CAUS Ambassadors

CAUS Ambassadors are undergraduate students who serve as advocates for the College of Architecture and Urban Studies. Through an interview and selection process conducted by Dean’s office administrators, CAUS Ambassadors are in a position of leadership and service as they represent our student population.

In the spirit of Ut Prosim, ambassadors participate in many service-oriented opportunities. These include serving as tour guides for prospective students and their families as well as participation in recruitment events such as our Open Houses.

2017-18 CAUS Ambassadors

Simon Babin -- Architecture

Simon Babin

Class: 2018

Major: Architecture

Campus involvement: XYZ Art Gallery, Moss Arts Center

Where are you from? Sykesville, MD

Why did you choose Virginia Tech? I chose Virginia Tech because of the broad resources available for exploration. CAUS is very interdisciplinary so I have been able to take courses in all of my interest areas.

What are your career plans? I am hoping to move to a major city and start work at a firm known for quality design on an international scale.

Emily Bazemore -- Environmental Policy & Planning

Emily Bazemore

Class: 2019

Major: Public and Urban Affairs

Hometown: Suffolk, Virginia  

Laurie Booth -- Architecture

Laurie Booth

Major: Architecture

Class: 2020

Campus Involvement: Studio Collective, Solar Decathlon Middle East, Resident Advisor for West Ambler Johnson

Where are you from? Charlotte, NC

Why did you choose Virginia Tech? The people! The community here is truly special. I found myself here.

What are your career plans? To help change the future of housing.

Shannon Cain -- Architecture

Shanon Cain

Your Major: Architecture

Class: 2018

Why did you choose Virginia Tech? I chose Virginia Tech for a few reasons. One is the fact that the Architecture program is one of the best in the country. The other is because of the people/community as well as the fact I fell in love with the area the first time I saw it!

What are your career plans? After graduation I hope to get an architecture job where I would be working on residential or smaller commercial buildings.

Alisa Chirachaturaphak -- Architecture

Alisa Chirachaturphak

Class: 2017

Major: Architecture

Hometown: Falls Church, Virginia 

Campus Involvement: Chinese American Society, Receptionst @ VT Women’s Center, Solar Decathlon Middle East

Why did you choose Virginia Tech? Sense of Community, UT Prosim, a high ranked ARCH program, I came from a hokie family

What are your career plans? To get licensed and work at a firm that takes sustainability and climate change without compromising design

Sydney Cole -- Building Construction

Sydney Cole

Class: 2020

Major: Building Construction

Hometown: Williamsburg, VA.

Julia Costa -- Architecture

Julia Costa

Class: 2019

Major: Architecture

Minor: French and Dress Culture & Society

Campus Involvement: AIAS, Teach for Madame

Hometown: Voorhees, New Jersey

Why Virginia Tech? I chose to come to Virginia Tech because it felt like home when I visited. Many universities have impressive academic programs, so for me, what stood out about VT the most was the people here. In addition, this school has so much to offer, I knew I would be able to explore my interests both in and outside of the classroom.

Why did you choose your major? I chose architecture because it combines creativity with problem solving. As an architect, you have the power to affect the lives of other people and stimulate thought and conversation. It combines many of my interests and challenges me to further develop my intellectual and artistic abilities.

Kaitey Crouse -- Interior Design

Kaitey Crouse

Class: 2019

Major: Interior Design

Campus Involvement: Habitat for Humanity, IDEAS, New Student Programs, Inclusive VT, Greek Life, CAUS IT/Print Labs

Hometown: Voorhees, New Jersey

Why Virginia Tech? I knew the programs here were great and heard nothing but good things (I even accepted my offer to come here before visiting campus!)

Why did you choose your major? I want to go into commercial design, possibly education design.

Brianna Dazio -- Interior Design

Bri Dazio

Class: 2018

Major: Interior Design

Minor: Business Leadership

Campus Involvement: Marching Virginians, IDEAS, Delta Omicron

Hometown: Red Bank, New Jersey

Why Virginia Tech? I knew from the moment that I stepped on Tech’s campus that I wanted to be a Hokie. I loved (and still do!) the school spirit, the motto of Ut Prosim, the location, the dining halls, I could go on and on. I’m so proud and happy to be a Hokie!

Why did you choose your major? When I was young, I use to watch Extreme Makeover: Home Edition and dreamt of being a designer for the show. Fast forward to picking a college major and I knew I wanted to be an interior designer to create spaces to impact people. After I graduate, I’d love to work for a firm that specializes in designing children’s hospitals to make them a friendlier atmosphere.

Nandini Datta -- Architecture

Nandini Datta

Class: 2019

Major: Architecture

Campus Involvement: Design Intern for Housing & Residence Life, Solar Decathlon Middle East

Where are you from? India

Why Virginia Tech? The architecture program offers so many opportunities for its students. There is a positive campus atmosphere here and a lovely community environment.

What are your career plans? Work at a firm on projects assisting with housing needs

Lauren Delbridge -- Interior Design

Sydney Delbridge

Class: 2020

Major: Interior Design

Campus Involvement: IDEAS, cru, SERVE (LLC)

Hometown: Wilkesboro, North Carolina

Why Virginia Tech? My parents both came to Virginia Tech so I grew up a Hokie. The campus is beautiful and the community is welcoming, so I fell in love with the school.

What are your career plans? To work in a commercial interior design firm and possibly work with historic preservation.

Kristen Falk -- Interior Design

Kristen Falk

Major: Interior Design

Class: 2019

Hometown: Springfield, VA

Campus Involvement: ZETA TAU ALPHA, Studio Collective Graphics Team

Why did you choose Virginia Tech: I chose VT for the program and its connections with commercial firms in DC. The Studio environment here set VT apart from other schools.

What are your career plans? To work at a large firm in DC working commercial community based projects

Sydney Garwood -- Architecture

Sydney Garwood

Class: 2020

Major: Architecture

Campus Involvement: Hokie Ambassadors, AIAS

Hometown: Fredrick, MD

Why Virginia Tech? I decided I wanted to attend VT after my first tour. I was excited about the enthusiasm of my guide towards VT and I wanted the same! The A+D School was also a main factor in my choice – one of the best!

What are your career plans? I hope to move to Colorado to become an architect.

Ali Hermsmeyer -- Interior Design

Ali Hermsmeyer

Class: 2018

Major: Interior Design

Campus Involvement: Chi Omega Fraternity, Cru, IDEAS

Hometown: Clifton, Virginia

Why Virginia Tech? I fell in love with the beautiful scenery and the positive atmosphere of the campus. I was also attracted to Tech’s awesome Interior Design program.

Why did you choose your major? I chose interior design because it allows me to use my passion for creativity to design spaces to fit the needs of different people. I feel lucky to have found a field of study that lets me do what I love on a daily basis.

Lexi Fuller -- Architecture

Lexi Fuller

Class: Senior

Major: Architecture

Hometown: Middletown, Maryland

Why did you choose Virginia Tech?

Virginia Tech is a place that is full of opportunity with a small, close-knit, community feel. It is large enough to meet a new person everyday, and welcoming enough to become their long time friend. The Blacksburg community enjoys the students presence in town and the students make the most of each and every local business Blacksburg has to offer. I am constantly surrounded by some of the happiest, most caring people I know and end each day with one of the most beautiful sunsets I have ever seen. I will always value the time, opportunities, and moments spent on this campus.

Why did you choose your Major?

Throughout high school, I was very focused on math and geometry. I enjoyed definitive answers and the relationship between spaces, but I was also a creatively constructive person, constantly looking for a new project to build or craft to make. My high school did not offer any architecture classes so I was unsure of the idea when I first looked into Virginia Tech. When I took my first step into the studio and saw the different ways students were expressing their ideas in these beautiful messes in stacks upon their desks, I knew it was where I belonged. It was so neat to see the freedom of their thinking and the hands on approach the school was encouraging the students to take in understanding not just architecture, but the concept of design. Architecture encompasses so many different things including structure, acoustics, lighting, heating/cooling, and so much more – it allows you to be passionate about more than one thing in order to create something that best benefits others. I look forever to carrying all of these passions forward into a career.
Marshall Jones -- Landscape Architecture

Marshall Jones

Class: 2021

Major: Landscape Architecture

Campus Involvement: Landscape Architecture Agriculture Technology Ambassador, National Agriculture & Landscape Professionals

Hometown: Riner, Virginia 

Why Virginia Tech? It’s my home – I’m from here!

What are your career plans? To design and construct golf courses and landscapes.

Patrick Olsen -- Building Construction

Patrick Olsen

Class: 2018

Major: Building Construction

Campus Involvement: BC Alumni Committee, Building Women in Construction

Hometown: Norfolk, Virginia

Why did you choose Virginia Tech? I chose Virginia Tech due to their phenomenal architecture school.

What are your career plans? I would love to go into the building construction industry and work as the superintendent of a large project.

Veronica Orecchia -- Industrial Design

Veronica Orecchia

Class: 2018

Major: Industrial Design

Campus Involvement: IDSA, Inclusive VT, Kappa Alpha Theta, Fusion Dance Team

Hometown: Colts Neck, NJ

Why Virginia Tech? UT prism. I love all work I do helps people and really makes a difference.

What are your career plans? I want to go into nonprofit design and enhance the user experience of the lives of those involved.

Valerie Poutous -- Architecture

Valerie Poutous

Class: 2019

Major: Architecture

Campus involvement: AIAS Event Planning Chair

Hometown: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 

Why did you choose Virginia Tech? I loved the campus and the atmosphere.

What are your career plans? I appreciate the blend of creative and technical aspects of the field.

Avalon Roche -- Public and Urban Affairs

Avalon Roche

Class: 2019

Major: Public and Urban Affairs

Minors: Arabic; Middle Eastern Studies; and Philosophy, Politics, and Economics

Hometown: Kaiserslautern, Germany 

Campus Involvement: Student Government Association, Sexual Assault and Violence Education by Students, Alpha Rho Chi

Why did you choose VT? I came to Virginia Tech initially because of the architecture program and because I’m a double legacy. I stayed because I fell in love with the school.

What are your career plans? I chose my major after completing a year in architecture, but then realized that my passion was in government and policy. I added economics to strengthen my skill set. Look for me in public office one day!

Sonya Shah -- Architecture

Sonya Shah

Class: 2021

Major: Architecture

Hometown: Reisterstown, MD

Campus involvement: Student Advisory Board, Society of Indian Americans

Why did you choose Virginia Tech? Primarily for the architecture program, but after visiting I really enjoyed the campus and the feel of the community and Hokie spirit.

What are your career plans? I want to be a college professor.

Andrew Stepka -- Architecture

Andy Stepka

Andy Stepka

Class: 2019

Major: Architecture

Campus involvement: Alpha Rho Chi – Professional Architecture Fraternity

Hometown: Annandale, Virginia

Why did you choose Virginia Tech? Before my senior year, I was fortunate enough to attend an Architecture camp, allowing me to be a Hokie for a week. I remember feeling very welcomed by the student counselors and the faculty. I was impressed by their kindness and professionalism. I enjoy being around nature, so the proximity of trails and mountains to campus also intrigued me. I enjoyed this taste of Tech and knew it would be a good fit for me.

What are your career plans? My imagination has always run wild when it comes to my surroundings. I look to see what works and what doesn’t and then sketch what comes to mind. I knew from a young age that being an Architect would give me the chance to go further than my sketchbook to actually enhance peoples’ surroundings.

Emma Sweeten -- Architecture

Emma Sweeten

Class: 2021

Major: Architecture

Campus involvement: Cru, Kappa Alpha Theta

Hometown: Mullica Hill, NJ

Why did you choose Virginia Tech? VT has a renowned Architecture program, an unmistakable sense of pride, a huge football fanbase, and yet still manages to have a small campus feel. It’s the best place on earth!

What are your career plans? I plan on pursuing a career in healthcare design where I will be designing hospitals and medical spaces. I hope to eventually work 50/50 as an architect and clinician.

Micajah Tucker -- Architecture

Micajah Tucker

Micajah Tucker

Class: 2019

Major: Architecture

Campus involvement: American Institute of Architecture Students, Campus and Symphony Bands, Intramural Sports

Hometown: Signal Mountain, Tennessee

Why did you choose Virginia Tech? One of the main reasons I chose Virginia Tech was because of the architecture program. The program truly lives up to its national ranking with professors that are dedicated to teaching and nurturing students’ curiosity.

What are your career plans? I chose to study architecture because I wanted to learn about the decisions and design of the buildings that I experience everyday. While I didn’t know much about the design process before coming to Tech, I’ve really enjoyed the studio culture. The classes are really engaging and give you a chance to bring space from your imagination into the world of models, drawings, or anything that you can create.

Chad Walmer -- Building Construction

Chad Walmer

Class: 2019

Major: Building Construction

Hometown: Spotsylvania, VA

Campus Involvement: Society of renewable resource construction consortium, Building Construction Ambassador

Why did you choose Virginia Tech?  Initially for Engineering but I decided it wasn’t for me and that Building Construction was!

What are your career plans? To be a superintendent in construction

For More Information about the CAUS Ambassador Program

Contact Rob Jacks, Director of Academic Advising at

CAUS Ambassador Avalon Roche

Serve as an ambassador

Our Ambassadors are an inspiration to the new students we welcome into the college every year. Active participation in the CAUS Ambassador program helps to develop your leadership skills and promotes your personal commitment to serving others. The experience will broaden your knowledge of the College of Architecture and Urban Studies and its many excellent degree programs. In addition, many of our students and graduates enhance their professional résumé by including their Ambassador service.

How can someone become a CAUS Ambassador?

Each Spring the College of Architecture and Urban Studies distributes a college-wide communication to recruit students. Interested students must complete an application, submit a current résumé and a faculty letter of reference, and be interviewed. The application is distributed when the call for applicants is sent out in the Spring. Qualified candidates who exhibit an eager commitment to serve will be strongly considered to join the program.