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Mercer Parker

Mercer Parker - Student Profile

I started at NOVA in the Fall of 1996. I didn't do so hot, so I took a long break and decided to come back as a business major in the Fall of 2011. I chose NOVA because I knew that it was a perfect starting point for someone who took a long break in their academic history.

When I started my second semester, I talked to my roommate and said, “Wow, I have to take a science class,” and he suggested geology. I took my first geology course, and within two weeks I knew that I had found my new passion. I was 34 at the time, and I talked to my professors and asked them if it was too late for me to get into science. Of course they were supportive of me, and still are to this day in a huge way.

NOVA’s geology department rivals some of the best four year university geology departments, and not only with the value of the teachers we have, but also the inventory of resources – it is just amazing. The environment here is tremendous. Everyone looks out for one another. I've been to a lot of four year campuses – the hominess and comfort is really what sets NOVA apart.

I've known plenty of students who go on to great schools like Madison, William and Mary and UVA, and that speaks volumes about the quality of teaching here. I literally could write a book from how my life has turned around from just coming back to NOVA!