Kerry Desmond

The Global Change Center recently awarded the 2020 Undergraduate Science Policy Fellowship to Kerry Desmond to attend the Washington Semester Program during summer semester this year.  Ms. Desmond is the seventh student to receive this award.

Kerry is a junior majoring in Civil Engineering with a minor in Green Engineering, with aspirations to pursue graduate studies in Environmental Engineering and to become a public health engineer. Through this fellowship and the Washington Semester Program this summer, she intends to intern with the US Environmental Protection Agency, and is eager to gain experience in the policy sphere of this government agency.

“I’m drawn to public health engineering for the opportunity to work with citizens, policy makers, engineers and scientists to develop solutions to environmental issues.”

During the winter semester of 2019-20, Kerry traveled to Rwanda as part of the VT international service-learning course Global Design and Construction. She worked as part of an interdisciplinary team and alongside local professionals in Rilima, Rwanda to design parts of a water sanitation system for a community that lacks access to clean water. In addition to her normal coursework, Kerry currently spends additional time as a calculus tutor and a peer mentor for the Center for the Enhancement of Engineering Diversity (CEED) at Virginia Tech.

The School of Public and International Affairs (SPIA) at Virginia Tech offers the Washington Semester Program to all undergraduate students, regardless of major. The program provides a unique 11-week immersion into work experience within the nation’s capital. Students work on challenging science policy issues that shape communities locally and nationally while obtaining academic credit.

The Global Change Center (GCC) offers competitive fellowships to undergraduate students to cover the cost of in-state tuition, housing and fees to attend the Washington Semester Program.