William C. Wampler, Jr.
Wampler was named Executive Director of New College Institute in January 2012. Prior to coming to NCI, he served 24 years as a Virginia State Senator. As the senior ranking member of his party, he played a key role in crafting the state budget as a member of the Budget Conference Committee. He also was a member of the Senate Finance Committee and the Education sub-committee, along with other appointments. As a member of the Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission, he headed a special panel that helps attract business and industry to Southern Virginia, targeting Martinsville and Henry County. More recently, he served on Governor McDonnell's Commission on Higher Education.
Wampler received his BA in Political Science from the University of Tennessee. He is a senior lecturer in military science at the University of Virginia's College at Wise. He actively served in the military and retired as a Colonel in the U.S. Army Reserves. His last assignment was as Commander of the 2nd Brigade, headquartered in Salem, Virginia.
A native of Bristol, VA, Wampler and his wife, Mary, reside in Martinsville. They have two children, Mary Katherine and Will, both college students.Leanna Blevins, Ph.D.Associate Director &
Chief Academic Officer
Leanna began work with the New College Planning Commission in 2004 and currently serves as associate director and chief academic officer.
Leanna has worked as assistant to the president at the University of Virginia as well as in the offices of state government relations, university relations, and faculty advancement. Leanna has also served as director of career development at the University of Virginia’s College at Wise and as a student consumer advocate at Virginia Tech. She also worked as a vocational rehabilitation counselor for the deaf in southwestern Virginia.
Leanna earned a BA from Virginia Tech and an M.Ed. and Ph.D. from the University of Virginia. Her dissertation research focused on rural students in Virginia and their access to and persistence in public colleges and universities. As a first generation college graduate, she is passionate about working with individuals to introduce them to higher education opportunities.
A native of Chilhowie, Leanna resides in Martinsville with her husband, Gavin Russell, their daughters Grayson and Ainsley, and son Heath. She is an active board member of Citizens Against Family Violence, The Harvest Foundation, the Martinsville-Henry County Economic Development Corporation, and is a member of Charity League.
Leanna was featured in a New York Times article and accompanying slideshow on the impact of a college degree. Slideshow
Coordinator of Experiential Learning &
Katie began working at NCI in 2009. With a career that has spanned the fields of education, business, nonprofit, and health, Katie provides a wealth of professional experience.
Katie currently serves as the NCI Internship Program Coordinator and also assists with organization advertisement and promotions, and other special projects.
Katie is a graduate student in one of NCI's academic offerings, Old Dominion University's masters in counseling. She also anticipates obtaining a certificate in Nonprofit Management from Duke University in the fall of 2012. During her undergraduate experience, Katie had two internship opportunities, as an adventure course facilitator and studying abroad in Asia.
Born and raised near Youngstown, Ohio, Katie has lived in Henry County for the past six years with her husband, Les and their son, Roc. Her husband works in vocational ministry in which Katie is actively involved through volunteer service. During their free time her family enjoys engaging in the many amenities and activities that Martinsville and Henry County have to offer.
Randy Ferguson is a multimedia specialist and provides media and video production support to both New College Institute and Patrick Henry Community College, bringing with him over 20 years experience.
Before coming to NCI, Randy was a Producer and Production Supervisor for Time Warner Cable Media Sales in Greensboro, NC for nearly 10 years. He also owns RF Media, a local media production company where he produces commercials, marketing/informational videos, and other media projects. He has worked as a freelance producer, videographer, and editor. He also worked as a Broadcasting Instructor and Video Technician at PHCC and as Audio-Visual Supervisor at Danville Community College.
Randy is a graduate of James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA where he received a B.S. in communications with a concentration in radio, television, and film. He has won many awards for his work including two Telly's, two Communicator Awards, and a top five selection at the Cable Advertising Bureau Awards. Most recently, Randy produced a commercial for PHCC that was selected for a Medallion Award from the National Council for Marketing and Public Relations.
Randy is a native of Henry County and resides in Ridgeway, VA with his wife Amy and two daughters, Haley and Breanna. Together they enjoy camping, hiking, boating, whitewater rafting, and soccer.
Melanie is administrative assistant to the executive director.
Melanie was employed by BB&T for twenty-five years. During her banking career, she held various administrative positions in offices located in Martinsville and Franklin County. She earned an Associate in Applied Science degree from Patrick Henry Community College.
A native of Martinsville, Melanie resides in Franklin County with her husband Tommy. She is an active member of Twin Oaks Baptist Church in Ferrum where she serves as treasurer.
Academic Scheduler & Communications Coordinator
Ruby Jones came to NCI in October 2007. She brings with her over twenty-five years of professional office experience in areas of office management, public relations and event planning. At NCI, she manages the website, classroom schedules, and special events.
Ruby worked most recently as administrative assistant to the General Manager at MasterBrand Cabinets. Prior to that, she was an executive assistant at the Martinsville Economic Development Office and also at the Martinsville-Henry County Chamber of Commerce.
A graduate of Laurel Park High School, Ruby attended Patrick Henry Community College, and has completed several continuing education and technology classes and leadership development courses.
A lifelong resident of Henry County, Ruby lives in Axton with her husband Freddie. Her daughter Mandy is a recent graduate of Liberty University, and her son Brian and his wife Amber both serve in the US Air Force and are stationed at McChord AFB in Tacoma, WA. She is active in her church and loves to read, cook, and spend time with her family.
Coordinator of Community Engagement
Steve Keyser joined the New College Institute staff after working as a teacher in the Martinsville City Schools for more than twenty years. As part of the educational outreach team, he partners with local schools and community organizations to help them understand the value of a college education.
Steve is a first-generation college graduate who earned a BS from Radford University and a M.Ed. from the University of Virginia. He has been a teacher, coach, and community advocate during his career in education. He is Vice President of the Chamber of Commerce Education Foundation, Henry County Career and Technical Board, current Member of the Board of Trustees for Boys Home in Covington, Va, and is a very active member of Christ Episcopal Church in Martinsville.
Steve is a native of Clifton Forge and resides in Martinsville with his wife Joanna, who is a math teacher at Carlisle School. He has two children, Sarah Beth, a graduate of Davidson College and his son Zach who is a current student at Lenoir Rhyne University.
Jason is an Information Technology Specialist for both New College Institute and Piedmont Governor's School. He joined NCI after working in the technology department at Henry County Public Schools for six years.
Jason graduated magna cum laude with an Associate's Degree from Patrick Henry Community College in 2005. He is also an NCI alumnus. He graduated with distinction from Radford University in 2010, having obtained a BS in Computer Science and Technology.
A Henry County native, Jason resides in Figsboro with his wife Pam, who is a teacher for Henry County Public Schools. They enjoy spending time with their son, Dylan. Together they enjoy gardening, fishing, soccer, and swimming.
Michael is Information Technology Manager for New College Institute.
Before coming to work at NCI, Michael worked in the technology department for Henry County Public Schools, and prior to that was Office Manager in the School of Nursing Department at North Carolina A&T University. With this comprehensive background, he gained experience in technology, grant writing, budgeting, and management.
Michael is a graduate of Averett University in Danville, VA where he received his masters degree in Business Administration. He also received his BS in Computer Science at North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro, NC and graduated Cum Laude.
Michael is a native of Henry County and he and his wife are active members of High Ridge Baptist Church and throughout the community of Martinsville and Henry County. He mentors young men and women in the workfield and in the community. His hobbies include sports and singing. He was recently selected to serve on the Arts Alive Committee for the 2011-2012 school year at Henry County.
Mary joined New College Institute in August 2009, and serves as part-time receptionist. She brings with her over twenty years of professional office experience and computer expertise.
Mary worked most recently at Hooker Furniture Corporation as a Vendor Planner. Prior to that, she was the administrative assistant at Danville Community College's Education Opportunity Center program.
She has an Associate's Degree in Computer Application Management from National College, and is currently attending Patrick Henry Community College. A lifetime resident of Henry County, Mary lives in Martinsville with her daughter DeAnna. She is active in her church, Greater Refuge Temple Center of Deliverence and enjoys spending time with her family.
Coordinator of College Access
As Coordinator of College Access at New College Institute, Sammy Redd partners with schools, community organizations and families to create a college-going culture in Southern Virginia.
Redd brings to the field of college access a wide diversity of professional experience, including work in real estate finance and public school counseling.
Redd graduated cum laude from Yale University with a BA in Art History and earned a MS in Community and College Counseling from Longwood University. Most recently, he completed the Duke University Certificate in Non-Profit Management. A Martinsville native, Redd is an alumnus of Laurel Park High School.
Redd serves as President of the Virginia College Access Network and is Past Chairman of the Virginia Museum of Natural History Board of Trustees. He is also a member of the Virginia ACT State Council and the West Piedmont Workforce Investment Board.
Christina Reed joined New College Institute in January 2011 after working for The Harvest Foundation for seven years. At NCI, her main focus will be on accounting and finances, but she will also bring experience in various areas of Operations.
Christina is a first-generation college graduate who earned a BS in Accounting from Averett University. In addition she has completed several continuing education courses and various other training classes and leadership training.
A native of Patrick County, Christina currently lives in Fieldale with her husband, baby daughter Temperance, and son Collin, who is a student at Virginia Commonwealth University. Together they enjoy visiting with family and spending time with their puppies.
Christie currently serves as a part-time receptionist for New College Institute in the King Building.
Christie graduated from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA and earned a B.S. in Communication Sciences and Disorders with a concentration in Speech Pathology and minor in Exceptional Education. While in school, she worked as a student assistant in the Communication Sciences and Disorders department. She also volunteered with Special Olympics and the Arc Op Shop of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County. She is currently taking time off before she returns to school to obtain her Master's degree in Speech Therapy.
A native of Henry County, Christie currently lives in Collinsville. In her free time she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, playing with her puppy, Matilda, reading, photography, sewing, shopping, and being outside.
Debbie provides support to the fiscal and human resources
administrator. She has more than twenty-eight years of administrative experience in higher education, most of which has been at Virginia Tech. She is knowledgeable in state accounting, purchasing, and personnel procedures and regulations.
Debbie graduated from New River Community College. She resides in Patrick County with her two dogs.
Advising & Articulation Liaison/Coordinator
Barbara came to New College Institute in 2008 after working as a business teacher at Franklin County High School in Rocky Mount. At NCI, she initially was the coordinator of recruitment and information and has transitioned as liason/advisor with Patrick Henry Community College. This new position will serve as the liaison between academic program faculty at PHCC and NCI, share knowledge of both NCI and PHCC academic programs and curricula, and advise prospective and enrolled students for PHCC and NCI programs.
Barbara attended the University of Northern Iowa, and holds associate degrees from PHCC in general engineering and industrial engineering, and a bachelor of business administration from Averett University. She also completed graduate coursework in education at Virginia Tech and ODU.
A resident of Martinsville/Henry County, Barbara most recently has been involved in the community as a volunteer for the VITA program, a board member of the Community Recovery Program, past board member of Crimestoppers, past president of Blue Ridge Human Resource Association, and a graduate of the University of Virginia New Civic Leaders program.
She has two grown children, Nick and Kate, and enjoys walking, yoga, traveling, and music.