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Fall & Winter Plans

Spring flowers bloom from bushes in front of a Virginia Tech building. Photo credit: Christina Franusich/Virginia Tech

Last updated on August 21, 2020 at 12:35 pm

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our team has implemented a number of changes to our operations. During the fall semester and through winter break, all our experiences will be virtual.

Our hope is that the spring semester will bring us closer to “normal” VT Engage operations and at that time, we will be able to offer at least some in-person experiences again. You'll find all of our offerings listed on our calendar. Please see below for more information.

To remain up to date on this evolving situation, we encourage all Hokies to visit the following links:

If you are experiencing any issues from this crisis, particularly related to paying for bills, food, and rent, as well as any issues related to your courses, please contact the Dean of Students office at dean.students@vt.edu or 540-231-3787.

The Dean of Students office has an emergency assistance grants program available to students. Learn more about these grants and fill out the contact form on their website.

As of August 3, our office is physically open, but we encourage potential visitors to call or email us to schedule an appointment. Our team can be reached at 540-231-9798 or engage@vt.edu during regular business hours (Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.)

Looking for someone specific? Head to our team page for contact information. Not sure who to contact? Check out the list below.

Our list of program managers for our most frequently inquired about programs is below.

  • Campus Kitchen & Get on the Bus: Kas Church at kasc@vt.edu or 540-231-1113
  • Alternative Breaks / Service Immersion Trips: Jes Davis at jesdavis@vt.edu or 540-231-6947
  • Media Requests: Lindsey Gleason at lgleason@vt.edu or 540-231-97978
  • Global Trips & Co-Curricular International Approvals: Meghan Weyrens Kuhn at mweyrens@vt.edu or 540-231-1356
  • Community organization interested in partnering with us? Catherine Cotrupi at cotrupi@vt.edu or 540-231-9186
  • Faculty Engagement: Catherine Cotrupi at cotrupi@vt.eduu or 540-231-1356

During the fall semester and through winter break, all our experiences will be virtual. Our hope is that the spring semester will bring us closer to “normal” VT Engage operations and at that time, we will be able to offer at least some in-person experiences again.

Our team decided to go completely virtual to protect you and our community members. While we are all disappointed that we will not be together in person, this has given us opportunities to think, engage, and connect in different ways.

What will we offer online?

Virtual experiences will include our Student Leadership Program (STEP UP), the I WILL Institute (Inspiring Women In Lifelong Leadership), our voter engagement efforts, and virtual skill-building sessions. You'll find all of our offerings listed on our calendar.

What will we not offer this fall and winter?

Unfortunately, we will not be offering in-person opportunities with Campus Kitchen or our half- and day-long service projects (our Get On The Bus program.)

We will also not offer any fall break, weekend, or week-long trips, including our trips to the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico.

Ut Prosim is a motto that Hokies care deeply about. And in a crisis, many of us feel compelled to help even more than we might normally. Here are some ways you can help others, without having to leave your home.

  1. Stay home as much as possible. We know that it might not feel like it’s a helping act to stay at home, but it is. So often service looks like doing something active, but that’s not the only way to care for others. Right now, staying home whenever possible means you’re contributing to flattening the curve. This contributes to helping prevent our healthcare system from becoming overwhelmed by COVID-19 patients.
  2. Fill out the census. Regardless of where you are currently living, if you are a student, it is critically important that you fill out the U.S. Census according to where you would have been living in Blacksburg this semester. The Census is conducted every 10 years – and the data collected has an enormous impact on how federal funds are distributed for essential services and how many representatives there are in Congress. All households are scheduled to have received at least one notice from the Census Bureau by April 1. Take a few minutes today to be counted!
  3. Check in with your people. Ask your neighbors if they need anything when you make a trip to the grocery store. Call or text someone you haven’t talked to in a while. Set up a video chat and have a meal together. Play games online with one another. Host a Netflix watch party. Write a letter.
  4. Offer your talents and skills to others. Could you create a lesson to share with kids in your community? Is there an organization that needs social media or website support? Could you share your musical talents with an online performance?
  5. Uplift issues you care about. Sign an online petition. Use social media to talk about something you’re passionate about. Call or email your representatives to let them know what you care about.
  6. Donate money or supplies. Here are three ideas: a) check out the United Way of the New River Valley’s list of nonprofit needs in the NRV region; b) consider making a donation to Virginia Tech’s student emergency fund. The fund is designed to help out Hokies who are experiencing things like food or housing issues; c) is there a nonprofit in your community that you care about? Whether they are directly addressing the crisis or not, they could always use support!

While many of your partnerships and your students’ projects haven’t been fully actualized yet, it is still possible to have a successful semester with your community partner. By moving away from transactional thinking regarding these projects, and moving towards more of a relationship, you and your partners can begin to reconsider this fall's work, and also plan for future semesters’ opportunities. Head to this page for more resources.

Questions about community-based learning courses can be directed to Catherine Cotrupi, Assistant Director for Campus and Community Engagement, at cotrupi@vt.edu or 540-231-9186.

Due to ongoing concerns around the COVID-19 pandemic, Virginia Tech has cancelled international programs through fall 2020. The university will continue to monitor the situation to determine whether further cancellations are necessary in winter 2020, spring 2021, etc.

if you have any questions or concerns about your co-curricular program, please contact Meghan Weyrens Kuhn, interim director, at mweyrens@vt.edu or 540-231-1356. Additionally, Global Education compiled a list of frequently asked questions related to travel during this crisis that may be useful.