Elevating Excellence & Transforming
Institutional Culture.

V-FIRST assembled a leadership team with a long-standing commitment to equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging. They have extensive experience recruiting, hiring, mentoring, and promoting faculty from minoritized groups, and creating institutional change.

The V-FIRST principal investigators are Cybele C. Raver, PhD, Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs; Consuelo H. Wilkins, MD, MSCI, Sr. Associate Dean, for Health Equity and Inclusive Excellence; and Alyssa Hasty, PhD, Associate Dean for Faculty.

Consuelo H. Wilkins, MD, MSCI
Principal Investigator

Consuelo H. Wilkins, MD, MSCI, Senior Associate Dean, Health Equity and Inclusive Excellence (School of Medicine), and Professor of Medicine, is an internationally recognized physician-scientist leader in health equity research whose research focuses on integrating social, cultural, and environmental factors into clinical and translational research. Dr. Wilkins, an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine and the American Society of Clinical Investigation, has substantial executive and administrative experience and has held institutional leadership roles at Vanderbilt for a decade. She was PI of four NIH-funded multi-institutional center grants, including two centers focused on research in Black and Latinx populations. In addition to her research, Dr. Wilkins is an institutional leader in health equity and inclusive excellence and has led the development and expansion of numerous programs in the medical school as the Founding Director of the Office of Health Equity, executive leader of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, and previously as Executive Director of the Meharry-Vanderbilt Alliance. In 2020, Dr. Wilkins led the Racial Equity Task Force, which delivered more than 150 recommendations on combatting systemic and institutional racism. These recommendations served as the foundation for creating a comprehensive racial equity plan that serves as the roadmap for Vanderbilt University Medical Center to become an antiracist institution. The Racial Equity Plan has ~200 specific actions and includes steps for inclusive faculty hiring and transforming institutional culture. Dr. Wilkins will leverage her experience serving on 14 faculty search committees (including three as chair) at Vanderbilt, Meharry Medical College and Washington University School of Medicine. Dr. Wilkins was actively involved in the recruitment, negotiations, and hiring of more than two dozen faculty from minoritized racial and ethnic groups. Dr. Wilkins will serve as V-FIRST Administrative Core Director.

Alyssa Hasty, PhD
Principal Investigator

Alyssa Hasty, PhD, Associate Dean for Faculty in the Basic Sciences, and Cornelius Vanderbilt Professor of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics, is an international leader in the field of immunometabolism with over 19 years of continuous research funding. Dr. Hasty is also a creative leader with experience developing and implementing programs to promote professional development of trainees and faculty. In her role as Associate Dean for Faculty in the Basic Sciences, Dr. Hasty is involved in all aspects of recruiting new faculty members to Vanderbilt. In this role, she also interacts with the Vice Provost for Research; Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs; Deans of Arts & Sciences, Engineering, and Peabody; as well as with the Associate Deans for Faculty Affairs in all of the Schools. As V-FIRST Faculty Development Core Director, Dr. Hasty will oversee mentoring, sponsorship and support to guide V-FIRST faculty through promotion with tenure. To ensure alignment across cores, Dr. Hasty will work closely with Drs. Raver and Wilkins in the Administrative Core in recruiting and retaining V-FIRST faculty.

C. Cybele Raver, PhD
Principal Investigator

C. Cybele Raver, PhD, Vanderbilt University Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, is an esteemed developmental psychologist whose leadership spans research, clinical, academic and administrative settings. Dr. Raver is responsible for institutional leadership, oversight, and key decision-making for all academic, faculty and research affairs across 10 Schools serving over 15,000 undergraduate and graduate students. She oversees fiscal and academic planning, strategy, oversight of all School-level faculty hiring, tenure, and promotion processes, as well as key university-wide initiatives aiming to strengthen the development, training, and placement of emerging leaders. In her roles as Vanderbilt Provost and multiple senior leadership roles at NYU, Dr. Raver has led university-wide initiatives to drive the highest caliber of academic quality for all units by planning for and quantitatively benchmarking success in meeting strategic goals over time. While Deputy Provost at NYU, she co-launched and co-led a university-wide research initiative on reducing economic and racial inequality, and partnered with deans targeting cross-disciplinary improvement in the teaching of “gateway” STEM lab courses with the aim of increasing persistence in STEM majors, particularly among students from minoritized groups. Dr. Raver’s commitment to and interest in equity and inclusion are not new or driven by her leadership roles. Prior to transitioning to senior leadership roles, her research focused on supporting children’s early educational success in the contexts of poverty, educational intervention, and policy. Continuously federally funded since 1994, she conducted a series of cluster-randomized trials implemented in collaboration with school districts to estimate the impacts of preschool intervention for low-income children’s academic and self-regulation outcomes in major metropolitan areas including New York City and Chicago. Dr. Raver will co-lead the Administrative Core and will serve a critical role in implementing policies and practices to achieve V-FIRST’s overarching goals.

V-FIRST Executive Steering Committee

Nancy Carrasco, MD – Chair of the Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics

Andre Churchwell, MD – Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion; Chief Diversity Officer at Vanderbilt University

Michael DeBaun, MD, PhD – Professor of Pediatrics and Medicine; Vice Chair for Clinical and Translational Research

Katherine Hartmann, MD, PhD – Vice President for Research Integration; Associate Dean for Clinical and Translational Scientist Development

Velma McBride-Murry, PhD – Professor of Human and Organizational Development and Health Policy

Doug McMahon, PhD – Professor of Biological Sciences and Pharmacology; Director of Vanderbilt’s NIH Maximizing Access to Research Careers program

Kimryn Rathmell, MD, PhD – Chair of the Department of Medicine

Cynthia Reinhart-King, PhD – Professor of Biomedical Engineering; Senior Associate Dean for Research, School of Engineering

Duane Watson, PhD – Professor of Psychology and Human Development; Associate Dean of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion for Peabody