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Kays Named Outstanding Graduating Senior


Aug. 15, 2011 – Holly Kays of Fairplay, Md., a double major in natural resources conservation and English, was named the college’s Outstanding Graduating Senior for the 2010-11 academic year. Award recipients are selected from each college for outstanding performance in academic achievement, extracurricular activities, leadership positions, and service to the university and community.

Throughout much of her college career, Kays was a student writer for the college’s public affairs office, composing stories for the CNRE News, Virginia Tech Research magazine, and the university homepage. As a sophomore, she won second place in the Virginia Outdoor Writers Association’s Collegiate Undergraduate Writing Contest, and she currently does freelance writing for the Arbor Day Foundation website.

Kays exemplifies Virginia Tech’s motto of Ut Prosim through her community service efforts. Since 2008 she has been working with Common Ground Trailer Park Ministries, an ongoing community ministry that focuses on developing relationships with children in need through after-school tutoring and activities. She was a team leader in The Big Event in 2010 and has made several spring-break trips to Mobile, Ala., where she organized and taught Bible School for the Inner City Ministry. Kays has been a member of the Phi Kappa Phi honors society since 2009 and received the honor of AP Scholar With Distinction in 2007.

Kays, whose parents are both CNRE alums, hopes to pursue a career as a magazine writer, preferably focusing on the relationship between communities and sustainability. “I feel that this type of work would combine my love for writing with my interest and knowledge of sustainability issues and my desire to make a difference in other people’s lives,” she said.

Editor’s note: Having worked with more than a hundred interns during my career, I have never had such an exceptional student in every way as Holly. She exemplified all the qualities a teacher or parent hopes for. She was a pleasure to have in our communications office and we know she will be one of CNRE’s bright stars making a difference in the world. We will greatly miss her. LMD


    CNRE Newsmagazine Summer 2011 Cover

Summer 2011

25th Anniversary

Celebrating 25 Years

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Join us Sept. 15-16 to visit campus and reconnect with alumni, faculty, staff, and friends.

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