Pryde was a graduate student from Middletown, N.J. according to Virginia Tech professor Saied Mostaghimi, chairman of the biological systems and engineering department. She was an "exceptional student academically and personally," said Mostaghimi.
Last summer, Pryde had traveled to Ecuador to research water quality issues with a professor. She planned to return this summer for follow-up work, Mostaghimi said.
A 2001 graduate of Middletown North High School, Pryde was on the school's swim team and played softball in two town leagues. Her hometown has been touched by tragedy before, losing 37 current and former residents in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
"The town pulls together in these situations. Everything that we can do for this family, we'll see what can be done," Middletown Mayor Gerard P. Scharfenberger said.
Next Mary Karen Read