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Faculty & Staff Newsletter
Week of January 27, 2020

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New Faculty Profiles: 60 Second Intro's

This year, CHS rolled out a new video series on social media titled "60 Sec Intros." These videos were quick introductions to some of our new CHS faculty on campus. If you missed any, you can catch up here:

Salvatore Carbone, Ph.D., Kinesiology and Health Sciences 

Allison Moore, Ph.D., Mathematics and Applied Mathematics

Volkan Aytar, Ph.D., Sociology

Sylvia Rozario, Ph.D., Kinesiology and Health Sciences

Kai Bosworth, Ph.D., School of World Studies

Veronica Garabelli, The Robertson School of Media and Culture

Richard Joh, Ph.D., Physics

Punit Gandhi, Ph.D., Mathematics and Applied Mathematics

Chenlu Ke, Ph.D., Statistical Sciences and Operations Research

These videos are released every Friday on our social media. If you're not following us, please do! We have a whole slate of new videos this spring.

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram




CHS Dean's Search Candidate:
Open Forum Schedule

On behalf of the search committee, we are pleased to invite you to meet the remaining finalists for the position of dean at small group meetings and open forums. Information on the candidates is available online here

Candidate 3
Monday, January 27
2 p.m. - 3 p.m.
Commonwealth Ballroom A, University Student Commons

Candidate 4
Wednesday, January 29
2 p.m. - 3 p.m.
Commons Theater, University Student Commons

If you have any questions, please contact search committee chairs, Wendy Kliewer and Joe DiPiro.

CHS Sponsored Programs Office Staffing Change

Devin Bowers, Grant Writer/Developer with the CHS Sponsored Programs Office, will be joining the VCU Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation as the Associate Director of Research Development for the Center for Rehabilitation Sciences and Engineering. Devin's last day with the College will be Friday February 7. Research development questions can be directed to Dr. Joshua Langberg, Associate Dean of Research.


VCU Campus Sustainability
January Meeting

Wednesday, January 29 
5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Grace E. Harris Hall, Room 3142 

VCU Biology Department, School of World Studies and Office of Sustainability invite faculty and students to meet and discuss advancing campus sustainability at VCU and beyond. RSVP here. For more information, contact Ching-Yu Huang at or (804) 828-1858.


2020 Black History in the Making Awards

Black History in the Making was founded in 1983 by Daryl Dance, Ph.D., who invited academic units and organizations to “recognize a student who has made an important contribution.” The nominating units established criteria for selecting recipients. In 2019, the Department of African American Studies introduced a separate award for junior faculty (particularly term faculty), staff, and university and academic professionals.

AFAM is asking for all award recipient names by February 7. The award ceremony is planned for February 24 at 6 p.m. 

If your department wants to participate, you should hold an internal nomination process. Nomination and selection criteria and procedures are determined by the department/unit, but nominees generally have stellar academic records, a history of community service, and intern, professional or work experiences that place them at the forefront of their careers. Once selected, departments give recipient names to AFAM (AFAM doesn't select the recipients).

For more information and the award recipient form, visit the Black History in the Making website.


VCU Staff Senate Seeks Nominations for Awards for Excellence

VCU's Staff Senate is seeking nominations through Jan. 31 for its Awards for Excellence. The awards recognize VCU and VCU Health staff members in each of the following categories: integrity, staff advocacy, new employee, career achievement and champion of diversity and inclusion. For more information or to nominate a colleague, visit the VCU Staff Senate Awards for Excellence webpage. For more information, contact Brian McNeill at or (804) 827-0889.



In New Hampshire, VCU Students Get a Look at Presidential Primary Politics

Before a crowd of hundreds of college students at the College Convention 2020 in New Hampshire earlier this month, Democratic presidential candidate Amy Klobuchar touted the Democrats’ success in Virginia last fall, prompting a loud cheer from a couple dozen Virginia Commonwealth University students in attendance.

For the VCU students, it was just one of many times they found themselves at the center of the presidential primary action in New Hampshire over a 10-day stretch. The 28 students were taking a January term VCU political science course, Political Campaigns and Communication, focused on New Hampshire, home to the nation’s first primary election, following shortly after the Iowa caucuses. The trip to New Hampshire was supported by a $10,000 gift from the Hansan Family Foundation. Read more.


For VCU’s Capital News Service, Student Journalists Cover Massive Gun Rights Rally

Three Virginia Commonwealth University Capital News Service student journalists — Conor Lobb, Chip Lauterbach and Jeffrey Knight — volunteered to cover the massive rally on Monday that brought 22,000 gun rights advocates to the State Capitol in Richmond.

“Students braved temperatures in the 20s, rumors of potential violence, crowded streets and a hectic pace while documenting the thousands of armed Second Amendment supporters that converged on Richmond to protest proposed gun control measures and lobby lawmakers,” said instructor Alix Bryan, who accompanied the students covering the rally. Read more.


New ‘Bad Boys’ Film Taps Expertise of VCU’s Santa Muerte Scholar

Bad Boys for Life,” the new Will Smith and Martin Lawrence action comedy that opens today, tapped the expertise of professor Andrew Chesnut, Ph.D., an internationally recognized expert of Latin American religious history and leading scholar on the Mexican folk saint Santa Muerte.

Andrew, the Bishop Walter F. Sullivan Chair of Catholic Studies in the School of World Studies, was asked to provide the film production with his insight into Santa Muerte to ensure that the folk saint personifying death would be portrayed accurately. Read more.


At VCU, 170 Experts Gather to Focus on Solutions to Opioid Crisis

More than 170 law enforcement, addiction treatment, medical, education, and community services professionals gathered in James Branch Cabell Library on Tuesday, February 14 to discuss and collaborate on ways to address the opioid crisis.

“Our chief goal is to bring together all the stakeholders from all of these sectors to talk about: how do we work together, better, as one team to address substance use disorder and overdose death problems that are really crippling our communities?” said Michelle Peace, Ph.D., an associate professor in the Department of Forensic Science and an organizer of the event. Read more.




Stolen: Five Free Boys Kidnapped into Slavery and their Astonishing Odyssey Home

Monday, January 27 at 4 p.m.
Cabell Library, Room 250
Speaker: Richard Bell, Ph.D. (University of Maryland)

Richard Bell, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of History at the University of Maryland, presents a gripping and true story about five boys who were kidnapped in the North and smuggled into slavery in the Deep South and their daring attempt to escape and bring their captors to justice. Their ordeal—an odyssey that takes them from the Philadelphia waterfront to the marshes of Mississippi and then onward still—shines a glaring spotlight on the Reverse Underground Railroad, a black market network of human traffickers and slave traders who stole away thousands of legally free African Americans from their families in order to fuel slavery’s rapid expansion in the decades before the Civil War. The lecture is free and open to the public. Sponsored by the Humanities Research Center.

Overview of Forensic Behavioral Science

Tuesday, January 28 
3:30 p.m. - 4:45 p.m.
ASPiRE Building
835 W. Grace St., 1004 A 

Rick Malone, M.D., will present an overview of forensic psychiatry within the broader context of forensic science. He will also share some material from interesting forensic cases. Dr. Malone is a forensic psychiatrist who retired from the military with over 26 years of active duty service in the US Army. In his last assignment he was with the Headquarters US Army Criminal Investigation Command in Quantico, VA. Sponsored by the Department of Forensic Science. 

VCU MFA Faculty Spotlight Reading:
Kathleen Graber & Sonja Livingston

January 30 at 7 p.m.
Cabell Library, Room 303

Join the Department of English as creative writing faculty Kathleen Graber and Sonja Livingston will read from their new books, The River Twice and The Virgin of Prince Street.

Kathleen Graber’s latest poetry collection, The River Twice, was published by Princeton University Press. She is the author of two other collections of poetry, Correspondence, and The Eternal City, which was finalist for the National Book Award, The National Book Critics Circle Award, and the winner of the Library of Virginia Literary Award for Poetry. She is the recipient of fellowships from The National Endowment for the Arts, the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Sonja Livingston’s latest book, The Virgin of Prince Street: Expeditions into Devotion, undertakes a series of sojourns through place and time to contemplate shifting religious and cultural concepts of devotion. She’s the author of the award-winning nonfiction books, Queen of the Fall and Ghostbread, as well as Ladies Night at the Dreamland. Recent essays appear The Kenyon ReviewSalonSojourners and Lithub. Her work is widely anthologized in texts on writing and craft, including in Best of BrevityContemporary Creative Nonfiction, and Waveform: Twenty-First Century Essays by Women, Poverty & Privilege: A Reader.

Thinking Beyond DNA: The Search for Forensic Science's Cold Fusion

Tuesday, February 4 
3:30 p.m. - 4:45 p.m.
ASPiRE Building
835 W. Grace St., 1004 A 

Dr. Ehrhardt will present his research to differentiate forensically relevant epithelial cells based on their autofluorescence properties. Sponsored by the Department of Forensic Science.

Meet VCU's Authors: 
Tressie McMillan Cottom

Wednesday, February 5 at 4 p.m.
Cabell Library, Room 303

Dr. Tressie McMillan Cottom, associate professor in the Department of Sociology, will be holding a book talk on her newly published book, "Thick and Other Essays," where she refuses to shy away from blending the personal with the political, centering black women in uncommonly incisive analysis of social problems. The event will include a talk, Q&A and book sale and signing.

This book follows Lower Ed: The Troubling Rise of For-Profit Colleges in the New Economy (2017), which was featured on The Daily Show, NPR's Marketplace, and Fresh Air. Sponsored by the Humanities Research Center.

The Curiously Elastic Limits of Human Performance

Wednesday, February 5 at 7 p.m.
Harris Hall Auditorium

The Department of Kinesiology and Health Sciences welcomes Alex Hutchinson, Ph.D., for his lecture on "The Curiously Elastic Limits of Human Performance."

Alex has a Ph.D. in physics and worked as a postdoc with the U.S. National Security Agency, working on quantum computing and nanomechanics all while competing as a runner on the Canadian national team. He's now an author and journalist with a focus on the science of endurance and fitness. 

Hobbes and Hats

Thursday, February 6
Noon - 1:30 p.m.
Valentine House
2nd Floor Conference Room

The frontispiece of Thomas Hobbes’s Leviathan (1651) is the most analyzed image in the history of political thought. Yet modern commentators have missed the fact that, in the crowd of common people, all the men are wearing their hats. This small point of haberdashery may seem trivial: but sometimes big ideas are conveyed by small gestures. Lunch will be provided. Faculty and grad students should RSVP to Catie-Reagan Palmore at by February 3. Sponsored by the Department of Political Science and the Humanities Research Center.

Tech Tip

How To Clear The Cache Of Any Web Browser

Need to clear your cache and not sure how? This tutorial offers step-by-step instructions for clearing the cache of various web browsers you may use on the Windows platform, including Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Microsoft Internet Explorer, Apple Safari, Opera, Microsoft Edge and Mobile Browsing. Learn more.