It is a tradition each year for the Virginia Tech Alumni Association and the senior class to proudly sponsor the Outstanding Senior Awards. These awards recognize the exceptional performance by a graduating senior from each college within the university. The students and faculty of the respective colleges select the award recipients. The GPA's of the following awardees range between 3.75 and 4.0.

Matthew Jared Miller of New Castle, Pa., is the recipient of the Outstanding Senior Award for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences for the 2002-2003 academic year. He is studying veterinary business management and completing a minor in chemistry.

Miller is a member of Alpha Chi Sigma (professional chemistry fraternity) and Gamma Beta Phi (honor and service fraternity). He also serves as an ambassador for the college and is an active member of the Ag Econ/NAMA Club. Miller was chosen to speak to alumni and scholarship benefactors at the college's yearly scholarship banquet.

Jill A. Turner of Newark, Del., is the recipient of the Outstanding Senior Award for the Pamplin College of Business for the 2002-2003 academic year. Turner is studying marketing management and was the project manager for Pi Sigma Epsilon (marketing fraternity).

Turner is a co-captain for the Virginia Tech swimming and diving team. She is a member of the Beta Gamma Sigma (honor society), Mu Kappa Tau (national marketing honor society), and National Society of Collegiate Scholars. She participated in an honors marketing management project for Prentice Hall Publishing Company. Turner has received numerous academic and athletic awards.

Lisa M. Abbamonte of Frederick, Md., is the recipient of the Outstanding Senior Award for the College of Architecture and Urban Studies for the 2002-2003 academic year. She is studying building construction and is secretary of Sigma Lambda Chi (honorary building construction society).

Abbamonte worked for Beers Skanska, Inc. as a project intern for the Virginia Tech football stadium south end zone expansion. She was a member of Virginia Tech's varsity softball team and volunteered for YMCA's project home repair. She serves as vice-president of construction consortium at Virginia Tech. In addition, Abbamonte is a member of Golden Key (international honor society), Phi Eta Sigma (national honor society), and the National Society of Collegiate Scholars.

Beth Ann Reid of Chester, Va., is the recipient of the Outstanding Senior Award for the College of Arts and Sciences for the 2002-2003 academic year. Reid is a double major in physics and mathematics and is president of Sigma Pi Sigma (national physics honor society).

Reid received several national awards including National Merit Scholar, Phi Beta Kappa Superior Academic Achievement Award and Boehringer Ingelheim Corporation scholarship. She also received several physics and mathematics awards at Virginia Tech. She is a member of Pi Mu Epsilon (national mathematics honor society) and the Society of Physics Students. Reid also volunteered for the Physics Outreach Program, World Changers, and Habitat for Humanity.

Erik Herz of White Hall, Md., is the recipient of the Outstanding Senior Award for the College of Engineering for the 2002-2003 academic year. Herz is studying materials sciences and engineering and also majoring in economics and international studies.

Herz is currently a research assistant for the Optical Sciences and Engineering Research Group at Virginia Tech. He is a member of Tau Beta Pi (honor society) and Phi Beta Kappa (honor society). He serves as a mentor for Pre-college Initiative for Native American Students and is a founding member of the Hillcrest Community of Scholars. Herz has received numerous honors and scholarships including Goldwater Scholar, McAllister Engineering Leadership Scholarship and Evelyn F. Thomas Scholarship.

Caroline Hunter of Orange, Va., is the recipient of the Outstanding Senior Award for the College of Human Sciences and Education for the 2002-2003 academic year. She is majoring in communication studies with a public communication option and communication theory concentration. She also has an interdisciplinary minor in sociology and management.

Hunter was a University Relations intern and peer tutor for a communication studies field study. She is the public relations chair for Chi Delta Alpha and the Residence Hall Federation Hall Council. She is a member of the Dean's Student Advisory Committee. In addition, Hunter is a member of Golden Key (international honor society) and Phi Eta Sigma (honor society).

Laura Young of Westminster, Md., is the recipient of the Outstanding Senior Award for the College of Natural Resources for the 2002-2003 academic year. She is majoring in forestry with a concentration in environmental resource management and is a member of Xi Sigma Pi (forestry honor society) and Phi Sigma (biological honor society).

Young is vice president of the Virginia Tech cycling team and a student trip leader for Venture Out of Virginia Tech. She is an active member of Chi Alpha Christian Fellowship. Young worked with the United States Forest Service and Smith Mountain Lake 4-H Educational Center. In addition, she has received many academic scholarships.

Valerie Weiss ofStaunton, Va., is the recipient of the Outstanding Senior Award for the Virginia/Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine(VMCVM)for the 2002-2003 academic year. Weiss served as an emergency technician in the clinical pathology laboratory and was wildlife coordinator at VMCVM.

She is currently an intern working on small animal clinical nutrition. She received her Master of Arts degree in biology at the College of William and Mary and her Bachelor of Arts degree in biology at Carleton College. Her research experience includes a study of field ecology and conservation of brown-headed nuthatches and aviary study of effects of color brands on nuthatch behavior. Weiss has received numerous grants and awards including the Dr. J.D. Carter Award and the Pamela M. Slack Memorial Award. She will graduate from VMCVM in May 2003.

Written by Meredith Long, Intern in the Office of University Relations

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