9-10 a.m. on home game Saturdays
Assembly Hall at the Holtzman Alumni Center

Join us during the football season for a series of Saturday morning lectures before home games featuring faculty experts. The talks are free and open to the public.

Sept. 9

Topic Description
Associate Professor Matthew Gabriele
College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences
“Thinking about the Middle Ages with Game of Thrones”

The medieval is all around us, with references in the news, architecture (Burruss looks like a castle!), and pop culture. Gabriele, from the Department. of Religion and Culture, is a medieval historian who teaches a popular course at Virginia Tech on Game of Thrones. He will discuss why we think about the Middle Ages when we watch the show and where those references come from.

Learn more:

Assistant Professor  David Goldsmith
College of Architecture and Urban Studies
"Constructing the Future: How we are using robots, drones, and 700 MPH trains to impact the future"

Goldsmith co-advises Virginia Tech’s Hyperloop team, which placed fourth at the international SpaceX competition in 2016. The team is gearing up for another SpaceX competition in January. Goldsmith will talk about the process of building a passenger carrying pod that is propelled through a near-vacuum tube at more than airliner speed.  

Learn more:

Sept. 23  

Topic Description
Kim Daniloski
Visiting Assistant Professor

Linking Lives
Creating Sustainable Social Change Study Abroad Program


Learn about the Creating Sustainable Social Change Study Abroad Program in the Pamplin College of Business from student participants and the program’s
co-director Kim Daniloski. Students in the program spend a semester abroad. They take coursework on international development and social change in Europe and complete service learning projects in Africa.

Sept. 30

Topic Description
Mark Embree

Virginia Tech Blazes a Trail with Computational Modeling and Data Analytics


Steve Holbrook



Harry Sontheimer

School of Neuroscience





Oct. 21

Topic Description


Dean Julia Ross
College of Engineering


"Inclusive Excellence in Engineering Education"


Dean Paul Winistorfer
College of Natural Resources and Environment
“The College of Natural Resources and Environment:
On the Launch Pad and Ready to Go to the Moon”

Learn how the College of Natural Resources and Environment is poised to be a leader in solving natural resources issues that will apply to all humans.

Learn more:


Sustainability Institute Director Angie De Soto
College of Natural Resources and Environment


“Preparing Students to be Effective Employees in a Changing World”

Did you know that most millennials want jobs that align with their sustainability values, and over half are willing to take a pay cut to do so? At the same time, employers seek new hires with hands-on experience and strong soft skills. Angie will talk about how the institute’s “Boot Camp” mimics a workplace to train students in critical skills sets, connect employers and students through problem-solving sessions, and create pipelines for purpose-driven employment. Students from over 60 different majors have participated to date including aerospace engineering, building construction, economics, finance, GIS, and real estate.

Learn more:

Oct. 28  

Topic Description

Dean Alan Grant
College of Agriculture
and Life Sciences

"College Update"                                                      
Grant will offer an update on the college.

Professor Shaun O'Keefe
College of Agriculture
and Life Sciences

"Fermentation: 8,000 years of probiotics and food preservation"
The origins of fermented foods are lost in the fogs of history. Fermentation probably arose by accident, but the new tastes, better nutrition, and better preservation of foods after fermentation became important for the world's earliest civilizations. Bread, beer, wine, yogurt, cheese: these new foods became important drivers for people to embrace agriculture and animal husbandry, leading to the development of cities and writing. We have developed a new option for our students that focuses on fermentation and fermented foods.

Extension Associate and Coordinator of
Virginia Household Water Quality Program 
Erin Ling
College of Agriculture
and Life Sciences

"What's in your water"
All of the water that will ever be, is on Earth, right now. Although water cycles through the “water cycle," shifting magically from clouds to precipitation to surface and ground water, it is a finite resource. About 71 percent of Earth is covered in water, and human bodies are made up of 65 percent water.  Only 2.5 percent of Earth’s water is fresh and drinkable.  It is said that the wars of the not-so-distant future will be fought over this precious resource, yet in this part of the U.S., water is largely taken for granted. Where did water come from originally, and what can analyzing water tell us?  Water is an amazing solvent, grabbing parts of whatever it comes in contact with (sediment, metals, and chemicals).  Analyzing water shows us a signature that, much like a person’s customs or accent, tells us quite a bit about where the water has been.  Understanding these characteristics of water quality can help people appreciate it as a resource: something tangible, valuable and irreplaceable.  What’s in your water?

Associate Professor Plant Pathology,
Physiology, and Weed Science
David Schmale
College of Agriculture
and Life Sciences

"High Flying Microbes"
The air around us is teeming with microscopic life forms. With every breath we take, we inhale thousands of bacteria, viruses and fungi. Some of these microbes cause diseases in people, domestic animals or plants. Others may affect the weather, triggering hail, snow and rain. A few even manage to cross oceans and continents. New tools and technology have opened our eyes to a whole new world that extends just a few thousand meters above our heads. In the process, we are starting to answer important questions about where these microbes come from, where they are going, and how much they impact our world along the way. 

Nov. 18

Topic Description
Mike Dunn, PE
Manager, Transportation Planning and Engineering For the Office of Universtity Planning

The Master Plan – A Vision of the Future of Virginia Tech




Parking is available on a first-come, first-served basis in the Holtzman Alumni Center lot. Enter through The Inn at the Virginia Tech entrance from Prices Fork Road.  Parking lots open at 7 a.m.

Notify the parking attendant you plan to attend this event at the Alumni Association to receive free parking.