Diversity Equity and Inclusion on Campus with Roge

Let’s meet Roge, who recently graduated from Roanoke College as a double major in business administration and Spanish. His story is truly inspirational. Born in Guatemala and raised in Roanoke, he’ll tell us more about how Roanoke values diversity as a key part of building a kind community that every student thrives in. Take it away, Roge.

– Gracias, Alex. Hello, everyone. As a first generation Latino, born in Guatemala and raised in Roanoke, I dreamed of studying in college, but thought that was impossible for me. Roanoke College gave me the opportunity to chase my dream. Their faith in me not only allowed me to continue my education, but also reaffirm my belief in myself and my abilities. When I arrived at Roanoke College, I felt a call to leave a legacy focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion. I joined campus club focused on diversity and work with the Office of Multicultural Affair. Winning the Garren Excellence and Diversity Award in 2023 confirmed that my effort did make a difference and fueled my determination to create a campus where everyone felt valued and respected. I worked to break down barrier advocate for change and create inclusive spaces where diverse voices could thrive. I’m grateful for the opportunity Roanoke College provided me and confident that this legacy of empowerment and the inclusivity will continue to shape this campus for years to come. Roanoke College is committed to equity and inclusion. It promotes diversity in social justice by allocating resource to support underrepresented students. I believe that a college education goes beyond job skills. It’s about embracing the unique contribution of every individual in our community. At Roanoke College, we are not alone on campus, we are a catalyst for change. It all begins in believing in yourself and being the voice of transformation.

– Thank you, Roge, for emphasizing Roanoke dedication to improving the quality of life for students of multicultural backgrounds and through a more welcoming and comforting environment, helping them excel academically and socially. You are an inspiration and your legacy will continue to shape this campus for years to come. We appreciate you, Roge.

It’s time to meet Kylee, a junior involved in multiple areas on campus, such as the volleyball team, intramurals, on campus jobs, and more. Roanoke has over 140 clubs and organizations, 27 varsity and club teams, eight fraternities and sororities, and five religious groups. There really is something for everyone at Roanoke College. Kylee, you are up.

– Thanks so much, Alex. Hi, everyone. The reason I came to Roanoke College was to play on the women’s volleyball team that initially got me on campus, but once I was here and met the people and experienced the atmosphere, I just knew there was more to love than volleyball. The spirit on campus is like nothing I’ve experienced before. I love Friday Night on the Quad, Pack the MAQ and Maroon Madness. These events offer live music, sports, and other activities like ax throwing, bull riding, corn hole, and line dancing. In addition to events, there are over 140 clubs which provide opportunities for students to explore their areas of interest. I’m in multiple clubs like intramurals and Student Athletic Advisory Committee, and I have three on-campus jobs. I work as a Maroon ambassador, group fitness instructor, and as an athletic department employee. There are plenty of job opportunities on campus, so finding one that matches your passion is easy. Through clubs and jobs, I have met amazing people and taken on new adventures. Roanoke offers endless opportunities to get involved and blossom. Our campus is a close-knit community, so it’s become second nature to acknowledge each other with a simple wave or a smile. Our professors are part of that community as well, so I love getting to see them when they’re at my games or simply when they ask me about my life and education At Reynold College is more than just assignments and exams. It’s about becoming a part of a community and thriving outside of the classroom. Roanoke College has equipped me with valuable life lessons that has prepared me for the future. With one year left until graduation, I feel ready to take on any challenge. Thank you for letting me share my Roanoke College experience. Back to you, Alex.

– Great job, Kylee. The ability to build community is at the core of student life. One of the best things about Roanoke is that students love to be on campus and take part in campus activities. We appreciate you taking the time to share your experience, Kylee. Take care.

All right, everyone, let’s meet Conrad, a junior from North Salem, New York, and a member of the Roanoke lacrosse team. Roanoke College is part of the Old Dominion Athletic Conference where the Maroons are consistently near the top, Roanoke houses top-notch athletic facilities, and the Maroon spirit is unreal. Tell us all about it, Conrad.

– Thanks, Alex. What’s up everybody? Growing up, I always wanted to play college lacrosse and I was fortunate enough in high school to get recruited by several schools. Each had their strengths and weaknesses, but from the second I stepped foot on Roanoke campus, I knew it was the place I wanted to be. The athletic facilities at Roanoke were the first thing that convinced me to choose this college. The Cregger Center is a state-of-the-art resource that offers exceptional amenities to our student athletes, including top-notch locker rooms, training clinics, weight rooms, and stadiums that enable us to perform at our best. We have the resources and support of a college three times our size, but what really makes this place special is the people. The coaches and trainers are helpful and knowledgeable and take stock in each athlete, making our teams feel like a community. Professors and classmates constantly ask me how our season is going, and the student section makes playing at Kerr Stadium an environment you can’t find anywhere else. There’s nothing like playing under the lights against your rival team in front of a packed crowd on a Saturday night. Roanoke rallies around its student athletes and supports them win or lose. The winning tradition of Roanoke lacrosse has positively impacted my team on and off the field. It inspires us to become better leaders and to outwork others in every aspect of life. Seeing Roanoke trophies and achievements in our locker room reminds me every day that this is a legacy for life. I’m so grateful to represent Roanoke College as a student athlete. Nothing beats wearing the Maroon jersey and the tradition accompanying it. There’s no place that feels like Salem. The experiences and memories I’ve had here over my first three years have been truly remarkable. Well, it’s time to get back to it, Alex. See you on the field.

– Thank you, Conrad, your hard work on and off the field is a true testament of what it’s like being a student athlete at Roanoke College. The Maroon spirit is loud and proud and students are not shy about supporting their teams. Good luck on your season, Conrad, and we’ll see you on the field.

Let’s meet Lolo, an international student from Vietnam who is double majoring in Spanish and screen studies with an anthropology concentration. One of the many experiential opportunities at Roanoke is the study abroad program. Students have the opportunity to see and be part of the larger world. These experiences can open minds, broaden perspectives, and prepare you for a future of amazing opportunities. Go ahead, Lolo.

– Thank you, Alex. There are many options when it comes to choosing a school, but for me, Roanoke College was the clear choice. Coming from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, I wanted a tight-knit community where I can get to know everyone. I didn’t want to just be another number in the lecture hall, so Roanoke’s campus size helps my professors see me and my work. The international office here at Roanoke College made me feel really welcome. From orientation to organizing shopping trips that helped me acclimate to life in the United States. The international community bonded through these events and created a support network as we branched out to find our own niches on campus. Even though technically I’m already studying abroad, Roanoke College still encourages me to pursue its various study abroad offerings, just like domestic students. People have gone to countries such as Peru, Greece, and Japan. Currently, I’m deciding between Argentina and Spain, either of which will help me grow academically in my Spanish major. Students can spend three weeks, a semester or even a year abroad with over 100 countries to choose from. The faculty at the Global Engagement Center has been incredible in helping me determine the best time for my year abroad. Their guidance and support have been invaluable in helping me navigate this exciting opportunity. Ultimately, being book smart isn’t enough in this rapidly changing world. To work with and connect with the people, you have to be out there with the people. From business to law to more creative pursuits, you need to understand human nature and the multitude of ways in which it exists. How better to learn this than to study abroad? Sending it back to you, Alex.

– Wow, Lolo, your transition to the United States as an international student is inspiring. Now, over 200 Roanoke students take advantage of the month and semester-long study abroad programs where they have the opportunity to live, work, and succeed in a totally different cultural environment, just like Lolo. Thanks again for sharing your story.

All right, y’all, it’s time to meet Allison. A current freshman majoring in public health and sociology from Alexandria, Virginia. Roanoke prides itself in its commitment for students to not only thrive in a professional environment, but also build a life with meaning and purpose. One of the many ways they accomplish this is through their innovative core curriculum. Tell us more, Allison.

– Thanks, Alex. Welcome to Roanoke. When I started my college search, I knew I wanted a small school with big opportunities, but finding that school was a little harder than I thought. When my senior year happened, an admission counselor from Roanoke came to visit my school and invited me for a campus tour, and that’s how I found my perfect match. From my first visit, I was so excited about the opportunities, from orientation and welcome week, I learned so much more about campus and what activities I could be involved in. My first big activity was becoming a research assistant for my public health professor researching type one diabetes. Last semester, our theater department put on the musical “Cabaret” and it was so much fun to be a part of. Around campus, I’m also a tour guide and I’m involved in several different clubs. Even though I knew about activities I wanted to do, I wasn’t quite sure about my major, so my summer advisor put me in some classes based on my interests, like sociology and public health. In addition, our Intellectual Inquiry Curriculum or INQs helped me to decide what subjects I was interested in. Our INQs are required courses covering various different fields like lab science, history, and math. They’re also relatable to many different fields. For example, last semester I took a class on adolescent health, which taught me that I really like public health, and now I’m a double major in public health and sociology. INQs are a fantastic way to take more classes in your major or try something new. When I first arrived here, I had no idea I’d find so many opportunities while making such great memories. Roanoke is truly the place where you can find your purpose and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for the next three years. Back to you, Alex.

– Allison, thank you for sharing your story on how the innovative curriculum at Roanoke helped you find a meaningful major. This unique curriculum certainly helps students develop the skills that will make the most difference in their lives after college, work life included. We can’t wait to see your path to success. Thanks again, Allison.

Buckle up y’all, here is Pierce, a current sophomore majoring in mathematics. Like all Roanoke College students, Pierce has taken advantage of the multiple outdoor adventure opportunities Roanoke has to offer. With the Blue Ridge Mountains all around the campus, how can you not love these views? Pierce, please show us more.

– Thank you for the introduction, Alex. My college search started with touring the biggest Virginia State universities. It wasn’t until I played my last high school volleyball game before I discovered Roanoke College. It didn’t take long after that to know that Roanoke was the place for me. Being a part of the new men’s volleyball team was a massive draw. I was part of leading the charge in the program’s first year. The view from the Cregger Center with the curtain open is unlike any other view in the nation. Practices and game days have never looked so good. I’ve also gotten involved with our campus recreation department, Rooney Rec, which includes our fitness center, outdoor adventures, and intramural sports. I work as a supervisor for intramural sports where I plan and participate in some awesome programs. We recently hosted a pickleball tournament for students and had a ton of fun with floor hockey and bash gym. As a varsity athlete, it’s great to be competitive with new and unique activities. It’s also great to find a community with folks through sports, be it one that you’ve always loved or are totally new at. I also join in on outdoor adventurous activities often. Recently, they’ve gone caving, hiked to Apple Orchard Falls, and went indoor climbing at our local climbing gym. Living in the Roanoke Valley means there’s plenty of opportunity to hike the Appalachian Trail, explore the Roanoke River, and even see the Valley from the Roanoke Star. Learning here at Roanoke College has inspired me to take on new challenges and get outta my comfort zone. The Roanoke Valley is waiting to be explored. I’m now ready for anything on the court, in the classroom or in the world. Back to you, Alex.

– That was fantastic, Pierce. Thank you for sharing your involvement with outdoor adventures and showing us this beautiful location that fosters transformational learning and fun through outdoor experiences. Your story emphasizes that the connection to a border community provides these valuable opportunities without having to go far. Take care, Pierce.

We can’t wait for you to meet Bryana. Originally from Maine, Bryana is involved in the honors program, research and service learning. Roanoke is known for its academic exploration opportunities. The students here have unlimited options to explore research, which includes all areas from the arts and humanities to the social sciences and sciences. Take it away, Bryana.

– Thanks, Alex. Hey, everyone. When looking into colleges, I knew I wanted to leave my home state. I chose Roanoke College ’cause I want a small campus with many opportunities and Roanoke fit that bill perfectly. Coming into college, I wanted to be a business administration major and really hope to be part of the honors program. Getting into the program filled me with excitement for the next four years. Honors has given me a community of advisors and nearly 50 classmates I call friends. I’ve also connected with people across campus by joining various clubs and organizations that align with my interest. From being a part of our co-ed environmental fraternity to participating in the Women ECON club and the Rock Climbing Club, I found communities that resonate with me. Additionally, I’ve had some exhilarating experiences with outdoor adventures including whitewater rafting, caving and bouldering trips, which have added excitement and camaraderie to my college journey. Recently, I received an incredible research opportunity from a club advisor to work in the ECON lab. I’m diving into sustainable investing, something I never imagined I’d get the opportunity to work on outside the classroom. We research independently, but still meet as a group to discuss our progress and collaborate. I’m currently doing a literature review and reading articles. It’s been an eye-opening experience and I’m learning so much through hands-on research that goes beyond traditional coursework. No matter the major you choose here, there are a thousand opportunities to expand your horizons and try new things. There are many research opportunities to get to know your professors outside the classroom. I’ve created excellent connections with students and faculty through all the clubs, labs, and programs I participate in. That’s my story. Back to you, Alex.

– Wow, what a cool story, Bryana. Your passion for what Roanoke has to offer is contagious. You truly highlight the opportunities that are offered for each individual student, but also the importance of the personal mentorship from faculty members, which truly makes a difference. Thank you for sharing your experience, Bryana. Take care.

Let me introduce you to Evan, a senior from Durham, North Carolina. He’s a soccer player here and takes part in many other activities and traditions right here on campus. Over the nearly 200-year history of Roanoke College traditions have been developed and have been passed down from student to student. These traditions are what make the Maroon stand out. Let’s get to it. Evan, take it away.

– Thanks, Alex. Hey, everyone. When I was looking at schools, the only thing I really knew is that I wanted to play soccer, but as soon as I stepped foot on Roanoke’s campus, I knew this was the perfect place for me. One of the things I love most about Roanoke is how it feels like a family. Whether it’s my classmates, teammates, professors, or staff, I’ve been able to connect with everyone I’ve met. We have some fun traditions here at Roanoke like Fridays on the Quad, where the entire campus gathers for dinner and outdoor activities to kick off the fall semester. But there’s one thing you gotta watch out for, the campus seal, legend has it that if you step on the campus seal before graduation, you’re not gonna graduate on time. I try to stay away, but if you do accidentally step on the campus seal, you can go kick the kicking post for good luck, which is right nearby. Another special tradition we have is the 100 Days event for seniors, held 100 days before graduation every January. It’s amazing to walk around and recognize almost everyone in your class highlighting just how close knit our campus community is. When I first stepped foot on campus, I had no idea how close the community that I’d be joining was, but four years later, I’m not ready to give it up. As I figure out what’s next, I’m always gonna remember conversations with the Commons staff, away trips with my team and countless other memories, but that’s about all I got, so thanks, Alex, back to you.

– Great job, Evan. What an awesome story and outstanding traditions. The preserved history of Roanoke College has remained a key component to campus life and the close-knit community offered. Even though Evan is in his final year, we are confident he is more than prepared for the next step. Thanks again, Evan.

Okay, everyone, meet Mahaan, a freshman here on campus from South Africa. Roanoke College is a residential community with the purpose of not only building community, but also offering great housing and dining experiences for its students. Roanoke provides a variety of dining and housing options to choose from because college is more than just an academic experience. All yours, Mahaan.

– Thanks, Alex. Hey, people, being from South Africa, people often wonder how I found my way to Roanoke College. Long story short, I finished high school here in the States and during my junior year, I took an honors humanities class with a professor that was a Roanoke alum. I resonated deeply with him, and so I applied and cannot be happier. Adjusting to college life here is easy. I’ve made Roanoke my home. During the summer, I was able to choose my preferred dorm and room type, so I went for a double in Maxey Hall, our newest residence all on campus. Looking ahead, I’m excited to have even more housing options for me to choose from, like single rooms and apartment-style living, but that’s not until next year. Now, let’s talk about dining, because I love to eat. My friends and I make it a tradition to have group meals at our main dining hall whenever we can. We’re spoiled for choices with options like Mediterranean shawarma, Mexican and Japanese rice bowls, chicken korma and pancake nights. Basically anything and everything you can think of. The best part is that Commons is open all week, so we can always find time together and enjoy our meal together. The Cavern is another go-to spot for fast food favorites, especially a late night craving since it’s open until 11:00 PM. Freshens, our newest edition offers healthy bowls, wraps and salads. I can’t get enough of their Thai chicken rice bowl. And for their essential morning caffeine fix, Rooney’s Brews in the library is the perfect spot for many students. Learning how to live well on campus is still something I’m learning to do. Figuring out a balance for classes, social life, mental health, and everything else is something that takes time, still, Roanoke College is here to support you and make sure that you feel at home. Okay, Alex, I’m getting hungry. Take it away.

– That is so impressive, Mahaan. The housing and dining experience is a significant element to a student’s college transition and your story of making Roanoke your home truly exhibits what Roanoke College stands for. Cultivating outside-of-the-classroom experiences to ensure you enjoy your campus to the fullest. Save some from me, Mahaan, and take care.

Let’s catch up with Abby, a junior majoring in international relations and religious studies. When Roanoke students need career support on campus, they visit PLACE, which stands for Purpose, Life and Career Exploration. The amazing staff here helps students find internships, graduate schools and careers, and those Roanoke College success rates are impressive. Tell us more about your accomplishments so far, Abby, take it away.

– Thanks, Alex. Hey, everybody. I’ve always been interested in global politics, other cultures and the world around me, and I wanted a small school so that I could have personal relationships with and extra support from my professors, and I found that here at Roanoke with the small class sizes, it makes all of those connections effortless. I was initially drawn to Roanoke College because its renowned international relations program and support of alumni network, but now what I love about it is how many doors have opened for me and my career as a Maroon. Thanks to the on-campus career center, also known as PLACE, I’ve taken part in two enriching internships, a stint in D.C. and a chance to welcome new students to campus. PLACE stands for Purpose, Life and Career Exploration, and it’s much more than your average career center. It’s every student’s compass on campus. It goes beyond resumes and interview prep by allowing students to identify and champion their purpose in life after graduation. I’ve also found passion in my work, interning at the National Organization for Women and in gender health, addressing the Virginia Senate and collaborating with change makers. I’m proud to have had the opportunity to work with people who are truly changing the world and it’s all thanks to PLACE. PLACE serves as a hub on campus, linking students to postgraduate opportunities, managing our Handshake platform for nationwide job connections and offering the Meet a Maroon program for alumni insights. PLACE ensures our readiness for applications, interviews, and the professional journey ahead. I’m grateful to Roanoke College for helping me develop my career. I love being at a school that enables you to transition into the real world. Figuring out what comes next is scary, but I know that I can do anything here at Roanoke because I have an entire team of people to help me figure it out. Back to you, Alex.

– Thank you, Abby, your story helps acknowledge the resources available at Roanoke to secure student success after college. Roanoke College students and alumni brag about one-on-one advising, connections to jobs and internships, professional coaching, and the list goes on and on. We can’t wait to see what the future holds for you, Abby. Thanks again.