Gayathri Cheran
Ut Prosim


Gayathri Cheran Three orphanages in India are better because of the baking skills of Gayathri Cheran of Burke, Va., a sophomore majoring in psychology and human development in the College of Science, with a minor in leadership and social change in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. It began as a leadership class fundraising project. Thousands of cupcakes and $1,500 later, Cheran visited two of the orphanages to see the outcome of her efforts. "Aside from a strong desire to make a tangible difference, I didn’t begin the project with any real expectations, but it turned out to be tremendously successful," Cheran said. "It also helped me realize my passion, and the possibilities of what I could do if I set my heart to it."

Cheran received an Aspire! Award for her dedication to service, her embodiment of the university motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), and her intentional efforts to impact her world positively. As a freshman, she was a member of the S.E.R.V.E. (Students Engaging and Responding through Volunteer Resources) living/learning community, a residential theme housing program that focuses on personal growth and volunteer work. It defined her experience at Virginia Tech, and involved her in service opportunities locally and internationally. Now she is committed to sustainable social change to alleviate world hunger and poverty by providing support and opportunities to orphans and underprivileged children in third world countries. Her service includes a trip to the Dominican Republic to help construct a women's center and to help paint a children’s hospital ward. During Thanksgiving break she will be part of a YMCA at VT group participating in the Student Homeless Challenge on the streets of Washington, D.C. "Also, very soon I will have the chance to work with children through the AmeriCorps Advance Program, which I am very excited for," Cheran said.

In addition to helping others, Cheran educates her peers about the needs outside of their own immediate environment. "In each person, the potentiality of mankind is reborn," she said. "As Mahatma Gandhi would say, you must be the change you wish to see in the world. Each month I put away some savings. One day when I have enough, I will return to India and open up a home of my own for orphaned children and anyone else who needs me."


2015-2016 Aspirations Breakfasts*
October 2, 2015
November 13, 2015
February 19, 2016
March 18, 2016
April 22, 2016
Owens Banquet Room, 8:00-10:00 a.m.

*Registration is required to attend the Breakfast.


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

Past Recipients


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