Luke and Clarissa Shiley
Attending LFCC gave the Shiley siblings a chance to explore potential careers and finally settle down on the paths they want to take.
Older brother Luke came to LFCC after graduating from Sherando High School in 2014. He was followed by his sister, Clarissa, a 2015 Sherando graduate.
“It gives you a little bit of wiggle room to see what you really want to do the rest of your life,” said Clarissa, who is heading to James Madison University in the fall.
When she first started attending LFCC, she wanted to become an English professor, but after a few classes changed her mind. Next, Clarissa was interested in a physical therapy career. Chemistry class nixed that idea. She then took a business class and “fell in love with the marketing portion. [Being able to sample affordable classes] really helps you decide.”
Clarissa is entering JMU’s business marketing program, as well as the Asian studies/Japanese language program.
“I hope to work for either a video game company, or some sort of entertainment technology company over in Japan, or doing the inter-relations between the United States and Japan,” she shared.
Clarissa plans to spend five weeks in Japan in summer 2018 as part of a JMU initiative.
For his part, Luke always wanted to enter the medical field. He’d considered becoming a surgeon or a nurse, but has since settled on being a physician assistant, and will enter the PA program at JMU this fall.
PAs work directly with patients, can assist with surgery, and can work in a broad variety of settings.
“I figured it would leave me a lot of doors open,” Luke said.
He said Assistant Professor of Biology Ann Simpson really helped him in preparing for his future career.
“She helped me with all my classes, telling me what I should focus on,” Luke said. “LFCC’s professors are amazing.”
Biology Professor James Crowley was also a favorite of Luke’s.
“That man is just fantastic,” he said. “He’s one of the best professors I have ever had here. He makes learning so easy. He explains the material so well. He gives tons of personal stories and actual knowledge about the industry he worked in. He made you actually want to go to class.”
His sister cited Associate Professor Ramon Selove, who taught her anatomy class, and guided her on what to do after college.
“He also helped a lot with how to do proper research,” Clarissa said.
While he didn’t teach her classes, Associate Professor James Brumbaugh was Clarissa’s advisor for the academic honor society, Phi Theta Kappa.
“I could always go talk to him if I had questions about a class,” she said. “I could get the entire PTK group to help if I found a need on campus.”
Luke did well scholastically, repeatedly ending up on the Dean’s List. He regrets disregarding emails inviting him to join Phi Beta Kappa, as well as other missed opportunities.
“Pay attention to what’s available to you, all these options for scholarships,” Luke advised. “I could’ve dual enrolled when I was in high school, gotten so much further ahead. The amount of opportunities I just let slip by.”
As a Student Ambassador, he stresses the importance of taking advantage of these opportunities to those on campus tours.
Clarissa also recommends being an active member of campus, “just the special fun things they do here.”
Both siblings are fans of the Mystery Bus tours, where students hop on a bus with a mystery destination.
“I recommend that all the way,” Luke said. “It is what has actually gotten me out of my shell.”
While on a Mystery Bus trip, he met Student Activities Specialist Sarah Pangle, who got him signed up as a Student Ambassador. From there, Luke got involved in numerous organizations.
“I love LFCC,” Luke said. “I think it’s got a lot to offer, especially when it comes to knowledge.”