Student Profile: Shannon Cain
Shannon Cain of West Chester, Pennsylvania is a rising fourth year architecture student. After graduation, she hopes to get a job with an architecture firm that is small enough that she can get to know everyone in the office. She hopes to live in a more rural area, rather than living in a city. Her favorite part about her major is the community. She enjoys getting to know teachers as people rather than just the person standing at the front of the classroom every day.
What is your favorite animal and why?
My favorite animal is a dog, to be specific a German Shepherd. All my life I have had one as a pet until coming here to Virginia Tech. They are playful and loving, but also protective and dependable. If treated and trained correctly they will be loyal, loving, and protective companions.
What led you to your major?
When I was really young, my parents found that while most kids would be happy with crayons and paper for half an hour, I would be happy for hours on end with paper and tape designing houses. As I got older and I traveled with my family to places like the Bahamas and Las Vegas, I found I was more interested in the buildings and culture than I was with going to the beach or shopping. Architecture was just something that was in me, and when I had the chance to design buildings for a living, I took it.
What made you choose Virginia Tech?
I knew I wanted to go to college for architecture, and when it came time to choose a school, my parents only wanted me to go so far from home. I knew I didn’t want to go to school in a city, so that eliminated a lot of options. When searching for schools I found a few closer to home than Virginia Tech, but none of those schools appealed to me. When I came to Virginia Tech for the first time, within ten minutes of being on campus, I just knew this was the place for me. The students seemed happy to be here and the community seemed to be incorporated into the college and not a separate thing like my home town. The location also attracted me as it was like a hidden town in the mountains. It wasn’t a city of bustling people, but also wasn’t a school in the middle of nowhere. It just felt like a place that could and would be home.
Tell me about your most recent project.
My most recent project is to design a Buddhist retreat center that would be located on Virginia Tech’s Kentland Farms. It is a combination of multiple buildings all adding up to around 10,000 square feet. We are to design a place that is both for people to visit on a single day, or for people to stay for long periods of time. My favorite part is the location. It is on a hill that overlooks some of the farm and you can also see out into the mountains. It leaves you a lot of options for locations of buildings on the 27 acres of land we have for a site. The site is also close-by, so we get to go visit it as we want and not just look at it on the internet.
What is your favorite thing you are involved in outside of your major?
It is actually not a Virginia Tech thing; it is something I have done since I was 16 and old enough to drive. It is drag racing. When I’m racing, it feels like everything in the world has disappeared. For those 14 seconds, the time it takes my car to go a quarter mile, I control what happens, and whether I win or lose, I had fun. I have no one to depend on and no one is depending on me. I control what happens and no one is there telling me how to do it. The only worry is the other car running next to you, but if you did everything right in the beginning then they shouldn’t really matter. Whether you win or lose, the people around you are there to support you. We are a family at the race track and nothing will change that.