October 2022 Newsletter

Nuggets of Wisdom

Bruce Hayden, Associate Dean of Student with son Austin, class of 2022

Greetings from Radford University! 

My name is Bruce Hayden and I serve as the Associate Dean of Students. In addition to my role as Associate Dean, I am a proud Highlander Alum (class of 93 and 95).  My wife and son are both Radford Alum and my daughter is currently a junior at Radford University Carillion. 

I was asked to submit an article due to my unique connections I have to RU. When I agreed to write this article, I thought this will be easy I could easily pull out a couple of nuggets of wisdom to share with Radford families.  I could talk about developmental theory of this age student or about how being connected to organizations and the community can lead to higher retention and graduation rates. 

All of this information is important and can be interesting but then it hit me, what would I want to hear as a parent or family member?  I thought about what advice I could give given my unique perspective as an Alumni, Administrator, and parent.  It then dawned on me, that during all my conversations with students, and even my own kids there was one common denominator.  That common denominator is support

One of the most important things a family member can do to help their student succeed is to let them know you support them and are there for them.  Students will go through a lot of different experiences and struggles in college, some of them positive and some of them challenging. Letting them know you are in their corner goes a long way.

Tips for supporting your student:

  • Talk to them about the resources on campus that can help support them academically and emotionally. The Dean of Students office is a great office to start with and can connect students to resources.
  • Ask them about there classes. Instead of asking “How are you doing in your Chemistry class?”  which will usually get the answer of “fine”. Say instead, “What are you learning in your Chemistry class?”.
  • Give them the ability and grace to solve a problem. If you are like me, when situations come up with my kids I want to tell them how to fix it.  I have to stop myself and ask them, what do they think needs to happen. We then develop a plan and I let them take ownership and have them try to resolve it. 
  • Let them know no matter what you are proud of them.  So many times, students place their own self-worth in academics and lets be honest college is hard.  Small wins are important to a students self-esteem.

Raising a student in college is hard and can produce its own challenges. Remember that the Dean of Students Office is here to partner with you and advocate for your students success.  If you have any questions please do not hesitate to reach out.

In Highlander Spirit,

Bruce Hayden, Associate Dean of Students 

The Power of Resilience

Employee helping student set goals for the year

Resilience is an important component of succeeding in college and life. The American Psychological Association defines resilience as “the process and outcome of successfully adapting to difficult or challenging life experiences, especially through mental, emotional, and behavioral flexibility and adjustment to external and internal demands.” The need to cope with unexpected challenges and obstacles related to studying, social life, physical and mental health, and academic performance is frequent for today’s students. Radford University is committed to assisting students with developing successful coping mechanisms to adapt and overcome these and other challenges.

Below are three ways you can partner with us in developing this important skill that will help your student succeed at Radford and beyond:

1.      Encourage goal setting – without clarity around goals, students may quickly give in to feelings of being overwhelmed or unprepared. Ask open-ended questions about their plans for this month, this semester, and this academic year. Identifying a timeline will help your student clarify their goals, determine next steps, and take action to relieve potential anxiety about their future. Academic advisors and career coaches in the Highlander Success Center, as well as faculty and staff, can meet with your student to help identify appropriate goals and timelines.

2.      Reinforce healthy behaviors – maintaining a regular sleep schedule, properly hydrating, eating a well-rounded diet, and exercising regularly all help your student manage stress more efficiently. Engaging with the evolving therapy dog program on campus, enjoying Student Rec and Wellness activities and outdoor programs, participating in E-sports or a club of interest, and dining with friends at Dalton are example behaviors that can support a healthy well-being.

3.      Identify stressors and develop healthy coping skills – research studies reveal that mental health challenges among young adults have greatly increased since the pandemic. The Let’s Talk program and other support offered by Student Counseling Services, attending social events to build community with others, practicing mindfulness and relaxation techniques, and limiting exposure to news intake can aid in coping with students’ stressors.

The Highlander Success Center looks forward to continued partnership with you and the Radford University campus community in developing your student’s resilience and potential to thrive. 

Halloween Care Packages

Halloween Care Packages available

The Residence Hall Association and National Residence Hall Honorary is offering Halloween Care Packages! Orders can be placed at www.swaku.edu/radford. The deadline is October 12th!

A Note of Gratitude

It was a sincere pleasure to host 1,600 Radford family members during the 2022 Family Weekend celebrations! While many of you came in from Virginia (with Central and Northern being highest represented) about 14% came in from out of state. Your feedback let us know that our dining options were fantastic and that the first-ever Family Weekend Festival was a big hit! We'll be sure to continue and grow that event. We need to expand more time for the Muse Rooftop Tours, keep the dog show, and maintain the photo shoot.  And RUC families were happy to see events in Roanoke this year as well.

If you have not yet had time to complete the feedback survey you can do so here: https://radford.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_9vnilZIvaRAk34O

Thank you sincerely! We can't wait to host you again next fall!


Additional Academic Support Available

Looking for ways your student can boost their grades at Radford? We have a great solution for you.  From October 7, 2022 – December 2, 2022, students can take UNIV 150, an academic support class for students with midterm grades or overall academic performance that falls below a 2.0-grade point average. The one-credit hour course meets twice weekly for one hour each class session and teaches students academic and social strategies to improve their grades. The course is interactive, supportive, and, most of all, centered on your student’s academic needs and support. We encourage you to speak with your student about their current grades, which are available to them online, and encourage them to register for the course if they have grades of C- or less in a course or a total grade point average is below 2.0. Students can let us know they want to take the class by completing this survey.

Student Spotlight: Tanner Barrs


Tanner Barrs, Senior Business Management major with a concentration in entrepreneurship, Abingdon VA

When a student decides they want to play collegiate athletics, they must make big decisions earlier than their peers. When I was looking at schools, Radford seemed right for me because it felt like home. It is only 1 hour and 20 minutes from where I grew up, so it seemed like a great spot for me. The class sizes were exactly what I was looking for because it felt like my professors really cared about me and got to know me. I was never interested in going to a large school, and Radford was a great fit. Being closer to home, I knew people that had attended Radford that I spoke to before I made my decision, and they only had great things to say. Everyone always spoke so highly of Radford, so I had a good mindset when I came to tour and that’s then I knew it was the school I wanted to attend.

Being on the Baseball team, I was involved right when I got to campus. Through my sport I had the opportunity to meet some great people right away, and from that I was able to get further involved. I became a member of FCA with Radford Athletics, which gave a different way to get to know people that are a part of many of our D1 teams. I have also been able to become involved through my business major. I am a member of Beta Gamma Sigma. I feel like this honor society has helped me network with many people and help with my growth as a professional.

A person who has been very important to my time at Radford is Allison McCoy. She is our Director of Student Athlete Support Services. Allison is a person who I can always talk to and rely on. She has made such a significant difference during my college career because she has helped me with all the resources that I have needed during my three years here and I know that she will always be there when I need someone.

If I was giving a freshman advice, I would tell them to really focus on getting involved. It’s a great way to meet new people, make lifelong friends, and know people in the professional world after college. I would also really stress focusing on grades during freshman year. It’s very easy to slack and not focus since there is not as much structure as there is in high school, but keeping a good GPA early makes it so much less stressful later in college.

I am very thankful that I have chosen Radford to be my home for four years and I will always speak highly of the staff, the campus, and the other students.

Upcoming Dates To Remember

Find events to engage your Highlander at https://calendar.radford.edu/

Friday, October 21stDeadline to submit FAFSA for Fall 2022 aidFinancial Aid Office
Friday, October 14thMid-term grades due from faculty 
Friday, October 28thLast day to withdraw from one or more (but not all) classes with a grade of "W" 
Tuesday, November 1st Foundation Scholarship Application OpensRadford University Foundation
Wednesday, November 2ndFoundation Scholarship Applicatin opens for Fall 2023-2024Radford University Foundation
November 19 - 27Thanksgiving Break - (most) Residence halls are closedHousing & Residential Life
Friday, December 2ndLast day of classes 
December 5 - 8Fall Exams 
Friday, December 9thGraduate Hooding Ceremony 
Friday, December 9thMulticultural CongratulatoryCenter for Diversity and Inclusion
Saturday, December 10thUndergraduate Commencement 
January 3rdPriority deadline for the Financial Aid Office to receive Private Education loan certification requests or Parent PLUS loan applications to assist with spring charges.Financial Aid Office
Monday, January 16thMLK Day of ServiceCenter for Diversity and Inclusion
Tuesday, January 17thFirst day of spring semester classes 
February 1Priority FAFSA deadline for 2023-2024 school yearFinancial Aid Office