ROANOKE, Va. – Virginia Tech is celebrating diversity in the medical field.
The Virginia Tech Carillion School of Medicine and Fralin Biomedical Institute just opened an inclusive and equitable environment for students at the Roanoke Campus and held a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
“Today is a great day,” Hassan Farrah, a Ph.D. student, said. “It’s something that everybody is pleased about. I think opening a center for inclusion on this campus is great, not just for medical students, but on the research side. It gives them something to talk about, a reason to leave their lab.”
Medical students said opening the Center for Inclusion has been in the works for two years after the killings of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbury, and George Floyd.
Students said they wanted a safe space to take a break from their studies and relax when feeling overwhelmed.
“Every single one of our voices is valid, we have the right to be unapologetically our true selves, without judgment,” Sarah Yosief, a medical student, said.
The Dean of Virginia Tech School of Medicine said the center could help create new ideas.
“It fosters safe and open communication about what they’re experiencing in their lives and helps us bring forth new ideas,” Lee Learman, the Dean of VTC School of Medicine, said.
Other students hope there are more spaces for inclusion in the future.
“I honestly hope we see more spaces being developed on this campus, I think this is a big step forward and building a lot of momentum and hopefully we don’t lose it,” Gates Palissery, a graduate student, said.