Margaret Cain: 2024 Fauquier Campus Outstanding Graduate ‣ Laurel Ridge Community College
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Margaret Cain: 2024 Fauquier Campus Outstanding Graduate

Cain photo
2024 Fauquier Campus Outstanding Graduate Margaret Cain.

Not only is Margaret Cain, the 2024 Outstanding Graduate for the Fauquier Campus, academically talented, she is driven to help others.

In her nomination of Margaret for the prestigious distinction, History Professor Nicole Martin noted her “superior” analytical and research skills.

“She is one of the most gifted writers I’ve had the pleasure to teach,” said Professor Martin. “Margaret excels in literary analysis, with a particular affinity for poetry. Her papers in my humanities courses were among the best I’ve received.”

In addition to mentoring and tutoring her classmates, she volunteered with and taught writing to high school students in the homeschool cooperative she was part of prior to attending Laurel Ridge, according to Martin. Additionally, she is supervising thesis papers written by seniors.

“She has organized fundraisers for a school project in Mexico, and for a local fund for needy families,” Martin said. “She is a can-do type of leader, but one who builds a team and works collaboratively with the team members.

“During her time at the college, Margaret has volunteered in a home for the elderly. One summer, she volunteered at an orphanage in Mexico and helped with a building project there as well. Locally, she has volunteered with the Fauquier Family Shelter and Warrenton Food Bank.”

Margaret, who was an officer in the two-year academic honor society Phi Theta Kappa, said she tutored students in English and in Anatomy and Physiology, although most were in the latter class.

“People are so much more willing to come to tutoring for Anatomy and Physiology than for English,” she said. “They kind of assumed anyone can write, and I think it’s just kind of a shame because it’s such a hard skill to learn.”

Margaret, who got married last October, loves helping to coach others in writing, and is considering starting a business to do just that, or possibly first continuing her education with a bachelor’s degree in English. But, that chapter will have to wait – her first child is due in August.

“I’m kind of more focused on having my baby,” said Margaret.

The day after graduating high school in 2020, Margaret enrolled in Laurel Ridge. She already knew Professor Martin from her homeschool network.

“It kind of made coming to Laurel Ridge feel a little bit more approachable,” Margaret said. “A lot of my friends who were also in the co-op with me went to Laurel Ridge, and they had really good experiences. I thought why would I go anywhere else when I knew this was a good college and the campus was so close.”

While she initially considered nursing and even took some prerequisites for the RN program, her “passion” for English won out.

“Short stories and poetry, in particular, are what I like,” she noted. “I love when people have kind of hit a wall in their paper, and I ask if they’ve thought about this, and they come up with something way better than I could possibly have done.”

The size of the Fauquier Campus helped Margaret to feel more connected to classmates and faculty.

“You can get to know so many people and you can get so involved on campus,” she said. “I really appreciated that. I don’t think that four-year universities can usually offer that.”

English instructor Joe Walls was a favorite of hers.

“I think I took five of his English classes,” Margaret said. “His classes were incredible. Anatomy and Physiology with Professor Butch Austin was so, so good, too.

“I tell everyone, especially students who don’t know what they want to do that they should take community college classes. It’s such a great place to explore who you are and who you want to be and try things in a very financially responsible way, and get to know your community a little bit better.”

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.