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Virginia Tech's first residential college to host open house in renovated Ambler Johnston Hall


   

Students, faculty, and faculty principals talk in the sitting room at the Honors Residential College. Faculty Principals Robert Stephens, right foreground, and Heather Gumbert, right background, host community discussions with students and faculty members in their apartment at the Honors Residential College.


BLACKSBURG, Va., Sept. 5, 2011 – The new Honors Residential College at East Ambler Johnston, the first of its kind at Virginia Tech, is hosting an open house to welcome students, faculty, and the public to the university’s newest community.

The event will be on Friday, Sept. 16, from 2-5 p.m. in the great room of East Ambler Johnston. Guest speakers include

  • The college’s two faculty principals, assistant professor Heather Gumbert and associate professor Robert Stephens, both from the Department of History in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences;
  • Associate Dean of Undergraduate Academic Programs for the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences Rachel Holloway, who is a member of the Board of Trustees for the Honors Residential College at Ambler Johnston;
  • University Honors Director Terry Papillon, also a Board of Trustees member;
  • Frank Shushok, associate vice president for the Division of Student Affairs; and
  • Honors Residential College co-presidents Patrick Goley of Gaithersburg, Md., a junior majoring in electrical engineering in the College of Engineering, and Grace Mulholland of Freehold, N.J., a junior double majoring in biological sciences and psychology in the College of Science.

Tours led by Honors Residential College council students will be conducted every 10 minutes beginning at 3:30 p.m. outside the great room, and there will be a catered reception. The event is open to the public.

The residential college is a new type of living environment on this campus, a multigenerational learning community where students can actively participate in their education by engaging with peers, faculty, staff, and community members in the residence hall. The residential college houses students from first year through graduate school. Those who return to the college yearly get to know everyone involved, and often find themselves serving important mentoring and leadership roles. They are joined by a group of faculty fellows from various departments across the university who take an active role in the lives of the students.

Residential colleges are a partnership that brings together the academic and residential parts of the campus to promote deep and sustained learning and engagement. The faculty principals will play an instrumental role in the culture of the residential college and provide guidance in the academic aspects of student life, including hosting events and partnering with other units throughout the campus and the community to enrich the lives of students.

These colleges have a long tradition which has spread to universities around the country. While the Honors Residential College will house members of the University Honors program, Virginia Tech plans to open a second residential college in West Ambler Johnston in fall 2012 that will be open to all students regardless of major, year, or honors status.

Students will have access to refurbished, air-conditioned living quarters, including traditional-style rooms and suite-style rooms, as well as living rooms, classrooms, meeting spaces, a theater, a library, and a fitness area. The residential colleges also include live-in faculty, professional staff, and a number of faculty offices, which are occupied by the faculty of the new Center for 21st Century Studies in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences.

The renovation and residential college project is coordinated by University Honors, Housing and Residence Life in the Division of Student Affairs, and faculty and administrators from across the university.

With a visitor’s pass, parking is available in the Coliseum Lot located along Washington Street and Spring Road from 7 a.m.-5 p.m. A visitor’s pass may be obtained Monday through Friday from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. at the Visitor Information Center, located at 965 Prices Fork Road, near the intersection of Prices Fork and University City Boulevard next to the Inn at Virginia Tech and Skelton Conference Center. A visitor’s pass may also be obtained from the Virginia Tech Police Station, located on Sterrett Drive, outside of the Visitor Information Center hours. Find more parking information online or call 540-231-3200.

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.

Written by Jennifer Gibson.