BRCC Story

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Alumni Stories

Kim Montgomery '00

Kim and Eric, BRCC campus 1998     Montgomery family, 2017

Kim & Eric at BRCC in 1998 and Montgomery family 2017

It all started in the computer lab when Kim was checking her email – yes kids, once we had to logon to an actual desktop computer to access our email. She snickered at a funny Christmas joke someone had sent her, and the student sitting at the computer beside her, Eric, asked her to send it to him. They emailed for a month before going on their first date. The rest, like BRCC’s 50 years, is history!

Kim had attended a four-year university and decided to change majors. “I wanted to be doctor since I was a little girl, but when I started college I realized the cost and long road I would need to take to obtain that goal,” Kim explained. She decided to enroll at Blue Ridge to knock out her general electives while deciding on a career path.  While studying in the Houff Library, Kim had a realization that her desire to work in the health care field, but without the commitment of becoming a medical doctor, could be fulfilled through nursing.

She recalls meeting with then nursing instructor Shirley Thomas for her interview as part of the nursing program application process. “She asked if I had any questions. I said I had two. First, did we have to wear those ridiculous hats? She said no, we didn’t.  I said ok, if I become a nurse can I have my birthday off every year?  She said yes, you could have your birthday off every year. I looked at her and said ok, I want to be a nurse!” Kim credits her BRCC nursing faculty – Thomas, Lori Wack, Linda Lee, and Cathy Ryan – for molding her into the nurse she is today. “They were phenomenal. Throughout my seventeen years of nursing, I still hear them whispering nursing tidbits to me,” she explained.

The BRCC nursing class of 2000, including Kim, earned a 100% pass rate on the nursing boards, the only nursing class in the Commonwealth Of Virginia that year to achieve the status.

Following her graduation from Blue Ridge, Kim worked at UVA in the cardiac surgical department. After eight years there, she and her family – she and Eric married and had a son in 2002 - moved to Naples, Florida. There she again worked in a cardiac surgical intensive care unit. Three years ago, the Montgomery family moved to Charleston, South Carolina.

Currently, Kim is pursuing her BSN degree through the University of Louisiana-Lafayette and will graduate in August 2018. She is a Registered Nurse/Charge nurse at the Medical University of South Carolina in the Post-Anesthesia Care Unit.

Dr. Bruce Bowman '78

Bruce Bowman visited BRCC in March 1977 to speak on backpacking.     Dr. Bruce Bowman

(l) Bruce Bowman at BRCC in March 1977 and Dr. Bruce Bowman

"Sometimes in life, a person needs one opportunity, one experience that shapes events for the rest of their life. My time spent at BRCC was that watershed experience for me. The instruction at BRCC was vigorous, yet nurturing. It created an interest in a lifetime of learning and academic advancement. My personal success is directly linked to the opportunities afforded me at BRCC. Many  years after establishing my own small business, BRCC continues to train and academically equip my employees. It is this type of involvement that makes BRCC a true community center of learning."