The attributes that make Kellen Larkin successful on the pitching mound at Stallard Field—a strong work ethic, sharp focus, confidence, and humility—are the same traits he brings to his new role as chair of the UVa-Wise Honor Court.
Larkin, a California native who moved with his family to Blacksburg, Virginia just before he started high school, began his duties as Honor Court chair this semester after his fellow students gave him the nod in the election last spring.
While leading the Honor Court is a new position for the senior, representing students and the College is not new for the business administration major. Larkin served as the student member on the UVa-Wise College Board last year. Larkin’s term on the Board coincided with the University of Virginia’s Bicentennial Celebration, which meant he represented his fellow students at the festivities on Grounds. He often interacted with UVA students on a variety of issues as well.
“It was a fun experience to serve as student representative on the UVa-Wise Board,” Larkin said. “I enjoyed learning how the College works.”
Larkin has served on the Honor Court as a class representative for three years, but he begins his fourth year sitting in the big chair.
“It’s a position I’ve always wanted to hold,” he said. “The constitution needs some updating. I want to jump on that now.”
Larkin plans to reach out to Faculty Senate Chair Rachel Tighe and secure a slot on the senate’s agenda to discuss the Honor Court and explain its workings to faculty.
“I want faculty input,” he said. “Getting faculty input will help them trust the Honor Court more. Some may not understand or trust our system, but if they have input, they may see us at a higher standard.”
The facts often present themselves clearly in Honor Court cases, Larkin explained. As a non-voting member of the body of eight, Larkin said his primary role is to clarify issues.
“I’m not there to force my opinion,” he said. “Everyone is innocent until proven guilty.”
Another goal Larkin has for his term as chair is to help his classmates understand the Honor Court process.
“Honor Court should be discussed in more detail in Freshman Seminar classes,” he added. “It really hits students fast when they walk into the Honor Court room and see the members sitting there in suits and dresses. They know it’s serious.”
Larkin plans to attend law school when he graduates in the spring. He enjoys watching baseball, and looks forward to rekindling his reading hobby after his long sessions with textbooks end. He also enjoys hiking when he has the time.