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Diversity Highlights

The VTCSOM Aequitas Health Honor Society chapter is pleased to announce its inaugural class of fellows: Luma Abunimer, Macy Marcucci, Satyanarayana Vedula, and Sarah Yosief. Over the next year they will work together to develop and execute a common project that aims to advance health equity in our community. VTCSOM will honor these students during their graduation ceremony next year highlighting the work they have done with their collective project during their 4th year.

November Diversity Highlights

Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging Series

On October 11, 2022, the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine hosted a diversity inclusion and belonging event with the title disAbilities at Work: thriving in an abled world. Our three speakers shared stories about how their or family members' disabilities impacted their personal and professional lives. Videos and transcripts for each of the speakers are available at the links below. 

Diversity and Inclusion Notes

  • The Robert A. Winn Diversity in Clinical Trials Award Program is seeking applicants for its program created to increase diversity in clinical trials and transform the clinical research landscape. Sponsored by Virginia Commonwealth University through a grant from the Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation, the program is seeking URM students and early career physicians who are African American or Black/Hispanic or Latino/American Indian or Alaska Native/Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander/Southeast Asian (Bhutanese, Cambodian, Cham, Hmong, Indonesian, Lao, Malaysian, Mien, Myanma, Thai, and Vietnamese).
  • The diversity, inclusion, and belonging event hosted by Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine titled disAbilities at Work: Thriving in an Abled World with speakers Mark Nichols, David Hartman, and Carrie Knopf was posted to our website, complete with transcript and resources for each of our speakers, linked below.
    • Mark Nichols: “My parents instilled in me that diversity and inclusion is beautiful.”
    • David Hartman: “The obstacle was not what I could or could not do as a blind person, it was society's low expectations of what I, as a blind person, could do.”
    • Carrie Knopf: “The economic and educational difference that it can have on someone's life to have equal access to education through accommodations and technology is just really profound.”
  • Holidays and observances in the month of November:
    • National Native American Heritage Month
    • National Family Caregivers Month
    • 1:  All Saints’ Day 
    • 1-2: Dia de los Muertos
    • 2: All Souls’ Day
    • 8: Election Day
    • 11:  Veterans Day
    • 13–19: Transgender Awareness Week
    • 19:  International Men’s Day 
    • 20:  Transgender Day of Remembrance
    • 20:  Feast of Christ the King
    • 24:  Thanksgiving Day
    • 25:  Native American Heritage Day
    • November 28–January 6:  Nativity Fast 
    • November 27–December 24:  Advent
    • 30:  St. Andrew’s Day

October Diversity Highlights

Diversity and Inclusion Notes

  • The October Diversity, Inclusion, Belonging event disAbilities at Work: Thriving in an Abled World will take place at 5:30 p.m. on October 11 and will feature speakers David Hartman, Carrie Knopf, and Mark Nichols. Hartman is associate professor in the department of psychiatry and behavioral medicine and psychiatrist with Carilion Clinic. Knopf is student affairs coordinator and liaison for services for students with disabilities. Nichols is the senior director of universal design and accessible technologies at Virginia Tech.
  • Holidays and observances in the month of October:
    • Sept. 15 to Oct. 15: Hispanic Heritage Month
    • National Disability Employment Awareness Month
    • LGBTQ+ History Month
    • Global Diversity Awareness Month
    • 1: Native American Women’s Equal Pay Day
    • 4: St. Francis Day, feast day for St. Francis of Assisi
    • 4–5 (sundown to sundown): Yom Kippur
    • 5: Dasara, Dussehra, or Vijayadashami, marking the end of Durga Puja
    • 7–8: Mawlid Al-Nabi, observance of the birthday of the prophet Muhammad
    • 9: Eid Milad un-Nabi, Islamic holiday commemorating the birthday of the prophet Muhammad
    • 9–16: Sukkot
    • 10: Canadian Thanksgiving
    • 10: World Mental Health Day
    • 11: National Coming Out Day (United States)
    • 11:  National Indigenous Peoples Day
    • 16–18 (sundown to sundown): Shemini Atzeret
    • 17–18 (sundown to sundown): Simchat Torah
    • 20: Sikh Holy Day, in celebration of Sri Guru Granth Sahib
    • 20: International Pronouns Day
    • 24: Diwali
    • 25–26 (sundown to sundown): Birth of Báb, Bahá’í holiday celebrating the birth of the prophet Báb
    • 26–27 (sundown to sundown): The birth of Bahá’u’lláh, the founder of the Bahá’í religion
    • 29: Latina Equal Pay Day
    • 31: All Hallows’ Eve (Halloween)
    • 31–November 1 (sundown to sundown): Samhain, a Gaelic festival marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter

September Diversity Highlights

  • Article Item
    From left, Leanna Blevins, Gates Palissery, Hassan Farah, Sarah Yosief, Lee Learman and Angelica Witcher cut the ribbon on the Center for Inclusion.
    Center for Inclusion opens for students in Roanoke , article

    The Fralin Biomedical and Research Institute at VTC, the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine, and the Office of the Vice President for Health Sciences and Technology cut a ceremonial ribbon Aug. 18 to open their new Center for Inclusion. In the spirit of InclusiveVT, the center is designed as an inviting and inclusive space where individuals can celebrate diversity and learn from one another.

  • General Item
    Dean's Diversity Champion Award - with a colorful medal on the side
    Dean's Diversity Champion Award

    The Dean’s Diversity Champions Award recognizes significant achievements of faculty and students toward developing a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive community. View and read more about the 2021-2022 Diversity Champions.

Diversity and Inclusion Notes

  • The Medical Student Pride Alliance (MSPA) at VTCSOM supports all medical students, especially LGBTQ+ students as they adjust to Roanoke and medical school. One way of extending this support and welcome is by providing pronoun stickers that can fit student badge holders. These stickers are available in M118 in 2 Riverside. If you have any questions about MSPA contact Lauren "LB" Canary.
  • Virginia Tech is hosting InclusiveVT Welcome for the week of September 12 - 16. The keynote speaker is Judith Heumann, internationally recognized disability rights activist, who will speak on Thursday, September 15 from 7:00 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. Register to receive the Zoom link for the Judith Heumann keynote.
  • The Fall session for 2022 for Health Professions Enrichment Program (HPEP) Martinsville, Danville and Henry counties will kick off September 17.
  • The October Diversity, Inclusion, Belonging event disAbilities at Work: Thriving in an Abled World will take place at 5:30 p.m. on October 11 and will feature speakers David Hartman, Carrie Knopf, and Mark Nichols. Hartman is associate professor in the department of psychiatry and behavioral medicine and psychiatrist with Carilion Clinic. Knopf is student affairs coordinator and liaison for services for students with disabilities. Nichols is the senior director of universal design and accessible technologies at Virginia Tech.
  • The August Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging event with speaker Jariah Strozier was very informative and gave the audience a great insight into her research about health disparities for African American females. 
  • Holidays and observances in the month of September:
    • September 1 to 30: AMA Women in Medicine Month 
    • September 15 to October 15: Hispanic Heritage Month
    • 5: Labor Day
    • 11: Ethiopian New Year
    • 18: International Equal Pay Day
    • 22: Ostara Mabon, a celebration of the vernal equinox
    • 24: Native American Day
    • 25–27 (sundown to sundown): Rosh Hashanah
    • 26–October 5: Navratri
    • 27: Elevation of the Life Giving Cross (Holy Cross)
    • 27: Meskel, a religious holiday in the Ethiopian Orthodox and Eritrean Orthodox Churches
    • 29: Michaelmas, or the Feast of Michael and All Angels

August Diversity Highlights

Middle and high school students from An Achievable Dream Academy enjoyed a day of exploration at VTCSOM and Carilion Clinic.

Diversity and Inclusion Notes

  • VTCSOM had such a great day hosting a group of amazing kids from An Achievable Dream Middle and High School last month! They spent the day exploring the health care field by touring the medical school, Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital, and practicing their suturing and ultrasound skills. Not too many people get a selfie from the helipad at the top of Carilion RMH!
  • NL Bishop hosted students from the incoming class of 2026 for a pre-orientation field trip to the Harrison Museum. Afterwards, he took the students for a guided tour around Roanoke to show them the landmarks exhibited in the museum.
  • The next Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging event Black Bodies and Racialized Medical Technologies will take place Tuesday, August 9. Speaker Jariah Strozier will give her talk “A Black Feminist’s Critique of the Crooked Room of Medicine (CRoM): Innovation of Thick Studies and the Gender, Race, Weight Matrix.”
  • The InclusiveVT Summit (formerly the Advancing Diversity Summit) is Wednesday, August 10 at The Inn at Virginia Tech and Skelton Conference Center. This is mostly an in-person event, but parts will be available in hybrid format through Canvas.
  • The Health Sciences and Technology (HS&T) Center for Inclusion, located in 1 Riverside - Room 205B will open in August. In celebration of the opening, there will be a ribbon cutting on August 18 at 2:30 p.m.
  • VTCSOM will be represented at the Annual National HBCU Week Conference in September. The event is sponsored by the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
  • Holidays and observances in the month of August:
    • 1: Lughnasadh, a Gaelic festival marking the beginning of the harvest season
    • 1: Fast in Honor of Holy Mother of Jesus
    • 5–6: Tisha B’Av, a fast in commemoration of the destruction of two holy and sacred temples of Judaism
    • 6: Transfiguration of the Lord (Feast of the Transfiguration)
    • 7–8 (sundown to sundown): Ashura
    • 11: Raksha Bandhan
    • 12: Hungry Ghost Festival
    • 13: Black Women’s Equal Pay Day
    • 13–15: Obon (Ullambana)
    • 15: Assumption of Blessed Virgin Mary
    • 15: Dormition of the Theotokos, a Great Feast of the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, and Eastern Catholic Churches that commemorates the “falling asleep,” or death, of Mary the Theotokos (“Mother of God”) and her bodily resurrection before ascending into heaven
    • 17: Marcus Garvey Day
    • 18–19: Krishna Janmashtami
    • 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 (Haiti and the Dominican Republic) that initiated the abolition of slavery in the Caribbean
    • 24: Paryushana Parvarambha
    • 26: Women’s Equality Day
    • 31: Ganesh Chaturthi

July Diversity Highlights

High school sophomores from Martinsville, Danville, and Roanoke had an immersive experience at the HPEP summer camp.

Diversity and Inclusion Notes

  • More than 20 sophomores from Martinsville, Danville, Roanoke County and City schools visited Virginia Tech’s Blacksburg campus to participate in a four-day capstone experience through the Health Professions Enrichment Program (HPEP), aimed at exposing students to the variety of health careers available, whether the patients are humans or animals. “HPEP is just one of the VTSCOM and College Access Collaborative initiatives that aims to diversify the United States workforce,” says Karen Eley Sanders, associate vice provost for college access. “Research confirms that individuals who are underrepresented in the health professions are more likely to serve medically underserved communities.”
    Prior to the weeklong camp at Virginia Tech, HPEP consists of three Saturday sessions where students gained the experience of working with heart and lung simulations and had access to technology. During the weeklong on-site campus visit at Virginia Tech's Blacksburg campus, the group of 21 were divided in three groups, Team Heart, Team Brain, and Team Lungs, and worked on retired medical cases during dedicated group work time each day, culminating with final presentations on the last day. The on-campus visit included DNA Extraction and a Genome Facility Tour at the Biocomplexity Institute, as well as a tour and activity at the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine. 
  • The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion team is proud to announce the Dean’s Diversity Champions Award, which recognizes significant achievements of faculty, staff, and students toward developing a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive community. Nominations (including self-nominations) are welcome from any member of the VTCSOM community. Up to ten awards will be given each year.
    Deadline for nominations: Friday, July 8 at 5:00 p.m.
    Submit nominations.
  • On July 14, the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine is hosting Robert Winn, renowned cancer center director, for a talk on Generational Health: An Intimate Conversation on Black Men and Health Disparities.
  • The Advancing Diversity Summit is Wednesday, August 10th, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at The Inn at Virginia Tech and Skelton Conference Center.
  • Holidays and observances in the month of July:
    • 1: Canada Day/Fête du Canada
    • 4: Independence Day
    • 8-9 (sundown to sundown): Waqf al Arafa
    • 9: The Martyrdom of the Bab
    • 9-10 (sundown to sundown):  Eid al-Adha
    • 11: World Population Day
    • 13: Asalha Puja/Dharma Day
    • 14: International Nonbinary People’s Day
    • 14: Bastille Day
    • 15: St. Vladimir of the Great Day
    • 18: Nelson Mandela International Day
    • 23: The birthday of Haile Selassie I, former emperor of Ethiopia
    • 24: Pioneer Day
    • 26: Disability Independence Day, celebrating the anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act
    • 29-30:  Hijri New Year
    • 30: International Day of Friendship

June Diversity Highlights

Diversity and Inclusion Notes

  • In honor of Jewish American Heritage Month, Mia Edelson, class of 2025, and Courtney Powell, community and culture manager, researched and highlighted Jewish physicians and scientists who have helped to advance medical education and patient care. 
  • On June 14, the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Team will host Literacy Towards Health: Understanding Immigrant and Refugee Patient Perspectives and Experiences in Healthcare as part of the diversity and inclusion belonging series. At this event, panelists and presenters will discuss and explore cultural nuances, historical perspectives, and diversity of the immigrant population and the stories they tell that are critical when caring for displaced populations.
  • Holidays and observances in the month of June:
    • Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Pride Month
    • Immigrant Heritage Month
    • 4–6 (sundown to sundown):  Shavuot
    • 5: Pentecost
    • 12: Trinity Sunday
    • 14: Flag Day (United States)
    • 15: Native American Citizenship Day, commemorating the day in 1924 when the US Congress passed legislation recognizing the citizenship of Native Americans
    • 16: Martyrdom of Guru Arjan Dev
    • 16: Corpus Christi
    • 19: Juneteenth (Freedom Day, Emancipation Day)
    • 20: World Refugee Day
    • 21: National Indigenous Peoples Day or First Nations Day (Canada)
    • 24: Litha, the summer solstice
    • 24: Feast of the Most Sacred Heart
    • 26: LGBTQ+ Pride Day (United States), commemorating the Stonewall Riots that occurred on June 28, 1969
    • 29: Feast Day of Saints Peter and Paul

May Diversity Highlights

  • Holidays and observances in the month of May:
    • ALS Awareness Month
    • Asian Pacific American Heritage Month
    • Jewish American Heritage Month
    • Older Americans Month
    • Mental Health Awareness Month
    • 1: Beltane, a Celtic festival signifying the beginning of summer
    • 2–3 (sunrise to sundown): Eid al-Fitr
    • 5: Cinco de Mayo, a Mexican holiday commemorating the Mexican Army’s 1862 victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War (1861–1867)
    • 5–6 (sundown to sundown): Yom Ha’Atzmaut, national Independence Day in Israel 
    • 6: National Day of Prayer
    • 8: Buddha Day (Vesak or Visakha Puja)
    • 17: International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia
    • 18–19 (sundown to sundown):  Lag BaOmer
    • 21: World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development
    • 23–24 (sundown to sundown):  Declaration of the Báb
    • 24: Orthodox Easter (Pascha)
    • 26: Ascension of Jesus or Ascension Day
    • 29: Ascension of Bahá’u’lláh
    • 30: Memorial Day in the United States

April Diversity Highlights

muslim worshippers wearing colorful garb bowing down in front of a mosque.
Indian Muslim devotees offer prayers during Eid al-Fitr at the Taj Mahal in Agra./Credit: AFP/Getty Images/Getty Images

In honor of Ramadan this month, we begin with an introduction of what Ramadan is, and will follow with weekly profiles of notable muslim scientists, mathematicians, and physicians.

Diversity and Inclusion Notes

  • Seventeen Virginia Tech freshmen who are underrepresented in medicine and planning careers in medicine and research took part in VTCSOM’s Medical Exposure for Diverse Students (M.E.D.S.) Experience weekend last month. The program included exposure to clinical experiences, overview of the medical school admissions process, a first aid course, and Stop the Bleed training.
  • On Tuesday, April 12 at 6:00 p.m. VTCSOM will host its third Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging event called Ramadan Reflections.
  • The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion team is proud to announce the Dean’s Diversity Champions Award, which recognizes significant achievements of faculty and students toward developing a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive community. Nominations (including self-nominations) are welcome from any member of the VTCSOM community. Up to ten awards will be given each year. Deadline for nominations: Wednesday April 11 at 5:00 p.m.
  • Holidays and observances in the month of April:
    • Celebrate Diversity Month
    • Autism Acceptance Month
    • 2: World Autism Awareness Day
    • 2-11: Chaitra Navaratri
    • April 2–May 2 (sundown to sundown): Ramadan
    • 8: The Day of Silence (daylong vow of silence to protest the actual silencing of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) students and their straight allies due to bias and harassment)
    • 10: Palm Sunday
    • 10: Ram Navami
    • 13:  Equal Pay Day
    • 14: Holy Thursday (Maundy Thursday)
    • 14: Mahavir Jayanti
    • 14: Vaisakhi (Baisakhi)
    • 15: Good Friday
    • 15: Lord’s Evening Meal
    • April 15–April 23: Passover
    • 16: Lazarus Saturday
    • 17:  Easter
    • April 21–May 2: The Festival of Ridvan
    • 22: Earth Day
    • 23: St. George’s Day
    • 24: Armenian Martyrs’ Day
    • 27–28: Yom HaShoah
    • 29: Ninth Day of Ridvan
    • 29: Laylat al-Qadr

March Diversity Highlights

Nancy Agee

March is Women's History Month. This year, rather than looking at historical contributions made by women, we decided to focus on women who are currently making history in our local community

Featured were Nancy Agee, Cheri Hartman, Abby Hamilton, and Annette Lewis

I See You: Navigating Free Speech and Civil Discourse. March 17 at 7:30pm to 9pm.

"I See You: Navigating Free Speech and Civil Discourse," featuring professors Cornel West and Robert George, will be held at 7:30 p.m. March 17 at the Haymarket Theater, on the second floor of Squires Student Center at 290 College Ave., Blacksburg. Virtual option is also available

Diversity and Inclusion Notes

  • Last month Dean Learman presented the quarterly update for the InclusiveVTCSOM Task Force. This Mile Marker 3 update provided an in-depth look at where we’ve come so far with advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion at VTC and where we’re headed. Interesting, colorful graphics make the site especially engaging.
  • VTCSOM celebrated Black History Month by highlighting Black physicians who have helped to advance medical education and patient care. Special thanks to Luma Abunimer, class of 2023, who researched and wrote the profiles.
  • In Black Medicine in the Star City, part of the Diversity and Belonging series, NL Bishop and Jordan Bell gave a visual tour of Roanoke with lots of interesting stories about healthcare in Roanoke - who the doctors were, who the patients were, what the culture was like. It's well worth a listen.
  • Holidays and observances in the month of March:
    • Women’s History Month
    • National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month
    • National Multiple Sclerosis Education and Awareness Month
    • 1: Maha Shivaratri
    • 1: Mardi Gras
    • 1: Shrove Tuesday
    • 1: St. David’s Day
    • March 2 (sunset) to March 20 (sunset):  Nineteen-Day Fast (Bahá’í)
    • 2: Ash Wednesday
    • 3-5: Losar, Tibetan Buddhist New Year
    • 6: Cheesefare Sunday or Forgiveness Sunday, the last Sunday prior to the commencement of Great Lent for Orthodox Christians 
    • 7: Beginning of Great Lent in the Orthodox Christian faith
    • 8: International Women’s Day
    • 9: Asian-American Women’s and Pacific Islander Women’s Equal Pay Day
    • 16-17: Purim
    • 17: St. Patrick’s Day
    • 18: Holi
    • 18-19: Lailat al Bara’a/ Shab-e-Bara/Night of Forgiveness
    • 18-20: Hola Mohalla (Sikh festival)
    • 19: St. Joseph’s Day
    • 20: Ostara, a celebration of the spring equinox commemorated by Pagans and Wiccans
    • 21-22: Naw-Rúz, the Bahá’í New Year, celebrated on the spring equinox
    • 21-22: Nowruz/Norooz, Persian New Year held annually on the spring equinox
    • 21: International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
    • 25: Annunciation of the Virgin Mary
    • 31: International Transgender Day of Visibility

February Diversity Highlights

Rebecca Lee Crumper and an image of her book "A Book of Medical Discourses"

VTCSOM celebrates Black History Month by highlighting Black physicians who have helped to advance medical education and patient care.

This year, the profiles were researched and written by our students.

VTCSOM presents: Black Medicine in the Star City. February 24, 2022, at 3:00pm. 

In honor of Black History Month, Dr. LaTasha Sarpy presents "Angry Out Loud: The Variant (Part II)" on February 3, 2022 at 5:30pm. Sponsored by the Asian Cultural Engagement Center, the Black Cultural Center, and Alpha Kappa Delta Phi. 

February 2022

Diversity and Inclusion Notes

  • The Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine is pleased to host our second M.E.D.S. Experience (Medical Exposure for Diverse Students) from March 4 to 6. The program targets first-, second- and third-year Virginia Tech students who are members of groups underrepresented in medicine and are planning careers in medicine and research. If you know someone who might benefit from this unique experience, encourage them to apply.
  • Holidays and observances in the month of February:
    • February is Black History Month
    • 1: Lunar New Year
    • 1: National Freedom Day, celebrating the signing of the Thirteenth Amendment
    • 1–2: Imbolc, a Gaelic traditional festival marking the beginning of spring
    • 2: Candlemas
    • 2: Groundhog Day
    • 3: St. Blaise Day (The Blessing of the Throats), the feast day of St. Blaise of Sebaste 
    • 3: Setsubun-Sai (Beginning of Spring), celebrated as part of the Spring Festival in Japan
    • 3: Four Chaplains Day commemorates the fifty-fifth anniversary of the sinking of the US Army transport Dorchester and the heroism of the four chaplains aboard 
    • 5: Vasant Panchami
    • 14: St. Valentine’s Day
    • 15: Lantern Festival
    • 15: Parinirvana Day (or Nirvana Day)
    • 16: Maghi-Purnima, a Hindu festival especially for worshippers of Lord Vishnu
    • 16: Magha Puja Day (Buddhism)
    • 21: Presidents Day
    • February 25–March 1: Intercalary Days or Ayyám-i-Há (Bahá’í)

January Diversity Highlights

Diversity and Inclusion Notes

  • On January 18 we are hosting a viewing of The First Wave, a documentary about the hospital systems and COVID-19. The First Wave is a testament to the strength of the human spirit. With exclusive access inside one of New York’s hardest hit hospital systems during the terrifying first four months of the pandemic, we can view the emotional and societal impacts of the pandemic.
  • Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DIB), formerly our Lunch and Learn series, kicked off last month with a lively conversation on dimensions of diversity and cultural competence led by guest speaker Alexander Scott. DIBs are a new series of educational workshops, trainings and presentations to address current topics related to diversity and inclusion. Events are scheduled every other month through the spring. For more information, contact Karyna Nevarez or check back on the event page on our website.
  • As part of our commitment to building an inclusive environment that values every member, the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion team will be hosting a Riverside Chat series for applicants who are members of groups that are underrepresented in medicine. These chats serve as an informal venue for applicants to ask questions about the school, life as a medical student, and life as a resident of the Roanoke Valley. For more information or to assist with the monthly chats, contact Karyna Nevarez.
  • Did you know that you can find events related to diversity, equity, and inclusion at VTCSOM all in one place? Events are continuously being added to the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion calendar, which can be found on our website.
  • Holidays and celebrations in the month of January:
    • 1: New Year’s Day
    • 1: Haitian Independence Day
    • 1: Feast Day of St. Basil (Eastern Orthodox Church)
    • 3: Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus (Roman Catholic Church)
    • 4: World Braille Day
    • 5: Twelfth Night (marks the coming of the Epiphany)
    • 6: Epiphany/Dia de los Reyes (Three Kings Day)
    • 6: Christmas (Armenian Apostolic Church)
    • 7: Christmas (Eastern Orthodox Church) 
    • 9: Birthday of Guru Gobind Singh Ji, the Tenth Guru of the Sikhs 
    • 10: Bodhi Day, commemoration of the enlightenment of Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama (Shakyamuni)
    • 13: Lori-Maghi, commemoration of the memory of forty Sikh martyrs
    • 16–17 (sundown to sundown): Tu B’shevat or Rosh Hashanah La’Ilanot, a Jewish holiday recognizing “The New Year of the Trees”
    • 17: Martin Luther King Jr. Day
    • 17: World Religion Day, observed by those of the Bahá’í faith to promote interfaith harmony and understanding
    • 18: Mahayana New Year
    • 18–25: The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity
    • 19: Timkat, celebration of the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River on Epiphany (Ethiopian Orthodox Church)
    • 26: Republic Day of India
    • 27: International Holocaust Remembrance Day
Virtual Safe Zone

TEACH is offering two virtual Safe Zone trainings in January. 

January 12 - Part 1: LGBTQ+ Inclusion in Medicine – Concepts, Terms, and Their Nuances
January 19 Part 2: LGBTQ+ Inclusion in Medicine – Planning for and Accommodating Queerness
See details below

Part 1: LGBTQ+ Inclusion in Medicine – Concepts, Terms, and Their Nuances

By the end of this session, participants will be able to:

  • Identify various sexual and gender identity labels
  • Recognize the spectrums upon which identity labels exist
  • Recognize the complexity that exists between personal identity labels and the umbrella terms that they fall under

Part 2: LGBTQ+ Inclusion in Medicine – Planning for and Accommodating Queerness

By the end of this session, participants will be able to:

  • Describe the importance of language and how best to use it
  • Recognize the role sexism plays in trans health care
  • Explain the barriers that keep trans folks from gender-affirming resources
  • Identify strategies for creating a more welcoming and affirming environment for LGBTQ+ individuals
MLK 2022 Celebration Dr. Fania Davis at the Inn at Virginia Tech on January 17, 2022. Click the image to learn more.
Free event - register by clicking the image

January 17, 2022
7pm - 9pm
The Inn at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg

MLK 2022 Celebration Angelique Kidjo sponsored by Moss Arts Center. Click the image to learn more.
By tickets by clicking the image

January 19, 2022
6pm
RISE UP - Music and Human Rights with Angélique Kidjo
Free Entry

January 20, 2022
7:30pm
Angélique Kidjo Concert
Buy Tickets

Street and Davis Performance Hall, Anne and Ellen Fife Theatre

December Diversity Highlights

Diversity and Inclusion Notes

  • The DEI team is excited to announce that our previous Lunch and Learn sessions will be rebranded as Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging series (DIBs). The first one of these series will be a interactive workshop titled Diversity Dimensions and Filters on December 14, 2021 from 1 to 3 p.m., delivered by Prof. Alexander Scott, MBA, MA.
  • As part of our commitment to building an inclusive environment that values every member, the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion team will be hosting a Riverside Chat series for applicants who are members of groups that are underrepresented in medicine. These chats serve as an informal venue for applicants to ask questions about the school, life as a medical student, and life as a resident of the Roanoke Valley. For more information or to assist with the monthly chats, contact Karyna Nevarez.
  • Did you know that you can find events related to diversity, equity, and inclusion at VTCSOM all in one place? Events are continuously being added to the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion calendar, which can be found on our website.
  • Holidays and celebrations in the month of December:
    • November 28-December 6: Hanukkah
    • November 28-January 6: Nativity Fast
    • November 28- December 24: Advent
    • 1: World AIDS Day
    • 3: International Day of Persons with Disability
    • 8: Immaculate Conception of Mary
    • 8: Bodhi day
    • 10: International Human Rights Day
    • 12: Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe
    • 13: St Lucia's Day
    • 16-24: Las Posadas
    • 21: Yule Winter Solstice
    • 25: Christmas Day
    • 26: Boxing Day
    • December 26 - January 1: Kwanzaa
    • 31: New Year's Eve

 November Diversity Highlights

Future Doctors Society

The VTCSOM Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, in collaboration with the Virginia Tech College Access Collaborative, hosted more than 40 underrepresented minority high school members of the Future Doctors Society from various high schools in Northern Virginia in November. The students had the opportunity to engage with various departments at VTC and learn about what makes us unique. Not only did they get to ask medical students all about their experience getting into medical school, but they also received a presentation from the admissions department to provide guidance on what they can begin doing while in high school to prepare for applying to medical school. Afternoon activities included a handwashing activity where the students learned the importance of proper handwashing using glow lotion and blacklights, a medical school tour, as well as a vital sign activity. Students were provided the gift of a stethoscope and sphygmomanometer kit and practiced taking blood pressures. The students were all interested in the healthcare field and remained engaged during the visit to VTCSOM.

Virtual Safe Zone

VirTual Safe Zone Training
LGBTQ+ Resource Center
November 1 - December 11

VirTual Safe Zone 101 is an online 5-week intensive course with weekly readings, writings, and a live discussion lab. This course aims to:

  • introduce participants to contemporary introductory information regarding gender, sexual, and romantic minorities;
  • contextualize this new/refreshed knowledge with some of the complexity and nuanced characteristics of these elements;
  • provide the opportunity to engage in introspective or reflective thinking;
  • engage individuals in discussion with one another regarding their own understanding, feelings, and experiences with the course content;
  • and encourage active allyship during and after the course has ended.

Three Options Available:

Diversity and Inclusion Notes

  • The Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine has been awarded the 2021 Health Professions Heed Award from Insight into Diversity magazine - for the fourth consecutive year!
  • As part of our commitment to building an inclusive environment that values every member, the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion team will be hosting a Riverside Chat series for applicants who are members of groups that are underrepresented in medicine. These chats serve as an informal venue for applicants to ask questions about the school, life as a medical student, and life as a resident of the Roanoke Valley. For more information or to assist with the monthly chats, contact Karyna Nevarez.
  • Karyna had this to say about the first Riverside Chat that took place last week: “We had an excellent response from prospective students. They were all very engaged and had great questions such as the diverse population in our city, engagement opportunities for them to connect with the diverse community, resources for our diverse students, and our city offerings in diverse culture. Looking forward to the November edition of the series.”
  • Did you know that you can find events related to diversity, equity, and inclusion at VTCSOM all in one place? Events are continuously being added to the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion calendar, which can be found on our website.
  • Holidays and celebrations in the month of November:
    • National Native American Heritage Month
    • National Family Caregivers Month
    • 1: All Saints’ Day
    • 1-2: Dia de los Muertos
    • 2: All Souls’ Day
    • 4: Diwali
    • 5-6 (sundown to sundown): Birth of Báb, a Bahá’í holiday
    • 6-7 (sundown to sundown): Birth of Bahá’u’lláh, the founder of the Bahá’í religion
    • 11: Veterans Day
    • 19: International Men’s Day
    • 20: Transgender Day of Remembrance
    • 21: Feast of Christ the King
    • 25: Thanksgiving
    • 26: Native American Heritage Day
    • November 28-December 6: Hanukkah
    • November 28-January 6: Nativity Fast
    • November 28-December 24: Advent

October Diversity Highlights

Natalia Sutherland

Diversity and Inclusion Notes

  • Natalia Sutherland, a fourth-year student at VTCSOM, envisions a future in medicine close to her Hispanic roots. Her mother’s side of the family is from Puerto Rico, and Sutherland speaks fluent Spanish. A pivotal moment of her young life occurred when she heard her mother, who was teaching English as a second language, explaining to Spanish-speaking students how to go to a doctor and what to say to get the care they needed. Read Natalia’s story.
  • Did you know that you can find events related to diversity, equity, and inclusion at VTCSOM all in one place? Events are continuously being added to the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion calendar, which can be found on our website.
  • National Hispanic Heritage Month, celebrated September 15 to October 15, provides an opportunity to recognize contributions to Latinx communities locally, regionally, and nationally. This year 6 Virginians were honored for their work at an event held at the Capitol with Senators Kaine and Warner, including our own faculty member, Elda Stanco Downey, PhD. Dr. Downey was recognized for the impact of her work including her roles teaching in the classroom and collaborating on DEI initiatives at VTCSOM.
  • Other holidays and celebrations in the month of October:
    • National Disability Employment Awareness Month
    • LGBT History Month
    • Global Diversity Awareness Month
    • 1: Native American Women’s Equal Pay Day
    • 4: St. Francis Day, feast day for St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals and the environment
    • 6-14: Navaratri, Hindu festival celebrating the triumph of good over evil
    • 10: World Mental Health Day
    • 11: National Coming Out Day (US)
    • 11: Thanksgiving (Canada)
    • 11: National Indigenous Peoples Day
    • 18-19: (sundown to sundown): Eid Milad un-Nabi/Mawlid Al-Nabi (Sunni Islamic holiday commemorating the birthday of the prophet Muhammad)
    • 20: Sikh Holy Day (celebration of Sri Guru Granth Sahib)
    • 20: International Pronouns Day
    • 23: Milad un-Nabi (Shia Islamic holiday commemorating the birthday of the prophet Muhammad)
    • 29: Latinx Women’s Equal Pay Day
    • 31: All Hallows’ Eve (Halloween)
    • 31: Reformation Day (Protestant Christian religious holiday)
    • October 31-November 1 (sundown to sundown): Samhain, a Gaelic festival marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter or the "darker half" of the year.

September Diversity Highlights

The History of Race and the Ethical Future of Public Health presentation by Dr. Sylvester Johnson. Details and the recording of the presentation are available.

Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine is proud to be a sponsor of "Race, Health, and Future Humans: Lessons from the Legacy of Henrietta Lacks" to be held at Roanoke College on Thursday, September 23.

Critical Race Theory (CRT) Academic Symposium: What is or is not CRT?
Friday, September 24, 2021
10am - 3pm
Commonwealth Ballroom B
Squires at Virginia Tech

Diversity and Inclusion Notes

  • Did you know that you can find events related to diversity, equity, and inclusion at VTCSOM all in one place? Events are continuously being added to the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion calendar, which can be found on our website.
  • The 2021 VA Pride Scholarship is now accepting applications. Light up your future with this amazing opportunity. VTCSOM medical students are eligible to apply for this scholarship. Applications will be evaluated on how the applicant says they will apply their education to advancing LGBTQ equality. Deadline to apply is September 10, 2021
  • Virginia Tech hosts Inclusive VT Week Speaker Series:
    • September 7: Dr. Lisa Nunn will present Fostering College Belonging: Practical strategies for fostering student success by strengthening students’ sense of belonging, with a focus on first-generation college students.
    • September 9: Presentation by Dr. Fred Bonner II, author of Square Pegs and Round Holes: Alternative Approaches to Diverse College Student Development Theory.
    • September 10: Dr. Margaret Price will present Creating an Inclusive and Accessible Campus.
  • Holidays and celebrations in the month of September:
    • Hispanic Heritage Month is observed from September 15 to October 15
    • 4-11: Paryushana Parva
    • 6: Labor Day
    • 6-8: (sundown to sundown): Rosh Hashanah
    • 10: Ganesh Chaturthi
    • 11: Ethiopian New Year
    • 15-16: (sundown to sundown): Yom Kippur
    • 18: International Equal Pay Day
    • 20-27: Sukkot
    • 22: Ostara Mabon
    • 24: Native American Day
    • 27: Elevation of the Life-Giving Cross (Holy Cross)
    • 27: Meskel
    • 27-29: (sundown to sundown): Shemini Atzeret
    • 28-29: (sundown to sundown): Simchat Torah
    • 29: Michaelmas

August Diversity Highlights

Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine is proud to be a sponsor of the Second Annual Black Father Festival at Westside Elementary in Roanoke, to be held August 22, 2021. Dean Learman will also be speaking at that event. 

  • Kory Cablay, Class of 2022, and Sarah Yosief, Class of 2023, are both scholarship recipients at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine. They sat down to discuss why they want to become physicians and how the scholarships have helped them along in their journeys. Cablay received the VTC Diversity Excellence in Medicine Scholarship Fund, which was established by Drs. Frank and Jennifer Clark to support underrepresented students. Yosief received the Caroline Osborne Memorial Scholarship, which was established to honor the memory of Caroline Osborne, who was a member of the school’s Charter Class.
  • Registration is now open for Virginia Tech’s annual Diversity Summit to be held August 11. The event will feature short, asynchronous sessions available all day. There will be live components on a by-invitation basis including the keynote speaker, Claude Steele, whose lecture will be livestreamed from 9-10:15 a.m. 
  • Holidays and celebrations in the month of August:
    • 6: Feast of the Transfiguration
    • 10: Hijri (Islamic New Year)
    • 13: Black Women’s Equal Pay Day
    • 17: Marcus Garvey Day
    • 18-19: Ashura (sundown to sundown)
    • 22: Obon
    • 22: Hungry Ghost Festival
    • 26: Women’s Equality Day
    • 29-30: Krishna Janmashtami

July Diversity Highlights

VTCSOM Mentoring Communities - call for faculty mentors:

The VTCSOM offices of Student Affairs and Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion are leading the school’s transition from our current Physician Thought Leader Communities to Mentoring Communities. Mentoring Communities are faculty-led student communities that provide an administrative structure through which students can experience individualized advising and mentoring that fosters personal and professional growth, some within a specific identity group. If you’d like to be considered for mentorship, please fill out this quick survey.

Virtual Safe Zone

VirTual Safe Zone 101 Training

Register today for Summer 2: June 28th - July 30th

VirTual Safe Zone 101 is an online 5-week intensive course with weekly readings, writings, and a live discussion lab. The curriculum is meant to assist with the development of content knowledge.

  • The course curriculum delivers basic information to begin your development of content knowledge.
  • The readings are meant to help deepen your scope of the topic.
  • The discussion board reflective writings provide the opportunity to explore your thoughts, feelings, and questions.
  • The live discussions engage you in conversation with one another and allow for questions to be proffered to the group.

VirTual Trans Safe Zone 101 Training

Register today for Summer 2: June 28th - July 30th

VirTual Trans Safe Zone 101 is an online five-week course addressing transgender identities and issues. This course aims to

  • introduce participants to contemporary introductory information regarding gender minorities;
  • contextualize this new/refreshed knowledge with some of the complexity and nuanced characteristics of these elements;
  • provide the opportunity to engage in introspective or reflective thinking;
  • engage individuals in discussion with one another regarding their own understanding, feelings, and experiences with the course content; 
  • and encourage active allyship during and after the course has ended

Please note: VirTual Safe Zone is a prerequisite and must be completed before this course can be taken.

June Diversity Highlights

Headshot of Dr. Sue along with event information listed below

Microaggressions and Microinterventions

  • On June 17th at 10 a.m., Dr. Derald Wing Sue will be addressing issues related to microaggressions and micro-interventions that respond to the U.S. socio-cultural and political climate. His knowledge and expertise about microaggression theory have been widely acknowledged and integrated into the U.S. mainstream public discourse as well as within the academy. During this event, Dr. Sue will share how his experiences, research, and scholarship can be disseminated and utilized at a place like Virginia Tech. To learn more and register please follow this link
  • Did you know that you can find events related to diversity, equity, and inclusion at VTCSOM all in one place? Events are continuously being added to the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion calendar, which can be found on our website.
  • Arizona State University is hosting a conference on Cultivating Black and Native Futures in Education from June 17-19. 
  • June is:
    • LGBTQ+ Pride Month
    • Immigrant Heritage Month
  • Holidays and celebrations in the month of June:
    • 3: Corpus Christi
    • 11: Feast of the Most Sacred Heart
    • 14: Flag Day
    • 19: Juneteenth (observed June 18)
    • 20: Father's Day
    • 21: Litha (Midsummer)
    • 27: LGBTQ+ Pride Day

May Diversity Highlights

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May Highlights

  • On Tuesday, May 11, Dr. Nina Ha, Director of Virginia Tech's Asian Cultural Engagement Center will facilitate the May Diversity Lunch and Learn to discuss a presentation by Dr. Simona C. Kwon: Asian Americans and Health Equity: Dismantling Stereotypes.
  • May is:
    • Asian Pacific American Heritage Month
    • Jewish American Heritage Month
    • Mental Health Awareness Month
    • Older Americans Month
  • Holidays and celebrations in the month of May:
    • 2: Orthodox Easter
    • 5: Cinco de Mayo
    • 6: National Day of Prayer
    • 9: Laylat al-Qadri
    • 12-13: Eid al-Fitr (sundown to sundown)
    • 16-18: Shavuot (sundown to sundown)
    • 17: International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia
    • 21: World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development
    • 26: Vesak/Visakha Puja
    • 31: Memorial Day
Virtual Safe Zone

April Diversity Highlights

Events

1. 9th Annual Faculty Women of Color in the Academy National Conference April 9

2. #VTUnfinished Conversation on April 5 at 11:30 a.m. President Tim Sands will be joined by Menah Pratt-Clarke, vice president for Strategic Affairs and Diversity, Guru Ghosh, vice president for Outreach and International Affairs, Jessica Nguyen, president of the Asian American Student Union, Silas Cassinelli, assistant professor in the Department of English, and Nina Ha, director of the Asian Cultural Engagement Center. The event will be livestreamed on this page and on the InclusiveVT YouTube channel

On April 21 at 9am, the basic science education department is hosting Neurodiversity panel discussion: Different perspectives of autism with five panelists, and moderated by department chair Renee LeClair.

Training Opportunity

Stanford’s Teaching LGBTQ+ Health course: a faculty development course for health professions educators. 

This curriculum is designed for faculty members and health professions educators at Stanford Medicine and beyond. The course goals are to improve your knowledge, teaching skills, and attitudes pertaining to the provision of health care to LGBTQ+ patients. View the course trailer.

#StopAAPIHate

As educators, it is our responsibility to resist false narratives that fuel xenophobic crimes and to decolonize thinking that props up model minority and orientalist stereotypes. As educators, it is our responsibility--collectively and individually--to reflect, read, learn, and act toward justice, and to understand the intersections of identities that shape our lived experiences.
Learn more about the #StopAAPIHate initiative.

March is Women's History Month

In honor of Women's History Month, we are highlighting the documentary PICTURE A SCIENTIST. 

PICTURE A SCIENTIST is a documentary film chronicling the groundswell of researchers who are writing a new chapter for women scientists. A biologist, a chemist and a geologist lead viewers on a journey deep into their own experiences in the sciences, overcoming brutal harassment, institutional discrimination, and years of subtle slights to revolutionize the culture of science. From cramped laboratories to spectacular field sites, we also encounter scientific luminaries who provide new perspectives on how to make science itself more diverse, equitable, and open to all.

Events hosted by Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and Fralin Biomedical Research Institute in honor of black history month include 

Progress Notes | February 2021

Diversity and Inclusion

  • The next #VTCUnfinished event will be held virtually on Thursday, February 4 from 6 to 7 p.m. Titled “Black Maternal Health,” this session seeks to provide space to discuss how implicit racial and gender biases can change health care outcomes, what disparities currently exist, and how to begin dismantling health injustice. By disseminating best practices to address critical issues in Black maternal health from different sectors including research, care, policy, and culture; we can frame health equity and reproductive justice for Black Women.
    The event is hosted by the VTC Chapter of the Student National Medical Association, the VTC Refugee in Medicine Association, the VTC Group on Women in Medicine and Science, and the VTC Obstetrics & Gynecology Interest Group. Registration required.
  • Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine has obtained a number of licenses for interested parties to view the documentary Black Men in White Coats on their own devices from February 23 - 25. It will also be shown in the Auditorium (M203) on February 25 at 3 p.m. A discussion will follow both live and on Zoom. Registration for online or in-person participation is required. 

Progress Notes | January 2021

Diversity and Inclusion

  • Registration is open for Virginia Tech’s Advancing Diversity Virtual Gathering on Jan. 12, 2021.
  • Online diversity pathways and inclusive pedagogy spring courses.
    There are new courses on the TLOS professional development network for diversity and inclusion. In addition, new SafeZone courses are available for the spring. 
  • The Breakthrough Inclusive Action Tool Kit is available for anyone ready to become an agent of change in the academy! Although it is written for students and faculty in STEM fields, the content is adaptable to any academic unit. This excellent resource was produced in collaboration with Science Friday and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Tangled Bank Studios. 

Progress Notes | December 2020

Diversity and Inclusion

  • Registration is open for Virginia Tech’s Advancing Diversity Virtual Gathering on January 12, 2021.
  • Do you have aging relatives? Will they need your support to age well?
    Our recent Lunch and Learn focused on relevant information about what caring for an aging relative entails and why you and your loved ones should prepare. This session was full of great information and resources.

Progress Notes | November 2020

Diversity and Inclusion

Last month’s Lunch and Learn featured a discussion about inclusive language and terminology and was led by Charlotte Baker with the Department of Population Health Sciences at Virginia Tech. The graphic from her presentation is an excellent visual of the difference between the terms “equality” and “equity.”