The Outreach and International Affairs mission statement inspires us every day as we engage in our work, “to share the best of Virginia Tech by working alongside communities across the world.”
We work “alongside” individuals and communities who are committed to improving their quality of life. Our staff engage deeply, listen intently, and adapt deftly based on conditions on the ground in counties around the commonwealth and countries around the world. I am often reminded, especially when I return home to Blacksburg after a stint overseas, that one issue is paramount to all of our work: human capacity development.
We assist educators in Kurdistan in building capacity to grow their institutions of higher learning; we train farmers in East Africa, South and South-East Asia to minimize crop loss as a result of pest infestation; we guide government agencies to set responsive policies; we educate mid-career professionals to be adaptive to ever-evolving working conditions by offering innovative training programs that both sharpen skills and add new skills to their arsenal; and we work with Virginia’s middle and high school students to ensure that every student with drive and aptitude can set forth a pathway toward a college education irrespective of financial means.
My colleagues in Outreach and International Affairs work in concert with other Virginia Tech faculty possessing the expertise and commitment to engage with local and global communities. A shining example of faculty engagement was showcased in May 2015, when more than two dozen faculty from across campus participated in the Virginia Tech Hampton Roads Showcase event in Newport News, Virginia, to expose community, industry, and government leaders to diverse fields of research ranging from underwater autonomous vehicles and technology implications of the sonar systems of bats to cybersecurity.
The institutes, centers, and offices are bound together with a unified sense of promoting economic development, engaging in institution and human capacity development, and building the perfect global land-grant institution.
Outreach and International Affairs