David Roper: Small Town Farmer Turned Hokie Physicist

David Roper was first drawn to Virginia Tech because of the mountains and landscape of Southwest Virginia. He accepted a job as a physics professor in 1967 and retired in 1998. During his work as a physicist he discovered a new particle, taught physics in underdeveloped countries and was a tenured professor for over 25 years. With his success and …

Matt Eick: Coming Full Circle in Soil Sciences

Starting at a young age, growing up in suburban New Jersey, Matt Eick became interested in science. Coming to Virginia Tech on a swimming scholarship, Eick started his Hokie journey as a geology major, but soon after transferred into the Soil Sciences Department. Soil Sciences encompassed all of the subjects Eick was interested in: biology, chemistry, physics, and microbiology. Eick …

Neal Henshaw: The Unexpected Hokie

Growing up in Buckingham, Virginia, Neal Henshaw was no stranger to Virginia Tech. Henshaw’s family attended an awards banquet on campus when he was a child. Later on in life, Neal attended his church’s annual youth conference on the campus of Virginia Tech as well. After graduating high school, Henshaw had no interest in coming to Blacksburg to receive his …

Ryan Burnette: World Traveler, Hokie at Heart

Though he was born in South Carolina, Dr. Ryan Burnette, graduate of the class of 1999, did not stay for long. His family soon would move to Richmond, which he calls home, but Burnette has traveled to every continent except Australia and Antarctica (though he has plans to travel there as well). When Burnette entered Virginia Tech, he had no …

Leigh-Anne Krometis: Engineering Smiles

Dr. Leigh-Anne Krometis first toured Virginia Tech when she was junior in high school. She did not immediately have an “I’m a Hokie!” moment, but she came to Virginia Tech in 1998 and was glad she did. Krometis graduated from Virginia Tech with a Bachelor’s in Biological Systems Engineering in 2002, a Masters in Biological Systems Engineering in 2004, and …

Rock Roszak: Unknown Decision Becomes Lifelong Commitment

When Virginia Tech Class of 1971 alum, Richard “Rock” Roszak, checked yes to the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) program on his Virginia Tech application, he had no idea how extensively this one decision would affect his life. Raised by European immigrants who endured the struggles of World War II, Rock was expected by his parents to donate a portion …

Todd Ogle: Leaving Hokie Nation Better Than He Found It

Growing up four hours away from Blacksburg in the outer beltway of Alexandria, Virginia, Todd Ogle had few ties to the Hokies. Despite an older cousin that attended Virginia Tech in the early ‘80s, Todd never considered Blacksburg to be the place of his future college – much less his future home. Instead, Todd planned on going to school at …

Rob Jacks: Planting the SEEDS for Bright Futures

Robert Jacks first visited Virginia Tech on a bright and beautifully sunny day – the type of Blacksburg day that every Virginia Tech student has experienced, where the Hokie Stone shines brightly, illuminated in the sunshine, and the temperature is perfect for strolling around the Drillfield. During his initial visit to campus with his father, Rob Jacks, the former academic advisor …

Stephen Biscotte: VT Pathways Spear Header

Growing up in Botecourt County near Roanoke, Stephen Biscotte didn’t foresee himself in the education field as a kid; he presumed he’d become a doctor. With earning his Masters and Ph.D. in Science Curriculum Education at Virginia Tech and due to his time as a teacher at inner city schools in South Carolina as well as a rural school, Stephen …