Hannah's Story

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Name:  Hannah Bell
College:  College of Science and Technology
Major(s):  Chemistry
Grad Year:  Spring 2017
Hometown:  Pulaski, Va.

1. Why did you decide to attend Radford University?
I grew up in Pulaski, Virginia, so Radford University was very close to home. I had very little financial support from my family at the time, and I knew that Radford was going to be a cost-efficient choice that was conveniently close to home. Honestly, I think the more important question is: why did I decide to stay at Radford University? The sense of community and family that I have received here is extraordinary.

2. How have you financed your education? Have you encountered any challenges along the way?
I have been completely responsible for all education costs during my college career. I receive student loans and federal and state grants, but those do not cover all the costs. I work two jobs off campus while also working as a Teacher’s Assistant/Laboratory Assistant through the work study program. Still, I would not be able to afford college without the scholarships I have earned while at Radford University. There have been times when I wasn’t sure I would be able to pay for everything, and working multiple jobs makes it hard to focus entirely on my studies, but the financial aid and scholarship support I have received have helped to lessen the financial stress.

3. What do you appreciate most about your Radford University education?
Not only have I had the opportunity to study what fascinates me and what I love, but I’ve been able to do it with faculty who are equally passionate about it and who are genuinely here for the students. I have built lifelong friendships with my professors and fellow students, and I am confident that even after I graduate, I will be able to stay in touch with the faculty. I have truly found family at Radford University and that makes learning here so much better.

4. What are your career ambitions?
I have always wanted to further my education with graduate school, but I am realizing that working for a few years before continuing my education could be a great experience. My favorite part of chemistry is physical chemistry, and more specifically, chemical thermodynamics: the study of energy changes, such as heat, accompanying physical and chemical changes. Ultimately, I want to lead a research laboratory where I can continue to study chemical thermodynamics.

5. Why do you think donor support is important?
A donor’s support can mean a lot to someone who is struggling financially. For me, it means even more than that. When I learned that I had received scholarships, it affirmed that I was doing something right. It encouraged me to know that I was performing well enough to be chosen as a recipient of a scholarship award. Not only does it alleviate some of the financial stress for me, it also motivates me to continue doing the best I can.

6. Do you have a message for donors and prospective donors?
Thank you to those who have donated. These donations can go further than you could imagine for some students. I hope this questionnaire shines light on just how far it goes for me. To prospective donors, I ask you to help students like me follow our dreams. It is amazing what a person can do with the help of others. I cannot wait until I am able give back to this amazing community.