CVCC Professor Receives State Community College Education Award 04/15/2019

LYNCHBURG, VA – On Thursday, April 11, at the annual New Horizons Conference in Roanoke, VA, Central Virginia Community College Professor of Psychology Dr. Cynthia Lofaso was presented the Virginia Community College System’s Susan S. Wood Professorship for Teaching Excellence award.
Professor Lofaso reacted to her acknowledgement by saying, “Everyone at CVCC and in the VCCS works hard towards helping our students succeed. It is an extraordinary honor to receive this special service award.”  She added, “I am grateful every day for the opportunity to work with students to help them in ways that my professors and advisors have touched me in my journey.”  

Dr. Cynthia Lofaso has been teaching psychology for Central Virginia Community College (CVCC) since 2001. Throughout her teaching career she has served as the PTK (Phi Theta Kappa) advisor, successfully helped lead CVCC’s QEP (Quality Enhancement Plan) and has held several faculty association positions including current vice-president, current CFAC representative and incoming faculty association president. 

Cynthia recently had the privilege of serving as the QEP lead evaluator with a reaccreditation team for SACSCOC.  She is an editorial review board member for the journal Current Psychology and serves as the treasurer for the Virginia Social Science Association.  Dr. Lofaso’s degrees include a BA from the University of California Santa Barbara, an MA from California State University Los Angeles, and a Ph.D. from North Central University.

Lofaso’s acting dean, Dr. Muriel Mickles, CVCC vice president of academic and student affairs stated, “No one is more deserving of the Dr. Susan S. Wood award than Dr. Lofaso.  Cynthia is first and foremost an educator and one of the most student–centered faculty I have had the privilege to work with. She is firmly committed to excellence in education and practices what she preaches. Her engagement and contributions in academic leadership and college governance are highly relevant and significant.  Cynthia is also admired and well respected by the college “family,” and we are fortunate to have someone of her caliber at CVCC.” 

This prestigious award is named for Dr. Susan S. Wood, who retired from the Virginia Community College System (VCCS) as Vice Chancellor for Academic Services and Research in April 2014.  Dr. Wood began her distinguished career as a charter faculty member at J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College in August of 1973. 

Every year, through a competitive selection process, a VCCS faculty member is designated as the Susan S. Wood Professor awardee based on faculty excellence, dedication to students, and academic leadership. The application and selection process is coordinated by the VCCS Assistant Vice Chancellor of Student Success Center and the Office of Professional Development, with oversight by the Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic and Workforce Programs.

A fund supporting the Susan S. Wood Professorship for Teaching Excellence was created by the Virginia Foundation for Community College Education in November 2013, to honor Dr. Susan S. Wood’s 40 years of service to Virginia’s Community Colleges. The award is presented to qualifying VCCS system educators every year at the annual VCCS New Horizons Conference.

The New Horizons Conference is the single largest annual gathering of Virginia Community college teachers, researchers, administrators, and professionals. In 2018, New Horizons hosted almost 1,000 attendees including representatives from all VCCS colleges. The conference featured 200 hours of programming, over 50 exhibitors, and honored award winners from across the state.