Weaver Named 2024 Distinguished Alum at Virginia Western Community College

The Virginia Western Community College Educational Foundation has named Yolonda L. Weaver, DDS ('94), the College's 2024 Distinguished Alumni Award winner.

The Distinguished Alumni Award was established in 2006 by the Virginia Western Alumni Association to recognize Virginia Western Community College alumni and former students who have achieved extraordinary achievements in their profession or life. This award is designed to showcase the diversity of Virginia Western graduates and the scope of their impact on our region.

Dr. Weaver's journey at Western Virginia Hospital began in 1992 when she launched her dental hygiene career. Dr. Weaver was a dental assistant in her hometown of Winchester when she applied to the program. She loves her dental career and working with patients, and hopes to return to her hometown after graduation to serve her community. After graduating in 1994 with an Associate of Applied Science in Dental Hygiene, Dr. Weaver achieved her goal and returned to Winchester where she practiced dental hygiene for five years.

While continuing to work as a registered dental hygienist, Dr. Weaver completed her prerequisite courses and earned her bachelor's degree from Radford University in 1999. Center for Dentistry.

“Yolonda joins the program as a first-generation college student eager to expand her knowledge base, improve her skills, and provide the best possible care to those in her care,” current VA Dean Martha H. Sullivan recalled West College of Health Professions, but later became a member of the Department of Dental Hygiene. “She excels in the classroom and has become a consummate professional and a role model to all.”

In 2005, after getting married and moving to Northern Virginia, Dr. Weaver began working as an associate dentist in Reston before taking the opportunity to purchase Fairfax Dental Center in 2008. , and has been named a “Top Dentist” by Washingtonian, Virginia Living and Northern Virginia magazines for the past 14 years.

Throughout her career, Dr. Weaver has volunteered at local dental offices and programs, including Give Kids a Smile Day and Mission Mercy. Her commitment to the well-being of her community is reflected in her dedication to serving underserved populations and improving access to dental care.

Dr. Weaver currently lives in Fairfax with her husband, two sons, and two beloved dogs, where she continues to work to make a difference in the lives of those around her.

“I believe Dr. Weaver embodies academic excellence, integrity, and dedication to the profession and community, qualities that VWCC seeks when recognizing outstanding alumni,” Anne Kornegay Bartron, retired associate professor and dean at Virginia Western University, said in her nomination the letter reads. “I was honored to be one of her mentors while she was in the program, and to have known Yolonda both as a student and after graduation; she is undoubtedly one of the most memorable graduates of the program during my time as program director.

Dr. Weaver was honored at the Education Foundation's annual awards ceremony and reception on April 24, 2024, at the Whitman Theater. More than 170 student scholarship recipients were honored at the event, which included the premiere of the short film “Work and School: Finding the Delicate Balance.” Directed by Angel David Verde, the film follows five Virginia Western scholarship recipients as they navigate their studies, family lives and careers. Available at virginiawestern.edu/foundation.

Virginia Western Community College’s previous distinguished alumni recipients:

  • 2023 – Dr. Brenda L. Hale (’89) and Joe Gaither (’77)
  • 2022 – Elvir Berbic (’06) and P. Jason Peters
  • 2021 – Mary Catherine “Kate” Lawrence
  • 2020 – Tony Pillman (’10)
  • 2019 – Deborah L. Petlin (’76)
  • 2018 – Elizabeth Testerman (’06)
  • 2017 – Dr. Carol Swain (’78)
  • 2016 – Dr. Mary Lorich (’74) and Chief Michael Crowley
  • 2015 – Debbie Yancey (’97)
  • 2014 – Chiefs Craig S. Harris (’00) and J. David Wynn (’73)
  • 2013 – Cheryl Cunningham (’86)
  • 2012 – Annie Hogan (’76)
  • 2011 – Carolyn Webster (’81)
  • 2010 – Russell Ellis (’80)
  • 2009 – Shirl D. Lamanca ('75) and Dennis R. Cronk ('72)
  • 2008 – Donna Mitchell (’81)
  • 2007 – Dr. Kent A. Murphy and Charlotte C. Tyson ('84)
  • 2006 – John B. Williamson III (’75)

About Virginia Western Community College

Virginia Western Community College is a forward-thinking community college committed to inspiring personal, community and economic transformation. It provides quality educational opportunities that help students succeed and strengthen communities. The college offers for-credit academic courses and non-credit workforce training, as well as online distance learning and dual enrollment courses at area high schools. To learn more, visit www.virginiawestern.edu.

About the Virginia Western Community College Educational Foundation

The Virginia Western Community College Educational Foundation is an independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to raising the profile of the college and securing private and public funding. Its efforts support Virginia Western University’s community college access programs, student scholarships, faculty development and capital projects. To learn more, visit www.virginiawestern.edu/foundation.

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