Catherine Goggins

Prepare for a life of COURAGEOUS LEADERSHIP

Catherine Goggins It’s not hard to see all of the injustices in the world today. Wars, environmental issues, orphans, inequality, and poverty—all make us want to fight back for people in circumstances beyond their control.

But it takes true courage to advocate for those who are marginalized for reasons in their control, and that’s exactly what Catherine Goggins is doing.

After expressing an interest in therapeutic agriculture, Catherine visited Alderson Hospitality House, a home that serves families who come to visit women incarcerated at a federal prison camp in West Virginia. Her trip to Alderson changed the direction of her career path as she saw first-hand the injustices in this prison system.

Her nominator said, “Through her courage, leadership, and commitment to challenge the status quo, Catherine works to shed light on the injustices of the incarcerated, who are vulnerable, marginalized, and have no voice to speak out for themselves.”

She organized the “Prisons in Appalachia Panel” at Virginia Tech, recruiting sponsors, gathering panel members, and promoting the event to share her passion and insight. The event began with low expectations, but, when many students indicated an interest in attending this first-time event, Catherine moved it to a larger venue. On the night of the panel presentation, students lined the back wall, sat on the floor, and overflowed into the hallway. Catherine made known the need for a more dignified treatment of the incarcerated in Appalachia.

As the Newman Community’s Justice and Service Coordinator, Catherine set up projects that have sent more than 100 students on nine different trips to serve at the Alderson Hospitality House.

She immersed herself in the Alderson community and, in 2014, began two community gardens to grow organic produce. Catherine collaborated with other gardeners and provided seedlings and produce to the local farmer’s market. That summer, she planned and participated in weekly food and literacy lessons for elementary-aged children in the small West Virginia town. She said, “I’ve learned that people in community are incredibly resilient.”

Outside of her work in Alderson, Catherine leads many efforts for sustainable practices at Virginia Tech. She represented the Environmental Coalition in SGA’s House of Representatives, which successfully worked to increase students’ access to water bottle refilling stations and created opportunities for engagement and economic exchange between students and local farmers. For this work, Catherine was named Representative of the Year in SGA in 2013.

However, when asked what she is most proud of, Catherine emphatically stated, “Virginia Tech’s chapter of Be the Match on Campus, without a doubt!” She co-founded the chapter during her sophomore year to help find lifesaving matches for patients with leukemia, lymphoma, sickle cell anemia, and over 60 other diseases. About 700 Hokies have been added to the registry since the chapter was founded, and Catherine knows of two donors who have been called upon to donate. She wanted to use this platform to say, “I’m so thankful for their life-giving donations, for the team that makes it happen, my mom who encouraged me to register in the first place, and to everyone who has swabbed their cheeks!”

And we want to thank Catherine for the work she is doing to speak for those who cannot, for her commitment to environmental justice, and for leading her peers to serve. I’m pleased to present the Aspire! Award for COURAGEOUS LEADERSHIP to Catherine Goggins.

2017-2018 Aspirations Breakfasts*

February 23, 2018
Owens Banquet Room, 8-10 a.m.

*Registration is required to attend the Breakfast.

Aspire! Awards History

Past Recipients

December 1, 2017 Recipients

DeAngelo Haynes - Curiosity
Hadley Carter - Self-Understanding and Integrity
Nick McDaniel - Civility
Stephanie Lemus-Ortiz - Courageous Leadership
Noah Jennings - Ut Prosim

Chris Wise – Self-Understanding and Integrity

October 27, 2017 Recipients

Jordan Kuhn - Curiosity
Joseph Walker - Self-Understanding and Integrity
Harley Curran - Civility
Fahad Ashraf - Courageous Leadership
Julia Monroe - Ut Prosim

Laurie Fritsch – Curiosity

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 KovacsUt Prosim

Robert and Kara JuliusUt Prosim
Jerry Colyer [posthumous award] – Ut Prosim

March 17, 2017 Recipients

Mitch Clements - Curiosity
Samantha Nichole DiBiaso - Self-Understanding and Integrity
Maria Jernigan - Civility
Manjot Kaur - Courageous Leadership
Stephen Pistoia, Jr. - Ut Prosim

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
and Integrity

Frances KeeneUt Prosim

John GrahamUt Prosim

March 18, 2016 Recipients
Joe Frazier – Civility
Nina Miller – Self-Understanding
and Integrity
Jacob Rosenthal – Curiosity
Haley BurgessUt Prosim
Tanushri Shankar – Courageous

Susan Anderson – Courageous

February 19, 2016 Recipients
Javier González-Rocha – Self-Understanding and Integrity
Obaid Rehman – Civility
Claire Kelling – Courageous
Meghan McLoughlinUt Prosim
Erica Nagotko – Curiosity

Anthony Purcell – Civility

November 13, 2015 Recipients
Kelsi Faley – Self-Understanding
and Integrity
Nivedha Balan – Civility
Rachel Cotton – Courageous
Ryan HopkinsUt Prosim
Caroline Amodeo – Curiosity

Gladys Sartin– Self-Understanding
and Integrity

October 2, 2015 Recipients
Walter Gonsiewski – Self-Understanding
and Integrity
Seyi Olusina – Civility
Skyler Mueller – Courageous
Anastasia MatusiewiczUt Prosim
Natasha Laramie – Curiosity

Vera Kidd – Curiosity

April, 2015 Recipients
Ankit Saigal – Curiosity
Baker Martin – Courageous
Nicole Selz
Self-Understanding and Integrity
Brett MontagueUt Prosim
Conor Cosgrove – Civility

Residence Life Resource Officer John TarterUt Prosim

Robby MoserUt Prosim

March, 2015 Recipients
Juan de la Rosa Diaz – Courageous
Jamaica Sykes – Curiosity
Luke Birch
Self-Understanding and Integrity
Jake VoorheesUt 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 PeraraUt Prosim
Lauren Cashman – Civility

Jay Read – Civility

November 14, 2014 Recipients
Andrew George – – Courageous
Esther Moon – Curiosity
Kaleigh Leal – Self-Understanding
and Integrity
Stephen Bennett Ut Prosim
Philip Norman – Civility

Scott Busiel – Self–understanding and Integrity

October 3, 2014 Recipients
Patrick AckerUt Prosim
Ethan Poole – Civility
Danielle Smalls – Courageous
Emily Neer – Curiosity
Austin Dickey – Self-Understanding
and Integrity

Robin Boucher – Curiosity

April 25, 2014 Recipients
Brent AshleyUt Prosim
Anna Isserow – Civility
Daniel Evans – Courageous
Jacalyn Polis – Curiosity
Neal Moriconi – Self-Understanding
and Integrity

Tricia SmithUt Prosim

March 21, 2014 Recipients
Meredith Cahill
Natasha Chadha
Wes Williams
Emma Cohen
Emily Blair

Belinda Pauley

February 21, 2014 Recipients
Meghan Gilliam
Steven Gethard
Kylie Gilbert
Ashley Taylor
Emily Brown

Kelley Woods-Johnson

November 8, 2013 Recipients
Jordan Disney
Kelly Berry
Daniel Pierce-Parra
Anusha Rizvi
Camryn Sorg

Lyndsy Manz

October 11, 2013 Recipients
Rob Grimm
John Turbyfill
Brendan Craig
Thomas Friss
Chris Atkins

Meredith Hampton