Latha Pillai

Pursue SELF-UNDERSTANDING and INTEGRITY


Latha PillaiHer nominator wrote, “Latha Pillai was the kind of student that you dreamed of having in class—excited, passionate about figuring out who she was and what her future would entail, and a positive person to be around.”

Latha herself said, “It has taken me a long time to figure out where I belong, and now that I have, I couldn’t be happier.” A junior majoring in communication, Latha doesn’t let an opportunity go by that can enrich her understanding and experience in communication, marketing, and public relations. She is communication manager for Naturally Sharp, an all-male a cappella group; she is public relations officer for the Indian Student Association; she is on the public relations and special events committee for the Virginia Tech Union; she helps to promote Virginia Tech’s independent radio station, WUVT; and she is a member of the Public Relations Student Society of America.

But it is in her role as marketing intern for Career and Professional Developmen that she has had perhaps the most impact. During her internship, she has managed the office’s Twitter and Facebook accounts, participated in videos to promote job fairs, assisted with outreach at career-related activities, helped to create and market the REACH living learning community, and organized an event to promote National Career Development Month.

Latha said, “Being surrounded by the people who work in Career and Professional Developmen is one of THE greatest experiences I have ever had. I learned so much about myself, what it takes to be a professional, how to leave a lasting impression, and that there is always a home away from home.” She credits her boss, Mary Ann Cole, with helping her. Latha said, “She has done so much, not only for me, but everyone else around her. The impact she left on each person is beyond admirable. I can only hope to grow up to be half the person she is.”

Her nominator wrote, “One of Latha’s passions is to let others know how important understanding yourself is in your career decisions. She does this by understanding and utilizing her strengths—to connect, communicate, and find the unique qualities in others, and to help them understand themselves as well. She is a huge proponent of loving what you do, and doing what you love.”

Latha said, “My passion is people. I want to interact with them, help them, show them how awesome life can be even if they think they’re at their lowest point. One of the greatest lessons I learned from my parents was to appreciate everything in life, especially the little things. Whenever someone does something for you, always thank them and show them you mean it. You never know how bad a day someone is having and maybe, just maybe, that smile or thank you will make their day a little bit better.”

Latha will spend next year working in Career and Professional Developmen for a third term, and enjoying her senior year with her close friends. After graduation, she said, “Hopefully, I’ll be able to find a job through a job fair—thanks to Career and Professional Developmen, I will always be on the up and up about when they are held—and work for a company that is very passionate about branding, marketing, and advertising.”

For using her strengths to find the strengths in others; for energetically pursuing activities that help her define herself personally and professionally; and for being one of the best advocates for Career and Professional Developmen we can imagine, Latha Pillai is presented the Aspire! Award for SELF-UNDERSTANDING AND INTEGRITY.


2017-2018 Aspirations Breakfasts*

October 27, 2017
Owens Banquet Room, 8-10 a.m.

*Registration is required to attend the Breakfast.


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


Aspire! Awards History


Past Recipients

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