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Shooter cut swath across campus ranks

first_imgThey may have been living in Blacksburg, Va., but they came from all over the world. And even many of those from places like Saugus, Mass., or Roanoke, Va., were undertaking global pursuits like studying French or German or majoring in international relations. But with one devastating act, the 32 men and women from places as far apart as Romania, Peru and Nova Scotia were united in a horrifying fate, massacred by a student who was born in another land, a 23-year-old South Korean. Here is a look at some of the victims: Caitlin Hammaren, 19, upstate Westtown, N.Y., was a leader among students at Minisink Valley High School, Principal John Latini said. “She was just one of the most outstanding young individuals that I’ve had the privilege of working with in my 31 years as an educator,” he said. Hammaren also played violin in the county orchestra, was in the top 10 percent of her class and belonged to the National Honor Society. Matthew LaPorte, 20, Dumont, N.J., dreamed of serving as an officer in the Air Force and began working toward that goal in seventh grade, when he entered Carson Long Military Academy in New Bloomfield, Pa. In college, he served as a cadet in the Air Force ROTC and earned a scholarship, family and friends said. He spent his summers working as a lifeguard in Cresskill, N.J., and was set to graduate in 2009 with a major in political science, French and University Studies, according to his entry on the popular Web site Facebook.com. “He was a wonderful boy,” said neighbor Marie Grieco, 56. “He was respectful and adorable.” Michael Pohle, 23, Raritan, N.J., was a senior majoring in biology. He played football and lacrosse at Hunterdon Central High School. Julia Pryde, 23, Middletown, N.J., was the kind of young woman who cared about a lot of things and did something about them, Virginia Tech Prof. Mary Leigh Wolfe said. Pryde used her expertise in biology on a trip to help residents in South America improve and maintain the quality of their water, Wolfe said. Pryde also did a research project at Virginia Tech that led other organizations to move forward with composting programs. “She was a passionate person who acted upon her beliefs and was very well liked,” Wolfe said. Ross Abdallah Alameddine, 20, Saugus, Mass., was a sophomore focusing on English, business information technology and French. “I like to laugh and tease, and I have a pretty weird sense of humor,” he wrote in his Facebook.com profile. Christopher Bishop, 35, Blacksburg, Va., was a German instructor. Along with wife Stephanie Hofer, he helped oversee an exchange program with Darmstadt University of Technology in Germany. Brian Bluhm, 25, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, earned an undergraduate civil engineering degree from Virginia Tech before starting a graduate program in water resources. He was a fan of Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd. Ryan Clark, 22, Martinez, Ga., known as Stack, was a senior majoring in biology and English. A member of the marching band, he was a resident adviser at the West Ambler Johnston dorm where the first shootings took place. Austin Cloyd, Champaign, Ill., was a freshman in international studies and French who worked as a lifeguard and swim instructor in the summers. Jocelyne Couture-Nowak, Blacksburg, Va., was a French instructor from Canada. The mother of two girls, she came to Virginia Tech with her husband, Jerzy Nowak, the head of the horticulture department. Kevin Granata, 45, Blacksburg, Va., was an engineering professor. Originally from Toledo, Ohio, the married father of three was an expert in movement dynamics in cerebral palsy. Jeremy Herbstritt, 27, Bellefonte, Pa., a civil engineering graduate student, was planning a career in environmental work. He ran the Pocono Marathon last year in 4 hours, 4 minutes. Rachael Hill, 18, Richmond, Va., was a freshman political science major. She graduated in 2006 from the Grove Avenue Christian School. Emily Hilscher, 19, Woodville, Va., had a passion for animals and horses and majored in animal science. Jarrett Lane, 22, Narrows, Va., was a senior majoring in civil engineering. The valedictorian of his class at Narrows High School, he played trombone, ran track, and played football and basketball in high school. Henry Lee, Roanoke, Va., played Frisbee and racquetball, according to his Facebook.com page. A freshman, he planned to major in computer engineering. Liviu Librescu, 76, Blacksburg, Va., survived the Holocaust and went on to escape Communist Romania. Known for his work in aeronautical engineering, Librescu will be remembered as a hero for protecting students as the gunman tried to enter his classroom. G.V. Loganathan, 51, Blacksburg, Va., was a married father of two. A native of Karatadipalayam, India, the civil and environmental engineering professor was an expert in hydrology and water resources. Lauren McCain, 20, Hampton, Va., listed Jesus Christ on her myspace.com site as “the love of my life.” She was a freshman international studies major. Daniel O’Neil, 22, Lincoln, R.I., was an engineering graduate student and teaching assistant. He was also a guitar-playing songwriter who posted his original lyrics on his Web site, www.residenthippy.com. Juan Ramon Ortiz, 26, Bayamon, Puerto Rico, was an engineering graduate student who loved to play bongos. He had recently married Liselle Vega Cortes, also a student at Virginia Tech. Daniel Perez Cueva, 21, was a former member of Peru’s national swim team who liked to sing and dance. Erin Peterson, 18, Centreville, Va., was a basketball player at Westfield High School, where her friend Lori Ficks said she was “outgoing” and made everybody laugh. Mary Read, 19, Annandale, Va., was born in South Korea to an Air Force family. She lived in Texas and California before moving with her family to Virginia. Reema Samaha, 18, Centreville, Va., was a dancer and performer who won accolades for her work in a high school production of “Fiddler on the Roof.” Leslie Sherman, 20, West Springfield, Va., was a sophomore history and international studies major who worked part time at the West End Market on Virginia Tech’s campus. Maxine Turner, 22, Vienna, Va., was just one month away from graduation. The chemical engineering student practiced Tae Kwon Do and belonged to a sorority. Nicole White, 20, Smithfield, Va., was a junior international studies major who spent her high school summers working as a lifeguard at her local YMCA. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more