Editor's note: While we kept the original list to 22 things we learned in 2022, there were many more facts, achivements, and accomplishments to highlight and celebrate. See the list below, in no particular order.  

Addison Caldwell, the first student to enroll in what is now known as Virginia Tech, likely carried a clean shirt and pair of pants, a change of socks, pencils, and a sandwich in the haversack he used on his 26-mile trek from his Craig County home.

Another of those first students was from a prominent family teeming with trailblazers, including tobacco tycoon R.J. Reynolds.

Decreased global oxygen availability likely caused the first known mass extinction of animals.

The Virginia Tech Rescue Squad and Hokie Wellness partnered to fight opioid overdoses.

Virginia Tech helped expand substance misuse recovery communities to community colleges in Southwest Virginia.  

Virginia Tech is helping tackle the nation’s semiconductor talent shortage.

Across Virginia, just 16 percent of top municipal positions are held by women. A Virginia Tech program is working to raise that number.

GlycoMIP celebrates grand opening of a national user research hub fueled by a nearly $23 million National Science Foundation partnership between Virginia Tech and University of Georgia.

Virginia Tech’s record $80 million grant will be a model for how to enact climate-smart practices on farms and potentially dramatically reduce climate change.

The Fralin Biomedical Research Institute (FBRI) at VTC’s Jennifer Munson developed a novel 3D tissue-engineered model of the glioblastoma tumor microenvironment that can help develop treatments – right down to a patient-specific level.

Also at FBRI, Alex DiFeliceantonio found that highly processed foods – sugary soft drinks, baked goods, chips and fries – share the addictive qualities of tobacco.

In a new study published in Oncogenesis, Zhi Sheng and Rob Gourdie developed a new strategy for brain cancer treatment.

Scientists studying the link between microorganisms and brain development find that there could be a link between the absence of bacteria, viruses, and fungi and disorders including autism, schizophrenia, depression, and ADHD.

Pamplin College of Business student Daniel Silvestri is balancing his education with a budding career in racing.

Scientist Sora Shin at FBRI published research that shows how abuse and neglect early in life may alter a brain circuit to induce binge eating and obesity.

The Pamplin College of Business Office for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging wrapped the first-ever Pamplin’s Inspiring Possibilities Academy, a 10-day residential program designed to introduce 27 rising high school seniors — many from underrepresented and underserved communities — to the dynamic world of business and business careers.

Endangered Northern long-eared bats are adjusting their hibernation patterns to avoid white-nose syndrome that is impacting eastern bat populations.

This summer, six Virginia Tech Pamplin College of Business students gained real-world experience enhancing election cybersecurity in municipalities across the commonwealth through the Virginia Cyber Navigator Program. 

Recent research co-authored by Pamplin College of Business Assistant Professor of Marketing Broderick Turner demonstrates that school choice drives segregation rather than reduces it, even when the racial makeup of the school is not taken into consideration.

Researchers with the College of Natural Resources and Environment at the Creativity and Innovation District are using remote sensing, multimethod data collection, and geographical theory to understand how a place becomes a space filled with meaning, community, and culture.

The annual Fall Forestry and Wildlife Field Tours are the longest-running collaborative extension program in the state, clocking in at 46 years.

Virginia Tech’s Center for Autonomous Mining, also called the Mock Mine, educates and trains the mining engineers of the future to build, program, and operate autonomous vehicles.

A Virginia Tech researcher confirmed that a discovered millipede species truly had 1,000 legs.

There are more than 6,000 first-generation students at Virginia Tech.

The university's Residential Well-being initiative transforms the residence hall into a place of growth and learning for all students living on campus.

TimelyCare virtual mental health counseling and wellness resources for students provides help anytime, anywhere, free, and fast by giving students a robust and flexible way to use technology to seek out support. 

Virginia’s peanuts are grown in southeastern Virginia’s sandy soil, where the climate is ideal. Because of their large kernels, they have acquired the reputation of being the “Cadillac” of peanuts.

Students in the Appalachian Community Research class helped get $750,000 in funding for a study of converting Catawba Hospital into a treatment center for substance use disorder.

The ACCelerate Festival at the Smithsonian, spearheaded by the Institute of Creativity,  Arts, and, in April brought in an estimated 31,000 visitors to interact with 26 exhibits from Virginia Tech and other ACC schools.

Excess nutrients in water can affect human health, the environment, and the economy, costing federal, state, and local governments billions of dollars per year to minimize the impacts.

Seafood traceability and an “applied economics toolbox” help the seafood industry recover after disasters such as the oil drilling rig Deepwater Horizon. While operating in the Macondo Prospect in the Gulf of Mexico, the rig exploded and sank, causing the largest spill of oil in the history of marine oil drilling operations.


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