FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Staff Contact:

Andrea J. Burney, APR

Director of  Public Relations

STUDENT SUCCESS SPOTLIGHT - May 2009
Ryan Brooks Riddlesperger
Liberal Arts/College Transfer
By Janelle Sampson
Student Worker, Public Relations


Ryan Brooks Riddlesperger


Attending a community college initially was not in the plan for 22-year-old Ryan Brooks Riddlesperger of Dry Fork, who is now a fulltime tutor at Danville Community College and graduating in May 2009 with an Associate of Arts and Science Degree in Liberal Arts.


Riddlesperger, known to friends as “Brooks?, was born in Phoenix, AZ. He is the oldest of four boys and five girls. Along with his younger brother, Leland, who also attends DCC, Riddlesperger has been moving constantly, living in seven different states.


“This is the first time I have lived on the East Coast or in the South,? Riddlesperger says. “It is culturally different, in addition to my high school having different requirements than the schools have out here.?


He originally considered attending the University of North Carolina at Greensboro after completing high school in Oklahoma but he had not, yet, met all of the prerequisite requirements. An advisor at the university recommended that he go to a community college first to gain the credits necessary. He enrolled in DCC in fall 2006 with the intentions of only taking a course or two.


“I went to Danville Community College with the plan of transferring after taking a few credits, but I enjoyed DCC so much that I decided to stay and graduate,? he explains.
Aspiring to become a marriage and family counselor after graduate school, Riddlesperger, son of Dennis and Darla Owen, will transfer to The College of William and Mary this fall and major in psychology. He says that he decided to pursue a career in counseling because he wants to be able to help others overcome obstacles in their lives and improve their relationships.


“I found that adjusting to constantly moving around was relatively easy because of the strong support system I have in my family and with the help of friends and loved ones,? he adds. “I want to be able to help others.?


Graduating with honors is just the cherry on top of his many accomplishments and accolades received while attending the community college. He serves as vice president of DCC’s Upsilon Phi Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, the international honor society for two-year college students, and he is in the Honors program. He also has received several awards, such as Who’s Who Among Students in America’s Junior Colleges; has been placed on both the President’s and Vice President’s Honors lists; represented DCC on the Academic All-Virginia team; and has received various scholarships, including the Barksdale-Rorrer Study Abroad Award that permitted him to travel to Israel and the Holy Land last semester with other DCC and Averett University students. Most recently, he earned a $4,000 James Bustard Scholarship that will assist in transferring to William and Mary.


“The faculty and staff are very helpful, always open for questions and they are very knowledgeable,? notes Riddlesperger when asked about his experiences at DCC. “In particular, my professor and advisor, Ms. (Carmen) Eichman (Assistant Professor of English) has helped me choose classes that will help me reach my educational goals.?


Riddlesperger is looking forward to a big future in helping others and he will tell you that he owes a lot to his start at Danville Community College.
“It is a great place to learn and prepare for future education,? he adds. “It is a tight-knit community where students, faculty, and staff are very supportive.?

For more information about the Liberal Arts program, contact Cathy Pulliam, Coordinator of Recruitment and Enrollment Management, 434.797.8538, 800.560.4291, ext. 8538, or click here.

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