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OUR Staff

Keri Swaby

Keri Swaby

Director for Undergraduate Research

The Office of Undergraduate Research is coordinated by Keri Swaby, who prefers to be called simply "Keri." She holds a BSc in Chemistry from McGill University (Canada), a MSc in Geochemistry from Georgia Tech and an MBA from Florida Atlantic University. She has taught chemistry to high school and college students and managed the quality control program at the world renowned Pickapeppa factory in Jamaica. More recently, Keri has worked as an environmental consultant with Geosyntec Consultants, in Florida. Keri has run her own business and continues to manage the busy schedules of her three young children. She brings a diverse skill set and genuine love of students to the position of University Undergraduate Coordinator.


  • BS, Chemistry, McGill University, 1994
  • MS, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences (Geochemistry), Georgia Institute of Technology, 1998
  • MBA, Environmental Management, Florida Atlantic University, 2001
Nicole Bottass

Nicole Bottass

Program Support Specialist

Nicole Bottass is the assistant to the Coordinator of the Office of Undergraduate Research. She holds a BA in Sociology from Castleton University in Vermont. As an undergraduate she took advantage of research opportunities, which included working with troubled adolescent foster girls along with working as a shelter home coordinator, providing respite for local families in need. These opportunitites provided her with great perspective for her to move into working with the elderly as a social worker and then as the undergraduate coordinator of the Department of Music at Cornell University. Nicole, also, currently manages her own small business while enjoying time with her two young children.

Sophie DeSimone

Project Manager

Sophie DeSimone is the Program Manager for the Office of Undergraduate Research. She holds a BS in Biochemistry and a minor in Medicine and Society from Virginia Tech. As an undergraduate she was involved in undergraduate research concerning antibiotic resistance and drug design, was a member of the IMPACT team through Hokie Wellness and was an ambassador for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. In her free time, she volunteered as an EMT and is a member of the Near Southwest Medical Reserve Corp. She is excited to help current students experience meaningful experiences at Virginia Tech through undergraduate research.