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Diversity and Mission Statements

Diversity Statement

Department of Human Development and Family Science (HDFS) fully embraces Virginia Tech’s aspirational goal of diverse and inclusive communities, valuing “the educational benefits of diverse ideas, peoples, and cultures in order to contribute to the equitable inclusion and just engagement of the world’s communities through collaboration and partnerships, guided by open expression, self-awareness, and mutual respect.”

Mission Statement

The faculty of the HDFS is committed to understanding and improving the lives of people of all ages through our education, research, and outreach activities. We strive to accomplish the following in all our endeavors:

  • Build caring communities for learning and working with each other, with students, and with the people we serve.
  • Accept and value diversity; we appreciate differences in people, families, and ideas.
  • Convey that every family has value and that learning should take place in an environment of mutual respect and tolerance.
  • Provide opportunities to learn how to help people live and work in caring relationships, families, organizations, and communities.
  • Facilitate the acquisition of knowledge and skills that will help people resolve individual, interpersonal, family, organization, and social problems.


HDFS embraces collaborative scholarship using diverse methodologies for individuals and families across the lifespan. Our research, teaching, and engagement reflects a commitment toward social justice and advocacy for underrepresented, vulnerable, and marginalized populations.

We are scholars who conduct research that is translatable to real-world applications in the form of ethics, policies, and advocacy. This department thrives on diverse methodologies to study family processes, lifespan development, and life course transitions in the context of risk, resilience, policy, and health. We seek to advance our national and international standing and to sustain faculty involvement in cutting-edge interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary scholarship and engagement.