Home-News-Newsletter-CAUS+effect Spring 2020-Dean’s Message Spring 2020

Dean's Message

Hello, VT CAUS family,

And welcome to the spring 2020 edition of CAUS+effect, the online alumni newsletter for the College of Architecture and Urban Studies.

As you might imagine, life around the college has shifted dramatically over these last few months in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, perhaps most notably with a transition to remote teaching and learning for faculty and students that began in mid-March. Although the semester certainly hasn’t gone as planned, especially for our graduating seniors, I’ve been greatly inspired by the responses from across CAUS and hope you will, too.

This issue covers a mix of stories that illustrate how we’re adapting to COVID-19, making progress on college priorities, and highlighting unique school initiatives. You’ll learn more about the hands-on role CAUS students are playing in the design of key spaces in the university’s new Creativity and Innovation District Living-Learning Community. You’ll also get a glimpse of how A+D academic advisor Vern Ferguson has guided students through the recent shift to online learning, and hear about the work SPIA is doing to connect local governments across Virginia to financial planning resources in response to the pandemic.

I also encourage you to take a moment to meet fellow CAUS alums Archie Lee Coates IV and Jeff Franklin, who have championed a Beyond Boundaries approach to art and design since their early days on campus, and also Bob Wells, whose dedication to the building construction program spans decades.

Through the ongoing efforts of our students, faculty, staff, and alumni, I’m continually amazed and encouraged by the resiliency and generosity of the human spirit. I’ve also been reminded that perhaps more than any other college at Virginia Tech, CAUS is well-positioned to consider and address big questions in the wake of COVID-19, specifically those related to health policy and emergency preparedness, the future of healthy cities, and what it means to live a happy and productive life.

Though our time together may look somewhat different over the coming year, I hope to connect with you soon at one of the many upcoming virtual events hosted by our college and the university. Your involvement and feedback become all the more important in the midst of challenging times. Please share your thoughts with me directly at vtcausdean@vt.edu, and stay up-to-date with Virginia Tech’s broader response to COVID-19 through the university’s dedicated site.

Thank you for your continued partnership in our quest to create the next generation of disciplinary leaders and expand the reach of Ut Prosim.