The Honors Community
- Fredericksburg, Va.
- Double major in psychology and anthropology.
Nicole Constance describes herself as an “above and beyond kind of student.”
So when she heard about the Virginia Commonwealth University Honors College during an Open House visit to campus, it immediately sparked her interest.
“I liked the idea of getting to register first, the smaller classes and the extra opportunities it would give me as a student to make me stand out at VCU,” she said.
Now a junior, the double major in psychology and anthropology also found a special camaraderie and motivation living among other Honors College students during her freshman year.
“It’s good to be around those people who are really here to take advantage of the education so they can do something great,” Constance said. “They have a sense of what they are doing and where they are going, and that helped push me, too.”
She’s since developed an interest in studying inner-city parenting and adolescence, participating in the Honors Summer Undergraduate Research Program as a rising junior and attending the 2008 Society for Research on Adolescence Conference in Chicago.
At the conference, Constance presented research she had completed under the guidance of her HSURP faculty mentor, psychology professor Wendy Kliewer, Ph.D.
“HSURP is amazing,” Constance said. “You get an opportunity to do research as an undergraduate. Every honors student I meet, I tell them, ‘you have to do this program.’”
This summer, Constance will travel to Guatemala to study anthropology through the education abroad program in VCU’s Office of International Education. She said she hopes the experience will improve her fluency in the Spanish language, as well as her knowledge of the Latin American culture, so she can expand the scope of her work with inner-city adolescents.
Throughout her college career, Constance said she has benefited from the offerings in The Honors College along with its encouragement to pursue her own goals.“Not only does The Honors College provide unlimited opportunities, but it also gives you the space to create your own opportunities,” she said.
“It’s good to be around those people who are really here to take advantage of the education so they can do something great.”