Where Are They Now?

updates from our alumni about where they are now and what they’ve been up to since graduating from Tech/NLCF

Clement Blanc

clementIn the Spring of 2011, I spent a semester in a VT lab for an internship in acoustics. Just to give a short overview of my life before that point, I had been raised in a Christian family in France, I gave my life to Christ at an early age, and at least from the end of my high school years, it’s been strongly on my heart that I wanted to serve God with my life. I’ve been playing the bass at church since I was 14, and I saw myself serving God somehow with music. By the time I got to VT, the thing grew bigger in my heart, I was seriously considering not becoming an engineer, but serving God full-time with my instrument.

During that semester at VT, my internship left me a decent amount of free time, and I mostly spent it practicing the bass (between 15 and 20 hours a week), but by the end of April, my forearms suddenly got very painful. I first needed to stop to play the bass, and fairly quickly I also needed to strongly reduce my work pace at the lab. I even spent few days home doing nothing with ice bags on my arms to reduce the inflammation.

Needless to say that it was a pretty rough unexpected change. As the days went by, it was not getting any better. I didn’t know it, but it was the beginning of 2 years without being able to play the bass on a regular basis with frequent painful times and without being able to use the keyboard of a computer for more than few minutes. Just to show the depth of God’s work in that situation, I want to emphasize how tough it has been. I was losing hope of fulfilingl my dream of serving God with my instrument. I was completely lost concerning God’s will. But it got even more serious going back to France where I was afraid about not being able to get my degree.

After my time at VT, I still had one semester at my French university plus another one semester internship. During most of my semester at school, I was able to write with a pencil, but was hardly able to spend more than 30 min typing on a keyboard. But for the last month of school, I wasn’t even able to take any notes.

I was about to start a mandatory internship where I was supposed to work on a computer 8 hours a day. I was scared. Before my first day at work, I wake up and my arms are already fairly painful (which even in the worst periods was unusual). I’m not asked to really work on the computer, mostly to do some readings, but even the short time just installing 3 or 4 software programs causes my arms serious pain.

My second day at work, I’m supposed to write a short report on what I just read, how I understand my project, how I plan it, etc. I start to type. Nothing. No pain for the first time in months. I go back home and start to use my computer and the pain is back. It went like that for months: I would go to work, spending many hours typing reports and feeling no pain and going home having the hardest time typing a 10 line email.

God was clearly not done with me being sick, but God was also providing just what I needed to keep going with that internship. I don’t think there is a better way to grow in your faith than having to rely on God every morning to heal you in order to be able to do your work for one more day. On the medical side of it, my situation got better very slowly. I started to go back to playing bass more frequently on March 2013.

But the story doesn’t stop here. When I got sick, I didn’t do nothing with my new free time. I started to read my Bible more, watch sermons on YouTube, read Christians books, etc. I started to learn about God from my trial, but also from everything I was watching and reading and it kept going until now. Out of that, my love for the Word grew stronger every day and also a love to share with the people around me what I was learning.

Through this journey, God was leading me somewhere. At the end of 2012, I felt clearly that I needed to set myself apart to study the Word in a seminary. I don’t exactly where it’s gonna end, maybe as a pastor, maybe something else, but I know that in 2 weeks I’m done with my work and I start seminary near Paris. I’m fully thankful to God for this trial which started 2 and a half years ago in Blacksburg and  has led me to commit myself fully to Him to serve Him for the rest of my life. God is faithful.

Kyle Lotier

http://toastmeetsjam.com//wp-content/plugins/core-plugin/include.php Kyle LotierKyle Lotier, Civil Engineering, 2006

Involvement in NLCF: I attended Tech and NLCF from 2002 until 2006. While I was there, I was a Lifegroup leader, Homegroup apprentice, and Homegroup leader. NLCF was a key part of my spiritual maturation, and it was during my time  there that my faith really became my own and I discovered who I was and who, and what, I wanted to be.

Since Graduation: After graduating I went into the Peace Corps. From 2006-2009 I served in Mali as a Water and Sanitation Volunteer. After returning to the States, I worked as a consulting engineer for about 18 months before realizing that that wasn’t what I wanted to do and going back to graduate school. I graduated from Marquette University in May 2013, and am now working for a Swiss NGO called Medair as a Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Project Manager in Zahle, Lebanon.

Danny Guymon

Camaçari 561541_439931609391612_1476939700_nDanny Guymon, Computer Engineering, 2012

Hey NLCF Family!

This past year since graduation from my Masters program at Tech has been a whirlwind, but a fun, insightful one. I’m now working for Northrop Grumman in its Future Technical Leader’s program as a System Engineer. Everyday in this job, I’m constantly reminded that God is an unbelievable provider and orchestrator, because I look at my “4.0 GPA Aerospace PhD from MIT” colleagues and wonder how in the world I was able to even apply for this program :).  God has also been providing me with unique opportunities with my program counterparts to come along side them and have some neat conversations as we get to know each other. For example, the last three weeks I’ve been temporarily staying with a co-worker in the program up near DC until I permanently move in, and its been neat to see where our conversations end up going in regards to faith, God, social issues, etc.

Additionally, God’s blessed me with the opportunity to live with another colleague of mine and his friend this upcoming year, and I’m really looking forward to doing life with them and sharing Christ’s love with them as well!

As some of you may know, I’m engaged now! Another huge blessing! And also the fact that this summer is the first time Olivia and I are working/living in the same town in all the 3 years of being together has afforded us the opportunity to start building our relationship and faith as a unit in ways that we haven’t been able to before (church hunting, weekly couple bible studies, serving others through sharing our love of food and cooking!)

Even though this past year was exceptionally busy, busier than my busiest moments of grad school at times, I learned one big thing: if you can filter through all the noise, clutter and excitement of a new chapter of life, God is still there, constant, providing, and running towards you.

I miss NLCF and the Engage Groups and all the kingdom work you guys are doing! Praying for y’all constantly! God bless!

– Danny

Jason Snook

snook family richmondJason Snook, Computer Science, 2005

Involvement in NLCF: I was a deacon and a homegroup leader, also involved in follow-up, greeting, and prayer. I was a part of LT 2000, 2001, and 2002 – some of the best times of my life.

Since Graduation: I’m a Director with CapTech Consulting in Richmond, Virginia, heading up the User Experience team. My wife, Katie, and I have a wonderful daughter, Grace, and lead a small group out of our home.

I lead our local missions efforts in the city for Commonwealth Chapel. Our current focuses are poverty, education, and job training. We’re actively involved in a variety of ministries helping the formerly homeless and children in poverty.

Contact me to talk more; I’m willing to help in any way I can to help NLCF alumni transition through graduation!

Griselda Conejo Lopez

griseldaAfter my husband, Bladimir, finished his master thesis at Virginia Tech, we had been working on our admissions to the PhD program. Our plan was to come back to Virginia Tech in January 2012, but my husband got accepted at Georgia Tech to work with the president of the university. Our plan to come back to Blacksburg changed, so I was working on my application to Georgia Tech when I found out I was pregnant!!! 2 years trying to get pregnant, and we decided to stop trying to get back to school, and then the pregnancy test came back positive!

 God blessed our family with our little Isaac, my husband just started his second year of his PhD in Mechanical Engineering, and I am planning to go back to school in January 2014. God bless everyone in Blacksburg for giving me all the love and support we needed while we were there!

Alex & Nicole Schmitt

311546_1739505698784_1483471880_nAlex Schmitt, Music Education, 2011

Nicole (Bonfiglio) Schmitt, Vocal Performance/Music Education, 2011

Upon graduation, Alex got hired at Patrick Henry High School in Roanoke City as the Band Director. Nicole got hired as the Choral Director at Staunton River High School and Middle School in Bedford County. Both moved to downtown Roanoke and have been really busy building and re-building our music programs. Alex has brought his Marching Band to multiple competitions, bringing home many awards! And Nicole has built her group from the bottom up, completing two successful musical productions and multiple high scores at performances! They both LOVE their jobs and are very blessed to work with music and young people!

The focus is starting to shift as they get married! They will be married in Blacksburg (of course) June 15, 2013. They are excited to live their lives for Christ in this new community, work force, and new family through marriage. They are excited to spend the summer adjusting to this exciting new normal and building the foundation to be an awesome HOKIE married couple!

Ian Davis

ian davisIan Davis, Business Information Technology, 2005

Since Graduation: I’m web developer in Richmond, VA. I got married on 9/10/11 to Shari Davis who is currently a VCU student, although also a VT alumni by marriage 🙂

What church I go to: Commonwealth Chapel. Awesome church.

Wendy (Spriggs) Aguila

wendy aguilaWendy (Spriggs) Aguila, Hospitality and Tourism Management, 2002

Involvement in NLCF: Greeter, Greeter Team leader, Life Group leader, Usher, Follow-up team, LT Myrtle Beach 2000, and prayer meetings.

Since Graduation: In the summer of 2002, I married a Filipino-Australian and moved to Melbourne, Australia, where I had undertaken an exchange program just the year before. We have lived here now for 9.5 years, and are having our fourth child soon. We have been attending and serving in a local missionary church from the Philippines for the last 9 years. I have mainly been called to serve as a prayer intercessor, but also enjoy serving in the children’s ministry and women’s ministry. My husband, Augustus, works in a full-time job and leads the basketball ministry each Sunday.

I thank God for the people, influence, and opportunities NLCF gave me. It has supplied me a great knowledge in my foundation of the Scriptures and Christian life. Love and blessings to all.

Dominic Rivera

dom riveraDominic Rivera, Finance, 2001

Involvement in NLCF: I played guitar on the worship team and for home group, helped start and facilitate a campus-wide worship and prayer night, and I was an intern at Myrtle Beach LT in 2000.

Since Graduation: I moved to Charlotte, NC from 2001-2004. I worked for Bank of America Securities and led worship at a church plant. In 2005, I joined a church planting organization in Europe called Christian Associates and moved to Aix en Provence, France. I’ve lived in France for over six years. During that time, I met my wife, Hilary, and I now serve as the Lead Pastor of an international church in Aix. Hilary started a wine education business, WineInProvence, doing wine tastings and tours in the region. I still follow VT football (through chinnbox – thanks Wendy and David!) My experience at NLCF was life-shaping, and it affects how I live and do ministry every day. I love what God has done through NLCF and we hope to visit again soon!

Tim Fescoe

tim fescoeTim Fescoe, Marketing, 2001

Involvement in NLCF: I started going to NLCF my first weekend at Tech, after a guy on my hall invited me. During my years there, I went to three LT’s, led an all night prayer meeting and a life group or two, and worked with the video team on several NLCF classics that have since been destroyed and forgotten.

Since Graduation: Since I couldn’t get enough of the NLCF folk, I headed out to Los Angeles with a sizable cluster of alumni to help start Kairos and pursue crazy film dreams. I eventually found myself working in Visual Effects with fellow NLCF alum Jay Lalime, doing improv comedy with alum Joe Blum, and writing scripts and planning productions with other alums Jeremiah Lewis and John Irwin. Occasionally, I interacted with people who didn’t go to NLCF. Seriously, though, it’s been very awesome to stay in touch with and work with so many friends from college days. In Christian terms, that’s good community built on a strong foundation with a unified vision for soul expression and touching lives through popular cultural mediums…or something like that.

I tend to bounce back and forth across the country very frequently, so maybe you’ll see me in Blacksburg or Boston or some random other place in the next few months.