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Seven Virginia Tech students named Gates Millennium Scholars


BLACKSBURG, Va., Sept. 26, 2007 – Seven Virginia Tech students have been named Gates Millennium Scholars, now joining a program that promotes academic excellence and provides an opportunity for outstanding minority students with significant financial need to reach their highest potential.

Virginia Tech’s Gates Millennium Scholars are:

  • Michael Diaz of Sterling, Va., a fifth year computer engineering student in the College of Engineering;
  • Portia Galloway of Poughkeepsie, N.Y., a senior industrial systems engineering student in the College of Engineering;
  • Kimberly Haynie of Heathsville, Va., a first year master’s degree candidate in human nutrition, foods and exercise in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences;
  • Jessica Marshall of Virginia Beach, Va., a sophomore member of the Corps of Cadets and an international studies student in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences;
  • Justin McNatt of Tulsa, Ok., a sophomore mechanical engineering student in the College of Engineering;
  • Gerald Millner of Martinsville, Va., a doctoral candidate in career and technical education in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences;
  • Karin Pedemonte of Fairfax, Va., a sophomore math major in the College of Science.


Virginia Tech is committed to supporting the diverse community by acknowledging on-going efforts to increase access and inclusion to all and to create a community that nurtures learning and growth for its members and by actually living and working by the principles outlined in the Virginia Tech Principles of Community. Briefly stated, the Virginia Tech Principles of Community affirms the inherent dignity and value of every person, affirms the right of each person to express thoughts and opinions freely, affirms the value of human diversity because it enriches our lives and the University, and finally we reject all forms of prejudice and discrimination.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, in recognizing the increasing diversity in American society and the compelling need to increase access to higher education to reflect upon the diverse society in which we live, made a profound decision eight years ago to create the Gates Millennium Scholar program. It was an historic endeavor to provide academically talented, diverse students an opportunity to complete their college education.

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.