Staff Contact:

Andrea J. Burney, APR

Director of  Public Relations



The four individuals who were named recipients of Danville Community College’s Outstanding Alumni Awards for 2010 are shown, left to right: Steven K. Jones, Ray S. Robinson, Shelby J. Irving, and James “Mack? Doss.

DANVILLE, VA, June 7, 2010 - Four area residents who have significant community service and have excelled in their careers are being honored as the 2010 Outstanding Alumni by the Danville Community College Alumni Association. They are: Danville Fire Marshal Shelby J. Irving; Steven K. Jones, senior electronics engineer with the Federal Communications Commission; Ray S. Robinson, an educator and retired George Washington High School English Department Chairman; and James “Mack? Doss, a retiree from the City of Danville and now affiliated with Norris Funeral Home.

“Honorees, chosen by the Recognition and Scholarship Committee of the Alumni Council from 76,000 alumni, have consistently served their communities and their fields of employment with distinction,? said Buddy Rawley, Director of Development. “Their accomplishments and their lives are shining examples to our present students.?

Rawley noted that each year two alumni are chosen from Danville Community College , and one each from DCC’s predecessor institutions – Danville Technical Institute and the Danville Branch of Virginia Polytechnic Institute. The 2010 recipients are:

Shelby J. Irving
Shelby J. Irving, in 1987, became the first female firefighter hired by the Danville Fire Department. Today, she has risen through the ranks of the department and now serves as Danville’s Fire Marshal. She was honored as Outstanding Young Firefighter in 1996, and as Firefighter of the Year in 2006 by American Legion Post 1097. Although she had already received her bachelor’s degree in 1984 from Ferrum College, where she played basketball and softball, she was encouraged to enroll in the Fire Science program. She graduated in 2005 with an Associate of Applied Science Degree with a major in Technical Studies – Fire Science Specialization.

In her community, Irving coached basketball at Averett University and assisted with recreational activities for the City of Danville Parks and Recreation Department. She also is a volunteer with National Night Out and Habitat for Humanity; the treasurer and financial secretary, as well as youth co-advisor at Jones Chapel Baptist Church for the past 15 years; member of Ferrum College’s Alumni Board; and member of DCC’s Alumni Council. She is currently in the Leadership Southside Class and regularly hosts a local television show, “Fire Watch?.

“I enjoy what I do. I’m not married; I don’t have children, so I have the time to give to a number of organizations, time some others don’t have,? Irving said.

Steven K. Jones
Steven K. Jones, a Dry Fork native, who now lives in the Washington, DC area, enrolled in DCC in 1980 after having worked at Dan River Inc., and in Richmond, where he managed a sporting goods store. He decided to attend DCC upon a recommendation from a professor at another community college who encouraged him to pursue an Engineering degree.

“I came to DCC because I knew it had the best pre-engineering program in the state; and, I could live at home as well as work,? Jones explains noting that he also worked full time at Electronic Design and Sales.

After receiving associate degrees in both engineering and business administration from DCC in 1982, Jones transferred to Louisiana State University and earned a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering. He was employed for 11 years as an electronics engineer with ITT Research Institute in Annapolis, MD, where he was responsible as a team member of engineers for development and deployment of a nationwide network of 148 NEXRAD Dopplar weather radars.

In 1996, he earned a master’s degree from Johns Hopkins University and accepted a civil service appointment to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration within the U.S. Commerce Department. There he headed a project associated with the modernization of the Global Positioning System (GPS). In 1998, he was awarded the Department of Commerce Silver Medal Award and in 2000, he was named by the Department of State as a member of the U. S. delegation to the International Telecommunication Union (a United Nations agency).

Most recently, he has worked for the Federal Communications Commission laboratory in Columbia, MD, and with the FBI assessing potential terrorist threats to aeronautical GPS receivers from intentional electromagnetic interference. He has also been involved in introducing ultra-wideband communications, ground penetrating and through-the-wall radar systems, satellite digital audio radio (Sirius and XM radio) and new airport security portals utilizing radar technology.

As a proponent of the community college experience, Jones has been working with the Boy Scouts of America program for more than 12 years.

“I tell them about the lower costs, about how they can experiment with majors at a lower cost if they don’t know what they want to do with their lives, about the smaller classes and the attention from professors, how professors structure the classes, slowing down or moving rapidly according to students’ needs. That is not possible in a 400 student audience in the universities,? Jones says.

Ray S. Robinson
Ray S. Robinson is the honoree from Virginia Polytechnic Institute – Danville. Robinson has taught high school English and mentored both students and beginning teachers for most of his career. Before his retirement from George Washington High School, he led the English department as chairman for over 10 years and also taught at Dan River High School, where he advised the Beta Club, Forensics and Student Government Association. A proponent of excellence, the GWHS English Department during his tenure had three consistently award-winning publications that garnered attention locally, statewide, and nationally. Through his leadership of the GWHS English department, the school met or exceeded high scores on the English Standards of Learning (SOLs) composition section and on the written test. The scores in the first year of testing was so dramatic that he was asked by the Virginia Department of Education to present the methods used at GWHS to other teachers at a statewide training session in Richmond.

He is a consummate writer and served as an editor of the DCC History. He was selected for a summer fellowship for the National Writing Project, sponsored by the Virginia Division of Humanities. In turn, he returned to his community to offer a five-month class for English teachers in the Danville Public Schools on how to teach composition at all skills levels.

““I really believe this beginning has paid off over the years,? Robinson said. “Teachers taught other teachers, shared methods—methods they often weren’t taught in their college classes. We got together in afternoon workshops and discussed what worked.?

Robinson also served as an editor for the book, The History of Danville Community College: A Link to the Past, A Bridge to the Future, published in 2006. Most recently, he conducted research and participated in editing a second book, the History of First Baptist Church, which was published in 2009.

Beyond the classroom, Robinson is a musician, well known for his skill at piano and organ. Active in his community, he is a member of First Baptist Church, having served as head of deacons; Danville Education Association, of which he served as president; and the Danville Museum of Fine Arts and History, where he currently serves as vice-president.

James "Mack" Doss

James Mack Doss is the honoree from Danville Technical Institute (DTI). He has been involved with finance and local governmental operations with First Virginia Bank South for 11 years and most recently as director of Customer Services for the City of Danville Utilities Department. Upon retirement in 1993, he began a second career, working at Norris Funeral Home and Crematory, where he is office manager and funeral assistant.

“DTI was close to home and gave me the chance to complete an accounting program in one year. Ever since, I have been a supporter of this college—I consider it home,? explains Doss, a 1961 graduate of DCC’s predecessor institution.

In the community, he has been a volunteer with the American Cancer Society, a board member of the Danville Cancer Society, volunteer for the March of Dimes, member of the Riverview Rotary Club, music ministry at Mount Hermon Baptist Church, and board member of the Pittsylvania County Historical Society, in which he was instrumental in restoring the county clerk’s office and establishing the Autumn Potpourri festival. In 1991, Doss received the Sertoma Club of Danville’s Service to Mankind Award and in 2005 he was presented the Masonic Community Builders Award by the Morotock Lodge of Danville.

Throughout the years, Doss has been a friend of the College, serving on the DCC Educational Foundation Board and recently joining the Alumni Council. He works tirelessly promoting the College and working on Foundation initiatives. Both of his children are DCC alumni, making a fitting tribute to Doss's continued belief in the College and its mission.

“Alumni awards at DCC are an ongoing recognition of individuals whose lives demonstrate exemplary contributions to their communities, chosen careers, and often Danville Community College. We are justly proud of the four recipients for 2010, who are examples to all of us concerning the value of education, dedication and leadership,? DCC President Dr. Carlyle Ramsey added,

For more information about the DCC Alumni Association, contact 434.797.8499, or click here.


Copyright © 2010  by Danville Community College

1008 South Main St., Danville, VA 24541  |  434.797.2222  |  TTY: 434.797.8542  |  FAX: 434.797.8514  |  Toll-Free: 1.800.560.4291
 Danville Community College promotes and maintains educational and employment opportunities without regard to race, color, sex, ethnicity, religion, gender, age (except when age is a bona fide occupational qualification), disability, national origin, or other non-merit factors. Danville Community College prohibits sexual harassment including sexual violence..