Students get down to business as fall semester begins


Some faculty define and clarify their course syllabus on the first day of class, but others, Regan Lynn explained, “like to jump right into the material.”

Diving headfirst into her courses is routine for the senior from Smithfield, Virginia, she said, while flipping through notes soon after attending one of her first classes of the fall semester.

Lynn is ready to get the academic year started. She’s a senior, so it’s her last year as an undergraduate at Radford University. She’s an allied health sciences major and an Ames Scholar, meaning she will be conducting meaningful and impactful research with faculty this year.

“I’m thinking about doing research on the differences between sumo deadlift and deadlift and looking at which puts more pressure on the back,” explained Lynn, a former high school athlete who is planning to attend graduate school for physical therapy next year.

“Radford is my top choice,” she said, listing potential physical therapy graduate schools. “I really like it here.”

Meanwhile, across campus, freshman Lucas Moyer sat in Kyle Hall examining his course schedule and contemplating his first year as a college student.

“I like small college campuses, so Radford is perfect,” says Moyer, who has already declared criminal justice as a major because he “likes to help people.” He’s planning on “maybe” becoming a lawyer someday. But that’s still some time away. For now, he’s still reflecting on the past weekend, when he played blackjack at the Bonnie Bash, looking forward to the English class he has this semester – “the professor seems really cool,” he said – and ultimately his path toward becoming a college graduate. He’ll be the first in his family to do so.

Lynn and Moyer were just two of the thousands of Radford University students who returned to the man campus and the Radford University Carilion (RUC) location in Roanoke over the past couple of weeks. The process began with move-in on Aug. 17, which was followed by a weekend of fun and games at the Bonnie Bash social event on main campus, as well as a welcome back bash on Aug. 26 and the always-popular Club Fair the following day. But that wasn’t all; welcome back to campus week brought new-to-Radford students together for a convocation, picnic and Class of 2025 photo.

Lynn spent most of the week before classes began catching up with friends and helping them transition back to campus. “Every time I turned around, someone was like, ‘Regan, can you help me move in?’ she said with a laugh.

Moyer moved in Wednesday, with his mom providing a helping hand. “It was really hot,” he recalled.

But the day before, when Brianna Holland moved into her residence hall, “it poured, and I got soaked,” the freshman from Laurel Fork, Virginia, said. That was the first day of move-in, and the day the remnants of Tropical Storm Fred splashed across the region.

Despite the rain, “everyone here was so helpful,” Holland said. Thoughts of that day triggered in her mind the many reasons she chose to enroll at Radford. “It’s a great community of people. There are so many great opportunities here,” including the psychology and pre-law programs,” she noted.

For Sam Caylor and his mom, move-in was an experience that spanned the emotional spectrum. The new academic year is Caylor’s first on campus; he spent his freshman year learning virtually at his home.

“It’s all new to me, and I think it’s going to be a fun year,” said the sophomore from Arrington, Virginia, as his mother, Jessica Szeman, looked on, smiling, with loads of gray grocery bags in her arms.

“Of course, I’m going to miss him terribly. I already cried in the freezer section at Walmart this morning,” Szeman confessed. “But, I’m extremely, super excited for him.”

Radford University Carilion (RUC) students moved into residence halls at the Patrick Henry, about a block away from RUC’s location in downtown Roanoke, Aug. 18-20. Approximately 90 students moved into rooms on the third, fourth and fifth floors of the building.

“Moving is easy and hard at the same time,” emergency services student Fatima Moncon said. “The easy part is getting everything in with these bins that my mom labeled. The hard part is finding a place to fit everything.”

On another floor, respiratory therapy student Lyndsey Newman was hard at work moving into her room with the help of her parents. “So far, moving in has gone smooth,” Newman said. “I’m looking forward to venturing out on my own and making new friends on my own time, but getting settled in here is the first step.”

Colton Chandler, an emergency services student, said independence was the best part of moving in to the residence hall, but he was also happy to be part of the RUC family.

“I’m proud to be a Highlander because I love the community in Roanoke and at RUC,” Chandler said. “The welcome I’ve received so far has been great. I couldn’t have asked for more.”

Aug 30, 2021
Chad Osborne