Apryl Alexander: The Power of Mentorship

As part of a military family, Apryl Alexander, class of 2005, grew accustomed to a lifestyle that took her to many parts of the world. At Virginia Tech, however, Apryl found a community and a home in which she could finally settle down. Due to the constant movement that characterized her adolescence, April quickly learned to view her pets as companions that followed her through all of her moves, leading her to enter Virginia Tech as a Veterinary Science major. Upon graduating high school, Apryl was immediately immersed in the college lifestyle as part of Virginia Tech’s Student Transition Program. It was within this program that Apryl first began to develop friendships that would last long after the conclusion of her undergraduate education.

“And so a couple of other people in there became my best friends all through the college and the rest I still have some communication with via social media and things like that, so I kind of keep up with them.”Apryl Alexander

Along with lifelong friends, Apryl’s experience at Virginia Tech also quickly provided her with mentors that changed the course of her academic and career goals. Through her volunteer position with the Women’s Research Center Apryl realized her affinity for psychological research and she decided to switch her major from Veterinary Science to Psychology. From there she began her undergraduate work with Dr. Geller, analyzing data and reviewing literature pertaining to disaster related trauma. After graduation, Apryl went on to apply this experience in her work with the Women’s Center and her continued study of clinical psychology at the Fuller Institute of Technology. The research and work she did as an undergraduate student also motivated her to become a mentor for other psychology students so as to create for others the opportunities that her mentors made available to her.

“And so I’ve had a bunch of these fun kind of experiences from kind of all my training experiences from Virginia Tech on that have been so rewarding.”Apryl Alexander

Apryl’s time at Virginia Tech provided her with a new passion that she she continues to pursue, and her involvement with the Student Transition Program helped her find lifelong friends that aided her in the adjustment to college life. She experienced research, relationships, football games, and countless other activities that characterize college life, and each of these experiences have led her to where she is today. Upon returning to Tech, Apryl noted the changes around campus and reflected on good memories, but she also expressed hope for continued change, particularly involving minority groups on campus. She notes that it is important to reflect on and make use of positive scenarios, but to always strive for improvement.

“…it was like okay, I have to go back because again, the mentorship, the connections I built here, I wanted to be among that community and really just absorb things and kind of reflect on my time here and how important it was to me.”
Apryl Alexander

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About this Story

Date Recorded: April 21, 2016

Interviewer: Jenny Nehrt

Date Posted: February 3, 2017

Editor: Jessie Rogers

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