Here’s a round-up of news briefs around Southwest and Southside. Send yours for possible inclusion to

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Two virtual meetings slated for New River Valley passenger rail station study

The New River Valley Passenger Rail Station Feasibility Study virtual public meetings are scheduled. There are two dates/times available for the public to participate:

Additional meeting details will be available in the upcoming weeks. Want to learn more about the project? Click here to be directed to the project website. 

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President Harley Knowles of Tennessee Wesleyan University and Emory & Henry College President John W. Wells.

Emory & Henry and Tennessee school sign free tuition agreement for eligible employees

Employees and their families at Emory & Henry College and Tennessee Wesleyan University will now the opportunity to have their full tuition covered while pursuing a degree in higher education at either school.

Emory & Henry College President John W. Wells hosted President Harley Knowles of Tennessee Wesleyan University in a recent signing ceremony to support their joint initiative. They each share a relationship within the Holston Conference of the United Methodist Church.

“We want to offer more options to our communities and employees with convenient, affordable solutions toward their continuance of higher education,” Well said in a statement. “This tuition reciprocation agreement will be available to all full-time employees and their dependents at each institution after two consecutive years of employment.”

Eligible participants under this agreement will receive a full tuition rate waiver for undergraduate studies only. Qualified employees and students may apply now for Fall 2022 start and should contact their director of admissions and the organization’s human resources department.

That agreement is effective for 10 years with the option to renew.

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Virginia Tech professor elected fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering

Robin Queen

Robin Queen, the Kevin P. Granata Faculty Fellow and a professor in biomedical engineering and mechanics at Virginia Tech, has been elected fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering. The College of Fellows – which honors the top 2 percent of medical and biological engineers in the country – consists of 1,500 individuals who are outstanding leaders, engineers, entrepreneurs, and innovators in the field.

In the Granata Biomechanics Laboratory, Queen conducts and directs research on musculoskeletal biomechanics. Within her focus on musculoskeletal disease and injury, she hopes to better understand lower extremity function as it relates to injury and recovery. This knowledge could help Queen’s team develop patient-centered care models for injury prevention, rehabilitation, and improved long-term physical function. Her interdisciplinary approach bridges the gap between engineering, patient care, and the development of novel tools.

 Queen is also a professor of orthopaedic surgery at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and an adjunct faculty member at the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine. She is an affiliate of the Institute for Society, Culture, and Environment as well.