The Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine (VTCSOM) recently honored 13 inaugural recipients of the Dean’s Diversity Champion Awards. These awards recognize the significant achievements of students, faculty and staff toward developing a more diverse, equitable and inclusive community.

“We are proud of our school’s continued progress in diversity, equity and inclusion, and we recognize that this is a shared effort and priority,” said Lee Learman, dean of VTCSOM. “It is truly wonderful to see our students, faculty and staff approaching a united goal from their own unique perspectives and through different initiatives. These award winners are making our school and community a more inclusive place.”

Students, faculty and staff nominated the recipients, who were then selected by the school’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion team. Award winners were selected for their volunteer work in the community, their mentorship of students, for establishing student clubs, for developing anti-bias training and much more. Details of their nominations are available on the Dean’s Diversity Champion Award webpage. 

The Dean's Diversity Champion Award, a clear crystal award with stars and inscribed to Luma Abunimer, stands on a wood table.
Luma Abunimer was one of two recipients of the Dean's Diversity Champion Award from the Class of 2023.

Recipients of the Dean’s Diversity Champion Award include:

Class of 2025
Erin McDaid
Paul Varghese

Class of 2024
Lauren “LB” Canary
Brandon Ganjineh

Class of 2023
Luma Abunimer
Sarah Yosief

MD/Ph.D. Program
Kenneth Young

Residents/Fellows
Conner Blackwell
Shian McLeish

Faculty
Sharon Williams
Angelica Witcher

Staff
Vianne Greek
Courtney Powell

Three individuals stand together smiling with the Dean's Diversity Champion Award.
Dean Lee Learman, at left, joins award recipient Kenneth Young and chief diversity officer Azziza "Kemi" Bankole at the Dean's Diversity Champions banquet.