Top Cadet Penatzer Is Prepared for Multiple Careers

Adria Penatzer entered the University of Virginia an accomplished high school student and leaves as a highly decorated second lieutenant in the U.S. Army.

The Pittsburgh native will graduate May 16 with a degree in the politics department’s honors program and East Asian studies and step into a military career, first traveling to Fort Huachuca, Arizona, for additional training, and then to her first posting at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

“It has been a developmental process,” she said. “You come in not really knowing what to expect and nervous about how hard the classes are going to be because you hear a lot about the academic rigor at U.Va.”

Penatzer already knew about academic rigor, having been the salutatorian of her high school class and president of its chapter of the National Honors Society. But U.Va. helped hone her critical-thinking skills.

“It is not just the academic content you learn, but it’s about learning how to manage your time and the stresses of academic life and all your extra curricular activities as well,” she said.

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Adria Penatzer