Skyler Mueller

Prepare for a life of COURAGEOUS LEADERSHIP


Skyler Mueller Being a courageous leader never crossed Skyler Mueller’s mind, even as he stood before a room full of students, talked about his privilege as a white male, and boldly spoke out against racial disparity.

He never intentionally sought out this aspiration because he was so busy simply living it.

Skyler said, “It’s an empowering thing to admit that to myself. Yes, I’m a courageous leader. I think there’s a lot of triumph in being flawed and still being able to be a courageous leader. I guess I received this award because I’m trying. I’m living with a purpose. It’s really humbling and encouraging to get told you’re doing a good job.”

When asked about his passions, Skyler listed off a multitude. He’s passionate about social justice and learning more about his privilege. He’s passionate about racial issues, topics of identity, learning about the African American experience, and literature. He cares deeply about service, and he says the best way to approach the world is to be others-minded.

But, most of all, Skyler is passionate about people. He said, “If I died today and people talked about my biggest accomplishment, I hope it’d be the deep connections with the ones I love and care about.”

It was those connections that landed him in front of a seminar about race put on by Seyi, another recipient of this month’s Aspire! Awards. Seyi asked Skyler if he’d be willing to share a bit about what it looks like to be a white, heterosexual, cis- male in America, and, with humility and bravery, he told it like it is.

His nominator said, “He will be the first to tell you about how his identities impact his journey in this world.”

Skyler said, “We understand much more about the world and people by caring to listen to other perspectives. Why are people upset about policing? Why do people say ‘hands up, don’t shoot’? Why do people burn American flags? Why is there wealth disparity across racial lines? I’ve found a lot of value in asking questions about how our world works, and I hope others would do the same.”

Skyler is a resident advisor in the Honors Residential College, and he said that the first-year students keep commenting on how bluntly Skyler asks deep and significant questions. He says he has a passion for hearing the stories of people, and he thinks questions hold a lot of power.

This summer, Skyler interned with the Intercultural Engagement Center to deepen his own learning and to contribute to inclusion efforts on campus.

A constant on the Dean’s List, Skyler is studying English with minors in philosophy and African American Studies. He serves as a Writing Center coach and is a brother Alpha Phi Omega, a co-ed service fraternity. When he leaves Virginia Tech, Skyler hopes to be involved in youth development in some capacity, whether that’s through teaching high school English or working in collegiate student affairs.

His nominator said, “Skyler is a student who is comfortable in his own skin, who genuinely seeks to understand the dynamics of social justice, and who has never met a stranger. He is comfortable and willing to be vulnerable, and he allows others the grace to do the same.”

For his desire to make the world a better place for all people and his courage to pave the way, I’m pleased to present the Aspire! Award for COURAGEOUS LEADERSHIP to Skyler Mueller.


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

Students
Jordan Kuhn - Curiosity
Joseph Walker - Self-Understanding and Integrity
Harley Curran - Civility
Fahad Ashraf - Courageous Leadership
Julia Monroe - Ut Prosim

Faculty/Staff
Laurie Fritsch – Curiosity

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