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A non-profit publication of the Office of the University Relations of Virginia Tech,
including The Conductor, a special section of the Spectrum printed 4 times a year


By Matthew Winston

Spectrum Volume 18 Issue 28 - April 18, 1996

"When I was deciding which college to attend, I narrowed my choices down to UVa, James Madison, and Virginia Tech. I visited UVa and found the atmosphere there to be too stuffy and uptight. JMU people seemed to party all the time. When I arrived at Virginia Tech I immediately fell in love with the campus. It was the perfect mix of academics and people having a good time in a nice college atmosphere. It was just the way I pictured a college campus should be.

"As our campus tour made its way near Dietrick Hall, someone from Pritchard Hall launched a water-balloon at our tour guide. As crazy as that was, I knew Tech was the place for me."

This is Cynthia Kraft's testimonial of her first experience at Virginia Tech. Since then, Kraft has made the most of her opportunities at the university. Her efforts have led to her being named Virginia Tech's 1995-96 Woman of the Year.

Kraft is a senior majoring in chemistry, which she says she chose because it is the subject in which she felt the most proficient. "In high school, I took chemistry during my junior year, which is about the time you really start thinking about colleges and careers," Kraft said.

Chemistry professor Mark Anderson refers to Kraft as "one of the top undergraduate chemistry students at Virginia Tech over the last seven years."

After just one semester of taking Anderson's Analytical Chemistry course, Kraft began conducting research as an undergraduate in Anderson's laboratories. During the summer of 1995, Kraft worked full time at the Center for Adhesive and Sealant Sciences, supported in part by an undergraduate research fellowship. She also teaches recitation courses in the chemistry department. Kraft has received the chemistry department's scholarship for the past three years and she is a member of several chemistry-oriented organizations and academic honor societies.

Kraft wants to continue studying chemistry after graduation from Virginia Tech. She plans to pursue a Ph.D. in analytical chemistry and work in industry, taking advantage of her management skills. Kraft hopes to become the first doctor in her family-a family of Hokies. Her older brother has just transferred to Virginia Tech and her younger brother will be a member of the Tech 1997 freshman class. Both are attending Tech largely due to their sister's influence.

Kraft's service to the university and community do not go unnoticed. She is a member of many service organizations including Chi Delta Alpha, Women's Service Sorority. She is also a head residence advisor and vice president of Mortar Board and Omicron Delta Kappa.

Kraft's college career will end in May and her experiences at Tech will come full circle. As a member of RSVP, she conducts several campus tours for college-bound high-school students.