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Student leaders share experiences at conference in Mexico


BLACKSBURG, Va., Oct. 17, 2006 – Ten Virginia Tech student leaders will test their skills in leadership, diplomacy, and Spanish at the International Convention of Student Leaders on the Monterrey Tec campus in Monterrey, Mexico Oct. 18-21.

The students will attend the leadership conference, share housing with resident advisors (or prefectos) and host families from Monterrey Tec, and participate in a residence life workshop with other students and professionals from Monterrey Tec, Texas A&M University, University of Southern California, University of British Columbia, and University of California-Berkeley.

Participants were selected from a pool of applicants to represent Virginia Tech. They include:
==> Soli Aguilar of Miami, Fla., a senior majoring in psychology in the College of Science. Aguilar is the social chair for the student organization, Latin Link.
==> Vanina Alanes of Springfield, Va., a sophomore majoring in accounting and information systems in the Pamplin College of Business. Alanes is a member of Latin Link/Latin American Student Organization.
==> Jacqueline Beiro of Alexandria, Va., a senior majoring in Spanish and communication in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences. Beiro is a member of Latin Link.
==> Amelia Castañeda of Harrisonburg, Va., a junior majoring in human development in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences. Castañeda is president of Latin Link.
==> Jennifer Crook of Richmond, Va., a junior majoring in history and political science in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences. Crook is vice president of programming for the university’s Student Government Association.
==> Ryan Gleeson of Fairfax Station, Va., a sophomore majoring in university studies. Gleeson is an executive team member for Virginia Tech’s Freshman Leadership Experience.
==> Jordan Moore of Virginia Beach, Va., a sophomore majoring in human nutrition, foods and exercise in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Moore is a resident advisor in Virginia Tech’s Monteith Hall.
==> Gopal Penny of Crozet, Va., a senior majoring in electrical engineering in the College of Engineering. Penny is a resident advisor in Virginia Tech’s Pritchard Hall.
==> Sher Vogel of South Mills, N.C., a senior majoring in international studies and communications in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences. Vogel is a resident advisor in Virginia Tech’s WORLD theme housing community in Newman Hall.
==> Jay Williams of Hickory, N.C., a junior majoring in psychology in the College of Science and management in the Pamplin College of Business. Williams is a resident advisor in the Honors Program theme housing community in Virginia Tech’s Main Campbell Hall.

“These students stood out because we could see their excitement and enthusiasm in their applications,” said Tricia Smith, trip supervisor and area coordinator in Virginia Tech’s residential programs. “Each student brings something unique to the group—majors, where they are from, experiences—so they can learn from one another as well as the Mexican students and culture.”

The Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs supported the project through a Parents Fund grant designed to promote international leadership and education endeavors.

“It is important to support programs like this because they help promote the development of multicultural understanding and they prepare our students for employment in the global economy,” said Cynthia Bonner, chief of staff and director of administration for the Division of Student Affairs.

Upon their return to Virginia Tech, the students give two presentations: one for the staff of the Vice President for Student Affairs Office to thank them for the support and share their experiences, and the other for Residence Life staff members to share what they learned and generate interest for the Monterrey Tec student exchange that will take place next spring.

Monterrey Tec consists of 32 campuses across Mexico. The main campus, located in Monterrey, enrolls more than 17,000 full-time students, 1,600 of which live on campus in the 19 residence halls. The university has a tradition of strong international and exchange programs and enjoys a large international student population, with nearly 3,500 of its total 95,000 students hailing from other countries.

Founded in 1872 as a land-grant college, Virginia Tech is the most comprehensive university in the Commonwealth of Virginia and is among the top research universities in the nation. Today, Virginia Tech’s eight colleges are dedicated to quality, innovation, and results through teaching, research, and outreach activities. At its 2,600-acre main campus located in Blacksburg and other campus centers in Northern Virginia, Southwest Virginia, Hampton Roads, Richmond, and Roanoke, Virginia Tech enrolls more than 28,000 undergraduate and graduate students from all 50 states and more than 100 countries in 180 academic degree programs.