The College congratulates Patsy Connors and Naomi Batten, both staff members in the College of Humanities and Sciences, who graduated this past May!
Patsy, who works in the Dean’s Office as Assistant Director of Financial Operations, graduated magna cum laude with a degree in History and minors in Art History and Latin and Roman Classics. Patsy tells us:
“These were all subjects I loved, but somehow I ended up taking practical courses like accounting and other business classes which served me well. I came to work at VCU in 1995 and moved to the Office of the Dean for The College of Humanities and Sciences in 1998. I had always taken classes to help my job, but not the subjects I really loved. My daughter and sister, VCU alums, were the motivators. They knew I was getting a degree long before I did….
Getting to know my fellow students and learning from them has been one of the most fun aspects of this degree. I’ve been included in study groups, tutored, been tutored, and been to some fun parties. Why is this important? Because I was more than twice the age of the other students. So, at 65 when I am supposed to be thinking of retiring, I am graduating magna cum laude and thinking of what do I want to do next.”
Naomi E. Batten, who works in the Department of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies graduated with a degree in Psychology. She has been pursuing her undergraduate degree since 2003. Naomi writes:
“Being the first in my immediate family and the first on my fathers entire side of the family has helped motivate me to finish my studies. I wouldn’t say that I’m the typical success story because I have had rocky times in my education. I have taken off from school for two years because I was unable to afford it. After managing to get a job with VCU I was able to begin classes again and am now finally graduating from college. I have always been a firm believer that a person should complete what they begin and I would say that was my main motivation to this day. My plans for post graduation include obtaining a full time position at the University and continuing my education through a Masters Certificate if I am accepted.”
Patsy and Naomi are both inspirations to part-time students, and anyone who has taken a detour from education and is considering going back to school! Congratulations to both of you on this tremendous achievement.