Pottle Named School Kappa Tau Alpha Top Scholar
Jan 7, 2018
Posted in: News
Hayley Pottle (B.S. ‘17/MC) was honored with the Top Scholar Award from the VCU Richard T. Robertson School of Media and Culture George T. Crutchfield chapter of Kappa Tau Alpha for Fall 2017.
KTA is the honor society for journalism and mass communications, with 96 chapters and 75,000 inducted students nationwide. It was founded in 1910 at the University of Missouri, the first journalism school in the United States, and today stands as the seventh-oldest honor society in the country. Admission is by invitation only based on grade point average.
“I am humbled and honored to receive this award. I have always committed myself to excellence throughout my collegiate career,” Pottle said.
The award is given to the KTA student with the highest grade point average. Pottle graduated with a bachelors of science in mass communications, concentrating in public relations, and a minor in general business. She graduates with a cumulative grade point average of 3.942 and a major grade point average of 4.0. She was on the Dean’s List seven times, which was every fall and spring semester she attended VCU.
She was inducted into KTA in Spring 2017 by Dr. Tim Bajkiewicz, the faculty adviser for the School’s chapter and the School’s associate director.
“It’s a real honor to bring amazing students like Hayley into KTA, and even more so to see them earn the Top Scholar Award,” Bajkiewicz said.
Pottle said Diana Burkett, an adjunct faculty instructor for two classes, significantly influenced her during her studies.
“Her support and knowledge has been essential to my success in the program. She has always been available to me for advice, reference (thank you for all the recommendations, Diana!), and overall support of me as a student,” Pottle said.
"Hayley embodies why I teach at VCU--she is truly inspirational. She’s smart, hard working and has a very clear vision for her future. She cares about others and their development, especially women, and she is working hard to make that her life's work. I’m very grateful to have had the opportunity to get to know her and be part of her time at VCU. She’ll do great things,” Burkett said.
Pottle was home-schooled in connection with Westminster Academy in Richmond and completed nine credits of dual enrollment classes through Reynolds Community College. She completed VCU in 3.5 years.
Growing up in Richmond’s West End, Pottle said she didn’t really think about how she could be graduating from the school years later.
“It was something I was always aware of. I know how much it benefited the city and the resources it had. I went downtown a lot, so I was well familiar with VCU. It was always in the back of your mind,” Pottle said.
Pottle said she financed her education herself through loans, grants and scholarships. She worked three jobs on campus while completing her degree: most recently interim assistant director with the VCU Emerging Leaders Program (active since her freshman year), a career ambassador with VCU Career Services and an ambassador at university events with the VCU Office of the President.
Pottle will spend spring 2018 working as a program coordinator for the University of Richmond's Office of Scholars and Fellowships. She has applied for ten nationally competitive scholarships and fellowships, including a Fulbright. She recently served as a program advisor to 28 teenage girls from the Middle East and North Africa with the U.S. State Department initiative “TechGirls.” She has been accepted into the Middlebury Language School in Oakland, Calif. to study arabic.