Alyson's Story

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Alyson Gilbert

Name: Alyson Gilbert
College: College of Education and Human Development
Major: Interdisciplinary Studies — Middle School Education
Clubs/Activities: President of the Collegiate Middle Level Association (CMLA); Kappa Delta Pi
Hometown: Dublin, Virginia

Why Radford? 
Radford University’s education program is well known throughout the country as one of the best, and after attending Radford, it’s easy to see why. Radford’s College of Education and Human Development has provided me the opportunity to attend many education conferences and seminars, as well as ample experience within the classroom. The size of the school has allowed me to form close relationships with my professors and classmates. I am grateful to be earning my degree from a university whose rigorous curriculum and highly supportive faculty have made me feel confident entering the workforce.

What is your favorite Radford University memory?
Seeing David Crowder in concert. The turnout of students and community members was amazing, and it turned into a night of fellowship and worship right on campus. It was a great experience.

Who is your favorite professor?
Betty Dore! Her love and passion for middle school education is contagious. She impacts hundreds of middle schoolers with her program and takes care of her Radford cohort like we are her own. She bakes us goodies every Monday and even sewed us our own quilts for Christmas using our favorite colors! She is truly one-of-a-kind, and I am fortunate to have learned from her.

How have you financed your education?
Financing my education has always been a heavy burden. After high school, I chose to go to a community college to earn my associate degree first to save money. When I transferred to Radford University, I was faced with an even bigger bill. I received some financial aid due to a single parent income, but not enough to cover the full cost of tuition. Scholarships have been my lifeline. My first semester at Radford, I received a scholarship for transferring to a four-year university and studying in a high-demand area. Then, I applied for the Radford University Foundation scholarships and received two! I was overwhelmed with gratitude for these scholarships, without which I would not have had the same college experience. As if that were not enough, I received a Virginia teaching grant as well! My entire senior year of college has been financed by scholarships, allowing me to pay nothing out of pocket.

How has donor support helped you as a student?
I have relied on donor support throughout my entire education. Without it, I would not have been able to follow my dreams of becoming an educator. Donors helped fund both my associate degree and bachelor’s degree. The support has given me more opportunities than I ever thought possible. Without a large tuition bill, I have had funds to attend education conferences and pay for my membership fees in education programs, which will only help me be a better teacher for my students once I graduate.

Do you have a message for donors and prospective donors?
I am overwhelmed with gratitude for our donors. The support they have offered so generously has given me more opportunities and relieved more burdens than they could ever know. Becoming a donor and continuing to give back allows you the opportunity to impact a wide variety of people —like me. I will never be able to express how thankful I am for the support I have received throughout my education. And for those who have not yet given, I hope you can see the impact alumni support has had on me and that it motivates you to make a gift. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!