Sabrina Sturgeon will draw on her love for Virginia Tech and her passion for its students during her tenure as graduate student representative at university’s highest level of governance.

“I’m just one student and I have one experience,” said Sturgeon, who will represent graduate students on Virginia Tech’s Board of Visitors during the 2020-21 academic year. “One of the great challenges of this is just being able to represent such a diverse body of students in a way that does justice to all their experiences and what they each need as students. I’m excited about that.”

Loading player for

Sturgeon and Camellia Pastore, a rising senior in computer science who will represent undergraduates, began their terms on July 1. They will also be ex-officio members of the Commission of Student Affairs and University Council.

Sturgeon, who is working toward a masters of arts in higher education and student affairs in the School of Education, said her interest in higher education motivated her to apply for the Board of Visitors.

“I firmly believe we are all in an eternal state of growth, and I see higher education as a place that looks to foster that love for learning and growth and being a better person,” she said.

Sturgeon was finishing up her bachelor’s degree in communication studies at the University of Southern Indiana when a mentor there suggested Virginia Tech for graduate school. Seeing the university’s approach to equality, diversity, and inclusion encouraged her to visit, which sealed her fate as a Hokie.

“I loved the people here,” she said. “I loved the culture. It seemed like a place with a lot of school spirit that I could get behind.”

Sturgeon said her three main focuses for now are mental health access, food insecurity, and overall job security, but plans to tailor those as she listens to the needs of the graduate student population both in Blacksburg and across the state. She said the pandemic does create an additional challenge in connecting with other students, but it’s one she’s ready to embrace.

“I am confident I will best represent our graduate population with tenacity and grace,” Sturgeon said. “I will do this with consideration to the multiple identities our university represents and an unmatched zeal in doing so.”

Adapated from an article written by Travis Williams