Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Meet Reynolds Honors Student Meghan Clancy

Really. Meet Meghan now. While she is still at Reynolds. She is someone you want to know. And as fast as she is moving in life, when she graduates in the Spring of 2018 you may not be able to catch up with her. She will be gone.

Here is the kind of person Meghan is: to get over her fear of heights she went sky diving. She used her new found confidence during a summer service learning trip out west with Richmond Public Middle Schoolers. On a cliff diving adventure in Sedona, Arizona she literally talked a frightened student off a ledge, encouraging her to “jump” because she explained to the terrified girl, “If you can do this, you can do ANYTHING in your life.” She held her hand and they jumped.

These days Meghan is too busy to be afraid of anything. In January she will return to the floor of the Virginia General Assembly for her second internship. This year she will be helping to process amendments and will witness lawmaking up close and personal. This position is a perfect fit for Meghan: her goal is to become a Constitutional lawyer.

In addition to her internship, Meghan has a work study in the Reynolds Career, and Transfer Center. She is a student ambassador, a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, a volunteer for the American Civil Liberties Union, and Hands on Richmond, and a student representative on the Reynolds Honors Steering Committee.

Where does her schooling fit in? “I am really motivated to get through my studies. All of my classes are at night after a full day at work. Most of them are Honors classes. And I do most of my homework on the weekends so I can come prepared to engage with the class lectures. I am okay missing an event or spending time with my friends in order to study a little harder and work toward an A. I have an end-goal in mind and don’t want to put it off.”

Meghan sailed through her high school gifted classes in Portland, Maine. But, when it came to college she put on the brakes. She thought a four-year school was her only option, but when she looked at the cost she got sticker shock. She was even more afraid of going into debt than she was of heights. Plus, she didn’t know what she wanted to do. So she went to work.

Life events brought Meghan to Richmond. Curiosity brought her to the Reynolds website. She read about the Honors Program, she read about transfer options, she calculated the cost, and she registered. The rest, as they as, is history. “The Reynolds Honors Program has given me the space to find out who I am and what I want to do. I have been able to explore fields of interest I might not have gotten to explore, and in the process I have set my goals and am on my way.” And Meghan has not looked back.

“One of my greatest challenges has been to accept that not everything I work for is easy to get. Some subjects, like biology, are hard for me. I have had to learn to ask the right questions to succeed. Now, when faced with tough material I ask myself: “How can I be better at this? How can I learn this?” It’s a whole new way of thinking.” Critical thinking like this is the first pillar of the Reynolds Honors Program.

When asked about a fun personal fact Meghan would want others to know about her, she shared this: “I was a Maine State Champion in softball (catcher and shortstop) and cheerleading, and I have visited 32 state capitols.”

Really. Meet Meghan now, while you have the opportunity. Anyone who has visited 32 state capitols and has interned for the Virginia General Assembly has some stories to tell.

Honors Students Attend VA Tech Conference

Written by Reynolds Honor Student Kofi Riddick

As a Reynolds Honor student, over the weekend of October 13 and 14, 2017 I traveled to Virginia Tech to attend the Virginia Collegiate Honors Council planning conference. Our objective, as students, was to brainstorm ideas for a theme to be on display at the 2018 VCHC Spring conference. 

It was a marvelous experience getting to know students from other schools that shared some of the same values that I do. One of the topics of conversation that resonated with me was what it meant to be an Honors student. Of course working hard in the classroom is encouraged and expected, but we chose to dive deeper than that. My fellow students and I attempted to define "service learning". Part of the planning conference was devoted to figuring out how we could incorporate a learning project into the schedule of the Spring Conference.

I met some powerful young scholars who care about making a difference in their communities. As college students, we tend to get caught up in the world of grades and the pressure of finding a job. This conference broadened my perspective as I reflected on the importance of utilizing my degree to help others and using my profession to make an impact on those around me. Most of all, I thoroughly enjoyed being there among other top students. It made me feel as if I am on the right path and that Reynolds Honors Program is a catalyst for placing students in environments extremely conducive to higher learning. 

More about the 2017 VCHC Fall Conference 

Reynolds Honors students attended Virginia's Collegiate Honors Council Fall Conference at Virginia Tech on October 13th -14th.  Current Honors students Kofi Riddick, Meghan Clancy, Madeleine Kerns, Na Le, and Grace Swal talked with faculty from the Virginia Tech Honors College, took a tour of the campus and helped plan 2018 VCHC Spring Conference, which will be part of the larger Southern Regional Honors Council conference being held at Northern Virginia Community College in Spring 2018. The students also connected with former Reynolds Honors student, Alexander Nwogu, who is now pursuing his Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering at Virginia Tech. He spoke to the students about his experience on his first semester and his transition transferring to Tech. The conference brought together faculty and students from Honors programs across the state, including VCU, Virginia Weslyan, Radford, and Old Dominion University.

Photo Above: Honors Program students arriving at the VCHC Fall Conference, ready to discuss service learning and what is unique about honors.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Meet Chad Taylor
Operations Manager
Julian’s Coffee Shop-Parham Road Campus

How long have you worked for Reynolds?
I have worked at Reynolds exactly 5 years

Where have you worked since you have been here?
I started as Assistant Store Manager at the Reynolds Campus Store on the Parham Road Campus, and became the Cafe Manager of Julian's Coffee Shop one year ago when we opened.

What do you like most about your new space and Julian’s?
I love the students and faculty who visit us on a regular basis. Its been wonderful getting to know people, we have a lot of friendly faces here! 

What is the most unusual request you have had while working in the coffee shop?
We have a student who orders an "every flavor" milkshake.... its vanilla, caramel, hazelnut, chocolate, mint, banana, toasted marshmallow, and Irish cream. We have so many choices, why pick just one!?

What is your favorite coffee?
Believe or not, I am not much of a coffee drinker! When I DO get coffee, I like mochas (dark chocolate especially) or vanilla iced coffee. However, I prefer our chai tea lattes, strawberry banana smoothies, and milkshakes!

What is your most treasured possession and why?
My cats, Tiger and Felix, are my most treasured possessions. Pets are such good friends; they are loyal and loving and keep me laughing.

What living person would you most like to meet?
JK Rowling. I love the Harry Potter books and I think she is a genius of our age

If you had unlimited time and money, where would you like to travel?
I have always wanted to go to Australia because there are such unique animals and wildlife there as well as beautiful geography and landscape.

What superpower would you most like to have?
I wish that I could fly. 

Thursday, October 19, 2017

20th Annual Scholarship Luncheon

The Reynolds Community College Scholarship Luncheon is an opportunity for the college’s scholarship donors to meet the recipients of their generosity and is always a heartwarming affair - this year’s luncheon was certainly no exception. More than 200 donors, students, board members and faculty took part in this year’s celebration.

The luncheon was the perfect setting for donors and student recipients to meet each other, many for the first time. Smiles and tears abounded as grateful scholarship students relayed the positive impact the scholarships have had on their lives and how they are now able to pursue their dreams.

For the last academic year, the J. Sargeant Reynolds Educational Foundation awarded scholarships totaling more than $625,000, opening the doors of opportunity for more than 250 students.

Students Josh McVeigh and Taylor Vocke and Worth Higgins & Associates President and COO Benny Bowman spoke to the audience during the luncheon.

“We knew we needed some know-how and we knew we needed some experience,” noted Josh while talking about his preparation in opening his own bed and breakfast – Ridgeside Bed and Breakfast in Afton, Virginia. “As we talked around and to local chefs, I knew Reynolds was the place I wanted to go if I wanted to be a chef.”  

At the conclusion of the luncheon donors and recipients paired up for pictures to commemorate the day’s festivities. For more information about available scholarships, how to apply and important deadlines, visit wwww.reynolds.edu/scholarships.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Meet James Brown
Enrollment Services Information Specialist

Are you from Richmond or did you come here from another city and state?
I am originally from Williamsburg, Virginia. I moved to Richmond from Hampton 20 years ago.
How long have you worked for Reynolds?
I have worked at Reynolds for approximately eight years.

Have you always worked in Enrollment Services? 
I’ve always worked in Enrollment Services. First, on Parham Road in the Testing Center and currently in the Downtown Enrollment Services site.

What do you like best about working here?
It’s a cliché, but I love the interaction with people; the students, parents, faculty and staff. I have a passion for helping people and this position allows me to do it in an environment where I can possibly change the lives of those I encounter.
In your position you see lots of people and probably get asked lots of questions. What is the most memorable situation you have encountered?
There are too many good memories and a few bad, of course. But, overall each one is different in their own way. My satisfaction and best memories come when I provide students with what they need and they come back and say, “Thanks, Mr. Brown, you helped me get this or that done”.

When you are not working, what do you like to do?
I enjoy spending time with my family and sharing in their monumental events. Over the past couple of months, after the loss of my son, I try to make that a priority. I also am a sports enthusiast. I like practically all sports. I love football and basketball, especially, the college games. Lastly, listening to jazz takes me into a whole different world. I love my jazz music.  

If you won the lottery, what would you do first?
Once I’ve gotten over the excitement of winning. The amount would dictate whether or not I’d continue to work. So, I guess the first thing would be, to see if it’s enough that I could stop working and perhaps become a volunteer at Reynolds….lol.

What is the one thing you want others to know about you?
I am one of 13 children. I know you said one, but Shelby Brown of CBS News6 is my baby sister. People always say, “You didn't tell me Shelby was your sister”. To me she is a sister who happens to be a News Reporter, we are very humble family.

What is the best compliment you have ever received?
School wise, is when a student tells you that the reason they are here is because of you. But the one of the best compliments that I've gotten is when an elderly lady said to me in the parking lot of Walmart, that I had a Halo over my head. She knew that I was a child of God, just after seeing me for the first time in her life. Because I am a Christian, that really meant a lot to me.

Who is your most respected hero or heroine, and why?
My grandmother. My Dad died at the age of 42 and I was raised by a single mother who worked a great deal. So, my grandmother lived with us and helped raise us with love, sensitivity, morals, good character and standards. She was old school. So, you know what that means….you better not get out of line.

Reynolds Dedicates Mary and Jerry Owen Student Center

Reynolds Community College recently celebrated the dedication of the Jerry and Mary Owen Student Center. Longtime supporters of Reynolds, Jerry and Mary Owen were honored at the event for their many and major investments to the college.
Jerry served on the Reynolds College Board from 1984 to 1988. The couple supports the college’s scholarship fund and created an endowment for the Reynolds Middle College, which helps individuals earn a high school equivalency certificate and transition into a degree or workforce credential program. In 2015, the Owens made a major gift to improve outcomes for current and future students.

“I grew up on a dairy farm and we didn’t have a lot of money. (But) we gave. We raised lots of vegetables and gave them to the people that needed them. We were always taught to give. That was a part of our lives,” noted Mary on her early lessons about philanthropy. 

Located within the newly-renovated Georgiadis Hall on Reynolds’ Parham Road Campus, the Jerry and Mary Owen Student Center houses the college’s offices of Enrollment Services, Financial Aid, Veteran’s Services, Student Life, the Campus Book Store, and other student success supporting programs. The space reflects the Owens' belief that every student should receive the guidance and tools to help themselves, their family, and community succeed.

Jerry Owen, who attended the groundbreaking of the Parham Road Campus in 1973, said, “When thinking about my purpose, I come up with three lines of 7 words: Word hard, enjoy life and share my blessings. It reinforces what’s good about life. You can’t buy that kind of goodwill. The joy of living is enhanced by the joy of giving.”

As part of the dedication ceremony, guests toured the student support offices and learned what services are provided to help students successfully navigate college. “Whether it’s guidance that in choosing academic degree programs or technical careers or paying for classes – or, just helping some students get through those bumps along the way – the Jerry and Mary Owen Student Center is the space where students will be heard and assisted,” explained Reynolds Vice President of Student Affairs Dr. Thomas Hollins. “The Owens’ investment will continue to do what they have always done – and that is simply to help students.”