On His Way to Graduate School: Robert Parsons ’18

May 11, 2018


Frank and Teri Murphy, Robert Parsons, Betty Gardner"The best thing about being a Yellow Jacket is the accessibility that the campus offers," says Randolph-Macon College alumnus Robert Parsons '18. "Anything that is not accessible for people with disabilities, like me, is quickly remedied to make sure that everyone is welcome."

Parsons, from New York City, is a sociology/anthropology major. This fall, he will enter Western Michigan University, where he will follow the Vocational Rehabilitation Therapy track. The completion of this accelerated, 2.5-year program will grant him a dual M.A. in rehabilitation teaching and rehabilitation counseling.

"This will give me licensure to practice both of these professions," says Parsons, who plans to make a career as the director of disability student services in a higher education setting. "This post-graduate journey is exciting because it will be a completely new environment, and it will give me the opportunity to focus on my specific career goal."

Generous Donors, Grateful Recipient
Parsons, a first-generation college student, is the recipient of The Richard T. Abernathy Scholarship; The Buddy and Ann Allen Scholarship; and The Michael G. Murphy and Rachael L. Gardner Scholarship. "I am very grateful for the generosity of my donors," says Parsons, who welcomed guests to the college's recent scholarship banquet. "It is their belief in my ability that propels my ambition and work ethic."

Getting the Edge
Throughout his tenure at R-MC, Parsons worked extensively with staff from The Edge, the college's four-year career preparation program.

"One of my sociology courses, Success Strategies, connected me with The Edge, whose staff helped me create a résumé and write cover letters," says Parsons. "They also prepped me for the graduate-school application process by going over commonly-asked interview questions."

Campus Life + Giving to Others
A member of the Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity, Parsons often participated in community and campus service efforts. He volunteered for food drives benefiting Feedmore RVA; he provided child care for conventions of the National Federation of the Blind of Virginia, of which he is a member; and he helped raise funds for community-based nonprofit organizations.

A former member of the Sociology/Anthropology club, Parsons served as president of the French Club, which hosts events that promote French culture on campus. He also traveled with the club to local French-inspired events. In addition, he created a new campus culture club, the Caribbean American Student Alliance, for which he served as secretary/treasurer. The alliance promotes the prominence and influence of Caribbean culture on the American lifestyle.

Duly Proud
"During my senior year, my academic performance granted me an invitation to Alpha Kappa Delta national sociology honor society and the Order of Omega leadership honor society," says Parsons. "I am proud to join these organizations because it is further affirmation that all of my hard work was worth it."