ESCC Helping Students Achieve


Shaw Matthews Credits the College For His Continued Success

 “The ticket to my future success,” says University of Virginia senior Shaw Matthews,” was Your Eastern Shore Community College.” Forming his own future goals through influential instructors and supportive faculty and staff, Shaw said, “The help ESCC provided along the way made my goals a reality.” 

Home-schooled from kindergarten through high school, Shaw enrolled in ESCC in 2017. “ESCC wasn’t my second choice or third choice,” Shaw said,” it was my best choice.” 

One of his first and most influential instructors was Assistant Professor of History Barry Neville. Shaw explained, “Mr. Neville’s interaction with students and love of history was a huge influence on forming my future plans. “I started to see me in a role where I too could influence young adults and non-traditional students and help them find their own paths to success.” 

Mr. Neville has since passed away, but his influence lives on in people like Shaw Matthews, and in 2020 ESCC opened the Barry Neville Student Lounge in its new academic building. 

Shaw also notes the influence of Instructor Christina Duffman who commented, “We love seeing students like Shaw enter ESCC not quite sure of the long game, but quickly putting the pieces together and seeing a clear goal.” 

Shaw said, “Ms. Duffman is all about her students. Any time you walk by her campus office there are students hanging out learning, being mentored, and being cared about. It’s really special.” 

ESCC’s culture of YES! (Your Eastern Shore) is about hospitality and inclusion. Just as Shaw benefitted from this culture, he contributed to making it flourish. Career Coach Debbie Daniels said, “He’s a great example of a student finding what makes them happy and pursuing that dream with the support of all of us at the college.” 

With his associate degree in Arts and Sciences in Liberal Arts and help from ESCC advisors, Shaw easily transferred to the University of Virginia where he’s closing in on his bachelor’s degree next semester. He’s already applying to graduate school to pursue a master’s degree and then a doctorate. “It’s a long way from Chincoteague,” Shaw said, “but I’ll be coming home.” 

Shaw’s long game is to return as a professor at ESCC. He shared his story at ESCC’s Advisory Board meeting last month. “I want to give back, to try, in some measure, to be as influential as those who helped shaped my life, my career, my future.” 

Participating in that meeting, was Ray Wood, Chair of the ESCC Advisory Board and Director of Management Information Systems at the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel. He comments that “it was inspirational to witness the positive impact that ESCC has had on Shaw and how it has helped to shape his future. His goals demonstrate the very best of our students and the Eastern Shore.” 

Shaw encourages his friends and neighbors on the Shore. “I truly hope potential students understand the benefits of attending ESCC, from the low cost, to the easy transfer to a four-year school, to rewarding jobs and careers.” 

Dr. Patrick Tompkins, ESCC vice president of academics, said, “At ESCC we can help. We helped Shaw, and he is helping others. For all of us that’s a YES!”