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Inclusive Excellence at Virginia Tech

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Building Inclusive Excellence in the
Sciences at Virginia Tech

Improving the learning environments for students from underrepresented regions of Virginia and all students in the Virginia Tech sciences. We work to foster inclusion and success through inclusive pedagogy, addressing implicit biases and issues of climate in STEM classrooms and creating curricular paths that are flexible and embedded with high impact practices.

September 8, 2020

This past weekend, Virginia Tech hosted its annual Gobblerfest as a virtual event. As many of you know, Gobblerfest introduces new students to the hundreds of student clubs and organizations to welcome new participation. One of these organizations is the Black Students in STEM (BSS) organization. Unfortunately, the BSS experienced an incident of "Zoom bombing" where racist chants were yelled during the group's live Gobblerfest session, realizing the worst fears of a hate crime that can be perpetuated in a public, live cyber event.

The university's response has been swift and appropriate both in terms of reaching out in support of the BSS students and in launching a formal investigation.

Sadly, this incident underscores the necessity and urgency of our inclusive excellence work. Our Inclusive Excellence team remains committed to the building long-term, sustained changes to improve our curricula, culture, and climate to make the university more welcoming and inclusive for all of our students, especially those historically marginalized in STEM and in higher education. While we wholly condemn this attack on the BSS, we know that our words are meaningless without action. We are grateful for the opportunity to be a part of the Inclusive Excellence initiative and for the progress we have made to date, but remain unaccepting of a university climate where events like this are even a possbility. We will continue to grapple with how our work fits into a broader social justice movement and to remain humble as we learn to recognize our own privilege, biases, and ignorance as we strive to do better.

Fall 2020 COVID-19 Update:

The offices within Undergraduate Education will operate primarily remotely during the Fall 2020 semester. Our office in 104 Burruss Hall is staffed from 8:00 a.m. to noon and 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 Monday through Friday. For assistance, call 540-231-3580.

The Summer Institute 2021

May 18 & 19  

The 2021 Summer Institute will examine how recognizing all dimensions of a person can lead to greater persistence and success—for the student, faculty member, and University. In this spirit, Academic Affairs joins with Student Affairs to present two days of practical sessions to help us understand student challenges, care for ourselves, and ultimately, create better outcomes from our efforts.

The program is sponsored by a grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.
Read more about the program.