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Send announcements, which are open to the public at no or minimal cost, to The Loudoun Connection, 7913 Westpark Drive, McLean, VA 22102, e-mail to loudoun@connectionnewspapers.com or fax to 703-917-0991. Deadline is Friday, two weeks before the event. Photos/artwork encouraged. For more information, call Matthew Razak at 703-917-6457. For additional listings, visit www.connectionnewspapers.com.

Army Pfc. Ruben M. Carderas has returned to the U.S. after being deployed to an overseas forward-operating location in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Operation Iraqi Freedom is the official name given to military operations involving members of the U.S. armed forces and coalition forces participating in efforts to free and secure Iraq.

The private is an infantry mortar man normally assigned to Fort Hood, Killeen, Texas.

He is the son of Alfonso Cardenas of Bulk Court, Bealton, Va., and Janie Prieto of Malkhom Place, Ashburn. Carderas is a 2004 graduate of Stone Bridge High School, Ashburn.

The following Virginia Tech students were among those honored at the university's fall commencement ceremony held Dec. 15 in Lane Stadium. Fernando Curtis, Potomac Falls; Johanna Gusman, Potomac Falls; Jeremy Cobb, Sterling; Scott Dowdle, Sterling; Michael Fessler, Sterling; David Hogarty, Sterling; William Lovely, Sterling; Carl Lyon, Sterling; Anna Riabtsev, Sterling; William Toland, Sterling; Elizabeth Bubb, Ashburn; John Clark, Ashburn, Philip Gallo, Ashburn; Jeffrey Hukari, Ashburn; Jonathan McCoid, Ashburn; John Morris, Ashburn; Stephen Schumacher, Ashburn; Daniel Shipman, Ashburn; Kevin Mautte, Ashland; Zhalgas Adilov, Leesburg; Daniel Brown, Leesburg; Darren Cunningham, Leesburg; Maritza Horn, Leesburg; Walter Johnson, Leesburg; Vanja Maric, Leesburg; Ben Titus, Leesburg.

Renae Smith of Sterling was one of the members of the Grove City (Pa.) College speech and debate team, which won the sweepstakes competition at a debate tournament at Hillsdale (Mich.) College in January. The college advanced the most teams in the tournament and earned the most points to win the sweepstakes portion of the tournament, which involved 23 teams. Individually, the pairing of Smith, a junior, and freshman Justin Olson of Indiana placed second overall.

<ro>LA:

The following Ashburn-area students enrolled at Virginia Tech were named to the Dean's List for the fall 2006 semester. To qualify, students must attempt at least 12 credit hours graded on the A-F option and earn a 3.4 grade point average during the semester.

Andrew P. Lawlor, Tara E. Anderson, Wesley S. Anderson, Mary F. Arrowsmith, Timothy M. Berman, Michael W. Bromley, Elizabeth K. Bubb, Joseph W. Casola, Justin L. Chaney, Brian M. Colleran, Ian A. Cozens, Robert E. Cullen, Kevin R. Eberling, John R. Edstrom, Arielle S. Fissmer, Alexandra H. Hemenway, Elizabeth M. Kendall, Joseph C. Kendall, Sarah K. Larkins, Elizabeth M. Lyon, Nicholas J. Marchio, Gabriel E. Martinez Arroyo, Thomas T. McAdams, Jonathan S. Meyer, Michelle N. Meyer, Kathleen M. Moriarty, Jessica D. Myers, Thomas O. Payne, Joel C. Riley, Kellen S. Shain, Adam N. Smith, Christopher T. Snow, Daniel J. Stalcup, Cheryl A. Tait, Heather A. Tydings, Laura Y. Wen, Michael T. Wilkens, Michael W. Wolfner, Jennifer C. Borman, Jason T. Gdowik, Andy D. Hsu, Sahil Khanna, Jessica L. Wolfe, Stephanie E. DiPinto, Lauren W. Hovis, Katie J. McWilliam, Courtney R. Nolan, Kenneth B. O'Connor, Julia B. Richberg, Sahil Talwar, Dane N. Van Norden, Joshua C. Adams, Kelian E. Baker, Jason P. Cadwell, Nadia F. Dawood, Chelsea M. Feist, Jessica R. Gallegos, Andrew W. Harclerode, Rebecca R. Layman, Benjamin Y. Leonard, Michael G. Lukas, Andrew L. Lyford, Matthew R. Meroney, Nathan T. Nelson, Carl R. Quesnell, Jesse N. Robeson, Lucy R. Robeson, Herbin F. Rodriguez, Amy K. Sarver, Katherine K. Skipp, Patrick T. Summers, Bonnie L. Bailey, Stefanie M. Bartholic, Patrick A. Boebinger, Matthew R. Catlett, Evan A. Chapple, Christine L. Clark, Jennifer L. Crane, Ravi R. Dadhania, Jessica A. DeShazo.

<ro>LC:

The following Sterling-area students enrolled at Virginia Tech were named to the Dean's List for the fall 2007 semester. To qualify, students must attempt at least 12 credit hours graded on the A-F option and earn a 3.4 grade point average during the semester.

Umar A. Aziz, Nicholas J. Baldi, Nancy A. Ballhagen, Jeremy R. Berg, Lindsay E. Berg, Kirsten E. Bernhards, Krystina M. Cocco, Elizabeth L. Dye, Tyler C. Dye, Thomas N. Easton, Nathan B. Entsminger, Warren L. Glismann, Jarri Hasnain, Denise C. Hommel, Allison M. Jarnagin, Jamie E. Leidelmeyer, Lane R. McNally, Megan E. Meidlinger, Paul A. Milotte, Jacqueline V. Nguyen, Jason W. Pilchuk, Michael A. Schaefer, Jamie L. Sinclair, Veronica M. Skinner, Vladimir S. Smirnov, Whitney L. Svensson, Michael J. Woods, Alyssa A. Yassine, Yusuf A. Abugideiri, Andrew J. Augustin, Tiffany A. Baracat, Robert D. Bowen, Kelly E. Brannock, Douglas B. Brenner, Kacie L. Brosious, Alexandra J. Butt, Lauren M. Butt, Chelsey T. Cooper, Chloe A. Csadenyi-Benson, Zachary M. Dana, Michael G. Diaz, Katherine E. Jonesl, Lisa M. Kaiser, Curtis R. Kobelski, Wright H. Lewis, Christopher B. Lockhart, John D. Medlock, Nathan M. Milaszewski, Alexandra K. Moses, Nahed Najmyar, Narges Najmyar, Delaney R. Parrish, Morgan L. Rezac, Anna A. Riabtsev, Marc A. Saint Raymond, Mandy L. Tehaan, Kristina M. Velarde, Sean C. Wilson, Victoria A. Wilson, Michael C. Fella.

<ro>LS:

The following South Riding-area students enrolled at Virginia Tech were named to the Dean's List for the fall 2006 semester. To qualify, students must attempt at least 12 credit hours graded on the A-F option and earn a 3.4 grade point average during the semester.

Ramsaee Balasubramanian, Theodore J. Lange, Kelvin Yuen, Alexander W. Scott.