Having the chance to see students succeed has been one of the most rewarding aspects of Biology Professor Brenda Wiens’ 17 years with Laurel Ridge.
She and her family moved from Oregon 20 years ago, and when her younger son started first grade, she began adjuncting at the college, becoming full time two years later.
“My sons spent a lot of their formative years here,” said Professor Wiens. “They both attended Mountain Vista Governor’s School. It was fun to have them here.”
The most enjoyable aspects of her job were the students and her peers, and the positive environment espoused by the college. Professor Wiens especially liked having labs at one of the Middletown Campus ponds during which students would collect water and study the invertebrates in it to monitor the health of the pond. This past semester, a former student who is now in graduate school, came to her class and led a lab in cell biology.
“That was really special,” said Professor Wiens. “I’m so proud of the students who go on to medical school, or pharmacy school, or grad school.”
In her retirement, Professor Wiens hopes to travel with her husband, and do volunteer work.
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.