Hey all, my name is Sam Sherry, I go by he/him/his pronouns. I am a third-year Structural Engineering Ph.D. student at Virginia Tech. I work as a graduate research assistant in a large structural testing laboratory where my project is focused on improving aging infrastructure with carbon fiber retrofits. At the lab, we test retired steel bridge beams to failure. Before I was at tech I did my B.S. and M.S. at the University of Oklahoma. Before that I moved all over the place: PA>NJ>TX>OK>DE>VA. My parents switched jobs and I moved for school. I love that Dr. Grimes brought up the phrase “where do you call home” because whenever people ask me where I am from I always respond with “I don’t know”. After I finish my Ph.D. I hope to get an academic job at a university where I can continue doing research. I love doing large scale testing and coming up with solutions to modern problems. When I am not working I am typically running, climbing, hiking, or working out. I love visiting national and state parks. My climbing trips have taken me all over the country and I have seen some beautiful places and wrestled some beautiful rocks.
I am taking this course and the other teaching classes because I hope to better understand others and challenge my perspective. I would never want to exclude any of my students or make them feel uncomfortable. I think interacting on a college campus is a great way to get exposed to a multitude of people and ideas but I think taking a class like this one is a jump into the deep end of uncomfortable conversations/ideas. I am excited to interact with the class and challenge some of my misconceptions. I hope we all have a great semester.