Honors at Reynolds

News & Events

Honors Community Workshop: Presenting and Speaking with Confidence by Prof. David Stern

Professor David Stern giving a talk about "Presenting and Speaking Confidence"

7 Mar. 2018—Did you know that more Americans are afraid of public speaking than of dying? Data shows that public speaking is one of the most common fears across the population. For Honors students, the ability to communicate effectively is paramount. Recently, the Honors Program welcomed Professor David Stern to Honors Community Hour to talk about “Presenting and Speaking with Confidence.” His discussion included information on how to best prepare for a presentation and avoid the common pitfall of stage fright. This topic was popular because oral presentations are a common requirement for both school and the workplace. However, students often say that they struggle to present confidently. Honors student Kofi Riddick inquired about methods for managing nervousness before and during a presentation. Professor Stern suggested three steps: “Practicing, trusting yourself, and knowing the material.” Students in attendance unanimously found the topic relevant and fundamental. At the end of the presentation, students even mentioned interest in an Honors public speaking course.

VCU Honors College Visit

VCU Honors College Visit

16 March 2018--This week, the VCU Honors College welcomed Reynolds Honors students for an informative afternoon and tour of the University. On a brisk Friday afternoon, nine students took the trip to the VCU campus and received a warm welcome from the Honors College. They were introduced to the friendly staff, including Dr. Meredith Sisson, director of the National Scholarship Office, and Catherine Harris, admissions counselor for students entering the Honors program. They gave students an overview of the application process and the mission of the Honors College.  Students also met with representatives from Transfer Office and Financial Aid, who gave them practical guidance about the transfer process. After the presentations, a group of current VCU Honors students who transferred from different community colleges introduced themselves to us and discussed their experiences transitioning to VCU Honors. Amongst them were Jeremiah Meadows and Kate Klokova, both former Reynolds Honors students. Students found their perspectives and insights very helpful. They led students on a tour of notable buildings of the university that included the library, commons area, and the VCU gym. After the tour we gathered in front of the Honors building to capture the moment. Without doubt, Reynolds students were very well informed and left with a greater understanding of the VCU Honors College. Those who were interested in attending VCU agreed that it was crucial to have that information.

Honors Community Workshop: Asking for Letters of Recommendation

7 Mar. 2018--This semester, our Honors Community Hours have been filled with great information and presentations. So far, we’ve had informational workshops on the topics of: How to request a recommendation letter.

Our first workshop was conducted by Dr. Karen Layou. She shared with us the importance of how to go about asking a reference, usually a professor, for a recommendation letter. It was an engaging presentation that students found informative because it is a topic that’s usually overlooked. There are specific ways to go about requesting a recommendation letter in order to get the best and timely result. Professor Layou, who regularly writes such letter for students, explained the level of detail and thought that goes into constructing a good letter. Information that students should be prepared to provide includes a checklist that rates a student’s academic achievement, intellectual promise, motivation, leadership, and other skillsets. One student said, "This presentation helped me understand how to properly ask someone for a recommendation letter". Requesting a recommendation letter properly can be the difference between getting a well-written, favorable letter by the deadline, or getting a rushed, poorly written one.


Ryan Lingo, NASA Advocate

Honors Student Advocates at NASA Aereospace Day Conference

28 Feb. 2018--Pictured here, Reynolds Honors student Ryan Lingo was invited to serve as a NASA Advocate at the annual Aerospace Day Conference held at the Richmond State Capitol during this month's General Assembly session.

As an advocate during the Aerospace Day Conference, Ryan had the opportunity to speak with delegates, senators, congressmen and others in attendance to demonstrate how NASA and the Virginia Space Grant Consortium (VSGC) have shaped his life and why these institutions are vital assets to the state.The conference is intended to show Virginia’s state legislature how Aerospace is benefitting the state in multiple realms. Much of the day was spent speaking to delegates including House of Delegates member Lamont Bagby, college presidents, private space businesses and even Senator Lynwood Lewis. When asked about the value of the aerospace program for Virginians, and potentially students, he said, “Financially and educationally, it’s a huge benefit. Virginia is seen as an aerospace upstart and from a business perspective, that’s great.”

This is not the first opportunity Ryan has sought out to expand his interest in space. Being a volunteer at the Science Museum for the past four years, he has lead exhibits and events there such as Space Night. His love for science, more specifically the study of outer space, steered him to the chance to work with NASA and the Virginia Space Grant Consortium. When asked why he chose to work with NASA, he answered that at the age of 15 his interested peaked when he got to know his mother’s former boss who worked on NASA’s Viking Program, which sent probes to explore Mars. Here at Reynolds, Ryan is pursuing a Business Administration degree. 

Launchpad Workshop Fall 17

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21 October 2017— Our bi-annual workshop series continued this past Saturday as Reynolds Honors students attended an academic workshop facilitated by Launchpad, the VCU School of Education Graduate student group. This year’s workshop focused on transfer and students listened to presentations on Writing Successful College Essays, Finding Scholarships, Application Time Management, as well as a one-on-one Peer Mentoring session. Reynolds Honors student Meghan Clancy enjoyed the one-on-one sessions with LaunchPAD officer Holly Whittenburg, who provided guidance to hone in on what makes her story unique and ways in which she could emphasize her individual voice in her application essay. Another Honors student, Kofi Riddick, agreed that “the Launchpad Workshop was extremely informative and provided [me]with ample tools to assist in my journey” as he looks to transfer to a four-year university. Kofi also thought that the graduate students were helpful and brought many aspects of the transfer process to his attention. The collaboration with LaunchPAD has been a successful venture, and the graduate students hope to expand workshop times and offerings in the coming semesters. 

2017 VCHC Fall Conference 

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Reynolds Honors students attended Virginias Collegiate Honors Council Fall Conference this past weekend 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.  

Honors Orientation Meet & Greet Event Kicks off Fall Semester

15 August 2017—The Honors Program held its Fall Orientation Meet and Greet Event on Tuesday. This semester, the program welcomes 32 new Honors students, for a total of 71 students. Dr. Ashley Bourne-Richardson welcomed attendees, along with President Dr. Gary Rhodes, who recognized Honors students as academic leaders at Reynolds. Scholarship Manager Nichole Page overviewed scholarship opportunities that the Reynolds Honors Program provides. She also mentioned the Annual Scholarship luncheon hosted this spring and encouraged scholarship recipients for opportunity for a meet-and-greet with donors. Attendees also heard from Honors Student Representative Donald Cooper, who spoke on behalf of the Honors Student Group and encouraged new students to join this initiative. Finally, new students had the opportunity to talk with current Honors students and faculty during the “Q and A” session. Honors students Jeremiah Meadows, Meghan Clancy, and Donald Cooper answered questions and gave advice, along with multiple Honors faculty members. Other highlights included confirmation that the Guaranteed Admission agreement between Reynolds and James Madison University has officially been approved. For interested students, the 2017 VCHC Fall Conference will be held on October 13 – 14 at Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA. And new this year, the Reynolds Honors Book Share (Facebook Page) for students who have completed an Honors course and want to share your books, or if you’re taking an Honors class and need books, sharing can now be coordinated through this page. Looking forward to a great semester with our new and returning Honors students. 

Reynolds Honors Students Attend VCHC Spring Conference

Honors Students Attend VCHC

10 April 2017--Four Reynolds Honors students attended the annual Virginias Collegiate Honors Council Spring Conference this past weekend, held at Old Dominion University on April 7-8.  This year's conference theme was "Adventures in Honors" and, fittingly, the opening sessions on Friday were held at the Virginia Zoological Gardens, which provided a great setting for the student service learning project that created enrichment items for zoo animals.

The conference featured multiple panels of student presentations from Honors students across the state from both four year and two year institutions. Students Meghan Clancy, Sierra Peterson, Joshua Briere, and Jeremiah Meadows were able to attend multiple panels featuring traditional student paper presentations, as well as poster presentations and artistic performances by students.  Meadows, a first semester Honors student, was selected to present his paper "Personhood for Sentient Non-Human Animals and Sentient Artificial Intelligences: A Demonstrative Argument" at the conference, and won one of just five awards in the category of Best Academic Presentation, out of 55 total students, mostly from four year institutions. He received a certificate of recognition and a cash award of $200. Honors students are encouraged to attend this conference as a way to learn about professional academic conferences, as well as make connections with Honors faculty and students from other Virginia institutions. 

VCHC student award winners with President Daniel Roberts. Jeremiah Meadows appears seventh from left.

VCU Graduate Student Group Holds Academic Workshop at Reynolds

25 March 2017--The partnership between the Reynolds Honors Program and LaunchPAD, a VCU graduate student group, continued this past Saturday with a well-attended academic workshop featuring presentations from several graduate students in VCU's School of Education. VCU graduate students planned and delivered sessions on Academic Writing, Life Balance, and a small group tutorial session. LaunchPAD's mission is to help doctoral students advance their academic skills in publishing and pedagogy, and the emerging partnership with Reynolds allows graduate students to practice their teaching skills as well as helping introduce undergraduates to academic discourse and practice.  In attendance along with students from the Honors Program, were members of PTK, and Reynolds Student Ambassadors and LEADS. Reynolds Honors student Rahel Solomon appreciated the one-on-one sessions because she "was able to ask about and learn from the personal experience of [doctoral student Michael Schad]." Another Honors student, Donald Cooper, "liked hearing about how my undergraduate work could transition into graduate studies." Cooper also enjoyed the tutoring session, in which he was able to talk with graduate students about the focus of an upcoming project.  LaunchPAD organizers Amanda Hall and Holly Wittenberg were enthusiastic about the potential for continuing these events, citing the mutual benefits for both VCU and Reynolds students. 


Richard S. Reynolds Foundation Announces Major Gift for Honors Endowment

2 March 2017--The Honors Program at Reynolds hosted a successful showcase event on Wednesday evening, featuring faculty-students teams discussing current Honors projects with members of the College and Foundation boards, as well as many major college benefactors. The highlight of the evening was the announcement of a major gift from the Richard S. Reynolds Foundation which will start an endowment for the Honors Program to support the scholarship funding our Honors students receive. Richard "Major" Reynolds and Dorothy Reynolds Brotherton, brother and cousin, respectively, of the college's namesake, J. Sargeant Reynolds, were on hand Wednesday night to announce the gift as trustees of the foundation. Faculty attending included Professor Karen Layou (Geology) with Honors student Jordan Bock, Professor Gayle D;Andrea (Sociology) with Honors student Jeremiah Meadows, and Professor Travis Anthony (Biology) with Honors student Kinga Dankowska.



Honors Science Students Hold Successful End-of-Semester Seminars

9 Dec 2016--Honors students in Chemistry 111 and Biology 101 held seminar events to present their final presentations and posters, reflecting a semester of intensive research and inquiry. Professor Jelsa Varughese's Chemistry course invited science instructors and student to their Green Chemistry Seminar, highlighting projects that explored interdisciplinary approaches to sustainability. The seminar focused on student research into green and sustainable chemical solutions and technologies. Professor Karen Neal's Biology class held an Honors poster event, showcasing the scientific posters that student learned to create in order to display their findings. Both projects provided Honors students a chance to practice for professional academic presentations, and to appreciate the variety of topics explored by their peers. 




Reynolds Honors Students Attend Virginia Council of Graduate Schools Information Day 

HonVCGS4 Nov. 2016--Reynolds Honors students Kate Klokova and Clay Cade attended the 2nd Annual VCGS Graduate Studies Information Day hosted by The College of William & Mary. This event was designed for undergraduate students interested in attending graduate school and working toward a degree beyond their Bachelors. Headliners at the workshop included keynote speaker Dr. Anne Charity Hudley, who is a professor of linguistics at W&M, and the Provost of William & Mary Dr. Michael R. Halloran. This event aims specifically at underrepresented students in an attempt to acquaint participants at both 4-year and 2-year institutions with the array of graduate programs across the state of Virginia. Students attended 2 workshops of their choice, geared toward Arts & Humanities, STEM, and Social Science fields, in which both faculty and current graduate students offered panel discussions and answered audience questions. Klokova, who is finishing her A.S. in Business at Reynolds, is pictured at left listening to one of the graduate student poster sessions outlining her experience with graduate studies in neuroscience at the University of Virginia. 

Honors Student Selected for Workshop at NASA

NASAaguero3 Nov. 2016--Reynolds Honors student Johana Aguero has just returned from a week long workshop at NASA's Kennedy Space Center. Aguero, an Engineering student, was selected to participate in NASA's Community College Aerospace Engineers workshop. Participants began with a two month, on-line preparation course, culminating in a project paper. Then, community college students from across the country were flown to Kennedy Space Center in Florida for the onsite visit. Participants stayed at the Space Center for a week, and were divided into teams competing to design, program and budget a new rover for a specific mission. They enjoyed a behind the scenes tour of the facilities, met a team of engineers who worked on the shuttle program, and talked to the director of the space center and four-time astronaut, Rob Cabana.  Aguero called the experience "amazing," having applied because she "has always wanted to work for NASA." She plans to continue her engineering studies after transfer in the hopes of fulfilling the goal. 



Honors Student Presents Research at Virginia Herpetological Society Fall Meeting

HonorsDankowska22 Oct. 2016--Reynolds Honors student Kinga Dankowska was invited to present research form her Honors Biology 102 project at the Virginia Herpetological Society's Annual Fall Meeting this past weekend. Kinga is a second semester Honors student, and she is working on an Honors contract in Biology 102 this semester with Professor Travis Anthony. She and Professor Anthony have worked to designing a project to track eastern box turtle movements and habitat use around the Parham Road Campus and surrounding suburban neighborhoods and parks starting next spring. Kinga has been learning to use mapping technology and using ecology skills learned from Biology 102 to identify important habitat for this species. This meeting is an informal regional gathering of herpetology experts and novices from Virginia, Maryland, D.C., and North Carolina. This was an excellent opportunity for Kinga to gain experience presenting in an academic setting and to meet professionals in this field, and the Honors Program congratulates her on her fine work!


Honors Students Rock the Virginia Geological Field Conference

VGFC8 Oct. 2016--Not even Hurricane Matthew could stop Reynolds Geology students and faculty from participating in the 46th Virginia Geological Field Conference (VGFC) on Saturday, October 8!  The VGFC is a state-wide organization of professional, academic, and amateur geoscientists who gather annually to take in the geology around the Commonwealth.  Honors students Kate Klokova and Jordan Bock joined geoscience professionals from across the state on this year’s field trip, which explored the effects of modern and historical sea-level change on sedimentary deposits of the Coastal Plain of Mathews County.  Reynolds geology professor, Karen Layou, was a co-leader of the trip, along with Pete Berquist of Thomas Nelson Community College, Rowan Lockwood of the College of William and Mary, and Rick Berquist of the Virginia Division of Geology and Mineral Resources. 

Reynolds Hosts VCHC Fall Conference

3 Oct. 2016--The Virginias Collegiate Honors Council held their Fall Conference here at the Parham Road campus from Friday Sept 30 through Saturday Oct. 1. This conference brought together Honors faculty, administrators and students from diverse institutions across the state, including VCU, Virginia Tech, Old Dominion, Virginia State, Virginia Wesleyan, Emery & Henry, and Northern Virginia Community College. Reynolds Honors students were able to meet and talk with Honors students form a number of other institutions, and contribute to the planning discussions for the Spring conference and the yearly service project. Students were moved by a presentation from VCU adjunct faculty member and doctoral candidate Amanda Hall, who spoke about community engaged service learning and provided a clear model for students to follow in creating their own projects. Students also had a workshop on preparing for academic presentations, taught by Reynolds faculty Dr. Beth Bensen (English) and Dr. Karen Layou (Geology). Students and Honors administrators work toward preparations for the VCHC spring conference, which typically offers a showcase of 70+ student presentations, and will be held in April 2017 at Old Dominion University. 

Honors Orientation Meet & Greet Fall 16

18 Aug. 2016--In anticipation of the beginning of fall semester,t he Reynolds Honors Program held its second Orientation Meet & Greet event, welcoming 31 new Honors students. President Gary Rhodes addressed the new Honors students, congratulating them on their significant achievements.  Students also heard from Dr. David Loope regarding the importance of academic achievement and from Marianne McGhee of the college's advancement office, to discuss the scholarships available to Honors students. Many students from the first Honors cohort in spring 16 were also on hand to speak about their experience, the value of Honors, and challenge new students to help define the program as it grows. 


Honors at Reynolds Preview Night

PreviewNight13 June 2016--the Honors Program was represented at Reynolds Preview night on Monday at the Downtown Campus.  Program Coordinator Ashley Bourne-Richardson was on hand to greet prospective high school students along with new Student Ambassador and Reynolds Honors student Alex Nwogu, pictured here. The event allowed departments from across the college to speak with interested high school students who plan to attend Reynolds in the Fall. Two Honors Program students will be Student Ambassadors this fall, Alex and Pelayo Malgarejo, ensuring that Honors is well-represented at upcoming summer orientations (SOAR) and student events throughout the year.




Summer Outreach Team Works on Honors PR, Marketing, and Orientation Planning

BirthdayDL9 June 2016--Honors students are coming together this summer to learn about public relations, marketing, and event planning, all in an effort to help spread the word about the Reynolds Honors Program. The students will be working with professional across the college this summer to help design marketing materials and create strategies for public relations to help shape the image of the new program here at Reynolds. And of course, they're having fun and eating pizza as well. Students Kate Klokova and Daniel Longest, pictured here, celebrate Daniels' birthday at one of our Outreach Team meetings. 





Reynolds Honors Students Tour VCU Honors College

VCU Tour

20 Apr. 2016--Reynolds Honors students were invited to tour the VCU honors College facility and visit the Undergraduate Research Fair currently underway. Two current VCU Honors students led a tour of 11 Reynolds Honors students across the VCU campus. Students were also able to browse poster sessions at the annual Undergraduate Research Fair, where nearly 40% of the presentations are come from students in the VCU Honors College.  Students were treated to lunch in the VCU Honors student lounge, and were able to converse with the Honors Academic Coordinator and other program representatives about their questions and future plans. Reynolds Honors finalized an agreement this spring with VCU which allows our Honors graduates a pathway into the VCU Honors College. Our partnership with VCU Honors promises many great opportunities, and we look forward to more campus visits as the program grows.