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Outside view of Engineering Systems Building.

Building a future in more ways than one

by Cecilia Ramirez

Earning a degree in any engineering discipline is no cakewalk. Add seeking a Marine Corps commission to the equation and the challenge becomes even greater. That didn't' stop civil engineering major Noah Doody, who just earned his Bachelor of Science degree from Old Dominion University with a GPA of 3.87. To top it off, he earned a commission as a 2nd lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps and will be stationed at Quantico, Va., in October.

Growing up, Doody knew he wanted to join the military. But it wasn't until senior year of high school that he realized he wanted to be a commissioned officer in the Marines. Doody was inspired by the Marine Corps' true warrior culture and brotherhood.

"The Marine Corps was the toughest thing I could attempt and put myself up against the toughest challenge in life," he said. "I want to earn the title Marine and carry on the legacy of all those brave men and women who have come before me."

Doody grew up in Richmond with his parents, two sisters and two brothers. His older brother graduated from ODU in spring 2019 and works as a contract specialist in the Army Corps of Engineers. One sister is a nurse and the other is a musician. Doody's younger brother just finished his junior year at VCU studying biomedical engineering.

In spring 2017, he transferred from John Tyler Community College. Homeschooled from K-12, Doody was equipped to get ahead in many subjects. He knew that ODU's Batten College of Engineering and Technology had a solid research reputation, an impressive array of faculty and was well-connected with the regional employers.

"Engineering is not easy. It requires a lot of time, commitment and discipline to complete the program," he said.

An athlete and sports enthusiast, his passion for baseball, lacrosse, volleyball, surfing and skateboarding may haveplayed a role in his desire to be an engineer.

"Through a love of sports, I began making sports equipment. I worked on stringing lacrosse sticks, designing skateboards and making surfboards," he explained.

"I realized that my interests were always rooted in making things and bringing projects to completion. That's when I knew I wanted to pursue a degree in engineering."

Doody said he chose civil engineering because it involved design and construction at a larger scale and it has a direct impact on the lives of people. His interests include soil mechanics, hydraulics, fluid mechanics, environmental pollution and control, air quality, and water and wastewater treatment. In April, he took third place in the environmental design competition conducted by the Virginia Water Environment Association.

Doody said his greatest memory from his four years as a Monarch is the friendships he's made with his classmates. He knows they will last a lifetime.

"I credit much of my success to a small group of fellow civil engineering students," he said. "Also, there are many excellent professors in engineering. The one who made the most impact on me is Dr. Duc Nguyen."

Doody's extracurricular activities included the Environmental Engineering Student Association, ODU Young Life Organization, Student Government Association, Student Veterans Association, and the American Society of Civil Engineers.

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