Posted on Tuesday, August 21, 2018


Lord Fairfax Community College is enjoying a moment of pride as one of its former students transfers this fall to Columbia University and participates in a prestigious fellowship for students with military service.

Matthew Baroncelli’s path has carried him from Woodstock, Virginia to the U.S. Marines, where he served in Southeast Asia and joined in humanitarian missions, and then to Argentina, where he participated in primate behavioral research.

Bookending his military service, Baroncelli earned 30 college credits at LFCC, which he is transferring to Columbia.

Baroncelli always knew he wanted to go to college and serve his country. He thought he would go to college first, but changed his mind.

“At the age of 17 or 18, I felt my mind wasn’t ready to be in that college environment,” Baroncelli says. “I knew instead of blowing the next four years, I wanted to do something I had always wanted to do for this country while also receiving great direction and a goal-oriented mindset.”

In addition to enrolling at Columbia, Baroncelli is one of only 30 college students (and the only one from a community college) to be named a Veterans in Global Leadership (VGL) fellow this year.

“At LFCC, I had an amazing experience,” Baroncelli says. “I felt like I was really on the right path towards something.”

Baroncelli plans to major in East Asian studies and will learn Mandarin. 

Read LFCC’s news release about Matthew Baroncelli here.'

Jim Babb

Jim Babb works for Virginia's Community Colleges in the Office of Strategic Communications.

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