Dear Fralin Life Sciences Community,
Amid a chaotic last three months in Virginia and the U.S., we have all been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This last month we witnessed severe racial injustices and a call to action.
I hope you and your family are well and starting to turn your efforts to a progressive, more equal future. Complacency will not affect change. I have been self-evaluating and hope that you will too; we can all make a plan to become better at challenging inequity and supporting diversity and inclusion.
Education and innovative research are central to achieving our goals, both as individuals and as a society. We at the Fralin Life Sciences Institute at Virginia Tech are privileged to be in a position to support that positive future, and we are looking forward to returning to this work during our phased reopening this summer and in the fall semester.
The Institute is here to support you now and as we ramp up our academic, research, and outreach programing. Every day, I am truly impressed with how our community has come together to tackle these challenges.
There are many examples of how the Fralin Life Sciences Community has stepped up when needed. Our affiliated faculty quickly pivoted to create engaging, online courses, and our researchers responded to the need for rapid testing shortages and assessed shortages of critical equipment and supplies. The contributions of essential employees who remained at our five buildings and the care you all took for each other during these challenging times make me proud to be part of the Fralin Life Sciences community at Virginia Tech.
I would like to introduce four guiding principles that will help focus our efforts. When making decisions and taking action on behalf of the Fralin Life Sciences Institute, I will consider these four principles, and I would like you to as well. Ask yourself, how do my decisions and actions help:
• Encourage and foster diversity and inclusion
• Support the collaborative success of the Virginia Tech community
• Discover innovative solutions to global challenges
• Promote effective and efficient operations
The evolving vision for the Institute will be based on these guiding principles so that we can improve the human condition by supporting innovative life sciences research, education, and outreach.
The forward progress of shaping the vision and programs of the Fralin Life Sciences Institute continues despite the tragic impacts of COVID-19. I regularly meet with leaders of academic units, research centers, and various organized research groups to support our robust academic and research portfolios.
I am excited to have the opportunity to lead the Fralin Life Sciences Institute as we focus on some of the most pressing global challenges of our time.