Leanna Blevins has been directly involved with the creation and development of New College Institute since her work with the New College Planning Commission in 2004 that laid the foundation of NCI.
Prior to her current role, she served as associate director and chief academic officer at NCI. Previously, Leanna has worked as assistant to the president at the University of Virginia as well as offices of state government relations, university relations, and faculty advancement. Leanna 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.
Leanna earned a B.A. 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 policy development and advocacy work toward enabling better educational attainment for underserved communities.
Leanna is an active board member of Smart Beginnings of Martinsville Henry County, the Virginia Network of Women in Higher Education, the Martinsville-Henry County Family YMCA, Danville Science Center, and is a volunteer with the Blue Ridge Gymnastics Academy Parents Association. Leanna is an alumnae of LEAD Virginia.
Before joining NCI's team, Emily served as a preschool teacher for First United Methodist Early Learning Center. She graduated from Patrick County High School and then earned her associate degree in general studies from Patrick Henry Community College.
Emily is an active member of Nettle Ridge United Methodist Church.
As Customer Service Receptionist, Stacey’s responsibilities include providing exceptional customer service to visitors, clients, and students at New College Institute.
Stacey comes to New College Institute with many years of experience, Stacey is currently the owner/operator of Infinity Dancewear. Stacey previously worked with PHCC as an Administrative Assistant for their Early Childhood Program and served in many roles supporting PHCC’s Patriot Players.
Stacey obtained two Associate Degree’s in General Studies and Small Business Management with a major in Entrepreneurship/Small Business Specialization.
Joining NCI in 2007, Ruby brought with her over 25 years of professional office experience in areas of office management, public relations, and event planning. At NCI, she facilitates academic classroom schedules, maintains reporting of student data, manages NCI's L.I.F.E. (Learning Is Forever) program, and provides administrative support to the assistant director of academics and communications.
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. Ruby is an active member of Axton Baptist Church, where she serves as Treasurer.
Steve Keyser joined the New College Institute staff in 2006 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 B.S. 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 currently serves as President of the Chamber of Commerce Education Foundation, member of the Henry County Career and Technical Board, and member of the Board of Trustees for Boys Home in Covington, VA. Steve is an active member of Christ Episcopal Church in Martinsville where he serves on the mission committee.
Teh-Way brings a wealth of experience in information technology and as a systems administrator for various employers, including Henry County Public Schools.
Teh-Way earned his undergraduate degree from Radford University. He is fluent in English and Portuguese and proficient in Chinese.
John has an extensive background in health care administration and strategic planning, including roles as Chief Operating Officer for Culpeper Regional Hospital and Memorial Hospital of Martinsville and Henry County (now Sovah Health – Martinsville) as well as Chief Executive Officer of Central Carolina Hospital.
John earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Oklahoma before going on to earn a master’s degree in human relations and later a master’s in health care administration.
An active member of the community, John is involved with various volunteer activities and organizations.
Mandy currently holds the position of Executive Project Coordinator. In this role, Mandy serves as the principal support staff to the Executive Director including liaison with internal and external stakeholders for NCI initiatives, projects, and aspects for grant-funded projects.
Mandy began her career at NCI as Fiscal Coordinator. Prior to that, Mandy served as a Residency Business Administrator for Virginia Department of Transportation and within the Accounting Department at Clark Gas & Oil in Stuart, VA.
She is a graduate of Averett University and holds a Bachelor of Business Administration at New College Institute. Mandy also earned Duke University's Non-Profit Management Certificate.
Prior to joining the NCI team in 2018, Ryan worked in a similar capacity at the Landmark Group, LLC in Stuart, VA as Corporate Director of Marketing & Community Relations.
Born in Utah and then moved from state-to-state as a military dependent, Ryan finally settled in his favorite state of them all - Virginia. Here he has dedicated his entire professional career working for organizations all over the Commonwealth including the Food Marketing Institute in Arlington where he served as Director of Marketing.
Ryan brings to NCI a wealth of knowledge and experience in outreach, collaboration, marketing campaign management, and strategic marketing planning.
In 2016, Ryan along with his wife and son traveled across the U.S. visiting more than 100 National Parks during the centennial of the National Parks Service.
Ryan graduated from George Mason University with a B.S. in Marketing. He is fluent in Spanish.
Prior to joining New College Institute in 2018, Brian served 25 years in public education. He spent nine years with Henry County Schools as a math teacher and an administrator. For the past sixteen years, Brian was the Director of the Piedmont Governor's School for Mathematics, Science, and Technology. He was a member of the Academic-Year Governor's School Directors Consortium where he served as the Chairman for two years. Brian also served two terms on the Virginia Advisory Committee for the Education of the Gifted, serving as Chairman of the committee during part of this term.
Brian obtained undergraduate degrees from Virginia Tech and Averett University, and earned his Master's Degree from Radford University.
Brian serves as the lead mentor for the New College Institute FIRST Robotics Team 1262. He enjoys attending Virginia Tech athletic events with his two sons and loves spending time with his grandchildren, Rhilei and Cooper.
As Coordinator of Student Services at New College Institute, Sammy partners with schools, community organizations, and families to create a college-going culture in Southern Virginia. He brings to the field of college access a wide diversity of professional experience, including work in real estate finance and public school counseling.
Sammy graduated from Yale University with a BA in Art History. He earned a MS in Community and College Counseling from Longwood University and has completed the Duke University Certificate in Non-Profit Management.
Sammy is currently a member the Martinsville City School Board and has served previously as Chair of the Virginia ACT State Council, President of the Virginia College Access Network, and Chairman of the Virginia Museum of Natural History Board of Trustees.
Christina joined New College Institute in 2011 after working for The Harvest Foundation for seven years. At NCI, she focuses on needs surrounding accounting and finances, but she also brings 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.
Ralph Schultz brings a wealth of expertise in engineering to the NCI team after retiring from Eastman. During his career, Ralph held various engineering roles for Commonwealth Laminating and Coating, Eastman, and Kodak. He offers specialized knowledge in coating and dyeing methods, powder and solution making/delivery systems, air systems, web treatment, web inspection, conveyance, lamination and roll formation. Learn more by clicking here.
In addition to a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from University Bras Cubas, University of Sao Paulo, Ralph holds various certifications including 3P, Black Belt, and MSO Leadership.
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. She 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.
Melany 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 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.
Melany received her undergraduate degree from Radford University and her Master’s degree in administration from the University of Virginia. She 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.
After retiring from the Martinsville City Police Department as Captain over Patrol Division with 33 years of service, Marshall Thomas is now the security supervisor at NCI. He is also a graduate of Patrick Henry Community College with a degree in Administration of Justice. Marshall is active in the community and enjoys coaching baseball, football, and basketball.
Shane brings over ten years of experience in customer service management to the NCI team. He previously serviced as an operation supervisor at StarTek and Fanueil, both located in Martinsville.
He has a degree in supervisor management, an associate degree in human services from Patrick Henry Community College, and graduated with a Bachelor of Social Work through Longwood University at NCI in May 2018. After obtaining his BSW at NCI, Shane accepted a second job as the Healthcare Administrator of Edwards Adult Day Center where he assists older adults and adults with disabilities in the community of Martinsville.
Shane volunteers with numerous nonprofits and community organizations including Edwards Adult Day Center and STEP Inc. (Solutions That Empower People).
Joining NCI in 2018, Joni brings over 20 years of experience in customer service and finance to the NCI team. She has a BA degree in Mass Media Arts and a minor in Journalism from Hampton University.
Joni is an active member of Oak Hill Cathedral of Glory Church.
Pat currently serves as the faculty aide for the AET (Academy for Engineering & Technology) program offered at NCI in partnership with Virginia State University.
Pat retired from Henry County Public Schools after a 38-year career in education that included teaching and administrative roles. Pat taught English, journalism, and alternative education for 21 years before pursuing various administrative roles as principal and assistant principal for grades K-12. In addition to her education career, Pat also served as the former theatre manager of TheatreWorks Community Players for 8 years.
A strong advocate for our community, Pat served on various educational committees and as president of Big Brothers Big Sisters. She was awarded the Arts in Education award by Piedmont Arts in 2013.