WASHINGTON, PA (Dec. 4, 2017)— Ka Ron Spriggs-Bathea ’14 found inspiration at Washington & Jefferson College (W&J) when he came to campus as a first-generation college student.
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“Before starting [my first] semester, I went to the leadership and service institute (a W&J program to help prepare students for a successful transition to college) for a week,” Ka Ron said. “This was really helpful in [my] getting acquainted with campus and staff on campus. As time went on, I was able to become more comfortable and find my place on campus. I became involved in many clubs and leadership roles, like orientation leader and resident assistant.”
Internship opportunities at W&J helped Ka Ron build up his resume and grad school application, eventually leading him to the University of Pittsburgh, where he received his master’s degree in social work in April. Since his graduation, Ka Ron has been working as a counselor at a methadone clinic and received a license in social work.
In a recent survey from the Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education, W&J graduates scored the College highly on subjective categories indicating that W&J was the right choice (and one they’d make again), an inspiring institution with exceptional students who motivate others, and incredibly effective in career preparation. The Journal ranked W&J at 142 for outcomes on a list of more than 1,000 colleges, and 172 overall.
“W&J has affected my life after graduation a lot. I don’t think I would have made it through grad school if I did not go to W&J,” Ka Ron said. “It provided me with the skills and knowledge I needed and prepared me for what I was getting myself into. I think going to W&J was probably the best decision I’ve ever made.”
Just as the tight-knit community at W&J inspired Ka Ron to pursue his goals, it embraced Tabatha (Dorman) Wendorff ’10, and solidified that W&J was the right place for her.
Tabatha started her college journey at a larger university, but during her first semester, an unforeseen illness in the family brought her home to care for her younger sister. When she was ready to return to school, she initially thought she wanted to pursue a career in law, and found W&J’s excellent reputation for sending students to law schools and its smaller class sizes appealing.
“I think that was one of the things with W&J being smaller—and the outlook they have on their students—we were always given the opportunity to do things that maybe wouldn’t have happened at other schools,” Tabatha said.
Her experiences at W&J, including working as a resident assistant, being one of the first students ever to take on a Magellan project with a trip to Hungary, and planning events for the Student Activities Board, prepared her for her current job as the Human Resources Total Rewards Manager at Goodwill of Southwestern Pennsylvania. She returns to W&J frequently for networking events and has connected students with internships and jobs.
“When I was 18, I never would have imagined [leaving the country]. W&J really gave me the lens that I can actually do anything. People always say, ‘You can do anything,’ but I did so many things that I never thought I would in the three years that I was here that now I have no preconceived notions of things I can’t do,” Tabatha said. “[Because of that] I feel very connected to W&J, and I always think that there’s something to give back.”
About Washington & Jefferson College
Washington & Jefferson College, located in Washington, Pa., is a selective liberal arts college founded in 1781. Committed to providing each of its students with the highest-quality undergraduate education available, W&J offers a traditional arts and sciences curriculum emphasizing interdisciplinary study and independent study work. For more information about W&J, visit www.washjeff.edu, or call 888-W-AND-JAY.
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