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Undergraduate Student

Megan Cochran

Senior, Geography

Geospatial and Environmental Analysis

When I was a child, my family would go on camping trips, beach visits, and nature hikes, leaving our home in Newark, Del., behind for a few hours or a few days. I loved every minute of being out in nature and spending time with my three younger siblings and my parents. Water sports like kayaking and swimming were always my favorite outdoor activities and still are to this day. I also enjoy going to new places and moving out of my comfort zone when trying new things. One summer I worked at a YMCA camp in Lake George, N.Y., as an adventure trip leader and logistics coordinator. I led backpacking trips in the Adirondacks, and learned to sail and rock climb as well.

When I first came to Virginia Tech, I enrolled in the architecture program. After two years of hard work in this major, I realized it was not where I was meant to be. I switched to geography after discovering my love for learning about different cultures and the world in general. Along with studying geography, I am involved in other organizations on campus, including Kappa Delta sorority and La Fusion dance team.

During the spring 2011 semester, I studied abroad in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. Along with traveling the country and taking classes, I participated with my group in several service learning projects, including a coral reef restoration project. I became a scuba-certified volunteer and assisted in data collection, coral fragment planting, and reef maintenance. While in the Dominican Republic, I met a geographic information systems (GIS) specialist who was working in conjunction with conservationists. After graduation I hope to follow in her footsteps, working with GIS and natural resource conservation projects.

Honors and Awards

  • Thomas H. Jones Scholarship Recipient, 2011
  • The Honorable and Mrs. Shelton H. Short Memorial Scholarship Recipient, 2010
  • Dean’s List, multiple semesters

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