Virginia Tech has named Matthew A. Hiser, of Lovettsville, Va., as the Outstanding Graduating Senior in the College of Engineering for the 2009-10 academic year.

Hiser is expected to receive his Bachelor's of Science degree in materials science and engineering from the College of Engineering in May 2010 with a minor in mathematics. Hiser says he plans to continue his education to obtain his master's in May 2011. He is a University Honors student and has served as an undergraduate research assistant in the materials science and engineering department for three years.

Hiser has received several scholarships during his time at Virginia Tech including the ACC Undergraduate Research Scholarship, the Nuclear Energy University Programs Scholarship, the Virginia Tech College of Engineering Dean's Scholar, the Simpson Scholarship, and the Westport Scholarship.

Hiser is also involved is many extracurricular university organizations. He is the vice president of the Materials Engineering Professional Societies and a materials science and engineering member of the Student Technology Council. He is also an active member of the New Life Christian Fellowship. As part of the fellowship, he participates in intramural sports, leads a bible study, and has spent spring break in Mississippi rebuilding homes destroyed by Hurricane Katrina.

Hiser has also shown his dedication to service through participation in Relay for Life and the Big Event. The 2009 Virginia Tech Relay for Life was the largest collegiate relay in the world, based on money raised per participant. In 2009, The Big Event held at Virginia Tech was the second largest in the nation, with more than 5,700 volunteers and 740 projects.

Hiser is the son of Mr. Allen and Suzanne Hiser of Lovettsville, Va.

The Outstanding Senior Awards are presented at the Student Honors Day Banquet each spring. These awards are co-sponsored by the Virginia Tech Alumni Association and the senior class.

The purpose of the award is to recognize outstanding student performance in each college of the university. Students are selected on the basis of their grade point average (3.4 or higher on a 4.0 scale) and outstanding performance in several or all of the following areas: academic achievement, extracurricular activities, leadership positions, and contributions of service to the university and/or community.

The College of Engineering at Virginia Tech is internationally recognized for its excellence in 14 engineering disciplines and computer science. The college's 6,000 undergraduates benefit from an innovative curriculum that provides a "hands-on, minds-on" approach to engineering education, complementing classroom instruction with two unique design-and-build facilities and a strong Cooperative Education Program. With more than 50 research centers and numerous laboratories, the college offers its 2,000 graduate students opportunities in advanced fields of study such as biomedical engineering, state-of-the-art microelectronics, and nanotechnology. Virginia Tech, the most comprehensive university in Virginia, is dedicated to quality, innovation, and results to the commonwealth, the nation, and the world.

Written by Rebekah Duke. Duke, a first-year student from Winchester, Va., is majoring in psychology in the College of Science.