Families participate in Conversation with the President

President Penelope W. Kyle opened up the floor to questions from families at the annual Conversation with the President.

The family members of Radford University students had a unique chance to meet with President Penelope W. Kyle at the Oct. 17 "Conversation with the President," one of several events during the 2015 Family Weekend.

"We are delighted to have you here today," Kyle said to the crowd in the Covington Center Atrium, "because this is a session we have for parents and family members to get some of the information that you might not get from your son or daughter," drawing chuckles from some in the audience.

During the conversation, the president offered updates on campus life and took questions from families with students at all levels of study, who traveled both from around Virginia and out-of-state.

"Ask us questions and we will do our best to answer them, but if you have comments then feel free to let us know what is on your mind," Kyle said.

The group raised questions about topics such as academic and professional opportunities on campus, safety programs, parking, career placement and student activities.


Vice President for Student Affairs Mark Shanley (from left), Provost Joe Scartelli and Dean of Students Irvin Clark each answered questions about the slices of life on campus with which they are most familiar.

The president was joined at the conversation by several members of the senior administration, including Provost Joe Scartelli; Vice Presidents Mark Shanley (Student Affairs), Melissa Wohlstein (University Advancement) and Joe Carpenter (University Relations); Dean of Students Irvin Clark; Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs Ken Bonk; and RUPD Chief Colleen Roberts. The officials provided more detailed answers to questions that fell under their purview.

Parents praised the accessibility and enthusiasm of the RU faculty.

Jennifer and Joe Brady of Virginia Beach attended the conversation to learn about the campus where their son Jordan is a freshman.

“I think it was awesome to see them set up a conversation like this on their own and coming to meet the parents," Jennifer said. Her husband agreed.

“You can tell the president and the administration really do care about what they're doing here with the students," Joe said.

Karen Krug of Midlothian, mother to student Robert Krug, was also in attendance.

"This was such a good opportunity," Krug said. “I didn't know what to expect, but the parents were very engaged and the administration really did answer the questions."

Editor's note: A numbers of questions were raised by families. To assist those families who were not able to attend, this story will be updated with a compilation of those questions and the responses that were provided as those answers are researched and become available.

Oct 20, 2015