Wise student aspires to career
helping students in higher ed
by Jane Meade-Dean
By Jane Meade-Dean
it an academic Cinderella story.
Kiley, a bright but reticent young woman from Leesburg, packed
her bags and headed off to The University of Virginias College
at Wise. She was apprehensive about attending the small school
seven hours from her home, but her father insisted she give it
certain she wanted to become a veterinarian, Kiley immersed herself
in the Colleges rigorous science program. But by the end
of her first semester, her grades were dismal and her determination
faltered. I wasnt doing well in my science classes.
I didnt have a direction, Kiley said.
by her abilities in a freshman composition class, Kileys
English professor, Marla Weitzman, encouraged her to consider
switching her major to English literature. The rest of Kileys
story reads like a fairy tale with lots of awards and accolades
thrown in for good measure.
think what makes Leah such a special student is that not only
is she bright insightful about literature, articulate about
her ideas, responsive to constructive criticism about her writing
but she is so easy to talk to, Weitzman said. She
is the kind of student you are glad to see at your office door.
year, Kiley was awarded the Francis Currie Peake Scholarship for
excellence in literary studies. At the 2002 Awards Convocation
May 17, Kiley will receive the department of language and literatures
top honor the William Elbert Fraley Award in English.
her successes as a scholar, Kiley has emerged as a confident student
leader. As a junior, she was selected by the U.Va.-Wise board
as its first student representative. During her one-year term
on the board, Kiley impressed its members with her mature manner
and thoughtful comments.
when I hit full stride and really grew as a student and a person,
Kiley said. It was one of the greatest things I could have
she has served on the Colleges Honor Court and the Senior
Class Council and works as a resident adviser and a tutor. An
internship in the Division of Student Affairs cemented Kileys
interest in higher education administration.
was during my service on the board that I really decided I wanted
to focus my career on higher education, Kiley said. I
want to help students and continue to be their voice.
has been accepted to masters programs at the Curry School
of Education at U.Va. and at Appalachian State University. She
will attend ASU in the fall. Although shes changing
her focus, Kiley will never stray too far from her first love.
return to the College in the fall to present a paper on Chaucer
during the Medieval Renaissance Conference. And she plans
to continue work on an oral history project about the Colleges
first chancellor, Joseph C. Smiddy.
had no idea I was capable of the level of scholarship or the level
of service I have attained, Kiley said. Im going
to graduate school, and I never even thought Id do well