2017 Citizen Scholars
The 2017 Citizen Scholars

Putu Desy Apriliani, Bali, Indonesia, is a Ph.D. student in Planning, Governance, and Globalization. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Udayana University in Bali. Her project was Developing a Financial Literacy Workshop for Elementary School Students in a rural area of Bali. 

Debarati Basu, of Kolkata, West Bengal, is a Ph.D. student in engineering education who earned a bachelor’s degree from West Bengal State University of Technology. Basu’s project was Hand-on Minds-on Environmental Education for Engineering Freshmen and Citizens

Katie Brooks, of Appalachia, Va., is a Ph.D. student in Rhetoric and Writing in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences. She earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia at Wise. Her project was Bridging a Gap to Enhance First-Year Students’ Success Through Writing Instruction

Catherine Bukowski, of Syracuse, New York, is a Ph.D. student in Forestry. She earned a bachelor’s degree from University of North Carolina at Asheville and a master’s degree from the State University of New York. She developed Putting Research into Action: The Hale-Y Community Food Forest in Blacksburg

Sara Katherine Lamb Harrell, of Jackson, Mississippi, is a Ph.D. student in the Architecture and Design Research in the College of Architecture and Urban Studies. She earned a bachelor’s and a master’s degree from Mississippi State University. Her project was Hike it Baby! New River Valley, aimed at providing an outdoor recreational opportunity for local families so they could develop a sense of community and get out in nature. 

Kathryn Little, of Homdel, New Jersey, and Jeannie M. Purchase, of Ellenswood, Georgia, both worked on the Flint Water Educational Outreach effort. Little is a master’s degree student in civil and environmental engineering and earned her bachelor’s degree from Princeton University. Purchase is a Ph.D. student in civil engineering who earned her bachelor’s degree at Clemson University. 

Heather Elizabeth Lyne, of Amherst, Va., is a master’s student in the Public and International Affairs. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Georgia. Her project was Developing a Community Place-making Project on the Roanoke River Greenway. Her role involved consulting community leaders and local government officials to build momentum for the project and integrate public opinion and public history into the plan. 

Thomas Murray, of Chicago, is a master’s of fine arts degree student in theatre arts. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Ball State University. He worked on The Right of Way: An Original Documentary Play, an interdisciplinary research project investigating the enduring conflict between motorists and bicyclists on shared city streets. 

Bryanne Peterson, of Front Royal, Va., is a Ph.D. student in the School of Education. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Mary Baldwin College and a master’s degree at Virginia Tech. Her project was Introducing Radford City Schools Fifth Graders to Engineering Design.

Chantel Simpson, of Reidsville, North Carolina, is a Ph.D. student in Agricultural and Extension Education. She earned her bachelor’s degree from North Carolina A&T State University. Her project was Using the Community Capitals Framework for the Development of a Community Life Center

Sherif Hanie El Meligy Abdelhamid, a doctoral student in the Department of Computer Science. Project: Judge for the Virginia Junior Academy of Science symposium.

Robin Atkins, executive assistant for the Rice Center for Leadership Development and a master’s degree student in the Agricultural, Leadership, and Community Education program. Project: Developing supportive programs for nontraditional-aged students, many of whom are Virginia Tech employees.

Brittany Balhouse, a doctoral student in the Biomedical Engineering and Mechanics program. Project: Outreach sharing cancer-related research techniques with Blacksburg high school students.

Christina Devine, doctoral students in Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Project: The Flint Water Crisis Study Team, gathering and testing water samples and educating community members about the hazards of lead and pathogens in water.

Emily Garner, doctoral students in Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringProject: The Flint Water Crisis Study Team, gathering and testing water samples and educating community members about the hazards of lead and pathogens in water.

Pan Ji, doctoral students in Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringProject: The Flint Water Crisis Study Team, gathering and testing water samples and educating community members about the hazards of lead and pathogens in water.

Andrew Katz, a graduate student in the Engineering Education Department. Project: Developing ethics curricula for undergraduate engineering students.

Lia KelinskyCranwell International Center assistant director of intercultural initiatives and a doctoral student in Agricultural, Leadership, and Community Education. Project: Evaluating of Girls Rock! Roanoke, a women’s leadership development training program.

Anurag Mantha, doctoral students in Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringProject: The Flint Water Crisis Study Team, gathering and testing water samples and educating community members about the hazards of lead and pathogens in water.

Rebekah Martin, doctoral students in Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringProject: The Flint Water Crisis Study Team, gathering and testing water samples and educating community members about the hazards of lead and pathogens in water.

Sarah McKay, a master’s student in Department of Agricultural and Applied EconomicsProject: Pilot curriculum on business structures, markets, and risk management, in partnership with the Virginia Department of Education and the Virginia Tech Graduate Extension Scholars Program.

Jake Metch, doctoral students in Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringProject: The Flint Water Crisis Study Team, gathering and testing water samples and educating community members about the hazards of lead and pathogens in water.

John David Moore, regional coordinator of the Smart Beginnings program and a doctoral student the Center for Public Administration and PolicyProject: New River Valley Early Childhood Education and Development network study.

Victoria Nystrom, doctoral students in Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringProject: The Flint Water Crisis Study Team, gathering and testing water samples and educating community members about the hazards of lead and pathogens in water.

Renee Pietsch, a doctoral student in Biological Sciences Project: Developing and sharing an interdisciplinary science, technology, engineering, and math curriculum with high school students.

Colin Richards, doctoral students in Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringProject: The Flint Water Crisis Study Team, gathering and testing water samples and educating community members about the hazards of lead and pathogens in water.

William Rhoads, doctoral students in Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringProject: The Flint Water Crisis Study Team, gathering and testing water samples and educating community members about the hazards of lead and pathogens in water.

Siddhartha Roy, doctoral students in Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringProject: The Flint Water Crisis Study Team, gathering and testing water samples and educating community members about the hazards of lead and pathogens in water.

Andrew Schultz, a master’s student in Material Sciences and EngineeringProject: Establishing an MSE book club to promote self-directed learning outside the engineering classroom.

Laurel Strom, doctoral students in Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringProject: The Flint Water Crisis Study Team, gathering and testing water samples and educating community members about the hazards of lead and pathogens in water.

Owen Strom, doctoral students in Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringProject: The Flint Water Crisis Study Team, gathering and testing water samples and educating community members about the hazards of lead and pathogens in water.

Min Tang, doctoral students in Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringProject: The Flint Water Crisis Study Team, gathering and testing water samples and educating community members about the hazards of lead and pathogens in water.

Ni “Joyce” Zhu, doctoral students in Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringProject: The Flint Water Crisis Study Team, gathering and testing water samples and educating community members about the hazards of lead and pathogens in water.

Kenneth Black, Architecture and Design Research Project: It's a Sketch Away

Anna Erwin, Planning Governance, and Globalization Project: Roanoke Food Systems

Holly Grant, Mathematics Project: "Time for Slime," at the Virginia Science Festival

Sarah Halvorson-Fried, Urban and Regional Planning Project: Involvement and Research with the Employment and Income Gap Issue Group of the Dialogue on Race

Andrea Hamre, Urban Affairs and Planning Project: Citizen Engagement at the Local and Regional Level in the Washington, DC Area

Rachael Kennedy, Agricultural, Leadership, and Community Education Project: Cultivating a Regional Food System Plan

Siddhartha Roy, Civil and Environmental Engineering Project: Tackling wastewater issues of a Guatemalan school: Sustainable approach and implementation

Berk Uslu, Civil and Environmental Engineering Project: Development of Engagement and Outreach Program for Sustainable Water Infrastructure Management

Anne M. Brown, Biochemistry

Project: Implementation and assessment of one-on-one companion visit kits for dementia residents in a continuing care facility

Matt Browning, Forest Research and Environment

Project: Investigating how and why different ethnic/racial groups visit and support informal leisure settings differently

Bahareh Estejab, Mechanical Engineering

Project: Determining students’ level of knowledge on energy issues, and educating students on possibilities of substitution by providing information about renewable sources of energy

Leonard Grant, III, English

Project: The Seminar for Lifelong Learners

Toni Marie Mapuana Kaui, Teaching and Learning

Project: Imiloa Astronomy Center Mobile Science Outreach Project

Lele Kimball, Forest Research and Environment Conservation

Project: Fruit and nut trees on Virginia Tech's Blacksburg campus

Mary Minarovich-Cheniae, Educational Research and Evaluation

Project: Qualitative Data Analysis for the director of VT Engage

Tammy Parece, Geography

Project: Promoting STEM in K-12 with meteorology

Tana Schiewer, English

Project: Compelling Messages: Working with nonprofits to develop strong communications

Mallory B. Taylor, Hospitality and Tourism Management

Project: Montgomery County Hiking Trail Guide

Ivette G. Valenzuela, Population Health Science

Project:Type 2 diabetes Outcomes for Hispanic Adults in a Community-based Lifestyle Intervention Program Delivered in Partnership with Catholic Churches

Elham Mohammad Zadeh, Sustainable Biomaterials

Project: Acceptability of different kinds of edible packaging

Shaimaa A. Abdalla, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Project:  Willingly An Open Invitation to Skin Cancer?

Samantha J. Blevin, Curriculum and Instruction

Project: Intercollegiate Horse Show Association EQUUS Scholar National Assessment

C. L. Bohannon, Landscape Architecture

Project: Hurt Park Community Garden

Gardner Burg, Landscape Architecture

Project: Participation in Community Voices

Jon Catherwood-Ginn, Theatre Arts

Project: Participation in Community Voices

Eric Hodges, Planning, Governance, and Globalization

Project: Participation in Community Voices

Elizabeth C. S. Jamison, ASPECT

Project: Participation in Community Voices

Lyusyena Kirakosyan, ASPECT

Project: Participation in Community Voices

Sarah Lyon-Hill, Planning, Goverance, and Globalization

Project: Participation in Community Voices

Katherine Preston, Public Administration/Public Affairs

Project: Participation in Community Voices

Jackie Pontious, Urban and Regional Planning

Project: Participation in Community Voices

Caitlin Rivers, Population Health Sciences and Genetics, Bioinformatics, and Computational Biology

Project: Epidemiological Analysis of the Fungal Meningitis Outbreak

Holly Timme, Mathematics

Project: Why Do Doctors Need Math to Treat Diabetes?

Michael P. Torrens-Spenc, Biochemistry

Project:  Blacksburg High School Protein Crystallography Outreach Laboratory

Davis Bailey, Learning Science and Technology

Project: Operations Manager for "Connections: A Community Arts Project"

C.L. Bohannon, Landscape Architecture

Project: Facilitating the design and implementation of the Hurt Park Community Garden project in Roanoke

Brandon Brink-Halloran, Urban and Regional Planning

Project: Participated in the Global Dialogue for Responsibility project

Jonathan Duggins, Statistics

Project: Developed a series of short courses to help grad students incorporate statistics into their research

Deepu George, Human Development

Project: Director of "Connections: A Community Arts Project." The project provided a relational understanding of differences, diversities, similarities and possibilities

Leanna Horton, Industrial and Systems Engineering

Project: Facilitated the Montgomery High School High Tech Workshop on Human Factors

Karleigh Huff, Food Science and Technology

Project: Mentored a Giles County High School student with her science project

Olivera Jankovska, Agricultural and Applied Economics

Project: Coordinating educational and outreach activities for international students

Melissa Jones, Urban and Regional Planning

Project: Facilitated a Leadership Tech program focusing on issues of social justice

Sandeep Langar, Environmental Design and Planning

Project: Part of the Catawba Project, emphasizing the creation of a sustainability school

Manoj Mahapatra, Materials Science and Engineering

Project: Editor of the Journal of Undergraduate Materials Research

Katherine Mckee, Agricultural and Extension Education

Project: Built a community of practice for year-long Relay for Life projects, working as the GSA team captain

Ranjana Mehta, Industrial and Systems Engineering

Project: Facilitated the Montgomery High School High Tech Workshop on Human Factors

Jonathan Moore, Biological Sciences

Project: Developing a public education model for avian ecology in Richmond, Virginia

Thomas Moore, Urban and Regional Planning

Project: Conducted market analysis and feasibility study on green business opportunities in Floyd, Virginia

Amanda Olejarski, Center for Public Policy and Administration

Project: Research project to aid public administrators better understand eminent domain

Amanda Cronin Rumore, Biological Sciences

Project: Developing the Mobile Science Exploration, Education, and Discovery Unit (MSEED-U) to take science labs to local schools

Ryan Smith, Psychology

Project: Development and implementation of a project to combat and study alcohol abuse in downtown Blacksburg

Alison St.Clair, Civil Engineering

Project: Student Coordinator for the No-Dig 2010 Conference in Chicago

Mojtaba Taiebar, Architecture

Project: Directed a project to incorporate Building Information Modeling (BIM) into construction education

Aly Tawfik, Engineering

Project: Worked four parallel tracks associated with citizen engagement

Katie Trozzo, Forest Resources and Environmental Concerns

Project: Developing a riparian conservation project at the Catawba Sustainability Center

Ellen Bielema, Teaching and Learning

Project: College Bound is a transition program for high school juniors, seniors and incoming college freshman with disabilities who are interested in or planning to attend college

Bradley Miller, Forestry

Project: I started the Graduates Assisting Public Scholarship (GAPS) group at Virginia Tech in Spring 2008  

Reza Montazami, Materials Science and Engineering

Project: With the help of other graduate students, started a Materials Science and Engineering journal, publishing three volumes by Spring 2009.

Kristen Pujari, Counselor Education

Project: My (CSE) project was two-fold, beginning with volunteering 40 hours in an existing Pro Bono Counseling Program called ARMS Reach, through the Mental Health Association of the New River Valley.

Elizabeth Abbey, Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise

Project:  A program called "Walk to Jerusalem" where community members walked 12,405 miles in a 12-week period

Osaro Airen, Counselor Education

Project: Created the "Making It Through High School, College, and More" mentoring program with the assistance of his fraternity and others

Laura Boutwell, Sociology

Paula Brown, School of Education

Kris Day, Counselor Education

Project: A project looking at the effectiveness of safety skills training in elementary schools

Leigh Lally, Architecture and Design Research

Project: Worked with undergraduate students interested in creating more sustainable communities.

Brandy McCann, Human Development

Christina Newman, Crop and Soil Sciences

Lynita Newswander, Planning, Governance, and Globalization

Project: Volunteered as a pack committee chair for local Cub Scout Pack 142

Nicole Rishel, International Affairs

Marcela Uribe, Education, Curriculum, and Instruction

Project: Guided her Leadership Tech group as they focused on issues related to hunger and homelessness

Jane Ann Williams, Political Science

Kathryn Webb-Farley, Public Administration/Public Affairs

Project: Worked with undergraduate students interested in community vitality and leadership through Leadership Tech

Linsey Barke, Industrial and Systems Engineering

John L. Butler IV, Human Development

Brendan J. Chan, Mechanical Engineering

Laura Freeman, Statistics

Meredith Katz, Sociology

Kimberly Matson, Animal and Poultry Science

Ennis McCrery, English, Creative Writing

Pinar Omur-Ozbek, Civil and Environmental Engineering

Pardha S. Pyl, Computer Science and Applications

Callie Raulf, Biochemistry

Darrell K. Shomake, Human Development

Antionette Stroter, Education, Curriculum and Instruction

Tremayne Waller, Education, Curriculum and Instruction

Nadia Michele Aljabri, Communications

Sharnnia Artis, Industrial and Systems Engineering

Lenese Colson, Teaching and Learning

Jessica Fleischman, Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise

Carlos Folgar, Materials and Science Engineering

Susan Holt, Materials and Science Engineering

Bryce Jorgensen, Human Development

Christelle Jullian, Materials and Science Engineering

Jamie Kalista, Macromolecular Science and Engineering

Osama Marzouk, Engineering Science and Mechanics

Rebecca Paskos, Urban Affairs and Planning

Nicole Sanderlin, Governance and International Affairs

Tamara Savelyeva, Career and Technical Education

Chris Strock, Civil and Environmental Engineering

Roy Sturgill, Jr., Civil and Environmental Engineering

Chastity Warren, Career and Technical Education

Curtis Wilkerson, Aerospace and Ocean Engineering

Chandra Bowden, Crops and Environmental Sciences

Project: Participated in the VT Stars program

Ben Davis Eichelberger, Material Sciences and Engineering

Project: Served as a board member of the Journal of Undergraduate Materials Research

Marc Fisher, Entomology

Project: Served as Tour Coordinator for Bug Tours!, a program in the Department of Entomology exposing members of community to the world of insects.

Bonnie Graham, Human Development

Project: Participated in the VT Stars program

Chiquita Howard, Sociology

Project: Conducted research in Jamaica exploring the social construction of color and class among African-descended youth.

Nicole James, Sociology

Project: Involved in various committees, projects, and activities that have broad sociological impacts.

Kayenda Johnson, Industrial and Systems Engineering

Project: Helped design and implement the marketing scheme for the VT Stars program.

Anne Laughlin, Education Leadership and Policy Studies

Project: Worked on a project that resulted in a video targeting parents, teachers, guidance counselors, and college advisors titled, "Women in Information Technology: Pivotal Transitions from School to Careers."

Greg Lemmond, Psychology

Project: Served as Chief Justice of the VT Graduate Honor System.

Morsi Mahmoud, Materials and Science Engineering

Project: Served as a board member of the Journal of Undergraduate Materials Research.

Navin Manjooran, Materials and Science Engineering

Project: Served as a board member of the Journal of Undergraduate Materials Research.

Amanda Martin, Biological Systems Engineering

Project: Worked on various projects aimed at increasing the overall number of women in engineering

Jocelyn Fraga Muller, Civil and Environmental Engineering

Project: Mentored two high school students through two research projects.

Ersa Onat, Hospitality and Tourism Management

Project: Served on the Board of Directors for Main Street Radford.

Ben Poquette, Materials and Science Engineering

Project: Served as a board member of the Journal of Undergraduate Materials Research.

Laurie Robertson, Science and Technology Studies

Project: Served as an Arlington County election officer and researched digital voting technologies.

Dana Gregory Rose, Teaching and Learning

Project: Served as a volunteer teacher in a multicultural school.

Carina Ruhlandt, Urban Affairs and Planning

Project: Worked for the New River Community Action Homeless Intervention Program.

Tracee Walker, Industrial and Systems Engineering

Project: Participated in the Maryland Business Roundtable for Education's Achievement Counts campaign, encouraging underrepresented students to finish high school.

LaChelle Waller, Genetics, Bioinformatics, and Computational Biology

Project: Participated in the VT Stars program