Virginia Tech has named Kevin Finelli, of Yorktown, Va., as the Outstanding Graduating Senior in the College of Science for the 2008-09 academic year.

Finelli, a double major in mathematics and physics, is expected to graduate in May 2009. He has not only excelled academically, but has achieved this while participating in a variety of extracurricular activities and contributing significant time to the university.

Finelli is a member of Phi Beta Kappa national honor society; Eta Sigma Phi Classics National Honor Society; and Sigma Pi Sigma Physics National Honor Society. His numerous awards include the highly competitive Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship, the Pamplin Scholarship, and first place at Virginia Wesleyan Mathematics Competition in February 2004.

Finelli has conducted undergraduate research in Virginia Tech’s Department of Physics and Department of Mathematics, the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility in Newport News, Va., as well as the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory as part of the Michigan State University Research Experience of Undergraduates, where his research focused on mass measurements of rare isotopes.

As a volunteer for the Physics Outreach Program, Finelli helped bring physics to primary and secondary schools in the community in a stimulating manner. Additionally, he volunteered with the Graduate/Undergraduate Mentoring Program, where he helped the Graduate Student Association organize and initiate a program to pair undergraduates with graduate mentors.

The Outstanding Senior Awards are presented at the Student Honors Day Banquet each spring. These awards are co-sponsored by the Virginia Tech Alumni Association and the senior class.

The purpose of the award is to recognize outstanding student performance in each college of the university. Students are selected on the basis of their grade point average (3.4 or higher on a 4.0 scale) and outstanding performance in several or all of the following areas: academic achievement, extracurricular activities, leadership positions, and contributions of service to the university and/or community.

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 nano-scale and biological sciences, information theory and science, and supports research centers—in areas such as biomedical and public health sciences, and critical technology and applied science—that encompass other colleges at the university. The College of Science also houses programs in pre-medicine and scientific law. Virginia Tech, the most comprehensive university in Virginia, is dedicated to quality, innovation, and results to the commonwealth, the nation, and the world.

Written by Megan Grubb. Grubb, of Wytheville, Va., is a senior majoring in communication in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences.

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