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AOE Ambassadors

2023-2024 AOE Ambassadors

Who are the AOE Ambassadors?

The AOE Ambassadors are ethusiastic and motivated students who enjoy talking to prospective students about opportunities in the Kevin T. Crofton Department of Aerospace & Ocean Engineering.  AOE Ambassadors assist the department with recruitment events for prospective undergraduate students.  Some activities that AOE Ambassadors are involved with include:

  • Engineering showcases for the Fall & Spring Admissions Open House events
  • The Spring College of Engineering Open House showcase
  • Leading tours of the AOE Department for prospective students and their families
  • The Fall COE Welcome Event for incoming first-year and transfer students 

Visiting the AOE Undergraduate Program

During the fall and spring semesters,  student AOE Ambassadors lead main campus department tours on most Mondays & Fridays, 2:30-3:30 PM.  Tours provide an overview of the department and introduce prospective AOE students to points of interest around campus.  Please contact Emily Metzgar if you have questions about visiting during the summer or require additional information.

Prospective AOE students may also explore points of interest around campus on a self-guided tour.


Meet the AOE Ambassadors!

AOE Ambassador Carly Krokosz

Carly Krokosz (Co-Lead)

Major:  Aerospace Engineering, Class of 2025

Hometown:  Wall Township, New Jersey

Professional/Student Organizations:  Orbital Launch Vehicle Team at Virginia Tech, Marching Virginians

Internships:  Safran Aerosystems

Research:  Hydroelasticity Lab

Favorite thing about VT:  Blacksburg, and hearing the Burruss bells on the Drillfield.

Advice:  Never be afraid to ask for help!

AOE Ambassador Holly Whetzel

Holly Whetzel (Co-Lead)

Major:  Aerospace Engineering, Class of 2024

Hometown:  Culpeper, Virginia

Minor:  Mathematics

Internships:  Air Force Research Lab (AFRL), Toffler Associates

Research:  Nationwide Eclipse Ballooning Project (NEBP), Motor-Propeller Characterization

Favorite thing about VT:  One of my favorite things about Virginia Tech is the amount of people here that are willing to help you with just about anything.

Advice:  Step outside of the box and try something new!

AOE Ambassador Aleem Ahmed

Aleem Ahmed

Major:  Aerospace Engineering, Class of 2025

Hometown:  Las Vegas, Nevada

Professional/Student Organizations:  Rocketry at Virginia Tech

Internships:  Northrop Grumman Space Systems

Favorite thing about VT:  Gorgeous landscapes paired with dreamy sunrises and sunsets.

Advice:  Upon arriving at a crossroads, say yes! New opportunities, new friends, new experiences, and new memories await you on the other side.

AOE Ambassador Lance Ayers
2022 Summer Intern Lance Ayers in a NASA flight suit at the Hanger

Lance Ayers

Major:  Aerospace Engineering, Class of 2026

Hometown:  Franklin County, Virginia

Minor:  Business

Professional/Student Organizations:  RockSat-X, Tau Sigma National Honor Society

Internships:  NASA Langley Research Center

Favorite thing about VT:  The many opportunities to gain practical experience through design teams, research, and internships.

Advice:  Invest time in defining your goals early on and use them as a driving force to propel yourself forward in the exciting and sometimes challenging journey of aerospace engineering.

AOE Ambassador Jaden Bailey

Jaden Bailey

Major:  Aerospace Engineering, Class of 2025

Hometown:  Alexandria, Virginia

Internships:  DoD - Defense Threat Reduction Agency, upcoming -DoD - Naval Surface Warfare Center (Summer 2024)

Favorite thing about VT:  My favorite thing about Virginia Tech is the people I have met and the friends I have made!

Advice:  Make sure to stay on top of your assignments and to utilize the resources given to you by your teachers like office hours.

Fun Fact:  I am currently a SMART Scholarship recipient.

AOE Ambassador Trevor Bradshaw

Trevor Bradshaw

Major:  Ocean Engineering, Class of 2025

Hometown:  Hershey, Pennsylvania

Minors:  Naval Engineering, Nuclear Engineering

Professional/Student Organizations:  Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers (SNAME)/American Society of Naval Engineers (ASNE), American Nuclear Society (ANS), Marine Engineering Collegiate Competition Team

Internships:  Fincantieri Research Scholar

Favorite thing about VT:  The tight-knit community feel, even at such a big school I see people I know everywhere I go.

Research:  Nuclear Materials and Fuel Cycles Laboratory 

AOE Ambassador Tatum Butler

Tatum Butler

Major:  Aerospace Engineering, Class of 2024

Hometown:  Memphis, Tennessee

Minor:  Astronomy

Professional/Student Organizations:  Theta Tau Professional Coed Engineering Fraternity, NASA Student Launch at Virginia Tech (SLVT), Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (SEDS)

Internships:  Maxar Space Robotics, Maxar Space, Microport Orthopedics

Favorite thing about VT:  Aside from the energetic student culture, I love being in the mountains and feeling immersed in the geography of the area. It's also an especially great area for stargazing!

Fun Fact:  I've worked on 5+ satellites now in orbit around Earth!

AOE Ambassador Maggie Campbell

Maggie Campbell

Major:  Ocean Engineering, Class of 2026

Hometown:  Norfolk, Virginia

Minors:  Naval Engineering, Nuclear Engineering

Professional/Student Organizations:  SNAME/ASNE at Virginia Tech, American Nuclear Society (ANS), Human Powered Submarine Design Team, Outdoors Club

Internships:  Upcoming - NAVSEA Combatant Crafts Division of Carderock through the Naval Research Enterprises Internship Program (Summer 2024)

Favorite thing about major:  I get to study ships and watercraft and learn how they work all day. I've been fascinated by ships for as long as I can remember and I've always loved to be on the water.

Fun Fact:  I'm open-water SCUBA certified and was the pilot for my design team's latest submarine, Kraken. I piloted it across the finish line to a third place finish in our class at our competition over the summer.

AOE Ambassador Neha Chinthapatla

Neha Chinthapatla

Graduate Degree:  MS in Aerospace Engineering, Class of 2024

Major:  Aerospace Engineering, Class of 2023

Hometown:  South Riding, Virginia

Research:  Working at VT National Security Institute with NASA JPL on testing heliophysics instrumentation for a CubeSat mission

Internships:  Lockheed Martin Skunk Works

Favorite thing about major:  I get to work on things that I dreamed about as a child.

Advice:  Get involved with something whether that's a club, research, or a design team.

AOE Ambassador Patrick Corrigan

Patrick Corrigan

Major:  Aerospace Engineering, Class of 2024

Hometown:  McLean, Virginia

Minors:  Leadership - Corps of Cadets, Mathematics

Professional/Student Organizations:  VT Corps of Cadets, Air Force ROTC, Highty Tighties

Research:  Nonlinear Systems Laboratory

Internships:  Flight Dynamics Intern as NASA Langley Research Center, Trajectory Software Engineering Intern at CACI

Favorite thing about VT:  Doing push-ups in the stands with the Corps after every touchdown

Advice:  Talk with professors early on to find your interests and niche in Aerospace

Fun fact:  I'm going to commission into the US Air Force as a Developmental Engineer upon graduation!

AOE Ambassador Jacob Davis

Jacob Davis

Major:  Aerospace Engineering, Class of 2025

Hometown:  Christiansburg, Virginia

Professional/Student Organizations:  Orbital Launch Vehicle Team, Marching Virginians, Hokies Pep Band

Internships:  Pathways Intern at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center

Favorite thing about major:  I love solving complex problems, studying the most interesting physical phenomena in nature, and using that to design some of the most impressive vehicles we have ever made to fly, explore, and learn about the universe.

Fun Fact:  I play clarinet in the marching band and guitar in the basketball pep band!

AOE Ambassador Anushka Devarajan

Anushka Devarajan

Major:  Aerospace Engineering, Class of 2025

Hometown:  Anaheim, California

Minors:  Green Engineering, Mathematics

Professional/Student Organizations:  Center for the Enhancement of Engineering Diversity (CEED), Wind Turbine Team

Internships:  Research and Technology (R&T) at Collins Aerospace

Advice:  Don't be afraid of being wrong or asking too many questions. Chances are other people are wondering the same thing, so just speak up and make sure to ask for help if you need it! Professors don't bite, they are there to help you.

Fun Fact:  I have lived in 4 other states in the US and have travelled to over 15+ different countries!

AOE Ambassador Chenming Fan

Chenming Fan

Major:  Aerospace Engineering, Class of 2024

Hometown: Fairfax, Virginia

Minors:  Computer Science, Mathematics

Professional/Student Organizations:  Student Engineers' Council, Rocketry at Virginia Tech

Internships:  ispace Technologies US, Collins Aerospace, Torc Robotics

Favorite thing about VT:  Research opportunities and design teams

Advice:  Ask questions when you think of them, and don't hesitate to reach out to whoever could help you

AOE Ambassador Joel George

Joel George

Major:  Aerospace Engineering, Class of 2026

Hometown:  Folsom, California

Professional/Student Organizations:  Orbital Launch Vehicle Team

Internships:  Boeing - Systems Engineering 

Favorite thing about major:  Aerospace deals with some of the most complex engineering challenges out there, like making rockets and planes fly. Getting to learn the science and engineering that goes into these products is super interesting! Now, when I get in a plane, my brain is thinking about all the concepts I've learned in class. 

Advice:  Reach out and make friends as much as you can! Forming a good study group with students in your major can make or break you since classes get really tough and it's always helpful to have a group of people who know what you're facing, who can help you overcome those challenges together.


AOE Ambassador Carl Hayden

Carl Hayden

Major:  Aerospace Engineering, Class of 2025

Hometown:  Amherst, Virginia

Minor:  Cinema

Professional/Student Organizations:  Galipatia

Internships:  Virginia Tech National Security Institute

Favorite thing about major:  The challenge and wonderful people I've gotten to work with along the way!

Advice:  Perseverance and being able to pick yourself up after a stumble is what makes one successful. College is hard, but it is not impossible.

Fun Fact:  I have pet chickens!

AOE Ambassador Landon Hendrickson

Landon Hendrickson

Major:  Aerospace Engineering, Class of 2025

Hometown:  Springfield, Missouri

Professional/Student Organizations:  Orbital Launch Vehicle Team, Student Success Center Tutor

Internships:  Ozark Aeroworks, Lockheed Martin Missiles & Fire Control

Favorite thing about VT:  The atmosphere on Hokie game day!

Favorite thing about major:  How tight-knit of a community it is. I’ve gotten to know so many interesting people in Aero!

Fun Fact:  In my free time I go to the music halls to play jazz piano

AOE Ambassador Brittany Hoffman

Brittany Hoffman

Majors:  Aerospace Engineering, Ocean Engineering & Spanish; Class of 2026

Hometown:  Fort Collins, Colorado

Professional/Student Organizations:  Alpha Omega Epsilon, Marching Virginians, Dean's Team, Society of Women Engineers (SWE), Society of Women in Aviation and Space Exploration (SWASE), Society of Flight Test Engineers (SFTE)

Internships:  Federal Aviation Administration 

Favorite thing about VT:  I love the community and being able to be involved in many different organizations on campus!

Advice:  Don't be afraid to ask for help from professors - it's great to make connections with faculty and they want you to succeed!

AOE Ambassador Lila Hutchison

Lila Hutchison

Major:  Aerospace Engineering, Class of 2024

Hometown: Lynchburg, Virginia

Minor:  Green Engineering

Professional/Student Organizations:  AIAA, Society of Women in Aviation and Space Exploration (SWASE), Outdoor Club, Environmental Student Organization

Internships:  Boeing, Turbine Engine Fatigue Facility at Wright Patterson AFB, VT Student Sustainability Team

Research:   Currently the Advanced Propulsion and Power Lab (APPL) with Dr. Lowe, previously the Materials for High-Temperature and Corrosive Environment Lab with Dr. Fu

Advice:  Don’t be afraid to ask questions and be curious! Be vocal about what your interests are – that is how you will find your passions.

AOE Ambassador MaKenzie Kidd

MaKenzie Kidd

Major:  Ocean Engineering, Class of 2024

Hometown: Abingdon, Virginia

Minor:  Naval Engineering

Professional/Student Organizations:  Human-Powered Submarine Engineering Design Team, SNAME/ASNE at Virginia Tech

Internships:  The Lane Group Inc., General Dynamics Mission Systems

Research:  Innovative Ship Design Lab - Hydrofoil Craft Research

Advice:  Get involved in clubs, projects, activities as soon as possible!

AOE Ambassador Jessica Koka

Jessica Koka

Major:  Aerospace Engineering, Class of 2025

Hometown:  Fair Lawn, New Jersey

Minors:  Mathematics, Naval Engineering

Professional/Student Organizations:  Team-Lead for Autoplane

Favorite thing about VT:  I love the people and the small town feel. The football games are great and I enjoy going hiking on the weekends!

Favorite thing about major:   I love aerospace because I'm very interested in defense work, specifically work involving fighter jets. Maverick has a run for his money...

Fun Fact:  I can speak Albanian!

AOE Ambassador Isabella Kuminka

Isabella Kuminka

Major:  Aerospace Engineering, Class of 2025

Hometown:  Mickleton, New Jersey

Professional/Student Organizations:  Chi Omega (FSL)

Internships:  The Whiting-Turner Contracting Company

Favorite thing about VT:  The Hokie community

Advice:  This is demanding yet rewarding major. If you have the passion, don't let a few hard classes steer you away from your dream.

AOE Ambassador Nathan Rand

Nathan Rand

Majors:  Aerospace Engineering, Class of 2024

Hometown:  Round Hill, Virginia

Minor:  Mathematics

Professional/Student Organizations:  Engineering Volleyball League (President), College of Engineering Dean's Team, and AIAA

Internships/Co-ops:  National Institude of Standards and Technology (NIST), Sequoia Holdings (Software/Intelligence Company), NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (propulsion software work)

Current Research: CFD and Machine Learning enhanced combustion device design optimization for rocket propulsion with Dr. Roy

Favorite thing about VT:  The food and the incredibly active/supportive student body!

Fun Fact:  Duck's are my favorite animal and I have 3 in my car (not live ducks obviously)

AOE Ambassador Nate Shune

Nathan Shune

Major:  Aerospace Engineering, Class of 2025

Hometown:  Sterling, VA

Minor:  Mathematics

Professional/Student Organizations:  AIAA;  Design, Build, Fly @ Virginia Tech

Internships:  Boeing - Design & Stress Analysis Engineering - 787 Propulsion

Research:  Unmanned Systems Lab - Flight Operations Manager/Chief Pilot

Favorite thing about major:  I get to apply my studies of the coolest vehicles on the world on a daily basis.

AOE Ambassador Andrew Tabor

Andrew Tabor

Major:  Aerospace Engineering, Class of 2026

Hometown:  Lynchburg, Virginia

Minors:  Computer Science, Math

Professional/Student Organizations:  Orbital Launch Vehicle Team

Internships:  Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division

Favorite thing about major:  The community of AOE students willing to help each other learn.

Advice:  Be sure to make friends early on, and don't wait to pursue research/design team opportunities.

AOE Ambassador Abrianna Valentin Ferrer

Abrianna Valentin Ferrer

Majors:  Aerospace Engineering, Class of 2025

Hometown:  Mayagüez, Puerto Rico

Professional/Student Organizations:  RockSat-X, CEED

Internships:  HondaJet

Research:  Hydroelasticity Lab

Favorite thing about VT:  McComas Gym

Advice:  Don’t overwhelm yourself… know your limits

AOE Ambassador Eszter Varga

Eszter Varga

Graduate Degree:  MS in Aerospace Engineering, Class of 2024

Major:  Aerospace Engineering, Class of 2023

Hometown:  Budapest, Hungary

Master's Project: Time-varying System Safety Framework for Flight Transition Phase eVTOL Using Bayesian Belief Networks (BBN)

Professional/Student Organizations:  AIAA, Sigma Gamma Tau, Aerospace Minority Program (AMP), Society of Women in Aviation and Space Exploration (SWASE)

Internships:  GE, Wisk

Advice:  Engineering is a team sport. Ask yourself often, what is your end goal with getting a degree?

Fun Fact:  Most likely the first Hungarian Female Aerospace Engineer

AOE Ambassador Tamim Wadud

Tamim Wadud

Major:  Aerospace Engineering, Class of 2024

Hometown:  Queens, New York

Professional/Student Organizations:  Student Engineers Council (SEC), NASA Student Launch at Virginia Tech (NASA SLVT)

Internships/Co-ops:  I did a 14 month long Co-op with Collins Aerospace (RTX)

Favorite thing about VT:  I love the community, and all of the different people I have met here

Advice:  Always try your best and never let any kind of failure deter you

Fun Fact:  I was the 2021 Engineering Exposition Chairman

AOE Ambassador Kevin Xu

Kevin Xu

Majors:  Aerospace Engineering & Mathematics, Class of 2026

Hometown:  Blacksburg, Virginia

Minor:  Chemistry

Professional/Student Organizations:  NASA Student Launch at Virginia Tech (SLVT), Archimedes Society, Team ASTRA

Research:  Advanced Propulsion and Power Laboratory, Stability Wind Tunnel

Advice:  Don't wait until the last minute! Start everything early!

Fun Fact:  I have built a spacesuit cooling system that was tested in NASA's Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory.