Student Spotlight


Janet F. , Electrical Engineering
Hometown: Originally from Chesterfield, now living in Ashland, VA

As a working professional with an IT degree, Janet is studying Electrical Engineering with a specialization in Power Distribution and a plan to transfer to Old Dominion University.

What (or who) motivates you to pursue a college education?

Certainly my family and wanting to set an example for the kids, is extremely motivating. I have an IT degree, but life led me down a path of Engineering and Building Information Modeling. Technology fields are still a work in progress as far as gender diversification, so to whatever extent that I can, I want to continue to help pave the way for the ladies out there.

Do you have a favorite professor and why?

I've had some amazing, dedicated professors so in fairness I can't pick just one, but they know who they are. I've also had some that maybe weren't so great and I just see that as a different kind of lesson learned or obstacle that I'm always going to choose to overcome. As a working adult student with some life experience and wisdom, I know that even bad situations have positives if you choose to look for them. I give credit to all of my professors because in some way or another, they have all taught me something and I'm a better, stronger person for that.

What is your "secret sauce" to success?

I don't know that there is necessarily a secret to success and even with giving it your all, you sometimes have to take steps back in order to move forward. For me, I suppose the "Secret" is pushing myself through the obstacles that school and life present, but also knowing when I'm about to push myself over the edge. Learning to balance is the hardest but most important part. Also, the wonderful engineering firm that I work for, Wiley Wilson, has been key in my journey as an adult student. Being unquestionably supported by not only by my family, but also by my employer and the great team I have at work, is what keeps me pushing forward.

Since we mentioned sauce, and you're a college student, what is your favorite kind of pizza?

My favorite pizza is cheddar, bacon, and pineapple... that's right, pineapple. I dare you to challenge me on pineapple's relevance as a pizza topping. As in life, it's all about surrounding the pineapple with other things that it compliments and that compliment it...otherwise it can be a literal hot mess.

What are your future goals or next step after Reynolds?

After Reynolds I will be transferring to Old Dominion University and plan to complete my Bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering Technology with a concentration in Power Distribution. The ultimate goal is to get my Professional Engineer license since I've been working as an Electrical Designer for quite a few years already.