Best for Vets



Once again, ECPI University has been recognized by Military Times Edge as “Best for Vets” among career and technical colleges. Criteria for this honor include the school’s accreditation, services for veterans and military personnel, academic support and graduation rate.

“We are exceedingly proud of our relationship with military and veteran students,” says ECPI University Director of Military Education Bob Larned. “They bring so much to our student population and contribute to the culture and learning on campus by bringing years of leadership and maturity, as well as professional experiences gained throughout the world.”

MDA Chili Cook Off

Diagnostic Medical Sonography Faculty Member Kitty Sheets serves up a bowl for Network Security Student Nicodemus Acosta.

Diagnostic Medical Sonography Faculty Member Kitty Sheets serves up a bowl for Network Security Student Nicodemus Acosta.


1st Place Winner Bridgette Carstens, 2nd Place Winner Ken Jaco, and 3rd Place Winner Rhonda Double.

1st Place Winner Bridgette Carstens, 2nd Place Winner Ken Jaco, and 3rd Place Winner Rhonda Double.









We are so proud of our Newport News Physical Therapy Assistant students and faculty who kicked off their annual campaign to raise money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA). Today’s fundraising event: The Great Chili Cook-Off!  We had 14 contestants who submitted their culinary creations to be reviewed by a panel of judges. The rest was sold to eager staff, faculty, students and more than $1,300 was raised for MDA. More events and more dollars to come!

Helping Others Comes Naturally to Greensboro Student

Joe & Debbi Smith

Debbie and her husband, Joe

Debbi Smith is one of those people who seem to have an endless reservoir of energy, the kind of person to whom others are drawn. There’s so much to her story, it’s hard to know where to begin.

She first enrolled in the Greensboro campus’ medical assisting program in spring of 2012. She had been caring for her husband who was confined to a wheelchair following a combat injury in Afghanistan. After an organization called Homes for Our Troops built them a new accessible home, he was able to live more independently and encouraged Debbi to pursue her dream.

“I’ve always wanted to work in healthcare,” says Debbi. “Taking care of my husband only reinforced that desire. You can really make a difference in people’s lives. I’ve already decided that I am going to pursue my nursing degree so I can work in a trauma unit or VA hospital.”

Debbi is a member of three clubs on campus: The Medical Students Association, Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society (serves as membership secretary), and the Diversity Club. She spearheads a number of charity drives on campus – bake sales, food drives, etc. – and is known to be extremely generous with her time, always available to help classmates. “I’m a pushover,” she says. “Many of my fellow students are single mothers just like I used to be. I know what they’re sacrificing to make life better for their families and I really want to do all I can to encourage and support them.”

Academically, Debbi is at the top of her game. Recently named Student of the Semester for the Medical Assisting program, she has perfect attendance and is on the Dean’s list. So how can she give so much to others when she seems to have so much on her own plate? “My grandfather has always been my inspiration,” she says. “As a father to nine children, he was always taking other children into his home to help them, even working 2-3 jobs to make ends meet.

“Debbi’s drive and determination to complete her program really stands out to me,” says Greensboro Student Success Coordinator Angi Kinsey. “She had her rough spots early on, but she never gave up and now she’s almost done. Somehow she does it all – school, work, home – with such a great attitude and sincerity that she inspires everyone around her.”

Faculty Member Co-Authors Study

Dr. Candice Smith

Dr. Candace Smith has co-authored Direct Fed Microbial Supplementation Repartitions Host Energy to the Immune System in the Journal of Animal Science. It analyzes the use of Direct fed microbials and probiotics to promote health in livestock and poultry.

Helping Vets in the Workforce

Returning Vet

“The Virginia Industry Foundation (VIF) has been awarded a grant from the Virginia Community College System (VCCS) Rapid Response Assistance Program for Veterans’ Employment to launch its Military2Manufacturing (M2M) program.

VIF, in partnership with the Virginia Manufacturers Association (VMA), ECPI University, two community colleges, Southern Virginia Higher Education Center, Virginia Department of Labor and Industry, Virginia Employment Commission, and numerous workforce investment boards, will implement a comprehensive outreach, training and placement service to connect separating veterans with career opportunities in advanced technology industries, like manufacturing, over the next 18 months as a national demonstration program.

“The M2M program will allow us to better serve veterans and their spouses by connecting them with appropriate training for a career in advanced manufacturing,” says ECPI University Business Development Specialist Paul Dockery. “ECPI prides itself on being a military-friendly school and this is another step toward ensuring that we continue to support our veterans.”

Virginia Values Veteran (V3) has identified 136,000 Army Services Members transitioning in 2011 with more to occur in subsequent years. The current veteran unemployment rate is 12.1% and 29.1% for veterans under the age of 24. “Veterans are a great fit for advanced manufacturing but may not possess the right technical skills for these career opportunities,” says VIF President Brent Vassey. “The M2M program will train veterans on core manufacturing technology competencies so that they have the foundational skills to pursue career pathways leading to employment in the manufacturing sector.”