Hypatia, located in Lee Hall, brings together female first-year and upper class engineering students in a residential environment to provide encouragement and support in pursuing a career in engineering. The program is for first-year and first-time College of Engineering students with an interest in exploring engineering, making lasting friendships, and achieving academic success. Upper class leaders live in the community to provide mentoring and community support. Hypatia students live on the 3rd and 4th floors. They also share a coed floor with Galileo on the 5th floor.

The Hypatia program is a full academic year commitment. You can choose to apply to remain in the community as leader in your sophomore through senior years but it is not required.

Participants are required to enroll in a fall-semester seminar course that meets once a week. The class is designed to help you transition well from high school to college and prepare you for the transition to your engineering career. We have a 10 percent higher retention rate and graduation rate for our program participants than engineering students not living in our community.

You will have an upper class mentor who lives right down the hall. You will meet with your mentor once a week for the first 10 weeks of the fall semester.

Upper class leaders in the community form committees to host social, professional development, service learning and academic support events for you. You can see a sample of those events on our community calendar.

This program is part of a living learning program called inVenTs, which includes two engineering communities and two science communities. As part of the inVenTs community you have access to a design studio with 3-D printers, laser cutter, drill press and more.

Hypatia is sponsored by the Center for the Enhancement of Engineering Diversity.

For more information about the community please visit www.inventscommunity.org.

Born in Alexandria, Egypt, Hypatia was raised by her father, Theon, who set out to create the perfect human being in his daughter. As her most influential mentor, Theon raised Hypatia to be well-rounded in the worlds of mathematics, philosophy, and astronomy as well as training her to be physically fit.

Early on Hypatia surpassed her father's knowledge and struck out to further her own career. Through her studies of mathematics, philosophy, and astronomy, she became a well-known teacher and lecturer. People from far and wide came to hear her speak. Hypatia is credited with annotating and editing the works of Diophantus and Ptolemy, as well as On the Conics of Apollonius, a study of conic sections. Her influence on these works greatly impacted the early survival of mathematics.

In A.D. 400, Hypatia became head of the Platonist's school at Alexandria, a monumental accomplishment for a woman of her time. Because of her involvement in the philosophical community of Neo-Platonic thought, she was called a Pagan by the Christians of her era. In addition, her friendship with Orestes, the prefect of Alexandria, was seen as a threat by Cyril, the Christian patriarch. He felt threatened by her vast political influence, and she was eventually murdered by some of Cyril's followers.

Hypatia was chosen to represent the community because she is a symbol of strength, hard work, and dedication. She was a pioneer in her fields of philosophy, mathematics, and astronomy as we are today as women in the field of engineering. Her incredible success encourages participants to follow their dreams and reach for their goals.

For more information about Hypatia please contact Susan Arnold Christian, assistant director, Center for the Enhancement of Engineering Diversity, at hypatia-g@vt.edu.

Hypatia Mark