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Afternoon Chat Series

Academic Advising Chats are monthly opportunities for Virginia Tech faculty and advising staff to connect, network, share, and listen. They are informal gatherings to engage in professional development, participate in a dialogue about best practices within the field of advising, and learn about the various services and resources available on and around the Virginia Tech campus. Virginia Tech faculty and staff are invited, but topics will be geared toward those in academic advising roles. You are welcome to attend any sessions that interest you. Please contact with any questions.

Fall 2020 Advising Chat Series

Facilitating Difficult Conversations
This session is available for one NLI credit.
Date(s): 8/11/2020
Register Here!
12:00 - 1:00 PM
Guest: Blane Harding, Director of Diversity Engagement
Description: Given the current racial climate around the country, we all should be prepared for the difficult conversations we will have with returning students. COVID-19 has resulted in a shift in how we approach our jobs and responsibilities and add to that the Black Lives Matter protests that have occurred around the country and around the world. Students may return confused, upset, angry and simply wanting to be reassured the university is doing something and checking-in on them. While these conversations may seem simple, they are not easy. Having these conversations makes it much easier to focus on your advising and responsibilities to those we serve and to ensure you are providing feedback to students so they can rise to the level of your expectations
Presentation (Video)
Presentation (PowerPoint)   

Cook Counseling Center Changes
Date(s): 8/31/2020
Location: Zoom (no registration required); 
Meeting ID: 993 4402 1324
Time: 2:00 - 3:00 PM
Guest: Jess Westcott, Cook Counseling Resident in Psychology
Leslie Lowry, Cook Counseling Resident in Psychology
Cook Counseling Center is expanding services and options to allow for a flexible approach to meet the varying needs of students. This presentation will help you understand these changes, highlight specific components of the new model to communicate to students, and address any other questions you might have!

Learning to Press Pause
Date(s): 9/4/2020
Register Here! Meeting ID: 958 7967 6906
2:00 - 3:00 PM
Guest: Swathi Prabhu, Mental Health Initiatives Coordinator, Hokie Wellness
Description: Often when we’re stressed & feeling strong emotions, we don’t think or react as rationally as we would like. Many of us experience patterns of thinking, or ‘mind traps’, that can be ineffective and even irrational sometimes. How do we shift these reactions? By learning more about how our thoughts, feelings, and actions all connect.
In this workshop, we will cover how we can press pause in the heat of the moment, consider how to react to life stressors productively, and recognize when we’re starting to fall into these common ‘mind traps’.

Developing a Growth Mindset
Date(s): 9/22/2020
Register Here! Meeting ID: 987 5635 1233
Time: 2:00 - 3:00 PM
Guest: Swathi Prabhu, Mental Health Initiatives Coordinator, Hokie Wellness
Description: What are your personal beliefs about intelligence and talent? What do you say to yourself when you make a mistake? Often when we’re struggling, our inner monologues can become critical and it takes practice to shift our mindsets.
Believe it or not, the mindset we have and the way we talk to ourselves when we’re approaching difficult tasks has a big impact on our academic success and personal well-being. In this workshop, we will learn how to develop a growth mindset and reframe our automatic thoughts that can often be negative.

Power and Privilege: How to Use These Effectively
Date(s): 10/1/2020
Register Here!
12:00 - 1:00 PM
Guest: Blane Harding, Director of Diversity Engagement
Description: Power and privilege are generally discussed in negative terms and we are often in denial that we possess these characteristics.  As university employees, we do indeed have power and privilege and must understand how we can utilize these traits so they do not disadvantage others and instead serve to empower and assist those around us including both students and our colleagues.  Bias and microaggressions are often driven by power and privilege and we must have the ability to recognize and control them so they do not get in the way of our values. 

Self-Care or Treat Yo'Self?
Date(s): 10/8/2020
Register Here! Meeting ID: 991 2696 7642
Time: 2:00 - 3:00 PM
Guest: Swathi Prabhu, Mental Health Initiatives Coordinator, Hokie Wellness
Description: Often, it can feel like there’s so much to do and so little time, which often means that taking care of ourselves gets put on the backburner. Sometimes we believe that if we just get through this week we can do something fun and treat ourselves after. The truth is, though, self-care isn’t about short sprints, it’s a marathon. Consistent self-care can be a realistic practice with the right tools and a plan. In this workshop, we will explore signs of stress & strategies for developing effective and sustainable coping skills. We will also try out some self-care exercises such as mindfulness. In this workshop, you can assess your current coping skills, learn how to develop school-life balance, and create a realistic self-care plan for yourself.

Bridging the Divide for Transfer Students
Date(s): 10/13/2020
Location: Zoom (no registration required);;
Meeting ID: 991 2696 7642
Time: 2:00 - 3:00 PM
Guest: Nasim Schwab, Assistant Director of Transfer Initiatives
Allison Silknetter, Project Coordinator for the Transfer Experience LLC
Transfer students have already been in college right? So they know how to be successful college students right? Not always true at a 4-year institution.  The transfer student’s transition is often overlooked because of the assumption that they do not need first-year transitional experiences. However, transfer students encounter barriers when transferring from one institution to another regardless of size and institution type. This session will cover the implementation and success of transitional programs designed to better engage Virginia Tech’s transfer student population. Participants will hear from current VT transfer students and leave with a transfer student support tool kit.