Monday, November 6, 2017

Meet Honors Student Leah Boisvert


What brought you to Reynolds?
What brought me to Reynolds was that it was cheaper than a four-year school and I did not know if I wanted to go to school for four years. Also, it was a lot closer to me than other community colleges and the campus was a lot prettier than others.

What sparked your interest in your field of study?
What sparked my interest in the field of Administration of Justice is that I have always wanted to be a police officer and I thought this was the best program to be in because I want to go straight into my line of work once I finish school.

What is the best part of participating in the Honors Program at Reynolds?
The best part in the Honors Program at Reynolds would be the smaller classes available, the early registration, and the availability of scholarships.

When you aren’t studying or working, what do you like to do for fun?

I like to hang out with my group of friends that I made at work. We usually play zombies, go to the movies or have bonfires. I also like hanging out with my friends from high school.

What is your greatest struggle as a student?
My greatest struggle as a student is balancing out my work, personal and student life and not procrastinating.

What is the best class you have taken and why?
The best class I have taken is the first aid and safety class because I learned a lot of information that I can use to help others down the road and can end up saving lives.

Where would you most like to travel?
I would most like to travel to the Bahamas or Hawaii.

Where do you want to go from here?

I would like to start my career in law enforcement and eventually move out of state to get in a bigger law enforcement agency so I can move up the ranks faster.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Meet Reynolds Honors Student Binh Trinh


What brought you to Reynolds?
I had a chance to study abroad in order to challenge myself so I asked my uncle if he could find for me a good one. Eventually, he chose Reynolds for me because it was near his house and the most important was it had many opportunities for beginners on the way to achieve associate degree as well as transfer to universities.

What sparked your interest in your field of study?
My family has had a business traditional for a long time ago so I decided to study Business program in order to help their development when I come back to my country. Furthermore, I want to do something that I can be my own boss, therefore, business has been the best option so far.

What is the best part of participating in the Honors Program at Reynolds?
The best part of participating is scholarship that would help me to reduce tuition pressure in the U.S.  

When you aren’t studying or working, what do you like to do for fun?
When I have free time, mostly, I like to go to sleep because I can relax also gain more energy to study and do more work. 

What is your greatest struggle as a student?
For me, time management is the biggest problem that I have to improve if I want to go further on the educational transcript. I always wait until the deadlines to finish my project, which makes me hard to complete them perfectly and I do not have any chances to review them. I have to broaden time and try to finish them earlier than before I used to.

What is the best class you have taken and why?
The best class I had since I attended to Reynolds is ESL 43. I had so many amazing experiences in that class. Moreover, I made more friends and went to some attractions in Richmond for the first time.

Where would you most like to travel?
All of my life, I have never stopped thinking about that one day I can go to Paris because, in my opinion, Paris is the most romantic and fashionable city in the world.

Where do you want to go from here?

From Reynolds, I have practiced many useful studying skills, especially writing in the Honors program. Then, hopefully, I can move to higher step as well as transfer to VCU for my accounting major.

Meet Reynolds Honors Student Grace Swal


What brought you to Reynolds?
My decision to come to J Sargeant Reynolds stemmed from one of my biggest failures and is proving to be one of my biggest successes. After the birth of my daughter in 2007, I was one hundred percent sure college was where I needed to be and that I would be able to take on the work load. Needless to say, my experience of attempting college with an infant was humbling, and I would later come to recognize I was not as mature, or sure of where I wanted to go in life as I thought I was. After a series of struggling semesters, I eventually flunked out of college on academic probation. That experience allowed me to see that I still needed to grow as a person, and as a student of the world. As life went on I was shaped by my life experiences and matured into a very different person than I was during my first attempt at college. I had established a life passion in business and gender studies and a life goal to start my own non-profit and several business ventures. Several failed attempts later, and a trend appeared, I found myself looking at going back into school in order to get degrees in business administration and social science so that I could be taken seriously. After a discussion with the administration of my previous college I discovered that I would not be able to receive financial aid if I returned, due to my past GPA, they suggested I try another community college. It was then I looked to J Sargeant Reynolds with the simple hope of being able to get financial aid so that I could get my degree. Through J Sargeant Reynolds I have been able to not only work on getting my degree with financial aid, but I have been given a fresh start. I am now an adult student with a 4.0 GPA who is in the honors program and several steps closer to achieving my life goals. 

What sparked your interest in your field of study?
My interest into business administration and social sciences with a focus in entrepreneurship and gender studies stems from embracing my inner truths and my determination to find success on my own terms. Growing up I witnessed my parents paving their own success as the owners of their own independent businesses, I witnessed their struggles and their triumphs, and I grew up understanding the pride and passion it takes to own and run your own business. Even as a young child I always knew I wanted to run my own business, and have always had a series of ideas for business ventures in my head, more importantly I always wanted to make a difference in this world through my potential businesses. So, when I fully embraced myself as a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, and choose to live loving all of my eccentricities, I saw what I perceived as a need in this world and I choose to fill that need. That need has become my life passion, and life goal; I decided to start an Adult Sexual Education Center and I have already spent several years working toward this goal. I recognized in order to accomplish my goal I would need to get to get my degree and have decided to pursue an MBA in entrepreneurship and go as far as I can academically with gender studies to properly educate myself as to how to run such a center and become an expert in the field of Gender Studies and related fields. 


What is the best part of participating in the Honors Program at Reynolds?
The best part of participating in the Honors Program at Reynolds for me, is the many opportunities the honors program makes available that I otherwise would never have had. Through the honors program I have been able to attend a variety of events, and life experiences such as attending the Virginia Collegiate Honors Conference at Virginia Tech, and participating in the Launchpad workshop that was provided by a collection of graduate students from VCU. Even now I am preparing to attend a graduate school information day that I would have never known was happening if not for the honors program. It’s not just the off-campus activities that provide amazing opportunities either, during the weekly honors hours workshops are often offered that provide insights into valuable skills, and tools that are useful not just to my academic career but life in general. These opportunities have allowed me the opportunities to meet likeminded individuals and peers, to network with professors and professionals in the academic world, and to better myself as an individual and as a student. 

When you aren’t studying or working, what do you like to do for fun?
When I am not studying or working I like to further educate myself on current social issues and work on starting my non-profit. I am also the President of the Spectrum LGBTQIA+ club on campus and enjoying working with my fellow club members in order to make positive change on campus. I am also a huge geek who loves video games, reading, and running 5k’s. 

What is your greatest struggle as a student?
My greatest struggle as a student is overcoming my anxieties, and accomplishing my classes within a set format. I am much more of a free spirit when it comes to learning, I learn well by exploring topics that interest me and teaching myself, often in a more hands-on format. In order to accomplish my goals, I am having to completely reestablish how I learn, and work to make sure to keep myself organized. This also helps to keep my anxieties surrounding school as low as possible. The honors program has been beneficial in that it not only is allowing me to challenge myself and push myself to be the best I can be but it also offers learning opportunities more similar to a hands on style, that are more focused on true comprehension then memorization. 

What is the best class you have taken and why?The best class I have taken so far, and the best honors course I have taken so far is my current English Course I am taking with an honors contract. The reason is that through this course I am being given the opportunity to work on bettering my academic writing, by writing a research paper on the effect of adult sexual education on sexual health with the goal of attempting to be published in an academic journal. This is yet another amazing opportunity I never would have had if not for the honors program. 

Where would you most like to travel? 
I would most like to travel to France in order to further explore my heritage and my love of the culture and to Korea, as I am also fascinated by Korean culture. Mostly I would like to opportunity to explore and gather the beautiful life experiences that can be gained by experiencing other cultures and traveling around the world.


Where do you want to go from here?
After completing my associates degrees in Business Administration and Social Science, I intend to transfer to VCU and work to pursue an MBA in Business Administration with a focus in entrepreneurship and hopefully and PhD in Gender Studies. I also intend to open up an Adult Sexual Education Center and establish myself as an expert in the field of Gender Studies, and pursue my many business ventures.

Meet Richard Bowman

What brought you to Reynolds?
I was declined acceptance from UVA and I looked for other ways to attend and as I was searching one of my advisors from high school recommended Reynolds because of its Honors program.

What sparked your interest in your field of study?
Ever since my freshman year of high school I have loved computers and programming. I love the idea that I can create programs that have a useful function.

What is the best part of participating in the Honors Program at Reynolds?
The atmosphere of the Honors program is wonderful. Very friendly, very kind.

When you aren’t studying or working, what do you like to do for fun?
I enjoy playing guitar and hanging out with my friends, whether that is video games or out to eat.

What is your greatest struggle as a student?
Time management, I arrived at Reynolds with poor time management skills and I am working on creating a schedule that balances all of my activities.

What is the best class you have taken and why?
Although I am a first semester student, so I have not taken many classes, I am enjoying my CHM 111 class because of its rigor and small class size.

Where would you most like to travel?
I would love to go to the Bahamas and their crystal clear waters.

Where do you want to go from here?
I would love to attend UVA and receive my Masters degree in Computer Science.

Meet Reynolds Honors

Student Na Le



What brought you to Reynolds?
For the first question, honestly, I did not know which school I was going to before I came to the United States. As an international student, I have limited choice of school that offer an affordable tuition fee. At that time, my sister was taking her Associate in Science at Reynolds and she told me to apply to Reynolds as it was a very good school, so I did apply and go here.
What sparked your interest in your field of study?
I do not know to answer this question briefly, but I will tell my story. My interest in my current majors, Computer Science and Engineering, came from my favorite Japanese manga, Doraemon. I have been a huge fan of Japanese manga and anime since I was little and I first read Doraemon as soon as I knew how to read. The manga is about a robot cat that knows everything and has a magic bag attached in front of his body, which contains unlimited things. I felt fascinated and was wishing if everything in the story was real. My parents and other adults kept telling me that it was just a fiction and nothing was going to be real, but I still believed that science could do that and it would make the fiction to be true. Years later, I have heard that the Japanese engineer did create a robot that looked like human and I knew that my belief was right, so I decided that I wanted to work in the Robotic and AI industry in the future. That's why I chose Computer Science and Engineer when I came to Reynolds.

What is the best part of participating in the Honors Program at Reynolds?
The best part of participating in the Honors Program at Reynolds, in my opinion, is the opportunities to access to the lessons in different aspects and in more interesting ways. I am grateful that the seminar-format of the classes not only made me felt less stressful but also allow me to view the problems in different perspective and think in an innovative way. Besides, I also have chance to participate in academic conferences, and to connect to peers for networks as well as study experience.
What is your greatest struggle as a student?
As a student, my greatest struggle is the language. Because English is not my mother language, I need more time for any reading or preparing for classes. In addition, I have bad memory, so I feel like I am fighting with the words to get them all in my head.
What is the best class you have taken and why?
The best class I have taken at Reynolds is the Discrete Mathematics class. Although it is quite abstract and maybe difficult, it provides me a very strong base for other elements in computer language. Unlike Geometry or Calculus, I find that Discrete Mathematics is much more realistic as I can easily apply it into real world. For instance, the theories of sets and statements do help a lot in programming and in applying to logic in various aspects like Ethics or Business.
Where would you most like to travel?
If I have chance to travel anywhere in the world, I would have two options, which are Japan and Scandinavia. I want to visit the Scandinavia to discover its long and mysterious history as well as to learn more about the Viking tribes. Japan is another choice as it is the hometown of my favorite manga and also because of it mysterious legends in history as well.?

Where do you want to go from here?
I want to get my Bachelor after graduating from Reynolds and train myself in a startup company. After that, I hope to be able to work for Hanson Robotics, one of the leading companies in the Robotics Industry. 

Monday, October 30, 2017

Donald Cooper is One of Ten

Meet Donald Cooper -
One of Ten 
Valley Proteins Fellows Program Recipients


Donald Cooper is one of 10. Of the more than 250,000 students served by the Virginia Community College System, he was one of only 10 selected as a Valley Proteins Fellow. That’s impressive. And even more impressive, this is the second year in a row a Reynolds student has been chosen for this prestigious program.

“I am very grateful for the honor. I was up against a lot of candidates and the application process was a bit intimidating,” says Cooper. “Reynolds provided me with the tools and the opportunities, like the Valley Proteins program, to get an education.” The scholarship, combined with professional development, travel, and cultural opportunities, has an approximate value of $15,000.

The core mission of the Valley Proteins Fellows Program is to help promising, second-year students at Virginia’s community colleges pursue their academic goals and strengthen their leadership skills. In addition to receiving full tuition, book expenses and fees, the Fellows participate in a unique curriculum of intellectual and cultural activities. The Fellows also participate in 80 hours of community service during the academic year to hone their leadership abilities and develop a strong foundation for future success, while maintaining a required minimum 3.5 grade point average.

“Receiving this fellowship has alleviated some of the financial stress I was feeling about how to pay for my education. And what’s priceless is that it has already given me the incredible opportunity to go to the governor’s mansion and meet Governor Terry McAuliffe. I shook the governor’s hand and thanked him for supporting the Virginia Community College System.”

The fellows program is made possible through the generous support of Valley Proteins, Inc. The Winchester-based company has been in the rendering business for more than 60 years and currently operates plants in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Texas. The management of Valley Proteins is committed to outstanding corporate citizenship, excellent customer service, technological innovation and support for the community college mission.
President of Valley Proteins, Inc. Gerald Smith, Jr., said, “My brother and I are pleased to support the Valley Proteins Fellows program because it provides us with the opportunity to develop a more educated and competitive Virginia.”

For a student who readily admits only a few years ago his goals weren’t so lofty, Cooper has come a long way and gives Reynolds the credit for his growth. He plans to graduate from Reynolds in May 2018 as a Business and Social Science major, before continuing his education in economics, finance or law at the University of Virginia, University of Richmond, or William and Mary. Cooper says, “I’d like to be the person who shows others that opportunities are out there and waiting if only they will put forth the effort to pursue them.”

“The Virginia Foundation for Community College Education is dedicated to expanding opportunities by leveraging partnerships,” said Glenn DuBois, chancellor of Virginia Community College System. “This program is a great example of the synergy that comes from joining together employers that are vested in the quality of tomorrow’s Virginia workforce and the community colleges that elevate it every day.”

Meet Meghan Clancy NOW! While you can!

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.

Meet Honors Student Leah Boisvert What brought you to Reynolds? What brought me to Reynolds was that it was cheaper than a four-yea...