Katie Umberger, from Hershey, Pa, is an art history major who is very active on the Randolph-Macon campus with her involvement in various activities such as concert choir, the Leadership Fellows Program, and being a recent inductee into Phi Beta Kappa.
Umberger said she first decided to come to R-MC after she visited her freshman year where she transferred from Widener University in Philadelphia, Pa.
“I came to visit Randolph-Macon in the spring, and I thought the campus was just beautiful,” Umberger said. “Everyone was so friendly and genuinely cared that I was having an enjoyable visit; I knew after visiting that this was where I wanted to be.”
Since her time her, Umberger has been involved in many activities including concert choir, chambers singers, the Leadership Fellows Program, Camptown, the College Life Committee, Omicron Delta Kappa and Phi Beta Kappa as well as working for Admissions as a student assistant, being a tour guide and interning for Admissions.
Of these activities, Umberger said she has been the most involved with the Leadership Fellows Program, working in the Admissions Office, and the concert choir and chamber singers.
“The Leadership Fellows Program led by James McGhee has been a wonderful experience for me at R-MC,” Umberger said. “When I applied to the program, I did not see myself as a leader and now I do. The program really takes a unique look at leadership and has really changed the way I think about leadership and my role in organizations.”
Umberger said working in the Admissions Office has also been an extraordinary opportunity and has allowed her to learn a lot about the office, which even prompted her to figure out her career path.
“The work experiences I received in the Admissions Office allowed me to learn about a career I had never thought of pursuing but would now like to begin full-time after graduation,” Umberger said. “Annie Keith was my contact person in transferring to R-MC and has continued to provide guidance for me in the field of higher education and my future plans.”
Umberger also said being a member of the concert choir and the chamber singers has also been a wonderful experience, and she said she is grateful for the opportunities that R-MC gives students.
“I appreciated being able to participate in the concert choir and chamber singers at R-MC even though I am not a music major,” Umberger said. “At a larger university, this would not have been possible, and I’m glad R-MC provides these experiences for every student.
Umberger said her professors at R-MC have had an impact on her, but especially Dr. Eve Terrono of the art history department.
“The professors here really challenged me to be the best that I can be,” Umberger said. “Dr. Terrono particularly did this in the way that she taught my classes and when she would give us research assignments. She always challenged me to go above and beyond, and I’m thankful for that.”
Umberger said something people may not know about her is that she is a decent painter and was originally going to study studio art. She also explained that her only regret during her college career was not initially coming to R-MC her freshman year.
In addition, Umberger said she has many favorite memories, but one stands out for her in particular.
“Although there have been many,” Umberger said, “one of my favorite memories was the J-Term trip I took this past January to Eastern Europe.”
Becca Blader ’14, a friend and classmate of Umberger’s, said Umberger is dedicated and enthusiastic along with being a very supportive friend.
“She’s always excited to share in the good news of others,” Blader said. “She’s also so driven that it makes the people around her, including myself, want to be better people and students.”
After she graduates, Umberger said she will miss R-MC, especially the people.
“Whether it’s my friends or the faculty and staff that have helped and taught me so much along the way,” Umberger said, “R-MC is a truly incredible community.”
As far as future plans, Umberger said she plans on looking for a position in D.C. with higher education administration because of her working experience with the R-MC Admissions Office.
“Take advantage of every opportunity that you possibly can,” Umberger said. “The internships, work experience, study abroad trip and organizations I became a part of each taught me new things about myself and what I want to do for the rest of my life.”
-Anna DeLoache, Senior Features Editor