2017 Keystone Fellows

Each year, we recognize remarkable students who serve in unique, amazing, and inspiring ways. Just as a keystone is the central stone at the summit of an arch, locking the whole together, our Keystone Fellows represent the same for one university and student body through their service and compassion to Virginia Tech and an extended community.

Keystone Fellows are students who embody the Aspirations for Student Learning. Being named a Keystone Fellow is a unique honor and coveted distinction. Selected Fellows have the opportunity to impact the student experience, mentor students in the early stages of discovering the aspirations, receive a distinction cord for graduation, and be celebrated at an annual spring induction ceremony.

Brendan Cafferky

Senior | Pamplin College of Business

“I went three years with that subtle feeling that I didn’t deserve to be at Virginia Tech, but through living out the Aspirations for Student Learning, that eventually changed. Virginia Tech not only made me a part of its community, but it has also inspired me to be more and do more for those around me.”

Analytical, Deliberative, Relator, Responsibility, Harmony

Sam Chanesman

Sophomore | College of Architecture and Urban Studies, College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences

“Living out Ut Prosim isn’t always easy and leading a life of courageous leadership can be pretty scary, but by taking those chances and saying “yes” to the things that are hard, we can all grow and achieve that immense success that is inside us.”

Relator, Includer, Achiever, Belief, Significance

Nala Chehade

Junior | College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences

“I question the purpose of my thoughts and actions, resulting in a tightening of my life in accordance with my desire to serve the international community. I believe in the faculty, staff, and students of Virginia Tech who inspired me to want to become a part and parcel of the community. I believe in communities.”

Analytical, Deliberative, Achiever, Responsibility, Context

Samantha DiBiaso

Senior | College of Liberal Arts and Human Science

“My time in Peru taught me that in the end, you will not regret taking a leap out of your comfort zone, because living means taking a chance. No matter what, that leap will be worthwhile. There is nothing in this world that can stop you from meeting such remarkable people, trying new things, finding yourself and making a difference. I believe embracing Virginia Tech’s Aspirations for Student Learning is taking that leap, because you never know what you will learn, who you will become, or the impact you will continue to make. I believe in living.”

Includer, Positivity, Discipline, Developer, Achiever

Brandon Griffin

Sophomore | College of Engineering

“I believe that if we want to see positive change in our country and even the world, then we must open our ears to the stories of the people poised to help. We must listen to stories to collectively write our future narrative.”

Competition, Learner, Intellection, Input, Achiever

Ashleigh Grubb

Junior | College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences

“As I struggled to find my ‘home’ here at Tech, I realized that it is through our struggles that we grow the most. This is why I believe that vulnerability breeds compassion. Pursuing self-understanding and integrity depends on vulnerability, and once you know and love yourself, you can start to do the same for others.”

Individualization, Discipline, Futuristic, Relator, Learner

Jack Holland

Sophomore | Pamplin College of Business

“I came to understand the importance of perseverance and mental fortitude as I struggled to walk, and dealt with the hardships of a willing mind but an unable body. And I discovered my belief that when we can learn from everything around us, we grow and mature ourselves and are then better able to help those around us do the same.”

Achiever, Positivity, Maximizer, Responsibility, Belief

Danielle Jeffers

Sophomore | College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences

“Leadership requires patience, understanding, and action, but it does not require a title. We are all courageous leaders and our commitment to becoming better makes our efforts more worthwhile.”

Achiever, Learner, Responsibility, Focus, Self-Assurance

Jennifer Loh

Senior | College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences

“While reflecting on my time at Virginia Tech I have come to understand this lens of seeing each person’s whole story, which has helped me better serve others. I believe this lens was built on my Virginia Tech journey and will only propel me into life after graduation.”

Includer, Communication, Arranger, Woo, Positivity

Mairead Novak

Junior | College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences

“Five words, scrawled across a sticky note, are my reminder every day to change my focus from myself to others. Five words have changed my attitude, which has changed my actions, which have changed my habits, which have changed my character. Five words that I believe many people on this campus have been transformed by, and that many people see the results of. Five words that I believe can change the world, if only we are brave enough to start in Blacksburg, Virginia. Who can I serve today?”

Focus, Discipline, Achiever, Analytical, Restorative

Alexa Parsley

Senior | College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences

“I believe my voice is powerful. I believe my voice is strong. I believe my voice carries far and I was given that for a reason. I believe the fight for equality is just beginning, and I will hold myself accountable to the expectations held before me. As a Keystone Fellow, I will continue to empower our Hokies to be engaged, involved, and interactive with what is happening on and off campus.”

Restorative, Learner, Achiever, Harmony, Input

Anna Pope

Senior | College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences

“This experience reshaped the way I view research, seeing it as a puzzle and excavation. Now I find myself subconsciously seeking out stories, evaluating source credibility, and mapping themes in my head with each school project, headline, and soundbite I consume.”

Context, Learner, Achiever, Strategic, Relator