March 2022 Newsletter

Building a Highlander Community

by Tricia S. Smith, Associate Vice President for Student Life

I’ve had the pleasure of serving at the Associate Vice President for Student Life at Radford University since 2018. And my absolute favorite part of my job is interacting with your students.  I cannot tell you how many times a lunch at Dalton led to an internship or a sidewalk chat connected a student to a critical campus resource.  These conversations always leave me grateful for the opportunity to share in this journey with so many incredible students.

Over my career, I’ve often reflected on what’s most important to college student success.  We are so lucky to have outstanding faculty, intensive research opportunities, robust programming, full access to health and wellness services, and so much more. Radford University is truly full of incredible opportunities for our students.  But that alone is not enough.

Finding, nurturing, and growing a community of support is where the magic happens.  Students need a faculty member who awakens them to new possibilities and passions. They need a Resident Assistant (RA) or a Peer Instructor (PI) who notices when they are “off” and immediately checks in. They need a club advisor who sees their potential and nudges them toward holding a leadership position. And they need a family member to cheer them on, process the incident, and help them make meaning of it all.

So thank you for being on this journey and in this community with us. It makes a big difference to your Highlander and to me.


The Center for Opportunity and Social Mobility

The Center for Opportunity and Social Mobility

The Center for Opportunity and Social Mobility (COSM) was created as a way to support first generation college students at Radford University, which make up over 30% of the student population. Our goal is to connect with trailblazers, pioneers, the courageous students who are among the first in their families to attend (and graduate from) a four-year college.

One of the keys to COSM’s success in connecting with students is the dynamic team of student staff that work in the center. These students not only assist visitors seeking support and resources, but also play a critical role in planning programs and events which ensures a student-centered approach.

Over the course of fall 2021, COSM hosted several major events including a grand opening reception, a luncheon for students and families during Family Weekend, and a Fall Palooza event with fall-themed crafts. These events helped students connect and find a sense of community. The center also partnered with departments across campus to offer workshops focused on financial and academic success to ensure knowledge gaps among first generation college students are filled. At the end of the semester, COSM celebrated National First Gen Day with a week of special events, including a First Gen student panel where several students shared their unique experiences on campus.

Recently the Center gained additional recognition as Radford University announced a top ranking among higher education institutions in Virginia for advancing the social mobility of its students. In its latest Social Mobility Index (SMI) rankings, CollegeNet, Inc., listed Radford at No. 3 in Virginia, making the university one of the top destinations in the commonwealth for students looking to graduate with less debt and pursue careers with higher salaries.

This semester, the Center for Opportunity and Social Mobility will continue to expand their reach by connecting with key members of the Radford University community to offer even more resources and programs to support first gen students.

For more information, follow the Center for Opportunity and Social Mobility on social media!


Radford student with potential employers.

The Center for Career and Talent Development

The start of a new semester brings a myriad of feelings to students both well into their college career and those just starting it. For many, some of those feelings and thoughts turn to life after school. For those looking to enter the workforce upon graduation, our Spring Career Fair offers you a wide range of companies looking to bring the Highlander talent to their organization. A plethora of internship and graduate school opportunities are on display at our career fair as well. As for our future educators, our Education Fair offers you the chance to look at all the places eager to hire Highlanders to shape the next generation.

In order to prepare our students, our career coaches are offering resume review sessions each Friday leading up both career fairs from 1 – 4 p.m. Students should also remember to register on Handshake for the events that meet their career plans.  


The Center for Accessbility Services

The Center for Accessibility Services (CAS) wants to remind you that we provide accommodations to students with diagnosed disabilities and temporary disabilities. Your student can still register with our offices, complete an interview with one of our Access Specialists, and receive accommodations for academics for the remainder of the semester. So, if your student is someone who has tried to “go it alone” and has a diagnosed disability, please remind them that their intelligence got them into Radford University, and that an accommodation is just a tool on their “utility belt “to help provide access so they can make their own successes! 

Traditions Week Banner

Save The Date - Traditions Week 2022

Traditions Week is an annual celebration of Radford University students!  The 2022 festivities will be held April 4th through April 9th.  Every student will recieve a personal invitation to participate in the event that correspondes with their Highlander journey. Participating in the class tradition is the only way to receive the class gift so they won't want to miss it!  You can find more information at and follow along with the celebrations using #RadfordTraditions on social media.

Important Dates & News