Editor’s note: This is one in a series of testimonials from students and faculty at leading public university honors colleges and programs.
The following testimonials are from the Virginia Commonwealth University Honors College:
Rishabh Khatri–Each and everyday I feel confident in my growth at the VCU Honors College, that not only offered a window to the future but also an endless hall of open doors, inviting and demanding that I engage with the world in order to enrich my own understanding and become a positive agent of change. The Honors College community, students, and faculty have fostered my personal maturation as a student, a leader, and humanitarian because of this belief. I hope to continue to mature as an individual and eventually spread the positivity and freedom of education I have cherished at VCU over the past four years.
Jamie Shive–Now that I have almost successfully completed my degree, I could not imagine earning it without the Honors College in the picture. The inspiration to excel academically, the ability to distinguish myself and my accomplishments through the Honors College among other students, and the friends and bonds I have made are completely invaluable. When I began my studies at VCU, I never felt myself worthy of such a special opportunity, and I joined simply because I wanted to work harder and learn more. Looking back, I had no idea how important my acceptance would be. I can say with certainty that without the Honors College, I would not have been able to grow into the sophisticated, hard-working academic and individual that I am today.
Janine Matthews–Being a member of the VCU Honors College has transformed me personally and academically. I am in awe of my instructors and my fellow students, especially my peers in the Honors Graduating Class of Spring 2016. To be surrounded by such intelligence and standards of excellence has pushed me to meet and surpass the benchmarks VCU has established for obtaining my degree. I have risen to the challenges posed by my professors and peers. For the first time in my life, I achieved an A in an honors-level mathematics class, which is an accomplishment this numbers-phobic art major never dreamed possible. I am grateful to be included in the amazing group of motivated, supportive scholars and staff of the VCU Honors College. The drive of my fellow students has spurred me on to achieve my own levels of excellence. I have loved the honors courses. I wouldn’t be the woman or student I am today, if it weren’t for my participation in the Honors College.
Kathleen Vermillera–As a member of the Honors College, I was able to interact with professors and study subjects I never expected to enjoy. I found a love for interactive studying and smaller class sizes. Students in the Honors College actually have the ability to share their voice in each class. This helps provide each student the opportunity to feel confident in their public speaking abilities and feel more comfortable talking to superiors. On top of the studying aspects the Honors College offers, the community that is the Honors College represents a diverse student body and allows members to interact with students of various backgrounds. I have loved every opportunity the Honors College has provided for me to expand my borders and share my experiences with other students. Overall, being a member of the Honors College has given me the opportunity to not only better myself, but also to help other students feel more comfortable within such a large university.
Michael Walker and Leslie Pyo–Being honors students and graduating with honors represents a lifelong commitment to honesty, integrity, curiosity, and heart. Living in the Honors community for four years has taught us how to manifest these principles both inside and outside the classroom. However, it is our ability to extend these ideas beyond the university that gives the Honors experience profound and lasting meaning.