PDCCC student earns Valley Proteins fellowship

Published 3:05 pm Wednesday, August 22, 2018

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Wendy Harrison


Seth Konkel, a general studies major at Paul D. Camp Community College, has been selected to be part of the eighth class of the Valley Proteins Fellows Program.

“This award will provide Seth with great opportunities,” said PDCCC President Dr. Dan Lufkin. “We are proud to have him join the ranks of the other past PDCCC recipients.”

Konkel is the fourth PDCCC recipient receiving this honor since its establishment in 2011. Ida Thompson of Suffolk was part of the second class of Valley Proteins Fellows in 2012; Wanda Olden of Suffolk was part of the fourth class in 2014; and Cody Billups of Franklin was part of the sixth class in 2016.

Graduating from Mighty Warriors Homeschool with a 3.7 grade point average, Konkel is an Eagle Scout who has been active in the community for his nearly seven-year affiliation with the Boy Scouts of America. He played guitar for the worship team for about six years at The Rock Church of Eastern Shore not far from his Exmore home, and is an active member of The Rock Church of Franklin.

Konkel was recruited as a pitcher for the college’s inaugural baseball team, the PDC Hurricanes. He was also selected as PDCCC’s Herbert W. DeGroft Commonwealth Legacy Scholar (CLS) for 2017-18. As a result, he is in the position to mentor other CLS recipients and participate in statewide events, such as the Student Leadership Conference. Although he has already been accepted to Lee University, he may apply other places as well. His goal is to earn a bachelor’s degree in Health Sciences.

“I want to pursue a career in becoming a sports physical therapist,” he said. “I also want to continue to work hard at baseball and try to get drafted into the MLB.

Of the nearly 250,000 people served by Virginia’s Community Colleges across the commonwealth each year, only 10 are selected for the Valley Proteins Fellows Program. In addition to financial support, the program provides recipients with mentoring, coaching, networking and leadership opportunities.

This marks the eighth consecutive year that Winchester-based Valley Proteins Inc. has funded the Fellows Program, which was designed to help high-achieving second-year students complete college.

“Valley Proteins is privileged to invest in the future of some of Virginia’s most outstanding students,” said President Gerald F. “J.J.” Smith Jr. “Helping to remove some of the obstacles that can hinder their success is a priority for us, and it reflects our commitment and support for the community college mission overall.”

The Virginia Foundation for Community College Education (VFCCE,) which supports all 23 of Virginia’s Community Colleges, oversees the Valley Proteins Fellows Program. Because of its nearly 100 percent completion rate, the VFCCE has established and implemented three similar scholarship programs to support students.

WENDY HARRISON is the public relations specialist for Paul D. Camp Community College. She can be reached at wharrison@pdc.edu.