‘This is my heart’: Professor-nurse anesthetist uses technology to make time for the human element


Harold Barnwell, D.N.A.P., CRNA (M.S.N.A.’14/HP; D.N.A.P.’15/HP), who considers himself a part of the millennial generation, thinks it is important to bring educational content to tablets and mobile devices. One of the teaching techniques he’s experimenting with is breaking his lecture content into short videos that students can access at any time. “I’m looking out there saying, ‘What’s working? What are people engaging with?’ There are millions of people watching videos online. Can we tap into that?” he says. Read more.

Get to the doctor: A three-time alumnus wants to solve the problems with transportation that keep many from needed health care


A three-time Virginia Commonwealth University alumnus who’s devoted his career to building software systems and improving inefficiencies, Ankit Mathur, 37, is co-founder and chief technology officer of RoundTrip, a startup that connects people to reliable medical transportation while reducing wait times, insurance headaches and extra expenses. Read more.

Physician, pilot, average Joe?: How one VCU alumnus made his dreams come true despite struggling in school

Juk Ting stands in a victory pose near the turbine engine of an aircraft.

Juk Ting, D.O. (B.S.’90/H&S), enjoys a moment of fun near the turbine engine of an aircraft. Photo courtesy of Juk Ting.

By Erica Naone

Juk “J” Ting, D.O. (B.S.’90/H&S), 49, insists he’s an “average Joe.” Coming from a Virginia Commonwealth University alumnus who’s both a practicing physician and an airline pilot, the claim is a bit hard to swallow.

Ting worked as a stadium doctor at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles for 11 years. His passion for flying became a career in 2016. He flew the Boeing 777 for Southern Air, which offers air freighter services, and is now flying the Boeing 747 for Kalitta Air, an American cargo airline. He didn’t trade medicine in for flying, though. Ting is Board certified in emergency medicine and is licensed to practice medicine in 22 states, which he does between flights through the telemedicine company Teledoc.

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A mission to protect vulnerable children: Alumna solidifies a legacy of helping those affected by abuse and neglect

Robin Foster, M.D., co-founder and direct of the Child Protection Team at Children's Hospital of Richmond at VCU, stands flanked by Emily Horne, a nurse practitioner, on the left and Carly Barrows, a licensed clinical social worker, on the right.

Robin Foster, M.D. (M.D.’89/M; H.S.’92/M), co-founded the Child Protection Team at Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU 26 years ago. The team focuses on helping children who have been neglected or physically or sexually abused. From left to right are Emily Horne, a nurse practitioner with the team, Foster and Carly Barrows (B.S.’11/H&S; M.S.W.’14/SW), a licensed clinical social worker who coordinates the team and helps provide mental health services. Photo by Jud Froelich.

By Erica Naone

Robin Foster, M.D. (M.D.’89/M; H.S.’92/M), has barely slept. She worked a night shift in VCU Health’s pediatric emergency department, she explains, as she navigates the hallways of the Children’s Pavilion at Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU. She excuses herself briefly to check on a family. She can’t stay with them long — she’s looking ahead to a full day of work with CHoR’s Child Protection Team, which she co-founded and leads as director.

Twenty-six years have passed since she started the team, whose sole focus is helping children who have been neglected or physically or sexually abused. As one of only three physicians in Virginia who is board-certified to treat child abuse and neglect, Foster often travels the state to handle these sorts of cases.

Though she specializes in pediatrics, Foster says, she never intended to focus on child abuse and neglect. “It picked me,” she says.

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All dressed up with somewhere to go: How this entrepreneur, transgender activist and RPI graduate lives life out in the open

RPI graduate, entrepreneur and transgender activist Rhonda Williams stands beneath a sign that reads, "You belong here," in pink cursive letters.

Rhonda Williams (A.S.’68/En) visits the Institute for Contemporary Art at VCU and discovers a sign of welcome. Photo courtesy of Rhonda Williams.

By Erica Naone

Rhonda Williams (A.S.’68/En) has lived a life of dramatic change. She left Halifax County in rural Virginia after high school for the bustling state capital, Richmond. Over the years, she forged a career in the then-nascent field of software engineering, pursued a new path as an entrepreneur, came out as transgender and discovered new skills as an activist for diversity and inclusion.

Her alma mater, Richmond Professional Institute, has gone through many changes, too. Williams’ Class of 1968 was the last to graduate from RPI before it merged with the Medical College of Virginia to become Virginia Commonwealth University. Though well-known  buildings such as Ginter House remain, RPI’s campus, now the VCU Monroe Park Campus, has vastly expanded and changed.

Williams, however, tends to look beyond the surface. “Although it’s changed so much, so radically, over the last 50 years, it’s still got the same spirit,” she says, describing it as artistic, alive and unique.

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