May 2022 Newsletter

Vice President for Student Affairs, Dr. Susan Trageser

Moments Matter – Celebrate Often

As we have moved through the spring semester the campus has become more vibrant each day.  The weather gradually warmed and student events became more frequent.  Spring not only brought many events but also celebrations like Traditions Week, Unity Fest, year-end banquets and award ceremonies to recognize and honor your student.

A celebration is a way to mark or observe an achievement, occasion or moment. Celebrations occur in many ways; a high-five after passing that really hard class, congratulatory phone call after a successful audition, a meal after securing an internship or job offer or hug to welcome your student home after finishing the semester or year.

No matter the topic or type of celebration, it is important to acknowledge the special moments. For your student, each moment builds upon the last outlining the path to degree completion and culmination of crossing the Commencement stage!

I also want to acknowledge each of you, the family, friends and champions of our students. As we all know, it takes a village and your support continues to be instrumental in your student’s success and ability to put one foot in front of the other getting closer to the finish line with every step. Thank you for letting us be your partner throughout your student’s journey.

It is an honor and joy to celebrate each moment with you and your student!  I look forward too many many more!

Be well,


Susan P. Trageser, Ed.D.

Vice President for Student Affairs

Faculty Perspective, In Celebration of Students

Baker, Bradley, Davis
Michaela Baker (left) and Tyanna Davis (right) received Social Justice Champion awards from Dr. Bradley at the 2022 Department of Sociology annual awards ceremony.

I recently had the opportunity to talk with a family at the Department of Sociology’s Annual Awards Ceremony. This event allows my colleagues and me the opportunity to formally celebrate the accomplishments of our students and recognize our graduating seniors. During my five years as an assistant professor at Radford University, I have had the honor of interacting with families, both chosen and biological, at events like this one. However, this interaction was particularly memorable. My department’s small class sizes and the structure of our curriculum allow us to form important student-professor bonds, especially with our upper-level students. As I went on and on about how much I adore this student and recalled some of the many ways that he has demonstrated academic rigor, support of his peers and the university, and personal resilience, I realized that the family members were hanging on my every word with smiles so big that they could light up the room. In this moment, I realized that my stories were like a window that allowed them to view their son from a new vantage point. I remembered previously wondering how my own family members are perceived in their professional settings, and I realized that I had the privilege of providing that sort of insight for this family. I would like to do the same for you.

The students I have the honor to work with at Radford University are spectacular. Overall, they are academically curious, compassionate, and resilient. So many of my students have a lot of demands on their time and mental energy, as they work to balance school and work obligations, are called upon to support their friend and family networks, and are constantly exposed to an ever-changing political and global climate through their intimacy with social media and interconnectedness with each other. Despite these often competing priorities, many students also take advantage of the excellent opportunities at Radford University. To do so, students may have to overcome initial nervousness and fears, for taking a one-on-one meeting with a professor, joining a research project or creative endeavor, or participating in a student-run club for the first time can elevate just about anyone’s anxiety. Imagine that everything someone knows is in a circle; that circle often feels familiar and safe. Learning takes place outside of the circle, a space that often feels uncomfortable since it is new and unfamiliar. As such, students often feel vulnerable as they navigate college and trust their professors to help expand their knowledge and develop skills that are important both for an informed society and in their future careers. To our students… my students… your loved ones… I see and applaud you, for you are spectacular!

Dr. Stephanie Bradley is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Radford University. She is advisor to the Sociology club, a member of the Center for Social and Cultural Research Advisory Board, and consistently receives praise from students regarding her teaching, support, and advocacy. Dr. Bradley holds degrees from Clemson University and Florida State University.


Radford University Biology Greenhouse - A Hidden Gem on Campus

by Stephanie Huckestein, Greenhouse Manager

The Radford University Greenhouse is part of the Biology Department in the Artis College of Science and Technology. It is located on campus attached to the east side of Reed Hall. After being closed from 2017-2019, the greenhouse was renovated along with Reed Hall. It has only been since early 2020 that the greenhouse was repopulated with plants. The new greenhouse manager, Stephanie Huckestein, has a lot of plans for the space, including several thematic informational and learning stations. The Greenhouse is an educational resource for the Radford University community and beyond. The greenhouse is used for teaching, research, and outreach. We invite visitors to explore the wonderful world of plants!  The diverse collection includes plants with medicinal properties, herbs, spices, fruiting plants, ferns, orchids, and succulents as well as various species with interesting biological aspects such as rapid leaf movement, insectivory, hydrophytic and xerophytic adaptations, and many other amazing plants! There will also be a collection of plants of the Amazon to showcase the RARE (Radford Amazonian Research Expedition) program. A current student, Lora Ellen Robinson, has been working on a beautiful mural of the Amazonian rainforest, which will enhance the exhibit.

The beauty of plants extends outside of the greenhouse where there are beautiful raised garden beds full of native plants. Native plants are vital to our local ecosystem and are generous producers of nectar for pollinating insects. Also at the entrance to the greenhouse, there will be educational displays of vegetables that can be grown in containers.

The greenhouse is a place of respite for students, whether they are just walking through to get a fill of oxygen and beauty on their way to class or relaxing by the water wall, many students (and others) visit daily. There are a number of classes that utilize the greenhouse for hands-on lab activities. There is also the RU Plant Club for which the greenhouse is the primary meeting location. The club propagates plants and offers plant sales and give-aways. Be sure to stop in to visit this wonderful resource on campus!

student sitting in greenhouse surrounded by lush plants, holding decorated graduation cap
plant in the greenhouse
masked student in the greenhouse holding large palm leaves

Tuition and Fees Announcement

Dear Highlander family,

The Radford University Board of Visitors met April 29, 2022 for their quarterly meeting where tuition and fee rate changes for the upcoming academic year are typically approved. Due to the ongoing state budget negotiations, the decision was made to defer tuition and fee recommendations until the state budget is finalized and all factors are known. For the last four years, Radford University has been able to hold tuition flat for main campus undergraduate students primarily through savings strategies employed by the University and investments by the Commonwealth. The University remains committed to providing affordable educational options and will continue to mitigate the impact to students and families as we navigate increasing costs primarily driven by the COVID-19 pandemic and current economic environment.

The following information is pending distribution and posting:

·        Tuition & Fee Rate Notification – this comprehensive notice, distributed by The Office of the Bursar, outlines all tuition & fee charges as well as updates regarding campus housing and meal plan costs. Once approved by the Board of Visitors, the information will be posted to the website within three (3) business days.

·        Financial Aid Award Offer Notice – financial aid award offers are developed based on the institution’s tuition and fee structure. The award offer you received is an estimate of your eligibility based on our current tuition and fee structure.

Radford University remains committed to being a best in class affordable institution of the Commonwealth and will work diligently to send you information as soon as it is available.  We will continue to make updates to our website, social media, and send email communications as we learn more in the coming weeks.

Offices across campus remain committed to addressing your questions and may be contacted as follows.

For new students who will begin classes for the first time in August 2022 – Radford Campus

Office of Undergraduate Admissions


For new students who will begin classes for the first time in August 2022 – Roanoke Campus

Office of Admissions


For financial aid related questions

Office of Financial Aid


For payment plan, 529, or pre-paid education plan related questions

Office of the Bursar


For GI Bill or Military Benefit questions

Office of the Registrar


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Student Spotlight: Sydney Jackson

Sydney Jackson

My name is Sydney Jackson I am from Washington D.C and reside in Manassas Virginia right now. Radford was chosen kind of by accident. I had applied to Radford on a whim after a college fair and the day before national decision day I had been accepted and even though I had never visited or knew anything about the school I ended up coming here. So far, I believe it is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

I am studying communications with a concentration in communication studies. I graduate in Fall 2022 and hope to get my master's in student affairs to go on and work in student success and retention. 

Since coming to Radford I have been in RU HYPE Dance Team, a Black Student Alliance member, on the Student Conduct Board, a 2021 and 2022 Quest Assistant, a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Incorporated (and newly elected president), a2019 Conference Service Staff Member, a Housing and Res Life Residential Assistant, on the Executive Board and a member of Diversity Awareness Programming Board, and a National Panhellenic Council member and the newly elected secretary!

There are so many moments that have impacted my life at this university, but I think the most impactful one would have to be the Center for Diversity and Inclusion. When I first got to Radford CDI was a place that I was afraid to go into because I saw all these upperclassmen who were involved on campus residing in this place that they felt comfortable. I now am in this space every single day and some of my closest friends are in there as well so I'm so grateful for it. 

My favorite class that I've taken at Radford was Communications 440: Nonverbal Communication taught by Dr. Sandra French. I was not aware of how impactful our nonverbal communication was until I got to breakdown multiple aspects of it in this class. 

Some advice I have for incoming students at Radford is lean into that discomfort you might be feeling when you first get here. Try new things because they can turn into memories that you would've never known you could've enjoyed. For incoming families, some advice would be to trust in your child and the ability they have to be on their own.

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Upcoming Dates to Remember

Saturday, April 30thFall 2022 Payment Plan Enrollment AvailableBursar website
Wednesday, May 4thMaymester, Summer I, and III 2022 payment deadlineBursar
Friday, May 6th 5:00 p.m.Residence Halls and University Operated Apartments closeStudents participating in commmencement may extend their stay with permission for the Resident Director
Friday, May 6th 7:00 p.m.Multicultural Congratulatory CeremonyBondurant Auditorium
Saturday, May 7th 9:00 a.m.Spring 2022 CommencementMoffett Lawn
Monday, May 9th 10:00 a.m.Spring 2022 Grades due 
Monday, May 16thMaymester begins, Summer Session I beginsAcademic Calendar
Monday, May 16thDistribution notifications to students who are not eligible to recieve financial aid due to not meeting satisfactory academic prograess standards 
Wednesday, June 1stRoommate Selection Deadline for new student housing sign-upHousing & Residential Life
Wednesday, June 15thParent PLUS and Private Education Loan applications begin processing for approved borrowersFinancial Aid Office
Wednesday, June 15thSummer II payment deadlineBursar
Wednesday, June 22nd Summer B 2022 payment deadlineBursar
Monday, July 11thFirst round of bills sent for students enrolled for Fall 2022