Laurel Ridge Professor Wins Susan S. Wood Professorship for Teaching Excellence

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For Immediate Release:
April 18, 2016

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

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Dr. Brent Kendrick, Laurel Ridge Community College English Professor, is the recipient of the Susan S. Wood Professorship for Teaching Excellence Award.  He was presented with the honor and a gift of $3,000 at the Virginia Community College System’s (VCCS), New Horizons Awards Banquet in Roanoke, Virginia on April 14.


The award was created by the Virginia Foundation for Community College Education to honor Dr. Susan S. Wood’s 40 years of service to Virginia’s Community Colleges. The honor recognizes a VCCS faculty member who demonstrates faculty excellence, dedication to students, and academic leadership.


“I am honored and humbled to receive the Susan S. Wood Professorship for Teaching Excellence.  I am the first faculty member to receive the award, so that alone makes it special for me.  More than that, however, I have such tremendous respect for Dr. Wood.  I have held her always in such high esteem. In fact, I see her is a pinnacle of excellence in education as well as a pinnacle of excellence in academic leadership,” said Kendrick.


Kendrick came to the College as an adjunct instructor in 1998. He joined Laurel Ridge after working for a quarter of a century at the Library of Congress and after receiving that institution’s highest award for Distinguished Service. In 2001, Laurel Ridge appointed him to associate professor of English, and in 2005 to full professor. 


Kendrick has taught numerous students in more than 100 traditional and online classes at Laurel Ridge, ranging from College Composition and American Literature to Creative Writing and Technical Writing. His specialized classes include Major American Writers, Southern Literature, Appalachian Literature and Leadership Development. 


Kendrick’s love for teaching is very genuine.  Many of his students have heard the following in lecture, “By choice, I have always lived a simple, rather quiet life—one that is relatively free of worldly distractions.  It has allowed me to have singleness of purpose and singleness of focus.  Teaching for me is a calling—it’s nearly spiritual in nature.  I know that I am the primary beneficiary of such a life, but I like to think that my students are beneficiaries as well. I tell you—with no embarrassment whatsoever—I go to bed thinking about teaching and about my students, and I wake up thinking about teaching and my students.  The truth of the matter is—I do.”



During his career as professor at Laurel Ridge, Kendrick has won the following awards:


  • VCCS Chancellor’s Professorship (2012-2014)
  • VCCS Chancellor Award for Teaching Excellence (2010)
  • Virginia Outstanding Faculty Award (State Council of Higher Education for Virginia, 2008)
  • Laurel Ridge College Medallion of Recognition (2008)
  • Virginia Region of Phi Theta Kappa Outstanding Advisor (2008)
  • National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) Excellence Award (2007)
  • Virginia Region of Phi Theta Kappa Horizon Award (2007)
  • Phi Theta Kappa Mosal Scholar (2007)
  • Laurel Ridge Student Government Association’s Outstanding Faculty of the Year (2006)
  • Virginia Region of Phi Theta Kappa Paragon Award for New Advisors (2006)
  • National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOFD) Excellence Award (2005)
  • Laurel Ridge B. J. Sager Distinguished Faculty Award (2004)
  • Showcase Faculty Representative, Virginia Community College Association (2004)



An active scholar and researcher, Kendrick is an authority on New England writer Mary E. Wilkins Freeman. He authored “The Infant Sphinx: Collected Letters of Mary E. Wilkins Freeman,” which was praised by “The Journal of Modern Literature” as “the most complete record to date of Freeman’s life as writer and woman.” Kendrick served as an editor of the 754-volume “National Union Catalog, Pre-1956 Imprints,” hailed as the “bibliographic wonder of the world.” Kendrick has worked on two scholarly projects: an edition of “The Humourist” essays published in the “South Carolina Gazette” during the 1750s and “Celebrating 400 Years of Virginia Writers: John Smith to Lee Smith.”   

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(Pictured are Dr. Susan Wood and Dr. Brent Kendrick)


Founded in 1970, Laurel Ridge Community College is a multi-campus public institution of higher education. With three locations — Middletown, Warrenton, and Luray-Page County — 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 is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award associate degrees. Laurel Ridge Community College also may offer credentials such as certificates and diplomas at approved degree levels. Questions about the accreditation of Laurel Ridge Community College may be directed in writing to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033-4097, by calling (404) 679-4500, or by using information available on SACSCOC’s website (

Laurel Ridge Community College is an equal opportunity institution providing educational and employment opportunities, programs, services, and activities. Laurel Ridge shall promote and maintain equal employment and educational opportunities without regard to race, color, religion, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, ethnicity, marital status, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions including lactation, age (except when age is a bona fide occupational qualification), status as a veteran, national origin, or other non-merit factors. Laurel Ridge also prohibits sexual misconduct including sexual violence or harassment. Inquiries may be directed to the Associate Vice President, Human Resources, [email protected]173 Skirmisher Lane, Middletown, VA 22645, 540-868-7226.

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.