Future Focus Foundation Receives $10,800 Contribution from CloudFit Software


Donation to Support the creation of a Cybersecurity Scholarship for the XLR8 Lynchburg Regional Governor’s STEM Academy~

CloudFit Software – A fast-growing information technology company headquartered in the Lynchburg, VA, is embracing an entrepreneurial spirit with the creation of the region’s first cybersecurity student scholarship for the XLR8 Lynchburg Regional Governor’s STEM Academy.  The contribution of $10,800 will provide the opportunity for an additional student, from a participating school division, to attend the academy for both junior and senior year.

The cybersecurity pathway was added to the STEM Academy curriculum in 2017 due to high growth and wage forecasts nationwide.  Central Virginia Community College has continued to expand the program by adding full-time cybersecurity faculty beginning in fall 2018. Susan Cash, Director of the XLR8 STEM Academy shares, “The STEM Academy is grateful for CloudFit Software and their generous support of the scholarship fund. The members of the CloudFit team have been so supportive and enthusiastic.”

CloudFit Software is a leader in the Managed Digital Transformation and Cloud Services industry. CTO and Co-Founder Carroll Moon adds, “CloudFit is passionate about helping people.  Our business exists to help our customers, our employees and the communities that we are in.  We love helping students whether that be through internships or through a STEM Academy scholarship.  Our culture is based on servant leadership and extreme accountability. We love to perpetuate that in any way we can.”

The donation was received and distributed by the Future Focus Foundation, the 501c3 non-profit partner of the XLR8 Lynchburg Regional Governor’s STEM Academy.


Media Contacts:

Future Focus Foundation

Contact: Elizabeth Narehood, President

Phone: (434) 832-7606

Email: futurefocusfoundation [at] gmail [dot] com

XLR8 Lynchburg Regional Governor’s STEM Academy

Contact: Susan Cash, Director

Phone: (434) 832-7731

Email: scash [at] xlr8academy [dot] com

CloudFit Software

Contact: Brooke Hahnert, Marketing Lead

brookehahnert [at] cloudfitsoftware [dot] com



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STEM Academy Application 2018-2019

Please use the link below to download the STEM Academy Application form for the 2018-2019 school year using Adobe.  The form was created as a  form fill document so your school counselor will be able to complete the form online, sign and print it out to include in your STEM Application packet.  While typed school counselor forms are not required, they are preferred by the application selection committee.

Download STEM Academy Application Here

XLR8 STEM Academy to Celebrate Class of 2018 Graduates


The XLR8-Lynchburg Regional Governor’s STEM Academy will celebrate the graduation of the twenty-five (25) members of the senior class of students on Tuesday, May 15th, 2018 at 6:00 pm. The event will be held at Central VA Community College in the multipurpose room in Merritt Hall. Invited attendees will include STEM Academy students and parents, STEM Academy Partnership Team members, STEM Academy Board Members, members of the XLR8 faculty and invited guests.

The twenty-five students will be recognized for earning a career studies certificates in their specialty area and their Associate of Applied Arts and Science in General Studies from Central VA Community College and receive their senior superlative awards.  In addition, the XLR8 STEM Academy staff will be awarding four additional awards for Academic Excellence, Most Improved, Leadership and STEM Academy Student of the Year.

Our speakers for the evening will be Spencer Pollock, Director of Clinical Education and Asst. Professor of Physician Assistant Medicine, CENTRA, and out keynote speaker will be Dr. Muriel Mickles, Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs, Central Virginia Community College.

The STEM Academy has had a very positive impact in the lives of the students who are attending the STEM Academy. The STEM Academy senior class will graduate this year from CVCC with Career Studies Certificates in Engineering Fundamentals, Biotechnology Fundamentals, Health Science Fundamentals, Cyber Security Fundamentals and Mechatronics Fundamentals and 100% of those students will be entering the workforce, continuing their education either at CVCC  or at a 4 year college or university in STEM related fields, including  Liberty University, Old Dominion University, Randolph College, Sweet Briar College, ,University of Lynchburg/LC, University of Alabama-Birmingham and Virginia Tech. The vision of the STEM Academy is that all students graduate with multiple options for success in college and post- secondary career opportunities; that vision is being met at the STEM Academy.

Corporate Sponsorship
The XLR8 STEM Academy would like to thank our sponsors for supporting this event. Presenting Partner: CENTRA; Supporting Partners: AMTI, Lynchburg Regional Business Alliance, Liberty University School of Engineering and Computational Sciences and Framatome; Corporate Partner: Harris Corporation

About XLR8-Lynchburg Regional Governor’s STEM Academy
XLR8: Lynchburg Regional Governor’s STEM Academy – is the 16th regional Governor’s STEM Academy offering programs in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (subjects known collectively as “STEM”) for High School Juniors and Seniors in Virginia’s Region 2000/Lynchburg regional area. Located on the campus of Central Virginia Community College – XLR8 offers academic and technical training related to careers in engineering, mechatronics, biotechnology, health science, and cyber security.


Visit us at for additional information.

Susan Cash
XLR8 STEM Academy, Director
scash [at] xlr8academy [dot] com

STEM Academy Students to Speak on Internships


The twenty-five (25) senior students from XLR8- Lynchburg Regional Governor’s STEM Academy will present on their internship experience with regional industry mentors followed by a luncheon on Wednesday, April 25th, 2018 from 8:00 am to 11:30 am.   The event will be held at Central VA Community College in the multipurpose room in Merritt Hall. Invited attendees will include STEM Academy students and their families, corporate internship hosts and mentors, STEM Academy Partnership Team members, STEM Academy Board members, representatives from all five school divisions, STEM Academy instructors, local and state legislators, and members of the CVCC Administrative Team.

Student Internship Sponsors for the internship experience include: AECOM, AIT, AMG, Inc., AMTI, Centra Health, Centra PACE, Delta Star, Framatome, Harris Corp., Liberty Aeronautics, Master Engineers and Designer’s, Inc., Moore’s Electric, Sharptop Co., Stone Blue Productions, and Swissomation. Each student will give a 5-7 minute presentation summarizing their internship experience with their corporate sponsor. Lunch will follow the completion of the presentations.

Mr. Clay Richardson, Project Manager, Uranium Recovery and Specialty Fuel Fabrication, BWXT will be our corporate speaker following the luncheon.  Students will receive their XLR8 STEM Academy graduation honor cords which they will be able to wear during their graduation from CVCC and their high school graduation.

The sixty (60) hour internship experience is part of the curriculum at the STEM Academy which is driven by the needs and projected growth of regional industry. The courses at the STEM Academy are all dual enrolled which offers students the opportunity to earn up to 44 college credits and up to two career studies certificate(s) from Central Virginia Community College. Currently, the two identified student pathways offered at the academy include biotechnology/health science and engineering/mechatronics; the latter being the blending of mechanical and electrical engineering disciplines.

This event is being sponsored through donations from our presenting partner: BWXT, our supporting partners: AMTI, Centra Health, Framatome and our corporate partners: Harris, Inc., and Wegmann USA.


About XLR8-Lynchburg Regional Governor’s STEM Academy

XLR8: Lynchburg Regional Governor’s STEM Academy – is the 16th regional Governor’s STEM Academy offering programs in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (subjects known collectively as “STEM”) for High School juniors and seniors in Virginia’s Region 2000/Lynchburg regional area. Located on the campus of Central Virginia Community College – XLR8 offers academic and technical training related to careers in engineering, mechatronics, biotechnology , health science and cyber security. The STEM Academy serves the public school students from the counties of Amherst, Appomattox, Bedford, Campbell and the City of Lynchburg. Visit us at for additional information.


For More Information Contact:
Susan Cash

XLR8 STEM Academy, Director



Dr. Rebecca Honeycutt


Dr. Rebecca Honeycutt has been teaching college level math and physics for over 30 years.  She joined the faculty of CVCC as a math and physics professor in 2007 and started teaching Principles of Physics for the STEM academy in the spring of 2017. She earned a B.S. in Mathematics from SUNY Oswego and continued her studies in math as a graduate student at Florida State.  From there she transferred to Georgia Tech where she earned an M.S. and a Ph.D. in Physics.  As a student she received numerous honors and awards for outstanding academic performance.  She was a student member of the Pi Mu Epsilon Math Honor Society and the Sigma Chi Science Honor Society and a faculty member of the Kappa Mu Epsilon Math Honor Society

Since completing her Ph.D., Rebecca has been actively involved in both teaching and research.  One of her primary academic interests is in curriculum and course development.  She was the recipient of a NISOD Teaching & Leadership Excellence Award for her work as a physics professor at Montgomery College where she developed one of the first fully online physics courses in the nation and designed a course in automotive physics.  She has written four lab manuals, two workbooks, and is currently engaged in creating e-learning supplements.

As a mathematical and computational physicist Rebecca’s research interests started with Stochastic Differential Equations.  While employed as a research physicist at David Taylor Model Basin her research was in the field of underwater acoustics working on various projects involving submarine silencing.  Her major publications include (i)  Higher Order Algorithms for the Numerical Integration of Stochastic Differential Equations, (ii) Stochastic Runge-Kutta Algorithms I: White Noise, (iii) Stochastic Runge-Kutta Algorithms II: Colored Noise, (iv) A Three-Parameter Markov Model for Sedimentation III: A Stochastic Runge-Kutta method for Computing First-Passage Times, (v) Effects of Coatings on Membrane Wave Reradiation, and (vi) Evaluation of the Scattered Pressure Due to Infinite Rigid Cylinders, Infinite Elastic Cylindrical Shells, and Rigid Spheres in the presence of an Ambient Noise Field.

On a personal note, Rebecca and her husband homeschooled their two sons who recently graduated from CVCC and are currently attending Liberty University.  Her hobbies include playing saxophone, camping, biking, and hiking.  She plays in a local saxophone ensemble which performs at a variety of assisted living communities and other local events.

STEM Academy Information Session 2017


Join us to learn more about the XLR8 STEM Academy!

Where: Central Virginia Community College-Merritt Hall Multipurpose Room

Time:  6:00 pm-8:00 pm

When: Thursday, February 9th, 2017


Great Opportunity for current 10th graders and parents to see what the XLR8 STEM Academy has to offer students interested in STEM (Science Technology, Engineering and Math), Health Science and Cyber Security Technology.

  • Information Session
  • Tours of STEM Academy facilities & classrooms
  • Student Speakers
  • Meet Instructors and current STEM students


Students can specialize their senior year in one of three areas:

  • Mechatronics/Engineering

  • Biotechnology/Health Science

  • Cyber Security


Where should I park for this event?

Parking is available in Lots 1, 2 or 3 at Central Virginia Community College (CVCC). Click on the link below for additional details: CVCC Parking Information

Where is Merritt Hall?

Merritt Hall is located on the main campus of CVCC. Click on link below and Merritt is Building 5.

CVCC Campus Map

How will the student benefit from attending?

Each student who attends the event and chooses to submit an application will receive 1 bonus point on their selection rubric. Attending the event provides students and parents/guardians the opportunity to learn more about the XLR8 STEM Academy, meet current STEM Academy students and talk with them about their experience at the STEM Academy.

What is the agenda for the event?

The event will begin with an information session with the STEM Academy Director in Merritt Hall from 6:00 pm until 6:45 pm. Following the information session the attendees will split in to groups and there will be student led tours of the STEM Academy facilities in the AREVA Technology Building to meet STEM instructors, current STEM students, view demonstrations and projects the students have done during the semester, see the 3D printers and learn more about the Biotechnology and Cyber Security speciality areas. The event will end at approximately 8:00 pm.

Where can I contact the organizer with any questions?

Please contact Susan Cash at 434-832-7731 or Becky Cox at 434-832-7651 if you have questions.

Click Here to Register for the Information Session

NEW STEM Academy Promotional Video

Over the course of the fall semester of 2015 we worked on updating the Promotional video for the XLR8 STEM Academy.  With the help of Jill Markwood, media specialist at Central Virginia College, we worked together to create our NEW promotional video for 2016.  We wanted to include information on all aspects of the STEM Academy as well as the importance of our partnerships with local business and industry.

NEW STEM Academy Promotional Video


Local Business Partners Visit STEM Academy

AECOM Sparks Imaginations of Junior and Senior STEM Students
Both the junior and senior STEM classes enjoyed a hands-on learning experience with Cheryl Giggetts and Rachel Soward of AECOM. The students first watched a presentation about what types of work are associated with AECOM and the types of engineering opportunities that are a part of their everyday work.  12032214_739657152847654_3104390418187842934_n

Following the presentation, the classes were broken into teams and worked on a project to build a tower out of plastic cups. The students were not allowed to touch the cups with their hands, but instead had to work as a team to build the tower with the use of a device that required communication and cooperative effort.


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TRAX Visits STEM Senior Students
Also in September, Michael Casey from TRAX International came to speak to the STEM seniors.  During his presentation, the students learned about government and energy services performed by TRAX. The students also had the opportunity to hear about ProTRAX, a simulator training software which provides in-depth power plant modeling and training capabilities that continually push the boundaries of technology.


Senior Mechatronics Students Hear from AMTI
The last visitors to the STEM Academy in September were Susan Saxon and Greg Sullivan from AMTI. The senior mechatronics students were treated to a hands-on presentation during which they learned about many of the opportunities in various forms of engineering that are available to them at AMTI.

The students were also about to handle and learn about the inner workings of a device worked on in AMTI facilities called FiLIP. This technology is a wearable phone and GPS that can make and receive phone calls from 5 preset phone numbers as well as allowing parents to track their child via GPS. It can also send notifications when a child wearing it enters or leaves preset “safezones.” 12036902_741519169328119_3076623343442019491_n



New Year, New Faces

STEM Juniors 2015 web

The 2015-2016 school year brings us a fresh batch of faces in the junior class as they begin their journey at the STEM Academy.  The junior class consists of 25 students made up of 3 students from Amherst, 1 student from Appomattox, 8 students from Bedford (1 Jefferson Forest, 4 Liberty, 3 Staunton River High School), 7 students from Campbell County (1 Altavista, 1 Brookville, 4 Rustburg, 1 William Campbell High School) and 7 from Lynchburg (3 E.C. Glass, 4 Heritage High School).


The new school year also finds us welcoming new staff to XLR8.  Rex Fisher is joining the staff to teach Project Lead the Way (PLTW) Principles of Engineering, and Erin Hand joined the XLR8 staff on July 20, 2015 as the new administrative assistant.

erin 2Rex Fisher photo web