Meet Statesman Scholar Jason Nesmith
Richmond native Jason Nesmith might be the busiest student on the Richard Bland College of William & Mary campus.
Nesmith is a member of the Honors Program, an RA in the dorms and a Student Ambassador. He’s an accomplished musician who plays guitar, trumpet and sings with a smooth delivery as a member of the College Music Club. His jam-packed schedule also includes being a member of the Historical Society and holding down a campus job as a student success coordinator.
It’s a full day every day for the English major, but Nesmith wouldn’t have it any other way. He has adeptly balanced his academic and extra curricular pursuits with deft precision. “I am very exact with my time and how I manage it,” he says. Nesmith has benefitted from a well-rounded experience at RBC, but academics always come first. “The Honors Program has challenged and motivated me to be the best student I can be,” he explains. “It’s like a competition within yourself to be better every single day. It has helped me reach my full potential and for that I am very grateful.”
Being a member of the Honors Program at RBC requires incoming freshmen to achieve a 3.5 grade point average, and returning students must maintain a 3.25 or better. Honors students are expected to participate in campus and public service activities, attend outside enrichment programs and workshops, and act in a leadership capacity in their community. Reflections on these activities are captured in their personal blogs. Students conduct an assessment of their leadership skills by surveying their supervisor. Second year students must design and execute an original research project that analyzes or solves a complex issue within their area of interest.
Nesmith’s route to Richard Bland College follows a similar feel-good path as many of his fellow Statesman classmates. RBC’s affordability, proximity to home and the ability to live a full college experience as a resident in the dorms were all compelling factors. “Richard Bland was a place for me that could build up my best qualities,” Nesmith says. “I knew the College would help bring out all of my potential in a small class community that I wouldn’t get lost in.”
Getting lost on campus isn’t one of Nesmith’s problems. He knows every inch of the campus and he’s so visible between his academic and extra curricular initiatives you’d swear he has a twin brother attending school with him. That’s not the case, though, but rather his razor-sharp focus and attention to detail. “I schedule my college life like it’s a business work day,” Nesmith explains. “Everything I do is scripted. Before the semester starts, I map out my schedule, which is a two to three week process. It keeps me on point.”
While Nesmith says there’s no singular key to achieving the highest academic success and participating in the many campus activities available, he does offer this advice to high school seniors preparing for college: “Focus on your classes and develop a working relationship with your professors. If those things are accomplished, the grades will show.”