Morsani College of Medicine Alumni Society

A message from Valerie Riddle, MD '89, Associate Dean for Alumni Engagement 

November 08, 2021 02:24 PM By advance

My favorite time of the year is upon us --- the season of giving and of giving thanks. I always find this to be an ideal time to reflect on my blessings and use that reflection to guide me as I seek to find meaningful ways to give back and give thanks. As is true for all of us, I am grateful for my health and for family and friends. However, this year, I can add to those blessings the sheer joy I get from engaging with our alumni and students and seeing alumni like Dr. Steve Vernon making treasured investments in our students. I am grateful for his generosity and the opportunity it will afford our students; his gift inspires me to continue my own investment in the future of our students through scholarship giving and through time spent mentoring them. Since Veteran’s Day is also in November, I am proud to share a special series of the Morsani College of Medicine Alumni Society podcast, highlighting a few of our alumni who are serving in the uniformed services, and I am thankful not only for their service but for their willingness to spend time speaking with me. One of them, US Navy Captain Eric Elster ’95, was promoted to Dean of the F. Edward Hébert School of Medicine at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda shortly after we recorded his episode, a remarkable accomplishment layered on his already tremendous service to our nation. I am so pleased for the chance to know him and each of the alumni I have been fortunate enough to have met. So many have answered my call this year to be podcast guests, connect with students, and serve on panels. THANK YOU! Reach out if you want to get involved at                


As we approach the holidays, my wish is that each of you will take time to reflect on your blessings and to consider paying it forward with your time, talent, and treasure so that others may benefit from all that you have to offer as alumni of the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine. Have a wonderful holiday season – may it be filled with the love of family and friends! 


Coming in February – it’s Valentine’s so let’s celebrate our Morsani College of Medicine alumni couples! Send your great love stories to me at!