Spring Commencement 2024: Troy Stallard, Waldron College of Health and Human Services


Radford University senior Troy Stallard is a busy man — and not just with his classes and fieldwork in the emergency services program.

The Roanoke native will also complete minors in biology and chemistry before graduation and has loaded his plate with all of the following roles: student representative to the Radford University Board of Visitors; student ambassador to the Blue Ridge Partnership for Health Science Careers; treasurer of the Radford University American Medical Student Association (as well as past president of that group); member of the Carilion Clinic student veteran organization; coordinator of the Med Life Movement; and student worker in the Radford University Carilion (RUC) Office of Student Affairs, where he helped establish RUC’s Military Resource Center.

The Air Force veteran and first-generation college student sought out these experiences with a larger goal in mind. Stallard plans on applying to medical school after receiving his diploma in May.

“The Roanoke Valley and New River Valley had attractive resources for a recently retired veteran with my goals in mind,” Stallard says of his decision to move his family to Southwest Virginia after finishing his military service. “With the intercollegiate agreements Radford has and the connections to large healthcare organizations in the region like Carilion, it was a natural fit for me. Everything just worked with my personal and professional goals.”

Stallard had been a medic in the Air Force and was able to leverage that experience to enroll in the emergency services degree completion track. That track is designed for students who come to the program with previous healthcare experience and allows them to translate that knowledge into earned credits so they don’t have to begin the program from scratch. Some of the students who pursue degree completion include working first responders and those who bring backgrounds in healthcare through military service, like Stallard.

While a student at Radford, Stallard has distinguished himself as an active researcher, often presenting his results at conferences and symposiums on campus and beyond.

“I have had the pleasure of conducting multiple research projects, two of which are being pursued for publication in the fields of emergency services and biomedical science,” Stallard says. “I’ve also attended multiple national and local conventions to present this research, and I’ve received nothing but support from Radford University, the Committee of Undergraduate Research and our partners at Carilion.”

Stallard says he has been able to explore a variety of topics while at Radford, including mental health in first responders and public health surveillance of wastewater and microbiology. Those projects, in turn, have allowed him to travel everywhere from Washington, D.C., to Richmond, Virginia, and even internationally.

“My most unexpected and meaningful experience happened this last spring break,” Stallard says. “Through support of the university, seven of us got to go to Cusco, Peru, for a service-learning trip. We staffed a mobile rural medicine clinic that helped 641 patients with no medical care available. We also helped build three greenhouses to help the communities combat climate change.”

As Stallard reflects on his time as a Highlander, he says that all of his experiences have been deeply rewarding and solidified his love of medicine.

“Everything I’ve been able to do while attending Radford has helped me be a more well-rounded candidate for medical school,” Stallard says. “I look back on what I’ve been able to accomplish during my time here and how many people offered a warm environment to help me grow. I cannot thank them enough.”

Stallard says that he is now looking to the future, where he hopes he can translate his experiences into caring for people in need.

“My aim is to pay back the investment made in me to my local and veteran communities,” Stallard says. “I never thought a college education was in my life plan. But, as I near the finish line, I’d like to prove to everyone that they made the right choice in supporting me.”

Apr 24, 2024
Mark Lambert, Riley Murtagh