Loralee Hoffer exemplifies Courageous Leadership, noted her nominator, in leading by example and devoting immense time and effort to her peers’ success.
Loralee is an honors Psychology major with minors in Creative Writing and Adaptive Brain and Behavior, graduating this spring and currently applying to doctoral programs in industrial organizational psychology.
As undergraduate lab coordinator of the Center for Applied Behavior Systems, the largest research lab in the Virginia Tech Psychology Department, Loralee works closely with lab leadership and coordinates the work of all other undergraduate research assistants while maintaining her own research work.
Loralee chose to continue living on campus her senior year as President of the Creativity and Innovation District Hall Council to create a strong and welcoming community and to ensure all new students have a positive experience there.
She serves as Senior Editor and Writer for Her Campus at Virginia Tech, an online magazine written for and by college women.
Loralee also serves the campus community as an Ambassador for the Office of Undergraduate Research. In this work, she meets with other students seeking lab experiences on campus and connects them with opportunities as they navigate the early stages of that process.
Loralee’s passion is positive psychology — studying factors that enhance wellbeing and overall quality of life and applying them as broadly as possible. “I want to disseminate the revolutionary findings of this relatively new field,” said Loralee, “and help people realize that there are more options for improving your life than just correcting the bad.”
Professionally, she intends to apply positive psychology to the workplace, exploring how to make employees happier, more productive, and more efficient.
Loralee shared that, in her experience, a daily gratitude practice is among the most effective ways to enhance wellbeing. She said, “Writing a gratitude journal, thanking a friend, or just pondering what you’re grateful for can give a healthy dose of perspective and improve your mood and the mood of any others involved.”
Loralee’s gratitude clearly informs pride in her own resilience. She said, “With the amazing assistance from Services for Students with Disabilities, the grace of many kind professors, and more determination than I was sure I could ever produce, I have been able to progress towards completing my degree. My graduation will represent the culmination of my greatest academic challenge and my greatest physical challenge as well.”
Loralee strengthens the Psychology Department, the Creativity and Innovation District community, and the larger Virginia Tech community as a model of a courageous leader, said her nominator.
Loralee’s contributions serve as examples, and she tirelessly encourages others to make their own contributions in undergraduate research, campus community engagement, and developing discourse communities through writing.
Courageous leadership, said Loralee, “is not just managing a team, but inspiring others to make a change, join a cause, or lend a hand. A courageous leader has a responsibility to care for their team by practicing empathy, providing thoughtful feedback, and being sensitive to team needs.”
I am honored to present the Aspire! Award for PREPARE FOR A LIFE OF COURAGEOUS LEADERSHIP to Loralee Hoffer.