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Mustafa walking his kid

Top of the mountain

Mustafa Kara, a recent Hokie doctoral graduate, reflects on growing up in Turkey, the importance of family, and the support he found in the Virginia Tech community.

Video by Spencer Roberts, photo by Peter Means

When he was eight years old, Mustafa Kara decided he wanted to be a part of the “big world,” of global reach and industry. It was then that he set an ambitious goal and told himself he would become a professor, which informally kick-started his journey towards Hokie community, academic perseverance, and a doctoral degree in ocean engineering at Virginia Tech. 

As a native of Turkey with a wife and son, Kara’s path hasn’t always been easy – or traditional. Yet with the support of his family and encouragement from mentors along the way, he graduated this May with his Ph.D. from the Kevin T. Crofton Department of Aerospace and Ocean Engineering. He plans to stay in Blacksburg and starts a full-time position with Torc Robotics this summer.

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