The Advancement team in the College of Architecture, Arts, and Design welcomed two new members in November: Tanya Ridpath as the director of alumni relations and Emily Copeland as the assistant director of leadership gifts.

Ridpath started on Nov. 1, and Copeland started on Nov. 10. Julia Allen, assistant dean of advancement for the college, welcomed them both.

“Our growing team is already engaging alumni and developing stronger relationships with those who wish to partner with the college,” Allen said. “Tanya and Emily both play integral roles in our collaborative work to elevate the college’s priorities, and we’re delighted to have them join us.”

Ridpath brings 20 years of higher education experience in event management, community engagement, and lifelong-learning program development to her new role. An alumna of the interior design program, Ridpath also holds a Master of Science in corporate and professional communication from Radford University. Most recently, she was the director of community programs at Roanoke College.

“It is such a privilege to work for Virginia Tech and to be a part of the newly formed college,” Ridpath said. “It is energizing to contribute to the success of the areas of creative study that I am passionate about. I look forward to developing meaningful partnerships and bringing ideas to life that increase alumni engagement, student success, and overall synergy within the college.”

Copeland, a native of Blacksburg, earned a Bachelor of Arts in dance from James Madison University, where she worked as a telefundraiser for the university and as a student technical director for the Forbes Center for the Performing Arts. Most recently, she worked as the Radford University Department of Dance’s administrative assistant, building relationships with a variety of stakeholders.

“I’ve been around Hokies my entire life, and I’m so excited to support them in their journeys as artists, designers, builders of the future, and lifelong learners,” Copeland said. “The college’s alumni and friends, faculty and staff, and students and families inspire me. They’re making the world a better place, one Hokie at a time.”

Led by interim Dean Rosemary Blieszner, the college is comprised of the Schools of Architecture, Design, Performing Arts, and Visual Arts. A realignment of the college announced in July offers greater visibility for the arts, design, and architecture programs by grouping the disciplines together and locating all studio- and performance-based instruction related to arts and design in a single college.

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