Statesman Scholar Darianne Addington
Matoaca resident Darianne Addington worked tirelessly to become a Statesman Scholar at Richard Bland College of William & Mary. The second year Honor Student starts her day at the crack of dawn and doesn’t stop until the wee hours of morning. She adeptly balances being a commuter student at RBC with a rigorous academic schedule and a full-time job.
You’ll get no complaints, however, from the Nursing major who plans to attend Virginia Commonwealth University next fall. Addington is flourishing at Richard Bland College, embracing her five-class, 16-credit academic course load that also includes an Anatomy and Physiology lab and a 40-hour a week job. How does Addington manage an exhausting schedule and remain one of the College’s top academic performers? “I am results driven,” she says. “I have ambition and I want to succeed.”
For Addington, juggling her hectic weekly calendar takes planning, discipline and stamina. “Before I leave campus, I get all of my on-line computer work done. That’s a priority,” she explains. “When I get home from work at night, I spend the next few hours reading or working on papers, which often has me studying past midnight. I find that time of night soothing, and I concentrate better when I’m relaxed. Maintaining the high grade point average that’s required to be in the Honors Program is very important to me.”
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.
Richard Bland College’s smaller class size combined with one-on-one interaction with professors has enabled Addington to flourish. She is on track to transfer to a prominent four-year institution next year where she will prepare to be a nurse practitioner. “Being a branch of William & Mary is an amazing connection, and it’s a big draw for attending Richard Bland,” Addington says. “I knew I’d get a great education that’s affordable, convenient, and offers guaranteed transfer to many top schools. Professors know my name. I feel like the College really cares about my future success.”
Classes, studying and working at a popular restaurant leaves Addington, who pays for her own tuition, with little free time. She views this period in her life pragmatically, however, saying, “It might sound cliché, but it’s an honor to be in the RBC’s Honors Program. We (students) take the initiative and go out of our way to make a positive change in our lives and community.”