2013 Distinguished Alumni

Category: Alumni


The ESCC Distinguished Alumni program recognizes graduates for their successes and exemplary service to professions and/or communities.  Do you know a Distinguished ESCC Alum?  Nominate them now: Distinguished Alumni Nomination Form.

Jayanne Kellam Bridges

Jayanne Kellam Bridges received an Associate of Arts and Sciences degree in General Studies in 1989.  She then went on to obtain her B.S. in Interdisciplinary Studies, Middle Education, with concentrated coursework in science and mathematics from Radford University in 1992.  She is currently a 6th grade Science teacher at Christiansburg Middle School, where she has been since 1994.  along with teaching, she has served on numerous committees at CMS, such as the Bully Prevention Coordination Committee and the Peer Mediation Student Organization.  Jayanne has made many presentations on working with and educating middle school students as well. She is also involved in her community, most recently with the New River Community Foundation, where she serves on the scholarship committee and has participated in grant writing and awarding.

Jayanne says, “I don’t have one specific, stand-out memory, but more so the memory of the overall experience of ESCC.  My classes were comfortable and interesting, and I felt supported in my role as a future transfer student.  The student activities….allowed me to make friends with students of various ages and from different walks of life. Small class sizes gave me the safe space in which to ask questions and learn from others.  Social activities gave me the ability to speak my thoughts and have conversations that are respectful of viewpoints that may differ from my own.  At ESCC, I felt a part of a community as I learned the value of doing my part in a community.”

Her favorite faculty and staff members?  Robin Rich-Coates (“….she created an open easy environment in her classes where students felt respected and comfortable”); Dr. Brown (“…the zany, witty, proverbial professor of lore….who had the entire history of man under his hat”); Jerry Fluharty (“….always jolly and personable….classes were both fun and challenging”); Pat Phillips and Charlie Killmon  (“….created a friendly environment in the library….both key elements of the overall warm, positive vibe of ESCC”).

Wendy Byrd Marshall

Wendy Byrd Marshall received an Associate of Arts and Sciences degree in General Studies in 1999 and then went on to earn her B.S. in Interdisciplinary Studies, Professional Communication, from Old Dominion University in 2006.  She has also obtained a Career Studies Certificate in Early Childhood Development from ESCC and a Certificate, Firefighter 1, from University of Maryland, Fire & Rescue Institute. Wendy is currently employed as a senior branch office administrator at Edwards Jones Investments, where her primary responsibilities are marketing to and communicating with clients, prospects and community members.  She received the Frank Finnegan Award for Client Service in 2012.  She has served the Eastern Shore community in various capacities, including volunteering at her church and local fire department, as well as begin a member of the Membership and Essentials committees of the Eastern Shore of Virginia Chamber of Commerce.

Wendy says, “I spent most of my time at ESCC within a tight-knit group of  ‘friends and family’ known as Phi Theta Kappans (honor society).  We were fierce competitors and each others strongest allies and advocates.  When I began at ESCC in 1996, I was working several part-time jobs and wanted one job with a decent salary and good benefits.  I feel I have achieved this with the help of many, many people along the way…I am indebted to the folks at ESCC for showing me that hard work pays off and especially for believing in me.”

Her favorite faculty and staff members? Robin Rich-Coates and Pat Phillips.  She says, “I am forever grateful for their passion for learning, their support and their guidance.”

Debra Jeanne Wharton

Debra Jeanne Wharton received an Associate degree in both Liberal Arts and Education in 1974.  She then obtained a B.A. in Government and Foreign Affairs from University of Virginia in 1976and a M.Ed. in Counseling from University of Maryland Eastern Shore in 1986.  She is a licensed professional counselor, licensed substance abuse treatment practitioner, certified prevention specialist and a certified critical incidence stress manager in private practice.  In addition to her work as a counselor and a preventionist, she is a frequent presenter at seminars and has been a featured speaker at several professional conferences throughout the state. A past training specialist for the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, she has instructed psychology courses at Eastern Shore Community College and Old Dominion University.  She holds a position at a local behavioral health center, where she coordinates and directs quality improvement and substance abuse prevention services. In her work as a prevention specialist, she directs programs on anger management, parenting and problem solving.  As a member of the Crisis Response Team, she provides crisis services to youth, adolescents and adults, and critical stress management services to businesses and Employee Assistance Programs.  She is also a current member of the ESCC Foundation Board of Directors.

Debra says, “ESCC provided me a positive collegiate experience which prompted me to continue my education.  My enduring memory of my time at ESCC involves living in the dormitory and meeting new friends.”

Her favorite faculty and staff member? Gene Trent.  She says, “I met Mr. Trent during my junior year in high school.  From that time forward, he took a special interest in my college career and made sure that I completed all the college entrance forms and, once I was at the college, he made sure that I took the courses I needed in order to graduate in two years.  In addition, he assisted me with finding summer employment as well as with my admission and transfer to UVA.”

Tags: Distinguished Alumni