Natasha Laramie

Commit to unwavering CURIOSITY

Natasha Laramie Though she has always considered herself an adventurous eater, Cadet Natasha Laramie had to step outside her comfort zone while in Panama. She said, “In all my life I never thought I would be slurping octopus and cambombia, otherwise known to Panamanians as conch, in a delicious mixture with lime juice, onions, vinegar, and habaneros.”

That was just one of many instances during the two-week cultural immersion trip that Natasha grew and learned. And learned. And learned. She said, “I experienced incredible history, architecture, stunning beaches, a proud culture, and exceptional food. I snorkeled across many incredible oceans and saw a huge shark hidden in the reefs. One of my biggest internal challenges was my fear of speaking Spanish poorly with the people I met. I faced many other challenges, such as losing my bathing suits during air travel, getting food poisoning, and an unforgettable sunburn. But my most memorable challenge was the feeling of helplessness in the city of Colόn.”

Natasha did a service project in a women and children’s community center with the same Sister Barbara that fellow Aspire! Award recipient Walter Gonsiewski had met. Natasha wanted to extend her impact and that of the other cadets. After consulting with Sister Barbara on the most pressing needs, Natasha came up with a proposal for cadet travelers to bring much needed supplies to the shelter in their suitcases and to run a small fundraiser before the trip to make a donation to the center. Natasha said, “I strongly feel that this extra bit of service would challenge future travelers to live by the words ‘global, ethical leaders.’”

A quick look at Natasha’s resume reveals her insatiable quest to learn as much as she can. Natasha is a senior majoring in Consumer Studies with minors in Leadership and Business. She was chosen to attend the Ozark Leadership Conference in Missouri. She won the national Azerbaijan essay contest resulting in a trip to Azerbaijan through the World Affairs Council. She has been the recipient of numerous awards and scholarships, including the Virginia Tech Women’s Faculty Scholarship.

She has been a leader in the Corps of Cadets, a resident advisor, and a member of the Virginia Tech Regimental Band, the Highty-Tighties, playing the most portable of all instruments – the piccolo. She has played for parades and special events, including Mardi Gras in Louisiana and the Governor’s Inaugural parade in Virginia. She said, “Marching onto the field for the Ohio State game and performing in front of 66,000 fans and ESPN was unforgettable. I have never felt more excited to be a Hokie than in that moment.”

Natasha is most proud of getting into college. She said, “Both of my parents were never able to afford college and have worked hard their entire lives in order to provide for my siblings and me. I can’t describe how hard I’ve worked to be a first generation student. From long hours working, applying for endless numbers of scholarships, and studying — this has been a great accomplishment and I look forward to graduating.” She would like to pursue a career as a project manager in the defense industry.

During her free time — free time? Seriously? — you can find Natasha backpacking through the woods, throwing a frisbee, playing intramural sports, or hiking the Cascades.

For all the hard work it took to get here, for taking advantage of every opportunity, and for spreading the excitement of learning — I am pleased to present the Aspire! Award for CURIOSITY to Cadet Natasha Laramie.

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