immeasurable. I found I could learn, I could do the work, and I made some good friends of all ages in my classes. I also found that all the faculty and staff that I came into contact with at NRCC are so helpful and want your educational process to be a success. In 2005, I was awarded the Who’s Who in American Junior Colleges. In 2006, I received the Outstanding Accounting Student Award and an Achievement Award from the Virginia Society of Certified Public Accountants. I finished up my associate degree in May 2006 (just within the three years my bosses required). I’ve already registered for Fall 2006 classes. I won’t need many classes to obtain an associate degree in Business Management. Thank you NRCC for opening up a new chapter in my life.

Christine Talbott Outstanding Student for 2005

When I first attended college at Virginia Tech, I was fresh out of high school. I was young, I had very few responsibilities, and I had a desire for a higher education. Unfortunately, after two semesters, I was forced to take some time off due to financial circumstances. In the meantime, I started my life.

My first son, Derek, was born when I was 22-years old and I began to build a life that revolved around him and my family. I wanted him to have a better life than I had, but more importantly, I wanted to make sure that he didn't have to struggle to pay for his college education. On the day Derek was born, I promised myself that he would be able to go to college and that I would be able to pay for it as well as the expenses that come along with an education.

It wasn't long after I formulated this goal that I realized that I would have to complete college myself, and then the decision making began. “How am I going to be able to attend classes when I have to work and when I can't afford a babysitter for Derek?” I would ask myself. “How am I going to be able to pay for it?” I would also ask myself. The objective was clear, and so was the problem. How could I get from point A to point B?

The very first thing I did was consult with my husband. After careful preparation and a lot of calculations, I was able to show him a financial outlet that would allow me to quit my job. He agreed that with a careful budget we could live on just his salary alone.

The second step I took involved visiting the New River Community College campus. After speaking with a counselor, I learned that NRCC offered a lot of independent distance learning (IDL) classes. IDL classes allowed me to attend school without having to physically be present in a classroom. Because of this, I would not have to worry about paying for a babysitter for Derek. Finally, I filled out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Upon filling out the application and receiving aid, I was able to pay for my classes as well as my books.

Because of an encouraging husband, a great staff and faculty at NRCC, financial aid, and the best support network available, I will be graduating with an associate degree from NRCC next month. In the fall, I will be returning to Virginia Tech to pursue a degree in Accounting and Information Systems.

Getting from point A to point B wasn't easy, but I feel as though my decision will not only inspire my children (my second son, Dylan, was born in August of 2003) to strive for a college education, but it will also make it easier for me to make it happen for them. Every problem that presented itself to me was overcome and I was able to find the strength within myself to keep going and achieve this goal.

Reba Smart Outstanding Student for 1996

I have been employed at First National Bank since April 1973. I began taking classes at NRCC through the American Institute of Banking. I graduated from NRCC in 1996 with an AAS degree in Accounting and AAS degree in Business Management. I was named the Outstanding Student in Accounting and was named to the Who's Who Among Students in American Junior Colleges. I also have completed the required courses through AIB to obtain a diploma in General Banking, Consumer Lending and Bank Operations. I graduated in June 2002 from the BAI Graduate School of Bank Operations and Technology at Vanderbilt University. Also, I have been an instructor for the American Institute of Banking, teaching Accounting, Supervision, and Principles of Banking.

I began my career at FNB in the Proof Department, and have advanced to my current position of Vice President/Retail Operations Coordinator at First National Bank. This would not have been possible without the education and support I received from the faculty at New River Community College. I value the time I spent in classes at NRCC. Not only did I learn more than I ever thought possible about accounting, banking laws and economics, I became more self confident and self - assured. I would never have been able to teach classes of any kind had it not been for the instruction and training I received at New River. There were times when I felt like giving up and forgetting the whole education thing, but I am thankful that I persevered - thanks in a large way to the advice of my advisor at NRCC. Although I took classes for over 20 years, starting in 1973 and continued to 1996, working around family and work schedules, going to school only at nights, I will never regret finishing my course studies and getting those diplomas. Thank you NRCC!

Accounting Department Contact Information

General questions and requests about the accounting department should be directed to Ray Wurzburger 1-866-462-6722, extension 4326, or (540) 674-3600 extension 4326.
You may also email rwurzburger@nr.edu.

Accounting Department Faculty

Call (540) 674-3600 or toll-free 1-866-462-6722, then you will be prompted to add the extension number to reach any employee.

Tina Hosey


Adjunct Instructor / Professional/Staff Tutor

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Nathan Taylor


Assistant Professor of Accounting

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Randal Williams


Adjunct Instructor

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  •  Dublin, VA 24084
  •  (540) 674-3600
  •  Toll Free: 866-462-6722
  •  Fax: (540) 674-3602
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  •  782 New River Road NW, Suite 400
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