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10th Annual Residential College Symposium

October 18-20, 2023

Welcome to Blacksburg for the 10th Annual Residential College Symposium

The Residential College Symposium provides an opportunity for faculty and student affairs educators to expand their learning network, share knowledge, and build community, as well as disseminate scholarship about the residential college experience.

Below you will find all the necessary information to make the most of your participation in the symposium including program details, travel information, and more.

We look forward to seeing you in the mountains for RCS 2023!

Residential College Symposium - Breakout Session Schedule.pdf

Wednesday, October 18

  • 4-4:30 p.m.: Van rides available to the University Club for individuals who did not travel by car. If you traveled by car, please drive to the University Club and reference the parking information in the Travel & Lodging section.
  • 4:30-5 p.m.: Reception & Check-In at the University Club
  • 5 p.m.: Welcome from the Opening Reception Sponsor, VPSA, and Provost
  • 5:40-6:40 p.m.: Van rides available from University Club to Inn at VT

Thursday, October 19

  • 8-8:50 a.m.: Breakout Sessions
  • 9-9:50 a.m.: Breakout Sessions
  • 10-11 a.m.: Plenary – Dr. Janice McCabe
  • 11:10-12 p.m.: Breakout Sessions
  • 12:15-1:15 p.m.: Lunch & Learn
  • 1:30-2:20 p.m.: Breakout Sessions
  • 2:30-3:30 p.m.: Plenary – Dr. Jesse Ford
  • 3:40-4:30 p.m.: Breakout Sessions
  • 4:30-5:45 p.m.: Shuttle to Creativity & Innovation Distrist LLP (CID LLP)
    • Shuttle Details: Departure from Inn at VT to CID: 4:30pm, 5pm, 5:30pm 7:30pm 8pm and 8:30 p.m.
  • 4:45-6:15 p.m.: Presentation & Tour the CID LLP at (4:45 p.m., 5:15 p.m., and 5:45 p.m.)
    • Sponsors Hanbury, VMDO, and W.M. Jordan will talk about the creation and build of this one-of-a-kind facility alongside a Virginia Tech colleague.
  • 6-8 p.m.: Student Social at Breakzone! All students are welcome to join for bowling and pizza with the student leaders of the residential colleges.
  • 7:30-9 p.m.: Shuttle from Downtown to Inn at VT
    • Departure from CID to Inn at VT: 5:45 p.m., 7:15 p.m., 7:45 p.m., 8:15 p.m. and 8:45 p.m.

Friday, October 20

  • 8-8:50 a.m.: The Future of the Society with Dr. Karen Inkelas and Dr. Carl Krieger
  • 9-9:50 a.m.: Breakout Sessions
  • 10-10:50 a.m.: Breakout Sessions
  • 11 a.m.-12 p.m.: Plenary Session & Lunch – Laurie Fritsch, MSEd, CHES, CTTS
    • Boxed lunches will be available at 11 a.m. for those who also need this option to support their travel plans.
Dr. Janice McCabe

Dr. Janice McCabe

Dartmouth College
Associate Professor of Sociology
Allen House Professor

Dr. Janice McCabe is the Allen House Professor and an associate professor of sociology and in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Dartmouth College. Her book, Connecting in College: How Friendship Networks Matter for Academic and Social Success (University of Chicago Press, 2016), and current research focus on friendship networks and identities during college and into young adulthood. She is interested in how gender, race/ethnicity, and social class operate as social identities and how they shape social networks. Her research has been published, among other places, in the Washington Post, Time magazine; NPR, New York Magazine, and the Boston Globe. She teaches courses on the sociology of education, youth, gender, social problems, and research methods at Dartmouth. She is also in her seventh year co-leading Allen House, one of Dartmouth’s six House Communities, as a live-in faculty member.

Dr. Jesse Ford

Dr. Jesse Ford

The University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Assistant Professor, Higher Education
Faculty In Residence, The Historic Quad

Dr. Jesse R. Ford hails from the heart of South Carolina, where his upbringing on a farm instilled in him the values of diligence, determination, and hard work. Currently, Dr. Ford serves as an Assistant Professor of Higher Education within the Department of Teacher Education and Higher Education at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Additionally, Dr. Ford serves as a Faculty in Residence within Housing and Residence Life. His innovative approach as a scholar practitioner intertwines theory and practice to pave the way for the next generation of educators.

As an advocate of tempered social change, Dr. Ford is dedicated to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion among organizational leadership and cultures in higher education, non-profits, and corporations. Prior to his role as an assistant professor, Dr. Ford served a Teaching and Research Assistant at Florida State University; as Assistant Director of Office of Multicultural Student Affairs and a Student Affairs Crisis Coordinator at the University of Miami; a Summer Orientation Graduate Assistant at North Carolina Central University; a National Pan-Hellenic Council Programming Board Advisor at the University of South Carolina; and Resident Scholar for Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity Program.

Throughout his journey, he has built an expansive knowledge and skill base related to diversity, equity and inclusion practices, curriculum development, teaching, training, conducting and business and institutional assessments, nonprofit evaluation, crisis management, strategic planning, marketing, branding, recruitment, and retention. Dr. Ford is a member of Phi Beta Sigma, Fraternity, Inc. Dr. Ford holds a Ph.D. in Higher Education from Florida State University, as well as a master’s degree in Higher Education and Student Affairs from the University of South Carolina, a bachelor’s degree in history from Coastal Carolina University, and a certificate in Program Evaluation from Florida State University.

Laurie Fritsch, MSEd, CHES, CTTS

Laurie Fritsch, MSEd, CHES, CTTS

Virginia Tech
Assistant Director of Hokie Wellness
Digital Well-being Specialist

Laurie Fritsch holds a bachelor’s degree in health and physical education from Virginia Tech, where she continued on to receive her master’s degree in health and physical education. She has been working in college health at Virginia Tech for 23 years and is a proud member of the Hokie Wellness team. Laurie is a Certified Health Education Specialist through the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing, INC. and a Certified Tobacco Treatment Specialist through the Association for the Treatment of Tobacco Use and Dependence. Her professional affiliations include being a member of the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing and the Bacchus Network.

Program Types

  • Plenary Sessions: All conference conversation from an expert in the field.
  • Traditional Presentation: 45-minute presentation with 5-10 minutes of Q&A.
  • Panel Discussion: Moderated discussion and conversation between panelists (generally, individuals who offer a level of expertise in the area they are representing. Moderator will have prompting discussion points and then allow for audience Q&A.
  • Lunch and Learn: Facilitate a lunch table dialogue about presenter’s research (past or currently underway), program initiatives, or a discussion with colleagues who may have interest or be exploring the same issue/idea.)
  • Engaging Students and Faculty in an Ever-Changing Landscape: Focusing on how to engage a new generation of residents and faculty in the residential college experience. Strategies for building connection between faculty and students.
  • Student Thriving & Flourishing: How the residential college experience enhances student thriving, belonging, and builds meaningful relationships & community.
  • Creating Inclusive Living Learning Program Environments: Creating inclusive co-learning environments among students, faculty, & administrators. Motivating and guiding students to co-create an inclusive living-learning environment that centers belonging & community.
  • Data-Driven Decision-Making: Examining how to show effectiveness within evolving campus models of data-driven decision making. Innovations in residential college assessment & research practices.

The 2023 Residential College Symposium will be held at the Inn at Virginia Tech and on the Virginia Tech campus.


By Air

The closest major airport is Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport, about 38 miles northeast of Blacksburg. It is serviced by Allegiant Air, Delta, United Airlines, and US Airways, which connect to dozens of leading metropolitan cities (Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Detroit, NYC/LaGuardia, Orlando/Sanford, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC).

Ground Transportation Available

The following are options for any ground transportation you may need after your arrival. These services can be found on the first floor of the terminal near the baggage claim area.

  • Smart Way Bus Service (1-800-388-7005 or 540-982-6622): Service is $4 per person to Blacksburg. The bus operates Monday through Saturday (does not run on Sunday) at regularly scheduled times. Bus drops off on the Virginia Tech campus at the Squires Student Center stop. Call The Inn at Virginia Tech (540-231-8000) to schedule a shuttle pickup from Squires to The Inn. Visit the website for the exact route and times.

Car Rental Information

Cab Services

The following cab services are available from the Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport.

  • B Early Roanoke Blacksburg Airport Transportation: 540-926-3300

By Car

The Inn at Virginia Tech and Skelton Conference Center
901 Prices Fork Road
Blacksburg, VA 24061

Google Maps

Driving directions: From I-81 (southbound or northbound): Exit 118B Blacksburg/460 West. Exit Prices Fork Rd/Downtown, Route 412 East. Right at first traffic light into hotel entrance.


Smart Way Bus (Bus stop located approximately 150 feet east of terminal building.)

Download Schedule, 800-388-7005 or 540-982-6622

The Smart Way is a commuter bus service that links the Roanoke Valley to the New River Valley. The service begins in downtown Roanoke at Valley Metro's Campbell Court Transportation Center and ends at the Virginia Tech Squires Student Center. The route from the New River Valley to the Roanoke Valley is the exact reverse.

For more information regarding the Smart Way Bus, please visit

  • While at the Inn at Virginia Tech (901 Prices Fork Road), you are able to get a guest parking pass at the front desk to utilize their parking as either a conference participant or overnight guest.
  • For reception parking at the University Club (185 Beamer Way), you are able to park in Lot 4 without the need for a parking permit. If the lot is full, more information about visitor parking is available through Parking Services.

Wednesday, October 18

If you do not have a car available to you, we will be running two minivans between the Inn at VT and the University Club at the following times:

  • Leaving the Inn at VT: 4:15 p.m. and 4:35 p.m.
  • Leaving the University Club: 6:15 p.m. and 6:35 p.m.

Thursday, October 19

We will run a shuttle between the Inn at VT and Downtown through the evening for all conference participants.

  • Departure from Inn at VT to the Graduate Life Center loop: 4:30 p.m., 5 p.m., 5:30pm, 7:30 p.m., 8 p.m, and 8:30 p.m.
  • Leave Graduate Life Center loop to Inn at Virginia Tech: 4:45 p.m., 5:15 p.m., 5:45 p.m., 7:15 p.m., 7:45 p.m., 8:15 p.m., and 8:45 p.m.

Residential College Symposium

The goal of the Symposium is to provide an opportunity for faculty and student affairs educators to expand their learning network, share knowledge, and build community, as well as disseminate scholarship about the residential college experience.

Thank you to our sponsors: Hanbury, VMDO, and W.M. Jordan for your generosity in making this conference possible.