Richard “Rick” Vari, professor of basic science education and senior dean for academic affairs at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine at Virginia Tech, has been conferred the title of professor emeritus by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors.

The emeritus title may be conferred on retired professors, associate professors, and administrative officers who are specially recommended to the board by Virginia Tech President Tim Sands in recognition of exemplary service to the university. Nominated individuals who are approved by the board receive a copy of the resolution and a certificate of appreciation.

A founding member of the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine faculty in 2008, Vari helped to establish and oversee the curriculum of the new medical school and his leadership and extensive work contributed to the school’s full accreditation.

For more than 40 years, Vari served the local, regional, national, and international medical education community as a leader in prominent professional organizations including the International Association of Medical Science Educators, the American Society of Nephrology, and the American Physiological Society.

He taught a variety of courses across the four-year curriculum, helping to establish the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine as a national leader in problem-based learning and in interprofessional education. He supported both medical and graduate students at Virginia Tech and two other institutions by serving as a faculty sponsor for various student interest groups and by serving as a respected and admired advisor, mentor, and friend who helped his students pursue and succeed in careers in both academic and professional settings.

In 2017, Vari received the Alpha Omega Alpha Robert J. Glaser Distinguished Teacher Award from the American Medical Association and the Association of American Medical Colleges. Earlier this year, the International Association of Medical Science Educators honored him with the Edward Patrick Finnerty Lifetime Achievement Award.

Vari received his bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, and Ph.D. from the University of Kentucky. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Missouri School of Medicine.

Editor's Note: Vari died on Sunday, June 13, 2022. The Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine send our deepest condolences to his family and friends. He is missed.

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