Virginia Tech is known for its large campus and its striking architecture, and while it is easy to appreciate these features, many incoming students are easily intimidated by them. When Katie Frazier, Class of 2004, began her studies at Tech, she was among those who initially struggled with the size of the school and its population. Although she had seen the campus multiple times before enrolling because of her involvement with Future Farmers of America, Katie was still a bit daunted by the idea of leaving her close-knit family to join a population with which she was entirely unfamiliar.
“I’m not always great at change, so my first couple of months of my freshman year were hard, but you know, you kind of make your home and you work for it.”Katie Frazier
However, Katie quickly adjusted to life at Virginia Tech, finding both a community and an opportunity to grow academically. In the dorms she made lifelong friends with her hallmates, and she later joined a sorority that allowed her to branch out socially and gave her experience with service and leadership. After some time passed, Katie immersed herself in the Virginia Tech community, going to football games, pranking fraternities with her sorority, and making close friends in her classes. Through this community, Katie grew accustomed to being away from home and learning to go out on her own. She eventually became a college ambassador, allowing her to become acquainted with many of the leaders in her college, as well.
“So I think kind of looking back now that it was really good for me, because you have to learn how to be resilient on your own sometimes you know…I’ve had to kind of take some of those lessons that I learned when I was in college in apply them now…”Katie Frazier
After she graduated, Katie applied her double majors of Agricultural Economics and Political Science through her work as a lobbyist, lobbying for a variety of agricultural issues, including the importance of agricultural education. She uses her drive and passion to make a change in people’s views and actions towards agricultural issues. Additionally, Katie is the President of the Virginia Agribusiness Council, and she credits Virginia Tech for giving her the opportunity, through internships, to acquire this position. She speaks to the impact that the combination of academic and extracurricular activities that she had during her undergraduate years at Tech had on her career and post-graduation activities, and she appreciates the opportunities for research and experience that Tech allows for, along with the willingness of faculty to help students as best they can.
As an alumna, Katie remains connected to Virginia Tech through the University Alumni Board and many other advisory committees within the College of Agriculture, along with lobbying for funding for Tech’s agricultural programs. She also is part of Virginia Tech’s Government Relations Department, which allows her to speak to Virginia Tech students and influence their paths. While she thinks of Virginia Tech as a community, she hopes that the university will continue to focus on development and research. She also would encourage the university to continue to create opportunities for alumni involvement and to let the world know what Virginia Tech’s community is capable of.
“Be proud of who we are and what we’re doing…They are really fostering a community where people work cross-collaboratively, and I don’t think people know that and I wish that they would.”
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About this Story
Date Recorded: October 10, 2015
Interviewer: Claire Gogan
Date Posted: March 1, 2017
Editor: Jessie Rogers