Peer Mentoring Leaders

Mela Coffey

Mela Coffey

Engineering Science & Mechanics

Mela is a junior in Engineering Science and Mechanics with a concentration in Biomechanics, and with a minor in math and biomedical engineering.

Mela is from Sterling, VA and is involved in STEM Participation And outreach for K12 (SPARK).  She is also a member of Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and volunteers as a research assistant in the Socha Lab by analyizing motion capture data of flying snakes, and interned in the Biomedical Imaging Lab at George Mason University this past summer.

Mela’s advice to incoming freshmen is to remember that it is okay to fail every once in a while, as long as you learn from it. It helps you grow as a person and as an engineer!  

Maria Graber

Maria Graber

Biological Systems Engineering

Maria is a senior in Biological Systems Engineering major with a minor in Green Engineering. Her hometown is Burke, Virginia.


During the summer she interned with Naval Sea Systems Command. 

At Virginia Tech, she is an active member of the Society of Women Engineers and the education outreach chair.


One of her favorite things about Virginia Tech is the sense of community and the overall atmosphere on campus. Her advice for incoming freshmen is to try new things and get involved! There is something for everyone here at Virginia Tech!

Benjamin LaBine

Benjamin LaBine

Industrial and Systems Engineering

Ben is senior studying Industrial and Systems Engineering, with a minor in Green Engineering. His hometown is Camp Hill, Pennsylvania.

At Virginia Tech, Ben is an active member in the Honors College, Wind Turbine Team, Dean’s Team, Phi Sigma Kappa, Theme Park Engineering and Design Club, and enjoys playing intramural sports.

His favorite things at Virgini Tech are: The small town vibe with big school opportunities, the mouth-watering food (chicken and waffles at Turner), and the amazing community. His advice for incoming freshmen is to remember that college isn't as big and overwhelming as it may seem - stay organized, find good friends, and get involved as much as possible.

Ben also loves traveling and meeting new people from different backgrounds. One day he would like to have his own business.

Michelle Musco

Michelle Musco

Industrial and Systems Engineering

Michelle is a fifth-year industrial and systems engineering major, with a minor in business. She studied abroad for a semester in Italy and her hometown is Richmond, Virginia.

During the summer, Michelle interned with Capital One in the risk management department doing project management work. 

At Virginia Tech, she is an active member of the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers, Alpha Pi Mu, Greeks Giving Back executive team, and Alpha Delta Pi sorority.

Michelle's advice for incoming freshman is to take advantage of the countless opportunities Virginia Tech has to offer, and don't be afraid to put yourself out there and try new things! 

Brian O'Neal

Brian O’Neal

Mechanical Engineering

Brian is a senior mechanical engineering major. His hometown is Ellicott City, Maryland.

Outside of his school work Brian spends his time playing on the Men’s Rugby team. He serves as the President of the club. This summer Brian competed in the Collegiate Rugby Championship against top teams across in the country. Virginia Tech brought home the Plate, defeating Army 19-12. After that Brian worked at Eaton as an Operations Intern at their panelboard and switchboard satellite facility.

The atmosphere and friendliness around campus is Brian’s favorite thing about Virginia Tech. He feels that you can go up to anyone and talk to them which is awesome.

Brian’s advice to the incoming freshman is look at professor reviews before classes start and ask your mentor what they know about their professors and classes. Also, office hours will save you lots go time on your homework so go to them regularly.

Center for the Enhancement of Engineering Diversity

215 Hancock Hall (0275), 490 Old Turner St., Blacksburg, Virginia, 24061
Phone: (540) 231-7411
Email CEED