Traci Lynn Phipps Nelson '07
Randolph-Macon College alumna Traci Phipps Nelson ’07 says her
experiences as a student-athlete helped her discover the tools she needs to be successful
at her career.
A four-year starter and two-time captain for R-MC’s
women’s lacrosse team, she was also named ODAC Rookie of the Year and three-time
First Team All-ODAC. She is currently director and owner of St. Louis Speed Lacrosse
and head coach of girls’ varsity lacrosse at Mary Institute Country Day School.
“The challenge of managing time between class and lacrosse at Randolph-Macon greatly
benefited me in creating a successful business,” says Nelson, who majored in
psychology. “And being a member of the lacrosse team nurtured my passion
to educate and coach student-athletes.” St. Louis Speed Lacrosse offers student-athletes
the opportunity to improve their lacrosse skills and overall athleticism.
“The best players, from all over the country, travel to and compete at top lacrosse
colleges and universities,” explains Nelson. “St. Louis Speed Lacrosse is dedicated
to teaching skills and fostering players’ understanding of game strategies in a
fun, competitive environment.”
In her first year as head coach at Mary Institute Country Day School in St. Louis,
Nelson helped the team make it to the 2012 Missouri State High School Activities
Association State Championship game. Although the team lost in the finals, the competition
was thrilling, and in 2013 Nelson was named Missouri Lacrosse Coach of the Year.
“We made it back to the State Championship game in 2013, and we won, marking the
school’s first lacrosse State Championship since 2006 and MICDS’ first team State
Championship in four years,” she says.
Nelson cites the “dynamic culture” of Randolph-Macon
as an important factor in students’ success.
“It helps build long-lasting relationships and aids students in efficiently managing
their time while taking on challenging, yet rewarding classes,” she says. “The student-teacher
ratio, combined with knowledgeable and passionate professors, are invaluable aspects
of the R-MC experience.”
Nelson stays connected to R-MC by keeping in touch with her Phi Mu
sorority sisters and lacrosse teammates.
“I try to attend Homecoming each year to catch
up with everyone and remember the good old days,” she says. “My sorority sisters
and I keep in touch via email, text messages and occasional phone calls. And last
year I brought my St. Louis Speed Lacrosse athletes to R-MC so that they could tour the college. I was impressed with
the all improvements on campus. I love how the
Day Field turf and location make the
field a main attraction, and Andrews
Hall is fantastic; the patio looks out over the field. It is awesome that
you don’t even have to leave your dorm to cheer on the Jackets!”
Paving the Way for Success
Rather than prepare students for one career, Randolph-Macon College prepares students
for a lifetime of careers in an ever-changing world. Exceptional faculty work with
students to cultivate their ability to think critically and analytically and to
find creative solutions for solving problems. R-MC graduates are well-prepared for
successful careers, often far outside of their areas of study.
The Randolph-Macon EDGE and Alumni Network
The Randolph-Macon EDGE,
the cornerstone of the Center for Personal and Career
Development, helps Randolph-Macon students lead the pack when competing
for jobs and top graduate schools. Students have the support of faculty, career
coaches, alumni and staff as they focus on their personal
and academic ambitions.
Students may choose to pursue paid or volunteer internships in a wide variety of
settings. The Bassett Internship Program
has been successfully placing students in academic internships both in the U.S.
and around the globe for 30 years. Coordinated with the Center for Personal and
Career Development, the program helps students identify their interests and matches
them with an appropriate internship opportunity. Randolph-Macon’s
alumni provide a strong network of support for students throughout their
time at the college or in assisting them after graduation with career direction
The Four-Year Degree Guarantee
The college’s Four-Year Degree
Guarantee states in writing that freshmen who meet the Four-Year Degree
Guarantee requirements will graduate within four calendar years. If not, Randolph-Macon
will waive tuition costs for courses needed to complete the degree. Currently, 95
percent of R-MC graduates complete their degree in four years or less—an important
value-added benefit for parents to consider when visiting colleges with their students.
Study Abroad programs offer students a beyond-the-classroom global perspective
and opportunities to immerse themselves in other cultures. Students can choose from
a host of travel courses during January Term and semester-abroad programs.
The Schapiro Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF)
program gives students the opportunity to conduct 10 weeks of original research
under the guidance of faculty mentors. Many students present their findings at national
and international conferences.
Read more Alumni Success stories.