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Falls Church, VA, United States, 2012/05/17 - Dr. Ralph G. Perrino, Founder and Director of Northern Virginia Tutoring Service, has been awarded the prestigious Northern Virginia Community College Educational Foundation Outstanding Service to the College Award for 2012.
Dr. Ralph G. Perrino, Founder and Director of Northern Virginia Tutoring Service, located in Falls Church, Virginia, and Adjunct Professor of Sociology at Northern Virginia Community College (NVCC), has been awarded the prestigious NVCC Educational Foundation Outstanding Service to the College Award for 2012. Northern Virginia Community College is comprised of six campuses. Dr. Perrino teaches at the Alexandria Campus.
Dr. Perrino has taught as a full-time and adjunct faculty member at the college since 1984. He has taught courses in Business Management, Political Science, and Sociology. He holds a doctoral degree in education from George Mason University.
One among his many accomplishments was to publish a journal article in The Northern Virginia Review titled “The Coming of Age of The Vietnam Generation: Potential and Pitfalls.”
He firmly believes that learning comes not from memorization and test taking, but rather from critical thinking, problem solving, and tangible life lessons. These are skills learned in the work environment, but also in the community. “I continually strive to bring my years of experience outside the classroom to my students, and I pull from my life experiences to accomplish that goal”. Discussions on civic involvement and commitment, civility in our public discourse, commitment to a cause and a purpose in life, and giving back to the community are all issues raised during classes each semester.
Guest speakers are invited to his classes to actively demonstrate these core concepts: a Freedom Rider who struggled to bring equality to African Americans during the 1960s; a director of a substance abuse unit at a homeless shelter; an Islamic Hip-Hop artist who speaks about the religion of Islam and how it relates to the music of the youth in the Middle East; a District of Columbia Public Schools Educational Psychologist who speaks on the topic of her latest research in the area of religiosity and academic achievement among African American males; members of the original T.C. Williams football team depicted in the now famous film, Remember the Titans, who speak about the history of racial injustice in Northern Virginia during the 1960s and 1970s; an accomplished blues guitarist who weaves a story of racial injustice during the period of minstrelsy and Jim Crow while at the same time entertaining students with his unique style of Piedmont Blues.
Students in Dr. Perrino’s classes spend entire semesters exploring issues such as the sociological issues surrounding climate change, the sociological implications of social media, homelessness, gay marriage, immigration, racial profiling, and many other issues that require them to think critically about the issues facing them, their future and the future of the nation.
His love of teaching is palpable. He enjoys the teaching process as much today as he did in 1984, possibly more. He has team-taught with colleagues and has co-taught an interdisciplinary course on the Sociology of Music to students in Madagascar via teleconferencing.
Dr Perrino is thankful for the opportunities he has been given. “I believe that my love of teaching, even after 28 years, is infectious. Students in my classes come away with a different perspective than they did when they entered class on the first day. That perspective is sociological, of course. However, it is also steeped in everyday reality. My parting words to students every semester are “What story will you have to tell in 50 years? Will it be how much money you earned, how large your home is, or how grand your automobile is? Or, will you be able to tell of how you made a difference in the lives of people? In the end, it is all about testimony.”