Vera Kidd

Faculty/Staff | Commit to unwavering CURIOSITY

Vera Kidd For more than 30 years, Vera Kidd has been a champion and key supporter of the Division of Student Affairs. A Hokie through and through, Vera completed her undergraduate degree in Management and her MBA at Virginia Tech. Shortly afterward, in 1983, she joined Dr. Ed Spencer and the staff of Housing and Residence Life in East Eggleston — with two computers, a $6 million dollar budget, and staff that fit in one conference room.

As Housing and Residence Life grew, Vera continued to learn about all the departments reporting to Dr. Spencer, then to Dr. Shushok. She learned what kinds of resources and assistance were needed by the faculty and staff who worked with students face-to-face.

Vera said, “Despite working here for three decades, no two days were ever the same. I constantly had to learn - every day - about programs and what they were intended to provide to students. I asked as many questions in later years as I did early on because of the rate of change. And I am still learning.”

“If we settle only for what we know,” Vera said, “we just ‘settle’ in all aspects of that word. We can’t be effective without continually asking questions and learning.”

Vera threw herself into the life of Virginia Tech, and served on numerous committees, task forces, and workgroups. She lobbied for the appropriate use of technology to help people do their jobs. She worked with Donna Ratcliffe and others to develop the first formal DSA-coordinated self-study and strategic plan. She also fought hard in annual budget hearings, and in many conversations throughout the years, represented the real and pressing resource needs of the division.

Vera is most proud of being associated with the emergency preparedness efforts for the department and the university. She said, “When 4-16 (2007) happened, we understood that these plans and protocols weren’t just paper, and implementing them required a lot more coordination, flexibility, creativity and dedication than we ever thought possible. Although I am no longer involved in this process, I’m humbled that I had a small role to play as the university awakened to its responsibility and positioned us to ‘be there’ for our students and staff.”

Vera “sort-of” retired in 2010, but since then has been a project assistant for Dr. Shushok and for About Campus, and in that role she gets to work with her other passions — reading and writing. She has worked part-time on just about every project under the sun, including co-authoring two book chapters and a research article with Dr. Shushok.

Frank said, “What I love about Vera most is her never-ending sense of wonder about everything from sports, religion, student learning, politics, space exploration, dogs, and geology. And since she leads with her ‘connectedness’ strength, she has a remarkable ability to tie all things together. She’s a learner of the first order and models the kind of curiosity that keeps a human being full of life and vitality. I can only imagine the possibilities for humanity near and far if every student embodied the sort of curiosity that defines Vera.”

For being a huge part of the division’s success for the past three decades, for having our backs when we need it most, for being a stellar example of a life-long learner, and for being a great colleague — I am honored to present the Aspire! Award for CURIOSITY to Vera Kidd.

2017-2018 Aspirations Breakfasts*

December 1, 2017
Owens Banquet Room, 8-10 a.m.

*Registration is required to attend the Breakfast.

Aspire! Awards History

Past Recipients

October 27, 2017 Recipients

Jordan Kuhn - Curiosity
Joseph Walker - Self-Understanding and Integrity
Harley Curran - Civility
Fahad Ashraf - Courageous Leadership
Julia Monroe - Ut Prosim

Laurie Fritsch – Curiosity

April 21, 2017 Recipients

Bobby Hollingsworth - Curiosity
Annemarie Bresson - Self-Understanding and Integrity
Christopher Bardo - Civility
Nala Chehade - Courageous Leadership
Elizabeth Galbreath - Ut Prosim

Hillary KovacsUt Prosim

Robert and Kara JuliusUt Prosim
Jerry Colyer [posthumous award] – Ut Prosim

March 17, 2017 Recipients

Mitch Clements - Curiosity
Samantha Nichole DiBiaso - Self-Understanding and Integrity
Maria Jernigan - Civility
Manjot Kaur - Courageous Leadership
Stephen Pistoia, Jr. - Ut Prosim

Lt. Tony Haga – Courageous Leadership

February 17, 2017 Recipients

Danielle Jeffers - Curiosity
Colleen McGovern - Self-Understanding and Integrity
Min Kyung “Julie” Sim - Civility
Lamont “Gucci” Livingston - Courageous Leadership
Jacob Long - Ut Prosim

Alece Alderson – Civility

November 4, 2016 Recipients

Rhiannon Hasenauer - Ut Prosim
Zack Sever - Civility
David Gardner - Courageous Leadership
Zachary Hoopes - Curiosity
Bridger Johnson - Self-Understanding and Integrity

Jon Fritsch – Self-Understanding and Integrity

October 7, 2016 Recipients

Zachariah Ewen - Ut Prosim
Jordan Evans - Civility
Megan Lee Myklegard - Courageous Leadership
Alex Hamilton - Curiosity
Bryan Faulkner - Self-Understanding and Integrity

Catherine Cotrupi – Curiosity

April 22, 2016 Recipients
Samantha Hall - Ut Prosim
Charelle Berry - Civility
Audrey Semel - Courageous
Jess King - Curiosity
Mike Schoka - Self-Understanding
and Integrity

Frances KeeneUt Prosim

John GrahamUt Prosim

March 18, 2016 Recipients
Joe Frazier – Civility
Nina Miller – Self-Understanding
and Integrity
Jacob Rosenthal – Curiosity
Haley BurgessUt Prosim
Tanushri Shankar – Courageous

Susan Anderson – Courageous

February 19, 2016 Recipients
Javier González-Rocha – Self-Understanding and Integrity
Obaid Rehman – Civility
Claire Kelling – Courageous
Meghan McLoughlinUt Prosim
Erica Nagotko – Curiosity

Anthony Purcell – Civility

November 13, 2015 Recipients
Kelsi Faley – Self-Understanding
and Integrity
Nivedha Balan – Civility
Rachel Cotton – Courageous
Ryan HopkinsUt Prosim
Caroline Amodeo – Curiosity

Gladys Sartin– Self-Understanding
and Integrity

October 2, 2015 Recipients
Walter Gonsiewski – Self-Understanding
and Integrity
Seyi Olusina – Civility
Skyler Mueller – Courageous
Anastasia MatusiewiczUt Prosim
Natasha Laramie – Curiosity

Vera Kidd – Curiosity

April, 2015 Recipients
Ankit Saigal – Curiosity
Baker Martin – Courageous
Nicole Selz
Self-Understanding and Integrity
Brett MontagueUt Prosim
Conor Cosgrove – Civility

Residence Life Resource Officer John TarterUt Prosim

Robby MoserUt Prosim

March, 2015 Recipients
Juan de la Rosa Diaz – Courageous
Jamaica Sykes – Curiosity
Luke Birch
Self-Understanding and Integrity
Jake VoorheesUt Prosim
Turki Saad Al-Zahrani – Civility

Captain Jim Snyder – Courageous Leadership

February, 2015 Recipients
Catherine Goggins – Courageous
Allison Laclede – Curiosity
Samuel Aguilar Chavez
Self-Understanding and Integrity
Larissa PeraraUt Prosim
Lauren Cashman – Civility

Jay Read – Civility

November 14, 2014 Recipients
Andrew George – – Courageous
Esther Moon – Curiosity
Kaleigh Leal – Self-Understanding
and Integrity
Stephen Bennett Ut Prosim
Philip Norman – Civility

Scott Busiel – Self–understanding and Integrity

October 3, 2014 Recipients
Patrick AckerUt Prosim
Ethan Poole – Civility
Danielle Smalls – Courageous
Emily Neer – Curiosity
Austin Dickey – Self-Understanding
and Integrity

Robin Boucher – Curiosity

April 25, 2014 Recipients
Brent AshleyUt Prosim
Anna Isserow – Civility
Daniel Evans – Courageous
Jacalyn Polis – Curiosity
Neal Moriconi – Self-Understanding
and Integrity

Tricia SmithUt Prosim

March 21, 2014 Recipients
Meredith Cahill
Natasha Chadha
Wes Williams
Emma Cohen
Emily Blair

Belinda Pauley

February 21, 2014 Recipients
Meghan Gilliam
Steven Gethard
Kylie Gilbert
Ashley Taylor
Emily Brown

Kelley Woods-Johnson

November 8, 2013 Recipients
Jordan Disney
Kelly Berry
Daniel Pierce-Parra
Anusha Rizvi
Camryn Sorg

Lyndsy Manz

October 11, 2013 Recipients
Rob Grimm
John Turbyfill
Brendan Craig
Thomas Friss
Chris Atkins

Meredith Hampton