With Homecoming 2019 festivities occurring this upcoming weekend, Ferrum College is also anticipating the return of four of its notable alumni.
On Thursday, October 10 at 6 p.m. in the Panthers Den in lower Franklin Hall on campus, alumna Melanie Rooks ’15 will share how her Ferrum College experience prepared her for working at a nonprofit focused on educational programming in South Africa.
On Friday, October 11 from 3 – 4 p.m. in the Founders Room on campus, alumni Bernice Cobbs ’98, Lloyd Parker ’79, and Mika Smith ’16 will participate in an alumni panel detailing how their Ferrum College education prepared them to launch successful careers.
Read more about Rooks, Cobbs, Parker, and Smith, below.
For those who can’t join us on campus, the Alumni Panel may be watched online here: https://portal.stretchinternet.com/ferrumadmin
Melanie Rooks ’15
Melanie Rooks graduated from Ferrum College in 2015 with a degree in psychology. While at the College, she served two years as president of the Student Government Association. After graduation, Rooks began working for Lift Every Voice, a non-profit organization focused on educational programming in South Africa. Rooks spent time in Capetown, South Africa in conjunction with Lift Every Voice and now periodically visits Ferrum College’s classes to share information about leadership and transformative change. She was named Ferrum College’s first Citizens Engaging in Service alumni recipient for her work.
Bernice Cobbs ’98
Bernice Cobbs graduated from Ferrum College in 1998 with a Bachelor of Arts in liberal arts and a teaching endorsement. She went on to receive a Master of Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Virginia (2002), a Master of Education in educational leadership from Radford University (2007), and a Doctor of Education in educational leadership and policy studies from Virginia Tech (2014). In June 2019, Cobbs was named the 2019 Outstanding Middle School Principal of Virginia, an honor received for her work at Benjamin Franklin Middle School in Rocky Mount, VA, where she served as campus principal from July 2015 to July 2019. She was named Boones Mill Elementary’s Teacher of the Year in 2003 and 2004. Also in 2004, Cobbs was honored as Franklin County Public School System’s Teacher of the Year and Virginia’s Region VI Teacher of the Year. She received the 2005 Virginia Lottery Excellence in Education Award and was named a Ferrum College Distinguished Alumna in 2008.
Lloyd Parker ’79
Lloyd Parker is a 1979 graduate of Ferrum College where he earned his Bachelor of Science in public affairs and administration. He served as Student Government Association president, chaired the Judicial Council, played on the tennis team, and sang in the choir. He has 35 years of experience as a paramedic and served in emergency medical services (EMS) leadership roles in both VA and FL for Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for eleven type I incidents, including the earthquake in Haiti; the 1998 Florida wildfires; the Florida Groundhog Day tornadoes; and hurricanes Andrew, George, Charlie, Frances, Jeanne, Katrina, Rita, and Gustav. He also performed leadership roles for four national security special events: the Barack Obama presidential inauguration; the Fourth of July event held at the US Mall; and two State of the Union addresses). He also served on the incident management team at two NFL Super Bowls. Today he works for the George Washington University Medical Faculty Associates as EMS chief for US Army bases in Kuwait.
Mika Smith ’16
Mika Smith graduated from Ferrum College in 2016 with a Bachelor of Science in chemistry. She went on to earn a Master of Science in forensic science with a concentration in drug analysis and toxicology from Virginia Commonwealth University. Upon graduating in May 2018, Smith began working with the toxicology section as a forensic laboratory specialist at the Virginia Department of Forensic Science western laboratory located in Roanoke, VA. She currently is employed as a forensic scientist in the toxicology section at the western laboratory.