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NCI Announces Assistant Director

New College Institute (NCI) is pleased to announce Melany Stowe will be the Assistant Director of Academics and Communications. Melany is a lifelong resident of Martinsville and Henry County who has dedicated her professional and personal time to creating meaningful learning opportunities for students.

“Quality learning opportunities for students should not be determined by zip code. Students in Southern Virginia are fortunate to have higher education options that do not require them to leave home. I look forward to supporting NCI’s role in providing academic solutions to workforce needs and successfully communicating the importance of higher education to engage learners of all ages,” Stowe said.

Stowe has worked at several levels of education: administrative leader at a higher education center, instructor at Patrick Henry Community College, and teacher and administrator in K-12. Therefore, she has a deep understanding of each level of education and has developed successful programs to meet the needs of students.

The NCI Board of Directors recently approved the following four key areas of focus: engineering and advanced manufacturing; technology and cybersecurity; health and human services; and education and community leadership. Stowe will provide leadership to help develop experiential learning opportunities that will include additional degree programs, certifications and endorsements, professional development, and educational programs and events. Stowe will also work collaboratively with employers to ensure that the Southern Virginia region is poised for future economic development opportunities.

NCI Board Chairman, Senator Bill Stanley is enthusiastic about the decision. “Melany has a solid reputation for being highly collaborative at the local, regional and state level. She is known for her skills and expertise among Virginia’s workforce and industry, and I am confident that she will hit the ground at top speed to implement our bold new vision and direction with NCI staff and faculty.”

“The prosperity of Southern Virginia is dependent on revitalizing and rethinking our economy. Higher education is an essential piece of the economic development puzzle. The challenges facing underserved populations (rural and minority) are not unique to our area, but NCI possesses a unique ability to think outside of the box and ensure students do not have limited access because of where they live and work,” Stowe said.

NCI’s Executive Director, Dr. Leanna Blevins added, “Melany comes to the position with an intimate understanding of our region because it’s her home. She has already shared with us creative ideas building on her existing partnerships with university, community college, K-12, and industry partners. The NCI team is eager to welcome her.”

Stowe has supported the educational needs of rural students and underserved populations in a variety of capacities at the local, state, and national levels. She served as a program reviewer for multiple national programs including Investing in Innovation and Race to the Top facilitated by the United States Department of Education. She also serves as an evaluator for the Virginia Department of Education’s 21st Century Community Learning Centers program and has been instrumental in bringing funding and programs to Southern Virginia. In 2009, Stowe was recognized by former Governor Tim Kaine as the state’s Creating Excellence in Career & Technical Education award winner for her leadership in implementing a non-school hour outreach program for students and parents in Liberty Fair Mall, Career Hub.

Stowe received her undergraduate degree from Radford University and her Master’s degree in administration from the University of Virginia. Stowe currently serves as the President of the Southern Piedmont Technology Council and on the boards of Virginia Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (VASCD), Henry County/Martinsville Social Services, and is an alumnae of LEAD Virginia. Most recently, Melany served as the Director of Public Relations and Business Development at the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research.

“I look forward to working with the team of dedicated professionals at NCI and continuing the collaborative spirit NCI embraces by working in a student-focused partnership with Virginia universities, employers, and other organizations. Together, we will craft unique programs and solutions that are fitting for our region and reflects the determination and perseverance of our citizens,” said Stowe.