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Office of Alumni Relations

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Improving education for all Virginia’s students

Leah Walker (M.P.A.’01/GPA) brings a point of view that is rooted in social justice, fairness, equity and a sense of what is the responsibility of the government to the Virginia Department of Education. With her background in public policy, she says her role is to provide an “expert understanding of how government works and what the levers are within government to impact change at different levels.”

A passion for public safety

Michael Roth (B.S.’15/N) built a groundbreaking team that uses drones to assist public safety efforts such as search and rescue missions. Now a captain in the Henrico County fire department, Roth combines a devotion to firefighting with openness to new technologies and an abiding interest in medicine.

Authors visit VCU

Literary enthusiasts have plenty to look forward to this fall at VCU, where the events calendar includes visits from several prominent authors.

Preparing students for a healthy start to medical school

In her 24 years of working in medical school admissions, Whitehurst-Cook has led a shift to approach medical school orientation in a more holistic way. Now, orientation is a two-week experience that focuses on character building and student wellness. “We want students to have a healthy start to medical school and we hope it affirms why they choose to become a medical doctor,” Whitehurst-Cook said.

Welcome to the City

Whether you’re new to your area or have lived there for years, Welcome to the City events connect you to your local VCU community and strengthen your ties to your alma mater.

‘If I wasn’t making films about science, I wouldn’t want to be making films.’

Ron Lopez returned to school to study environmental sciences because he wanted to pursue a personally fulfilling career. His work now includes a juggling act of scientific research, teaching and filmmaking, and he says the mix couldn't be more perfect.

Identity invention

Ravon Ruffin (B.S.'13/WS) started with the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture's social media engagement team just as the institution was preparing to open its doors in 2016. She enjoyed a unique opportunity to shape public perception of a major new museum and helped to build its social media presence from the ground up.

A path for future Rams

Tony (B.S.’79/H&S; B.S.’82/P) and Corrine (B.S.’80/H&S) Rowlette recall their meeting vividly, though they didn’t say a word to each other at the time. From there, their relationship grew beyond first impressions. The couple became deeply involved in helping to build the African-American Alumni Council, and Tony went on to become the third president.

‘There will always be a need for the truth’

Two recent graduates of the Richard T. Robertson School of Media and Culture in the Virginia Commonwealth University College of Humanities and Sciences have defied warnings about the death of journalism jobs to find early success. Amir Vera (B.S.’14/MC) and Niki Farahmand (B.S.’14/MC) both landed jobs at world news organization CNN in 2018, Vera as an associate writer and Farahmand as a news producer. Both say they never expected to work at such a big name so soon after graduation, but that didn’t stop them from aiming high.

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