Jordyn Del Rosario, a senior graduating from the Department of Geosciences, part of the Virginia Tech College of Science, came to Blacksburg more than four years ago from Nebraska.

Del Rosario chose Virginia Tech because she wanted to get “outside of my comfort zone to have the opportunity for a lot of new experiences, and Tech seemed like it would be a really good fit for me.” She also was seeking a university with both a Naval ROTC program and an ocean engineering program, and Virginia Tech was one of the few schools that hit both marks.

“I visited the school and fell in love with the campus,” she said. (Jordyn’s mother was a career Naval officer, so some bias may have leaked in to her decision.) The Corps of Cadets, of which Del Rosario was a member for four years, was also a major draw.  “When I learned more about the program, I thought it seemed like a really good balance of leadership development and experience while still preserving a somewhat normal college experience.” Del Rosario graduated from the Corps in May.

Virginia Tech Department of Geosciences senior Jordyn Del Rosario poses near a glacier in the mountains of Chile in late 2018.

Virginia Tech student Jordyn Del Rosario poses near a glacier in the mountains of Chile as part of as student field work program
Virginia Tech Department of Geosciences senior Jordyn Del Rosario poses at a glacier in the mountains of Chile in late 2018. Photo courtesy Jordyn Del Rosario.

As happens on many college students' journeys, Del Rosario changed majors before finding her niche, in her case, in earth sciences. As a sophomore, she had decided on the Department of Mining and Minerals Engineering before turning to geosciences during her junior year. A required course from the Department of Geosciences was the hook.

“I really like the open-endedness thinking style of science compared to the more black and white mathematics of engineering,” Del Rosario said. “I stayed with geology because it was so broad and because it seemed so deeply intertwined with the environment, which is something I've been interested in learning more about for a long time.”

Although Del Rosario had done a study abroad trip whilst in the College of Engineering, it was a two-week field-work trip to Patagonia, Chile, with nearby Radford University’s geology department that fired her interest. “It is probably one of the most amazing places I have had the opportunity to visit,” she said.

Studying glaciers and outlet valley streams up close cemented her decision to seek a career in environmental or conservation science, perhaps as a scientist at a national park or forest. 

Jordyn Del Rosario cheers at a Hokie football game as part of the Esprit de Corps

Wearing a Hokie maroon shirt, Jordyn Del Rosario cheers at a Hokie football game as part of the Esprit de Corps
Jordyn Del Rosario cheers at a Hokie football game as part of the Esprit de Corps during the 2018 Notre Dame game. Photo by Cadet Lauren Zuchoswki.

Del Rosario’s commitment to the U.S. Navy and the Corps of Cadets remained a constant during her time at Virginia Tech.

“The Corps has overall been an extremely rewarding experience,” she added. “It took me out of my comfort zone from the very beginning, and I have grown in many ways as a result. It has also given me some of the best friends I've made here at Virginia Tech. Having had that experience gives me a lot of confidence going into a navy career, because even though it didn’t teach me everything I need to know about being a naval officer on a ship, it taught me how to learn and adapt to things quickly.”

Among her fondest memories: joining the Esprit de Corps, the small cluster of cadets who are on the field at every home game at Lane Stadium, doing push-ups on a board on the sideline. “Getting to be on the field during ‘Enter Sandman’ as the entire stadium of people are jumping is an experience I will never forget, as was doing the ‘Hokie Pokie’ on the field while that was still the end of the 3rd quarter tradition.”

Del Rosario will soon head to San Diego for her first duty station. “I really admire the idea of being able to work on a ship instead of a more regular office,” she said. “The mobility and opportunity to see a lot of the world I haven't seen before as part of my job is one the most appealing things I can imagine.”