Patrick Goley


Patrick Goley Patrick Goley is one whose curiosity definitely led him to Virginia Tech on a less travelled path. Just a few years ago, Patrick was living the life of a professionally trained and educated chef at the prestigious Greenbriar Resort in West Virginia. During that time, he remained curious about other careers, and was always excited to read about new breakthroughs in energy technology. He dreamed about one day joining the front lines in the struggle to solve global energy problems. Every day, this dream becomes more real. At 28 years old, Goley is a junior majoring in electrical engineering in the College of Engineering, focusing on solar energy. He has received several scholarships and is a member of numerous honor societies. He has worked with Engineers without Borders as Guatamala Water Supply Project lead. He is a member of the Honors Residential College and was elected as its first co-president. He volunteered with the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Salem while an intern at General Electric, where he developed standards for software automation of engineering for gas and steam turbine control panels. The streamlined process is estimated to generate a total cost savings of a quarter to a half million dollars annually.

Despite all these academic and personal achievements, when asked what the highlight of his college career has been, Goley said, "Working with my housemates to make soup for 80 people every Friday. It serves as the focal point for a community social event that we call Soup Night. Most who come are HRC community members, however, we welcome guests as well. We've never turned anyone away!"

This speaks to Goley’s core philosophy about the importance of community. "I always thought it was something that just happened automatically whenever the right conditions were present," he said. "I was wrong. It takes work, and doesn’t happen automatically, even in the best conditions. You must be absolutely intentional about building community. Community is a shared pool of goodwill that is constantly being drawn from and added to by that group. In tough times we draw from the pool to generate a spirit of cooperation, and we replenish it by supporting each other in our struggles. Community is not some fluffy ideal that has no practical use in our society -- it is essential to our survival."

Goley plans to stay at Virginia Tech for an MS in electrical engineering, while continuing to work on solar energy research. Eventually, he hopes to lead his own research group.

For the inquisitiveness that has inspired Goley to embrace a life-long commitment to intellectual development, he is recognized with an Aspire! Award for curiosity.


2015-2016 Aspirations Breakfasts*
February 19, 2016
March 18, 2016
April 22, 2016
Owens Banquet Room, 8-10 a.m.

*Registration is required to attend the Breakfast.


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

Glady Sartin – Self-Understanding
      and Integrity

Past Recipients


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