BLACKSBURG, Va., April 3, 2012 – Martha Vivian Blakely of Reading, Pa., has been named 2012 Outstanding Graduating Senior for the College of Science.
Blakely will graduate in May with a double major in chemistry and biochemistry and a minor in mathematics along with a near perfect quality credit (grade point) average. She has excelled in her academics with Dean's List recognition and as a member of the University Honors Program.
Blakely has participated in summer research programs at Temple University and Virginia Tech and has received numerous academic and leadership awards, including the Alumni Presidential Scholarship, the college's Rising Freshman and Sophomore Scholarships, and the T.W. Hatcher Department of Mathematics Scholarship. In addition, she was a finalist for the Rhodes, Mitchell, and Marshall Scholarships.
A member of the women's varsity tennis team since 2008, she received regional and national rankings in both singes and doubles. Blakely was named the first Academic All-American in tennis at Virginia Tech. She received the Skelton Award for Academic Excellence in Athletics, and the Frank Loria Award, which is presented to one athlete annually who exemplifies outstanding leadership and scholarship.
In addition to academics and athletics, Blakely has been a volunteer tutor at Christiansburg Middle School, a reader and speaker at several elementary schools, a volunteer at the Montgomery County Christmas store, and a participant in Relay For Life.
Blakely is the daughter of Thomas and Pamela Blakely.
The Outstanding Graduating Senior Awards are presented at the Student Honors Day Banquet each spring. These awards are co-sponsored by the Virginia Tech Alumni Association and the senior class.
The purpose of the award is to recognize outstanding student performance in each college of the university. Students are selected on the basis of their grade point average (3.4 or higher on a 4.0 scale) and outstanding performance in several or all of the following areas: academic achievement, extracurricular activities, leadership positions, and contributions of service to the university and/or community.
The College of Science at Virginia Tech gives students a comprehensive foundation in the scientific method. Outstanding faculty members teach courses and conduct research in biological sciences, chemistry, economics, geosciences, mathematics, physics, psychology, and statistics. The college offers programs in cutting-edge areas including, among others, those in energy and the environment, developmental science across the lifespan, infectious diseases, computational science, nanoscience, and neuroscience. The College of Science is dedicated to fostering a research-intensive environment that promotes scientific inquiry and outreach.