Molly Acord

Beckley, WV

photo of Molly Acord

Academic Info: Chemical Engineering

Year at VT: 4th

Professional and Student Organization Memberships: Alpha Chi Sigma - Professional Chemistry Fraternity

Internships: I am involved in research in the biomedical engineering department, working on Lupus, Autism, and Blood Brain Barrier studies.

What did you do during the summer? I will be participating in a Unit Operations Laboratory in Denmark this summer. It's a 5 week program. I will be traveling to other countries in Europe, like Greece, Italy, Spain and France, prior to the course. This is a course you have to take as a chemical engineer between your junior and senior year, and I am lucky enough to travel abroad to do so.

Favorite thing about VT: The sense of family. Despite the range of ethnic backgrounds, religions, and political views all the students have, our ability to pull together as a community for the greater good of our school is what it means to be a Hokie.

Something you wish you knew as a first year student: I would like to have known more about the different  pathways engineers can take. Yes, the majority of engineers go into industry, but that does not have to be your path. I hope to attend graduate school and explore research for my career, while others continue on to medical school, consulting, or business. I hope to help my mentees explore all their options, so they know what makes them happy.

A fun fact about yourself: I love The Office, flowers, and animals (I'm planning to adopt a cat this fall!)


Shahanara Akter

Home TownAlexandria, Virginia

photo of Akter

Academic Info: Chemical Engineering

Year at VT: 2nd

Professional and Student Organization Memberships: Alpha Omega Epsilon

Favorite thing about VT: Everyone here is so nice and friendly you never have to worry about asking for help!

Something you wish you knew as a first year student: I wish I knew how helpful my advisor is!


Adam (Ezra) Alt

Home Town: Highpoint, NC

photo of Alt

Academic info: Mechanical Engineering

Year at VT: 2nd

Favorite thing about VT:The community atmosphere and the friends made.

Something you wish you knew as a first year student? Chances are that most people you see do not know anyone on campus the first few days so it is alright to put yourself out there.

A fun fact about yourself: I have been a Virginia Tech fan all my life!


Gaurav Anand

Home Town: Fujairah, UAE

photo of Anand

Academic info: Chemical Engineering

Year at VT: 2nd

Favorite thing about VT: The community here at VT is so lively and friendly. The hokie community is so diverse and inclusive; it always feels like home!

Something you wish you knew as a first year student? I wish I could have found out sooner about the cool places to eat off campus!

A fun fact about yourself: I am a mac and cheese enthusiast.


David Blackwood

Home Town: Long Valley, New Jersey

photo of Blackwood

Academic info: Mechanical Engineering

Year at VT: 2nd

Home Town: Smithtown, New York

Professional and Student Organization Memberships: Phi Sigma Kappa Fraternity, BAJA SAE Design Team, Virginia Tech Cycling.

Internships: Haas Laser Technologies Inc.

What did you do during the summer? I will be working locally this summer for Haas Laser Technologies where I will be manufacturing laser parts. Also I plan to mountain bike every day, and go on a road trip down the east coast this summer.

Favorite thing about VT: The people at Virginia Tech are the best part! Everyone is very friendly and welcoming, with a great sense of community. You can be anywhere in the world and someone will come up to you and say "Go Hokies!". This says a lot about the school spirit and the community that comes with being a part of Hokie nation.

Something you wish you knew as a first year student? I wish I knew about the undergraduate design teams in the Ware lab earlier because I think this is something great to get involved in. Otherwise I learned a lot about the opportunities available to me and had a smooth transition from high school to college through being a CEED mentee.

A fun fact about yourself: I am an avid mountain biker, and have previously made it to the mountain biking cross country nationals and placed 2nd.


Samantha Bond

Home Town: Cary, North Carolina

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Academic info: Engineering, Science, and Mechanics

Year at VT: 2nd

Professional and Student Organization Memberships:  SAA (Student Alumni Associates), Cru, FLEX (Freshman Leadership Experience), Hypatia

What did you do during the summer?This summer I will be traveling to South Africa with RSAP (Rising Sophomore Abroad Program) and I will be returning to VT to work for C-Tech3 in June!

Favorite thing about VT: Football games (GO HOKIES!) and the overwhelming sense of community across campus!

Something you wish you knew as a first year student? Find a balance between academics and social life: your grades are important but it's equally important to get involved with things you're passionate about on campus! There are so many resources available so take advantage of them while you can.

A fun fact about yourself: I'm the only blonde in my family so my nickname was "Blondie" in middle school


Tori Bossa

Home Town: Alexandria, VA

photo of Bossa

Academic info: Civil and Environmental Engineering

Year at VT: 4th

Professional and Student Organization Memberships: American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) VT Chapter , Concrete Canoe Design Team, Concrete for Kids, Center for the Enhancement of Engineering Diversity (CEED), College of Engineering Deans Team

What did you do during the summer? Internship - Field engineer intern for Clark Construction on a large job site in the D.C. Metropolitan Area.

Internships: 1.) Clark Construction Group - Summer 2017 2.) CBG Building Company - Summer 2016 3.) Clark Builders Group - Summer 2015 4.) Skanska USA Building - June 2014 5.) Skanska Infrastructure Development (ID) - December 2013

Favorite thing about VT: The Hokie Spirit (EVERYWHERE), friendly campus community, and food!

Something you wish you knew as a first year student? When to find extra academic support, outside of office hours. The resources are there; you just have to take initiative to find them!

A fun fact about yourself: My sister (also a Hokie!) and I are seven weeks apart!


Thessa Bravo

Home Town: Virginia Beach, VA

photo of Thessa Bravo

Academic info: Industrial and Systems Engineering

Year at VT: 3rd

Professional and Student Organization Memberships: SHPE, Latin Link, Yates Ambassador

Internships: Jefferson Lab Engineering Intern, Operations Excellence Intern with Ingersoll Rand

What did you do during the summer? Interning in Vidalia, GA which is the city named after the white onion.

Favorite thing about VT: Watching the leaves turn maroon and orange in the fall

Something you wish you knew as a first year student? Attend every professor's office hours and don't end the semester without your professor knowing your name. Your professor's from first-year engineering classes will help you from internships to scholarship opportunities.

A fun fact about yourself: I have rewatched Gilmore Girls 22 times from start to finish.


Isabelle Brown

Home Town: Virginia Beach, VA

photo of Brown

Academic info: Aerospace & Ocean Engineering

Year at VT: 3rd

Professional and Student Organization Memberships: Running Club at Virginia Tech, SNAME

Favorite thing about VT: It's hard to narrow it down to one thing because I just love Virginia Tech so much. If I had to, it would be Hokie Nation. Being a Hokie gives you this feeling that no matter where you are or what you're doing, you're a part of this immense family that will be there to support you no matter what.

Something you wish you knew as a first year student? That it's okay to fail a little, there isn't only one path to your degree.

A fun fact about yourself: 2 truths and a lie: I have been to Ireland, President Sands knows me, and I've never missed a football game.


Emilia Carotti

Home Town: Leesburg, VA

Academic info: Civil Engineering

Year at VT: 3rd

Favorite thing about VT: My favorite thing about VT is everyone's spirit. VT students are happy to be here, proud to be a Hokie, and want to share their experiences with everyone. There's always something to do and someone new to meet at Virginia Tech.

Something you wish you knew as a first year student: I wish I stayed organized! I needed an agenda, better time management skills, and a little more motivation.

A fun fact about yourself: I used to live in Brazil from the ages of 6-12, so I basically for my whole childhood!


Shirley Chani

Home Town: Ashburn, VA

photo of Chani

Academic info: Industrial & Systems Engineering

Year at VT: 2nd

Professional and Student Organization Memberships: Society of Women Engineers (SWE), Alpha Chi Omega Sorority, Hypatia Living and Learning Community resident (freshman year)

Internships:General Electric Aviation internship (summer 2017)

Favorite thing about VT: The food!!

Something you wish you knew as a first year student? I wish I'd known how helpful and important it is to often attend professors' office hours to be able to ask questions and get help on the class's material.

A fun fact about yourself: I was born in Blacksburg and my whole family went to/currently goes to VT!


Daniela Charles

Home Town: Hampton, Virginia

photo of Charles

Academic info: Civil and Environmental Engineering

Year at VT: 2nd

Professional and Student Organization Memberships: Caribbean Student Organization (CaribSO), National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), Society of Women Engineers (SWE)

What did you do during the summer? I'll be taking classes at a local community college and working part time.

Favorite thing about VT: The campus life.

Something you wish you knew as a first year student? That I didn't need to purchase textbooks for all my classes even though they say it's required.

A fun fact about yourself: I randomly do different accents from around the world.


Mela Coffey

Home Town:Sterling, VA

photo of Coffey

Academic Info: Engineering Science and Mechanics

Year at VT: 2nd

Professional and Student Organization Memberships: Society of Women Engineers (SWE), Engineering Outreach (SPARK), Bonding with Animals through Recreation on Campus (BARC)

Favorite thing about VT: Food, the amazing people I've met, and the strong sense of community

Something you wish you knew as a first year student: College isn't as bad as everyone makes it out to be. As long as you stay organized, know your work habits, find a nice place to study, and leave time for yourself, you'll be fine!

A fun fact about yourself: I identify as Fijian, American, and Chinese - my brother and I were the first generation of my Fijian family born in the U.S. I did competitive gymnastics for 7 years and recently started indoor rock climbing three years ago, so I love staying active, but I also love relaxing and watching Disney movies with friends.


Brandon Combs

Home Town:Big Stone Gap, VA.

photo of Combs

Academic Info: Computer Engineering

Year at VT: 2nd

Favorite thing about VT: The drive for success that I see in most of the student body, the strong sense of community, and Saturday Football.

Something you wish you knew as a first year student: I wish I was more willing to step out of my comfort zone my first year - everyone is in the same boat as you are, the earlier you get involved around campus the bigger a splash you can make!


Kaitlyn Coughlin

Home Town: Bel Air, Maryland

photo of KCoughlin

Academic Info: Electrical Engineering

Year at VT: 2nd

Professional and Student Organization Memberships: SWE

What did you do during the summer? I will be working at two summer camps at Virginia Tech promoting engineering to younger students.

Favorite thing about VT: I love the atmosphere of Virginia Tech. The comradery and the people make Virginia Tech what it is.

Something you wish you knew as a first year student: I wish I tried more activities and went outside of my comfort zone more.


Megan Coughlin

Home Town: Bel Air, Maryland (not the cool 'Fresh Prince of Bel Air')

photo of MCoughlin

Year at VT: 3rd

Professional and Student Organization Memberships: Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers (IISE), Society of Women Engineers (SWE), Intramural sports, Galipatia, Alpha Omega Epsilon, Society of American Military Engineers

Internships: Department of Defense, Aberdeen, Maryland, summer 2016, Industrial Engineer Intern

Favorite thing about VT: My favorite thing about VT is the Hokie Spirit and friendly, tight-knit community!

Something you wish you knew as a first year student: To not let one bad test define you, pick yourself up and let it make you stronger!

A fun fact about yourself: I studied abroad in New Zealand and bungee jumped off the 3rd longest bungee (134 m) in the world (check out my video on YouTube). I have tried over 50 pumpkin flavored items. Also I love to run and have completed 3 half marathons (planning to run a full marathon this year).


Christie Crandall

Home Town: Purcellville, VA

photo of Crandall

Academic Info: Engineering Science and Mechanics

Year at VT: 3rd

Professional and Student Organization Memberships: Student Government Association

What did you do during the summer? I'm a YMCA Summer Camp Counselor!

Favorite thing about VT: I love how Tech is big but feels small! The town of Blacksburg and rural surroundings make the campus seem close knit and integrated. Yet, the school itself is large enough to meet lots of interesting people and provide a plethora of activities and opportunities!

Something you wish you knew as a first year student: I wish I'd known how little of an open mind I had. I came into school thinking that I'd know where I was going to fit in and who I would spend my time with but in reality I didn't! I ended up doing a lot of different things to find my place and I'm glad I did!


Antonio De Cecco

Home Town: Falls Church, VA

photo of De Cecco

Academic Info: Biological Systems Engineering

Year at VT: 3rd

Professional and Student Organization Memberships: Engineers Without Borders

Favorite thing about VT: Football and basketball games!!

Something you wish you knew as a first year student: I wish I would have known how crucial time management skills are in order to balance school and personal life, especially first semester.

A fun fact about yourself: I am half Italian, half Filipino


Kelvin DeFeo

Home Town: West Grove, Pennsylvania

photo of DeFeo

Academic Info: Electrical Engineer

Year at VT: 2nd

Professional and Student Organization Memberships: Bridges to Prosperity, VT rocketry club, Intramural Sports

Favorite thing about VT: The Hokie spirit

Something you wish you knew as a first year student: Go to your teachers office hours! They are happy to help and are a great resources especially as an engineering student.

A fun fact about yourself: I love to watch and play sports especially Ice Hockey.


Rachelle Del Rosario (WEST)

Home Town: Virginia Beach, VA

photo of Rachelle Del Rosario

Academic info: Civil and Environmental Engineering

Year at VT: 3rd

Professional and Student Organization Memberships: American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), Bridges to Prosperity, Concrete Canoe

Internships: City of Virginia Beach - Department of Public Works - Traffic Engineering Division

Favorite thing about VT: I love the community! Everyone is respectful of each other and there's a bond that Hokies share that make attending classes and activities enjoyable.

Something you wish you knew as a first year student: I wish I knew who the best teachers were for the classes I was taking.

A fun fact about yourself: I grew up as a military child, traveling around the world every 2-3 years!


Claudia Desimone

Home Town: Roanoke, Virginia

photo of Desimone

Academic info: Industrial and Systems Engineering

Year at VT: 3rd

Professional and Student Organization Memberships: Social Media Manager for Spoon University and member of Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers (IISE)

Favorite thing about VT: Hands down D2. Definitely the most underrated dining hall.

Something you wish you knew as a first year student? GI wish I had known to take advantage of being on campus and surrounded by so many people all the time. Also, to not be afraid to ask for help.

A fun fact about yourself: I am obsessed with blueberry coffee and all of my friends think it's so weird.


Valerie DiGuilio

Home Town: Spring, Texas

photo of DiGuilio

Academic Info: Industrial & Systems Engineering

Year at VT: 2nd

Professional and Student Organization Memberships: IISE, Was in Hypatia, Women's Health & Fitness Club

Internships: The Woodlands Area Economic Development Partnership

What did you do during the summer? Not quite sure yet. Might get an internship, might travel to Spain and Greece will by boyfriend and his family, and/or might take summer courses at home

Favorite thing about VT: I absolutely love the almost nurturing environment. Everyone is rooting for you to succeed, and is willing to help, and that's exactly what I was looking for in a college.

Something you wish you knew as a first year student: I wish I would have known to form study groups early on.

A fun fact about yourself: I absolutely love my cat, Oscar. He is a star.


Serena Emanuel

Home Town: Centreville, VA

photo of Serena Emanuel

Academic info: Biological Systems Engineering

Year at VT: 4th

Professional and Student Organization Memberships: ASABE / LEWAS Lab Undergraduate Research Assistant / VT Swim Club / VT Contemporary Dance Ensemble Internships and Co-op Positions: VT Office of Sustainability Internship (2015-Present) / University Honors Admissions Intern (2016-Present) / Water Resources Internship with POWERCHINA HUADONG in Hangzhou, China (Summer 2016)

What did you do during the summer? This summer 2017 I will be participating in the National Science Foundation IREU Costa Rica Sustainable Energy and Water Resources Research Experience!

Favorite thing about VT: I love all of the unique opportunities: innertube water polo, international street fair, caving, and Cadet v. Civilian snowball fights are just a few of my favorites! I also love the people--a common thread is that they are humble and passionate. Hokie recognize the importance of balance between working hard and enjoying life which makes VT such a pleasant place to be.

Something you wish you knew as a first year student? I wish I would have known about some really cool (free!) resources on campus like Innovation Space (where you can rent cameras and GoPros for free), the Career Center (where they will help with resumes and mock interviews), and Frith Freshmen Engineering Lab (can use laser cutters and 3D printers...for free).

Anything else to share: I love hiking, swimming, dancing, biking and recently started rock climbing! Last summer I backpacked through Tibetan mountain valleys in western China and slept in fields of yaks!


Daniel Essandoh

Home Town: Accra, Ghana

Academic info: Chemical Engineering

Year at VT: 3rd

Professional and Student Organization Memberships: National Black Society of Black Engineers(NSBE), International Students of Pharmaceutical Engineering(ISPE), American Institute of Chemical Engineers(AIChE), African Students Association.

Internships: MAOP Summer Research Internship Program

What did you do during the summer? In Blacksburg for Internship

Favorite thing about VT:Hokie community and quality dining!!

Something you wish you knew as a first year student? I wish said no to procrastination and knew how to manage my time.

Anything else to share: I was born and raised in Ghana, West Africa.


Matthew Fickes

Home Town: Stanardsville, Virginia

photo of Fickes

Academic Info: Mechanical Engineering

Year at VT: 3rd

Professional and Student Organization Memberships: Phi Sigma Kappa, The Big Event

Favorite thing about VT: The community and it's general attitude. Everybody here was very friendly and I quickly felt at home when I first came here.

Something you wish you knew as a first year student: The usefulness of office hours and study groups. They can be really helpful and have saved me in multiple classes.


Dylan Finch

Home Town: Midlothian, Virginia

photo of Finch

Academic Info: Computer Science

Year at VT: 2nd

Professional and Student Organization Memberships: Programming Team, Destination Imagination, CS Squared

Favorite thing about VT: I love the quaint, rural feel of Tech and the surrounding area. It's really beautiful and calming around campus.

Something you wish you knew as a first year student: I wished I'd known that the freshman engineering courses would be so programming intensive. Learn programming basics and MATLAB, if you can.

A fun fact about yourself: I have a record player in my dorm! It's ten times cooler than digital music, and ten times more inconvenient.


Anna Fisher

Home Town: Yorktown, VA

photo of Fisher

Academic Info: Industrial and Systems Engineering

Year at VT: 2nd

Professional and Student Organization Memberships: Wishmakers at Virginia Tech, CEED peer mentor, and GKTW at Virginia Tech, President.

What did you do during the summer? This summer I will be coaching a swim team for the second year in a row!

Favorite thing about VT: My favorite thing about Virginia Tech is the school spirit that I see everywhere I go on campus, but especially at the football games. DO NOT miss out on a game in Lane. I also love the AMAZING food that is offered in the dining halls. The crispy chicken at West End is my favorite meal!

Something you wish you knew as a first year student: The best way to survive your first year classes is to get to know and work with the other students in your classes! Exchange phone numbers with as many people as you can, you never know when those people could help you in the future!


Jamie Gentile

Home Town: Whitehouse Station, New Jersey

photo of JGentile

Academic Info: Industrial and Systems Engineering

Year at VT: 3rd

Professional and Student Organization Memberships: Delta Gamma

Internships: with Northrop Grumman in the Aerospace sector in California during Summer 2017!

Favorite thing about VT: The friendly people and the food!

Something you wish you knew as a first year student: It's a lot of work so always try to stay ahead of the game.

A fun fact about yourself: I have my own small cake decorating business, so let me know if you ever need one :)


Nick Gentile

Home Town: Hillsborough, NC

photo of NGentile

Academic Info: Civil Engineering

Year at VT: 4th

Professional and Student Organization Memberships: American Society of Civil Engineers

Internships: Virginia Department of Transportation working in Traffic Engineering. US Army Corps Portland District working on Bonneville Lock and Dam.

What did you do during the summer? I'll be in Portland Oregon this summer and I'll very excited for it!

Favorite thing about VT: The community, everyone is part of a big Hokie family.

Something you wish you knew as a first year student: There is definitely a work life balance and it is achievable. Don't be stressed about finding it because it will come by itself!


Dana Gilroy

Home Town: Centreville, Virginia

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Academic Info: Mechanical Engineering

Year at VT: 2nd

Professional and Student Organization Memberships: Society of Women Engineers, Intramural Soccer Flag Football and Softball

Internships: TASC (Space Sector) as a Freshman Technical Programming Intern and Sophomore Technical Intern

What did you do during the summer? Interned for TASC

Favorite thing about VT: My favorite thing about VT is the people here who make Virginia Tech feel like home.

Something you wish you knew as a first year student: There are so many resources available to help engineering students succeed like office hours, tutoring, and forming study groups.


Laura Grose

Home Town: Vienna, VA

photo of Grose

Academic Info: Mechanical Engineering

Year at VT: 2nd

Professional and Student Organization Memberships: Red Cross Club, Wine to Water, Galipatia, Rising Sophomore Abroad Program

Favorite thing about VT: I love the atmosphere and the kindness of everyone in the community!

Something you wish you knew as a first year student: I wish I knew more about different study skills because studying in college can be very different than studying in high school.

A fun fact about yourself: My family builds and ice rink in our backyard during the winter!


Colin Grundey

Home Town: Baltimore, MD

photo of Grundey

Academic Info: Computer Engineering

Year at VT: 4th

Professional and Student Organization Memberships: Delta Tau Delta Fraternity

Internships: Computer Engineering Technician Co-op at Syntronics LLC., Web Development Intern at McDonogh School, Wireless Technician at Freedom Broadband, Engineering Consultant at InfoPathways

What did you do during the summer? Computer Engineering Technician Co-op at Syntronics LLC

Favorite thing about VT: My favorite thing about VT is the food! You can't beat the food here and I never get tired of it.

Something you wish you knew as a first year student: I wish I knew how rewarding it would be to become more involved in projects beyond the classroom. Getting involved early is something I missed out on.

A fun fact about yourself: I never missed a day of school from kindergarten through 12th grade.


Paul Harris II

Home Town: Chesterfield, VA

Academic info: General Engineering

Year at VT: 2nd

Favorite thing about VT: The Food.

Something you wish you knew as a first year student? How to successfully study

A fun fact about yourself: I play Ping-Pong


Morgan Haywood

Home Town: Gloucester, VA

photo of Haywood

Academic info: Chemical Engineering

Year at VT: 2nd

Professional and Student Organization Memberships: Alpha Chi Sigma- Professional Chemistry Fraternity

Favorite thing about VT: Football games!

Something you wish you knew as a first year student? Explore all of the amazing opportunities that Virginia Tech has to offer, such as the Chemistry Learning center, common time office hours, and the Frith Lab.


Morgan Herrera

Home Town: Fairfax, VA

photo of Herrera

Academic info: Biological Systems Engineering

Year at VT: 2nd

Professional and Student Organization Memberships: Kappa Alpha Theta sorority, Virginia Tech Club Ultimate Frisbee, Society of Women Engineers(SWE), Rising Sophomore Study Abroad Program(RSAP), Intramural sports

Favorite thing about VT: My favorite thing about Virginia Tech is our school spirit! Football season was a blast as we all jumped to Enter Sandman before every game but I also can't go a day without seeing at least 15 people wearing maroon and orange!

Something you wish you knew as a first year student? There are so many things you can get involved with at Virginia Tech so it's really important to keep an open mind and not be afraid to try new things.


Emily Holz

Home Town: Sterling, Virginia

photo of Emily Holz

Academic info: Materials Science and Engineering

Year at VT: 3rd

Professional and Student Organization Memberships: Gamma Phi Beta sorority, NLCF, CEED program

What did you do during the summer? Working and spending time with family and friends.

Favorite thing about VT: The community!

Something you wish you knew as a first year student? Classes are harder, don't put too much pressure on yourself.

A fun fact about yourself: I was born in Switzerland.


Dan (Daniel) Irving

Home Town: Oxford, Pennsylvania

photo of Dan (Daniel) Irving

Academic info: Biological Systems Engineering

Year at VT: 3rd

Professional and Student Organization Memberships: American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE), D2 employee, and Relay for Life.

What did you do during the summer? ? Internship at Chester Water Authority, U2 concert, and backpacking with some friends.

Internships: Chester Water Authority summer intern (2017)

Favorite thing about VT: All of the awesome hiking/camping spots within the area, so many new places to explore every weekend.

Something you wish you knew as a first year student? All of the awesome hiking/camping spots within the area, so many new places to explore every weekend.


Melissa Joye

Home Town: Chesterfield, Virginia

photo of Joye

Academic info: Civil and Environmental Engineering

Year at VT: 2nd

Professional and Student Organization Memberships: Chi Epsilon Civil Engineering Honor Society | Vice President (starting next year) / TechNotes Co-ed A Cappella | Treasurer and Co-Music Director Internships and Co-op Positions: Timmons Group as a SurCollege of Engineering Dean’s Team, Chi Epsilon Civil Engineering Honor Society, Tau Beta Pi, ASCE, Pi Beta Phi

Internships: Whiting-Turner

What did you do during the summer? I spent most of my summer working at my internship on a vertical expansion and renovation project at a trauma hospital. I also got to relax on the beaches of Nags Head as I worked on my summer class, allowing for plenty of study breaks to hang out with the dolphins in the water. The highlight of my summer was road tripping to Niagara Falls and spending the week exploring Canada. The only thing that could have made it better would have been barreling down the falls. Most importantly, I spent my down time hanging out with my pride and joye, my cool cat Jack.

Favorite thing about VT: Definitely the Hokie Nation! The people you meet at Tech become a second family and will always be there to support you during unexpected challenges. There really is no other school that has such an amazing atmosphere so full of positive energy. It is hard to not become a Hokie through and through after stepping on this campus!

Something you wish you knew as a first year student? I wish I had known the importance of trying anything and everything new I came across. There are so many amazing opportunities both academically and socially at this school, and it is so important to put yourself out there and try it all. You never know what passions you might discover and what friends you might meet. Being a first year student is such an amazing opportunity to learn more about yourself and your potential, and I encourage you to keep an eye out for unique experiences.


Leila Kamareddine

Home Town: McLean, Virginia

photo of Kamareddine

Academic Info: Biological Systems Engineering

Year at VT: 3rd

Professional and Student Organization Memberships: Undergraduate Biomedical Engineering Society, Alpha Epsilon Delta

Internships: Volunteer in the Granata Biomechanics Lab - Virginia Tech Shadow for Dr. Gerald Marti - NIH

What did you do during the summer? Volunteer at the Granata Biomechanics Lab - Virginia Tech

Favorite thing about VT: School Spirit! Everywhere you look you will find someone wearing maroon and orange (even when you go back to your hometown!)

Something you wish you knew as a first year student: 1. If you need help, never be afraid to ask 2. Go to Office Hours 3. Go over past tests with your professors 4. Start studying ahead of time and always make time for review sessions

A fun fact about yourself: I have a nerdy love for the human brain/ anatomy in general


Dylan Katz

Home Town: Audubon, Pennsylvania

photo of Katz

Academic Info: Mechanical Engineering

Year at VT: 3rd

Professional and Student Organization Memberships: Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity

Internships: GE Aviation Jacksonville, FL- Fall 2016 GE Aviation Middle River, MD - Summer 2017

What did you do during the summer? GE Aviation Internship in Middle River, MD

Favorite thing about VT: My favorite thing about VT is how despite being such a big school, it is very easy to make it feel small by getting involved with student organizations.

Something you wish you knew as a first year student: I wish I would have known how important it is to do research into which classes to take and when and which professors are the best. This can make a huge difference in your GPA and your academic experience.


Jenn Khirallah

Home Town: Norwood, MA

photo of Khirallah

Academic Info: Material Science and Engineering

Year at VT: 2nd

Professional and Student Organization Memberships: SWE

Favorite thing about VT: My favorite thing about VT is the welcoming feeling from everyone on campus, making VT feel like a home.

Something you wish you knew as a first year student: I wish I knew more about the clubs on campus and more ways to get involved in the community.


Kim Kramer

Home Town: Avondale, Pennsylvania (In between Amish Country and the Mushroom Capital of the World)

photo of Kramer

Academic Info: Civil and Environmental Engineering

Year at VT: 2nd

Professional and Student Organization Memberships: Hypatia Learning and Living Community, Spark

What did you do during the summer? I am studying abroad in Australia and New Zealand!

Favorite thing about VT: My favorite thing about VT is the spirit of the school and how people are so proud to be Hokies!

Something you wish you knew as a first year student: Don't let your grades define you!

A fun fact about yourself: Sometimes I snort when I laugh.


Cat Lasky

Home Town: Sterling, VA

Academic Info: Chemical Engineering

Year at VT: 2nd

Professional and Student Organization Memberships: Alpha Chi Sigma, Professional Chemistry Fraternity

Favorite thing about VT: The sense of community - I love getting to know so many new people!

Something you wish you knew as a first year student: To work hard, but also make sure to give myself time to relax.

A fun fact about yourself: I play clarinet in the concert band here at VT!


John Allen Livingston

Home Town: Ivor, Virginia

photo of Livingston

Academic Info: Industrial & Systems Engineering

Year at VT: 2nd

Professional and Student Organization Memberships: Corps of Cadets Air Force ROTC, Student Alumni Associates of VT Alumni Association, Society of Women Engineers, Society of American Military Engineers

Internships: STEP RA, JROTC STEM Leadership Camp

What did you do during the summer? STEP RA JROTC STEM Leadership Camp

Favorite thing about VT: The Hokie community #CivilityVT

Something you wish you knew as a first year student: Everyone wants you to succeed! Reach out!

A fun fact about yourself: I have a Boston Terrier named Bugsy and I speak to her like a person. She's one of my best friends!


Allison McCaul

Home Town: Roanoke, VA

photo of Allison McCaul

Academic Info: Mechanical Engineering

Year at VT: 2nd

Professional and Student Organization Memberships: Cru (campus ministry)

What did you do during the summer? Participating in the Rising Sophomore Abroad Program through the college of engineering this summer! I'll be traveling on the UK/Ireland track.

Favorite thing about VT: The food, hands down! You can find me at one of the dining halls during most hours of the day. Whether I stop by Turner for a crepe or make my daily run to Hokie Grill, I am never disappointed. VT has an amazing dining program with enough options to keep at you happy and healthy all year long!

Something you wish you knew as a first year student: I wish I had realized that you don't have to sign up for every club you see freshman year. It can be exciting and tempting to put your name down at every booth at Gobblerfest, but sometimes it's better to find a couple organizations that really interest you and dedicate your time to those. If you can put time and commitment into an organization on campus, you are likely to get so much more out of it!

A fun fact about yourself: I became a nationally Certified Pharmacy Technician this past November!


Allison McEntee

Home Town: Downingtown, Pennsylvania

photo of Allison McEntee

Academic info: Civil & Environmental Engineering

Year at VT: 3rd

Professional and Student Organization Memberships: American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), Outing Club, Intramural Sports, Chi Epsilon Civil Engineering Honor Society

Internships: Nth Solutions, LLC Intern, Exton, PA; Van Metre Homes Intern, Stone Ridge, VA.

Favorite thing about VT: The size and the atmosphere. You'll always know somebody and there will always be new people to meet.

Something you wish you knew as a first year student? Try to plan your schedule based on when in the day you are the most focused. That way, you won't have trouble focusing in class. Each night, look over your notes from that day - you won't have to study as much for tests.


Rebecca Mueller

Home Town: Alexandria, Virginia

photo of Mueller

Academic Info: Computer Science

Year at VT: 2nd

Professional and Student Organization Memberships: Best Buddies, Kappa Alpha Theta

What did you do during the summer? This summer of 2017 I'm going on the Rising Sophomore Abroad Program (RSAP) in China.

Favorite thing about VT: My favorite thing about VT would have to be the food and everyone's hokie pride and spirit.

Something you wish you knew as a first year student: I wish I knew as a first-year engineering student that it is okay not to know all the answers.

A fun fact about yourself: My fun fact is that I've never been out of the country before, but I'm leaving for the first time to go to China in summer 2017.


Rounak Mukhopadhyay

Home Town: Navi Mumbai, India.

photo of Rounak Mukhopadhyay

Academic info: Electrical Engineering

Year at VT: 3rd

Professional and Student Organization Memberships: Consultancy Group at Virginia Tech, Virginia Tech Cricket Club, Indian Students Organization.

Internships: Internship at Altria, Richmond, FALL 2017

Favorite thing about VT: The feeling of love and inclusiveness in the Virginia Tech community. Never being homesick, because: THIS IS HOME!!

Something you wish you knew as a first year student? I wish I knew how many resources are there at my disposal, be it in academics or non-academics, we can find help if we look for it.

Anything else to share: I have an identical twin brother at VT. Don't get us mixed up!


Brendan Muldowney

Home Town: Byfield, Massachusetts

photo of Muldowney

Academic Info: Computer Engineering

Year at VT: 2nd

Professional and Student Organization Memberships: Sigma Phi Delta

Favorite thing about VT: Getting to meet a lot of new people

Something you wish you knew as a first year student: I wish I was able to know that teachers were very approachable.

A fun fact about yourself: I have dual citizenship in France


Mika Murphy

Hometown: Cherry Hill, New Jersey

photo of Murphy

Academic Info: General Engineering

Year at VT: 2nd

Professional and Student Organization Memberships: Hypatia Living Learning Community, Rising Sophmore Abroad Program (RSAP), Virginia Tech Crew Club, Society of Women Engineers, CEED Peer Mentor

What did you do during the summer? I am traveling to China for 2 weeks with RSAP and when I get back, I plan to continue my job catering at the beach in Long Beach Island New Jersey.

Favorite thing about VT: The amazing community of Hokies as well as going to all the football games!

Something you wish you knew as a first year student: I wish I would have known not to loft my bed, because I slept on the floor a lot first semester after late nights studying! But it is possible to balance a social life with the engineering curriculum.


Colleen O'Neill

Home Town: Olney, MD

photo of Colleen O'Neill

Academic info: Mechanical Engineering

Year at VT: 4th

Professional and Student Organization Memberships: Hybrid Electric Vehicle Team of Virginia Tech (HEVT), American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), Society of Women in Engineering (SWE)

What did you do during the summer? Intern at Kollmorgen in Radford, VA

Favorite thing about VT: Football games and, of course, the food!!

Something you wish you knew as a first year student? Go to office hours!!! This is my biggest piece of advice to anyone in their first year of engineering. I was scared as a freshman to go talk to my professors, but office hours were made for you to go ask questions, so take advantage of that!!

Anything else to share: Show me a video of hedgehogs or corgis and I will be your best friend!


Anika Peterson

Home Town: Springfield, Virginia

photo of Anika Peterson

Academic info: Mechanical Engineering

Year at VT: 4th

Professional and Student Organization Memberships: Orbital ATK

Favorite thing about VT: My favorite thing about VT is the food, of course! I also love going to football games, and the overwhelming sense of school spirit that everyone has.

Something you wish you knew as a first year student? I wish I had know that it was okay to talk to your professors and get to know them. They are great resources!


Tori Poncy

Home Town: McLean, VA

photo of Poncy

Academic Info: Chemical Engineering

Year at VT: 3rd

Professional and Student Organization Memberships: Society of Women Engineers Alpha Phi Fraternity

Internships: Booz Allen Hamilton, Summer 2017 The Densus Group, Summer 2016

What did you do during the summer? Internship

Favorite thing about VT: The people

Something you wish you knew as a first year student: Freshman year grades are important and possibly the easiest!

A fun fact about yourself: I lived in 7 different places before coming to college


Adarsh (Addy) Ramesh

Home Town: Coimbatore, India

photo of Ramesh

Academic Info: Industrial and Systems engineering

Year at VT: 3rd

Professional and Student Organization Memberships: Hyperloop at Virginia Tech

Internships: Supply chain intern at The Andhra Sugars Limited, India; summer 2016

What did you do during the summer? Over the summer I will be working at Hyperloop and also travel to India!!

Favorite thing about VT: FOOD!! Honestly, you don't realize how good our food is until you visit other uni's. Also, the diversity of students and faculty at Tech makes it very welcoming home away from home.

Something you wish you knew as a first year student: As a freshman, I would have liked to have taken time out of academics and involved myself involved with professional and student organizations sooner.

A fun fact about yourself: Built my own go-cart in high school!


Ale Rocha

Home Town: Springfield, VA

Academic Info: General Engineering, hoping to beIndustrial and Systems Engineering

Year at VT: 2nd

Professional and Student Organization Memberships: Theme Park Engineering and Design Group, Alpha Omega Epsilon, Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation Scholar (LSAMP)

What did you do during the summer? Traveling to Europe and Ireland for the Rising Sophomore Study Abroad Program (RSAP). I'm also planning to travel to Nashville, Disney World, and Europe with friends and family.

Favorite thing about VT: I LOVE the food! I am one of the pickiest eaters in the world, and I have yet to have a bad meal here. Everyone has to have the sushi, fried chicken, and chocolate milk from D2!

Something you wish you knew as a first year student: I wish I would have recognized how eager professors are to help you with work. I was slightly intimidated by my professors, but all they want is to see you succeed!

A fun fact about yourself: I'm 4 ft 10, I'm pretty small! But I have a pretty loud voice, especially for singing, which I love to do.


Lexi Russell

Home Town: Woodbridge, VA

photo of Russell

Academic Info: Mining Engineering

Year at VT: 3rd

Internships: None yet

What did you do during the summer? I'm going to France and Italy this summer!

Favorite thing about VT: My favorite thing would have to be the sense of community here, from football games to just walking around campus seeing people. Tech is so different than any other school in how Hokies act.

Something you wish you knew as a first year student: I wish I would have came in more humble, not thinking I knew everything. College is way different than high school and you need to be ready to adapt and learn.


Ryan Salazar

Home Town: South Riding, VA

photo of Salazar

Academic Info: Chemical Engineering, Biological Systems Engineering

Year at VT: 2nd

Professional and Student Organization Memberships: Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers

Favorite thing about VT: Meeting the people here was definitely the greatest thing that has happened to me at tech

Something you wish you knew as a first year student: No matter how rough things seem, it always works it's way out

A fun fact about yourself: I won my school talent show by reading Green Eggs and Ham in a batman costume with a batman voice


Zoe Scopa

Home Town: Vienna, VA

photo of Scopa

Academic Info: Mining & Minerals Engineering

Year at VT: 4th

Professional and Student Organization Memberships: Hokie Ambassadors, Alpha Omega Epsilon Engineering Sorority, Collegiate Times Photography Staff, New River Valley Symphony Orchestra, Bevlee Watford Society for Diversity in Mining

Internships: Project Management Engineer Co-op with Cargill at an underground salt mine

What did you do during the summer? Research Abroad at the GeoEnergy Research Centre with the University of Nottingham

Favorite thing about VT: Hokie Football

Something you wish you knew as a first year student: Never be afraid to ask for help


Nazir Shamsiev

Home Town: Vienna, Virginia

photo of Shamsiev

Academic Info: Mechanical Engineering

Year at VT: 2nd

Professional and Student Organization Memberships: Human Powered Submarine Design Team; American Society of Mechanical Engineers

What did you do during the summer? I will be studying abroad in UK and Ireland through the Rising Sophomore Abroad Program. Afterwards, I look forward to playing soccer with friends and spending time with family.

Favorite thing about VT: The Hokie spirit and pride for the school. The Hokie's are known for their sense of community. Students are willing to encourage others and lend a helping hand.

Something you wish you knew as a first year student: I wish I knew how to better manage my time. No one told me how hard it would be to balance school, sleep, hobbies, and fun. Also join any clubs that you find interesting. You never know, you might like it. There are many unique opportunities around campus.

A fun fact about yourself: I have a fear of treadmills because one time I slipped and fell off one in McComas.


Danya Shere

Home Town: Charleston, West Virginia

photo of Shere

Academic Info: Computer Science

Year at VT: 2nd

Professional and Student Organization Memberships: Alpha Omega Epsilon, Association of Women in Computing, Society of Indian Americans

Favorite thing about VT: My favorite thing about VT is the community feeling and how passionate everyone is about what they do.

Something you wish you knew as a first year student: I wish I would've known not to overload myself and to take it slow because freshmen year is already stressful in itself.

A fun fact about yourself: I met Dave Franco and Kristen Bell in LA this summer!


Amanda Stuchel

Home Town: Fairfax, Virginia

photo of Amanda Stuchel

Academic info: Civil and Environmental Engineering; Green Engineering

Year at VT: 4th

Professional and Student Organization Memberships: CEED peer mentor, Concrete Canoe team captain, American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), intramural sports Internships and Co-op Positions: Land development intern at Walter L Phillips, Inc. (2016); land development intern at Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc. (2017)

What did you do during the summer? golfing, wake boarding, reading

Favorite thing about VT: Jumping to Enter Sandman with the Hokie Nation!

Something you wish you knew as a first year student? Find a place that you can really focus and get work done without distractions.


Travis Swann

Home Town: Alexandria, Virginia

photo of Travis Swann

Academic info: Computer Engineering

Year at VT: 4th

Professional and Student Organization Memberships: Intelligence Community Center of Academic Excellence Associate (Fall 2016-Present), Virginia Tech Cyber Security Club (2015-Present), Alpha Tao Omega Fraternity (2015-Present), Virginia Tech Club Swim (2014-Present)

Internships: Research in Shandong-Virginia Tech International Lab in China, Technical Solutions Intern for Wolf Den Associates

What did you do during the summer? Technical Solutions Intern for Wolf Den Associates.

Favorite thing about VT: I love the friendly atmosphere, and that our sports teams are starting to win again.

Something you wish you knew as a first year student? You have to try in electives, and Calculus 2 is not going to be easy.

A fun fact about yourself: I love to swim whenever I can!


Olivia Thomas

Home Town: Potomac Falls, VA

photo of Thomas

Academic Info: Biological Systems Engineering

Year at VT: 2nd

Professional and Student Organization Memberships: Alpha Omega Epsilon (professional/social engineering sorority)

What did you do during the summer? I am going to Ecuador this summer for a Medical Mission trip!

Favorite thing about VT: I love that Virginia Tech has students with such diverse interests and we all have the ability to pursue such broad interests here.

Something you wish you knew as a first year student: I wish I would have known that it is possible to balance your academic life with your social life without sacrificing either.

A fun fact about yourself: I play the piano and have played Holiday music at Nordstrom's!


Alex (Alejandro) Tsocalis

Home Town: Buenos Aires, Argentina

photo of Alex (Alejandro) Tsocalis

Academic info: Mechanical Engineering

Year at VT: 3rd

Professional and Student Organization Memberships: Formula SAE, ASME

What did you do during the summer? Summer internship at General Electric Aviation, Cummins

Favorite thing about VT: The people are all very friendly.

Something you wish you knew as a first year student? The first semester can be tough, as transitioning to college isn't easy. However, things always get better as you adjust to college life.

Anything else to share: I have lived in four different countries.


Calvin Wangota

Home Town: Chantilly, Virginia

photo of Calvin Wangota

Academic info: Engineering Science and Mechanics

Year at VT: 3rd

What did you do during the summer? Going to Uganda, going to a Chance the Rapper concert

Favorite thing about VT: VT is so amazing because no matter your background or interests, there's always a place for you in the Virginia Tech community.

Something you wish you knew as a first year student? Work hard from the beginning, establish a strong work ethic freshmen year so it's easy to keep it going through the upcoming years.


Paige West (WEST)

Home Town: Charlotte, North Carolina

photo of Paige West

Academic info: Civil and Environmental Engineering

Year at VT: 3rd

Professional and Student Organization Memberships: Steel Bridge Design Team, ASCE, SWE.

Internships: Land Development/Construction Management Intern with Van Metre Homes - Summer 2017

What did you do during the summer? Traveling to South Africa with RSAP Summer 2017

Favorite thing about VT: The people and community. All of the students, faculty, staff, and residents of Blacksburg work together to make one harmonious community that cares about one another. Also, the food is really good too, on-campus and off.

Something you wish you knew as a first year student? I wish I had known how important it is to get involved into activities around school. Whether it is a design team, Greek life, or a community service club, it is important to be involved and find your niche.

A fun fact about yourself: I went to Iceland for a study abroad trip.


Lauren Wills

Home Town: Jamison, PA

photo of Wills

Academic info: Biological Systems Engineering

Year at VT: 4th

Professional and Student Organization Memberships: Tau Beta Pi, Ultimate Frisbee Team, SWE, ASABE

Internships: Shenandoah Biotechnology, Protein Chemistry Intern, Houston Methodist Research Institute, Research Intern

Favorite thing about VT: The school spirit everywhere on football game days.

Something you wish you knew as a first year student? An engineering degree cannot be completed alone, make friends in all of your classes because trying to understand all of the information by yourself is nearly impossible.