Kareim Oliphant

Embrace UT PROSIM as a way of life

Kareim OliphantThe Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets has had a remarkable year, due in no small part to Kareim Oliphant’s leadership as regimental commander. Kareim was in charge of the largest corps since 1968, with more than 1,000 cadets and more than 400 new cadets. He instituted new tutoring programs, which helped the Corps earn the highest fall GPA on record.

Service was also at an all-time high. Under his command, the corps raised more than $20,000 for scholarships and charitable organizations, and set a new record for the corps blood drives. He led physical-fitness training for more than 180 cadets in the Citizen-Leader Track and was able to work with and motivate cadets with a wide range of fitness abilities. He also helped create a new program, Regiment’s Got Talent, a corps-wide talent show that raised funds for Hurricane Sandy relief, and he served as master of ceremonies for the event.

Kareim said, “I have learned that it is possible to lead, make constructive changes, and positively affect others no matter what your current position is. It only takes one person to step up and decide to stand out from the crowd to have a positive influence. Developing the confidence and boldness to do this is not easy, but far from impossible. Peer leadership is often difficult, but can be mastered by having tact, patience, and treating people with respect.”

His nominator wrote, “His passion to lead fairly, serve constantly, and to do the right thing sets him apart.”

Kareim, who transitioned in his junior year to the Citizen-Leader Track after two years of ROTC, decided to stay in the Corps of Cadets because of the value of the training and leadership experience. In his words, "After having invested two years, I started to realize all the benefits that I had reaped from my involvement in the corps. My leadership and time-management skills, physical fitness, academic achievement, and personal discipline had all improved dramatically. I was also able to apply things I had learned in the many leadership positions I've held in the corps to other areas of my life, and I was absolutely fascinated by it. I still am. I'm eager to see just how much more I can learn and grow.”

Cadet Oliphant shares his strong faith and musical talents as keyboardist for the Enlightened Gospel Choir at Virginia Tech as well as at his church at home. A vital member of the corps' regimental band, the Highty-Tighties, last year he led the Southern Colonels, the band's 18-piece jazz orchestra. He said, “The two things I am most passionate about are helping people lead better lives and playing music. Fortunately, I'm able to combine the two by volunteering at Pointe West, a day support program for adults with intellectual disabilities. A few Fridays of each month, I play the piano and encourage the clients to sing along with me. It is absolutely fulfilling to see the therapeutic effect that music tends to have on everyone—clients and staff alike.”

It has been quite a year for Cadet Oliphant. He was sworn in as a U.S. citizen last fall and will graduate this spring with a degree in psychology and a minor in leadership. He looks forward to serving his new country in the field of social work and counseling. Next fall he starts graduate school at Rutgers University. He hopes to one day be a clinical psychologist with his own practice, and he may pursue teaching at the college level.

For his leadership and dedication; for taking on the hard tasks and accomplishing them with respect and diplomacy; for his thoughtful approach to his influence on others; and for helping to make this a stellar year for the Corp of Cadets, the Aspire! Award for UT PROSIM is presented to Kareim Oliphant.

2017-2018 Aspirations Breakfasts*

April 27, 2018
Owens Banquet Room, 8-10 a.m.

*Registration is required to attend the Breakfast.

Aspire! Awards History

Past Recipients

April 27, 2018 Recipients

Akshay Rajendran - Curiosity
Lea Neumann - Self-Understanding and Integrity
Hunter Anderson - Civility
Miguel Parrado - Courageous Leadership
Matthew Morency - Ut Prosim

Stephany Brown - Ut Prosim

Dan Maguire - Ut Prosim

March 23, 2018 Recipients

Travis Bauer - Curiosity
Ben Batman - Self-Understanding and Integrity
Brian Kehs - Civility
Juan Hernandez - Courageous Leadership
Jaclyn Marmol - Ut Prosim

Krista Gwilliam - Courageous Leadership

February 23, 2018 Recipients

Sam Buck - Curiosity
Amy Chen - Self-Understanding and Integrity
Jaclyn Abramson - Civility
Andrew Peck - Courageous Leadership
Bethany Lackey - Ut Prosim

Maggie Holmes – Curiosity

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