The Roanoker - July/August 2018 - 85

BRENDA POGGENDORF & MARY ELLEN APGAR: DAN SMITH / APRIL MARCELL: COURTESY OF SPRING DRUMMOND

of mouth-including her, who "didn't know anything
about Hollins, let alone Horizon" when she was in high
school. "It's one of the best kept secrets around."
Students pay $37,500 in tuition-same as the
traditional student-but there is a lot of help, including
the $24,000 student transfer scholarship.
Filmmaker April Marcel, who graduated a few years ago
as a 40-something single mother of seven children, is the
poster student for Horizon. She went to William Fleming
High. Hollins was, she says, "A huge asset in my career
and future. It was the vehicle of my arrival to the start of
something I didn't know I had. ... When I saw my first
CLOCKWISE,
film with the class, I knew this is what I'm supposed to do.
FROM TOP:
Brenda Poggendorf,
I've been doing it ever since. My first film was distributed
April Marcell
world-wide right after I graduated." Hollins, she says, "is
and Mary Ellen Apgar
sorta like one of my birthplaces."
Heather Willis, a Hidden Valley High graduate, has two
children and works full-time at Kroger while attending
people from all over. We meet with organizations and
Hollins over the past several years. "She is one of the most
work with them to develop training programs specific to
their workforce."
tenacious Horizon women I have ever met," says Apgar.
"Hollins did not recruit me," Willis says, "but a family
Sherry Wallace, Radford University director of media
friend who was attending Hollins at the time raved about
services, says that Roanoke has been "central to Radford
how much she loved her classes, her professors and she
University's mission of service to Southwest Virginia.
At the RHEC, Radford has full-time staff, who serve
talked about the Horizon program for adult women
both graduate and undergraduate students."
going back to school. ... The Horizon program,
"Local students ...
Hollins being a women's college, the small class have the benefit Tuition and fees amount to $10,627 and popular
of being fully
sizes, the beautiful campus and traditions, plus
concentrations are nursing, social work, criminal
engaged in a top
the fact that I could commute from home were nationally-ranked justice and interdisciplinary studies with pre-K
undergraduate
the key components that attracted me to apply
through grade 6 licensing.
liberal arts college
for admission." She is studying biology and while living at home
Wallace points out that "many [Roanoke]
and saving room
students work during the day and attend classes
psychology with the goal of nursing school.
and board costs."
Northside High graduate Porsha Waddey has -Brenda Poggendorf in the evening, so Radford makes courses available
a schedule that is exhausting to contemplate. She
online and offers classes via hybrid delivery models
that feature a blend of online classwork, traditional face-toattends school full time, works, maintains a home with
her partner, plays basketball and is an actor with Hollins
face meetings and videoconference connections with existing
Theatre. She was directed to Hollins by a friend and "I got
sections on our main campus."
the courage to go talk to Mary Ellen and she gave me a
Roanoke College Dean of Admissions Brenda Poggendorf
tour and I was sold. The energy of her and other students
says that 15 to 20 percent of the typical RC freshman class
was so warming and welcoming." She graduated in May.
is from the Valley. She says, "Local students ... have the
The program, she says, "has been extremely humbling.
benefit of being fully engaged in a top nationally-ranked
I've been through a lot while at Hollins and continued to
undergraduate liberal arts college while living at home and
shock myself at how resilient I can be. I've shown bravery,
saving room and board costs. Others choose to live on
courage and determination to get through something that
campus so they have the full residential experience [living
I've consistently failed at many times. I've shown myself
among students from 40 states and 30 countries]."
that if I can get through school days on my last wind, then
Poggendorf points out that "Over 90 percent of our
students engage in research, study away, internships,
I can overcome almost anything."
service work and/or creative works. Those experiences,
Other area colleges also compete for the Roanoke Valley
particularly the study away and internship experiences
students with a degree of enthusiasm. At the Roanoke
also allow students to expand their perspective beyond
Higher Education Center (REHC), there are offices
of 14 Virginia colleges and universities who work with
the Roanoke Valley."
Like Hollins, Roanoke College is expensive, but there
undergrads, graduate students and others who are out of
school and working.
are a lot of grants and scholarships available to help make
Lesa Hanlin of Virginia Tech says, "We have two types
it affordable.
of corporate programming: open enrollment where any
Staying close to home-whether or not on campus-is
company can send employees, and corporate-specific
the best way for many students to ... well ... stay home
trainings, which can be at our center or at the company.
for the duration, bringing their education and talents to
We also host conferences on various topics which bring
the local work force. I
TheRoanoker.com

JULY/AUGUST 2018

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Roanoker - July/August 2018

The Roanoker - July/August 2018 - Intro
The Roanoker - July/August 2018 - Cover1
The Roanoker - July/August 2018 - Cover2
The Roanoker - July/August 2018 - 3
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The Roanoker - July/August 2018 - Cover3
The Roanoker - July/August 2018 - Cover4
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