Haley Burgess

Embrace UT PROSIM as a way of life


Haley Burgess Haley Burgess arrived at Virginia Tech in the fall of 2013 expecting to go into Computer Science, but was more interested in the patterns of society rather than patterns of programming code. Switching majors to Women’s and Gender Studies was one of the first steps to finding a place at Virginia Tech. That sense of belonging has coalesced as Haley found communities of people with like identities and interests. Haley is also minoring in Creative Writing and is a fantastic writer. I’d like you to hear this story in Haley’s own words. Haley said:

“The highlight of my college experience has been the moments where things just clicked between the academic theories I was learning and the community building and activism I was doing outside of the classroom.

“Broadly, my passion is helping others. It is learning what another’s passions or dreams are and doing what I can to help them fulfill them. I also find work on diversity and inclusion and social justice to be a natural extension of this passion, for it enables me to help not just an individual, but community groups and perhaps the world as a whole.

“I am most proud of all of the work I have done with my two campus organizations: TransSpace at Virginia Tech and the Disability Alliance at Virginia Tech, as well as the volunteer work I have done with Girl Scout camps.

“With TransSpace, I realized I identified as transgender somewhere around my second semester, yet I could find no safe space for those like myself, not even in the broader LGBTQ+ organization on campus. Now, as a rising senior, I want to help and support those Hokies who may feel as I did my first year: seeking a space where they are free to be themselves and having resources for navigating campus life.

“With the Disability Alliance, my involvement arose out of a similar desire for community that prompted the creation of TransSpace, and it also included a drive to serve my fellow disabled Hokies by creating a more accessible and inclusive campus. Related to this, being autistic is not something I need to overcome. My pride in my disabled self helps me change the negative narratives that are so pervasive.

“Finally, it has been volunteering with Girl Scout camps for the past six years which has continued to fuel my desire to live Virginia Tech’s motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve). As a camp counselor, I help create a sanctuary for young people, many of whom are bullied just for pursuing their passions. Youth are the future, and I do my best to encourage the young people I work with towards growth, self-discovery, and of course, service and helping others.

“What I have learned that I would like to pass on to others:

  • Service is not something one does on a weekend or for a special event, service is a way of life. True service goes beyond the individual and transforms itself into community-building and social change.
  • Question why society is the way it is. Don’t settle for the answer of “that’s just the way it’s always been.”
  • If you encounter a problem, figure out how you can adapt, improvise, and overcome. Don’t be afraid to ask for help or support.
  • Never stop taking time to understand yourself: your identities, experiences, beliefs, passions, strengths, etc. In knowing and taking care of yourself you can be of better service to others.”

Haley’s nominator wrote, “Haley's values aren't aspirational because Haley lives those values with action every day. Haley promotes a vision of inclusion that helps us all have more integrity in our dealings with people of all sorts.”

Haley — the time, talent, vision, and hard work you have given our community has made it - and us - more thoughtful, responsive, and inclusive. I am pleased to present the Aspire! Award for UT PROSIM AS A WAY OF LIFE to Haley Burgess.


2017-2018 Aspirations Breakfasts*

December 1, 2017
Owens Banquet Room, 8-10 a.m.

*Registration is required to attend the Breakfast.


Aspire! Awards History


Past Recipients

October 27, 2017 Recipients

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

Faculty/Staff
Laurie Fritsch – Curiosity

April 21, 2017 Recipients

Students
Bobby Hollingsworth - Curiosity
Annemarie Bresson - Self-Understanding and Integrity
Christopher Bardo - Civility
Nala Chehade - Courageous Leadership
Elizabeth Galbreath - Ut Prosim

Faculty/Staff
Hillary KovacsUt Prosim

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

March 17, 2017 Recipients

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

Faculty/Staff
Lt. Tony Haga – Courageous Leadership

February 17, 2017 Recipients

Students
Danielle Jeffers - Curiosity
Colleen McGovern - Self-Understanding and Integrity
Min Kyung “Julie” Sim - Civility
Lamont “Gucci” Livingston - Courageous Leadership
Jacob Long - Ut Prosim

Faculty/Staff
Alece Alderson – Civility

November 4, 2016 Recipients

Students
Rhiannon Hasenauer - Ut Prosim
Zack Sever - Civility
David Gardner - Courageous Leadership
Zachary Hoopes - Curiosity
Bridger Johnson - Self-Understanding and Integrity

Faculty/Staff
Jon Fritsch – Self-Understanding and Integrity

October 7, 2016 Recipients

Students
Zachariah Ewen - Ut Prosim
Jordan Evans - Civility
Megan Lee Myklegard - Courageous Leadership
Alex Hamilton - Curiosity
Bryan Faulkner - Self-Understanding and Integrity

Faculty/Staff
Catherine Cotrupi – Curiosity

April 22, 2016 Recipients
Students
Samantha Hall - Ut Prosim
Charelle Berry - Civility
Audrey Semel - Courageous
Leadership
Jess King - Curiosity
Mike Schoka - Self-Understanding
and Integrity

Faculty/Staff
Frances KeeneUt Prosim

Alumni
John GrahamUt Prosim

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

Faculty/Staff
Susan Anderson – Courageous
Leadership

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

Faculty/Staff
Anthony Purcell – Civility

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

Faculty/Staff
Gladys Sartin– Self-Understanding
and Integrity

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

Faculty/Staff
Vera Kidd – Curiosity

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

Faculty/Staff
Residence Life Resource Officer John TarterUt Prosim

Alumni
Robby MoserUt Prosim

March, 2015 Recipients
Students
Juan de la Rosa Diaz – Courageous
Leadership
Jamaica Sykes – Curiosity
Luke Birch
Self-Understanding and Integrity
Jake VoorheesUt Prosim
Turki Saad Al-Zahrani – Civility

Faculty/Staff
Captain Jim Snyder – Courageous Leadership

February, 2015 Recipients
Students
Catherine Goggins – Courageous
Leadership
Allison Laclede – Curiosity
Samuel Aguilar Chavez
Self-Understanding and Integrity
Larissa PeraraUt Prosim
Lauren Cashman – Civility

Faculty/Staff
Jay Read – Civility

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

Faculty/Staff
Scott Busiel – Self–understanding and Integrity

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

Faculty/Staff
Robin Boucher – Curiosity

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

Faculty/Staff
Tricia SmithUt Prosim

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

Faculty/Staff
Belinda Pauley

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

Faculty/Staff
Kelley Woods-Johnson

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

Faculty/Staff
Lyndsy Manz

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

Faculty/Staff
Meredith Hampton