Progress Notes | June 2022

Our walls on first and second floors express a vibrant, powerful theme: Experience Black Love, a community-created exhibit that was first shown at Virginia Tech’s Perspective Gallery. We were fortunate to obtain a continuation and expansion of the project, including the works of featured artist Tykeisha Swan Patrick.

All of the artwork in the show reflects the concept of experiencing Black love in the artists’ community, family, or school. Each piece is a positive, affirming visual to help us move forward as a society. I have found the art contemplative and moving, as I’m sure you have also.

Patrick’s work, Tug of War, was used as the basis for a project with elementary school students in Montgomery County, with heartwarming results. After starting with general observations, the students began looking at specifics such as: “The children are faceless, which must be so that you can imagine yourself as one of them.” And “Does the white string connect us all together?” Eventually, the youngsters asked questions such as, “How can we win together?” And “What can we do to work together to make the world a better place?”

Imagine their teachers’ excitement hearing the depth of the students’ insights!

This story is such a powerful example of one of our core values, Humanism and Compassion. Bringing the Experience Black Love art show to VTCSOM enables us to reinforce our commitment to this core value by helping us create awareness for a more compassionate and just society.

I invite each of you to join us for an artist’s reception on Wednesday, June 15 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Lee A. Learman


  • Brian Brindle, senior director of information technology, was honored for his ten years of service to Virginia Tech.
  • Congratulations to Brian Brindle on his marriage to Susannah Netherland.
  • Harrison Brookeman, class of 2022, was invited to do a virtual podium presentation at the Point of Care Ultrasound Conference in the Netherlands on “Evaluation of Dyspnea Through Education and Implementation of the Bedside Lung Ultrasound in Emergency (BLUE) Protocol by Prehospital Paramedics,” a project he conducted with faculty members John McNamara, basic science education, and Carol Bernier, emergency medicine.
  • Congratulations to Jessica Flowers and her husband Matt on the arrival of their daughter Charlotte Rose Flowers. Jessica is manager of the research domain.
  • Research about prescribing opioids after cesarean sections, with Robyn Goodrich, class of 2022, as first author was cited in Legal Reader.
  • Vianne Greek, communications, Hannah Hudson and Katherine Murphy, admissions, and Carrie Knopf, student affairs, were recognized at the Excellence in Access and Inclusion Awards hosted by services for students with disabilities (SSD).
  • Vianne Greek, web and social media manager, earned a certification for digital marketing professional through the Digital Marketing Institute.
  • Lauren Hennis, class of 2023, Andrew Binks, Kristin Eden, and Renée LeClair presented “Localizing the Expression of Piezo2 in Healthy and Diseased Lung Tissue” at Experimental Biology in Philadelphia. Binks, Eden, and LeClair are faculty members in basic science education.
  • Leslie LaConte, assistant dean for research, was awarded 2022 Excellence in Teaching awards. Awardees for the Center for Teaching and Learning Instructional Grants were Andrew Binks, Jennifer Cleveland, and Renée LeClair. All are faculty members in basic science education.
  • Renée LeClair presented at the Association for Professors of Human or Medical Genetics in Palm Springs. Presentation titled “Writing, Publishing, and Integrating Open Educational Resources in Medical Education” co-authored by Andrew Binks and Anita Walz, assistant director of open education at Virginia Tech.
  • Renée LeClair and Andrew Binks received a grant from the Virginia Tech Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning for a project titled “The Impact of STEP1 Exam Grading Changes on Medical Student Learning and Approaches to the STEP2 Exam.”
  • Dakota (Buhrman) Peterson ‘21 won first place for her presentation of an oral abstract at the American Academy or Emergency Medicine Scientific Assembly. Her presentation, “Identification of Emergency Department Patients Appropriate for Evaluation in Mobile Medical Clinic,” was a team project that also included emergency medicine faculty member Jack Perkins and three emergency medicine residents, Rahul Nadendla, Taylor Goller, and Sanjeeb Bhandari.
  • Brittany Stopa, class of 2023, presented a poster “Prostate Specific Memberane Antigen as Target for Neuroimaging of Central Nervous System Tumors” at the International Precision Neuroscience Conference.
  • Patrice Weiss, Carilion Clinic's chief medical officer and VTCSOM faculty member, was named to Becker’s Hospital Review’s 88 Chief Medical Officers of Hospitals to Know for 2022
  • Shari Whicker, Natalie Karp, Mariah Rudd, and Sarah Harendt presented their poster “Creating and Supporting Health Systems Science Content Integration within the Clerkship Environment Through Intentionally Designed Clinical Faculty Professional Development” at AAMC's 2022 Learn to Thrive Conference. Whicker, Rudd, and Harendt represent TEACH (Teaching Excellence Academy for Collaborative Healthcare). Karp is co-leader for the health systems science and interprofessional practice domain.
  • Shari Whicker, David Musick, Brock Mutcheson, and Mariah Rudd presented “Faculty Development Related to Teaching: A Benchmark Survey” at AAMC's 2022 Learn to Thrive Conference. Whicker is assistant dean for faculty development; Musick is senior dean for faculty affairs; Mutcheson is assistant dean for assessment and program evaluation; Rudd is director of professional development at Carilion Clinic.
  • Congratulations to the class of 2024 teaching excellence awardees (voted on by our students):
    • Faculty Teaching Award - Renée LeClair, Tarin Schmidt-Dalton, and Don Steinweg.
    • Outstanding Facilitator - Jennifer Cleveland, Dennis Hancock, Cynthia Morrow, and Don Steinweg.
  • Thank you to these 35 VTCSOM faculty members and Carilion Clinic residents for providing a great experience for our students and whose exceptional teacher recognitions were shared with the Learning Environment Advocacy Committee last quarter.
  • Congratulations to VTCSOM faculty members who were acknowledged in Carilion Clinic’s Cheers for Peers publication.


Amanda MacDonald headshot


A warm welcome to Amanda MacDonald, interim library head, who joined the VTCSOM family in May.


Welcome to all the new faculty who joined us in May:

  • Family and Community Medicine: Elaine Renick
  • Internal Medicine: Anthony Baldoni and Emma Greear
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology: Roger Smith
  • Pediatrics: Kevin Addison

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
Three pieces of art in the Experience Black Love art exhibit

Community Corner

  • On June 15, VTCSOM will host a Reception and Gallery Tour for the “Experience Black Love” art show. This exhibit is a collaboration between VTCSOM, the Perspective Gallery at the Squires Student Center, Africana Studies and Women’s Gender Studies programs, and the Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology (ICAT) at Virginia Tech. The show is comprised of collaborative group work and individual work by people who are, and are not, professional artists; and all of the artwork reflects the concept of experiencing Black love in the artists’ community, family, school, or self. We accepted only positive, reflective, and affirming visual art created to help us move forward as a society.
  • On May 18, VTCSOM hosted a program day for Leadership of the Roanoke Valley. Through this ten week program, forty young professionals have been exploring different facets of the community. On this, their final program day, the theme was “What it Takes” to make an impact in the community; focusing on partnerships, holistic approaches, and passions. Speakers included Aaron Boush from Carilion, representatives from Local Impact For Tomorrow (LIFT), and Elvir Berbic, student affairs manager, who spoke about owning your experiences to create an impact.
Dolores Stolte (at right) with her daughter and Founding Dean of the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine Cynda Johnson.

Spotlight on Giving

Dolores Stolte freely shares her key to happiness: Honesty. Be honest with others but also with yourself. Stolte has lived a rich and meaningful life abiding by this maxim and raised her daughter, Cynda Johnson, founding dean at VTCSOM, to do the same. It was fitting, then, when Stolte, on behalf of her late husband, established the Cecil William Stolte & Dolores Ann Reith Stolte Fund for Women in Medicine and Science at VTCSOM.

Humanism Notes

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic can be seen through many lenses, including the overwhelming burden of illness experienced by patients and the physicians who cared for them through layers of protective equipment. The Pandemic Determinants of Health is a short reflection published in the JAMA A Piece of My Mind section on April 29, 2022. It was written by a primary care physician doing their best to balance each patient’s acute need for human comfort with their ongoing health concerns. It exemplifies how creating a narrative can help make sense of one’s feelings when facing extraordinary challenges.

Take Note

Take Note

  • Nominations for the 2022 TEACH Awards are now open! Five unique awards have been created over the years to recognize the efforts of our educators and highlight their accomplishments. Find the nomination criteria and form here. Nominations close July 15.
  • Virginia Tech has launched a series of Youtube videos about the history of Virginia Tech and Southwest Virginia as a whole. Check it out!
  • The International Association for Accessibility Professionals (IAAP) is hosting an Accessible Digital Content Miniseries. This series is free to the public.
    • May 26: Creating Accessible Content: The Inclusion Challenge
    • June 2: Create More Accessible Data Experiences
    • June 16: Audio Description as an Aesthetic Innovation
    • June 23: Accessibility of Social Media
  • Mark your calendar! 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.
  • Past issues of Progress Notes are available on the website.

Upcoming Events

Kyle Edgel creating a caricature of Mary Stuart Van Metre; little girl in a yellow dress blowing bubbles; David Broom, musician

The Last Note

On Wednesday, May 18, Virginia Tech held its Employee Appreciation Day. We held our own version at the Health Sciences and Technology Campus with musical entertainment, games and multiple food trucks. The event was a hit! Many thanks to all the amazing employees of Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and Fralin Biomedical Research Institute for doing what you do! We appreciate you!

Add Your Own Note

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