This year marks the 50th Anniversary of Rappahannock Community College. RCC graduates form the backbone of our local economy—our healthcare providers, bankers, lawyers, small business owners and trades-people. It’s hard to go through your day without being served by an RCC alum is some way. RCC’s Faces of 50 spotlights our alum, like Robin Mae Schick.
Robin Mae Schick has a long list of academic, professional, and personal accomplishments and titles. Rappahannock Community College (RCC) alumni is among those achievements. As an eighth-grader at a very small school Schick turned to RCC to supplement her education.
“My very first [RCC] class was keyboarding…I sat down next to a 40ish year old construction contractor. I remember doing word count races with him as we learned to type the ‘right’ way together,” says Schick. “I helped the grandmother sitting in front of me find the button to turn on her computer. The interaction and learning across generations left a lasting impact on me and an appreciation for sharing in education with a diverse group of people.” RCC’s flexible schedule, including night and online classes helped her fit in courses while working, playing sports, and going to high school.
Schick recalls one of her Physics professors worked as an engineer for the naval base at Dahlgren and taught at RCC’s satellite location at King George High School. “The professors were always excellent, the courses were substantial while not overly demanding, and the leg-up it gives anyone prior to moving on to another school or in their career is very valuable,” adds Schick.
After high school and RCC, Schick transferred to UVA and earned a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture. She found the transfer process to be easy and all of her credits were accepted toward general or specific degree requirements. Earning credit for courses taken through RCC gave her more control over her schedule, including the opportunity to take fewer classes at UVA so she could focus on studio projects required for her Architecture degree or to take personal interest classes not related to her specific major. She graduated with honors from UVA.
Expanding on her architecture degree, Schick joined the Peace Corps and served in Municipal Government in Guatemala for two and a half years. While there she built a modern library, monitored election fraud, organized a rural village community council, and managed a youth program at a local orphanage, in addition to working on other projects in development.
Schick returned to her hometown of Colonial Beach citing the village of support she received while growing up and her desire to give back. She runs her own architecture firm and helped the Town of Warsaw with its “Main Street” design. Schick served on the Colonial Beach Planning Commission, the Town Council and is the Vice Mayor. She is also running for Mayor and if elected would be the first female Mayor in Colonial Beach.
“I am thankful for the doors opened by RCC that helped me achieve my own independent goals,” said Schick. “The courses, trades skills, social networking, and support offered are invaluable to rural communities. The flexible class times allow you to be a student and still work, volunteer, have a family, or parallel it with other life commitments.” Schick’s passion for learning, small town living, and developing better communities is evident in everything she does.
Rappahannock Community College is celebrating 50 years of breaking down barriers to education in the Middle Peninsula and Northern Neck. Five degrees, 6 certificates, and 26 career and workforce studies programs are offered through RCC, in addition to nearly 40 guaranteed admissions agreements with colleges and universities across the state and region. For more information, visit rappahanock.edu.