Guy A. Sims, assistant vice-president for student affairs at Virginia Tech, has announced that Nicki Cantrell, director of student activities, will be retiring at the end of February in 2009.
“Nicki has served as the director for more than 12 years and in that time her wit and wisdom has positively affected students, staff, and faculty alike,” said Sims. “An integral part of not only University Unions and Student Activities but the entire Division of Student Affairs, Nicki provided clear direction and ideas that both supported and furthered the mission of Virginia Tech.” In the transition, Sims will provide oversight to the student activities office, which is located on the third floor of Squires Student Center.
“From the moment I came for my interview in 1996, I knew I wanted to work with and for [Virginia] Tech students and to be a part of this university,” said Cantrell. “Virginia Tech truly has an identity of its own, a wonderful sense of community, and I’ve been privileged to be a part of the Hokie Nation.”
Cantrell received her bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Georgia and her master of education from the University of South Carolina. Her more than 30-year career in higher education student services includes positions at Columbia College and the University of South Carolina, as well as her 12 years at with University Unions and Student Activities, a unit within the Division of Student Affairs at Virginia Tech.
At Columbia College she was dean of students for 15 years. At University of South Carolina she was assistant to the dean of student activities in their division of student affairs. She came to Virginia Tech in 1996.
As director of student activities, Cantrell is responsible for all student activities functions at Virginia Tech and sets policies pertaining to student programming and works to ensure that the total program offerings are relevant to the needs of all student cultural groups. Her duties include student programming and the advisement of major programming organizations, leadership development, registration and funding of student organizations, accounting for student activity fees, and the advisement of the Student Government Association and the Order of the Gavel. She also serves on the vice president of student affairs leadership team and is one of two Division of Student Affairs representatives on the Blacksburg Town/Gown Community Relations Committee.
Cantrell is a member of Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Honor Society, the Alpha Lambda Delta National Freshman Honor Society, and Alpha Gamma Delta Fraternity. In 2007 she was recipient of the University Unions and Student Activities Mission Possible Award, given annually to the employee who demonstrates the characteristics exemplified in the University Unions and Student Activities Mission Statement by working with the entire campus to enrich the quality of campus life; provides a variety of educational opportunities, programs, and services to faculty, staff, and students; enhances student learning through advising, mentoring, and modeling positive work ethics; and promotes and values an environment of cultural diversity.