The Honors Community
- Mechanicsville, Va.
- Mass communications and Spanish with minor in political science
Though initially reluctant to attend a college in her hometown, senior Alexsis Rodgers believes her decision to stay close to home to attend Virginia Commonwealth University actually broadened her horizons.
“It only took a week for me to meet somebody from just about every continent,” said the Mechanicsville, Va., native. “It’s so awesome to see people from different backgrounds.”
An extrovert who enjoys meeting new people, Rodgers thrives in VCU’s diverse community.
“You can walk up and start a random conversation with someone and get something really interesting out of it,” she said. “And this is encouraged. There’s no better way to learn than in a diverse environment with diverse opinions.”
Rodgers dabbled in psychology and political science before settling on a double major in mass communications and Spanish. She applied to The Honors College at the end of her freshman year and entered the program her sophomore year. There, her appreciation for diversity expanded into the classroom.
“One of the requirements for being in The Honors College is attending at least three Berglund seminars per semester,” Rodgers said. “The seminars are led by VCU professors and cover topics from health care reform to the art of storytelling. Although they are open to all VCU students, I never attended one until I was in The Honors College.
“So far, I’ve used this opportunity to hear a little about topics I’m not as familiar with, like nanotechnology or the Hebrew language. I appreciate that these seminars are offered as a way for students to broaden their horizons and possibly spark interest in a new area of study.”
She also values the challenges put forth by The Honors College.
“You’re taking higher level courses in which you’re pushed outside of your comfort zone in a room with really smart people,” said Rodgers, who plans to graduate early in December 2012. “You really get to stretch your brain.”
Rodgers spends much of her free time engaging with other students, whether assisting them in her role as a University Career Center Ambassador or rallying them around a good cause as volunteer chair for the 2012 VCU Intercultural Festival.
“What I like most about the festival is that it’s not just a VCU event,” she said. “We have the festival in Monroe Park on the same day as VCU’s Preview Day, and it’s a showcase of our diversity that Richmond, current students, faculty and staff, prospective students and their families can all enjoy. I was honored to be able to coordinate an event that could help a prospective student choose VCU.”
“There’s no better way to learn than in a diverse environment with diverse opinions.”