Whitney Hayes grew up in Appalachian Virginia and received her Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing from Virginia Tech.  Following her graduation in 2008, she traveled to India for six weeks to teach English in the Himalayan Mountains.  She returned in 2009 and moved to the D.C. Metropolitan area where she stayed for several years.  In 2011, she abruptly took an internship in London, where she lived for one year.  Upon its completion, she returned to Virginia and immediately began applying to graduate schools.

Hayes received her MFA from Chatham University in Pittsburgh, where she lived for four years. She has recently returned to Blacksburg, VA to pursue a second Master’s in Sociology.



Hayes Portrait

1 Comment

  1. Dear Whitney:

    I am a Hokie – reading this in Athens GA right now. Thank you for this. I read an equally inspiring one today from a Hokie Freshman who really gets it to be one of us. The link to her article is here http://blogs.is.vt.edu/writeandwrong/2011/12/10/the-snake-bit-college-a-response/

    I got your article from one of the responses and I cried before you even predicted that one would tear up. I came to VT in Fall of 2007 when the spotlight had lifted. I came there as a Family Therapy student and immediately became an agent and player in the healing process. I’ve dealt with personal struggles of many who lost their loved ones in my therapy room. I grew and grieved and saw and experienced a Hokie tomorrow. I also wrote this on FB today

    “Who we are is what happens to us when no one is watching. The media needs to realize that life goes on in profound and meaningful ways at Virginia Tech after they leave. In the quiet buzz of resilience and imagination, our community weaves itself closer and ties strong knots where required, only to rise up like the phoenix to invent the future. That is often not fully understood or rarely captured by anyone other than those who live that truth every day – which is every Hokie at VT and from VT. We do not have a curse and what we are as a education institution and a community is a blessing – a blessing and an evergreen reminder of strength of character, spirit of service, and unmatched imagination that will pave each of your future paths tomorrow. What we are is a recalcitrant reminder of hope, character, and a true definition of a living and learning community”

    You are powerful and sharp as a knife with your words. Thank you for touching my reflective moments this evening – though you wrote this years ago.

    My name is Deepu George, and I am currently finishing my degree at University of Georgia as my professor moved here. I love VT and will always be a hokie no matter what. I have served in every position a graduate student can at VT. I hope to hear from you and connect with your and your writing more. Thank YOU so much.

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