Virginia Tech, in conjunction with the National Institute for the Study of Transfer Students (NISTS), is celebrating the university’s 2,819 transfer students and the dedicated staff who support them, as part of National Transfer Student Week, Oct. 18-22.

National Transfer Student Week offers Virginia Tech an opportunity to recognize this valued student population and to highlight their successes and contributions to the campus community. The week is also a celebration of the enrollment management and academic advising professionals at Virginia Tech who support transfer students in their transition to the university. This fall, 958 new transfer students enrolled and became part of the Virginia Tech student body.

Nasim Schwab, assistant director for Transfer Student Initiatives, oversees programming for National Transfer Student Week, as well as other programs for transfer students included in the Hokie Transfer Community (HTC). Among these programs are the Transfer Experience Living-Learning Community, Transfer Peer Mentor Program, Tau Sigma, the transfer transition course (UNIV 2114), Hokie Corner, and the student-led Transfer Student Organization (TSO).

“The Hokie Transfer Community strives to make every Virginia Tech transfer student feel welcome and a part of the Hokie community from the moment they are offered admission. The HTC programs are designed to provide new transfer students a support system of both peers and professional staff during their transition and first year at Virginia Tech,” said Schwab. “Additionally, these programs give current Virginia Tech students who were previous transfer students an opportunity to get involved in leadership positions. We want every transfer student to know they matter and are an important member of our community.”

Ashley Sparks, a senior psychology major, transferred to Virginia Tech in fall 2019. When asked to reflect upon her time in the Hokie Transfer Community, she said, “Being involved with the transfer community has changed my experience here at Tech for the better. Not only has it helped me gain leadership experience, but it also has helped me gain friendships that will last a lifetime. I’ve never been a part of a more loving and welcoming community. Go Hokies!”

Sparks served as social chair for the Transfer Experience Living-Learning Community and is president of the Transfer Student Organization. She currently serves as a teaching assistant for UNIV 2114.

Prabhav Bhaumik has been involved with the HTC since transferring to Virginia Tech in fall 2019 as an mechanical engineering major. Bhaumik said his involvement in the community has shaped his time at Virginia Tech for the better.

“Being a part of the Hokie Transfer Community has provided me with just that - community! I’ve met wonderful people with whom I’ve shared memorable experiences. I’ve been given the opportunity to lead and mentor new transfer students and developing leaders. And I’ve been provided support through my Hokie transfer peers,” said Bhuamik. Bhuamik currently serves as the lead mentor in the Transfer Peer Mentor Program, overseeing a group of 30 mentors.

National Transfer Student Week highlights the support of transfer student success through education, research, and advocacy. NISTS actively supports transfer student advocates and professionals who serve the interests of transfer students, and who conduct transfer-related research.​

Allison Silknetter, program director of the Transfer Experience Living-Learning Community, plays an integral role in transfer student success at Virginia Tech. “Transfer students are an important part of Virginia Tech," Silknetter said. "They are students who deeply appreciate what it means to be a Hokie. National Transfer Student Week is a time to recognize all that transfer students add to our campus and community.”

In addition to its ongoing programmatic initiatives for transfer students, the HTC, in collaboration with academic advisors, will be celebrating National Transfer Student Week by hosting events and giveaways for transfer students. The HTC will also be highlighting transfers students on social media. In addition, faculty and staff that were previous transfer students will be highlighted. These highlights, as well as the student spotlights and a full list of events, can be found on the National Transfer Student Week website.

Written by Chenaye Blankenship

Share this story