Faculty and Staff Features for February 2017

Michael Hindle, Ph.D., and P. Worth Longest Jr., Ph.D.
Michael Hindle, Ph.D., and P. Worth Longest Jr., Ph.D.

Michael Hindle, Ph.D., professor, Department of Pharmaceutics, School of Pharmacy and P. Worth Longest Jr., Ph.D., professor, Department of Pharmaceutics, School of Pharmacy and Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering, School of Engineering

Hindle and Longest have received a $2.4 million, four-year renewal of a National Institutes of Health grant originally awarded in 2011. The first grant was for $1.9 million.

Since 2011, the co-principal investigators have been developing an aerosol device that administers medication to the lungs via the nose. Their device demonstrates efficiency in delivering the medication from the nose to the lungs, as well as minimal variability in dose effects and precise targeting of small airways. The grant renewal will allow Hindle and Longest to test the technology for the first time with human subjects.


Gary Huff, associate dean of business and administration, VCU School of Nursing

Huff has joined Virginia Commonwealth University School of Nursing as associate dean of business and administration, effective Feb. 15. Huff most recently served as associate dean of administration at VCU's School of the Arts in Qatar.

As associate dean of business and administration, Huff will lead budget and financial planning, building and information technology operations, human resources, and ongoing school operations and business needs.

"Gary brings a strong depth of VCU experience and financial management that will be major assets to our school's operation," said Jean Giddens, Ph.D., dean and Doris B. Yingling Endowed Chair at VCU School of Nursing. "He is a highly talented addition to our leadership team."

Huff has more than 20 years of leadership experience in higher education administrative and financial operations. He joined VCU in 2010 as associate controller, after serving as controller for three years at Philander Smith College in Little Rock, Ark. Huff became associate dean for administration at Qatar in 2012, where he served as the school’s chief administrator officer, leading budget and financial planning, human resources, research administration, technology services, and ancillary operations. 

Huff received his bachelor's degree in accounting from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, an M.B.A. from HEC Paris and a certificate in LGBT Executive Leadership from Stanford University.


Jill Bradford-Shuemaker, senior clinical informaticist, VCU Health

Jill Bradford-Shuemaker.
Jill Bradford-Shuemaker.

Shuemaker was one of nine people recently selected to receive a national award and scholarship highlighting the field of health care and information technology. The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society annually recognizes outstanding contributions to the field that uphold the organization’s mission to improve health through IT.

All recipients are enrolled in health and management systems degree programs. Shuemaker is enrolled in Brandeis University’s Master of Health and Medical Informatics program. She and other recipients will be recognized at the HIMSS Awards Gala in Orlando, Florida, this month.

“I am honored to be receiving the scholarship for management systems named after a great leader who encouraged and established collaboration between health care and information technology, Richard P. Covert, Ph.D.,” Shuemaker said. “I hope to use my knowledge and skills to continue bridging the gaps between health care and IT innovations.”

Shuemaker has worked in VCU Health’s performance improvement division for six years. Her core responsibilities include ensuring VCU Health’s electronic clinical quality measurement program is established and meeting federal regulatory requirements. Additionally, her work includes analysis of current clinical and business processes and workflows ensuring that information systems meet professional standards, regulations and support management strategies.

Working with professionals who are also passionate about their work — like those in Performance Improvement, Enterprise Analytics, IT, and the Office of Clinical Transformation — has helped her succeed, Shuemaker said.  

“Working alongside these incredible people is what I like most about my job and why I find it most rewarding,” she said.


Sama Bilbao y León, Ph.D., associate professor and director of Nuclear Engineering Programs, Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering, School of Engineering

Sama Bilbao y León, Ph.D.
Sama Bilbao y León, Ph.D.

Bilbao y León was named chair of the Virginia Nuclear Engineering Consortium, which represents stakeholders including nuclear energy companies, suppliers and local organizations who support the advancement of the nuclear industry.

Bilbao y León’s research examines thermal-hydraulics, two-phase flow and heat transfer for nuclear applications. This work may be applied to the design of advanced nuclear power plant concepts that rely on sophisticated thermal-hydraulics phenomena. She is also interested in the area of energy and environmental policy, energy planning and nuclear infrastructure development in emerging nuclear countries and developing countries. She has participated as an observer in the fifth, sixth and 11th Conference of the Parties on Climate Change, sponsored by the United Nations.

In 2010, Bilbao y León was re-elected to the national board of directors of the American Nuclear Society. She co-founded the North American Young Generation in Nuclear organization and received the 2007 Founder Award for her leadership, vision and dedication.