Names and changes: Business recognitions and promotions for the week of May 19, 2024



Kwame Harrison, Raman Kumar and Patricia Raun have been named Alumni Distinguished Professors by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors.

The professorship is a preeminent appointment, recognizing scholarship and service as well as teaching that has influenced the lives of generations of students. Fewer than 1% of Tech faculty members hold this honor, and Kumar is the only active Alumni Distinguished Professor in the Pamplin College of Business.

051924 Kwame Harrison


Harrison is the Edward S. Diggs Professor in Humanities with a joint appointment in Africana Studies in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences. A member of the Tech community since 2003, he has received numerous university teaching awards.

Harrison earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Massachusetts and a master’s degree and Ph.D. from Syracuse University.

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Kumar, the R.V. and A.F. Oliver Professor of Investment Management in the Pamplin College of Business, was appointed to the faculty in 1985. He has spent his entire post-doctoral career at Tech. His service to the university and the finance department has resulted in various leadership roles and committee memberships.

051924 Raman Kumar


Kumar has received numerous teaching awards, including the William E. Wine Award in 2015, five MBA Outstanding Faculty Awards, and the College of Business Certificate of Teaching Excellence Awards. Kumar has also been the recipient of Pamplin’s Ph.D. Teaching Excellence Award twice as well as the Holtzman Outstanding Educator Award.

Kumar earned his bachelor’s degree in business management from Banaras Hindu University, his Master of Business Administration from the Indian Institute of Management Calcutta, and his Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh.

Raun, professor of theater arts in the College of Architecture, Arts, and Design, joined the theater department faculty in 1986. Her teaching has been recognized with multiple awards, including the College of Arts and Sciences Teaching Excellence Award and the William E. Wine Award for Faculty Achievement.

051924 Patricia Raun


As the creator of the Center for Communicating Science, Raun has worked with researchers across the globe, using storytelling and theater techniques to help people share their expertise.

She has served in many administrative roles, including founding director of the School of Performing Arts from 2007-17, department head of Theatre Arts from 2002-13 and assistant department head from 1994-2001.

Raun has directed 21 theater productions, participated alongside students in 14 plays and provided voice direction for more than 30 full-length productions. Recently, she collaborated with 20 graduate student researchers from National Science Foundation-funded Research Traineeship programs nationwide, both online and in-person.

This spring, Raun will travel to Kenya for an in-person summit that wraps up a series of communicating science workshops for early career agricultural researchers from that country.

Rose Hu has been appointed head of the Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering effective Jan. 1, 2025, becoming the first female head of the department since its inception in 1892. She will replace Luke Lester, who has led the department since 2013.

051924 Rose Hu


ECE has grown to be one of the largest departments in the country and makes up more than 10% of the university’s nearly $600 million total in research expenditures.

Hu comes to Virginia Tech from Utah State University, where she served as professor and associate dean for research. She has published six books and more than 300 journal articles and conference papers throughout her career. She currently serves as editor-in-chief for IEEE Communications Magazine.

Hu received her Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of Kansas in 1998; a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from New York University in 1995; and a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Science and Technology China in 1992.

Dwyn Taylor is Virginia Tech’s new vice president for campus planning, infrastructure, and facilities effective June 25.

051924 Dwyn Taylor


Taylor joined the university in 2016 and currently serves as assistant vice president for capital construction in the Division of Campus Planning, Infrastructure, and Facilities.

In his new role, Taylor will provide leadership in supporting Tech’s teaching, research, and outreach missions. As vice president for campus planning, infrastructure, and facilities, he will oversee the care, maintenance, and development of the university’s campuses in Blacksburg, Roanoke, and the greater Washington, D.C., metro area; the university’s research facilities located throughout the commonwealth; and the Steger Center for International Scholarship located in Riva San Vitale, Switzerland.

Prior to Tech, Taylor served 27 years as an active-duty naval officer, achieving the rank of captain in the Civil Engineer Corps. He also spent five subsequent years in the design-build construction industry.

Taylor graduated from the Georgia Institute of Technology with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering, and he holds a Master of Science degree in civil engineering, with a focus on construction engineering/project management, from the University of Texas. He also attended the Executive Management Program at the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University.

Taylor is a registered professional engineer.


Lisa Cundiff has joined Farm Credit of the Virginias as an operations support specialist based in the Roanoke branch.

051924 Lisa Cundiff


Prior to joining FCV, Cundiff spent the majority of her career working for a large insurance company, where she held a variety of roles, from insurance processor to customer retention to the project support/compliance team.

Outside of work, the Vinton native enjoys spending time with her husband and their adult children, in addition to their two dogs.


The Community Health Center of the New River Valley has added three members to its medical and dental staff: Dr. Cathy Callahan, Dr. Katelyn Cantrell and Melisa Loving.

Callahan will provide part-time gynecological care and medication-assisted treatment at the Christiansburg site. Callahan most recently served as chair of the Clinical Sciences Department at the Via College of Osteopathic Medicine in Blacksburg.

051924 Cathy Callahan


Her credentials include being the founding medical director, physician, and a board member at CHCNRV; chair of the Department of Obstetrics; and associate dean of postgraduate affairs at the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Callahan earned her doctor of medicine and Master of Public Health from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and was a resident at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester. She is a fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology and has been certified by the Virginia Board of Medicine and the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology since 2005.

Loving has more than a decade of experience as a registered nurse and family nurse practitioner. After earning her bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland, she received her Bachelor of Science in nursing from West Virginia University. She later completed the Master of Science Nursing, Family Nurse Practitioner Concentration program at West Virginia Wesleyan College.

051924 Melisa Loving


She comes to the Community Health Center from Mon Health Wedgewood Primary Care & Psychiatry in Morgantown, West Virginia.

Cantrell joined the Community Health Center from Charlottesville, where she provided general dentistry services as an associate at a private practice. Her range of experience also includes working in free clinics and as part of a volunteer team providing dental care to underserved areas.

051924 Katelyn Cantrell


After graduating from the University of Virginia’s College at Wise, she earned her dental degree from Virginia Commonwealth University and was a resident at the University of Virginia.

Cantrell has a leadership background as a volunteer and is a member of the American Dental Association.

051924 Angela Penn


051924 David Suetterlein


051924 Joe McNamara


051924 Sam Rasoul


The Roanoke Higher Education Authority has announced the appointment of Total Action for Progress President and CEO Angela Penn, Sen. David Suetterlein, and Del. Joe McNamara, and the reappointment of Del. Sam Rasoul to its board of trustees.

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