Dr. Ashley Peralta
Dr. Ashley Peralta and her advisor Dr. Webster Santos

“May you live in interesting times,” an old Chinese wish goes! These are really interesting times. So how we respond and guide each other will impact our histories severely. As a higher education community charged with the responsibility of training the next generation, we are committed to doing our part to engage and to provide an environment that ensures discussion and education if needed. Our tradition of celebrating our scholars and other family members continues in this edition of VT PRIME. We celebrate a milestone for the PREP and IMSD programs at VT with our 70th PhD recipient, Dr. Ashley Peralta.  Our alumni continued to impact the world and receive awards. We are welcoming 13 new community members to our family. As these new members begin their important journeys, we ask for your support and counsel to enable them to be as successful as 85% of previous trainees.

A wise educator once compared educating the next generation to raising a family: approaches are diverse and often individual. The outcomes are uncertain and often way into the future.  Thus this email from PREP alum now at UNC really heartened us and our approach:

"Hi Dr. Smith and Dr. Achenie,
I hope all is well. I have good news.... I passed my Written Preliminary Exam in the Pathobiology and Translational Sciences Program at UNC! The VT PREP program has provided me with the confidence, knowledge, and leadership to be successful in graduate school. I constantly talk about my PREP experience to my UNC colleagues because your guidance and support contributes to my accomplishments in graduate school. I forward to keeping in touch about more exciting news while I am at UNC.

Ed Smith, Luke Achenie, and Zac Mackey