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Leanna Blevins, Ph.D.

Associate Vice President for Health Sciences Academic Affairs
  • Co-Director, Integrated Health Sciences Research Program
  • Affiliate Research Assistant Professor, Population Health Sciences

Leanna oversees academic programs and support services and leads the development of future programs for Virginia Tech’s Health Sciences and Technology campus. She oversees multi-campus partnerships with academic and student services and is the site manager for the NIH-funded CTSA iTHRIV Scholars program for early career faculty in clinical and translational research at Virginia Tech and Carilion Clinic. Her research background focuses on rurality and higher education access and attainment, and rurality and health outcomes.

Previously, Leanna served as executive director of New College Institute, a state‐funded higher education center in Martinsville, Virginia. For 15 years, she was directly involved with the creation and development of New College Institute including the design and implementation of a vision for providing innovative postsecondary access to a rural region. She was extensively involved at the conceptual stage and worked as a critical part of the team before leading the institution as the agency-head.

Prior to her work at New College, Leanna worked as assistant to the president at the University of Virginia and also worked in the offices of State Government Relations, University Relations, and Faculty Advancement. Leanna served as director of career development at the University of Virginia’s College at Wise and as a student consumer advocate at Virginia Tech. In a brief stint outside of academia, Leanna was a vocational rehabilitation counselor for deaf and hard of hearing clients throughout Southwestern Virginia. Leanna earned a B.A. from Virginia Tech and both an M.Ed. and Ph.D. from the University of Virginia. She earned certification as a trained facilitator in entering mentoring at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

As a first-generation college graduate herself, Leanna is passionate about policy development and advocacy work toward enabling better educational attainment for underserved communities and historically marginalized populations. Leanna has completed Virginia Tech’s SafeZone and Transformational Allyship for Inclusive Leadership programs and actively works to build a more inclusive academy. She has served in various leadership capacities on state and national boards and currently serves on multiple university committees, and is currently the state chair for the ACE Virginia Women in Higher Education. Leanna is an alumna of the LEAD Virginia program, where she is a board member, and is the vice-chair of the board of the Virginia Rural Health Association. Leanna is most proud of three major accomplishments who call her Mom.

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