Dr. Carey Latimore
by Jennifer Rose Bryant
After graduating from Middlesex High School in June 1993, Carey Latimore (Class of 1996) was eager to move forward with college life. He left the small hometown he had always known and began classes about two hours away at Hampton University. Just a few months into his first semester he realized that university life was “too much, too soon.” Latimore decided to move back home, reevaluate his options, and take some classes at Rappahannock Community College. He thought he would attend the local community college for one semester at the most.
However, he quickly realized that Rappahannock Community College was “not just a community college,” it was “the real deal. RCC is a small, but diverse pond with rigorous academics,” Latimore says. He received guidance and encouragement from the faculty and staff but also found the academic and study skills they imparted to be a critical component of his own successful college experience.
With fondness he remembers these skills being cultivated by his Spanish professor Barbara Gornowich; English Professor Earl Simpson; and John Paden for Political Science. He also recalls Nuala Glennon, the campus dean, who helped Latimore get past his “feelings of being a dropout” after leaving Hampton U. Jerry Horner who taught Physical Education and also played ping pong with students, made campus feel more like a community.
Cheryl Tassone, Assistant Professor of History and Phi Theta Kappa Advisor, was an essential advisor to Latimore. He says that he “wanted to emulate her style of teaching; she was very tough” and also influential in “cultivating my interest in history.” From two mentors specifically–Dr. John Presley, former RCC vice president, who “helped me realize my dreams were attainable,” and first RCC President Dr. John Upton who “took the time, with wisdom, kindness and a sense of humor to help me think more broadly”–Latimore learned the true meaning of academia.
A Diverse Culture Prepared Carey for Life
In addition to academic lessons, the life experience Latimore says he gained during by being part of such an age-diverse, as well as diverse socioeconomic student-body was instrumental in preparing him for what was next. After graduating from RCC, Latimore went on to earn a bachelor’s from University of Richmond, then a master’s and PhD from Emory University in Atlanta.
Looking back from his current position as Associate Professor and Chair in the History Department at Trinity University in San Antonio, Dr. Latimore says that he “grew up more there [at RCC] than anywhere.” Regarding his decision to begin the journey in higher education at his local community college before moving on to a university Dr. Latimore says, “If you allow yourself, you can be transformed by the experience. Rappahannock Community College is there to help you be the best you can be. You cannot go wrong!”