NSA alumna earns Virginia Tech awardPublished 7:16pm Saturday, April 27, 2013
Nansemond-Suffolk Academy graduate and Virginia Tech sophomore Kelsey Smith was recently named to the 2012 All-Academic Team for being the top student on the Hokies cheerleading squad.
Smith, who carries a 3.7 grade point average, was presented with the award last Sunday at the Athletic Director’s Honor Roll breakfast.
“It’s a really great achievement for me, because being so young, I feel like I’ve figured out my way here,” Smith said. “And I’m really busy. I’m involved in a lot of different things outside of academics and sports. So, I’ve really learned how to juggle everything and do well at most of it.”
She is double-majoring in communication with an option in multimedia journalism and apparel product development and merchandizing management.
Her academic performance is a continuation of her time in high school.
“Academics have always been a really high priority for me,” she said. “I graduated from NSA with honors. To be able to continue doing well with my grades here is really, really important to me.”
She made a point of conveying her gratitude to Nansemond-Suffolk and its teachers for helping make her successful at the next level.
“It’s kind of cliché, because NSA is all about preparing you for college, but honestly, they really did,” she said.
While there were things to adjust to, such as living on her own, she said that “my parents never really had to push me to do my work in high school, so that wasn’t really a big deal in college either. I was always pretty self-motivated.”
Her parents, Gil and Laura Smith, are proud of their daughter’s performance.
“Of course, very proud, but it’s also nice to have all her passions and her hard work be recognized,” Laura Smith said. “That’s always a nice thing, that validation from a higher authority. That, ‘Yeah, you have done well.’ So, (we’re) very proud of her. And she knows what she wants and she’s passionate about it and she goes after it.”
In addition to academics and cheerleading, Kelsey Smith is active in a sorority, Alpha Chi Omega.
“I’m currently running for a non-executive position,” she said. “So, I run a committee under the executive board.”
She is currently managing 16 credit hours and will do summer classwork, as well. In the fall, she expects to handle 15-18 credit hours, in addition to another noteworthy duty.
“I was chosen to do an independent study as a teacher’s assistant, so I have to go to a lab and help the students that are in the class,” she said.
She is also currently in Virginia Tech’s Fashion Merchandizing and Design Society.
“I was one of few chosen to be a stager for our annual spring fashion show, and I learned a lot with that,” she said. “I had to dress all the models and make sure the show is running smoothly and help with the production of it.”
She described the society as a great way to make connections to possibly get an internship. To that end, she realized the All-Academic Team award might even aid in that.
“One of the first things I thought was, ‘Wow, this will look good on my resume, because I’m currently looking for jobs this summer and for internships,” she said. “It really is such a great achievement for me, so that’s really important to me that people know that I work hard and that I am capable of having a strong work ethic in multiple areas of my life.”