HAMLET — Richmond Community College student Kristen Stuteville of Rockingham received the 2019 Academic Excellence Award, which recognizes outstanding academic achievements of students in the N.C. Community College System.
Stuteville wore the Academic Excellence medallion when she graduated summa cum laude with a 4.0 grade-point average on May 11. From the time she enrolled at RichmondCC in 2017, Stuteville was a straight-A student. But not only did she excel in her studies, Stuteville also immersed herself in the student life of RichmondCC.
Stuteville was a member of the RichmondCC choir, president of the Campus Crusade for Christ Club and a student worker in Student Services.
“My fondest memory of RCC is hard to narrow down, but I’ll just say that it has been a collection of the moments I have shared with the campus ministry because they have become some of my very best friends,” Stuteville said.
Stuteville led students, faculty and staff in song and prayer during a powerful Prayer at the Pole on May 2, just two days after the shooting on the campus of the University of North Carolina–Charlotte. Her rousing and passionate prayers were a hallmark of her work in the Campus Crusade for Christ Club.
“Kristen is a wonderful and delightful young lady. She represents our college extremely well in all of her endeavors,” said Vice President for Student Services Sharon Goodman. “One of her instructors said she ‘makes the world a more beautiful place to be.’”
Stuteville was also a guest speaker at the Legislative Breakfast in January, where she talked about the challenges she faced with the residency software that is required of all public higher education institutions in North Carolina. The current system can create a financial obstacle for many community college students like Stuteville who relocate to North Carolina and are unable to get in-state tuition. Stuteville, however, received scholarships while at RichmondCC that helped her pay for her college education.
Stuteville was born in North Carolina, but her family moved to Michigan when she was 9 months old. Over the years, she came back to the area to visit her extended family. She always enjoyed these trips and told herself that one day, she would move back.
In the summer of 2016 during one of her visits, she toured RichmondCC and knew this is where she wanted to be.
“There was a genuine, tight-knit community feel that I experienced when I visited RCC,” Stuteville said. “I also saw the Campus Crusade for Christ Club poster hanging in the hallway, and I felt a sense of peace and thought that if I attended this school, I wanted to be part of the club. It was close to my grandparents’ house and the low tuition also benefited me.”
Stuteville received an Associate in Science degree from RichmondCC, and she plans to transfer to a university to pursue a bachelor’s degree. She hasn’t quite figured out which direction she wants to go with her life and career, but one thing is for sure. Kristen Stuteville will be “making the world a more beautiful place to be.”