Amanda Gearhart

Senior Assistant Director of Admission
Amanda Gearhart

Hometown: Reading, MA

Education: B.S. in Entomology, University of Delaware

Favorite ice cream flavor? Coffee Oreo, but I try Cookies and Cream at every new place for comparison.

Favorite Wikipedia page? Honeypot Ant – so crazy! Social insects are amazing.

Favorite RVA restaurant? Lunch & Supper.

If you could go back to college and major in a different subject, what would you pick? Why?

I wish there was a major in admission! I loved studying insects in college; something that remains interesting with each year is so valuable. That said, if I had to choose to study another major that would have kept me engaged all four years, it would probably be Latin. The language is so interesting and the way it is taught is truly unique.

What is one piece of advice you’d give students for the college search/application process?

When you’re taking a tour of a campus, don’t talk exclusively to your tour guide. I always recommend that a student stroll around campus and talk to other students as they shuffle between classes. Ask for directions and see how current students react! I think this gives students additional insight into the culture of a campus.

Take the lead in your college search. You’ll likely have the opinions of many individuals when making your college list, but remember this will be your home for the next four years. Don’t be shy in expressing your opinion and initiating the steps to help you gather the information you need. When it’s all over, don’t forget to thank your team for their support along the way!

Do you have any favorite restaurants or local cuisine within your travel region? What do you do with your scant free time when you’re on the road?

When I am traveling, I love all of the ice cream! I am well on my way to visiting the most popular ice cream spots in every state. Some of my favorites are Churn in Phoenix, Arizona, and Salt & Straw in Portland, Oregon. I will happily visit any recommendations!

While many officers on the road find moments to decompress in coffee shops across the U.S., I love to find some time in a local library. Libraries provide the best place to connect to free WiFi and catch up on emails.

Let’s talk about RVA. What do you like about living here? What are your favorite things to do in the city/region? What should visitors be sure to check out?

I love RVA! There is so much to do around the city, from a festival nearly every weekend, to an art gallery or museum on most blocks. I have been so impressed by Richmond’s commitment to keeping it local. There are locally-owned bookstores, convenience stores, and everything in between. Richmond has such a vibrant and unique identity. Because of our reputation as a mural-city, there is also plenty of color everywhere!