Fifteen Rappahannock Community College students were honored as new members of the “A” Club during a celebratory luncheon sponsored by the college’s Student Support Services (SSS) Office on September 23. The “A” Club luncheons, held soon after the beginning of the fall and spring semesters, single out SSS participants who were enrolled in at least two classes during the preceding semester(s), and earned an A or an S (satisfactory) in each class.
After congratulating the honorees, RCC’s president, Dr. Elizabeth Crowther, called associate professor of information systems technology Ruth Greene forward to tell her story of overcoming early disappointments to reach her present position.
A native of RCC’s service region, Greene graduated from Washington and Lee High School in Westmoreland County. She expected to succeed when she enrolled at Randolph-Macon College (Ashland), but failed to make passing grades and returned home after one semester, having “learned a tremendous amount, but none of it was academic.” Coming home to enroll at
RCC, she was afraid that her failure would “follow her forever,” but RCC professor Philip Semsch saw promise in her and encouraged her to keep trying. She earned her associate degree, then went on to obtain an undergraduate degree in marketing and a master’s degree in information systems.
In an effort to give something back to her native Westmoreland County, Greene went into adult education, teaching GED students as well as those striving to pass the tests to become United States citizens. An opportunity to teach at RCC presented itself in 2000, and she has been privileged to remain a faculty member ever since.
Greene concluded her presentation with a visual demonstration of time management by filling a “cup of time” with large to small items that represented units of time; she emphasized her point by distributing bookmarks that read “Take care of the BIG rocks and the rest will fall into place.”
Greene then summarized the lessons she has learned throughout her life: have some fun, be present, set a schedule, reward yourself, don’t focus on straight A’s, learn to say “no,” and know when you need help.
Those invited to join the “A” Club on this occasion were: Melissa Benefield and Doris Kendall, both of Essex County; Sissi Mise and Sharice Murrell, both of Gloucester County; Meaghan Cole and Emily Cialone, both of King and Queen County; Samuel Barber, Tikoya Henderson, and Tyleisha Lucas, all of Lancaster County; Davina Peters, Sara Gregory, and Mary Stevens, all of Middlesex County; Marley Kimmitt, Northumberland County; and Annette Hamilton and Gloria Rich, both of Westmoreland County. Cialone, Hamilton, Murrell, Rich, and Stevens were fortunate enough to be able to accept their certificates in person; the remaining club members were prevented from attending the luncheon by work, family, or other commitments.
For the 2016-17 academic year, RCC was awarded $302,452 to offer assistance to its students through the Student Support Services program. The United States Department of Education established this program to help remove social, cultural, and economic barriers to higher education; it provides RCC students who meet its guidelines with individualized academic and personal counseling, tutoring, and cultural and social enrichment opportunities. The Department of Education makes these services available through the TRIO series of federal grant programs.