BLACKSBURG, Va., June 1, 2011 – Ryan A. Anderson of Hampton, Va., a senior majoring in biological sciences in the College of Science, and Camille M. DaDamio of Vienna, Va., a senior majoring in industrial and systems engineering in the College of Engineering, are recipients of Virginia Tech’s 2011 Undergraduate Man and Woman of the Year awards.
The awards were presented by Virginia Tech President Charles W. Steger at the annual Student Recognition Banquet held Saturday, April 2, 2011, at the Inn at Virginia Tech and were celebrated again at the 19th annual University Student Leadership Awards on Thursday, April 28, 2011, in Squires Student Center.
The Virginia Tech Undergraduate Man and Woman of the Year awards recognize two graduating students who achieved overall excellence during their undergraduate careers at the university. They are the most prestigious non-academic undergraduate awards given at Virginia Tech, and are awarded to those students who have exceptional and balanced achievement in academics, leadership, and service. The recipients exemplify the qualities and values important to a Virginia Tech education, captured in the university motto Ut Prosim (That I May Serve). Award recipients are selected by a committee of students, faculty, and administrators from across the academic colleges and the Division of Student Affairs, which sponsors and administers the annual awards.
Anderson graduated with a degree in biological sciences in the College of Science. He was a member of the Corps of Cadets and the Virginia Tech Air Force ROTC program. His extensive list of service, leadership, and academic activities demonstrates his commitment to his peers and community. He said, “I am grateful for the numerous opportunities afforded to me by Virginia Tech that have defined who I am today. Through these experiences I have improved certain qualities such as important interpersonal skills, a high level of commitment, the ability to make decisions under pressure, a constant pursuit of professionalism, and a belief in an uncompromising level of integrity.”
Many leadership roles led to one of Anderson’s biggest responsibilities — serving as Regimental Commanding Officer of this year’s 800 members of the Corps of Cadets. “One of my biggest focuses was retention of cadets and their successful transition to the rigor of university academics,” Anderson said. Although Anderson’s campus involvement was strongly rooted in the strict daily schedule and lifestyle of the Corps of Cadets, he was also heavily involved in community service both at Virginia Tech and in his hometown. Anderson worked with the Women’s Center as project coordinator for the Virginia Tech White Ribbon Campaign to take a stand against men committing violence against women. He said it, “has hopefully encouraged and benefited many relationships.”
Anderson also worked with local youth and served as a Little League Baseball coach, mentor, tutor, and summer camp volunteer. Anderson maintained a solid academic record in addition to his busy extracurricular schedule. He was inducted into four national honor societies and graduated summa cum laude in May. Anderson is now pursuing a career in the medical field at the Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine.
Susan Haymore, academic advising coordinator in the College of Science, said Anderson, “has a strong philosophy to put service before self, and this is not something that he learned but something that he has lived.” For his commitment to the university, the Corps of Cadets, and Ut Prosim, Virginia Tech has selected Ryan A. Anderson as the Virginia Tech Undergraduate Man of the Year for 2011.
Anderson is the son of Cindy and William Anderson of Hampton, Va.
DaDamio graduated with a degree in industrial and systems engineering in the College of Engineering. From her arrival as a freshman, DaDamio says she made her expectations of herself and others clear. “I have always advocated to my peers that we should make the most of our time in college by getting involved in interesting and personally meaningful activities so that we benefit not only from our efforts but can also give something back in return,” DaDamio said.
DaDamio was a member of the honors program as well as several professional and honors societies. She promoted the university and shared her school spirit as a Hokie Ambassador, Hokie Camp counselor, and Student Alumni Association member. Her philanthropic work included activities affiliated with her Greek organization, Zeta Tau Alpha, as well as several programs within Virginia Tech’s engineering department, such as the ROXIE (Real Outreach eXperiences In Engineering) project, which gives engineering students real-world experience in design and problem solving for area non-profit organizations.
DaDamio said, “I always try to leave a place better than I found it, and I believe I will do so at Virginia Tech because I know that I am a much better person for having been here.” Following graduation, DaDamio is working as an engineer for General Motors.
Thomas C. Tillar Jr., vice president for alumni relations, described Camille’s energy as “virtually boundless” which leads her to be a “tireless ambassador for the university.” Tillar said she is “a very engaged student and leader among her peers” and applauded “her skill at mentoring, hosting, being a spokesperson and advocate, and always espousing true Hokie spirit and hospitality.” For her dedication to service, leadership, and academics, Virginia Tech has selected Camille DaDamio as the Virginia Tech Undergraduate Woman of the Year for 2011.
DaDamio is the daughter of Jeanne and Greg DaDamio of Vienna, Va.
The Division of Student Affairs at Virginia Tech encompasses departments dedicated to providing a rich co-curricular experience and essential student services. Virtually every aspect of a student's life outside the classroom is represented through the division's departments.
Written by Leigh Ann Benson of Wrentham, Mass., a 2011 graduate with a degree in English in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences.