Inside HOKIE SPORTS | Vol. 14 No. 6 | June 2022 15 ATHLETICSANNUALREPORT Hokie student-athletes utilize their time in Blacksburg to not only improve in their respective sports, but also to evolve as well-rounded rising professionals and citizens in the community. The Student-Athlete Development staff at Virginia Tech held numerous seminars and events throughout the 2021-2022 academic year that allowed Hokies to truly get the most out of their experience while they call Blacksburg home. CREATING A TOP-TIER EXPERIENCE There are opportunities for student-athletes to better themselves outside of sport as soon as they hit campus. Through the Hokies THRIVE program, freshmen were able to attend “Rookie Training Camp” sessions in the fall to learn how to balance their life as a student-athlete. The Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) sponsored a “Welcome Home” tailgate in the fall with Director of Athletics Whit Babcock as the guest speaker. THRIVE continued into the spring when distinguished alums Joey Slye, Taylor Emery, Greg Stroman and Meghan Macera returned to Blacksburg to speak on an important panel on mental health in front of a large gathering of student-athletes at the Student-Athlete Performance Center. To celebrate the incredible year in Tech Athletics, SAAC sponsored “The Gobblers,” an award ceremony in the Moss Arts Center where student-athletes received recognition for their accomplishments in and outside of competition. LEADERSHIP & CAREER DEVELOPMENT Student-AthleteDevelopment at VirginiaTechplacesa real emphasis on molding Hokies student-athletes into exceptional leaders. Each athletics program elects a SAAC representative to serve on behalf of their team on a committee that helps provide insight on the studentathlete experience at Virginia Tech. The S-A Development staff also instituted the “Next Level Leadership Academy”, an application based program that allows student-athletes to regularly meet amongst their peers to find ways to become the best leaders possible. Career development opportunities were also readily available for studentathletes. S-A Development Staff also held a MITRE Career Trek Event, a business etiquette dinner sponsored by Eric and James Gallo, and a Beyond VT seminar for graduating student-athletes to interact with alumni in the professional sector. MOLDING well-rounded Student-Athlete Development strives to create impactful, beneficial experiences for student-athletes LEAVING A MARK IN THE COMMUNITY Hokies were incredibly visible in the community during the 20212022 academic year, living out the true meaning of Ut Prosim. Numerous efforts were made to make an impact outside of competition, including the Adopt-A-Family initiative, Hokie for a Day, the Special Olympics Basketball Tournament, Micah’s Backpack, the Montgomery County Christmas Store toy drive and more. Overall, Virginia Tech studentathletes worked over 3,500 collective hours of community service throughout the academic year. Mekhi Lewis and Elizabeth Kitley were the 2022 Golden Gobbler recipients. Student-Athletes attend Beyond VT seminar. Zeke, a signee from Team IMPACT, poses with studentathletes from Men’s Soccer. Chris Nicola and Georgia Amoore present at The 2022 Gobblers. 2021-2022 SAAC Representatives.