Shelby McDonald, of Satellite Beach, Fl., a senior psychology major in the College of Science at Virginia Tech, has been named Virginia Tech’s 2006 Woman of the Year.

McDonald was selected as Virginia Tech’s Woman of the Year based on her academic excellence, leadership accomplishments, campus involvement and her service to the Virginia Tech community.

McDonald, who holds a 3.85 grade point average, has conducted various undergraduate research projects and has presented her findings at national and international conferences. Additionally, she has co-authored several published abstracts and a manuscript being prepared for a peer-reviewed scientific journal.

“Shelby’s motivation and intellect are superior,” said Angela Scarpa, professor of psychology and McDonald’s advisor. “She is very conscientious and responsible. I have been fortunate to have many bright and capable students work in my lab, and Shelby clearly shines as one of the best.”

In addition to her research, McDonald serves as president of Psi Chi and the Psychology Club at Virginia Tech and is the president and co-founder of Active Minds, a group that promotes mental health on campus. McDonald was one of the primary organizers of the inaugural New River Valley Walk Toward Mental Health, which raised money for local mental health services.

McDonald is a Golden Key Honor Society member and was named the 2006 outstanding senior in the College of Science. She is also the recipient of a Psi Chi Regional Research award, and a Friends of Psychology Scholarship and has she received a grant from the National Science Foundation to participate in the Research Experience Program at the University of Wisconsin’s Waisman Center for Brain Imaging and Behavior.

After graduation, McDonald plans to pursue her doctorate in psychology. McDonald is the daughter of Sandy McDonald of Satellite Beach, Fl., and Tom McDonald of Cape Canaveral, Fl.

The College of Science at Virginia Tech gives students a comprehensive foundation in the scientific method. Outstanding faculty members teach courses and conduct research in biology, chemistry, economics, geosciences, mathematics, physics, psychology, and statistics. The college is dedicated to fostering a research intensive environment and offers programs in many cutting edge areas, including those in nanotechnology, biological sciences, information theory and science, and supports the university’s research initiatives through the Institute for Critical Technologies and Applied Sciences, and the Institute for Biomedical and Public Health Sciences. The college of Science also houses programs in pre-medicine and intellectual properties law.


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