A kaleidoscope of curiosity. Human sponge. Creative curator. Everyday inquirer.
These are just a few of the phrases Gabby Bomberg’s nominators used to describe her way of being in the world.
They wrote, “From prolonged observation, Gabby’s personhood and capacity for curiosity can best be described as ‘kaleidoscopic.’ The Oxford Dictionary defines kaleidoscopic as being ‘made up of a complex mix of elements; multifaceted.’ With Intellection, Learner, and Achiever, in her top five Strengths, Gabby does not shy away from complexity.”
Gabby’s capacity for curiosity and complexity, combined with a desire to serve others, led her to embrace leadership roles on campus and step courageously into the unknown during the course of her four years.
- Among her contributions to student life at Virginia Tech:
- She dared to be a founding member of the Thrive living-learning community.
- She became one of the university’s first Strengths consultants.
- She courageously shared her personal experiences on the ExperienceVT blog.
- She served as a Resident Advisor for Thrive.
As an intern for the Office for Learning Partnerships, she created the framework for Thrive’s peer mentor training and wrote learning outcomes based on the Aspirations.
Her nominators wrote, “As a founding member of a community with an amorphous concept, Gabby jumped right in and helped spearhead our effort to recruit incoming students. Although we were selling students an experience that did not yet exist, she leaned into the uncertainty and helped people see themselves as a part of Thrive. She continued to do that as the community launched, shaping the larger mission of Thrive as well as the day-to-day activities.”
They continued, “Gabby’s deep and far-reaching involvement has provoked our own understanding of and embodiment of the Aspirations within Learning Partnerships, which has benefited and will continue to benefit all of Student Affairs.”
Gabby shared that it is important to her to develop deep connections, inclusive communities, and be there for others’ most vulnerable moments.
Her passion for people and her experiences at Virginia Tech have led her to consider a career working as a counselor or in Student Affairs. She enrolled in Dr. Frank Shushok’s College Students and Environments course this semester -- the only undergraduate in the course -- to get a head start. She will graduate with a dual degree in human development and psychology and minors in integrative health and wellness and medicine and society.
Her advice for students? Don’t base your worth on how others see you.
“You will never be satisfied,” she said. “Others don’t have the same perspectives, life experiences, and expectations for you and the world. When you are aware and can fully embrace yourself and appreciate difference in others, only then can you start to see your own value. Validation only gets you so far. In order to be comfortable with yourself, YOU must believe that you are enough.”