Virginia Tech lit up Burruss Hall in the colors of the Ukrainian flag. Courtesy of Virginia Tech.
Virginia Tech lit up Burruss Hall in the colors of the Ukrainian flag. Courtesy of Virginia Tech.

Here’s a roundup of education briefs from around Southwest and Southside:

Virginia Tech seeking a Ukrainian scholar

Virginia Tech is offering research space for a Ukrainian scholar who has been displaced from the country after the Russian invasion.

The College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences is seeking a full-time research assistant professor from Ukraine to work on campus and live in the area for a year.

The position comes after more than a year of work to create this kind of opportunity by a group made up of people from across Virginia Tech with a strong desire to welcome international faculty who fled their countries because of war, according to a release from Virginia Tech. When Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began in February 2022, the group focused its efforts on creating a position specifically for a Ukrainian faculty member.

Virginia Tech joins numerous higher education institutions in the United States and internationally who are providing opportunities for Ukrainian academics to continue their work.

At Virginia Tech, the professor’s focus would be on research, rather than teaching, but the professor would participate in public lectures, advise on program building, and be involved in other work with students and faculty.

According to the job description, there is not a required research area for the scholar. 

The scholar’s salary will be funded by the college, while living expenses are provided by a donation from the Bill and Ellen Cranwell Charitable Trust to the Cranwell International Center. The Cranwells gave $100,000 to the center in February 2022 after the invasion of Ukraine. A portion of their gift helped Virginia Tech’s Ukrainian students and sponsored a communitywide event to show support for Ukraine.

Now, a portion of those funds will support the new Ukrainian scholar.

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Robert Gourdie. Courtesy of RBTC.

Robert Gourdie named senior member of the National Academy of Inventors

Robert Gourdie, a professor at the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC, Gourdie has been named a senior member of the National Academy of Inventors and a rising leader in his field with success in patents, licensing and commercialization.

Gourdie is director of the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute Center for Vascular and Heart Research. Gourdie, who also holds an appointment in the Department of Biomedical Engineering and Mechanics in the College of Engineering, is a cell biologist and entrepreneur who translates discoveries into solutions for medical problems. 

Gourdie was nominated for senior membership in the National Academy of Inventors by Virginia Tech President Tim Sands. He will be formally inducted June 26 in Washington, D.C. 

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Ferrum hosts book-signing

Ferrum College is hosting a book signing for Brian Suttell for his new book, “Campus to Counter: Civil Rights Activism in Raleigh and Durham, North Carolina, 1960-1963,” on Feb. 21 at the Vaughn Chapel. Suttell is a Ferrum College assistant professor of history and success coach.

The event will be at 11:30 a.m.

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University of Lynchburg receives grants

The University of Lynchburg has received multiple grants:

  • The Council of Independent Colleges awarded $5,000 to the Department of Religious Studies, the Spiritual Life Center and the Office of Equity and Inclusion.
  • The Virginia Department of Health awarded $8,503 to the university’s Beard Center on Aging. The funds will be used to continue the center’s work on Alzheimer’s disease awareness.
  • The School of Nursing received $2,000 from the C.E. Richardson Benevolent Foundation for the purchase of two Smart Health blast air purifiers for the McMillian nursing classroom and skills lab.
  • The National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants awarded Lynchburg’s School of PA Medicine $2,392 to purchase two virtual reality headsets for student training.