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Undergraduate Student

Katie Abelt

Senior, Geography and Spanish

  • Geospatial and Environmental Analysis

When I entered Virginia Tech as a freshman, I had no idea what I wanted to study. I was one of those people who, when pressed, would claim that I was “interested in everything.” In retrospect, I was lucky to have ended up at a school with an excellent Geography department, as Geography is one of the most interdisciplinary fields of study there is. My freshman year World Regions class finally convinced me to declare the major, and since then I have taken classes covering a wide variety of topics—everything from orienteering with a topographic map to the rise and fall of Coney Island in New York City. I have participated in undergraduate research within the department and gained a number of skills that will undoubtedly help me in both my future career and the rest of my post-college life.

In addition to Geography, I have a secondary major in Spanish. This summer, I am spending two months at the Universidad San Francisco de Quito in Ecuador with the ultimate goal of becoming fluent in the language. In terms of extracurricular activities, I currently volunteer as an after-school tutor for the Coalition for Refugee Resettlement. In the past I have helped with fundraising efforts for Oxfam America at Virginia Tech and served as Vice President of the Short Story Society. After college, I hope to find a rewarding and challenging career applying geographic reasoning to public health.

Honors and Awards

  • Dean’s List (multiple semesters)
  • Sidman P. Poole Geography Scholarship
  • 2012 College of Liberal Arts & Human Sciences Study Abroad Scholarship

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