Virginia Tech® home

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Team

Group photo of the DEI team, names listed below.
Front from left: Sophia Minor, Carrie Knopf, Karyna Nevarez, NL Bishop. Second row: Angelica Witcher, Vianne Greek, Azziza (Kemi) Bankole. Back: Elvir Berbic

The Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine team for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion consists of a cross-functional team Student Affairs, Admissions, and Communications as well as Carilion Clinic so that DEI initiatives are embedded in numerous functions of the school. 

Azziza O. (Kemi) Bankole, MBBS

Chief Diversity Officer

Riverside 2 Suite M146

Office Hours: Tuesdays 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

  • University of Ibadan College of Medicine, Nigeria, MD
  • 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

Additional Positions

  • Associate Professor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine, Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine
  • Associate Professor, Internal Medicine, Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine
  • Fellowship Director, Geriatric Psychiatry, Carilion Clinic
  • Geriatric Psychiatrist, Carilion Clinic Center for Healthy Aging

Nathaniel L. Bishop, DMin

Senior Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

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 Systems and Implementation Science, Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine
  • Senior Vice President, Carilion Clinic
  • Chief Diversity Officer, Carilion Clinic

Karyna Nevarez

Inclusion Coordinator


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

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

Sophia Minor

Admissions Diversity Counselor
Riverside 1 Suite 107

Office Hours: weekdays from 8am - 5pm

The Admissions Diversity Counselor (ADC) is a position designed to strengthen the outreach and recruitment efforts of the Department of Admissions. The ADC participates in the external recruitment of qualified applicants, including those traditionally underrepresented in medicine (URM). In addition, the ADC will advise potential and current applicants about the medical school application process and resources available at the school for matriculants and will maintain contact with URM applicants who are candidates for interview, have interviewed, and have received acceptance to VTCSOM.

The ADC will maintain working relationships with historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and institutions sending URM candidates to medical professional schools. This position will provide support to participants in the Early Identification Program (EIP) during and between summer enrichment activities, including coordinating training and/or mentorship events for EIP participants. In these activities, the ADC will interface with Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) personnel from the medical school.

Education and Training

  • Full Sail University: MA
  • Virginia Commonwealth University: BFA

Stephanie Picado

Diversity Equity and Inclusion Specialist
Riverside 1 Suite 107

Angelica Witcher Walker, PhD, MBA

Assistant Dean for Student Vitality
Director, Student Affairs

Riverside 2 M151

Office Hours: weekdays from 8am - 5pm

Position Responsibilities

As the Assistant Dean for Student Vitality and Director of Student Affairs, Dr. Witcher is responsible for managerial aspects of the student affairs curriculum and programs, and maintains a core role in directing activities related to student organizations and special interest groups, career advising, residency planning, ceremony planning, budget planning, and providing support to the Office of Student Affairs. She is responsible for oversight of the phase I longitudinal diversity education series and mentoring communities while maintaining a cole role in HBSU/HHC collaborations, DEI retention and recruitment, and providing support to the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

Education and Training

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

Additional Positions

  • Assistant Professor, Health Systems and Implementation Science, Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine
  • Co-Advisor, Student National Medical Association