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Leanna Blevins

Leanna Blevins
Leanna Blevins

Dr. Leanna Blevins serves as Assistant Vice President for Health Sciences Education and Student Affairs at Virginia Tech’s Health Sciences and Technology campus in Roanoke. She is an adjunct research assistant professor in the Department of Population Health Sciences. She is also learning to play the banjo. But I’ll tell you more about that and her thoughts on curiosity after I tell you about her efforts to establish Student Affairs at the Roanoke campus. 

Leanna was curious about what the students needed to flourish and what the faculty and staff needed to help create a stronger sense of community. In tandem with Student Affairs, Leanna created a forum for faculty and staff at the Roanoke campus and directors and assistant vice presidents from the Blacksburg campus to feed her own curiosity about how to provide outstanding services to students. She has done an amazing job of mentoring students, pulling faculty and administrators together to serve students, and creating a more robust student support structure.

Her nominator said, “Dr. Blevins' curiosity is what has led her to become a champion for student success, and through this curiosity she is changing the very culture for our students in Roanoke. She is the perfect model for how one can demonstrate a commitment to unwavering curiosity.”

Leanna said, “We are all stronger and more capable than we realize, and it’s important to get out of our comfort zones to explore and nurture our curiosity to discover all we can do. I used to limit myself to only reading books and articles about my profession so that I could stay current. Now I realize how ridiculous that was. I love reading so I read whatever I enjoy and learn from everything I read. I also make time to reflect and write down my thoughts, which helps me realize what I know and what I still want to learn.”

Leanna’s service to Virginia Tech cannot be overstated. She is part of the University Commission on Research. She is an AP faculty senator, a member of the Emergency Response Planning Team for the Roanoke campus, faculty advisor for the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute Postdoctoral Fellow Association, and faculty advisor for the Roanoke Graduate Student Association.

Leanna said, “The opportunity to make a positive difference inspires me. Every day I have the chance to seek and find joy in a variety of ways, and to help others do the same. This constantly challenges me to become better.”

Leanna demonstrates her commitment to curiosity each day, and she said, “I’m choosing not to wait to learn or do anymore. I’ve decided to ‘do the thing,’ whatever that thing might be, so I’m learning and trying and doing. One example is that I’m taking banjo lessons this year.”

Leanna, we are so grateful for your curiosity. It has helped students in our Health Sciences and Technology campus so much. 

It is a pleasure to present the faculty-staff Aspire! Award for CURIOSITY to Dr. Leanna Blevins.