Roanoke College sophomore receives scholarship for academic and leadership success

Salem, Va.-Roanoke College sophomore, Timaria Hammond-Downing, recently was chosen for a prestigious scholarship.

She received the Altria Student Leadership scholarship, which awards a total of $10,000 over two years to a student from each of 10 Virginia colleges that are part of the Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges. Some of the colleges under the VFIC include the University of Richmond, Washington and Lee University and Roanoke College. For 60 years, private businesses have donated more than $139 million to the VFIC to fund college scholarships.

Each college's president nominates an upcoming junior for the leadership scholarship. Roanoke College President Michael Maxey nominated Hammond-Downing.

Scholarship recipients must graduate from college by the spring of 2014, demonstrate financial need and have at least a 3.0 cumulative grade point average. They also must exhibit career/work-life skills, leadership potential and major either in accounting, biology, business management, chemistry, computer science, economics, engineering, finance, marketing or physics.

Hammond-Downing, a business major, is the vice president of membership for Alpha Kappa Psi, the business fraternity at Roanoke. She is also president of the Black Student Alliance.

"It has been a lot of work but being in a leadership role this early has been a great experience," said Hammond-Downing, who is from Minneapolis. "I love that I can be so involved because [Roanoke] feels like a big university, but it is still a smaller campus."

Her involvement has helped her build strong relationships with Roanoke faculty and staff, including Scott Hardwig, a professor in the Fine Arts Department, who encouraged Hammond-Downing to minor in art because he saw her creative potential.

Hammond-Downing works as a graphic design assistant in Roanoke's Public Relations Office, and she also seeks academic and social guidance from Juliet Lowery, who is director of Multicultural Affairs at Roanoke.

"It is important to make personal connections with the faculty and staff because they are able to help you in the future," Hammond-Downing said.

Her goals after Roanoke include graduate school, traveling and possibly becoming a graphic designer at a small company or college.

Roanoke College, a classic liberal arts college in Salem, Virginia, combines firsthand learning with valuable personal connections in a beautiful, undergraduate setting. Roanoke is one of just seven percent of colleges nationwide with a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, the nation's oldest and most prestigious honor society. The Princeton Review lists Roanoke as the 18th most beautiful campus in its "Best 376 Colleges" 2012 guidebook.

Released: March 27, 2012
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