News and Events for VCUCHS Faculty and Staff
VCU College of Humanities & Sciences
March 7, 2017

'Hidden Figures' Scientist Comes to VCU

On Friday, April 7th Dr. Christine Darden will be coming to VCU. Her inspiring story was featured in Hidden Figures: The Story of the African-American Women Who Helped Win the Space Race, a book by Margot Lee Shetterly. Dr. Darden is a retired NASA mathematician, data analyst and aeronautical engineer especially recognized for her research on sonic booms despite facing tremendous obstacles as an African-American woman. Darden’s visit is sponsored by the Departments of Mathematics and Applied Mathematics; African-American Studies; and Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies and will be from 4:15pm - 5:15pm in room 1107 of the Academic Learning Commons. More information.

Women's Mentorship Luncheon

To celebrate Women's History Month the College is hosting a Mentorship Luncheon on Monday, March 20th from noon - 2:00pm in room 1030J of the Globe (830 W Grace St). The event will focus on challenges and opportunities for women faculty in the R1 College of our premier urban public research university. This event is open to all College faculty but space is limited so please RSVP.

Staff Professional Development Conference This Week

The VCU Staff Senate is pleased to announce the fourth annual Staff Professional Development Conference, Discover the Greatness in You, March 8 - 9, 2017. This year's conference includes two renowned keynote speakers who will lead discussions on important workplace issues such as productivity, motivation, and the importance of diversity and civility. This professional development opportunity is provided to VCU staff at no cost and does not require employees to use their leave. Managers, please encourage staff to register and attend. Learn more and register.

Staff Council Nominations Due Today

The CHS Staff Council are still accepting nominations for new members for the next fiscal year until today, March 7th at 5:00pm. Chairs, Department Heads, Supervisors, or a fellow staff member can nominate you, or you can nominate yourself. The only qualification needed is that you/they are a current working Staff member in any area of the College of Humanities & Sciences, no matter your/their rank or title. All nominations should be emailed to Michelle Carpenter with the nominees name on the subject line.

Shakespeare's Value Then & Now

The Humanities Research Center and English welcomes Professor Emma Smith from Oxford University on Wednesday, March 15th as part of their Spring Speaker Series, What the 'Literary Greats' Have to Say to Us Today. Smith's lecture on What's It Worth? Shakespeare's Value Then and Now will begin at 4:00pm in the Cabell Library Lecture Hall. Admission is free and all are welcome! Learn more.

2017 Marquita Aguilar Walkathon

The VCU Staff Senate presents the annual Marquita Aguilar Walkathon on Wednesday, April 5th starting at 11:30am at the University Student Commons Plaza. This walkathon helps create scholarships for undergraduate students in need of financial assistance and promotes a healthy lifestyle while doing it. Learn more, register or donate.

2017 Black History in the Making Awards

African American Studies and the rest of the College would like to congratulate the recent 2017 Black History in the Making Award recipients. Students are chosen by their individual departments for their GPA, class participation, course load, research projects, internships, leadership on campus, among others. These awards honor our African American Students who have strong potential and have gone "above and beyond" here at VCU. View the list of recipients and congratulations to all!

The Men Who Lost America

History will be holding their annual Society of the Cincinnati in the State of Virginia Lecture on Thursday, March 16th featuring Dr. Andrew Jackson O'Shaughnessy, the Saunders Director of the Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies at Monticello. His lecture, The Men Who Lost America: British Leadership, the American Revolution, and the Fate of the Empire, will begin at 5:00pm in the Richmond Salons I & II of the Student Commons. View the flyer or learn more here.

Celebrating Women in Islam

The Office of Multicultural Student Affairs presents Celebrating Women in Islam: Portraits of Extraordinary Women and Personal Naratives on Monday, March 13th. In honor of Women's History Month join VCU students who identify as Muslim, highlight exceptional Muslim women in history as well as share their personal stories. The event is from 6:00pm to 7:30pm in room 215 of the Student Commons. Snacks will be provided. Admission is free and all are welcome! Learn more.

Lecture on US's "First Catholic President"

The College will welcome Dr. John Kneebone (History) as this year's Elske Smith award winner and speaker on March 22nd. His talk, America’s First Catholic President: The Presidential Election of 1908 and the Backlash That Followed, will focus on politics, bigotry and pluralism. Dr. Kneebone will begin his talk at 1:30pm in the Richmond Salons III-IV of the Student Commons. Admission is free and all are welcome!

Tressie Cottom on "The Daily Show"

Tressie Cottom, assistant professor of Sociology, is scheduled to be interviewed by Trevor Noah on The Daily Show on Wednesday, March 8 about her new book “Lower Ed: The Troubling Rise of For-Profit Colleges in the New Economy.” The Daily Show is on Comedy Central weeknights at 11:00 PM.

Commercialization Fund, Second Round Now Open

VCU President Michael Rao recently announced the recipients of the first round of research funding through the Quest Commercialization Fund . This funding is dedicated to advancing VCU inventions to a more mature stage and improving their chances of being brought to market. A second round of funding support to VCU faculty, staff, trainees and students opened on Wednesday, March 1st and will close at 12:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 30th. The funds will be awarded in May. Learn more and apply here.

More News . . .

Sociology: 'Inside Higher Ed' Q&A with Tressie Cottom on her new book

VCU President, Dr. Michael Rao affirms support of VCU's 'Core Values'

AFAM: VCU students create podcasts drawing on African-American rhetoric throughout history

COBE: Town hall to address latest research on substance use, treatment, mental health in young people

VCU Alumna's election in 1966 as RPI's Harvest Ball Queen attracted national attention

Mark Cuban says this will soon be the most sought-after job skill

Psychology: Is love really a drug? Course examines science behind media portrayals of love & substance abuse

GSWS: Professor interviewed by GayRVA
.com about the BIg Ideas cluster hire in LGBTQ studies

History: Professor featured in 'The Washington Post' for article on "legislators rewriting VA's history"

SWS: Andrew Chesnut featured in interview on 'Currents NY' about Santa Muerte Devotion

Robertson: Professor Oliver Speck weighs in on the Oscars


T4 'One-on-One' Consultations

Tech Services will soon offer One-on-One Consultations where an expert from Web Service's T4 Team will travel to you and work with you and your co-T4-ers on whatever you'd like for an entire hour. You can sign up using VCU's Appointlet program under "T4 One-on-One Consultation" in the middle of the list. Spots are limited. If you have questions please contact Curtis Reisinger or put in a Service Desk ticket.

Save the Date: Grant Writing Seminar

The College Office of Sponsored Programs will sponsor an all-day Grant Writing Seminar on May 17th in the Commons. It is open to all faculty interested in proposal development and will feature the GWSW Consulting Firm. The information will be relevant to all fields across the College and extremely useful to even experienced and successful proposal writers. You will be able to reserve a spot for the workshop beginning March 13th. For more information or questions please contact Scott Gronert.

Town Hall on Moving Forward

The L. Douglas Wilder School will be hosting a town hall on March 22nd about today's political climate, leadership, the nation's changing electorate and how you can get involved. The discussion on Popular Politics, Populism and Donald Trump: Who Are ‘We the People’? will start at 7:00pm on March 22nd at the Grace Street Theater. Alexandra Reckendorf from Political Science will be on the panel. Admission is free and all are welcome! Learn more.

Distinguished Faculty Deadline March 13

The College is now accepting nominations for our Distinguished Faculty Awards. A new award has been added this year: the Humanities and Sciences Distinguished Mentoring Award. The award is for mentoring activity by an individual faculty member who has helped to build a supportive academic environment through faculty-to-student mentoring and/or faculty-to-faculty mentoring. Nominations should be emailed to by March 13, 2017. View the procedure to nominate.

Combat 'Alternative Facts'

VCU Libraries is launching a new information literacy campaign, #VetYourSources, to encourage everyone to check your sources of information. This campaign will help when writing papers, doing research, reading news articles or scrolling through social media. Learn more.

On the Verge of Polio Eradication

On Wednesday, March 15, Ellyn Ogden, USAID's Worldwide Polio Eradication Coordinator, will speak on Getting to Zero: On the Verge of Polio Eradication. The event will take place in the Academic Learning Commons, Rm.  2201, from 7:30 - 9:30pm. Sponsored by Political Science and the Global Education Office. For more information contact Judyth Twigg.

Tressie Cottom on "The Daily Show"

Tressie Cottom, assistant professor of Sociology, is scheduled to be interviewed by Trevor Noah on The Daily Show on Wednesday, March 8 about her new book Lower Ed: The Troubling Rise of For-Profit Colleges in the New Economy. The Daily Show is on Comedy Central weeknights at 11:00 pm. 

Faculty Spotlight:

The Division of Community Engagement (DCE) is celebrating its 10th anniversary and has highlighted some of the faculty members who are committed to community engagement. Rosalie Corona (Psychology) not only founded and directs the VCU Latina/o Mental Health Clinic, but she also is currently training 50 members of the Latina/o community to become mental health “first responders,” able to identify mental health symptoms and connect with services. “For me, research, teaching and service are totally integrated. The impact of my scholarship is not just in journal publications, but rather how many people within the community have access to care.” Read more.

Faculty Spotlight:

David Coogan (English) has also been featured by the Division of Community Engagement (DCE). He developed the Open Minds program, which brings VCU students into the Richmond City Justice Center for a service-learning course. "Diversity is what makes this class great. They’ve realized we’ve always been one, and there really is no ‘other.’” Read more.

Alumni Spotlight

Lester Brown (Chemistry) was recently featured on Science Matters VA on their segment, Science Matters Because. Lester is now an R&D Analyst with WestRock Co and also a Semi-Pro Cyclist. He says that with his job and racing there is scientific method to make sure that he gets the most efficiency out of what he is doing. "Science matters to me because it gives me a way to understand the world around me, from appreciating mechanics and everything that goes into developing my equipment, to having an appreciation of the scenery; it's everything." Watch the video.

Upcoming H&S Events

• Mar 08: CHS Staff Appreciation Coffee Break
• Mar 13: Positive Psychology Research Group: Marcie Walsh
• Mar 15: HRC Spring 2017 Speaker Series: Emma Smith
• Mar 16: Society of the Cincinnati Lecture: Andrew Jackson O'Shaughnessy
• Mar 17: SPUD Talks: Calvin Hall
• Mar 17: Physics Colloquia: Jeffrey Teo

*Add our calendar to stay up to date on events in the College!

Selected VCU Events

• Mar 05-12: VCU Spring Break
• Mar 06-10: Staff Senate Employee Appreciation Week
• Mar 13: Celebrating Women in Islam: Portraits of Extraordinary Women and Personal Narratives
• Mar 14: Visa Options with Mark Rhoads, Immigration Attorney
• Mar 20: UNICEF Unites
• Mar 21: Science and Health Career Fair

Submit Newsletter Content

The next newsletter is scheduled for March 21st, 2017. Please submit content to Janelle Moretti at as soon as details are finalized.

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