WNC news: Pennington scholarship lifts financial barriers

Welding is one of a variety of career fields that receives student scholarship support from the William N. Pennington Foundation.

Welding is one of a variety of career fields that receives student scholarship support from the William N. Pennington Foundation.

The William N. Pennington Foundation Career and Technical Education Scholarship provides students at Western Nevada College with the opportunity to pursue meaningful careers in a variety of in-demand fields like welding, automotive, healthcare and manufacturing. At the same time, the scholarship supports the well-being of the local community by providing employers with a skilled workforce.

For the scholarship recipients, it’s an opportunity to redefine their professional careers and transform their lives by learning new skills to obtain meaningful employment in Northern Nevada.

That’s certainly been the case for Joshua Schaffer, who is completing his military service in the U.S. Navy and is seeking a new career. Through the Navy’s SkillBridge program, Schaffer is able to attend WNC and explore a new career before separating from the military. However, as a participant in the SkillBridge program, he forfeits tuition assistance from the military. Fortunately for Schaffer, the Pennington Scholarship has made it possible for him to pursue a firefighting career as part of WNC’s new fire science program.

“This program has taught me the fundamentals of the fire department and has provided me with a launching pad for the fire industry,” Schaffer said. “Furthermore, and most importantly, this program has eased my stress levels during this transition process from military to civilian life. If it wasn't for the Pennington Scholarship, I would not have been able to enroll in these classes and discover this new career opportunity.

“I owe a debt of gratitude to the Pennington Foundation. If it wasn't for this scholarship, I would undoubtedly be stressed to the max and would never have had the opportunity to learn more about this career field. Thank you, William N. Pennington Foundation!”

For Uwe Kleinhempel, the generosity of the scholarship has enabled him to focus on learning his new career pathway in advanced manufacturing instead of trying to juggle employment during his education.

“I am grateful for the Pennington Scholarship and the sponsors' incredible generosity,” Kleinhempel said. “Having this scholarship means a lot to me. It has enabled me to pursue my college education in paying my educational expenses, and it will allow me to concentrate more of my time on studying.”

William N. Pennington’s investment in students has also opened Kleinhempel’s eyes about paying this goodwill forward in the future.

“I thank them for their kindness and support in enabling this opportunity! I promise to study hard and give back to others, possibly providing a scholarship for future students like myself,” he said.

To be considered for the scholarship, individuals need to show financial need and a willingness to improve their careers, aspire for a job promotion or train for a new profession.

Because of the generosity of the William N. Pennington Foundation, Western Nevada College is able to offer scholarship funding to students to pursue meaningful careers in fields such as computer information technology/cybersecurity, fire science, welding, automotive, machine tool technology, manufacturing, construction, truck driving, phlebotomy, nursing and emergency medical services careers.

Apply for the scholarship at wnc.edu/scholarship. Learn more about what WNC offers academically at wnc.edu or arrange a time to speak with a counselor at 775-445-3267.


Online accelerated classes start Dec. 19, Jan. 3

Learning doesn’t stop at Western Nevada College between the end of fall semester and the start of spring semester.

This five-week period between semesters provides students with the opportunity to take classes during winter session.

WNC offers accelerated online courses in three and five-week increments for full credit.

This means students can get ahead or catch up in the degree they are pursuing, or individuals can take a class that interests them.

Register now for 5-week classes that begin on Monday, Dec. 19 and end on Friday, Jan. 20 and three-week courses that start on Tuesday, Jan. 3 and conclude on Friday, Jan. 20.

To view winter session classes and their descriptions, go to wnc.edu/class-schedule/.

Courses are offered in Art, Biology, Core Humanities, Communication, English, History, Information Systems, Management Science, Mathematics and Psychology.

Five-week online classes offered by WNC are:

• Life in the Oceans (BIOL 113)

• Intro to Cell & Molecular Biology (BIOL 190)

• The Modern World (CH 202)

• Composition II (ENG 102)

• Novels Intro Film (ENG 200)

• Intro to Environmental Science (ENV 101)

• Survey of U.S. Constitutional History (HIST 111)

• Fundamentals of College Mathematics (MATH 120)

• Precalculus I (MATH 126)

• Precalculus II (MATH 127)

• Psychology of Personal/Social Adjustment (PSY 102)


If you want to wait until the holidays have passed, WNC offers 3-week, accelerated classes starting on Jan. 3:

• Visual Foundations (ART 100)

• Art Appreciation (ART 160)

• Ancient and Medieval Cultures (CH 201)

• Introduction to Interpersonal Communication (COM 102)

• European Civilization to 1648 (HIST 105)

• The Roaring 20s (HIST 290)

• Introduction to Information Systems (IS 101)

• Organizational Behavior (MGT 323)


File a 2023-24 FAFSA now

Students planning to attend WNC in Fall 2023 should begin submitting their 2023-24 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The 2023-2024 FAFSA opened Oct. 1, and financial aid officials are advising students not to delay applying.

The earlier a student submits the application, the better chance the individual has of receiving financial aid.

“The WNC Financial Aid Office encourages all students to apply early. There are a number of financial aid programs that award students on a first-come, first-served basis, and we want students to complete their forms early to qualify for those programs,” said WNC Director of Financial Assistance JW Lazzari.

By completing your FAFSA closer to the opening filing date, you’ll be able to receive your Student Aid Report more quickly. With the report in hand, you’ll be able to better plan for your upcoming academic year, whether that means increasing your scholarship applications, finding or increasing your employment and/or applying for student loans.

Students who have applied for financial aid in the past have an easier time completing their 2023-24 FAFSA since some information from previous applications is pre-populated on their new form. A lost job or a significant change to household income reported on your federal tax return could lead to a financial aid adjustment. If you are your family have experienced a significant change in income or other extenuating circumstances, contact WNC’s Financial Aid Office to discuss your financial situation.

To file a FAFSA application, go to www.studentaid.gov/FAFSA.

WNC Financial Aid staff are available to help students with the application, virtually, over the phone or in person. Go to wnc.edu/financial, phone 775-445-3264 or email finaid1@wnc.edu.


Students, community enjoy fall events

The beginning of November and the last day of October provided some fun for students and the community with Haunted Hallways and Fall Festival.

The Fallon campus enjoyed presenting Haunted Halls to the community on Halloween Day. In addition to trick-or-treating, there was a costume competition and an opportunity to donate to Wildcat Reserve, the college's food and hygiene pantry.

“We had over 400 students and community members come through. It was a fantastic event and we had a lot of fun putting it on,” said WNC Administrative Assistant Desirae Blunt-Lamkey.

Campus officials appreciate the sponsors, volunteers (including the President's Office), instructors, student workers and the college's incredible community partners for helping with this community event.

The ASWN Fall Festival provided students with the opportunity to engage with other students while enjoying free food, refreshments and arts and craft activities Nov. 1-3 in Virgil Getto Hall.

Students created suncatchers and Halloween ornaments and were treated to a Nacho Bar for lunch and hot cider, coffee, donuts and pancakes to start their school days.

ASWN is providing sponsorship to support one more of these events, set in December to relieve stress and support students as they prepare for the final exams.

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