HALL OF FAME2018-07-13T16:55:40-04:00


         HALL OF FAME
SPIA 2018 Hall of Fame
Brent Blevins photo

Brent Blevins

is a three-time graduate of Virginia Tech, with bachelor’s degrees in History and Political Science in 2003 and a master’s degree in Public Administration in 2005.

While at Virginia Tech, Blevins served as manager of the men’s basketball team, opinions editor of the Collegiate Times, SGA Senator, and President of the Miles Hall Residence Hall Federation. After college, Blevins has served more than a decade on Capitol Hill, as a staffer for the House Committees on Agriculture and Natural Resources and most recently for Senator Luther Strange and U.S. Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn. Blevins served as president of the National Capital Region chapter of the Virginia Tech Alumni Association and now serves on the board of directors of the Alumni Association. Blevins was appointed by Gov. Bob McDonnell to serve on the Virginia Land Conservation Foundation Board of Trustees and the Alexandria Historic Preservation and Restoration Commission. He recently completed the University of Virginia’s Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership. He is a native of Wythe County.

The reason Blevins was selected to be inducted in the Hall of Fame for the School of Public and International Affairs (SPIA) Hall of Fame was because of his overall student involvement at Virginia Tech, his professional work experience, his service to the City of Alexandria and his service to Virginia Tech.

Blevins video
Kelly Clements photo

Kelly Clements

is a two-time graduate of Virginia Tech, with a bachelor’s degree in International Studies in 1988 and a master’s degree in Urban Affairs and Planning in 1990.

Clements joined (United Nations High Commission on Refugees. UNHCR as Deputy High Commissioner in 2015. She has been closely involved with refugee and displacement issues throughout her 25-year career. Before joining UNHCR, Clements served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) since 2010 where she was responsible for humanitarian issues in Asia and the Middle East. She previously led the Bureau’s strategic planning, policy development and financial management to protect and assist refugees, conflict victims and vulnerable migrants worldwide. In 2014, she was Acting Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon. From 1993 to 1996, Clements served at the U.S. Permanent Mission to the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland on a Foreign Service appointment. She was Special Assistant to the Under Secretary of State for Global Affairs in 1997-1998. Clements served as a Senior Emergency Officer for Europe, the Newly Independent States, and the Americas, and later as Balkans Assistance Coordinator; she was deployed to Albania in 1999. She worked for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in Bangladesh in 1992.

The reason Clements was selected to be inducted in the Hall of Fame for the School of Public and International Affairs (SPIA) Hall of Fame was because of her showing enthusiasm and commitment continuing to serve SPIA and Virginia Tech, her role and service in the UNHCR, her distinguished 23-year career in service to people who were forcibly displaced from their homes, and her exceptional work that demonstrated her being a leader.

Clements video
SPIA 2017 Hall of Fame
Ryan Eargle photo

Ryan Eargle

is currently with the US Department of State- Office of Real Property Management. He is mainly responsible for real estate transactions to support the mission of the US State Department.

Eargle received his Bachelors in Public and Urban Affairs (PUA) and Political Science (PSCI) in 2006. His undergraduate degree was interdisciplinary in nature (Political Science double major and earned a history minor) and was crucial in shaping his future career. “Studio courses in UAP (some working with Virginia communities as part of the University’s land grant mission) gave me the technical skills necessary to differentiate me from others in the eyes of employers, while I’m certain my courses in history and political science helped me land an internship at the State Department after graduation”, says Eargle. The successful combination of technical skills and critical thinking training received at SPIA is what greatly benefited him in his career.

Eargle participated in a number of studio courses and spent time on projects or problems that served as a vehicle for targeted learning outcomes. According to Eargle, studio courses provided an opportunity to work on a “real world” problem, to work against a real deadline, and also provided the space for creative thinking. The high quality work delivered during these studios as well as the work being actually used to inform decision-makers in business and government is what motivated Eargle to return to Tech at multiple points in his career to sponsor studio projects. “I was able to source excellent quality work for organizations such as the US Army Corps of Engineers and MassMutual Financial Group at a low cost and bring the same kind of real world project back to Tech that I loved as a student. I believe that opportunities like this are a crucial advantage of SPIA”, says Eargle.

The reason Eargle was selected to be inducted in the Hall of Fame for the School of Public and International Affairs (SPIA) Hall of Fame was because of his commitment to continuing to serve Virginia Tech (VT), College of Architecture and Urban studies (CAUS), and SPIA while also becoming a very accomplished professional in his industry.

Ryan video
William Murray

William L. Murray

is currently the senior policy director at Dominion, an energy holding company operating across the US, headquartered in Richmond. He is responsible for managing the company’s positions and policies on key state and local issues. Among his previous positions, Murray served as deputy director of policy for Virginia Gov. Mark Warner and as a vice president with the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association. Murray was also the legislative director for Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine.

Murray received his Masters in Public Administration (MPA) at Virginia Tech’s Center for Public Administration and Policy (CPAP) in 1991 when he was a full-time student. Later in 1996, he got his Ph.D. while working full time. His masters thesis focused on ways of reading the constitution; and his doctoral dissertation was on political appointees in Virginia state government. “Both degrees have been critical in my career by teaching me to think analytically, to always consider the policy and stakeholder context, and to focus on deliverables”, says Murray. His time as a student is what forms the foundation at his work place and helps him stay grounded in our constitutional norms, helps him understand the role of career administrators, and the importance of sound public policy.

One fun story Murray wanted to share about his Virginia Tech time as a student, was when he attended John Rohr’s class, the same evening of his wedding, with his wife and they were scolded for sharing a book in class. Murray told John “that wasn’t all we were sharing as we’d just been married”.

The reason Murray was selected to be inducted in the Hall of Fame for the School of Public and International Affairs (SPIA) Hall of Fame was because his work demonstrated him being a servant leader, showing enthusiasm and commitment to serving the Virginia Tech community.

Murray video