Gabby Brophy

Gabby Brophy

The SBIO Department is proud to announce that our student, Gabby Brophy, has won the Sustainable Biomaterials Dave Smith Award! Here is what Gabby had to tell us about her time here in SBIO:


1.      Describe yourself in a couple sentences.  Tell us where you are from and some basics about your life outside of school. 

Hello! My name is Gabby Brophy and I am from Glen Allen, Virginia. Outside of school I enjoy playing volleyball with my friends and traveling! I am a lover of the outdoors particularly like exploring new areas or going on spontaneous adventures.

2.      Why did you choose the SBIO department and major, and what about it interests you?

I chose Packaging Systems and Design as my major because I realized that it is the perfect culmination of engineering, design, and logistics.  My goal throughout college was and is to be a well-rounded student through skills and experiences. This major offered both through providing a multi-disciplinary education full of real world experiences with industry.  The small class sizes and ample lab/research opportunities we’re also very attractive to me because I am a hand-on learner and being involved as an undergrad was important to me.

3.      What are you learning/researching/working on right now and how will it help the world?

I am currently researching sustainable and innovative solutions for a variety of packaging problems. One of the projects that I worked on involved using Mycelium as a sustainable packaging solution to replace Styrofoam dunnage.  Having the opportunity to be involved with a program that supports out of the box ideas and provides real-world problems has given me ample packaging skills to take into industry after graduation.

4.      How has your time in the SBIO department at VT helped you? Is there one class or faculty member that greatly influenced you?

My time in SBIO and Packaging has helped me grow professionally by presenting me with research opportunities and by refining my packaging knowledge through coursework and firsthand experience. Dr. Molina, Dr. Kim, and Dr. Horvath have all greatly influenced me during my time in the Packaging major. They’ve provided me with different skills that I will carry with me into my future career.

5.      Do you have any advice for future students thinking about joining the SBIO department?

My advice for future students in SBIO is to get out of your comfort zone because it is the best catalyst for growth! I have applied this to my life when applying to jobs and internships, meeting people in my major, and when choosing to study abroad. Taking calculated risks and making myself uncomfortable opened many doors for me to possibilities that wouldn’t have been options otherwise, therefore I recommend for people to be bold and provide yourself the opportunity to grow as a person. Don’t hold yourself back, jump into everything with both feet!