Progress Notes August 2023

Welcome New Students!

As associate dean for community engagement it is my honor to welcome the VTCSOM Class of 2027 to both our medical school and Roanoke. I am a Roanoke native who came back after my medical training 30 years ago and joined the medical school with its inception in 2008. Roanoke is a much different place than it was when I grew up here. It has been exciting to see the rapidly evolving changes - all continually improving our community. The outdoors, arts and culture, historic places, breweries, restaurants, greenways and more are awaiting you!

I hope you’ll find that Roanoke is a welcoming community, one that is very proud of its medical school. The community will welcome you with open arms and may even treat you like a rock star!

One of my jobs is helping you become engaged with our community in meaningful ways that not only help you understand where your patients live, work, and play but also to broaden your understanding of our community and meet our diverse people and organizations. We created VTCSOMEngage several years ago to help connect students with various projects and organizations in the community where needs have clearly been identified.

Why the emphasis on engagement? Given the complexities of medicine today and the growing needs of any community with underserved or marginalized populations- we know we need you! We need new physicians who will not just work in a community but engage in it and improve it. It falls back to a simple Virginia Tech motto and a goal for all students Ut Prosim (That I May Serve).

It is also important to know that Roanoke, unfortunately like so many other communities, has not always been so welcoming. VTCSOM became highly engaged around the events of George Floyd and formed a task force and other initiatives to improve diversity measures and education within the school. VTCSOM and Carilion Clinic recently sponsored the Hidden in Plain Site- Roanoke documentary series.

The school is also a supporter of the Roanoke Collaboration Project focused on promoting civility and mutual respect when discussing the complex problems society faces.

Of course, the aim of all of these initiatives ties together- encouraging future physicians to be change agents within their communities and health systems. I look forward to working with each of you over the next several years and welcome any questions or thoughts as you settle in to both your new school and new community!

Dave Trinkle
Associate Dean for Community Engagement

collage of new students
Get to know the Class of 2027!
  • 6,184 total applicants with an acceptance rate of .82% for a total of 51 students!
  • 16 different states represented, with 9 students from Virginia!
  • 39 undergraduate institutions represented, with 3 VT graduates!
august events

News Around Campus

Social Media

Make sure to follow our official VTCSOM accounts! InstagramFacebookTwitter


Sharita Brown has been invited to be an advisor to the Leadership Roanoke Valley program.

Congratulations to James Kittinger and Gwen Ghee who have taken on new roles at VTCSOM. Kittinger joins Beth Bond as executive administrative assistant to Dean Learman, Vice Dean Rebecca Pauly and Senior Associate Dean Jed Gonzalo. Ghee has moved to 1 Riverside to provide support to the Advancement and Communications teams.

Vianne Greek has moved to the Department of Medical Education as director of digital initiatives.

Congratulations to Alex Minor, fourth-year student, who won the Saul R. Korey Award for her essay, which appeared in Neurology Today, on individuals she met through Rock Steady Boxing, a nonprofit organization that teaches non-contact boxing to people with Parkinson's disease.

A big congratulations to Brittany May, director of alumni relations, and her husband Chris who welcomed a baby boy Monday, July 31. George Henry May weighed in at 8 pounds, 12 ounces. The entire May family is doing well.


Caroline Hyun Sue Kim and Aakash Jain (both Class of 2024), along with Anita Kablinger, professor of psychiatry and behavioral medicine, published "False-positive Phencyclidine (PCP) result on 11-panel urine drug screen (UDS) in a 17-year-old adolescent with long-term Venlafaxine use" in Case Reports in Psychiatry.

Christine Marlow (Class of 2025), along with Joshua Cuoco and Austin Hoggarth, both neurosurgery residents; Michael Stump assistant professor of pathology; and Lisa Apfel and Cara Rogers, both assistant professors of neurosurgery, published “Pediatric diffuse hemispheric glioma H3 G34-mutant with gains of the BRAF locus: An illustrative case” in Rare Tumors.

Christine Marlow, along with Joshua Cuoco, Kristine Ravina, and Cole Sloboda, all neurosurgery residents; and John Entwistle, assistant professor of neurosurgery, published “Endovascular treatment of a ruptured pure arterial malformation and associated dysplastic middle cerebral artery dissecting aneurysm: Illustrative case” in Journal of Neurosurgery: Case Lessons.

Welcome New Staff

Corey Bapst

Welcome to Corey Bapst, digital communications strategist, who joined the VTCSOM communications team in July. He likes coffee and Twizzlers.

Welcome to New Faculty

Welcome to all the new faculty who joined us recently:

Emergency Medicine: Jacob Smith
Internal Medicine: Gary Harpold, Vivek Kesar, Klaus Mönkemüller, and Clarence Pearson, Jr.
Surgery: Benjamin Cragun

Diversity and Inclusion Notes

Celebrations and Observances in August

  • 1:  Lughnasadh, marks the beginning of harvest season
  • 1:  Fast in Honor of Holy Mother of Jesus
  • 6:  Transfiguration of the Lord (Feast of the Transfiguration)s. 
  • 13–15:  Obon (Ullambana)
  • 13:  Black Women’s Equal Pay Day
  • 15:  Assumption of Blessed Virgin Mary
  • 15:  Dormition of the Theotokos
  • 15: India Independence Day
  • 17:  Marcus Garvey Day
  • 21:  Khordad Sal (Birth of prophet Zoroaster)
  • 23:  International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition and the anniversary of the uprising in Santo Domingo
  • 26:  Women’s Equality Day
  • 30:  Raksha Bandhan
  • 30:  Hungry Ghost Festival

Community Corner


call to artists logo

We’re gearing up for the next VTCSOM art show! In partnership with Roanoke Valley Sister Cities, the show will explore the profound influence of personal connections in bridging cultures, transcending borders, and fostering unity across the globe. If you or someone you know has artwork to have considered, please send photos and dimensions to Courtney Powell by August 11.

Members of VTCSOM and FBRI faculty and staff came together last month to help fight hunger in our area. The group spent an afternoon at Feeding Southwest Virginia packing boxes to be delivered to local seniors in need.

members of VTCSOM assisting with Feeding Southwest Virginia

Alumni Notes

Hokies in Healthcare logo

A great group of new friends and loyal supporters in North Carolina came out to enjoy our first Hokies in Health Care event in Durham on June 29! It was a great time to meet with Virginia Tech alums and share the ways in which the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine is educating future leaders in health care. We hope others will join us for upcoming Hokies in Heath Care events to be announced! Email Alicia Besenyei, assistant dean for Advancement, if you would like to be involved.

Humanism Notes

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WHAT? There's a song?


It's a song celebrating Roanoke as a place where we can make it happen, creating just the kind of future, creative energy, and supportive business community that we want. And it might just help you think through the spirit and subject of your portrait. Check it out!

Take Note

The Call for Poster Abstracts for TEACH Education Day on October 30, 2023 is now open for submissions. Abstracts should reflect the TEACH mission to advance educational excellence and innovation, be of peer-review quality, and follow the guidelines on the online submission form. Abstracts should be submitted online by August 14.

With the start of a new academic year, it’s time to celebrate the faculty and staff around us. We invite you to use this link to nominate individuals who you would like to recognize. A random name among the nominees will be chosen each month, and a little snippet on who they are, what they do, and any wise words of wisdom they have to share will be written up and featured in Wellness Weekly and Progress Notes.

The Last Note

students at salem red sox game

Play Ball! What a great evening it was for baseball! The VTCSOM tradition of welcoming our newest class at a Salem Red Sox baseball game did not disappoint. Faculty, staff, and returning students showed up to cheer on both the Red Sox and the Class of 2027.

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