Reginald Stroble: Committed to success
After graduating from Highland Springs High School with a 2.1 GPA, Reginald Stroble knew that he had few options. He wanted to go to Virginia State University, but his application was rejected. He decided to pursue an associate’s degree at J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College. It would be difficult, but if he increased his GPA, maybe he could pursue a bachelor’s degree later.
Fortunately for Stroble, he never gives up. It’s one reason why today, he’s a doctoral student in the School of Education’s Ed.D. in Leadership program and on track to graduate in 2020.
Stroble’s impact at VCU extends far beyond the classroom. He also serves as:
- Assistant director of VCU’s Office of Multicultural Student Affairs (OMSA);
- Chair of four of VCU’s cultural heritage months;
- Co-chair of Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Week;
- Advisor to VCU’s Black Student Union and African Student Union; and
- Coach for 7-to-10 year olds in a local football and basketball league.
As a high school graduate with few prospects, Stroble’s mother gave him two options: join the military, or work and go to college. He chose the latter, first pursuing his associate’s degree and later earning his bachelor’s degree from Virginia State University.
He was accepted into Virginia Tech’s master’s program in Educational Leadership and Administration on conditional status, his advisor telling him that he was out if he didn’t maintain a 3.0 GPA. He earned his degree two years later with a 3.7 GPA, despite being injured in a flag football game and missing three weeks of classes.
“I’m a first-generation college student. My parents were supportive, but they couldn’t advise me when I struggled with a class or wondered what opportunities existed for me to study abroad.”
Today, he chooses his extracurricular activities very carefully, focusing on helping others face challenges in college that he often faced alone.
“I’m a first-generation college student. My parents were supportive, but they couldn’t advise me when I struggled with a class or wondered what opportunities existed for me to study abroad,” he said.
He had to figure it out by himself, but not all of his friends did.
“A lot of people who started community college when I did, dropped out after their first or second semester,” he said.
It’s one of the reasons he started a Multicultural Connections & Advisement Program at OMSA. It’s a mentorship program that caters to underrepresented freshmen and transfer students, both of whom suffer from low retention rates. The program helps the incoming students build connections with peers, faculty and staff, so they’ll graduate.
Stroble’s journey through the college experience hasn’t been easy, but he laughs when he recalls what his mother said the day he left for Virginia Tech.
“She told me that I was going to come home to Richmond one day and help someone else get through college.”
Learn how Stroble repeatedly overcame obstacles in his life in his TEDx Talk below titled “The Power of No.”