Erin Mack


Erin MackErin will graduate in May with a B.S. in biology and a double minor in medicine and society and leadership and social change. She will also be receiving the Honors in Health Studies Diploma. Fostering cross-cultural relationships is important to Erin, and she has expanded her perspective and service to others through study abroad to New Zealand and a medical mission trip to El Salvador. She has been a research assistant in the English department, where she analyzed pro and anti-vaccine arguments in early 20th century newspapers—research she presented at the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences 2013 Research Forum on Health, Race and Rhetoric. She worked as a biological science technician in the Army Corps of Engineers. And she did a global health leadership internship with the outreach office of the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine, where her research focused on hygiene, sanitation, and clean water, and the relationship between culture and medicine in the Dominican Republic.

If all that isn’t enough, Erin has been very involved with her sorority, Sigma Kappa, as Panhellenic delegate and executive vice president. She also spent the last three years serving as a global ambassador for the Cranwell International Center, where she organized and assisted with orientation and mentoring of international students.

Erin said, "There have been many experiences that have given me a better understanding of who I am. The leadership and social change minor has helped me reflect on many experiences these past four years. It is through this reflection that I have a better understanding of what I value. I’ve learned that I value honesty, authenticity, consistency, and loyalty very highly. I think it is important to live by your values every day."

Here is what Erin had to say about what she learned during her Virginia Tech experience: “My work as a global ambassador with the Cranwell International Center has easily been the highlight of my college experience. As a first-year student I joined the program. For the past three years, I’ve helped with International Orientation, mentored international students, and created the welcome video. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed being a part of the global ambassador program and am grateful for the unique experiences and valuable friendships I’ve made along the way.”

She said, “The medical mission trip to El Salvador was a great experience. I got to experience another culture through a very different lens. Instead of exploring the country through the lens of a tourist, I explored it through that of a health care volunteer. Our medical group traveled to many different orphanages throughout the country providing basic medical care to those in need.”

And she said, “Always challenge yourself. If you have an interest, pursue it. Always be willing to take chances and never let your insecurities or fears limit what you do. It’s easy to choose not to do things because you’ll be alone or are scared of the outcomes, but it is when you take chances and challenge yourself that you learn the most. Put yourself out there.”

Erin is in the process of applying to medical schools. She hopes to combine her interests in medicine and culture as a volunteer doctor abroad. Erin said, "I think it is important to remember that we are all 'citizens of the world.' Just because we may not practice the same religion, have the same values, or speak the same language does not mean we don’t have a responsibility to one another."

For sharing her talents and scholarship in unexpected ways; for finding ways to foster cross-cultural understanding; for her willingness to reflect on what kind of person her experiences have made her; and for her honesty, authenticity, consistency, and loyalty, the Aspire! Award for SELF-UNDERSTANDING AND INTEGRITY is presented to Erin Mack.

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

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