Amanda McGrath
Self-understanding and Integrity

 

Amanda McGrath "Constantly seek out ways to make yourself and others around you better." That is the simple philosophy Amanda McGrath from Springfield, Vt., a senior majoring in history in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Studies, employs in her daily life as a student, scholar, and member of the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets.

When she was selected to participate in the 2011 Olmsted Foundation’s undergraduate overseas travel and cultural immersion program, McGrath had never been outside the United States. The Olmsted program allows future officers to acquire an in-depth understanding of foreign cultures, further equipping them to serve in positions of responsibility as leaders in the Armed Forces. As an international traveler for the first time, McGrath embarked on a two week trip to Panama in May 2011. It was a learning experience she says changed her life. "It highlighted important skills and knowledge needed to be a well-rounded military officer in our current global environment," she said.

As McGrath and her fellow travelers absorbed Panamanian culture, language, and history, they got a behind-the-scenes look at the American embassy and toured the Panama Canal. "We got a sense of past US presence and how proud the Panamanians are that they have full sovereignty of their country and control over their country’s most valuable landmark."

A service trip to a children’s mission in Colon on the Caribbean Sea coast gave McGrath what she called the most humbling experience of her life. "The children there taught me more Spanish than I had ever learned in a classroom. Working at the mission really made me stop and think about how much we take for granted and how far a little bit of work can go," she said.

A well–recognized and decorated cadet, McGrath commands a battalion of more than 300 cadets this semester. "It is challenging, leading your peers, but extremely rewarding and an excellent opportunity to learn about and practice my leadership."

For her willingness to experience, explore, and understand the values and principles her community and the many cultures she will encounter as an Air Force officer, McGrath was recognized with an Aspire! Award for pursuing Self–understanding and Integrity.

 

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

Past Recipients

 

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