Welcome to the Virginia Tech Athletics Office of Student-Athlete Development website. The programs and services outlined are inspired by the NCAA Student Athlete Affairs Program: Athletic Excellence, Academic Excellence, Personal and Leadership Development, Community Service, and Career Development.

This academic year promises to be another successful year for Hokie student-athletes. The VT Athletics Office of Student-Athlete Development will work hard to fulfill outreach requests, provide thorough career guidance in cooperation with the Virginia Tech Career Services staff, and work closely with coaches, athletic staff, alumni and community members to support the mission of Virginia Tech Athletics. We are looking forward to another great year!

Hokie Happenings
Numerous Tech student-athletes using summer
to gain experience for future professions

The Office of Student-Athlete Development helped to
facilitate opportunities for certain internships

By Jimmy Robertson

For a slideshow on where some of Tech's student-athletes are doing internships this summer and what they're doing, please click here.

BLACKSBURG – Student-athletes use their summers to do any number of things, including working, taking classes, or working out in hopes of becoming a better athlete.

But the truly wise ones use the time to gain experience toward their future careers because, as most know and the NCAA slogan states, student-athletes often go pro in something other than sports.

Numerous Virginia Tech student-athletes are taking advantage of the summer months by working internships, including a small collection who are working in the athletics department as part of the Hokie L.E.A.D. Internship Program. This program, established by the department's Office of Student-Athlete Development, began in 2015 and provides unpaid opportunities to select Tech student-athletes with an interest in pursuing a future career in intercollegiate athletics.

The "L.E.A.D." acronym stands for learn, experience, achieve, and develop. The 10-week program provides more than just experience. It provides networking and mentoring opportunities, thus making Tech's student-athletes more marketable for future positions in college athletics. ... Read More

2015 Student-Athlete Career Jumpstart

The Office of Student-Athlete Development will host the 2015 Student-Athlete Career Jumpstart on Tuesday, February 10, 2015 in the Lane Stadium West Side 4th Floor President’s Suite and North Club Room. This two-part event is open exclusively to junior and senior Virginia Tech student-athletes and is composed of a career fair and etiquette dinner.

The Student-Athlete Career Fair is aimed at helping student-athletes prepare for career fairs and interviews by connecting them with professionals on the local and national level who can assist in their professional development.

The Networking Etiquette Dinner provides an opportunity for students to interact with employers while also learning proper dining and conversation etiquette in a professional setting. It also provides an opportunity for employers to connect with Virginia Tech student-athletes and potential future employees.

The following organizations will be in attendance:

  • Kohl's
  • PepsiCo
  • Federated Insurance
  • Enterprise Rent-A-Car
  • Maxim Healthcare Services
  • United States Marine Corps

  • TEK Systems
  • Southern Teachers Agency
  • Coca Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated
  • AIM Group
  • Peace Corps
  • PLS Logistics

Student-Athlete Development: Dominican Republic Blog

Thirteen Virginia Tech student-athletes are spending a portion of this summer in the Dominican Republic as part of a university-designed study abroad course about leadership and putting leadership initiatives into practice. The group will be visiting poorer parts of the country to work with underprivileged children. These student-athletes will be coordinating sports camps to expose kids there to different sports.

This year's class includes football players J.C.Coleman and T.J. Shaw, men's basketball players Christian Beyer and Will Johnston, lacrosse players Kelsey Allen and Jack Boissonneault, women's swimmers Blaire Kinsey and Katie Rogers, women's diver Katie Bean, women's soccer players Jordan Coburn and Morgan Conklin, women's cross country/track runner Alex Watt and volleyball player Jordan Fish.

Jon Jaudon, Tech's associate AD for administration and Danny White, director of student-athlete affairs are traveling with the group and coordinating activities with the Punta Cana Ecological Foundation, Deportes Para La Vida and the Peace Corps. This is the third year that Virginia Tech student-athletes have taken part in this study abroad opportunity.

Members of the group will be submitting blog entries each day to detail their experiences in the Dominican Republic. The group will arrive in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic on June 2, 2014.

May 26, 2017 - 4:32 pm
Student-Athlete Development: Rwanda Blog

Our last day in Rwanda was quite bittersweet. It was a day full of smiling faces but also some hard goodbyes, especially to the resilient and kind people of Rwanda. To prepare for the coming Field Day at KICS, all of us students met the previous night to organize our plan. We split Field Day into six activities: soccer, football, basketball/dodge ball, sharks and minos, relay races, and ultimate frisbee. After splitting ourselves into our respective activities and breaking down the two and a half hours, we felt confident in our Field Day plan. ... Read More

May 25, 2017 - 11:32 am
Student-Athlete Development: Rwanda Blog

We are quite the spectacle, a group of 15 people juggling a mix of footballs, basketballs, and soccer balls, laughing and talking about the P.E. class that awaits us as we walk to KICS. We continue to walk into the KICS P.E. space, now familiar with the concrete court that is set in the middle of the school’s courtyard. Each group set up with a large collection of cones, and even made time for a couple games of knock-out. ... Read More

May 24, 2017 - 11:26 am
Student-Athlete Development: Rwanda Blog

Today we completed our second day of PE class at KICS. We taught basketball, fútbol, and American football to kindergarten and second grade, totaling 29 students. We quickly ate lunch provided by KICS and returned to the hotel to get ready to leave for the NOC, Rwanda’s National Olympic Committee. Our first sight of the area was their large fútbol stadium highlighting their country’s colors of bright blue, green and yellow. We met with two women on staff to give us an overview of the various operations they provide through the NOC. One thing that caught my attention was the several opportunities they give women to play sports in their country. After the 1994 genocide, it was impossible for any Rwandan woman to join a cycling group or other sport. Now, they offer several sports such as swimming (11 women) to participate and compete in the Olympic and African Games. Every year, the NOC also hosts a Women and Sport event that gives females the chance to interact in physical activity and gain education on leadership roles. ... Read More

May 23, 2017 - 2:17 pm
Student-Athlete Development: Rwanda Blog

This morning we hosted a gym class for kindergarteners. The sports were soccer, football, and basketball. It was another hot and sunny day in Kigali. My expectations were that the kids would be very energetic and chaotic, making it hard to get their attention. Walking to KICS we were pumped and ready to go. As we got to KICS, we spoke with Dr. Ben Thomas, the Director of KICS. We had a quick talk about how the day was going to go and the scheduling. Ben told us that the kindergarten class had kids from 8 different countries. At that moment, I realized how diverse of a school KICS was. Moreover, he told us that the basketball court we were standing on is one of the best basketball court in the country of Rwanda. ... Read More

May 22, 2017 - 2:13 pm
Student-Athlete Development: Rwanda Blog

After a very busy first week in Rwanda, filled with class, homework, meetings with organizations, and preparing for our upcoming PE classes, we had a chance to enjoy a day off. May 21st at 10:00 a.m., a group of us got up and started our days by attending Christ’s Church of Rwanda. This church is located right next door to KICS, Kigali International Community School, the school we will be working at next week. This was such an amazing experience especially because I had no expectations going into it and because of that I was blown away. I was pleasantly surprised by what I saw and heard. We left church and headed back to the hotel with nothing much planned out for our day. We ate lunch by the pool while the sun was out and it was overall just a beautiful day. After lunch, we decided to go back out souvenir shopping like we did earlier in the week. This time we went to this nice little hand-made jewelry shop. I ended up spending about twice as much as I did the first time we went out shopping but I couldn’t help it. Rwandan jewelry is so unique and I knew my friends back home and my mom would love something. I got my mom, dad, brother, best friend, and myself something. ... Read More

May 21, 2017 - 10:40 am

Saturday the 21st of May was a great day! We woke up at 4:30 in the morning to meet in the lobby where breakfast was packed and ready for us then we boarded the bus at 5:00am. We went to Akagera National Park. The trip there in the morning was long but worth the experience! In the lobby of the welcome center were the remains of animals that lived in the park (crocodile, elephant, birds, monkeys, etc.). Our tour guide was named Hermann and he started off with telling us where we would be going throughout the day and where he thought animals would be that we would be interested in seeing. Once we got to the first spot we saw some antelope and he taught us that the black and white “M” shape on their tails are for each other to use when following each other through the tall grass. At the next spot, he taught us that the male baboons have grey bottoms and the females have pink bottoms. At our final stop before lunch, we saw some hippos and Hermann taught us that hippos are very territorial and that they come out at night because their skin is very sensitive to sunlight. During lunch, we went to a game lodge that is on the park grounds and there I ordered a RedBull, Sprite, and a cheese burger with chips (French fries). After lunch, we went to more spots where we saw some warthogs, giraffes, zebras, and water buffalo. This concluded our safari for the day and we proceeded back to the entrance of the park. ... Read More

May 20, 2017 - 11:26 am
Student-Athlete Development: Rwanda Blog

The day started with normal breakfast at 8:00am. Vinny, Joseph, and I ate with Desiree and talked about her trip from Florida to Kigali. Then, we all went back to our rooms to change so that we could leave by 9:30 to visit Right to Play. The hotel tried to get all 16 of us into one van…thankfully we were able to quit our life-sized game of Tetris when they brought us a second car. ... Read More

May 19, 2017 - 2:03 pm
Student-Athlete Development: Rwanda Blog

Despite the freedom we were given this morning for the first time this trip to sleep in as late as noon, most of us began our day with an 8 am speed workout video. We all gathered next to the pool at our hotel and jumped along to a video for 25 minutes. Needless to say, the other hotel guests did not hold back their puzzled faces as a large group of Americans were doing a workout video in synchronization. ... Read More

May 18, 2017 - 3:21 pm
Student-Athlete Development: Rwanda Blog

We started our day as normal, eating breakfast as a group in the hotel restaurant. Breakfast is different as compared to the US, typically chicken wings aren’t served as a breakfast meal, but here it is quite the norm and I love it. After breakfast we all loaded up on the bus and headed to an exchange center where we went in order to get Rwandan Francs in exchange for our American dollars. While at the exchange center I noticed security officers at the entrances and throughout the center, emphasizing the Rwandan idea of peace and security. ... Read More

May 16, 2017 - 9:47 am
Student-Athlete Development: Rwanda Blog

Today we got the opportunity to visit the Kigali International Community School (KICS) for the first time on our trip. It seems like an amazing place. Everybody was very welcoming, starting from the security guards that let us in and ending with the kids going back inside as we were leaving and high-fiving one of my peers. Ivan also welcomed us. Every time I see him his positivity and energy amazes me. The kindness of the Rwandan people is something I have noticed and greatly appreciate, but he even blows them away. We went in and checked out the basketball court. I noticed the facilities were quite nice. The basketball court looked to be in good condition, the playground looked very inviting, and there were little kids in classes doing something on laptops with headphones on. ... Read More

May 15, 2017 - 9:40 am
Student-Athlete Development: Rwanda Blog

We began our Monday with breakfast at 7am. Around 8am, we piled into the van and started on our way through the already busy streets to the Kigali Genocide Memorial, taking pictures and videos of the scenes from the town on the way. ... Read More

May 14, 2017 - 9:36 am
Student-Athlete Development: Rwanda Blog

As soon as we landed in Kigali yesterday I knew I was in for an experience of a lifetime, an experience like no other. I noticed several obvious cultural differences within minutes upon entering the country along with physical environment differences. A combination of these two factors and the class readings I have read so far really set my expectations high for the remainder of the trip. ... Read More

May 14, 2017 - 5:24 am
Student-Athlete Development: Rwanda Blog

There’s often a significant misunderstanding in the goals, intentions, and purposes of this course. I certainly understand why, given the pictures of international development flashed across our TVs that show Westerners bringing about all the (predetermined) changes needed in the Global South. Without getting too bogged down by the often loaded ideals behind those commercials, and instead of arguing what this course is not, allow me to explain what this course is all about…hopefully making our intentions clearer. ... Read More

June 13, 2014 - 9:37 pm
Student Life: Dominican Republic Blog

It was very bittersweet waking up this morning to a quiet house. We arrived back in Blacksburg yesterday around 11pm and went our separate ways. I have been spending these past 10 days with a group of students and staff that now share a connection that is unexplainable. It is strange not spending the whole day with them anymore. We became so accustomed to spending every moment with each other, working together and reflecting about our day, that now I feel I am missing something. We started as a group of strangers looking for ourselves and venturing on an unknown adventure, but now the task is to translate our new experiences into our normal lives. ... Read More

June 12, 2014 - 10:00 am
Student Life: Dominican Republic Blog

What a bittersweet day it was today. Of course we are going back to go ole’ Blacksburg, but it is extremely sad leaving the people we have made relationships with and the place that we considered our home for the past 10 days. Welinton, who works at the Foundation, is one of the most kind-hearted people I have ever met. It warmed my heart seeing him throw us a fiesta for our last night. The fiesta was filled with Dominican food, dancing, and a little bit of the culture. It was a great way to end our night here even though Danny was lacking on the dance moves (Haha). ... Read More

June 11, 2014 - 9:52 am
Student Life: Dominican Republic Blog

Today was our designated beach day and it was a bit of a change from our normal schedule we were accustomed to. Our day started out early when we left the foundation at 8 am to head to Bayahibe beach. It took about an hour to get there and we were all so happy to get off the bus and head to the playa! Once we arrived at the beach, many of us rushed to jump in and then lay out in order to try and even out our extreme camp tans. ... Read More

June 10, 2014 - 4:02 pm
Student Life: Dominican Republic Blog

Today is our first day here in the Dominican Republic that we have no specifically planned activities. I think many of us wish we were back at camp today playing with the children of Veron! This is a day of reflection and classwork. We woke up today with morning workouts on the beach, and then headed to class at ten. Our brains were fired up as we spoke to each other about program planning and implementing ideas we have come up with involving this course as soon as we get back to Tech. The entire class has come up with some awesome thoughts to keep us connected with the children throughout the year, and ideas for fundraising to benefit those we have encountered while here in the Dominican Republic. ... Read More

June 9, 2014 - 3:45 pm
Student Life: Dominican Republic Blog

What will you look forward to tomorrow, the next day, or even your future? In the batey, the opportunity to dream is extremely limited, and may call for not looking forward to anything. A batey is a community where Dominicans and more specifically, Haitians join together to make a life finding job opportunities in order to survive. Surrounded by tons of acres of sugarcane and dry dirt, the batey we visited today was quite a site to see, and almost led me to shed a few tears. ... Read More

June 8, 2014 - 2:59 pm
Student Life: Dominican Republic Blog

This blog comes at the conclusion of our camps with the kids. This was the last day we would see our new friends. As we all realized this, we felt as if we wanted this camp day to be the best. This camp day was a DPV day. The last day to inform and educate the kids about HIV and sexually transmitted diseases. The DPV guys Victor, Miguel Angel, and Julio all have been great teachers and role models as they have incorporated games into raising awareness for HIV and STDs. ... Read More

June 7, 2014 - 2:26 pm
Student Life: Dominican Republic Blog

The few months leading up to this trip fostered a great amount of anticipation within all of the students participating in this class. But nothing we could have predicted is anything remotely close to what we haveexperienced. Today marks Day 6 of our arrival in the beautiful Dominican Republic. The past three days have been focused on our leadership in sports and activities with the kids from nearby neighborhoods, but today, we handed the reins over to the representatives from Deportes Para la Vida to raise awareness of HIV and sexually transmitted diseases. Although we were not leading the camps today, it was a challenge for the other students and I to learn how to take on less vocal roles while still maintaining our position as role models and enforcers. ... Read More

June 6, 2014 - 6:18 pm
Student Life: Dominican Republic Blog

This class focuses on service learning, a learning strategy in which students have leadership roles in thoughtfully organized service experiences that meet real needs in the community. Today Christian, Jack, TJ and myself took a lead role; we were in charge of camp this afternoon. The four of us spent the past days preparing our ideas and brushing up on our Spanish in order to accomplish our goal. Our goal is to be a positive influence on the children of Veron and show them that sports can lead to a happy lifestyle. ... Read More

June 5, 2014 - 9:53 pm
Student Life: Dominican Republic Blog

Today started a little different than the past couple—we didn’t do a group workout in the morning. Several people did some running on their own, but for the most part, people slept in to catch up on some much needed sleep. (This can be accredited to a very active past few days jam-packed with activities.) We started the day with class at 10am in the downstairs classroom and talked about our views on solving problems: “Problem A’s” and “Problem B’s”. We learned that “Problem A’s” are the big problems that exist in a culture; they are complicated and very difficult to address. On the other hand, “Problem B’s” are problems that are easily fixable in a short amount of time. We related this to the problems we see here in Punta Cana—the education is a huge problem here (Problem A) and all we’ve seen is work on the minor problems, like painting the outside of the schools (Problem B).
We then continued class outside to talk about program planning, and we really delved in to what it takes planning a program like this trip. So many stakeholders are involved, and the process is a lot of hard work. We expressed some ideas of our own that could have a bigger impact on the kids we work with in the camps. Some of the main things we talked about were fundraising for their education and keeping in contact with them through videos or pen pal-type letters. ... Read More

June 4, 2014 - 11:12 am
Student Life: Dominican Republic Blog

The first day of camp has finally arrived! The day began very similar to yesterday with workouts in the morning on the beach following breakfast and some down time. At around 10am, Welington, the Logistical Coordinator of the Ecological Foundation we are staying in, took us on a tour around the campus of the facility. We first came across a bee keeping area where colonies make honey for Dominicans to eat. We also came across a ton of animals like donkeys, pigs, roosters, and even an angry mule that snot rocketed all over Morgan Conklin and Jordan Fish. After a very hot tour, we went to lunch where we had tomato and cucumber salads with chicken, fish, rice and cheesy mashed potatoes. It was delicious! ... Read More

June 3, 2014 - 10:56 am
Student Life: Dominican Republic Blog

Today was our first full day in the Dominican Republic! We are so pumped to finally be here! Today we traveled 15 minutes outside of the foundation to the city Veron. Here we were able to get a glimpse at what education, water systems, and health services looked like in the city. ... Read More

June 2, 2014 - 12:46 pm
Student Life: Dominican Republic Blog

After a long day of traveling we finally arrived in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic! The hours of sitting in the airport and plane only fueled our excitement and anticipation. We felt like VIPs walking off the plane as our first site was a lady standing there with a sign “Danny White and VT Athletes”. The first thing I felt was the instant heat and humidity in the air, and so did my camera. Volunteering as the photographer for the trip, I wanted to get a group shot in front of the airport but the condensation on my lens made the photo blurry. No worries though, my camera adjusted to the heat. ... Read More

June 1, 2014 - 12:40 pm
Student Life: Dominican Republic Blog

Tomorrow morning we will be leaving for the Dominican Republic. As we continue to get closer to leaving, I get more and more excited. There is a part of me that is nervous, simply because of not knowing everything that we will be doing, but then there is also a part of me that knows this will be an amazing experience. As we all wait for tomorrow morning to come, I picture everyone in the group thinking about the various possibilities that this trip could bring. Personally, I am most looking forward to working with the kids in the sports camps. I’ve worked in situations like this in the past and have always found this to be an extremely eye-opening service. I’m also looking forward to getting to know everyone in our group better – as well as getting to know the people we will meet in the Dominican Republic. ... Read More

May 31, 2014 - 12:21 pm
Student Life: Dominican Republic Blog

As we embark on our UNIV 3954 study abroad course to the Dominican Republic, I believe there are a few things those who are following our journey should know. First and foremost, many key leaders across the landscape of this university have made this course possible. To them we owe a great deal of gratitude. Secondly, Virginia Tech has some amazing students – ten of which are traveling with us and who will write a blog entry each day while abroad. The Punta Cana Ecological Foundation, Deportes Para La Vida and the Peace Corps are doing remarkable work in Punta Cana and the surrounding communities - we hope to come along side them and learn from their efforts. Finally, it is our hope that the university's motto of Ut Prosim will come to life for us during this course as we merge academic theory behind motivation with thoughtful service to others. That being said, please allow me to share some brief thoughts behind the vision of this course: ... Read More

VIDEO  | Student-Athlete Development
GALLERY  | Photos of Student-Athlete Development