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Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Team

Azziza O. (Kemi) Bankole, MBBS

Chief Diversity Officer

Riverside 1 Suite 107

Office Hours: weekdays from 8am-5pm

Position Responsibilities

The chief diversity officer is responsible programmatic efforts to improve and promote diversity across the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine community. This includes leading the identification and execution of best practices for the recruitment and retention of diverse faculty and students and coordinating activities that support the school’s strategic goals for inclusion and access. The chief diversity officer leads the development and implementation of policies and initiatives that contribute to building a diverse and equitable community that enriches students' education and enhances their ability to participate in a rapidly evolving, multicultural world.

Education and Training

  • North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health Systems, Zucker Hillside Hospital-Fellowship
  • State University of New York Downstate Medical Center-Residency
  • Hull and East Riding NHS Trust-Residency

Nathaniel L. Bishop, DMin

Senior Associate Dean for Diversity, Inclusion, and Student Vitality

Riverside 1, Suite 400

Office Hours: weekdays from 8am - 5pm

Position Responsibilities

The Senior Associate Dean for Diversity, Inclusion, and Student Vitality collaborates with multiple departments at the school to focus on recruiting and retaining diverse students, staff, and faculty while also looking for ways to enhance programs, facilities, and resources to promote vitality for all students. Dr. Bishop works with leaders in admissions, student affairs, faculty affairs, and others to enrich the school’s diversity, supportive learning environment, and student quality-of-life. He also collaborates with VTCSOM’s clinical partner, Carilion Clinic, on programs and matters that bridge Diversity and Inclusion between our institutions. 

Education and Training

  • Wesley Theological Seminary: DMin
  • Virginia Tech: MSEd
  • Radford University: BA
  • New River Community College: AAS

Additional Positions

  • Assistant Professor, Health Care Innovation and Implementation Science, Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine
  • Senior Vice President, Carilion Clinic

Carrie F. Knopf, MA

Student Affairs Coordinator
Services for Students with Disabilities Liaison to Admissions

Riverside 1 M106

Office Hours: weekdays from 8am-5pm via email

Position Responsibilities

The Student Affairs Coordinator serves as VTCSOM’s disability support liaison and provides students with information on possible accommodations, disclosing a disability, and requesting accommodations through by Virginia Tech’s Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD). Once accommodations are determined and approved, the Student Affairs Coordinator works with the student, course directors, and faculty to ensure approved accommodations are implemented. The Student Affairs Coordinator also advocates for disability inclusion within the VTCSOM community and health-care education.

Education and Training

  • University of New Orleans, Masters in Arts Administration
  • University of Virginia, Bachelor of Arts in Art History

Karyna Nevarez

Inclusion Coordinator

Riverside 1 Suite 107

As Inclusion Coordinator, Karyna serves as a first point-of-contact for the VTCSOM Diversity, Equity and Inclusion efforts.

Office Hours: weekdays from 8am - 5pm via phone and email
Limited availability on-site due to COVID-19 restrictions

Position Responsibilities

As Inclusion Coordinator, Ms. Nevarez works collaboratively with the Chief Diversity Officer and colleagues in Admissions, Student Affairs and Research to plan and implement programs and services that promote and strengthen an inclusive environment within the school community. In coordination with the Admissions team, Ms. Nevarez engages in year-round outreach and engagement with prospective students who are underrepresented in medicine. She also works with the school’s identify-focused student organization to design and present workshops and trainings that enhance cultural competence for the school’s students, staff and faculty.

Education and Training

  • Virginia Tech: MBA
  • Electronic Data Processing College of Puerto Rico: BS

Additional Positions

  • Accounting Associate for Division of Student Affairs Finance

Angelica Witcher, PhD, MBA, BSN, QMHP

Director, Student Affairs

Riverside 2 M115

Office Hours: weekdays from 8am - 5pm
Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays in M115
Wednesdays and Fridays via email, phone, and Zoom

Position Responsibilities

As the Director of Student Affairs, Ms. Witcher is responsible for the managerial aspects of the student affairs curriculum and its programs. The director maintains a core role in directing initiatives related to student success, career advising, and the first-year experience, with a commitment to improving underrepresented minority retention and advancing diversity. This includes establishing engagement activities for student retention, participating in targeted underrepresented in medicine recruitment efforts, and assisting with diversity pipeline programming.

Education and Training

  • Virginia Tech: PhD
  • Averett University: MBA
  • University of Virginia: BSN

Additional Positions

  • Instructor, Interprofessionalism, Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine
  • Co-Advisor, Student National Medical Association