Killian does not have family members in the service, and was first drawn to the Navy by schoolmates.
“I had some classmates in high school who were going to the Naval Academy,” she said. “I was really attracted to them because of the character I saw in a lot of them and the things they believed in. I saw the Navy through like-minded peers. I saw people I would be interested in being around, and in the same community with.”
When looking for colleges, Killian considered East Coast schools and found UVA.
“UVA stood out to me as a great spot to get a really good liberal arts education as well as being able to do the Navy training in tandem with that,” she said
Killian is focusing on her work for the Navy at this point, though she believes the discipline of a getting a degree in chemistry will help her in the future.
“Especially with some of the more challenging major-required courses, I learned a lot about good study habits and perseverance and grit in those classes that I think will serve me well, even though I will be learning a different subject material,” she said.
And while she is going to Pensacola for her flight training, she is not planning long-term.
“I am going into it with a really open mind, taking it day-by-day and year-by-year,” she said. “There are so many opportunities in the Navy right now that once I get past my first few tours or even post-Navy – I am taking it day-by-day and looking forward to what comes down the road.”
In heading to Florida, Killian is taking many happy memories of UVA with her.
“One of my favorite nights was in my second year when we won the national championships for basketball,” she said. “That is one that is going to stick in my mind for a long time – the celebration and the school spirit that came from that. That was a really incredible experience and I am glad to have gotten it, a chance to be here in town.”