Virginia Tech® home

Community Engagement

[Cynda Johnson, founding dean]: The diversity of Roanoke is much more than many people understand. Everything from young people to retirees coming back to the area perhaps because the health care options are good and this is what we're training for.

[Karen Eley Sanders, former chief diversity officer]: We define diversity more broadly than just race as it should be.

[David Trinkle, associate dean for community and culture]: Our students are immersed in our community. We have a very diverse community a very open and friendly community. Every different culture is here.

[Evelyn Garcia, former chair, radiology]: The arts are available, sciences, community activities, volunteering activities, sports activities, just about anything you could ask for.

[Sara Bahraini, medical student]: Roanoke is a big festival place we have a festival for pretty much anything you can think of. They've got a Greek festival, strawberry festival, wings festival.

[Sara Blante, medical student]: Local colors: it's a festival where you will have different ethnic groups represented of people that live in the Roanoke area and they will wear traditional clothing from their countries and there will be dances and music and food.

[Jonathan Kelly, local entrepreneur]: Different peoples from all walks of life. It's like a mini New York the melting pot.

[Brian Redd, sr. vice president, Bank of America]: It's afforded me every opportunity to not only be successful professionally, but it's also allowed me to get involved from a community aspect and actually affect change.

[Silpa Thaivalappil, class of 2016]: This is the most welcoming community event in so far even just like the first weekend I was moving in and we were shopping for furniture and we told people like oh I'm a new student at Virginia Tech they're so welcoming it's so excited to have students here.

[Katie Gambale, class of 2016]: When we go out into the community people recognize that we're medical students and I think it's just a warm feeling that we get from everyone.

[Jeff May, Jr, site director, Westside Community Center]: In this area there are people who need your gifts. There are people who need your talents. There are people who need the reason why you are exactly who you are. We need you here.

[Chris McLaughlin, class of 2017]: Without a doubt coming to Roanoke and being in the Blue Ridge Mountain area that's just once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Each year, the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine welcomes students from across the country, and we do all we can to help make Roanoke feel like home. The medical school has many programs in place to involve students in the Roanoke Valley. From service learning to youth mentoring and more, these interactions help to build well-rounded future physicians and connect Virginia Tech Carilion to the community.

Within the medical school itself, students encounter many cultural and community-based opportunities to enrich their education. We strive to mix creativity with traditional medical education for the benefit of our students and the community. The Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine proudly hosts numerous art exhibits, public programs, service learning opportunities, youth-focused activities , and much more each year.

Student Engagement in the Community

Personal Wellness


Through value based, meaningful, and critical service students impact not only their communities and future patients but have the opportunity to create policy that can improve the overall health and wellness of their community.

Destination Areas link to website

Medical Reserve Corps

VTCSOM students, faculty, and staff who have signed up to be part of VDH’s Medical Reserve Corps and volunteered to be contact tracers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Community Events

Creative Arts

A great way to involve community members in the life of the school, the Creativity in Health Education Program expands the social, cultural, and humanistic awareness of the school’s students, faculty, and staff by integrating the arts into their daily routines.

Mini Medical School

Over the course of several evenings, members of the public visit our school and engage in a series of lectures and discussions on timely topics with relevance to medicine and public health.

Ways for Community Members to Get Involved

Community Engagement Advisory Board

The mission of the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine Community Engagement Advisory Board (CEAB) is to encourage student and faculty engagement in many diverse ways in our community.

Standardized Patient Program

Standardized patients are used by the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine, and by many other medical institutions, to train and evaluate students.

Healthstorian Camper

Community Collaboration Projects

The Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine welcomes the opportunity to partner with community organizations, especially those that work with youth and diverse populations. The Office of Community Engagement is frequently able to assist with community events, such as science fairs or other volunteer opportunities. Many student clubs also seek opportunities to engage with the community, providing STEM opportunities for local youth. Please contact us if you are interested in partnering with us.

Personal Wellness


A partnership between VTC School of Medicine and multiple partners, the Healthstorian mobile "storycorps" camper will capture the history of healthcare in our community.

Destination Areas link to website


The Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine is a growing destination to host regional, national, and international conferences. 

Engagement Programs for our Youth

Beyond Boundaries link to website

Within Reach

An inspirational program designed to expose high school and college students to a range of health care careers as well as regional higher education programs that can help them get there.

Health Professions Enrichment Program

An educational outreach program for 40 high-potential 9th and 10th-grade students who are passionate about science and health-related careers.


Since 2018, the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine hosts the Virginia State Science and Engineering Fair in Roanoke as a way to engage students from across the commonwealth.

Kids' Tech University

Every year 10-15 medical students participate in Virginia Tech's Kids' Tech University where they interact with 400 children and their families in an engaging hands-on exhibit in science.