Stay "connected." The words of PREP alum, Dr. Leah Banks, back in 2007 after the VT tragedy of April 16 that "...please do not worry about us, all of us are together and have each other..." and her recent counsel that "...a setback is needed for a great comeback...." But what else can we say about our situation, except to say that we are all living according to the old adage “may you live in interesting times.” Please stay safe and mindful. At times like this, the lessons of our own Drs. Kacie Blackman (IMSD Alum, currently Assistant professor, Cal State University, Northridge) and Charlotte Amenkhienan (Counselor at VT) over the years become even more valuable as resources. We are also hoping to continue connecting and linking with all of you through social media. Our approach of "community and connection" continues to be essential in research and science education and we encourage you to take advantage of the resources described in this edition of VT PRIME. Among the highlights of our spring that will be featured here are PhD completions by IMSD scholars who have been both excellent trainees and awesome citizens, accolades received by our alumni, and conferences attended by our trainees. Finally, we want to thank some folks who have been essential this past year to the success of our trainees including Ms. Stephanie Brown and Mr. Mark Sumner.

Ed Smith, Luke Achenie, and Zac Mackey