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Message from Department Head


Oct. 20, 2015 – By Bob Smith

The students are back, the nights are getting cooler, and Hokie football is in the air. The week before classes start is always an exciting time on campus. The students with their parents invade Blacksburg with enthusiasm and dreams of making the dean’s list. Our department welcomes back all of our students and we wish you a great year.

Our department continues to grow with over 100 students for the fall semester. Both our SBio and packaging programs saw student enrollment increase for the fall. We graduated 26 students in the spring of 2015, with most of them finding jobs or going on to graduate school. This is the most asked question we get from students and parents entering our programs. “What type of jobs do students get with our degrees and are there jobs?” The answer to the second question is Yes. It helps considerably if a student had an internship during his/her time here. We have employers who will start looking at students as early as January for summer internships or full-time employment. The type of job is a little more difficult to say, since it depends on the area the student focused upon during their time with us. traditionally in the SBio area, students found placement within the natural resource based industries as entry level managers, technicians, laboratory specialists, marketing/sales personnel, or in quality control. In our pack- aging programs students find employment in product development, supply chain management, quality assurance and design. There are many other opportunities for careers for students after graduation. Students should please visit with their advisors or other faculty to get a good idea of career paths.

Our department held its annual retreat this summer to identify areas where we can improve programs for our students. We spent the day reviewing our course offerings, con- ducting exercises on sustainability aspects in our classes, and student recruitment. our department continues to work very hard on in- creasing the awareness of our programs to students on and off campus. The college has hired a new recruiter this summer and we will work closely with him to bring our message to high school students that there are great career opportunities studying the science of sustainable biomaterials. Our discipline applies Science, Technology, Engineering and Business to the nation’s most abundant, renewable natural resources. and while doing this, students can make decisions that impact the sustainability of these resources and improve our environment.

We welcome everyone back for fall semester and wish you success in your studies. If you have any questions regarding our programs, please contact me at rsmith4@vt.edu or stop in room 230 Cheatham Hall.


 

   

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Course Recommendations:

To help you explore your interest in any of the degrees, we recommend trying some of our introductory courses:

Packaging Science

Sustainable Biomaterials

 


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