Quest welcomes freshman and transfer students to campus

As students began moving into residence halls Thursday and Friday, Radford University’s New Student Programs staff hosted two final Quest sessions, one each for transfer students and freshmen.

Quest is a campuswide effort to acclimate students with classes, residence and dining halls, faculty and staff and additional services and amenities before they begin classes on Aug. 28.

About 150 students and their families participated in the campus-life experience on Aug 24 and 25.

At Thursday’s opening session for transfer students, Vice President for Enrollment Management Katherine McCarthy informed students that Quest was the beginning of their career at Radford University and encouraged each to “take advantage of everything that’s available to you. Our ultimate goal is to get you registered for your classes today, but you’re also going to start making connections.”

Students are just beginning their higher education journey at Radford University, but “It’s not too early to start thinking about graduation,” McCarthy said. “Starting Monday, the first day of classes, you are on the clock. You are here because you believe, and we believe, you will be successful.”

Eager to begin his pathway to success Thursday was Riley Ragland, a transfer student from Virginia Western Community College. He said he chose to continue his education at Radford because “it’s a great fit for me.”

The Roanoke native plans to major in theater.

“I wanted to come to Radford for my theater degree because they have a good theater program here and I wanted to be a part of it,” he said.

Ragland also noted that Radford is “a wonderful university to commute back and forth to,” and he recently acquired an extra incentive to remain close to home.

“This year, I got a baby cat,” he said. “So, I wanted to be able to go to a university and go back home and play with my cat.”

Sitting beside Ragland was his mother, Amalie, who was happy Riley chose Radford because “We know a lot of students who came here from our church – and to the theater program – and they really liked it.”

Amalie Ragland was particularly impressed with the many Quest Assistants (QAs) who were eager to help students and their families acclimate to campus.

“I like all the information they are giving us,” she said. “People are walking around and helping us with anything we need. They’re very polite.”

Several freshmen took the Quest journey on Friday, including Crystal Davenport and her mother, Ruth Cosby, both of Richmond.

Before the opening session, Cosby stood beside the red clocks outside Heth Hall and recalled the day her daughter chose to study at Radford University.

“I just loved the way that, when she walked on to this campus, her breath was taken away,” Cosby said. “In my heart, I knew it. I knew it. I knew it. When she said, ‘Mom, I’ve made my decision’ I cried. She said ‘Mom, I’m going to Radford.’ I said yay!”

Davenport, who aspires to be a pharmacist and is majoring in biology, said she felt “great” about her decision to attend Radford University because “I love it here. I love the environment, and I love the people. Everyone is kind and willing to help.”

Allysia Houck chose to come to Radford University from Sturbridge, Massachusetts, to study interior design – in part because “I’m good at art and I like designing,” she said.

Plus, she hopes to gain many new experiences here.

“And a degree,” her father, Rob Houck, quickly chimed in.

Rob Houck said he was very nervous, but also “very happy and excited” for his daughter.

Happy and excited for Allysia, too, was her mother, Malissa Yoder. “This her chance to find herself, experience life and get her degree, said Yoder, as the three walked through the Bonnie Hurlburt Student Center.

Jeremiah Vivero hasn’t yet declared a major, but he’s hoping his first semester classes will give him inspiration and then he will “just take it from there,” he said.

The Yorktown native did a lot of research before selecting a college and said Radford University “stuck out to me.”

He hopes to involve himself in many activities while he’s a student, including wrestling and hiking.

Vivero’s mother, Beth Vivero, is excited for her son to go to Radford and “find what he wants to do,” she said.

“It’s a next step,” she continued. “I’m looking forward to this next season of his life. I’m excited for him to find his way and what he will be passionate about.”

Aug 29, 2017
Chad Osborne