BLACKSBURG, Va., Dec. 17, 2010 – Rick Sparks, assistant dean of students and director of New Student Programs at Virginia Tech, has received the President's Award from the National Orientation Directors Association (NODA).
Sparks received a standing ovation from more than 800 association members for his work as co-chair of the ad hoc committee for leadership restructuring for the association’s board of directors.
NODA President Craig Mack presented Sparks with the President’s Award during the organization’s national conference last month in St. Louis, Mo. Sparks has served NODA as a conference host, presenter, and board member.
As assistant dean of students and director of New Student Programs, Sparks leads orientation programs and events for new students and families in collaboration with departments across the university. He also supports the Dean of Students Office, a department within the Division of Student Affairs, in assisting students with personal challenges and crisis situations, facilitating communication between families and university officials, and nurturing a welcoming campus climate.
Sparks received his bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from Radford University.
The National Orientation Directors Association provides education and leadership for college orientation, retention, and transition professionals. National and regional networks address special interests such as the nontraditional students; two-year and small colleges; Canadian colleges; multi-ethnic affairs; lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender issues; and transfer and parent services.
The Division of Student Affairs at Virginia Tech encompasses departments dedicated to providing a rich co-curricular experience and essential student services. Virtually every aspect of a student's life outside the classroom is represented through the division's departments.