- From the Vice President for Student Affairs
- Upcoming dates and deadlines
- An important conversation
- Experienced it: a journey through my time at Virginia Tech
- 2013 Family of the Year
- 2013 Spring Commencement
- Check-out process for campus residents
- On-campus summer housing and dining plans
- Hokie Passport Services information
- From the office of the University Bursar
- University scholarships and financial aid information
- Summer break “to do list” from Career Services
- Say “thank you” to a Virginia Tech teacher
- It’s not too late for graduating seniors to order their 2013 class rings
- Clinical study: Services for Students with Disabilities and the Department of Psychology
- Schiffert Health Center announces fall flu clinic and immunization program
- Save the date: Fall Family Weekend will take place September 27–29, 2013
- Enter the Home Sweet Home recipe contest
- Unsubscribing from the Hokie Parent E-news
- Want even more news about Virginia Tech?
From the Vice President for Student Affairs
“Commencement” is a word with multiple meanings, and in higher education it is a word laden with significance and emotion. The commencement ceremony is the capstone of a student’s college career, and it signals the end of an academic year. But the word commencement also signifies a beginning, the start of something—hopefully, the start of something new, exciting, challenging, and fulfilling.
It is hard to believe the 2012-2013 academic year is almost over, and that we will say farewell to more than 5,000 bright, enthusiastic, unique students who have reached a milestone in their Virginia Tech experience. You will note that I say “a milestone in” rather than “an end to” their Virginia Tech experience. That’s because the Hokie Nation is strong and vibrant. Through the Alumni Association, career networks, social media, Student Affairs and other reunions, and simple pride, once you are a part of the Hokie family, you are always a member. That goes for Virginia Tech parents as well. If you have a graduating student, congratulations! Please keep in touch with the university community. You are as much a part of the Hokie Nation as your son or daughter, and we hope you will continue to support the university in all its endeavors.
This is a jam-packed edition of the Hokie Parent E-news, with information on graduation, spring semester wrap-up, summer sessions, and financial aid for the 2013-2014 academic year. Nicholas Hyer of the Student Success Center is our guest columnist this month, with tips for talking to your student about how the spring semester went. And lest we forget why we do what we do, we have included an essay by a graduating senior, who reflects on his Virginia Tech experience. It will give you an idea of how much a student learns outside the classroom, and how involvement in the Virginia Tech community can develop leadership skills and character.
Just a reminder: the Hokie Parent E-news will be on hiatus for the months of June and July (but we won’t be!). Look for information pertaining to fall semester when we resume publication in August. If you have questions, or if we can assist you in any way, please don’t hesitate to contact our Director of Parent and Alumni Relations, Penny Helms White, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 540-231-6272.
Whatever your plans, I hope you, your student, and your entire family have a wonderful summer.
Patty Perillo, Ph.D.
Vice President for Student Affairs
Upcoming dates and deadlines
- May 8: last day of classes
- May 9: reading day
- May 10–15: exams
- May 15: spring dining plans end at 8:00 p.m.
- May 16: class of 2013 Grad Bash
- May 17–19: Spring Commencement
- May 28: summer I classes begin
- June 1: dining plan sign-up begins for fall 2013
- June 14: deadline to accept federal student loans
- June 24–27: transfer orientation
- July 4: Independence Day—no classes
- July 8–26: first-year orientation
- July 9: summer II classes begin
An important conversation
Nicholas Hyer, assistant director, the Student Success Center
Students are filled with many options over the summer. Some will come home for some much needed rejuvenation and relaxation. Others will set off for internships and summer jobs to gain valuable experience. Another group will choose to remain on campus and continue their academic pursuits during our summer sessions. Finally, for the proudest parents reading this, many have graduated and are headed to graduate school or to their first professional job. For them, we say, CONGRATULATIONS!
For those of you who still have a student enrolled at Virginia Tech, it is critical that you have a conversation about how this last semester went. Most students will reply with short, one word answers such as, “okay,” “good,” or “great.” Try to dig deeper—not to pry or to interrogate, but just to have an honest conversation about grades and social life. If your student confides in you that the grades weren’t as good as they had hoped, be encouraging and suggest that they seek out assistance for their next semester. That assistance comes in many forms, including the Student Success Center (SSC). We are eager to guide students with the tools and information they need to get the most out of their college experience. For more information on our programs, such as tutoring, seminars on academic success, and individual academic assistance, please visit the SSC website or call our office at 540 231-5499.
Experienced it: a journey through my time at Virginia Tech
By Reid Jason Griffler of Gaithersburg, Md., a senior double majoring in communication in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences and psychology in the College of Science.
A long time ago when the (now outdated) iPhone 4 dominated the technology market, a massive oil spill paralyzed the Gulf of Mexico, and the Winter Olympics began in Vancouver, I participated in my very first Greeks Giving Back at Virginia Tech. Yes, 2010 was a big year for me.
- Began it: Greeks Giving Back is a Greek-run community service event held every fall. The 2010 event was the second year for Greeks Giving Back at Virginia Tech, and seeing 700 Greeks gathered to complete 200 jobs throughout the community was something I had never imagined. Basically, Greeks are assigned various tasks requested by Blacksburg residents who need help—things such as gardening, raking leaves, cleaning, window washing, and mulching. I decided the only right thing to do was to give back to the community that has given so much to me. My task was to trim bushes and trees with three of my pledge brothers at an elderly couple’s home. I had a blast. The husband and wife helped out as much as possible. They even brought out snacks and drinks to keep us energized. Little did I know this one event would spark my involvement with Fraternity and Sorority Life within the Division of Student Affairs at Virginia Tech.
- Joined it: Shortly thereafter, I was notified via email that Greeks Giving Back was accepting applications for their executive board. With only one year’s experience working with the event, I wasn’t sure if I had a snowball’s chance in making it. But I decided to apply for the position of communications director. Sounded like a good entry level position to get my foot in the door, creating opportunity to move up. The interview went great. I was qualified to answer every question thrown at me, and I walked out of there feeling confident. Later that week, I heard back from the director, who asked me if I was comfortable taking on a higher role as the assistant director of Greeks Giving Back. Without hesitation, I accepted the offer and told the board I was ready to learn everything I needed to know to succeed.
- Planned it: Throughout that semester, I worked hand-in-hand with the director and other executive board members to create the biggest and best Greeks Giving Back yet. We interviewed about 50 committee members to help out with fundraising, logistics, and student outreach. In order to raise money and awareness of the event, we created a corn-hole tournament and raised about $500, a respectable amount for an inaugural event.
- Completed it: Fall 2011 arrived, and the big day had come. Overall, we raised a total of $3,000, and had roughly 200 jobs under our belts. It was an amazing accomplishment. The day ran smoothly, and every job was completed. Watching the event come together was surreal. I wanted more. Only a few weeks later, applications were due for the next executive board. Just a year after participating in the event, I was applying for the director of the fourth Greeks Giving Back. Pretty exciting—and just like that, I was named co-director with the community liaison director from the previous year. She and I immediately began working on ways to make our Greeks Giving Back the best one yet. Throughout the next year, we were in charge of picking out our executive board, committee members, meeting times, and dates.
- Increased it: First order of business was to set goals. We wanted to double the money raised, increase the number of participants to 1,000, and increase the number of jobs to 250. Fast forward a year—we achieved all of our goals. The event ran even more smoothly than the previous year, and Greeks Giving Back was a success. The connections I created through my role as director pulled me further into the Division of Student Affairs.
- Connected it: Shortly after the event, I was studying for an exam at a local coffee shop. I overheard the woman next to me speaking with the barista about her job writing news stories and taking photos for Virginia Tech. Being the curious communication major I am, I was inclined to ask her what her job was. Meet the associate director of Communications and Marketing for the Division of Student Affairs, and cue my interest in getting to know more about the job. After a few minutes of speaking with her, I asked for her email address. I sent over my resume and portfolio, and thanked her for speaking with me about her job. And just like that, I was invited to come in for an interview for an intern position.
- Landed it: I began the internship excited to see what assignments I would be working on. Little did I know the networking opportunities I would be given with this position. I worked on stories such as Schiffert Health Center and Cook Counseling Center’s national reaccreditations, the Campus Alcohol Abuse Prevention Center’s Party Positive campaign, the opening of new restaurants on campus, Housing and Residential Life’s new honors programs, and various student awards, all of which were published on Virginia Tech’s website. I was invited to give campus tours to visitors, and took photographs of students volunteering at the Head Start program. I knew I would gain experience through the internship, but I never thought I would meet as many people and learn as much as I have in just under a year. The opportunity given to me by the Division of Student Affairs has been priceless and has given me the edge I need to compete in the real world.
2013 Family of the Year
Before a cheering crowd of thousands at Virginia Tech’s spring game, the Division of Student Affairs introduced the 2013 Family of the Year. The Family of the Year award is presented by the Division of Student Affairs to acknowledge the people who are so important to our students—as mentors, collaborators, friends, advocates, and guides. This award honors a parent, family member, or family of a current Virginia Tech student who has made a significant impact on the student’s college success.
We got a flood of nominations and read stories that ranged from heart-warming to heart-breaking, and everything in between. In her nomination, Erin Helbling, a junior majoring in marketing, said that Karen and Scott Neher opened their home to her, and became the loving, kind, and understanding parents she never had. She wrote, “They treated me like one of their own. They have helped me in every way possible, from managing my finances, to dealing with the daily stress of the college grind, to offering advice in difficult situations, and giving encouragement when needed. They generously and unselfishly took me in, and have guided me every step of the way in my journey at Virginia Tech. I can honestly say I have no idea where I would be without them.” Erin also gave her family the highest honor when she wrote, “They are the people I look up to, and the people I strive to be like, more and more, each and every day. They embody Virginia Tech’s motto: Ut Prosim (That I May Serve).”
Congratulations to the 2013 Division of Student Affairs Family of the Year—Karen and Scott Neher, Erin Helbling, and her brothers Jacob and Caleb. See photos at the Family of the Year website.
2013 Spring Commencement
Congratulations to all of our spring graduates! We are so proud of all of our wonderful students who graduate this semester! We know they will do great things and will help spread the Hokie spirit far and wide. The 2013 Spring Commencement guide was recently released and is now on available as a printable download on the commencement website. It contains information on times, locations, ticketing, seating, and parking for those attending spring graduation.
Check-out process for campus residents
Spring semester 2013 is rapidly coming to an end and it’s time to make plans for check-out. Students will be asked to register their expected check-out times and have plans for departure within 24 hours of their last exam but no later than Thursday, May 16 at noon, unless they are involved in the Spring Commencement exercises. Students who are graduating, have an immediate family member graduating, or are part of the actual event must check out no later than Sunday, May 19 at noon. Exception requests must be made using this online form under the heading “Spring 2013.” Spring dining plans end Wednesday, May 15 at 8 p.m.
On-campus summer housing and dining plans
On-campus summer housing is still available! Students who have previously signed up for summer housing are able to transition into their summer spaces, but we are still able to accept student requests for summer housing up to the day of check-in on Sunday, May 26. Additional information on summer housing options is available on the summer housing website. Visit the university summer sessions website for more information about summer tuition and classes.
To sign up for summer housing, download the summer housing/dining contract. If your student is living off-campus, download the dining plan form.
To purchase a summer 2013 dining plan, students must visit Hokie Passport Services at 100 Student Services Building on campus or complete and mail in the form provided in the summer housing packet. Sign-up for summer dining plans is not available online. Summer dining plans begin Sunday May 26, 2013 at 4:01 p.m. For more information, visit the summer dining plan website.
Hokie Passport Services information
As a final reminder, please note that all initial spring 2013 dining plan funds and any rollover dining plan funds must be spent by May 15, 2013. Flex Additions, however, will carry from semester to semester as long as the student has one of the three major dining plans, otherwise they will revert to Dining Dollars. Hokie Passport funds and Dining Dollars will remain on a student’s account until graduation or formal separation from Virginia Tech.
- Graduating students: upon graduation, students may be eligible for a refund of Hokie Passport/Dining Dollars/Flex Additions accounts. The university will refund the remaining credit balance on the accounts, less a $15.00 refund-processing fee per account.
- Fall 2013 dining plans: sign-up for fall 2013 dining plans through HokieSPA begins June 1, 2013. On-campus students will default to the Major Flex plan but may change their dining plan (between Major, Mega, and Premium Flex) during the sign-up period. Is your student moving off-campus next year? That doesn’t mean they can’t enjoy the same great food they did last year. Off-campus students at Virginia Tech purchase more than 9,000 dining plans each year. The university offers these students the same great plans available to on-campus student, plus a few additional plans designed for the off-campus lifestyle. Check out the options at the Dining Services website.
Visit the Hokie Passport website or call Hokie Passport Services at 540 231-5121 if you have questions or need additional information.
From the office of the University Bursar
2013–2014 tuition, fees, room, and dining plan rates are now available online at www.bursar.vt.edu. Summer 2013 tuition and fees rates are charged per credit hour. There is no cap on the number of credit hours charged. The 2013–2014 budget tuition plan will be available online for enrollment through students’ HokieSPA on July 1 for the fall term and December 1 for the spring term. The application cost per term is $35.
University scholarships and financial aid information
The financial aid process for 2013-2014 is in full swing. After receiving the financial aid application (FAFSA) from you, we will request additional information if necessary. If no additional information is requested, we will award financial aid and notify the student. If we request additional information, please make sure it is submitted as quickly as possible as we cannot continue with the awarding process until we receive all requested items. Students should closely monitor their Virginia Tech email and HokieSPA for requests from the University Scholarships and Financial Aid office.
Students who want to receive federal student loan funds must accept them through the Hokie SPA by June 14. Loans not accepted by this date will be canceled. Instructions on how to accept the loans are located in the award notice sent to the student and also available on the HokieSPA by going to “Financial aid information,” then “My award information,” then “Award package by aid year.”
Summer financial aid awarding began in early April. Students should enroll in summer classes as quickly as possible to be considered for summer aid. The University Scholarships and Financial Aid office will automatically review students for possible aid options once they are registered for classes. Review for aid eligibility is automatic, no additional application is necessary. Summer ends the 2012-2013 academic year and funding options may be limited.
We encourage parents to subscribe to our monthly email newsletter, Flash.mail. This publication has news from the University Scholarships and Financial Aid office, as well as deadlines, scholarship listings, and information from the University Bursar’s office.
Summer break “to do list” from Career Services
Where did the academic year go? The lazy, hazy, days of summer are all most here, and while we want our students to enjoy their time away from Virginia Tech, here is a list of items to help them prepare for their return in the fall.
- Are they traveling? Encourage your student to take their resume with them. They never know who they may meet while they are on the road. Now is the perfect time for them to update their resume or if they don’t have one, create it! Assistance in developing their resume is available through the resume guide website.
- Is their summer job already lined up? Encourage them to add a volunteer experience to their schedule. In the spirit of Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), they can give back to their community, develop their skills, and expand their network. Employers love to see volunteer experience on resumes!
- Students can research what they could do with their major after they graduate. Here are some great sites to get them started:
Please encourage your student to visit Career Services for any of their career development needs.
Say “thank you” to a Virginia Tech teacher
As the spring semester comes to an end, do you know a teacher at Virginia Tech who has:
- Challenged your student’s view of the world?
- Taught your student something new and inspiring?
- Encouraged and taken an active interest in your student’s learning?
Want to say thanks? We can help. Thanking a teacher is easy with the Center for Instructional Development and Educational Research (CIDER) Thank a Teacher program. Simply fill out our online form, including one or two sentences expressing your appreciation, and we'll send your student’s professor, instructor, or graduate teaching assistant a thank you note. You can even do it anonymously. Visit the Thank a Teacher website.
It’s not too late for graduating seniors to order their 2013 class rings
The last campus sale dates for this spring are:
- Thursday, May 16 at Grad Bash, Holtzman Alumni Center Lawn, noon to 3 p.m.
- Friday, May 17 at the Squires Porch on College Avenue, 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
- Saturday, May 18 at the Newman Library Plaza area near the University Bookstore, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
For more information, visit the class ring website.
Clinical study: Services for Students with Disabilities and the Department of Psychology
Families of Students on the Spectrum: Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) is conducting a clinical study with the Department of Psychology to gather information on the needs of students at Virginia Tech. Please consider completing a brief survey. The link to the survey and additional information can be found at the SSD website. There will also be a special clinical treatment study conducted in 2013-2014 for students with high-functioning autism or autism spectrum disorder. Please contact Robyn Hudson in SSD at email@example.com for additional information.
Schiffert Health Center announces fall flu clinic and immunization program
The 2013 flu clinic will be held in McComas Hall Gym on October 2, 2013 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Please check the Schiffert Health Center website in September for further details.
Meningococcal vaccination: even though meningococcal disease is not very common, we want to protect our students from this risk. Meningococcal bacteria can cause severe disease including meningitis and sepsis, resulting in permanent disabilities and even death. Adolescents between the ages of 16 and 21 have the highest rates of contracting meningococcal disease. The State of Virginia requires students to have the meningococcal vaccination prior to entering Virginia Tech. Schiffert Health Center would like to encourage our students to receive this vaccination so they are protected in the unlikely event of an exposure.
Save the date: Fall Family Weekend will take place September 27–29, 2013
All Virginia Tech family members are invited to attend Family Weekend. During the weekend, parents and family will have an opportunity to experience student life and attend events provided by New Student and Family Programs. This exciting weekend of events is designed for Hokie families to connect with one another, become more familiar with campus, and spend time with their students. Registration will open Monday, August 5, 2013. More details will be available soon.
Enter the Home Sweet Home recipe contest
Don’t miss your chance to enter the Dining Services Home Sweet Home recipe contest. The deadline is July 28. Share your favorite recipes for a chance to win a two-night stay at the Inn at Virginia Tech for Family Weekend. An annual tradition, the contest, cookbook, and winners’ showcase brunch is a great opportunity to share your Hokie’s favorite foods. Recipes are judged by Dining Services and the winning dishes will be served during brunch on Sunday, September 29 as part of Family Weekend. Winning cooks receive a behind-the-scenes tour of D2 at Dietrick Hall, a personalized cutting board, a personalized cookbook, and their students receive $50 in Dining Dollars. One grand-prize winner will receive lodging at the Inn at Virginia Tech for two nights during Family Weekend. All recipes received will be included in this annual cookbook, which is distributed to all entrants and will be sold in select on-campus dining locations beginning Family Weekend. It’s easy to submit your recipes online. Deadline for entry is July 28, 2013
Unsubscribing from the Hokie Parent E-news
If you are the parent of a student who has graduated and no longer wish to subscribe to the monthly Hokie Parent E-news, visit the Parent E-news website and click on the red "subscribe" button beneath the left menu. Just make sure to check "unsubscribe" before submitting the form. If you have signed up for the Parent E-news with multiple email addresses, you will need to submit one form for each email address for it to work properly.
Want even more news about Virginia Tech?
Virginia Tech News and Information offers a daily email that serves as your connection to the latest Virginia Tech news and information. Delivered overnight, Monday through Friday, it includes the latest news, campus notices, events, and Blacksburg weather forecast, with extensive links to the Virginia Tech News website for detailed coverage. The student edition email is distributed every Wednesday during the academic year to all Virginia Tech students. Faculty, staff, parents, alumni, and those interested in receiving either the daily or weekly email can subscribe online.
Comments or suggestions for future issues of Hokie Parent e-news? Send them to DSA Parent and Alumni Relations.