Progress Notes | May 2023

Late spring at Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine is a time of transition. The Class of 2023 Commencement Ceremony will be held at 9 a.m. on May 6 at the historic Jefferson Center. Within two months they will each be a first-year resident at academic institutions across the county. Here are links to the Match Day 2023 page on our website and the list of prestigious residency programs the class of 2023 matched into. During the last two weeks of their undergraduate medical education, we heard from the first students to have experienced a global health elective in four years at our Global Health Forum, and we honored the class and award recipients at our Class of 2023 M4 Social.

The classes of 2024, 2025, and 2026 are also looking at transitions. Clinical clerkships are ending for the Class of 2024 as they begin the process of applying for residencies in the hopes of building on the momentum of our past graduating classes. The Class of 2025 are completing the USMLE Step 1 examination and will begin their clinical clerkships on May 8. Finally, the Class of 2026 are in the final weeks of the final Year 1 block and soon will no longer be the youngest class at the school. Speaking of the Class of 2027, we are even now preparing to welcome them into our community in late July.

The final transition we are looking forward to is a new student space on the 2nd floor at Riverside 2. As soon as the last Block IV class ends, construction workers will begin tearing down walls to create a welcoming space for student relaxation, club meetings, community-building, and maybe even some studying.

Hats off to all our students during this season of transitions!

Aubrey Knight
Senior Dean for Student Affairs

collage of two photos at bodies and bites. more details in story link above.


  • Andrew Binks, associate professor, basic science education, has been elected president of the Dyspnea Society, an international collaborative society of researchers and clinicians with a common interest in the mechanisms and management of shortness-of-breath.
  • N.L. Bishop, senior associate dean for diversity, equity, and inclusion, was asked to serve on the Student Experience working group for the Virginia Tech Advantage initiative to improve university’s access and affordability for undergraduate students.
  • Vianne Greek, web and social media manager, Dustin Womack, director of information technology, and Dale Worrell, education technology specialist, have been appointed 2023-24 TLOS Faculty Fellows.
  • As part of the HS&T Wellness initiatives, Emily Holt Foerst, assistant dean for student affairs, earned a Yoga Teacher Training certificate (CYT 200) from the Blacksburg School of Yoga, which means that we will see yoga as a recurring wellness programming option on campus.
  • Mariah Rudd, VTCSOM faculty member and director of the Office of Continuing Professional Development at Carilion Clinic, has been selected to serve as the special projects chair for the Southern Group on Educational Affairs (SGEA). This position is a minimum two-year commitment and is responsible for ensuring transparency and inclusivity across processes, bylaws, and committee positions.
  • Brian Stanford, facilities manager, and Jamie Hollimion, human resource manager, were honored at the Virginia Tech Service Recognition Ceremony on April 11. Rebecca Pauly joined them for the event. Brian celebrated 20 years and Jamie 10 years. Congratulations!
  • Shari Whicker and Mariah Rudd, along with external collaborators have been accepted to present a workshop, entitled “Deconstructing the Elephant: A Practical Guide to Helping Ourselves and Others Develop as Educators Using the New Clinician Educator Milestones” at Learn Serve Lead 2023: The AAMC Annual Meeting in November. Whicker is assistant dean for faculty development, senior director of the Office of Continuing Professional Development (OCPD) at Carilion Clinic, and director of TEACH. Rudd is a VTCSOM faculty member and director of OCPD.
  • Third-year medical student Serina Williams was nominated and accepted for a 2023 College of American Pathologists (CAP) Distinguished Medical Student Award. This award is to recognize distinguished medical students in their quests for pathology knowledge and engagement, with a goal of elevating the stature of the field of pathology and demonstrating the commitment to attracting top medical students into the field.
  • Vianne Greek, web and social media manager, was one of three presenters at the Virginia Tech School of Education Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Research Chat. Her talk was about flipping the script for accessibility and accommodations.
  • Sue Gregory, finance director, was one of three presenters at the Virginia Tech Spring 2023 Business Practice Webinar, MicroStrategy section. The presentation covered the customized monthly budget/expense reports designed by Sue. Virginia Tech has created on-demand training on how to create this report that is available on PageUp to all.
  • Hyun Sue (Caroline) Kim, class of 2024, presented not 1, not 2, not 3, but 4 posters at Carilion Clinic Research Day


headshots referenced below

A warm welcome to Beth Bond, executive assistant, Brad Foster, business operations manager, and Stephanie Picado, DEI specialist, who joined the VTCSOM family in April.


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

  • Emergency Medicine: Chris Cline, James Humble and Henry Weigle
  • Internal Medicine: Justin Gray

Diversity and Inclusion Notes

  • The video recording for Ruining Dinner: Religion as the Silent Diversity, a diversity, inclusion and belonging event held in April, is now available on the VTCSOM website. 
  • Holidays and observances in the month of May:
    • Asian Pacific American Heritage Month
    • Older Americans Month
    • Jewish American Heritage Month
    • Mental Health Awareness Month
    • 1: Beltane
    • 3: Feasts of Saints Philip and James
    • 4: National Day of Prayer
    • 5: Cinco de Mayo
    • 17: International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia
    • 18: Ascension of Jesus or Ascension Day
    • 18: Global Accessibility Awareness Day
    • 19: Malcolm X Day
    • 21: World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development
    • 23–24 (sundown to sundown): Declaration of the Báb
    • 26: Buddha Day (Vesak or Visakha Puja)
    • 26-27 (sundown to sundown): Shavuot
    • 28: Pentecost
    • 29: Ascension of Bahá’u’lláh
    • 29: Memorial Day
Collage of global health photos from South Korea, Pakistan, Costa Rica, Taiwan, Argentina, and Nepal
Top row: Elina Kim & Rebekah Sayre (South Korea); April deStefano (Pakistan); and Camden Kurtz (Costa Rica)  Bottom row: Alexander Zhang (Taiwan); Sarah Yosief & Macy Marcucci (Argentina); and Satya and Leah (Nepal)

Community Corner

  • Global Health Forum: Fourth-year medical students shared stories and photos from their recent Global Health Rotations last month. Eight students went to six countries including South Korea, Costa Rica, Argentina, Taiwan, Nepal, and Pakistan.
  • Virtual Cooking Class: Faculty, students, and staff enjoyed a virtual cooking class taught by local celebrity chef Taylor Pusha, founder of Taylor Made Cakes and Creations. The group made some simple and delicious chicken tacos. Check out some of Taylor’s recipes on the Blue Ridge PBS show Taylor Thyme.
  • The Hub: Looking for ways to engage? Already have an engagement event or project in the works and want to get the word out? VTCSOM Engage information is a very handy link to register an activity or event - it's all at The Hub!
  • Coming Soon: Look for the VTCSOM and Carilion tables at the Local Colors Festival on Saturday, May 20th and the Juneteenth Celebration on Saturday, June 17th. Also, VTCSOM will cohost the annual Huddle Up Moms Women’s Summit on Saturday, June 10th.
  • The Compress and Shock Foundation is a Roanoke based 501(c)(3) non-profit that brings free and equitable access to CPR and AED education to all communities with a specific dedication to those communities most adversely affected by cardiac arrest due to race, ethnicity, primary language, or access to healthcare education. Compress and Shock wants YOUR HELP on Saturday, June 3. We are looking for VTCSOM students, faculty, and alumni to serve as hands-on instructors for CPR and AED education. Watch the video below from a recent Compress and Shock event. We provide the curriculum, equipment, and the structure for the class. Instructor time commitment would be roughly 2.5 hours. Please contact if you can help!
collage of two images: wide shot of donor reception and a photo of nneoma, celine, and LB

Spotlight on Giving

On April 13, VTCSOM hosted its annual Scholarship Reception in the atrium of the school. Dean Lee Learman, assistant dean of advancement Alicia Besenyei and students Nneoma Edokobi, LB Canary, and Celine Marlin Andrews spoke about the impact of scholarship support. Donors heard how their generous support is helping train next generation of physician thought leaders by alleviating student debt, supporting diversity, equity and inclusion, and attracting talented students from around the country. Thank you to everyone who participated in and helped plan this special event!

Humanism Notes

We are grateful to Mark Greenawald and John Epling from the department of family & community medicine for featuring a wonderful poem in their “Take 3” newsletter that we’d like to share this month. Here’s a link to the poem and a recording of author Mary Oliver reading it: Wild Geese. As Mark and John write, “In the spirit of that poem, may you take some time this week to ponder ‘your place in the family of things’ and experience a sense of home.”

Take Note

Take Note

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  • Directions in Displacement is the official blog of the Center for Refugee, Migrant, and Displacement Studies and seeks contributors working on emerging dialogues, critical histories, and creative reflection on the subject of displacement, (im)migration, and resettlement. They are interested in interdisciplinary work exploring displacement at the intersections of sociology, history, education, political science, science and technology studies, environmental studies, engineering, gender studies, anthropology, media studies, creative writing, and (performing) art. They welcome contributions (800 to 2000 words) from students, faculty, independent scholars, and community members. Contributors will be compensated for blog posts selected for publishing. If you would like to contribute or have any questions, please email, subject line ‘DIRECTIONS’.
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  • Past issues of Progress Notes are available on the website.

Upcoming Events

collage of softball game. top: group shot, bottom left: catcher, student at bat, outfielder

The Last Note

It was a fantastic evening for the annual VTCSOM faculty/staff softball game last month. While there were lots of great plays on both teams, ultimately it was a decisive 15-4 win by the students.

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