Category Archives: Events

Food justice symposium with Karen Washington

-2The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences will host food justice advocate Karen Washington from Rise and Root Farm on Oct. 25 at 11 a.m. in the Fralin Life Science Auditorium.

Karen Washington is a community activist, gardener, and board member of the New York Botanical Gardens. She has worked with Bronx neighborhoods to turn empty lots into community gardens and traveled globally to talk about the importance of introducing diverse voices into food systems to create a more just and robust model of food production and community resilience.

Read more about Karen Washington here.

The event is free and open to the public and is sponsored by the CALS Diversity Council and by faculty in Virginia Cooperative Extension and the Department of Agricultural, Leaderhsip, and Community Education.



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Experience the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences through virtual reality

1474632355431Now you only have to go as far as your smart phone to be able to see all that the Virginia Tech College of Agriculture and Life Sciences has to offer.

A new series of virtual reality images immerses viewers in 360-degree scenes from around the college that highlight the research, education, and outreach that faculty, staff, and students undertake on a daily basis.

The photos range from graduate students working in a modern lab in the Human and Agricultural Biosciences Building 1 to Virginia Cooperative Extension agents examining food safety issues and athletic trainers working with the football team in Lane Stadium during a football game.

Anyone with a smartphone can view the images today on Google Maps. If you have a pair of virtual reality goggles, which can be purchased for as little as $5, you can view the images in VR setting using the goggles and the Google Street View app on your smartphone.

The images show the diversity and breadth of what students can do with a degree from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

Photos include


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College diversity showcase

The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Diversity Council is planning a College Diversity Showcase on Wednesday, Oct. 5, from 3 p.m. – 5 p.m. in Litton-Reaves Hall. As part of this event we invite faculty, staff, and students of the college and Virginia Cooperative Extension to join us as we celebrate the many ways we strive to provide academic and professional environments that support multicultural awareness, acceptance, and inclusion.

We envision the afternoon to be one of sharing ideas and experiences in a casual and safe environment. Examples of work on behalf of diversity to share are: research related to diversity, inclusive pedagogy, community service, diversity training opportunities, etc.

Refreshments will be served and fun, interactive activities will provide opportunities for building community.

Please reach out to any member of our planning committee should you have questions or concerns.


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Sign up for the Virginia Science Festival

The Virginia Tech Science Festival is Saturday, Oct. 8 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Moss Arts Center, College Avenue, Newman Library, and outdoor spaces in between.

Science is bigger than you think. Science is a way of knowing about everything — people, trends, living things, rocks, economics, how things move, what people buy, probabilities, stars, animals, history, memory, physics, and so much more. You might even say that science is universal. Follow and participate in all of the excitement at the festival using the hashtag #VTSciFest.

Click here for more information on participating as an exhibitor.

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Save the date: Hokie Bugfest 2016

Come to the sixth annual Hokie BugFest on Saturday, Oct. 15 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Inn at Virginia Tech and Skelton Conference Center’s Latham Ballroom. The Inn is on the edge of the Virginia Tech campus off Price’s Fork Road, close to the 460 Bypass and near downtown Blacksburg. Free parking is available.

Activities and exhibits include a live Bug Zoo, Roachzilla! (a collection of giant cockroaches from Radford University), ant colonies, iPad labs, and bug-themed crafts. Arthropod enthusiasts can admire giant “bird-eater” tarantulas, observe bright-blue death-feigning beetles, see a working beehive, and visit departmental research displays. The themes of science and discovery are interwoven into all activities.

This year the festival is pleased to welcome Tony Gustin, the “bug whisperer” from Wisconsin. Tony is a performing educator, outreach specialist, and award-winning film producer whose “Educational Super Show” has wowed children all over the U.S.

Also new this year are Brandon the Balloon Guy, who will create bug-shaped balloon sculptures; bug bingo; and a pre-event SAFE Hour at 9 a.m. where autistic visitors and their families are invited to experience the Hokie BugFest in a calmer environment.

Back again this year are a large apiculture (beekeeping) exhibit and an insect collection contest for individuals or groups. You will discover how honey bees and other important pollinators help make agriculture possible by pollinating crops. Other attractions include a pumpkin patch (with fresh pumpkins for sale), the Alberti Flea Circus, a spooky Spiders’ Lair, the HokieBird, and the well-known Bo-Ty Dawgs. Bo and Ty are springer spaniel service dogs known as the canine mascots of Virginia Cooperative Extension. Larry the Label will be on hand to explain why reading pesticide labels is so important.

Don’t miss the Bug Zoo – your chance to view fascinating arthropods from North America, South America, Central America, Africa, and Asia. The zoo’s residents include a variety of tarantulas, beetles, scorpions, cockroaches, centipedes, vinegaroons (forest-dwelling whip scorpions that squirt vinegar from their tail), and many others!

Visit exhibits from the Virginia Museum of Natural History, the Schiele Museum, and the Science Museum of Western Virginia. See a cast aluminum fire ant nest and a giant robotic spider. Participate in a drawing class with Jane Blevins of College Art and learn to sketch bugs. Do the bee waggle dance onstage and win a prize.

Among the “bad guys” of the insect world (pests such as bed bugs, gypsy moths, stink bugs, and termites), mosquitoes have recently taken center stage. Learn more about these tiny but dangerous insects and how you can protect yourself against the Zika virus and other mosquito-borne diseases.

Stop by the Bug Creations room, where kids can make all sorts of bug-inspired crafts. Children can also earn a junior entomologist certificate by visiting eight exhibits at the festival. Older kids will enjoy testing their wits at the Bug Jeopardy booth.

For more details and a schedule of events, go to or check out the Facebook page.

The Hokie BugFest was inspired by William B. Alwood, Virginia’s first entomologist. Alwood, an early pioneer of pest management and fruit culture, was one of Virginia Tech’s greatest scientists. The W.B. Alwood Entomological Society, a graduate student organization, helps host the Hokie BugFest as part of its outreach mission.

If you are an individual with a disability and desire an accommodation, please contact Dr. Mike Weaver at (540) 231-6543 or email during regular business hours at least 10 business days prior to the event.


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Save the date

June 11: 12th Annual Garden Gala

  • Time: 5:30-9 p.m.
  • Where: Hahn Horticulture Garden Pavilion
  • Contact: Stephanie Huckestein ( | 540-231-5970)

August 10: Faculty and Staff Picnic

  • Time: 11:30 a.m.
  • Where: Ag Quad
  • Contact: Stephanie Slocum ( | 540-231-3724)

Oct. 15: Hokie BugFest

  • Time: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • Where: The Inn at Virginia Tech
  • Contact: Mike Weaver ( | 540-231-6543)
  • Event website for more information
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