He may have graduated more than three years ago, but Isaac Richards still reaches out to one of his favorite professors from time to time.
After earning his associate degree in computer science in 2019, the formerly homeschooled student transferred to George Mason University, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in computer science last May.
“Laurel Ridge was so close to where I lived and I heard the computer science program was really good,” he said. “I had known a few people who went to the college before I did, and they introduced me to a lot of their friends, so it felt like a really good community.”
In addition to Computer Science Professor Melissa Stange, from whom he learned so much, Calculus instructor Wendy Williams and Chemistry Professor Sam Dillender were other favorites of Richards’s.
“Calculus was one of my favorite classes,” he said. “Instructor Williams made a difficult subject a lot more fun to learn. I knew I wanted to do something with computers when I first got to Laurel Ridge, but I was worried about what math might be involved. It ended up being doable.”
He continues to keep in touch with Professor Stange, updating her on his career and checking in on possible additional classes he could take at Laurel Ridge to further his career.
Richards, who lives in Winchester, is now a software engineer for Probity Inc. in Herndon.
“I’m loving it,” Richards said of his job. “I have a great team. It’s nice to finally put the stuff I learned into practice. Eventually, I would love to work in computer science related to artificial intelligence.”
Laurel Ridge Community College was known as Lord Fairfax Community College until June 2022. For consistency purposes, the college will be referenced as Laurel Ridge going forward.