Laurel Ridge Professor Jonathan Noyalas Receives Virginia’s Prestigious “Outstanding Faculty Award”

For Immediate Release:
December 21, 2015

Primary Media Contact:
Sally Voth
Public Relations Specialist
[email protected]
Phone: 540-868-7134

jonathan noyalas in front of belle grove 2015-12-16 at 11.31.55 AM

Middletown, VA. Jonathan Noyalas, Assistant Professor of History at Laurel Ridge Community College, is a recipient of the 2016 Outstanding Faculty Awards from the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV).   Noyalas is the only community college professor in Virginia to receive this recognition for 2016. Award recipients are selected based upon their contributions to their students, academic disciplines, institutions, and communities.

Dr. Cheryl Thompson-Stacy, President of Laurel Ridge remarked, “Jonathan is an exceptional faculty member. His dedication to our students and his passion for history shine bright. We are fortunate to have a professor of his caliber at Laurel Ridge.”

This is quite an achievement for that young kindergartener who reflected as being the only child in his class carrying around a copy of “The Civil War,” by Bruce Catton.

Noyalas is a well-known author of 11 books and numerous articles about the Civil War. However, it is his talent as an educator of history that ranks highest with his students at Laurel Ridge. Many times his classes are filled to capacity, and students are amazed and awe-inspired by the way he makes the past come alive while simultaneously showing history’s applicability to their daily lives.

In addition to showing students how an understanding of history can inspire us in moments of great personal or national crisis, Noyalas also helps students connect with the past through immersing them in the rich history of the lower Shenandoah Valley.

Each semester Professor Noyalas engages his students in local history by conducting tours of portions of the Cedar Creek Battlefield, as well as opening up private tours of various history sites in the Shenandoah Valley. Three of his former students are employed with the National Park Service.

Noyalas began his teaching career as an Adjunct History Instructor at Laurel Ridge shortly after receiving his M.A. in History from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in 2003. In 2008, he was promoted to Assistant Professor of History at Laurel Ridge, where he founded and directs the Center for Civil War History. As director, Noyalas has lead many tours and seminars, including recent programs on “The Battle of Front Royal,” “The Quest for Freedom of Afro-Americans in the Shenandoah Valley” and “Heal the Wounds, Life after War.”

From the moment Professor Noyalas joined Laurel Ridge’s full-time teaching faculty, he searched for ways to assist the institution in its mission. Recognized by his peers as a leader among the College’s faculty ranks, Noyalas was elected to his first term as a faculty senate representative in September 2010, after only two years as part of the full-time faculty.

During his seven years as a full-time faculty member, his service to the college includes:

  • Faculty senate’s representative to the College’s Leadership Council


  • Current chair of the faculty senate


  • Laurel Ridge’s Curriculum and Instruction Committee


  • Five faculty search committees, including chair of one

His most notable awards include:

  • Virginia Community Colleges Association’s Faculty Showcase Award, received in October 2015


  • The Distinguished Faculty Award and the Distinguished Scholarship Awards from the college, both in May 2015

Noyalas served as chair of the Interpretation and Education Committee for the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation. He also served as chair of the foundation’s annual sesquicentennial conferences, bringing together historians to present on topics unique to our region. The sesquicentennial marks the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.

The Outstanding Faculty Awards ceremony and luncheon will be held at the Jefferson Hotel in Richmond on Tuesday, February 16, 2016. Prior to the event, the recipients will be asked to join in an honorary introduction on the floor of the Virginia General Assembly.

jonathan noyalas in front of belle grove 2015-12-16 at 11.31.55 AM

(Professor Noyalas is pictured in front of Belle Grove Plantation holding his most recent book: Civil War Legacy in the Shenandoah: Remembrance, Reunion, and Reconciliation.)


Founded in 1970, Laurel Ridge Community College is a multi-campus public institution of higher education. With four locations — Middletown, Warrenton, Luray-Page County and most recently, Vint Hill— the College serves eight localities in the Shenandoah Valley and northern Piedmont regions. The localities are the counties of Clarke, Fauquier, Frederick, Page, Rappahannock, Shenandoah and Warren and the city of Winchester. Laurel Ridge offers more than 75 associate degree and certificate programs in a wide variety of disciplines, in addition to providing access to bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs offered on site by a four-year institution. Laurel Ridge also serves the business community by offering workforce preparation programs for employees and employers. Laurel Ridge serves more than 9,000 unduplicated credit students and more than 11,000 individuals in professional development and business and industry courses annually.

Laurel Ridge Community College (Laurel Ridge) is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award associate degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Laurel Ridge Community College. Laurel Ridge Community College is an equal opportunity institution providing educational and employment opportunities, programs, services, and activities and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, age, religion, disability, national origin, marital status, political affiliation, sexual orientation, or other non-merit factors. Laurel Ridge also prohibits sexual misconduct including sexual violence or harassment.

Laurel Ridge Community College was known as Lord Fairfax Community College until June 2022. For consistency purposes, the college will be referenced as Laurel Ridge going forward.