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MGCC Associate VP Completes Leadership Program

McGraw Completes Appalachian Leadership Institute Program

Clifton Forge, VA (August 3, 2022) - Dr. Matthew S. McGraw, Associate Vice President at Mountain Gateway Community College, was one of 39 fellows from Appalachia’s 13 states who graduated from the Appalachian Leadership Institute, a leadership and economic development program sponsored by the Appalachian Regional Commission. Members of the Class of 2022, along with their friends and family, attended the ceremony in Washington, DC, on July 22.

“My sincerest congratulations to the 2022 class of Appalachian Leadership Institute Fellows! Over the past nine months, this dynamic group of changemakers has dedicated themselves to sharing and building the knowledge needed to create long-lasting impacts on the region, all while growing camaraderie that will help bridge partnerships across state and county lines long after graduation,” said ARC Federal Co-Chair Gayle Manchin. “These fellows have a lot of work ahead of them in their own communities, and ARC looks forward to cheering them on as they use the skills gleaned during their time at the Appalachian Leadership Institute to help bolster the economic strength and vitality of the region.”

McGraw also serves as the Accreditation Liaison and Deputy Title IX Coordinator at MGCC. McGraw has been employed at MGCC (formerly Dabney S. Lancaster Community College) since 2009 serving first as Director of Student Services and then as the Interim Director of Institutional Effectiveness and Research. He holds B.S. from Concord University, M.S. from Mountain State University, and a Ph.D. from Old Dominion University.

“The hard work and dedication that each and every one of you have put in during the last nine months has better prepared you to effectively serve your communities in a different number of fields,” said ARC States’ Co-Chair Governor Larry Hogan. “We are excited to see all the positive change that you, along with the rest of the Appalachian Leadership Institute Alumni Network, will drive in your local communities.”

In the nine months leading up to graduation, McGraw participated in three virtual sessions and three in-person sessions, all of which included skill-building seminars with regional experts, peer-to-peer learning, and case study analysis. All aspects of the curriculum were designed to equip fellows with the knowledge and network needed to create positive change in their communities. McGraw was one of two fellows representing Virginia in the class.

“It was truly an honor and a privilege to be an ARC Fellow and I am proud to work with such dedicated and transformative leaders from all over Appalachia,” said Dr. McGraw. “We visited communities and learned about the unique and effective approaches to economic and workforce development in Tupelo, Mississippi, Berea, Kentucky, Huntington, West Virginia, Corning, New York, and Anderson, South Carolina. The year concluded in Washington D.C. with the graduation ceremony in the Kennedy Caucus Room of the Senate Building. It was one amazing experience after another.”

As a graduate of the Appalachian Leadership Institute, McGraw is now part of the Appalachian Leadership Institute Alumni Network. With each graduating class, the network will continue to grow, connect leaders, and facilitate learning and idea exchange across the 13 Appalachian states.

The Appalachian Leadership Institute is a comprehensive regional leadership training program developed by the Appalachian Regional Commission in partnership with the University of Tennessee, Knoxville; The Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy; Tuskegee University; and Collective Impact. The current class of the Appalachian Leadership Institute includes representatives from a variety of sectors and industries such as education, health care, economic development, public service, and other professions.

The Appalachian Regional Commission is an economic development agency of the federal government and 13 state governments focusing on 423 counties across the Appalachian Region. ARC’s mission is to innovate, partner, and invest to build community capacity and strengthen economic growth in Appalachia to help the Region achieve socioeconomic parity with the nation. Learn more at www.arc.gov.

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