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NRCC Presents Black History Month Program

Feb 02 2024

In celebration of Black History month, New River Community College (NRCC) and the college's Black History Committee will sponsor a guest speaker and music program on Sunday, February 18 at 3 p.m. The event will be held in 117 Edwards Hall at NRCC in Dublin.

Keynote speaker Wayne Scales, Ph.D. will present “A black man’s challenges, struggles, rewards and triumphs pursuing a stem career.”

Wayne Scales, Ph.D.

Scales received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Honors Electrical Engineering and Applied Mathematics from Virginia Tech and was a Sage Graduate Fellow while receiving his doctorate from Cornell University in electrical engineering and applied physics with focus in space plasma physics. He was the first African American rocket scientist trained at Cornell University and amongst the first at any Ivy League university. Afterward, he was awarded an American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE) Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Space Plasma Physics Branch of the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, Washington D.C.  He then joined the Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Virginia Tech and is currently the J. Byron Maupin Professor of Engineering and was founding Director of the Center for Space Science and Engineering Research (Space@VT) and founding Co-Director of the Interdisciplinary Graduate Education Program in Remote Sensing. Scales was the first African American faculty member in Electrical and Computer Engineering and also the first to hold an endowed professorship in the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech. Scales is also an affiliate Professor in the Kevin T. Crofton Department of Aerospace and Ocean Engineering.

He currently serves as Associate Vice Provost for Research and Diversity where his responsibilities include supporting special initiatives involving faculty development as well as research and workforce development partnerships with Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) and Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), particularly in the area of quantum engineering. In this capacity, he is also leading the construction of the first High Frequency (HF) space weather radar facility on the continent of Africa and also developing partnerships with African universities in the area of quantum engineering and space science. He serves in leadership capacities on a number of national and international professional organizations and has received a number of awards for excellence in research, teaching, and service in the Virginia Tech College of Engineering.

Musical performances will be presented by the Jubilee Christian Center Choir and Sharon Edwards, NRCC assistant professor of health information management and administrative support technology.

Jubilee Christian Center Choir
Sharon Edwards

This free event is open to the public. Light refreshments will be served following the program.

For more information about the program, please contact Elaine Powell-Hawkins at (540) 674-3600, ext. 4478.

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.

Kelly Kaiser


Public Relations Assistant

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Jill Ross


Public Relations Specialist / Adjunct Instructor

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  •  5251 College Drive
  •  Dublin, VA 24084
  •  (540) 674-3600
  •  Toll Free: 866-462-6722
  •  Fax: (540) 674-3602
  •  Directions


  •  782 New River Road NW, Suite 400
  •  Christiansburg, VA 24073
  •  (540) 674-3610
  •  Fax: (540) 381-7128
  •  Directions
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