MAN AND WOMAN OF THE YEAR
Spectrum Volume 19 Issue 26 - April 3, 1997
By Julie Kane
A Virginian by birth, Robert Mills Ballenger from Coopersburg, Pennsylvania, returned to his roots seeking a degree in communications studies at Virginia Tech. During his four years at the university, Ballenger amassed a long record of academic achievements, demonstrated involvement and leadership in campus activities, and made numerous contributions to the university.
According to one of his references, "He stands head and shoulders above his peers when it comes to academic achievement, public service and character."
The high academic performance he achieved is evident by the numerous memberships he holds in national honor societies, including Golden Key Phi Eta Sigma, and Phi Kappa Phi. As a junior he presented a paper, one of only 30 selected nation-wide, at the Undergraduate Honors Conference, the most prestigious communications conference for undergraduates. In addition, he has been an active member of Phi Sigma Pi National Honor Fraternity and the Public Relations Student Society of America.
Most impressive is Ballenger's service to the university. He was a Prologue orientation leader responsible for advising and assisting incoming students and their families on making the transition to college life. He also became a Language Partners volunteer tutoring international students. Serving as a University Relations intern, Robert contributed articles to Spectrum, Diversity News, the Virginia Tech Global Network and the Collegiate Times. He also had two essays selected and published as model essays for the Virginia Tech Writing Program for Students, the university's official writing guide distributed to the faculty and to more than 13,000 freshmen over a three-year period. After graduation, he plans to attend graduate school and obtain a Ph.D. so that he may teach at a college or university.
Ballenger's sentiments about his experiences at Virginia Tech can best be summed up by his "Ode to Alma Mater," one line of which reads, "Pennsylvanian by address, Virginian by birth, Returning to the Old Dominion, has proven its worth."
By Matthew Winston
Robyn Helene Moore has been named Virginia Tech's 1996-97 Woman of the Year. Moore is a senior majoring in art with a concentration in art history in the College of Arts and Sciences.
Throughout her college career, Moore has excelled both in and out of the classroom. She has made the Dean's List every year and has participated in various activities, including the Equestrian Club, Phi Kappa Phi, Golden Key Honor Society, the Honors Program, and Garnet and Gold Honorary Women's Organization. She is also on both the Collegiate Times and the Bugle photography staff.
Moore credits her involvement with the University Honors program with helping her enhance her education and for providing her with avenues with which to channel her artistic and philanthropic energies. She says her true love in life is photography. She joined the photography staffs of the student-publications groups because she saw no true undergraduate curriculum at Tech that would lead her to concentrating in this field. Moore said, "However, with the help of the Honors Program, I have sought and found professors within the university who were willing to help me fashion an undergraduate curriculum in photography, using art history as a vital foundation for my work as an artist."
Moore was the university's top nominee for the Rhodes Scholarship, the Marshall Scholarship, and the Fulbright Scholarship. She was one of eight students university-wide to receive the Hokie Spirit Scholarship which is based on academic merit and contributions to community service.
Among her many community service projects, Moore spent one summer at Apple Ridge Farm in Floyd County teaching young Roanoke inner-city kids arts and crafts. There she took pictures of children who don't often see themselves in photographs. This was part of helping young kids express themselves in an artistic manner.
"I will leave Virginia Tech knowing that I have forged the best possible education for myself," said Moore, who plans to graduate this May. Her achievements will be recognized at Founders Day.