Maeve Gould

Maeve hails from Richmond, Virginia and is in her first year of the Master of Urban and Regional Planning program at Virginia Tech. She received her B.A. in Public and Urban Affairs from Virginia Tech in 2009. Her academic interest is in rural community and economic development, with a particular focus on business incubators, green job training, and bolstering energy services industries in the Appalachian region. She is also interested in entrepreneurship and the creation of economic centers, potentially through value-added agricultural and non-timber/forest products. Prior to beginning the Master's program, Maeve served with AmeriCorps Project Conserve at Boone, North Carolina-based land trust,Blue Ridge Conservancy. After that temporary position ended, she worked for regional environmental non-profit, Appalachian Voices, for about five years. In her spare time, Maeve can be found exploring the trails, creeks and rivers of the Appalachian mountains.


 Kooshboo Gupta

Khushboo was born and brought up in Kanpur, a city in Uttar Pradesh, India and believes her life is an example of Odysseus in the poem The Odyssey by Constantine P. Cavafy. In this poem the author describes one’s journey towards the final goal in life and how important it is to truly enjoy the journey and use it to be wealthy with experience and wisdom. 

After completing a masters in Civil Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur, Khushboo joined Virginia Tech in 2015 as a PhD student in School of Public and International Affairs. She became a part of the Office of Economic Development in 2016. Her research area focuses on Smart City Development in developing countries.

Khushboo enjoys travelling, watching films, swimming and heading out on trails with friends in leisure time.


 Faruk Hesenjan

Faruk is from Xinjiang Uyghur autonomous region of China, and is a Master’s candidate in Urban and Regional Planning at Virginia Tech. His areas of interest include Land Use Planning and Regional Economic Development. He holds a BS degree in Urban Planning from University of Genoa, Italy. Prior to attending Virginia Tech, he worked as a Planning Intern with the department of urban planning in Liguria’s (Italy) regional government, and he joined OED in January of 2016. Faruk enjoys learning foreign languages, reading about history, ballroom dance, and cooking.




 Nick Onopa

Nick is a student in the Masters of Information Technology program at Virginia Tech.  He received a B.A. in Public & Urban Affairs from Virginia Tech in 2013. His academic research is focused on Urban Resilience Modeling and Policy for Disaster and Hazard Scenarios. After completion of the masters program, he hopes to begin a career in Public Sector Analytics & Intelligence, Information Security, and/or IT Strategy.

Born and raised in Wausau, Wisconsin, Nick is a devoted Green Bay Packers fan. He also returns to Wisconsin each year to volunteer with the American Legion’s Badger Boys State Leadership Program. He also enjoys cooking, weight training, kayaking, and playing Frisbee with his Mini Australian Shepherd, Audie.



Luis Camacho Carvajal

Luis Felipe was awarded a full scholarship from the Colombian government to pursue his  doctoral studies. He is a third year student in the PhD. Planning, Governance, and  Globalization program at Virginia tech. He received his Masters in International Enterprise  Direction from FORO EUROPEO (Spain) and he specialized in International trade from the University Sergio Arboleda (Colombia) in collaboration with the Georgetown University Center for Intercultural Education and Development – CIED.  His B.A is in Economics from the Externado de Colombia University.

Luis Felipe has twelve years of experience working as a professional as well as an academic instructor and researcher in private and public Colombian institutions. He has co-authored one book and is author of several publications in academic journals on subjects such as the steel industry’s internationalization, and Leon Walras’ postulates of social justice, ethics, and institutions.

He joined the Virginia Tech Office of Economic development in summer 2015 as a Research graduate assistant. He assists the OED team on projects related to coal mining workforce, unmanned aircraft systems, small satellites, and the creative economy. His current research interests focus on technological unemployment, disruptive and technological innovation, automation and democratic workplaces, and de-industrialization and social policies in Latin-American emerging economies.

Last but not least, he is happily married and the father of two wonderful boys. He enjoys church activities, watching sports, and spending time with his family.


Click here to follow us on Facebook Folloow on Google plus Click here to follow us on Twitter

Talent Sidebar


Hi-tech skills in Virginia's coal country

Southwest Virginia economies continue to reel from declines in coal production and employment. Against this backdrop, communities can seize opportunities to better support and retrain displaced coal mine workers in an industry where jobs fell to a record low of less than 4,000 in 2014, a Virginia Tech workforce study says. Read more