15 Old Woods Ave.
Roanoke, VA 24016
Shari A. Whicker, EdD, MEd
Senior Director, Office of Continuing Professional Development
Assistant Dean, Faculty Development
Director, TEACH (Teaching Excellence Academy for Collaborative Healthcare)
Associate Professor, Departments of Pediatrics and Interprofessionalism
Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine
Dr. Whicker completed both her Master of Education Degree in Training & Development and her Doctorate of Education in Adult Learning at North Carolina State University. She began working in medical education in 1999 at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center where she stayed until she left her position as Training & Development Manager for Wake Forest University Physicians in 2004. In 2004, she moved to Duke University Medical Center where she worked in the Department of Pediatrics for 10 years. She moved from her position as Duke Pediatrics’ Director of Education Development in 2014 to join the Office of Continuing Professional Development (OCPD) at Carilion Clinic and the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine where she is currently Senior Director of OCPD, Faculty Development, and of TEACH (Teaching Excellence Academy for Collaborative Healthcare).
Dr. Whicker is passionate about working within communities of practice to develop faculty and trainees in areas related to their roles as teachers, clinicians, researchers, and leaders.
Mariah Rudd, BS
Director, Office of Continuing Professional Development
TEACH (Teaching Excellence Academy for Collaborative Healthcare)
Carilion Clinic/Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine
Mariah entered the world of medical education fresh after graduating with a bachelor’s degree from North Carolina State University. Her journey began with a position as Innovation Project Manager in the Duke Office of Graduate Medical Education. In this role she worked to support the successful development, implementation and evaluation of innovative educational research projects aimed at enhancing resident training and the quality of GME programs. Additionally, she played an integral role in the promotion of education research and scholarship. During her time at Duke she also completed the AAMC Group on Educational Affairs (GEA) Certificate of Medical Education Research (MERC) to further her medical education skill set.
In Spring of 2016 Mariah joined the Office of Continuing Professional Development (OCPD) at Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine. In her new role she hopes to support faculty in the planning, implementation and assessment of faculty development curricula, advance the QI efforts across the institution, and foster the continued growth of teaching scholarship. She also hopes to support the already impressive efforts of the Teaching Excellence Academy for Collaborative Healthcare (TEACH). Mariah is truly excited to be a part of the OCPD team and the Carilion Clinic at this time of growth and innovation. She is certain this role will allow her the opportunity to continue cultivating her skills as an educator while furthering the faculty development mission of the OCPD.
Sarah Umbarger-Wells, MS
Manager, Education and Faculty Development
Sarah M. Umbarger-Wells, a first-generation college student and native of southwest Virginia, began her career in higher education at Oklahoma State University in the offices of Financial Aid & Scholarships and University Counseling Services. Her transition back to Virginia in 2000 led to a position as an academic advisor with Roanoke College Upward Bound and then as Assistant Director for the Virginia Tech Talent Search Program. Most recently, she led NASPA and the Center for First-generation Student Success’ efforts to design, develop, launch and maintain the nation’s first national scaling model to support first-generation undergraduate and graduate student access, retention, and completion at post-secondary institutions. These opportunities have fostered and solidified her interest in implementation science, creating scalable solutions, and educational access and success for minoritized populations. Sarah’s current research interests are grounded in higher education access and success for first-generation student populations, family systems, and refugee populations.
Sarah earned a bachelor’s degree in Written and Oral Communications from Hollins University, an M.S. in Counseling and Student Personnel with a concentration in Community Mental Health from Oklahoma State University, and a Ph.D. Certificate in Nonprofit & Nongovernmental Organizational Management from Virginia Tech. She is currently completing her Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration from Virginia Tech.
Sarah is excited to utilize her skills and knowledge as an educator and researcher to support the OCPD team and Carilion Clinic colleagues’ growth aspirations and faculty development.
Curricular & Media Project Specialist
Sandra joined the Office of Continuing Professional Development (OCPD) and the Teaching Excellence Academy for Collaborative Healthcare (TEACH) in January 2012 as Educational Resource Coordinator. Her position has since evolved into Media and Curriculum Coordinator to meet the growing need for learning sessions through various multi-media outlets by shooting videos to house on websites for 24/7 access; reaching out via Zoom when faculty is unable to attend in person; keeping faculty connected via electronic newsletter, Facebook, hubs, and Twitter; and to design and manage content on the OCPD, CME, TEACH, and Physician Faculty Wellbeing websites. She continues to serve as the Continuing Medical Education (CME) coordinator which aligns well with accrediting the learning programs for Continuing Medical Education (CME) credit, she partners with the multi-media consultants, CME partners, speakers, and logistic personnel to set up high quality, accredited faculty development sessions.
Having always been a closet artist, Sandra pursued her degree in communication and web page design to fulfill her creativity need and get paid to do it! Sandra, having found her niche after 25 years with Carilion Clinic, is profoundly excited and motivated to further hone her skills in preparing top notch continuing professional development programs and enhancing connectivity to learning.
Deb Ferron was happy to join the Office of Professional Development as Department Secretary in September, 2017 and finds the medical education field to be exciting and fulfilling. She previously served as Department Secretary in ambulatory Interventional Cardiology and as Team Lead for the Secretarial/Transcription/Hospital Scheduling Department of a private practice which joined Carilion Clinic in 2011. Deb has been in the medical field since 1983. In the earlier years she has served in a variety of roles, and also owned and/or managed three small businesses; all of which have prepared her for the professionalism needed in her current role. In 2012 she became a member of Carilion Clinic’s chapter of Toastmasters International, where she served in multiple leadership positions including Area Director and earned the designation of Distinguished Toastmaster. As a result Deb became passionate about public speaking and training. She developed a program for Cardiology Fellows to enhance their public speaking and presentation abilities through sessions, experiential learning and regular evaluations and feedback. The program produced improvement each year over the two years conducted. She also developed and conducted a Telephone Etiquette program for staff. She has now completed over 105 speeches, presentations and training sessions of varying lengths and purposes. Deb has become interested in education research and scholarship, which lead her to join the Teaching Excellence Academy for Collaborative Healthcare (TEACH) in 2015, and then become a part of the Office of Continuing Professional Development (OCPD) in 2017. Deb is passionate about seeing others learn and employ speaking techniques that result in greater confidence and effective presentations, and the many supporting projects that contribute to the education process. She is excited to be a part of TEACH, OCPD and looks forward to supporting the professional development and education of all that we serve.Last Updated on July 20, 2021 by Sandra DeHart