Virginia Tech Giving Day
Giving Day is a 24-hour celebration of the Hokie Spirit and the power of giving back, occurring annually in February. Giving Day is a special opportunity for Virginia Tech students, employees, alumni, family, and friends to come together virtually and show their support for their favorite Virginia Tech departments, programs, student organizations, and teams. Although Giving Day has passed, donations to the Virginia Tech Industrial Design (VTID) Annual Fund will always be used for student and alumni opportunities and events.
Giving Day 2023
Giving Day 2023 took place between February 15-16. Our original goal was to raise $3,000 with the support of at least 50 donors. Thanks to everyone's efforts, we exceeded our goals, and raised $6,878 from 57 donors for the Virginia Tech Industrial Design Annual Fund. The reality is that so many students face financial barriers when it comes to cultural experience opportunities. By coming together as a community, the funds raised will directly benefit current students and provide them with life-changing experiences through travel.
Why Your Financial Support is Important
In the spring of 2021, the Industrial Design Program developed a strategic plan that included 5 major target areas over a three year period. We reflected on the successes and challenges of our program by gathering data from students, faculty, staff, and stakeholders to set a healthy trajectory for VTID. Our first commitment is to engage in this planning process regularly and communicate with our community each semester about our progress. Our second goal is the recruitment and retention of students, faculty, and staff. We are always looking to support our Hokie community in a holistic way. Our third initiative is to improve course offerings and specialized proficiencies for our students, these new and developing perspectives keep us on the cutting edge of our profession and design research. We also have been focusing on inclusive activities for a diverse audience. The college has already reached its 2025 DEI goal of having the most diverse entering first year class with over 25% underrepresented students, but our responsibility doesn’t stop there, we work to provide programs representative of our global perspective.
Our final ambition in this plan is to increase opportunities for immersive learning and professional development. The outcome we are holding ourselves to is that every student can participate in an internship or study abroad program while a student in Industrial Design at Virginia Tech. We are two years into a three year plan and we have some final barriers to remove to be successful in this mighty endeavor. In relation to internships, the first year we established a database of internship opportunities and a system for sending weekly news blasts so that students were informed of their opportunities. We increased company participation at the career fair and kicked off year two with an online career fair hosted by IDAB. Our students increased their use of Handshake, our campus career service database, and we had a record number of students in our semester away internship program. We have increased the number of portfolio courses we offer to students and are increasing our online presence. In this final year, we want to formalize a more robust system for matching students with a larger number of companies and potentially open our own community design center that employs student designers in a nurturing environment.
Study abroad programs are just as important to student development as internships. We were able to resume our study abroad program in 2022 with 17 students and 2 faculty from Industrial Design and Landscape Architecture; it was brilliant and blazing hot in Portugal, Spain, and France. In 2023, our students will have the chance to travel to Europe, Africa, and South America to study urban experiences, healthcare design, and bamboo! The first year of this plan was harder to jump start because of the pandemic, the second year we got back on track with a successful program, and this year we have multiple options. We have made it through travel restrictions and are a much more globally oriented program with multiple options, but the financial barrier for students to travel is keeping them from experience. Tuition, program fees, and travel expenses are overwhelming for students, especially if they are already utilizing traditional financial aid. In the third year of our plan, it has become critical that we increase our scholarship support for students who otherwise would not be able to participate.
In a recent college meeting with President Tim Sands, we discussed the university initiative in bettering access and affordability for our comprehensive university. That is why we are asking our design network to participate in Giving Day 2023. Last year the program was able to offer its first travel scholarship in the program thanks to the revenue from our alumni reunion registration fees. The award was the right first step, but we need to do more to increase access and affordability for our students. It was too small to make an impact and it only helped one student. We can do more together.
Statement from the Virginia Tech Industrial Design Program