Virginia Tech® home

September 2021 Exceptional Teachers

We are interested in collecting your stories about faculty members, residents, nurses, or anyone else, who have impacted or influenced you in a significant way. Please tell us about what those teachers did that resulted in an exceptional educational experience and how it changed you.

September 2021 Submissions

Below are the exceptional teacher recognitions shared with the Learning Environment Advocacy Committee this month. Thank you to these faculty for providing a great experience for our students. 

Family and Community Medicine

  • Dr. John Boone - “Dr. John Boone was extremely influential on me during this clerkship. Working with him was truly a great learning experience. He is extremely kind with his patients, staff, and those around him. He blended medical science with clinical application seamlessly and used every opportunity to try and teach.”
  • Dr. Ashlee Laughey - “Dr. Laughey at the Vinton Office is a great mentor! From day one she was very upfront with me and asking/ answering questions about lifestyle, women in medicine, pay, things she wished she would have known before picking a specialty, etc. I am now aware that it is possible to be a person who can leave the office at 4 after seeing patients to go home to your family and still be an incredibly good doctor to patients. When she is in the office, she isn't messing around and is very efficient, which is good for patients, her/ staff time. She would give me a topic to research and then we would discuss as it pertained to our patients. Great use of time!”

Internal Medicine

  • Dr. Vishal Patel - “I enjoyed working with Dr. Patel greatly. He was a great teacher who frequently asked questions to his team while providing helpful constructive feedback on how to improve.”
  • Dr. Slater Jameson - “Dr. Slater Jameson was the resident on my first IM team, and positively influenced my entire rotation. Despite IM being my first rotation, he treated me like an important contributing member of the team and included me in decision marking on our shared patients. He was always quick to encourage me, and to pull me aside for teaching opportunities (not just pimping me with questions). He gave me studying advice and helped me feel competent and confident tackling my first rotation. I looked forward to coming in everyday, because of the safe and joyful learning environment he helped to make with the rest of my team.”


  • Dr. Dakshinamurty Gullapalli - “Amazing teacher and was so nice to his patients. I learned a lot from the little time I got to spend in his office. He clearly is enthusiastic about what he does. Excellent experience.”
  • Dr. Narmada Mannem - “Narmada Mannem was an exemplary teacher- she made sure that I was involved throughout my time on the rotation and was more than willing to help me in tackling difficult challenges. I always felt comfortable asking her for help and advice.”


  • Dr. Fidel Valea - “Dr. Valea was a wonderful teacher in the OR but did so in a non-intimidating way. He encouraged student participation and created a very welcoming learning environment.”
  • Dr. Ryan Bradley - “I particularly enjoyed my time learning from Dr. Ryan Bradley. He was patient while I learned new skills in and out of the OR but was direct with his instruction. He also never hesitated to give suggestions on how to improve efficiency/technique and quizzed me on high yield topics along the way. Although I felt as though I learned a lot on every subspecialty week, I feel like my week with him as my chief the one I walked away from feeling the most improved.”


  • Dr. Vydia Permashwar - “Dr. Permashwar is a great teacher/educator - she made sure to spend time during the day to teach us about specific topics or answer any questions we've had. She's very professional and also appropriately addresses relevant cultural/socioeconomic factors in patient care.”
  • Dr. Leah Birdwell - “Goes above and beyond to involve and teach students throughout the process of patient care, and does so in a friendly and approachable manner.”

Psychiatry & Behavioral Medicine

  • Dr. Michael Greenage - “Dr. Greenage was phenomenal and a pleasure to work with. He consistently allowed me opportunities to engage in the care of our patients though conducting patient interviews and planning aspects of their care. I appreciate his willingness to allow his students to develop care plans and execute them if they were reasonable/safe. Not only did this make me feel like I was finally practicing medicine, it also challenged me to strongly consider all aspects of my reasoning. If my line of thought was inaccurate or was missing something, Dr. Greenage did a great job of redirecting my thinking with question that encouraged critical thinking without providing an answer outright. Thank you for providing me with such a great experience, Dr. Greenage.”
  • Dr. Andrew Lee - “One of the best teachers that I had during this rotation. He was engaging and willing to help me find answers to all of the questions that I came up with regardless of how relevant they were. I really enjoyed his patience and ultimately the trust he gave me to work with patients independently. I felt like a valued member of the team and that my work was meaningful in a way that I did not experience so much on my other rotations.”


  • Dr. Emily Faulks - “Really appreciated Dr. Faulks' ability to teach students during an extremely busy service. I learned so much about effective communication between providers and patients by observing Dr. Faulks, and her excitement about surgery absolutely inspires me to pursue the specialty.”
  • Dr. Taneen Maghsoudi - “Taneen was a truly exceptional part of my surgery rotation experience. She may be surprised to hear that because her baseline state is probably kind, helpful, generous, and sincere...but as a med student these qualities meant a lot. She brought a great sense of humor to the day and was one of the best providers I had the chance to work with. All the while she was also the intern on EGS, making the time she spent teaching me or making me feel comfortable all that much more significant. I'm thankful she played a role in my first rotation. She should receive only the highest commendations for her patient care, willingness to teach, and surgical expertise.”