An Introduction To Sam

Family Photo

Hi All,

Allow me to re-introduce myself 😊 My name is Samantha (or Sam, or Hey You) and my pronouns are she/her/hers. I am writing this as my first introductory blog for the course I am taking – Diversity and Inclusion for a Global Society, which I have been wanting to take for a while, but couldn’t make fit into my schedule. To better understand who I am, I’m providing you a bit of my background so that you can try to figure out how in the world I got to this moment!

Currently, I am a part-time student in the Urban and Regional Planning master’s program which I have been working on for 4.5 years and have promised myself I am going to complete this semester! I am also in two certificate programs and eyeing a third one, which is probably why I haven’t finished my degree. In addition to being a student, I am also a full-time employee in the College of Agriculture and Life Science where my primary responsibility is to train our administrative professionals, which means I spend a lot of time on the road or in web-based trainings. In my professional work, I sit on several committees at the University level, most centering around professional development initiatives, as well as councils for my college, one in particular is the CALS Diversity Council.

I am married to a former VT Ph.D. student who is now an adjunct professor for the College of Natural Resources and Environment as well as a contractor for the Federal government, which means he travels quite a bit. Together we have a very LOUD and TALKATIVE four-year old daughter who keeps us on our feet all day, and sometimes throughout the night! All of us, as well as my mother-in-law, live in Blacksburg, VA.

Before coming to Virginia Tech (6 years ago), I worked for non-profits and for-profit development agencies based in Washington D.C., however much of my work has been abroad. I have had incredible opportunities to live in Niger, Kenya, Sudan, and Afghanistan for many of my adult working years, and have been fortunate enough to have a great many mentors from all over the world who have helped me develop my skills in my current career.

While I never thought of myself as a teacher, I have found that my passion area is training (adults, I don’t think I can handle the under 18 crowd) and that no matter where my husband and I go, I will always want to find a place where I can instruct!

As a final comment to this blog, I’ve been asked to provide another anecdote about myself, and after much thought, I have decided to share my quirky side. I have a very weird obsession with doing logic puzzles and practicing languages (specifically French, though I’m reintroducing myself to Spanish). While I do both pretty much on a daily basis, after so many years, I still suck at both!

À bientôt!!!

Sam

P.S. The photo is my family apply picking last year.

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Introduction Blog

Hi!  My name is Amanda Covey.  I go by the She/Her pronouns.  This is one of a few pictures I have of myself since I hate being in pictures.  It’s of course taken at one of my favorite spots, the beach!   Interestingly enough this picture was taken at my mom and dad’s 50th wedding anniversary this year where we celebrated it at Myrtle Beach!

I have a BS degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with concentrations in Psychology and Biology as well as a M.A.Ed. degree in Instructional Technology, both at Virginia Tech.  Currently I am working on my Graduate Certificate in Diversity and Inclusion. Believe it or not but this is my first time ever doing a blog!  I guess my instructional technology degree didn’t feel teaching about blogs important! haha

I am also AP Faculty at Virginia Tech as the Biomedical Engineering Graduate and REU Coordinator in the Department of Biomedical Engineering and Mechanics.  While I’ve been in my department for over 15 years, I have only been in my current roll for the last 3.  I came by my current job by accident but have found out over the last 3 years that I love working with graduate students.  Currently my passion has been increasing the diversity and inclusion in our engineering program which as I am sure many of you know is not all that diverse in this field! I became interested in this course when I first heard Dean DePauw talk about it at a workshop that she was presenting at and was super excited to learn more!  I’m hoping that taking this course and going through the certificate program will give me additional tools I can use to achieve my goals.

As you can see from my picture, not only am I probably the oldest person in this class and this picture, I also have 3 daughters (Amelia – 16, Evelyn – 13, and Mazie – 8).  Our youngest started out as our 16th foster child 8 years ago and we were finally able to adopt her in 2013!  All three keep me SUPER busy between taekwondo, swimming, volleyball, and learning how to drive!

I LOVE to travel (especially if it’s near a beach!).   I also enjoy geocaching, hiking, reading, watching zombie movies and playing Euro board games. Though these days I rarely find time to do any of that anymore!  Maybe once the kids go to college? haha  As I also mentioned on the first day of class, I also love animals and have a LOT of special needs pets. Ollie is our 1-eye dog, Gabby is our 3-leg cat, Jellybean is our Flemish Giant Rabbit, Cuddles is our ball python (get it? he’s a constrictor!); and Slimy is our albino milk snake (he looks just like the work in Sesame Street, hence the name!).

In conclusion, I look forward to learning more in this class!

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