Kayvon Izadpanah of Sterling, Va., a senior majoring in biochemistry and biological sciences in the College of Science, with minors in international studies, medicine and society, and chemistry, has been selected 2012 Virginia Tech Undergraduate Man of the Year. Carly Stephens of Centreville, Va., a senior majoring in biological sciences in the College of Science, with a minor in Spanish in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, has been selected 2012 Undergraduate Woman of the Year.

The awards were presented by Edward F.D. Spencer, vice president for Student Affairs, at the annual Student Recognition Banquet held Saturday, March 31, 2012, at the Inn at Virginia Tech and will be celebrated again at the 20th annual University Student Leadership Awards, to be held April 25, 2012, in the Commonwealth Ballroom in Squires Student Center.

The Virginia Tech Undergraduate Man and Woman of the Year awards recognize two graduating students who have achieved overall excellence during their undergraduate careers at the university. They are the most prestigious non-academic undergraduate awards given at Virginia Tech, and are awarded to those students who have exceptional and balanced achievement in academics, leadership, and service. The recipients exemplify the qualities and values important to a Virginia Tech education, captured in the university motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve). Award recipients are selected by a committee of students, faculty, and administrators from across the academic colleges and the Division of Student Affairs. The Division of Student Affairs sponsors and administers the annual awards. 2012 marks the 60th anniversary of the Man and Woman of the Year awards at Virginia Tech.

Kayvon Izadpanah, Undergraduate Man of the Year

A first generation college student, Izadpanah is a Dean’s List and honors student, and resident advisor in the Hillcrest honors community. He is the recipient of numerous awards and scholarships, and was chosen outstanding biochemistry senior of the year by the College of Science.

Izadpanah’s strong commitment to Ut Prosim (That I May Serve) is evident in his professional goal to use his medical and public health expertise to improve the quality and duration of life for underserved populations. He has raised campus awareness of global health issues through membership in the Virginia Tech American Medical Student Association, and currently serves as its president. He travelled to San Francisco where he provided mobile medical care to the homeless, and to Honduras as a global health intern with the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine. He helped in the Muslim Student Association’s Hungry Hokies fast-a-thon to raise money for a local food bank.

George M. Simmons Jr., alumni distinguished professor emeritus in the department of biological sciences, wrote, “Kayvon has many positive attributes, but the one that stands out the most to me is his sincerity of purpose. Kayvon doesn't just talk about helping disadvantaged people who need medical care, he has put himself out there on the front lines. Many talk the talk, but Kayvon is a doer. He is a rare individual in this sense.”

Izadpanah is the son of Abdol and Batol Izadpanah of Sterling, Va.

Carly Stephens, Undergraduate Woman of the Year

As a Boswellness Fellow, Stephens conducted research at the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine focused on novel equine cancer treatments using herbal oils. 

John Robertson, professor of pathology and translational medicine and director of the Center for Comparative Oncology in the college, said, “When we (Stephens and her research team) are successful in identifying the major risk factors for malignant melanoma in horses, we will be one step closer to developing treatments for a now incurable disease in horses that is a leading cause of cancer death in humans. Carly knows how important this is and embraces this challenge.”

Arthur L. Buikema Jr., alumni distinguished professor in the department of biological sciences, added, “I really enjoy interacting with Ms. Stephens because of the ideas she generates and the ‘glint in her eye’ when she confronts a challenging situation. If other students were like her, teaching would be an even better occupation than it already is.”

A university honors student, Stephens studied abroad in Quito, Ecuador, during her sophomore year, where she participated in the Pan De Vida program for homeless children. She helped lead Ut Prosim El Porvenir (That I May Serve the Future), partnering with a village in Honduras to develop their clinic, health camp, and women’s empowerment classes. At a Blacksburg elementary school, she founded an after-school Spanish club emphasizing appreciation of Spanish language and culture. As a freshman, she helped start the women’s ultimate Frisbee team, and has served as its captain for four years.

Stephens is the daughter of Bonnie and Scott Stephens of Centreville, Va.




Share this story