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Virtus Community

Program Overview

The Virtus Living and Learning Program is a two-year living and learning community designed for male engineering students. The primary focus of Virtus is on promoting community and inclusivity within the Clark School and the field of engineering. Virtus seeks to emphasize the importance of diversity and inclusion in the field of engineering and empower students to shift the culture of engineering to be more inclusive of underrepresented groups in the field of engineering, including, but not limited to, women. The Virtus community works closely with Flexus: Dr. Marilyn Berman Pollans' Women in Engineering Living and Learning Community.

 

Through the promotion of social, intellectual, and leadership development, Virtus seeks to provide the resources and structure for first- and second- year engineering students to be successful through graduation, positively impacting the retention and graduation of undergraduate students in the A. James Clark School of Engineering. To do so, Virtus provides Living and Learning experiences that promote community, critical reflection, and creation of change.

 

Program Features

Living with Virtus

First-year Virtus participants are required to live in the common residential community, Easton Hall. Second-year Virtus students are allowed to live elsewhere, but are encouraged to remain in Easton. Living with this community helps students to connect with peers in engineering and develop a peer support network. Students can easily create their own study groups, benefit from peer tutoring, and engage in a variety of social activities specific to the development and interests of the community.

In addition, the Flexus & Virtus Student Lounge is available within Easton Hall for all Flexus and Virtus participants. This space is used for free tutoring services, studying, and other activities.

Learning with Virtus

All participants in Virtus are required to enroll in a 1-credit seminar course each semester for a total of four seminar courses during their first- and second-year.

A key feature of the program, these 1-credit seminars explore a range of topics that seek to: enhance campus and community engagement; promote critical self-awareness; and connect engineering to social issues.

Below is a table providing an overview of the curriculum throughout the two year program:





First Year Fall

First Year Spring

Course Theme

First-Year Transition

Course Theme

Professional & Career Development

Course

ENES 113

Course

ENES 114

Credits

1

Credits

1

Second Year Fall

Second Year Spring

Course Theme

Introduction to Diversity & Inclusion in Engineering

Course Theme

Introduction to Engineering & Social Change

Course

ENES 213

Course

ENES 214

Credits

1

Credits

1

 

Social and Academic Support

In addition to the Living and Learning Program, Virtus students can also enjoy other resources provided by the Women in Engineering Program, such as: networking opportunities; mid- semester advising; participation in the Peer Mentoring Program; and access to WIE staff.

Applying for the Program

Eligibility Requirements

As space is limited, Virtus is designed for students who are not a part of other Living and Learning Programs, though all students are welcome to apply. Please note that applicants unaffiliated with another Living and Learning program (including but not limited to College Park Scholars and Honors College) will receive preference for enrollment into Virtus. Applicants that are currently a part of other Living Learning Programs will be admitted if space is available.

Application, Review Process, and Timeline

To apply, please complete the Virtus application.  

The deadline to apply for Virtus is Monday, April 1, 2019

The deadline to complete the University of Maryland campus housing agreement is Wednesday, May 1, 2019.

Program Contact Information

Elizabeth Kurban
Assistant Director, Retention
Phone: 301-405-8308
Email: ekurban@umd.edu

Becky Kenemuth
Assistant Director, Outreach & Recruitment
Phone: 301-405-3283
Email: rzonies@umd.edu

Julia Anderson
Program Coordinator
Phone: 301-405-9434
Email: jander03@umd.edu