Harvey Knowledge Center opens in McConnell Library

Local businessman and longtime Radford University supporter George Harvey Sr. speaks at the unveiling of the Harvey Knowledge Center in McConnell Library.
Local businessman and longtime Radford University supporter George Harvey Sr. speaks at the unveiling of the Harvey Knowledge Center in McConnell Library.

Radford University officially unveiled its newest learning hub on Oct. 5.

The Harvey Knowledge Center is located on the fourth floor of McConnell Library and is a combination of the Harvey Learning Center and the Warren P. Self Learning Assistance Resource Center (LARC), formerly located in Walker Hall.

The center provides an array of helpful resources for both students and faculty, including small and private study areas, one-on-one academic coaching, study groups and other forms of group collaboration and upcoming workshops designed to help students become lifelong learners.

“We really envision the center as a place where students can connect to a community, and a place for questions, exploration and inquiry,” said Harvey Knowledge Center Director Dr. Jessica Beckett. “It’s a hub to connect faculty and students to campus resources and bring the Radford community together.”

More than a dozen undergraduate coaches are available at the center to help student-learners achieve academic success in all areas of study, from biology and math to the humanities, Beckett continued.

“We really want to emphasize transferable skills, so rather than just coming in and getting help on one particular exam or one particular assignment, students are getting support that they can apply in other courses or other exams they might take,” Beckett said. “We hope when they come in, they’re not just here for help one time but they’re becoming connected to a community of learners. They’re building a support system.”

The center is a result of the university’s 2018-2023 Strategic Plan: “Embracing the Tradition and Envisioning the Future.” Throughout several strategic plan discussions, students and faculty identified a need for an updated learning center. The LARC, explained Associate Provost for Academic Programs Jeanne Mekolichick, was an older model, and based on the current needs of students and faculty, that model needed to shift.

“The LARC was focused on helping students overcome those little speed bumps, a valuable skill, and the Harvey Knowledge Center is focused more broadly on helping you learn the tools that you need to be successful in life,” Mekolichick said. “How do I become a lifelong learner? What do I do when I face any kind of challenge in learning? That broader skill development, self-efficacy, self-advocacy, working in teams - all of those pieces that will help our students in their professional lives, their civic lives, their family lives, and so on. It’s a much broader, deeper vision of learning.”

The center is named after George Harvey Sr., a local businessman, community leader and a longtime supporter of Radford University.

In 1997, the Harvey Learning Center was established at Radford University to honor a lifetime of achievements and contributions to the quality of life in the city of Radford and throughout the region. Driven by university leadership and several donors – the center’s purpose was to provide technology and access to online resources in the areas of nursing, therapeutic recreation, nutrition and social work.

The center was designed to serve as a referral service for area physicians, hospitals, and social service agencies providing a practical learning experience.  The name was fitting, as improving the quality of health and access to educational resources for the people of the local community has been at the forefront of Harvey’s civic agenda.

“Today, we’re standing in a space allocated to continue to provide these services, but now in an even greater capacity,” said Mekolichick at the HKC unveiling event. “The combination of the Warren P. Self Learning Assistance and Resource Center (LARC) with the Harvey Learning Center will serve a larger number of students in a centralized location – making a direct impact on our ability to assist our students throughout challenges and opportunities in their college experience. We are so appreciative of the continued support Mr. Harvey provides to our faculty, staff, and students and it’s very appropriate that the merging of two very strong programs bears his name.”

Harvey attended the event with his wife, Juanita, and several of his children.

“Knowledge is so important in our lives,” Harvey told event attendees. “We cannot do anything without proper knowledge. There’s one word in the vocabulary that’s outstanding to me: decision. We make decisions all the time. Without proper knowledge, you cannot make proper decisions. So, to me, knowledge is so important, and I’m hoping that’s exactly what this learning center will do by helping all of these young minds to be able to have the knowledge to make decisions that will be a part of their life, and help them make good decisions. There are a lot of good opportunities out there if you make good decisions.”

The Harvey Knowledge Center is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., with flexible scheduling for weekends. All services are free to students.

Find out more about the Harvey Knowledge Center on the center's website.

Oct 17, 2018
Mary Hardbarger
(540) 831-5150