Prepare for a life of COURAGEOUS LEADERSHIP
“Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.” This quote is often linked to Winston Churchill, though research shows he may never have said it. Whoever said it—Churchill or Google—we agree—and our recipient for the Courageous Leadership Aspire! Award embodies this sentiment.
Manjot Kaur said that, when it came to finding her place at Virginia Tech, she sought out opportunities that lined up with her Asian-American identity. She joined Sigma Psi Zeta, an Asian-interest sorority.
Manjot said, “Through my sorority, I met phenomenal leaders who showed passion for who they were and wanted to educate the community on the Asian experience.” It was these leaders who set the standard for how Manjot wanted to lead at our university.
She joined the Asian American Student Union, a university chartered student organization, and was opened to a wider platform for student leadership.
Recognizing a need in her community, Manjot then founded the Sikh Student Association to help Sikh students feel connected and to spread their unique culture at Virginia Tech.
Manjot now serves as president of both Asian American Student Union and the Sikh Student Association, and she’s living out her calling to be a voice for the voiceless. Or, as Churchill maybe said—she’s using her platform to stand up and speak, and sit down and listen.
Her nominator said, “Manjot engages others in difficult dialogue and frequently challenges her peers and university administrators regarding the needs and concerns of those in her community.”
Her nominator continued, “As a leader, Manjot clearly outlines her expectations of others and holds her peers accountable, even when it is difficult. She makes and enforces decisions that are not necessarily popular, requests feedback from her organization’s constituents, and voices their concerns—even when they may not align with her own. Manjot delegates responsibilities effectively in order to enhance leadership skill development in others.”
In her sophomore year, Manjot joined the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets. She said that, although she learned that the corps’ life wasn’t for her, she also learned about respecting time and practicing leadership, and she utilizes those techniques in her current roles.
Manjot is fluent in English, Punjabi, Hindi, and Urdu, and she’s able to read, write, and converse in Spanish as well.
She is double majoring in Business Information Technology and Religion. Following graduation this spring, Manjot will travel for a bit and then begin as a technical analyst for Freddie Mac in late June.
Manjot said, “It feels good to know that I became a leader that I always used to look up to.”
Manjot, for standing up to speak and sitting down to listen, and for creating and leading initiatives at Virginia Tech that make all feel welcome, we’re honored to present the Aspire! Award for COURAGEOUS LEADERSHIP to you this morning.
2017-2018 Aspirations Breakfasts*
December 1, 2017
Owens Banquet Room, 8-10 a.m.
*Registration is required to attend the Breakfast.
April 21, 2017 Recipients
Bobby Hollingsworth - Curiosity
Annemarie Bresson - Self-Understanding and Integrity
Christopher Bardo - Civility
Nala Chehade - Courageous Leadership
Elizabeth Galbreath - Ut Prosim
Hillary Kovacs – Ut Prosim
Robert and Kara Julius – Ut Prosim
Jerry Colyer [posthumous award] – Ut Prosim
March 17, 2017 Recipients
Lt. Tony Haga – Courageous Leadership
February 17, 2017 Recipients
Danielle Jeffers - Curiosity
Colleen McGovern - Self-Understanding and Integrity
Min Kyung “Julie” Sim - Civility
Lamont “Gucci” Livingston - Courageous Leadership
Jacob Long - Ut Prosim
Alece Alderson – Civility
November 4, 2016 Recipients
Rhiannon Hasenauer - Ut Prosim
Zack Sever - Civility
David Gardner - Courageous Leadership
Zachary Hoopes - Curiosity
Bridger Johnson - Self-Understanding and Integrity
Jon Fritsch – Self-Understanding and Integrity
October 7, 2016 Recipients
Zachariah Ewen - Ut Prosim
Jordan Evans - Civility
Megan Lee Myklegard - Courageous Leadership
Alex Hamilton - Curiosity
Bryan Faulkner - Self-Understanding and Integrity
Catherine Cotrupi – Curiosity
April 22, 2016 Recipients
Samantha Hall - Ut Prosim
Charelle Berry - Civility
Audrey Semel - Courageous
Jess King - Curiosity
Mike Schoka - Self-Understanding
Frances Keene – Ut Prosim
John Graham – Ut Prosim
Susan Anderson – Courageous
February 19, 2016 Recipients
Javier González-Rocha – Self-Understanding and Integrity
Obaid Rehman – Civility
Claire Kelling – Courageous
Meghan McLoughlin – Ut Prosim
Erica Nagotko – Curiosity
Anthony Purcell – Civility
Gladys Sartin– Self-Understanding
October 2, 2015 Recipients
Walter Gonsiewski – Self-Understanding
Seyi Olusina – Civility
Skyler Mueller – Courageous
Anastasia Matusiewicz – Ut Prosim
Natasha Laramie – Curiosity
Vera Kidd – Curiosity
Residence Life Resource Officer John Tarter – Ut Prosim
Robby Moser – Ut Prosim
March, 2015 Recipients
Juan de la Rosa Diaz – Courageous
Jamaica Sykes – Curiosity
Luke Birch –
Self-Understanding and Integrity
Jake Voorhees – Ut Prosim
Turki Saad Al-Zahrani – Civility
Captain Jim Snyder – Courageous Leadership
February, 2015 Recipients
Catherine Goggins – Courageous
Allison Laclede – Curiosity
Samuel Aguilar Chavez –
Self-Understanding and Integrity
Larissa Perara – Ut Prosim
Lauren Cashman – Civility
Jay Read – Civility
Scott Busiel – Self–understanding and Integrity
Robin Boucher – Curiosity
Tricia Smith – Ut Prosim