Virginia Tech® home

Get Involved

Insert your title here

Show your Hokie pride by giving back

Lending a hand is just part of being a Hokie, and there are many ways that you can support the efforts of the college, your department, and current students. Each option is unique and helps makes a difference — just like you!

It’s easy and it’s the first step to getting and staying engaged. We want to stay in touch and let you know what’s happening in the college and your department, so please keep your contact information up-to-date.

Connect with alumni and employers, learn about upcoming events, and build your professional network.

Virginia Tech and CNRE host an array of events throughout the year so alumni can connect with friends, network for career success, cheer on the Hokies, and visit the campus that will always be home. Here are just a few to watch for:

CNRE Welcome Back Bash — This annual event welcomes students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends back to campus in the fall.

Homecoming Tailgate — Meet us at the CNRE table on the Holtzman Alumni Center lawn to visit with fellow alumni and friends, faculty, and students.

Networking events — Hokies hit the road every academic year to bring events to you. Events often focus on a particular career field or provide opportunities for young alumni or women to connect.

CNRE Graduation Celebration — Each spring we welcome our graduating seniors into the Alumni Association and host another great opportunity to visit with alumni, faculty, and graduating seniors.    

We believe in Ut Prosim (That I May Serve) and giving other Hokies a leg up, and there’s no better way to bring the two together than by helping a new graduate prepare for and land that first job — or giving a boost to a more seasoned professional. Plus, you can also make your own organization stronger by bringing in new talent.

Want to hire a Hokie?

Participate in a CNRE career fair if you are seeking to hire a curent student or recent graduate for a full- or part-time position or an internship.

Register and advertise open positions on Handshake. This web-based application connects employers to Virginia tech students and alumni and is a fantastic tool to help you recruit from among the very best.

Have you met John Freeborn? He is CNRE’s director of employer relations and he’s on a mission to connect students with their future employers. Opportunities include campus visits, webinars, and internships, as well as the Day in the Life program, where a small group of students spend one to two days at a business or nonprofit to learn about everything from the future of the industry to the culture of the organization.

If you have questions or are interested, email John Freeborn, director of employer relations.

CNRE’s director of recruitment travels the east coast to recruit high school and transfer students for all of our degree programs, but he could use your help. If you like talking with prospective students and parents about your college experience and career, you’ve got this! We also need people with connections to high school science teachers and advisors.

If you have questions or are interested, email John Gray Wiliams, director of recruitment.

The College of Natural Resources and Environment prepares graduates who have the knowledge and skills to make a difference and the passion to want to. If you’re interested in sharing your expertise with current students, check out the options below.

The college’s Leadership Institute allows a select group of students to focus on what makes them tick as leaders  and learn from those who have already risen to the top. The group visits Washington, D.C., and select cities in Virginia each year during winter break, so consider hosting these students at your workplace or look for other ways to get involved with the program.

A variety of speaking opportunities pop up throughout the year and can range from championing diversity and inclusion efforts to highlighting a particular research area.  If you have a specific area of expertise and would be able to come to campus or participate in a Zoom session, let us know.

If you have questions or are interested, email CNRE Alumni.

Do you know someone who has graduated from CNRE, made a difference by standing out in their profession, and continues to engage with and serve the college and Virginia Tech? Consider submitting a nomination for these annual awards. You can also nominate yourself!

If you have questions or would like to nominate someone, email CNRE Alumni.

You can make a difference today by giving to the CNRE Annual Fund or your department's annual fund in order to support experiential learning, scholarships, and research. All of these efforts make an incredible impact on our students’ lives.

Alumni Award Recipients

Two award winners smiling while holding wooden plaques each flanked by their nominators.
CNRE recognized Bettina Ring ’86 (at second from left) and Daniel Patton ’20 (at second from right) as the college’s Distinguished Alumna and Outstanding Young Alumnus, respectively. Bettina was nominated by Jen Gagnon, coordinator for the Virginia Forest Landowner Education Program (at far left), and Daniel was nominated by NASA NEPA/Natural Resources Program Manager Tina Norwood (at far right).
2024 Distinguished Alumna

Bettina K. Ring

College of Natural Resources and Environment Distinguished Alumna Award recipient Bettina Ring ’86 has served and championed the forests of Virginia throughout a 35-year career of leadership and service. Currently the Virginia state director of The Nature Conservancy, Ring has previously served as the seventh state forester for the Virginia Department of Forestry, where she led the agency in collaborative efforts with federal, state, and local government agencies.

In 2018, Ring was appointed by Governor Ralph Northam to serve as the fourth secretary of agriculture and forestry, where she advanced priorities in watershed protection, rural economic development, and food security. A member of the Dean’s Advisory Council and the founding president of the CNRE Alumni Association, Ring has been a tireless and committed supporter of the college’s efforts to protect and steward forest resources throughout the commonwealth.

2024 Outstanding Recent Alumnus

Daniel C. Patton

Daniel Patton M.S. ’20 is the recipient of the 2024 College of Natural Resources and Environment Recent Alumnus Award. Currently an environmental protection specialist for NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, Patton has developed programs and policy development relating to natural resources protection and utilization. He has engaged with current students through Hokie Mentorship Connect and has presented to faculty and students through his role as chair of the NASA Natural Resources Council.

Questions about getting involved? Connect with Tara!

If you want to learn more about how you can impact and be a part of the great work that is happening in CNRE, get in touch with Tara Nepper, director of alumni relations. Tara can help you get connected with the right people in the college or the Virginia Tech Alumni Association. We hope you will take part in ongoing activities or share an idea for a new initiative that suits your talents and interests!

Contact Tara Nepper at or 540‑231‑5484.

Headshot of Tara Nepper

Upcoming Events

Missed a webinar? You can still watch the video!

CNRE hosts a variety of informative webinars each semester. Many feature faculty members discussing their research, while others offer career preparation tools for students. Watch any of our past webinars at your convenience.

Stay connected with the Virginia Tech Alumni Association

Virginia Tech has more than 250,000 living alumni in all 50 states and more than 100 countries. That’s a lot of Hokies, so there are a lot of ways to stay engaged:

Jump-start your career

If you’re actively seeking a new position or getting ready in case an opportunity presents itself, Alumni Career Resources can help.