Emily Blair, a senior English major and poet, says she is optimizing her university experience to advance her writing and to develop a stronger understanding of herself and the world around her. Already published in multiple literary journals and reviews, Blair recognizes that her Appalachian roots have grounded her and given her something to share with the world. She plans to pursue graduate study in rhetoric after graduation in Spring 2016.
The Virginia Tech String Project offers opportunities for children from all backgrounds to learn to play a stringed instrument. Keane McBride, a bass instructor with the VTSP, talks about the transformative effect the project has had on him, saying, "Before I began teaching with VTSP, I would say I did not identify as someone wishing to be a music educator. The experience itself has transformed me." McBride now hopes to go into music education full time after graduation.
Tracy Crowden wasn't sure Travis Whaley would be able to come up with a submission in time when she told him about a young composer contest the day before the deadline. Despite the short notice, Whaley won handily, a fitting beginning to an illustrious student career that has included honors like performing during Mass at the Vatican, one of the tour stops with the VT Chamber Singers, and an ACC Creativity and Innovation Fellowship, among other honors. Whaley hopes to pursue graduate study in Germany in the future.
"Virginia Tech was the perfect stepping stone at that point in my life," says Staff Sgt. Kelly Corbett. "It was the best of all worlds: a large university with all the advantages of a big, beautiful campus, exposure to many new people with different interests, and a small music department where I could get the personal attention I needed." Corbett, a trumpeter for the the U.S. Army Concert Band since 2010, has played in China, England, and Japan, as well as regaling audiences at the Kennedy Center, the White House, the Capitol, and the United Nations building in New York.
Emily Patrick's staunchly supportive faculty mentor, Shannon Jarrot, helped her explore her passion by providing access to learning experiences that deepened Patrick's interest in issues surrounding aging. Since her graduation, Patrick has earned a graduate certificate in Gerontology and worked with the Green House Project, a model of senior living designed to create a supportive environment for late-life growth and development, and now manages projects for Generations United, a group dedicated to improving the lives of children, youth, and older adults.
Sarah Yoon Malone, an '07 graduate in Residential Property Management, agrees with Money magazine's assessment of RPM as a fast-paced, rewarding career. She explains how Tech's RPM program prepared her for the real world of proprty managment, saying, "Our classes used real-life situations instead of just textbook lessons," and offered "events and networking opportunities" to enhance graduates' competitiveness in the market. Malone has directed operations for high-rise units in Boston and greater New York City. She now serves as an area director for 828 units owned by Roseland Property in Arlington, VA.