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VIRGINIA BRIEFS: NVFS, Barnes & Noble Form Partnership

11/26/2013, 2 p.m.

Northern Virginia Family Service and Barnes & Noble Fairfax are partnering for the first time this year to ensure that NVFS’ Head Start students and children of families who turn to NVFS for emergency assistance receive books for the holiday season.

The partnership between the retail bookstore and the non-profit organization will ensure that local low-income children have gifts to open as they celebrate the holiday season.

From now through January 1, 2014, Customers entering Barnes and Noble Fairfax will be given the option upon checkout of donating a book to a child in an NVFS program. All books collected will be given to underserved children through the agency’s “Gifting for Families” program. The Book Drive for Northern Virginia Family Service is underway at the Fairfax Barnes and Noble store in the Fair Lakes Promenade Shopping Center at the Corner of Monument and Fair Lakes Parkway.

For additional information on this Book Drive please contact Sarah Emmett, Community Relations Manager for Barnes and Noble Fairfax at 703-278-8527 or Pam Boyle, Community Engagement Assistant for Northern Virginia Family Service at 571-748-2537.

NOVA Professor Reva Savkar receives Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence

Reva A. Savkar, associate professor of chemistry at Northern Virginia Community College’s Annandale Campus, has received the 2013 Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence (CATE). The annual award recognizes one teaching faculty member in the Virginia Community College System (VCCS) who distinctly represents the teaching excellence found at VCCS colleges. The honor includes a $5,000 check and a ceremonial stole that is worn with traditional graduation regalia.

“The backbone of any great institution is its faculty, and in Reva Savkar, we have a professor who embodies all the wonderful qualities that makes a great teacher,” said Dr. Robert G. Templin, Jr., NOVA’s president. “Throughout the years, she has demonstrated a commitment to teaching excellence by being student-focused, innovative in the classroom and enthusiastic about her work. Please join me in congratulating Reva on this very special recognition.”

Savkar began teaching chemistry at NOVA in 1974 as an adjunct faculty member. In 1989, she became a member of the full-time faculty and has taught both chemistry and computer science courses. She has received teaching awards from NOVA’s Student Government Association, Educational Foundation and Alumni Federation, and was selected for Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers.

Savkar used her computer science and chemistry background to develop online courses, specifically the first online chemistry course in the U.S. — Chemistry 111 — in 1995. The course was developed as part of a grant through the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Since then, she’s created online courses for Chemistry 112 and Chemistry 101, which is one of the fastest growing classes for NOVA’s Extended Learning Institute.

For the past 17 years, she has led the popular Science Seminar Series at the Annandale Campus. The series brings together expert science practitioners outside of the College and in-house faculty to discuss topics in science that affect the current day-to-day world.

She will be presented with the award next month at the annual meeting of the State Board for Community Colleges in Richmond and will be recognized by NOVA’s College Board at an upcoming meeting.

Savkar was selected for this year’s award by a committee comprised of one college president, on academic vice president, two deans, three faculty members, one student and the Director of Professional Development. The criteria for which recipients are selected reflect institutional effectiveness, student focus, discipline competence and personal attributes.

This is the second consecutive year that a NOVA faculty member has received this award. Callan Bentley, an assistant professor of geology at the Annandale Campus, received the CATE award in 2012.