Zack Helmintoller

Prepare for a life of COURAGEOUS LEADERSHIP

Zack HelmintollerWith its swaying palms and annual Lobster Fest, spending winter break in Belize might seem like a relaxing jaunt. But for a group of eleven Virginia Tech students, the trip became a multi-dimensional, global leadership and service experience -- one that made a world of difference to a group of Belizean teachers and school children.

Zack Helmintoller was the driving force behind that effort. He took the lead in organizing the trip, writing the curriculum, recruiting students, raising funds, creating partnerships, and handling travel details. Zack said, "Being able to see this dream come to fruition genuinely made me feel accomplished, when I got to witness how this trip positively affected the 35 Belizean teachers in attendance, the school we renovated, the fellow student participants, and our faculty liaison. Graduate students are generally thought to be wrapped up in their advanced classes, research, teaching assistantships, and often are unable to participate in events like this one. It was a privilege to coordinate this trip, but definitely an opportunity that came with a lot of time, effort, and hard work. "

Having graduated Magna Cum Laude from Virginia Tech with a B.S. accounting and information systems and a minor in global business, Zack is currently a master's student in accounting and information systems, with a financial services concentration. As global ambassador for the Cranwell International Center, president of Beta Alpha Psi honorary accounting organization, director of the Business Horizons student team, a master's representative for the Graduate Student Assembly on the commission on student affairs, a Leadership Tech facilitator, a graduate teaching assistant, and in many other leadership roles on campus, Zack has earned the highest praise from both peers and faculty. He is the recipient of numerous honors and awards. His nominator wrote, "He leads with humility. Zack has a heart for service, and I believe that is what drives him, and gives him the courage to make difficult leadership decisions."

One of his most challenging moments came when he was co-director for Business Horizons. While coordinating a social event, some in the group thought it would be a good idea to buy a keg or two from Sycamore Deli, because it would show up as a food purchase on their receipts. Risking an unpopular decision, Zack stood up and said that that's not what the organization was about, and he made sure that nothing like that happened in the future. He was awarded the Courage in Leadership award through the G.E.R.M.A.N. Club for taking this stand.

With characteristic self-effacement, common sense, and dedication, Zack said, "Life is truly a balancing act and you need to make sure that you make time for yourself to relax and reflect on the things that you have done. With that being said, anyone is capable of doing amazing things, but you have to stay committed. If you make sure you have time to rest and relax, then your commitment to excellence will be able to continue to shine through."

Zack will graduate this spring, and has accepted a full time position as auditor with Price Waterhouse Coopers. He will take the Certified Public Accountant exam this summer. For his impact on many individuals both in Blacksburg and in other parts of the world, for being a kind and caring mentor, and for encouraging other students to develop their leadership skills, the Aspire! Award for courageous leadership is presented to Zack Helmintoller.

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