The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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Alumna Visits Troops in Afghanistan for Holidays

As reported by the Westford (Massachusetts) Eagle on February 2, Civil and Environmental Engineering Department alumna and New England Patriots cheerleader Patricia Fox returned late last month from a two-week tour overseas to visit deployed U.S. troops. “With the Patriots cheerleaders, I was given the opportunity to go oversees to visit the troops, which is an experience I will never forget,” said Fox. Six Patriots cheerleaders and their coach, Tracy Sormanti, began their tour on December 20 in Kyrgyzstan and then arrived in Northern Afghanistan on Christmas Day.

They ended the tour in Qatar celebrating the New Year with troops, having visited 12 forward-operating bases and command outposts – some with as many as 3,000 troops and others with as few as a dozen. The squad traveled via Chinook and Blackhawk helicopters, C-130, and C-17 airplanes. They performed 10 full shows, ate all of their meals with the troops, signed autographs, did photo sessions, and participated in several re-enlistment ceremonies.

Fox is a 2010 graduate of the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where she earned a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering. She is now an environmental engineer with a consulting firm, working with municipalities throughout New England to help improve water sources and distribution systems. Fox, who lives in Westford, is also a dance instructor, striving to teach young children, “good morals and life goals,” she said. Her parents John and Sarah Fox also live in town.

Her career goals are rooted in a desire to continue helping others, she added.

“Wherever life takes me, I hope to be helping one way or another,” Fox said. “No matter where I end up in the future, my goal is to always be helping, either at work or in my community. (February 2011)

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