Donna Cassell Ratcliffe To Head Career Services

BLACKSBURG, Va., June 27, 2003 – Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs Brian E. Warren has named Donna Cassell Ratcliffe as the new director of Career Services. She has been associate director of the department since 1988.

"What an honor and a thrill it is to assume my new role as the director of Career Services, where I will continue to work with a devoted and talented staff," said Cassell Ratcliffe. "During the coming year, we will be working hard to establish a greater awareness of our services, resources, and our value to the Virginia Tech community. We are particularly enthusiastic about the opening of the new Career Services building in late spring 2004. This will foster the Career Services mission on campus and with the employing organizations who use our services to recruit Virginia Tech students."

Career Services helps Virginia Tech graduate and undergraduate students investigate careers and majors, explore internships, conduct job searches, and/or plan for additional career-related education. The office also arranges job and career fairs and assists employers interested in recruiting Virginia Tech student co-ops and interns, as well as graduates. On average, 18 percent of graduates have found their first job through Career Services.

"Dr. Cassell Ratcliffe brings strong leadership, energy and a depth of understanding of issues and challenges for Career Services to her new role," said Warren. "She is an excellent planner with proven enthusiasm and dedication to the missions of the Career Services and the university."

Cassell Ratcliffe holds a master's and a doctorate degree in education from Virginia Tech and a bachelor of science in early childhood education from the University of Maryland, College Park.

She began her career as a teacher in Montgomery County, Md., schools and then moved to King College in Bristol, Tenn., as resident director, where she subsequently set up and became director of their career development center. In 1984, she came to Virginia Tech as a placement assistant in recruitment for Career Services and also served as assistant director for student advising and programming before becoming associate director. She took a year off from Tech from 1994-1995 to manage the merger of the Career Development Center and the Cooperative Education office at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque.

She is a member of the Eastern Association of Colleges and Employers and the Virginia Association of Colleges and Employers, having served the latter organization as first vice president, annual conference chair, and president.

The appointment is effective immediately.