Virginia Tech has been recognized as one of the 2016 Most Promising Places to Work in Student Affairs, according to a study by the Center for Higher Education Enterprise (CHEE). 

The award recognizes workplace diversity, staffing practices, work environment, family friendliness, salary and benefits, and professional development opportunities. 

The study was conducted in partnership with the publication Diverse: Issues in Higher Education and the findings are contained in the February 25, 2016, edition. 

The Virginia Tech Division of Student Affairs is led by Vice President for Student Affairs Patty Perillo, with a team of 3,600 people who touch nearly every aspect of students’ lives. The division is comprised of 23 departments that collaborate with the rest of the university to make the Hokie experience as personally enlightening as it is academically rewarding. 

“It is an extraordinarily connected community deeply committed to creating an environment where all members can thrive and contribute,” said Perillo. “We are a learning-centered and student-focused university invested in the Principles of Community – the dignity and value of every person – and are using our lives in the spirit of service to make the world a better place.”

Virginia Tech President Tim Sands said he is proud of  Perillo’s leadership in the Division of Student Affairs.

"I recognize this award as validation that we can combine hard work and excellence with a sense of work-life balance for our staff," he said.

The work of Student Affairs at Virginia Tech ranges from Dining Services to Housing and Residence Life; from Recreational Sports to the Corps of Cadets; from service opportunities with VT Engage to the work of the Cranwell International Center and the Intercultural Engagement Center. It provides programs and services that enhance and complement the Virginia Tech educational experience.

“We are a core group of educators deeply invested in maximizing human potential,” added Perillo. “We are focused on students and their learning and development, using scholarship and best practices to ground our decisions. And, most important, we lead with a desire to foster community so all members feel a sense of belonging and connection.”

Perillo described her divisional team as dynamic, proactive, and responsive. Grounded in the Aspirations for Student Learning, she called it a smart, close‐knit community committed to a common purpose.

“Our Aspirations for Student Learning are our curriculum for students.  This work deepens our collective vision and mission to promote student learning, life skills, and personal growth through a strong focus on holistic development and learning. They represent our greatest hopes and aspirations for our students and ourselves,” she said.

The CHEE anticipates the study will offer significant understanding and awareness for those pursuing opportunities in the student affairs profession.

“This study yields insight into diversity in the student affairs workplace and offers a useful tool for employers, career services staff, and job-seekers across the country. We hope it continues to serve as a tool for the profession,” said Terrell Strayhorn, the study’s principal investigator.

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.

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