Carroll resident selected as Board of Visitors’ student representative, Truman Scholar finalist

Last updated: April 30. 2014 11:52AM - 805 Views

Austin Larrowe
Austin Larrowe
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BLACKSBURG –Austin Larrowe of Woodlawn continues to add to his list of accomplishments at Virginia Tech.

Larrowe, recently selected as one of three Virginia Tech students honored as Truman Scholar finalists, also has been chosen as the university’s new undergraduate student respresentative who will serve as a liasion between the student body and the board starting July 1.

Student representatives are appointed to one-year terms. They serve as ex-officio members on the Commission of Student Affairs and sit on a committee of the governing board. These non-voting members are required to maintain contact with university faculty, administrators, and Virginia Tech students.

Larrowe is a fourth year student majoring in applied economic management and agricultural sciences in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. He previously served as a member of the student advisory committee to the undergraduate representative to the board of visitors.

Larrowe is a member of University Council and serves as an Student Government Association senator. He is a member of the German Club, as well as Omicron Delta Kappa, the national leadership honor society.

Larrowe’s service and volunteer work include founding Feed by Seed, an international agriculture education non-profit. He has dedicated countless hours of international community service in Nicaragua, Zambia, and Costa Rica. Larrowe has served as Virginia state vice president of the National FFA Organization.

The Virginia Tech Board of Visitors is the governing body of the university. It is composed of 14 members 13 of which are appointed by the governor and the 14th member is the president of the Board of Agriculture and Consumer Services who serves ex-officio. The term of office for each member is four years.

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 215 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 30,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $450 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.

Truman Scholar finalist

Larrowe joins Sarah McKay of Barboursville and Wes Williams of Roanoke as finalists for the 2014 Truman Scholarship.

The students are Pamplin Scholars in the University Honors program.

This year, almost 300 colleges and universities nominated 655 candidates. Of those, the Truman Scholarship Foundation selected just 204 students from 138 institutions as finalists. Ultimately, the foundation selected 59 students from 52 institutions for the prestigious award.

“While our three students were not among the winners, just reaching the finalist stage is a big achievement,” said Christina McIntyre, associate director of University Honors and adviser for applicants to major scholarships like Truman. “It’s wonderful to have even one finalist; for a school to have three finalists is rare. Virginia Tech has never had more than one finalist in a year, so we are very proud of Austin, Sarah, and Wes.”

The Truman Foundation awards scholarships for college students to attend graduate school in preparation for careers in government or another type of public service. To be considered, students must excel academically, have outstanding leadership and communication skills, and be committed to public service.

In between high school and college, Larrowe was a state officer of the National FFA Organization and traveled to more than 30 countries. The experience opened his eyes to international agriculture and education needs.

Larrowe founded Feed by Seed his first year at Virginia Tech. The non-profit organization focuses on global agriculture education, development, and advocacy. The charity runs an 18-acre farm in Nicaragua, teaching local people how to farm to provide food for their families. They also learn how to sell some of the food and manage their income.

“The Truman Scholarship finalist interview was not like any other interview I have ever been a part of before. It was designed to really test your people skills as well as your knowledge of current political situations and issues pertaining to your chosen career field,” Larrowe said. “While waiting to interview we had the opportunity to get to know the other Truman candidates from our region. They were all spectacular people who have an obvious passion for public service.”

“If asked to share Austin’s top three overall strengths, we would mutually agree upon courageous optimism, adaptable flexibility, and social responsibility,” said Andy Seibel, Virginia FAA specialist, and Megan Seibel, director of Virginia Agriculture Leaders Obtaining Results (VALOR). “Austin has seen hardship both in his home community and in global villages and cities. He remains courageously optimistic that change and impact are not only possible, but will be influenced by his actions.”

Larrowe plans to graduate in May 2015. He intends to take a year or two off to continue his work with Feed by Seed, strengthening efforts in Nicaragua and, soon, Uganda. Then he would like to go back to school for a master’s and law degree in public policy to work in international aid and food policy.

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