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Aspire! Awards recognize 25 inspirational Virginia Tech students


BLACKSBURG, Va., May 16, 2012 – The Division of Student Affairs recognized 25 students in its first year of presenting the Aspire! Awards, which recognize students who exemplify the division’s five Aspirations for Student Learning.

One student was recognized for each aspiration in the months of October, November, February, March, and April. Students were nominated by peers or by Virginia Tech faculty and staff as best representing the five aspirations — a commitment to unwavering curiosity, pursuing self-understanding and integrity, practicing civility, preparing for a life of courageous leadership, and embracing Ut Prosim (That I May Serve) as a way of life.

The following students were recognized:

October 2011

November 2011

  • Curiosity: Makayla Greathouse of Chesapeake, Va., a senior double majoring in human development in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences and psychology in the College of Science;
  • Self-understanding and Integrity: Amanda McGrath of Springfield, Vt., a senior majoring in history in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Studies;
  • Civility: Austin Larrowe of Woodlawn, Va., a sophomore double majoring in agricultural sciences and applied economics management in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences;
  • Courageous Leadership: Susan Ahn of Springfield, Va., a junior double majoring in economics in the College of Science and international studies in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences; and
  • Ut Prosim: Nicole Catalfamo of Ashburn, Va., a senior double majoring in accounting and information systems in the Pamplin College of Business and philosophy in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences.

February 2012

  • Curiosity: Patrick Goley of Gaithersburg, Md., a junior majoring in electrical engineering in the College of Engineering;
  • Self-understanding and Integrity: Tuan Hoai Minh Nguyen of Vung Tau, Vietnam, a sophomore double majoring in art history in the College of Architecture and Urban Studies and philosophy in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences:
  • Civility: Kara Dodson of Lynchburg, Va., a senior majoring in environmental resources management in the College of Natural Resources and Environment;
  • Courageous Leadership: Matthew Cook of King George, Va., a senior majoring in biology in the College of Science; and
  • Ut Prosim: Christopher Ramos of Woodbridge, Va., a senior majoring in business management in the Pamplin College of Business.

March 2012

  • Curiosity: Naomi Dam of Fairfax, Va., a senior double majoring in international studies and Spanish in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences;
  • Self-understanding and Integrity: Carly Edwards of Smithfield, Va., a senior majoring in business marketing management in the Pamplin College of Business;
  • Civility: Thomas Patchan of Herndon, Va., a sophomore majoring in civil engineering in the College of Engineering;
  • Courageous Leadership: Zach Helmintoller of Land O’Lakes, Fl., a graduate student majoring in accounting and information systems; and
  • Ut Prosim: Justin Graves of Fredericksburg, Va., a senior majoring in sociology in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences.

April 2012

  • Curiosity: Samuel Rutledge of Chevy Chase, Md., a senior majoring in biology in the College of Science:
  • Self-understanding and Curiosity: Victoria Bunting of Milton, De., a junior double majoring in human development and art in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences;
  • Civility: Christina Robinson of Glen Allen, Va., a senior double majoring in human development in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences and psychology in the College of Science:
  • Courageous Leadership: Matthew Smith of Virginia Beach, Va., a senior majoring in hospitality and tourism management in the Pamplin College of Business; and
  • Ut Prosim: Rial Tombes of Richmond, Va., a senior majoring in environmental policy and planning in the College of Architecture and Urban Studies.

The Aspire! Awards for 2012-13 will begin in the fall semester. A student can be nominated by anyone who believes the student deserves credit for living up to one of the five aspirations. Nominations are accepted through an online form at the aspirations website, and should include an essay of up to 750 words focusing on why the nominee fits the spirit of a specific aspiration.

Once a nomination is received, the different aspiration committees will review each submission and choose the students they believe best represent the essence of the aspiration.

Visit the Aspire! Awards website for more information.

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 Jennifer Gibson.