Getting Started

Welcome to the Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation!  As a new grad student, you have a lot to do to get on your feet.  The current grad students put this list together to save you time by letting you know: a) where to go and what to do for each item and b) what needs to be done first (i.e. you need a Hokie Passport before you can accomplish many of the things on this list, but you need to register for classes before you can get the passport).  We know you’ve been given other checklists of things to do, and they may include other items not on this list, but we hope that this list will be the most complete and user-friendly.  We’re here to help.

 As a new grad student:

1) Get PID and password – all ‘new student’ documents will show you how to do this.

2) Give your email address and cell phone number to Dana Keith to be added to the departmental listserv (

3) Give your email address to Kat Miles ( to be added to the grad student listserv (

4) Instructions for joining other Listservs can be found at


4) Find out where your desk is located


5) Get keys

-Speak with your advisor or mentor to find out what you need to access.

-Get your advisor or the department head’s signature on the key request card.

-See Dana Keith (Room 100) for keys to aquaculture center or mussel lab

Or Arlice Banks (Room 324) for office keys.

-Take up to Arlice Banks, bring a $5/per key deposit.

-can pay by cash or check payable to “Treasurer, VA Tech”.


6) Find out who your grad mentor is: contact the Orientation Chair (see Current Officers page). You should have received a welcome email from your mentor.


7) Register for courses

-Online, using Hokie SPA

-Can only be done after graduate orientation


8) Get Hokie Passport

-Go to the Hokie Passport office, Student Services building

-Must be registered for courses

-Must have photo ID

-Must fill out green form (available in the student services building)


9) Get internet access for your laptop or computer if necessary

-See CNS Student Telecommunications, student services building

-Must have your Hokie Passport


10) Link your computer to the department copier/printer.


Other Necessary Steps:

11) Pay tuition and/or ancillary fees

-at the University Bursar, Student services building

-Student Fees: Can be paid all at once or directly deducted from your paycheck throughout semester. You can apply for payroll deduction in HokieSpa under the “University Account Information” tab.


12)  Fill out necessary start up and payroll paperwork with Dana Keith for direct deposit and reimbursements.

Make sure you have a passport or your driver’s license and social security card beforehand.


13) Set up medical insurance

-at the Student Medical Insurance Office, Rm 110 Student Services building

-Located just past the CNS Student Telecommunications desk

-Must have your Hokie Passport

-You must already be set up in the system for payroll for the current semester

-Confirm with Dana Keith before visiting the medical insurance office.


14) Prepare for welcoming meeting.

-Self-assessment/statement of strengths and weaknesses



15) Put money on Hokie passport

  1. a) At library, for printing – retail account
  2. b) At West End, for food (a separate account from the library – dinning dollars). You can’t buy food with cash at West End – but they now accept credit cards.


16) Get a parking Pass

-From either the Parking Services Main office (455 Tech Center Dr.) or the Parking Services office in the Student Services building.  Parking fees may be paid all at once or directly deducted from your paycheck throughout the semester/year.

-You will need:

-Parking Pass Form –available online or at either office

-Hokie Passport

-Vehicle Registration

-See for more information


17) Get Proof of Enrollment (for any student loans, etc.)

-University Registrar, 2nd floor of the Student Services building


18) Please sign up for the training concerning Hokie Mart ordering and sign up as “On Behalf Of” requestor and then request on behalf of your administrative assistant and talk with your administrative assistant concerning travel. Always fill out a Travel Estimate Approval form for any traveling for the department, located in the filing drawer in 106 Cheatham.


19) Talk with Terri Waid concerning use of the Federal and State FIW vehicles.


20) Tara Craig is in need of a photo from you for our website.



Sarah Karpanty           Room 150          – Graduate Program Coordinator

Dana Keith                  Room 100          – Office Manager

Beth Jones                  Room 106          – Bookkeeper

Lynn Hayes                Room 101C        – Administrative Assistant

Tara Craig                   Room 106          – Administrative Assistant

Terri Waid                   Room 106          – Administrative Assistant

Teresa Quesinberry   Room 138B        – Academic Program Support (registration)