Laurel Ridge Celebrates English Professor’s First Novel

For Immediate Release:
September 23, 2016

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


English ProfessorJennifer VanCuren (Laurel Ridge ’06) Will Read from Her Mystery/Thriller, When Shadows Fade, and Discuss Her Publication Experience on September 30

Laurel Ridge Community College is pleased to invite the community to a reception and literary reading at the Middletown Campus on Friday, September 30 from 12:00 p.m.-1:00 p.m., to celebrate the publication of Jenni VanCuren’s first novel, When Shadows Fade

VanCuren grew up reading the classics and developed a love of writing at a young age.  As a high school student, she enrolled in Laurel Ridge courses.  In fact, it was during one of these courses that she realized that “teaching English was what I wanted to do with my life.”

She is a 2006 graduate of Laurel Ridge and subsequently earned a Master’s Degree in English from George Mason University, with a concentration in the teaching of writing and literature. VanCuren also has a degree from Old Dominion University in professional writing.

In 2010, VanCuren returned to Laurel Ridge as an Adjunct Professor of English.  She teaches college composition, American literature, and an honors humanities course in leadership development. 

VanCuren is also a tutor with the college’s ACE Writing Center and is a co-advisor to Laurel Ridge’s Alpha Beta Omega Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa—the International Honor Society of the Two-Year College.

In 2016 – just ten years after earning her degree from Laurel Ridge – VanCuren received the college’s Outstanding Adjunct Faculty Award. 

There are strong ties to Laurel Ridge in the VanCuren family.  All of VanCuren’s siblings also attended Laurel Ridge as dual-enrolled high school students, worked as tutors at Laurel Ridge and graduated from the college with an associate degree.

When asked what she likes about teaching at Laurel Ridge, VanCuren replied:

“I love the diversity of the students at Laurel Ridge.  The experiences, the expectations, and the backgrounds of our students foster an engaging classroom dynamic that I haven’t found in other community colleges.”

She adds:  “Because I realized my life ambition while attending classes at Laurel Ridge, I want to give back to the campus community.   If I’m lucky, I can inspire just one student to realize his or her dream and give that student the slight push to achieve that dream.  That’s what teaching is all about—that, and seeing the ‘light bulb moment’ in a student’s eyes when something finally makes sense.” 

More information about VanCuren’s novel and the reception on September 30 is below.




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.