Dear Colleagues-Friends,

We have some marvelous things to celebrate this fall:

• Endowed professorships and chairs represent the highest academic honor a university can bestow on a faculty member, and serve as a lasting tribute for the donors who establish them. Last month, we were delighted to see 34 School of Medicine faculty members recognized with this honor. See the list and view photos from the 2018 Investiture Dinner.

• Congratulations to our faculty members Stephanie R. Goldberg, M.D., and Donna Jackson, Ed.D., who have secured grants from the American Medical Association that make possible a pair of research projects into students’ experiences. One project incorporates coaching and individualized learning plans to improve wellness for students entering surgery and other specialties, and the second explores inclusion and engagement in medical students. The lessons we learn will be used to improve students’ experiences – here and at other medical schools.

• When the Class of 2019’s Austin Oberlin started his Fogarty Global Health Fellowship, the aspiring OB-GYN public health physician had a touch of imposter syndrome. “Am I really supposed to be here?” But he talked with his mentor and kept on doing the work — and one year later, he took home the Young Investigator Award based on his cervical cancer research abroad.

• At VCU’s annual service awards, a host of the School of Medicine’s faculty and staff were honored: Katherine Mulloy, in Internal Medicine, was honored with the Award of Excellence; Valerie Harris, in Internal Medicine’s Division of Nephrology, received the Outstanding Achievement award; Harold Greenwald, in the medical school’s Office of Graduate Education, received the Service Excellence award; and Robert Diegelmann, Ph.D., was honored for his 45 years of service to the university.

We also appreciate the ways those in the medical school serve their communities and professions:

• OB-GYN’s Mishka Terplan, M.D., and emergency medicine’s Allen Yee, M.D., are two of the half dozen VCU faculty and alumni who’ve been named to the 27-member Governor’s Advisory Commission on Opioids and Addiction. They’ll offer their expertise in education, first-response, treatment and rehabilitation.

• Surgery’s Paula Ferrada, M.D., has been elected chair of the Young Fellows Association of the American College of Surgeons and secretary of the Panamerican Trauma Society. She is an ardent advocate for inclusivity in the surgery field of surgery.

I hope you will enjoy reading about their contributions.

With every good wish,

Peter F. Buckley, M.D.
Dean, VCU School of Medicine
Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs, VCU Health System