Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets alumna 1st Lt. Patricia (Urick) Ryder, U.S. Army, who earned a degree in political science from the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, and a minor in leadership studies from the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets Rice Center for Leader Development in 2010 has been selected as the Hokie Hero for the Sugar Bowl where Virginia Tech played Michigan.

The Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets Hokie Hero program started in 2006 by IMG College and sponsored by the University Bookstore, honors Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets alumni who are currently deployed. Recipients of this honor are highlighted by Bill Roth and Mike Burnop during the radio broadcast of Virginia Tech football games, on the Corps of Cadets website, on the Corps of Cadets alumni website, and in the Corps Review magazine.

Ryder is currently stationed at Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan, as a member of the 228th Theater Tactical Signal Brigade, U.S. Army. She is from Falls Church, Va., and this is her first combat deployment. Ryder is a Class of 2010 graduate of the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets and was the Bravo Company commander and 1st Battalion commander during her senior year.

She says she would like to send her love to her husband, 2nd Lt. Sam Ryder, U.S. Marine Corps, who earned a degree in history and a minor in political science from the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, and a minor in leadership studies from the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets Rice Center for Leader Development in 2010 and served as the Kilo Company Commander and Raider Company Commander during his senior year in the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets; her parents; family; and sisters of Delta Delta Delta.

“The Ryders are a couple who really represent the value of Service that is so important to the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets. Trish is spending this holiday season in Afghanistan on her first combat deployment, while Sam, who was the top graduate out of 700 Marines at Officer Candidate School, is stationed at Camp Lejeune, N.C. as a platoon commander. He’s getting his platoon ready to deploy sometime next year, which will mean more time away from each other. They are a good example of what so many of our young men and women give up in order to serve their country, and to guarantee the freedoms we all enjoy,” explained retired Col. Rock Roszak, U.S. Air Force, alumni director for the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets and member of the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets Class of 1971.

Below are the previous Hokie Heroes from the 2011-12 season.

  • Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets alumnus 2nd Lt. Mark Walczyk, U.S. Army, who earned a degree in political science and a minor in English from the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences and a minor in leadership studies from the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets Rice Center for Leader Development in 2010,
  • Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets alumna 2nd Lt. Tavia (Cawley) Carlson, U.S. Air Force, who earned a degree in civil engineering from the College of Engineering and a minor in leadership studies from the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets Rice Center for Leader Development in 2009,
  • Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets alumnus Lt.Col. Tom Whitlock, U.S. Air Force, who earned a degree in geography from the College of Natural Resources and Environment and a degree in history from the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences in 1995,
  • Capt. Dan Forney, U.S. Navy, Professor of Naval Science and Commander of the Naval ROTC unit at Virginia Tech,
  • Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets alumnus Maj. Ed Skelly, U.S. Army, who earned a degree in industrial and systems engineering from the College of Engineering and a minor in economics from the College of Science in 1995,
  • Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets alumnus 1st Lt. Nate Kane, U.S. Air Force, who earned a degree in marketing management from the Pamplin College of Business and a minor in leadership studies from the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets Rice Center for Leader Development,
  • Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets alumnus Maj. Josh Snyder, U.S. Army, who earned a degree in history from the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences in 1998,
  • Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets alumna 2nd Lt. Ashleigh Toguchi, U.S. Army, who earned a degree in political science from the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences and a minor in leadership studies from the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets Rice Center for Leader Development in 2010,
  • Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets alumnus Capt. Patrick Lowther, U.S. Air Force, who earned a degree in political science and a minor in philosophy from the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences as well as a minor in leadership studies from the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets Rice Center for Leader Development in 2005,
  • Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets alumnus Capt. Danny Kane, U.S. Army, who earned a degree in interdisciplinary studies from the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, a minor in mathematics from the College of Science, and a minor in leadership studies from the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets Rice Center for Leader Development in 2002,
  • Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets alumnus Capt. Amir Abu-Akeel, U.S. Army, who earned a degree in aerospace engineering from the College of Engineering, and a minor in leadership studies from the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets Rice Center for Leader Development in 2006,
  • Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets alumnus Capt. George Flynn, U.S. Marine Corps, who earned a degree in business information technology from the Pamplin College of Business, and a minor in leadership studies from the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets Rice Center for Leader Development in 2001 and
  • Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets alumnus Capt. Timothy Goodwillie, U.S. Air Force, who earned a degree in international studies from the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, and a minor in leadership studies from the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets Rice Center for Leader Development in 2005

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