Tag Archives: virginia tech

Introducing Emily!

Our new intern, Emily McCaul, will be with us for the duration of the upcoming summer. We are very excited to have her! Learn all about Emily, in her own words, from her sophomore year reflections below.

This past year at Virginia Tech was one filled with unthinkable opportunities, spontaneous travels, belly-hollowing fits of laughter, and tragically normal nights of Netflix-watching – because yes, Michael Scott truly is the man. Every day was different, sometimes stressful, yet always there were opportunities provided to smile with friends, drink good coffee, and contribute to a conversation with substance. It was a year of many firsts, some enjoyable, others less-than-bearable, but overall, it was a year of self-discovery.

In addition to my busy schedule as a sophomore at Virginia Tech with a double major in multimedia journalism and creative writing, I had a variety of experiences this year that contributed to my personal growth including:

I moved into my first apartment.

IMG_1303I received my first DSLR camera (it was a Canon, for some saucy specification and standard imagery), then my first tripod, and then my own Tascam recorder. And wow – had I ever truly felt like a journalist before that moment? It was questionable.

I covered a concert for Brad Paisley, Jenny & Tyler, and (my third concert for) Juxtaposition, one of the all-male, award-winning a cappella groups of Virginia Tech – the group is incredibly gifted, and I did shamelessly cry during their rendition of Coldplay’s “Fix You.”

I also cried from stress, from heartache and from finals this year; I’m a college girl with a lot on her plate, like many of my other classmates, so I tell myself it’s justified.

I survived finals, aided by my lovely friends from Starbucks, Keurig, Mill Mountain, EspressOasis, Bollo’s and Dunkin’ Donuts. Also, before you ask, yes, I do take coffee with my coffee.

I snapplaused to poetry in a safe place, and yes, I did love it.

IMG_3548I experienced New York City at Christmas, standing on top of Rockefeller Center in the middle of the night, with my sister and best friend.

I screamed over the madness that was a near upset in Met Life Stadium, four days before Christmas, as the undefeated Panthers nabbed three (unbelievable) points in overtime over the New York Giants – still cringing.

I applied for an internship with The New York Times during the first round of finals weeks, and two days later received an interview, then an offer to join the team as Virginia Tech’s Collegiate Representative.

I discovered a budding love for videography, which I fed through the creation of multiple, amateur videos of friends and promotional footage for the Times.

IMG_5334I learned to make time for the friendships that meant something to me, and without anticipating it, met a few new friends in the process.

I wrote an article that went viral over the time span of one weekend. It was about Disney Channel. I was not ashamed.

I got a bad hair cut, on a whim, and cried before reaching the car. I’ve since grown out the bad haircut, and it’s okay now.

I rode on a bus for 14 hours to Panama City where I got to play with steel wool on the beach at night, feet sinking into the sand, laughing into the warmth of the sparks, and tucking away the memory for future story telling.

I interviewed Paula Deen in Roanoke when she visited to promote her new furniture line at Grand Home Furnishings. She was incredibly sweet, and I was given the opportunity to share the story of how she overcame her struggle with agoraphobia.

I interviewed the New York Times’ best selling author, critically-acclaimed poet, Grammy nominee, and Virginia Tech professor, Nikki Giovanni, whose humble words of encouragement will forever imprint a perspective upon me I hope to share with others.

IMG_2483I met a boy in line at a coffee shop one night, impromptu and unexpected, who ended up sitting down and talking with me until the shop closed at midnight. That boy is now my boyfriend, and he is incredible.

I witnessed Elton John live in concert, belting out the high-pitched lyrics to Benny and the Jets with hundreds of other women.

I went kayaking for a few hours during the second round of finals week with my best friends, and it was one of the best few hours of my sophomore year.

I consumed far too many caramel cheesecake milkshakes from Cookout.

I watched my best friend graduate from Virginia Tech this spring, pick up her diploma, and hug me through tears and the daunting, ringing thought of ‘….wow, this is real, isn’t it?’

I received a phone call from a starstruck little sister who was named the valedictorian of her high school, of whom I am incredibly proud and look forward to attending school with next year at Virginia Tech, as a freshman in engineering.

IMG_3443And finally, this year I decided I was going to fulfill my dream of becoming a writer in New York City, who is proud of her work, changing lives for the better, and bringing a voice to the profound and voiceless people of today.

That’s what I did this year. It was a year of many firsts, some enjoyable, others less-than-bearable, but overall, it was a year of adventurous and unexpected self-discovery!

Stay tuned for more articles and memorable adventures from Emily this summer!

Giving Back: Love Your Melon

Love Your Melon was founded in October 2012, with the simple idea of putting a hat on every child battling cancer in America. Two college sophomores, Zach and Brian, set out to fulfill their mission of improving the lives of these children, traveling from coast to coast with hats in hand.
Not only does Love Your Melon provide hats for patients, they also sell them (along with other items) to the public. Through funding from product sales, they can continue to give hats to children newly diagnosed each year in addition to the 45,000 to which they have already committed.
Also, fifty percent of the net proceeds from their sales go to the Pinky Swear Foundation (providing immediate support for children battling cancer) and CureSearch for Children’s Cancer (to fund research initiatives to beat childhood cancer completely).
In order to reach their goals, Love Your Melon has expanded significantly in the last few years. They now include a network of college students across the nation called Love Your Melon Ambassadors. To date, more than 2,500 college students at over 225 different schools have signed on to sell and donate hats. Locally, Kinzie Trompak began a chapter at Virginia Tech in the spring of 2015.
IMG_8888For Kinzie, the desire to help children battle this disease went beyond sending a check to an organization. It was about getting involved personally and creating a bond when people needed it the most.
“It is really rewarding to be able to go and do donation events at hospitals,” she explains. “It gives you the opportunity to put a face to the cause.”
Kinzie’s initiative to establish a chapter at Virginia Tech was the first big step to help children in our area battling cancer. However, it is important that we get behind her and show that we, as a community, are part of their team.
“Readers can help by purchasing anything on the Love Your Melon website and crediting the Virginia Tech campus,” she says. “We are currently the only campus in Central and Southwest Virginia that participates in the Love Your Melon Ambassadors program.”
Visit www.loveyourmelon.com to check out their selection of beanies, caps, shirts, and accessories. Their beanies are perfect for the remainder of winter, and their shirts will make a great addition to your summer wardrobe so you can love your melon throughout the year!

Love Your Melon

Some of the most important people in this world are those that go out of their way to help children in need. That’s why we want to recognize the amazing team at Love Your Melon.

Brian_Zach_Superheroes_1280x500_900pxFounded by two friends, Zach and Brian, Love Your Melon has been on a mission to improve the lives of children battling cancer since October 22, 2012. It was founded on the simple concept of putting a hat on every child battling cancer in America. They also sell hats, shirts, and accessories committing fifty percent of net proceeds on every Love Your Melon product sold to the Pinky Swear Foundation and CureSearch.

“On December 18, 2012, we got to go to our first hospital donation event and it was then that we knew how cool this idea was. Seeing the smiles on the kids faces that day was incredible so we kept making the hats,” says co-founder, Zach.

To date, more than 2,500 college students from over 225 different schools across the nation have signed on as ambassadors to sell and donate hats. This includes a group of students at Virginia Tech.

You can help too! Visit www.loveyourmelon.com for more information or to purchase a hat, shirt, or accessory of your own. Portions of the proceeds from your purchase will go to help cancer research initiatives and provide immediate support for families impacted by childhood cancer.

Totally Selfish Reasons to Practice Sustainability

Okay, so unpopular opinion time: I love the idea of trying to save the planet, but when it comes right down to it, I typically make decisions that are most convenient for me.

When I started working for the Hybrid Electric Vehicle Team (HEVT), I made more of an effort to keep the environment in mind when making daily decisions. I found that practicing sustainability didn’t just help the environment, it also made my life much easier.

Don’t believe me? Here are three totally selfish reasons to practice sustainability:

vtgreen31) More space
Do you know what DOESN’T maximize space in your apartment? The ten thousand plastic grocery bags sitting on your washer and dryer. Carrying a reusable grocery bag immediately solves this problem (and HEVT gives these away for free, so if you need one hit us up). Also, most reusable grocery bags carry more groceries than plastic bags, which means less trips from the car. As for the stack of plastic bags already robbing you of your closet space? Micah’s Backpack and other organizations collect plastic bags so they can use them when packaging food for donation.

2) Money money money (monaaayyyy)
Even with gas prices going down, I still get that sinking feeling when the numbers at the pump go up and I can picture my balance at the bank going down. Opting to walk or take the bus a few times a week can make a large difference. If you are in the market for a new car, hybrids have been proven to save consumers money over time. Unplugging items such as coffee makers when you are not using them can also cut down electricity costs, which creates less of a burden on the environment.

3) Locally-grown food tastes better
Buying local is a good idea all around. Less travel means less pollution and gas consumption. Supporting local business means keeping money in the community. Seeing where your food comes gives you control over what hormones do and do not enter your body. But the biggest reason I buy local? It tastes So. Much. Better. Nothing can compete with a tomato picked fresh off the vine.

vtgreen1Written by Sara Lepley, the communication manager of the Hybrid Electric Vehicle Team of Virginia Tech (HEVT). HEVT competes against 16 other universities in a four year competition in which they transform a 2016 Chevrolet Camaro into a hybrid electric vehicle. Their two headline sponsors, General Motors and the Department of Energy, challenge HEVT to reduce petroleum usage and greenhouse gas effects, while maintaining safety, performance and customer acceptability. They also help in mind cost and innovation. This is Sara’s second year on the team.

A Revolutionary Fashion Show

11159474_1066620466701105_5632565588832350239_nThe Fashion Merchandising and Design Society Annual Fashion Show, “Revolution” is coming to Virginia Tech on April 30. The show will premiere at 8 pm in Squires Student Center’s Commonwealth Ballroom.

Unlike the preceding “Urban Jungle” fashion show, which featured urban street style, this year’s “Revolution” themed fashion show will have a futuristic and innovative theme with encouragement to designers to break away from current trends and focus on infinite, boundless possibilities. Each of the thirteen student designers will feature a small collection, ranging from 2 to 6 outfits, which they have been working on since the beginning of the academic year.

The twenty-six participating student models have attended weekly model workshops this spring where they have learned to walk, turn, and pose correctly under the leadership of  Virginia Tech alumni and model Midori Amae. This is a show that fashion enthusiasts will not want to miss!

Visit their website for more information and to purchase your ticket today!

The Lindee Tree: College Life

You have been nurturing, coaching, teaching and preparing your child for this pivotal moment. The grand entry into adulthood. College. It is a big transition for everyone and moving this big, new life into a tiny space can be challenging!

I wanted a one stop shop to make this process easy, affordable and comfortable. I found exactly what I wanted at Bed Bath and Beyond. They offer a FREE in store service called, Pack & Hold®. This service helps students easily get their stuff to college and is especially beneficial for those attending a school that is distant from home. Students can select dorm room essentials at their home store and then have everything ready to pick up for purchase at a store near campus for FREE! Here are some items from BB&B to help make this move fun, easy and stress free.

Pop up hamper BenBedding

The “Campus Collection” bedding comes in a variety of colors and patterns to match any personality, style or decor. It is designed to fit the extra long beds often found in dorm rooms. For a great price, you get quality products that are durable and easy to wash.

Storage

For your closet, a Studio 3B 6-Shelf Sweater Organizer is fantastic. It fits right over your closet rod and you can pack it with much more than sweaters. It also has pockets on the side for accessories and other personal items.

Food/Beverages

School meal programs are often buffet style, Mini Keurig 1so take extra food back to your room in storage containers and store them in a mini fridge.

Instead of overpriced coffee, use this little Keurig. It comes in a variety of colors and is the perfect petite size for a dorm room.

Laundry

The Novelty Laundry Bags are great way to keep your laundry tied up until laundry day. They also make it easy to carry.

This Pop-Up Flip Hamper is also great. You can use it as a hamper in your room, then zip it and carry it on laundry day. When laundry is clean and folded, pack it back into the hamper to carry back.

Showers

Laundry bag AlexFlip flops, shower caddies and these Dri Soft Towels are a must. These towels come in varied colors and dry ultra fast so they are easier to store in your dorm room.

What to wear?

College gear* of course! These students will be attending WVU and Virginia Tech. For our lady, I found University Girls Apparel at ugapparel.com. They have a wide variety of accessories, tops, jackets and even dresses. This is definitely the place to shop for the female student or fan.

Campus Emporium in Blacksburg, VA is the best place to go for your Virginia Tech gear. You can also visit them online. They have clothing, decor, accessories and more!

Ben and Alex 1*Our female model is wearing WVU apparel from University Girls Apparel. Our male model is wearing Virginia Tech apparel from Campus Emporium.

For more information, visit Lindee’s website and “like” her on Facebook.com/lindeetree.

Lindee Katdare is the Chief Artist/Designer for “The Lindee Tree.” She teaches vegetarian cooking classes at the Roanoke Natural Foods Co-Op, designs numerous art events in the Roanoke Valley and is passionate about re-purposing and up-cycling items. You can also catch her hosting “Living with Lindee” every Tuesday on NBC, WSLS 10 “Daytime Blue Ridge.

Fall Bike Ride for a Great Cause

Virginia Tech is hosting a Veterans@VT Combat Cancer Bike Ride on October 12! The ride is fun activity for families and friends to participate in together as an effort to get outside and enjoy some beautiful fall weather.

In addition, proceeds from registration and donations will benefit the Blue Ridge affiliate of Susan G. Komen and student veterans at Virginia Tech.

Unlike most rides where riders choose one of several distances, this height-of-foliage season ride will feature a 20 mile loop that individuals or teams are invited to ride as many times as they like. This allows the ride to cater to all ability levels and ages, and makes it a fantastic family activity.

The ride will begin at 8am, rain or shine, and will remain open until 4pm. There will be bike shows, food stands, and a live band at the finish for your entertainment. So grab a bike and a friend and head to the Veterans@VT Combat Cancer Bike Ride on October 12 at Floyd Eco Village in Floyd, VA!

Register for the ride now at www.veteranscombatcancer.org. Registration is only $45, and it includes a long sleeve technical tee and a ticket for the chance to win some great prizes (including a bike)! You can also like them on Facebook by following this link.

 

Written by Eleanor Haeg.