The Aspire! Awards recognize students, faculty, and staff who exemplify Student Affairs' Aspirations for Student Learning. Five students, one representing each Aspiration, and one faculty/staff member will be honored at each celebration in the months of October, December, February, March, and April. Nominations are now being accepted for the 2023-2024 Aspire! Awards.
Aspire! Award Celebrations
- Friday, October 20, 2023
- Friday, December 1, 2023
- Friday, February 23, 2024
- Friday March 22, 2024
- Friday, April 26, 2024
The Aspire! Award Celebrations will be hosted in person at the Inn at Virginia Tech, unless announced otherwise.
The Aspire! Awards were established by Student Affairs in 2011 as a way to recognize and celebrate the Virginia Tech students who embody the Aspirations for Student Learning.
Five times a year, five students who live the Aspirations for Student Learning are honored as recipients of Aspire! Awards. The Aspire! Awards are open to students of all majors and levels of study.
In 2013, the Aspire! Awards were expanded to include university employees who live and teach the Aspirations in their work. At each of the five Aspire! Awards celebrations throughout the academic year, one employee who has made outstanding contributions to student learning is recognized.
In 2015, the Aspire! Awards were further broadened to include the Alumni Ut Prosim Aspire! Award. Presented once each year in April, the Alumni Ut Prosim Aspire! Award goes to a Virginia Tech alumnus who represents our hopes for all students – that they live lives of curiosity, integrity, innovation, leadership, success, fulfillment, and that they continue to embody the university’s motto, Ut Prosim, as a way of life.
Aspire! Awards recipients are honored at breakfast gatherings in the months of October, November, February, March, and April. During the awards presentation, each recipient’s story is told and later featured online. The Aspire! Awards breakfasts have become an inspirational and integral part of the Student Affairs’ culture, with university, community, and family guests frequently participating in the recognition event.
Aspire! Award nominations can be made by anyone who believes an individual merits recognition for living the Aspirations for Student Learning in their daily lives. Nominations are submitted through an online form at the Aspirations website, and should include an essay of up to 750 words focusing on why the nominee fits the spirit of a specific Aspiration. Once a nomination is received, Student Affairs’ five Aspirations committees review each submission and choose the individuals they believe best represent the essence of the Aspirations. Over the years, hundreds of nominations have been received and, as of summer 2017, 174 Aspire! Awards have been presented.
Student Affairs’ Aspirations for Student Learning represent the pinnacle of Virginia Tech’s aspirations for and expectations of students. They are:
- Commit to unwavering CURIOSITY
- Pursue SELF-UNDERSTANDING and INTEGRITY
- Practice CIVILITY
- Prepare for a life of COURAGEOUS LEADERSHIP
- Embrace UT PROSIM as a way of life.
The Aspirations for Student Learning were developed and adopted to:
- Complement and complete students’ academic and professional education
- Challenge students to develop habits of interpersonal awareness, intentional actions, and self-reflection
- Connect knowledge to the possibilities for improving humanity near and far
- Guide them in creating a positive legacy now and in the future.
General ItemMomna Kiani
Momna Kiani’s nominator said, “Momna has shown an amazing ability to empathize and connect with others. Understanding when her peers are stressed, vulnerable and in need takes a special type of person. Also special is her ability to understand when others need recognition and provide that in a way that is thoughtful and kind.”Date: May 26, 2023
General ItemPatrick Corrigan
A student leader for Residential Well-being, Highty-Tighty executive officer, and 4th Battalion executive officer within the Corps of Cadets, Cadet Patrick Corrigan has straightforward insight on how to lead with civility: Listen. Care for others. Love your people.Date: May 19, 2023
General ItemSania Mahmood
By cultivating connections with others, Sania Mahmood has developed self-understanding that empowers her to lead others, solve problems, and live out values that make a difference.Date: May 12, 2023
General ItemCatalina Reinhart-Diaz
A leader and inspiration for expanding the boundaries of possibility: Cat Reinhart-Diaz, said her nominator, is a vision of “a student exploring and enjoying all aspects of student life, remaining curious about who they are and who they may become.”Date: May 05, 2023
General ItemDr. Ellie Sturgis
At the end of each day, Dr. Ellie Sturgis asks herself, “How have I been of use to others?” She said, “In serving others, our lives are enriched beyond measure.” That is the mark of a true practitioner of our university motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve).Date: Apr 28, 2023
General ItemPaul Reeder
Paul Reeder’s career experience includes being an enlisted paratrooper in the Army, a cybersecurity consultant in the White House, running a division of a systems integrator, helping grow a small business from 15 to 100 people, and several roles at Amazon. He is currently senior manager for Amazon Web Services. But long before all that, Paul was a resident advisor and a head RA at Virginia Tech.Date: Apr 28, 2023
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