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Winter 2020-21 Feature Stories

Cover: Class of 2024

The remarkable Class of 2024: Former medical scribes study alongside a middle school math teacher from Detroit, a high school wrestling coach and an EMT who served in San Diego in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.




Equity scholarships propel pipeline programs to next level

The medical school’s pipeline programs have put underrepresented-in-medicine students on the path toward careers as physicians. Now the Dean’s Equity Scholarship expands the financial resources available to these students. “It’s the other part of the equation.”


Changing course(s)

Prompted by world-changing events, the School of Medicine quickly adjusted its curriculum for medical students. Our story provides a window into the past 11 months and a look at what changes may prove to be long-lasting.



‘An opportunity to do something bigger than me’

In dual roles, Vanessa B. Sheppard, Ph.D., tackles the ‘hard problems’ of health disparities: “We are so well-positioned to learn what factors are unique to the populations we serve and what may contribute to helping them to live longer and healthier lives.”



Exploring the genetics of alcohol use disorder

Federally funded research center, one of 20 in U.S., spans disciplines and models: “Perhaps if we can identify a key gene that controls a network of other genes that impact alcohol behaviors, we may actually be able to give clues about new therapeutic agents.”



The courage to speak out

Trailblazer’s life inspires fellow alumna’s commitment to action: “If we all work together, we can understand the barriers to delivering equitable care. We all have a responsibility to ensure everyone receives the care they deserve. Dr. Goodwin knew that and lived it. I just hope I can make her proud.”


Crucial conversations

Last spring and summer, in addition to the outbreak of COVID-19, the city of Richmond experienced major social unrest. Incoming students — who arrived amid the protests — took part in an orientation program that included crucial conversations designed to orient them to the medical school’s and Richmond’s complex histories.


#StopTheStigma | #StandWithLorna

The tragic loss of alumna Lorna Breen, M’99, has inspired awareness and legislation surrounding mental health services for clinicians.




Through Your Eyes

Andrew DelSordo, M’69, is having the time of his life restoring antique clocks. “You have to listen to the complaint, make a diagnosis and fix it.”




Eleanor Love, M'21, sits with a bouquet of flowers.The Simple Sunflower

Fourth-year medical student Eleanor Love delivers bouquets of hope and happiness to hospitalized patients.



First Person: Scholarships mean more than financial help

Relationship with donors means even more, says the Class of 2021’s Medjine Jarbath, who holds a Dean’s Scholarship and a memorial scholarship that carries the name of A. Jarrell Raper, M’59, H’63.



Record-breaking philanthropy

The Make It Real Campaign for VCU was the largest in the university’s history with $841.6 million raised. The School of Medicine and VCU Health are grateful beneficiaries of $372.3 million of that total, including $27 million for endowed scholarships as part of the 1838 Campaign.



COVID coverage

To keep up with the latest campus news related to COVID-19, please visit these VCU and VCU Health resources.


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