Roberto Silva, head of the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute and Health Science & Technology Library, a branch of University Libraries at Virginia Tech, recently received two awards from the university – a 2024 Administrative and Professional Faculty Award and a Presidential Principles of Community Award.

Silva, who joined Virginia Tech in 2020, was one of three honored this year with A/P Faculty award, which recognizes a few of the university's roughly 2,500 A/P faculty for their extraordinary contributions, accomplishments, and consistent performance. Twenty-one employees were nominated this year. 

“Roberto is a consummate professional and is someone who you truly want to work with every day," wrote Kyrille Goldbeck DeBose, director of Health Science Libraries, wrote in a letter of nomination for the award. "He is dedicated, thoughtful, creative, inclusive, and collaborative. Roberto showed his adaptability to adversity when he was tasked with opening and managing a new library space during the pandemic.”

Silva's nomination was supported by Michael Friedlander, executive director of the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute and Virginia Tech's vice president for Health Sciences and Technology, Carla Finkielstein, professor and director of the Molecular Diagnostic Lab, and Leanna Blevins, Associate Vice President for Health Sciences Academic Affairs.

Blevins and Finkielstein also nominated Silva for the Principles of Community Award, which recognizes faculty and staff members who exemplify and promote a welcoming and inclusive environment in accordance with the university’s Principles of Community. He was one of four recipients this year.

"Roberto consistently goes above and beyond, leveraging his experience and unique perspective to create an environment where everyone feels a sense of belonging," Blevins wrote in her letter of nominaton. She and Finkielstein both cited Silva's work in support of underrepresented groups in science and related fields, including displaying books by Latino authors and hosting a Hispanic Heritage Month gathering on campus, and his creation of a Communidad Book Club, which offers a space for the Spanish-speaking community in the area gather to discuss literature.

Silva, a native of Peru, manages the library on the ground floor of 4 Riverside Circle, providing information services, access to collections, and additional resources to support the educational, teaching, and research needs of programs related to the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute and the Health Sciences & Technology campus.