Funds from the College of Science’s Giving Day campaign are typically used help support and retain our nationally renowned faculty, support new and exciting research opportunities, and provide student scholarships. This year there will be an additional cause: The newly created College of Science Textbook Scholarships program. The effort is to lighten the financial burden for students in need by providing funds that can be used to purchase textbooks, be they print or digital, as well as digital access codes.

Giving Day 2023 takes place noon to noon on Feb. 15-16. Last year, 853 Science Hokies, alumni, and friends took part in Giving Day. This year, the college’s goal is more ambitious, with college leaders hoping to hear from more than 1,000 of our alumni and friends. 

Started earlier this year, the college has already been able to provide textbook scholarship funds for more than 70 students.

Running the program, part of the college’s Coalition for Diversifying Science, are Estrella Johnson, the assistant dean for inclusion and diversity, and Jess Hoopengardner, the college’s director for inclusion and diversity.

"We have heard from students for years who were unable to purchase textbooks and access course materials,” said Johnson, an associate professor in the Department of Mathematics. “It is so hard knowing that we have students who are struggling in their classes not because they can't do the work - but because they can't afford the materials they need. Having this donor-supported scholarship program will make such a difference for these students."  

Among the student recipients is Daisy Hernandez-Ramos, a third-year student majoring in psychology. In a letter to donors who already have supported the Textbook Scholarships program, she said, “As a transfer and first-generation student your support means a tremendous amount to me and will continue to keep me motivated in my education. Being able to focus more on my academics rather than having to focus on how to fund my education helps me maintain a positive mindset while having a positive educational experience.”