News and Events for VCUCHS Faculty and Staff
VCU College of Humanities and Sciences
May 5, 2015

Ceremony Honors Recent H&S Alums

VCU Alumni's inaugural 10 Under 10 awards program honored College alumni Derick Rivers, (M.S. Mathematical Sciences ’09 and Ph.D. Systems Modeling & Analysis ’14), Michael Karnjanaprakorn, (M.S.’06/Mass Communications), Adeeb Barqawi, (B.S. Biology ’10/H&S), and Micah Risk (B.S. Health, PE & Exercise Science '07) at a ceremony held on Saturday, May 2. The winners were chosen based on their professional success, contribution to their community, and loyal support to the university. See the complete list here.

Responsible Conduct of Research

A new VCU Policy on Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) and Scholarship has been established that makes PI’s and Departments financially liable if their trainees are not RCR certified. The policy states:

“In the event that an undergraduate student, graduate student, or postdoctoral researcher fails to complete the required RCR training, the salaries and/or wages along with any associated fringe benefits for that individual must be removed from the funded project. The PI’s program or department will be responsible for covering any salary, wages, and fringe benefits determined unallowable as a result of noncompliance with this policy.”

Please require all of your undergraduate students (including students whom you might only employ in the summer) to take the online CITI course on RCR as soon as they join your research group. The online course can be found here. Users will need to create an account here. Training is free but requires a account. This is currently being enforced for NSF awardees, but will soon also apply to NIH awardees and possibly other sponsors. Graduate students or postdoctoral researchers must enroll in and complete one of the courses listed here. Principal Investigator/mentors are responsible for monitoring completion. The complete policy can be found here

Institute on Inclusive Teaching

VCU will hold the Third Institute on Inclusive Teaching Monday May 18 - Friday May 22 at VCU Globe. Faculty are invited to be part of this development experience. The institute will feature conversations on a variety of topics designed to help professors create an inclusive climate for all students and will feature daily presentations from experts in classroom inclusivity. Keynote presenters include Zewelanji Serpell, assistant professor in the Department of Psychology. Apply here.

Assisting Students in Distress

The Faculty and Staff Guide to Assisting Students in Distress is a website designed to help faculty, staff and students quickly report a concern online and reach out for support for students in distress. As faculty and staff you play a central role in creating a caring, supportive environment for students and the VCU community. Please review the site and bookmark it for easy reference. For more information, contact Kendall Plageman, VCU's safety case manager, at or(804) 837-8753.

Josh Langburg Awarded Grant

Joshua Langberg is the recipient of a 4-year intervention grant from the Institute of Education Sciences, which is part of the Department of Education. Dr. Langberg is Co-Principal Investigator on this multisite project with Dr. Arthur Anasatopoulos from the University of North Carolina. The grant, Improving the Educational and Social-Emotional Functioning of College Students with ADHD (R305A150207), will involve delivering intervention services throughout the year to 120 VCU undergraduate students who have ADHD.

April 21 Newsletter Delay

We apologize if our last newsletter (dated April 21) arrived late. The University is implementing new spam filtering settings and delivery was delayed to many email addresses. If you didn't receive it, you can see it here. In addition, if you would like to view any of our previous newsletters, you can do so here.

New Book By Ingrassia

Catherine Ingrassia, professor in the Department of English, recently published a new book titled, The Cambridge Companion to Women's Writing in Britain, 1660–1789. Her book features esssays on female writers of eighteenth-century Britain. Divided into two parts, the Companion discusses women's participation in print culture and key genres in which women wrote including poetry, drama, fiction (early and later), history, the ballad, periodicals, and travel writing. View the book here.

More News . . .

VCU seniors reminisce about the wishes they made as freshmen...

From art to science and everything in between: VCU highlights student projects from Research Weeks 2015

Statistical Sciences and Operations Research: Report: Richmond area hotel occupancy increased in 2014. VCU SSOR Chairman Darcy P. Mays' study featured.

Psychology: Annual PACME awards honor faculty, staff and students for making VCU more inclusive

World Studies: New biography tells story of the first world famous African-American concert performer

Gov. Terry McAuliffe to deliver address at VCU commencement

View photos from the Marcia Powell Festival of Religion and the Arts.

World Studies & Political Science: The Armenian Genocide: Why Recognition is Important [VIDEO]

History: Virginia Lawmakers Take on the Fight of the Pamunkey Tribe

Robertson School: Experts: Photo illustration that accompanied retracted Rolling Stone article raises ethical questions

Psychology & African American Studies: A lot of smoke: Study examines cigarillo modification health claims

View photos from the African American Studies alumni and friends reception.

World Studies: Santa Muerte: The Skeleton Saint [VIDEO]

Sociology: Susan Bodnar Deren Receives Two Grants!

Via online oral history project, residents of demolished African-American neighborhood share their stories

Robertson School: Dr. Briones and doctoral student Candace Parrish to present at annual Eastern Communication Association conference.

Currents of Change Recognition

Two faculty members of the College will be recognized by the Council for Community Engagement for outstanding university-community partnerships. Marcus Messner, associate professor in the Robertson School, will be honored for outstanding partnership in teaching for his course Global health and Social Media: Developing International Nonprofit Campaigns with an Open Online Course. Bruce Rybarczk professor in the Department of Psychology, will be recognized for outstanding partnership in service for his project Integrating Behavioral Care into Local Safety Net Primary Care Clinics. Bruce and Marcus along with their VCU and community partners will be recognized at today's Celebrate with the Community event.

VaBio 21st Century Cures Luncheon

Virginia Bio will hold a luncheon with featured panelists in the health industry on Thursday, May 7 at the Virginia Biotechnology Research Park. Panelists will discuss the current health system, from drug discovery, to development to delivery, and the impact of the Food and Drug Administration, National Institutes of Health and other federal agencies. More information here.

Quest Global Impact Fund Awarded

Scott Gronert, chair of the Department of Chemistry, has recently been awarded a Quest Global Impact Seed Fund for his proposal, The Fudan-VCU Department of Chemistry Initiative. The project will support a visiting scientist from Fudan University this summer. He will interact with faculty in the Chemistry Department and help facilitate the new joint masters program between VCU and Fudan University. His visit will overlap with an established exchange program that brings four undergraduates from Fudan University to the Chemistry Department at VCU each summer. The Seed Funds support initial steps in developing projects that will contribute to one or more of the VCU global priorities.

Graduation Volunteers Needed

We need a small number of additional volunteers to help greet students and their guests, give directions and serve as ambassadors for the College at our Diploma Ceremonies in the Student Commons this Friday evening and Saturday afternoon. If you're available and would like to help please contact Shirley McDaniel at or 827-827-0867.

Office of Research Survey

The Office of Research is conducting a short (5 to 10-minute) survey in order to best assist VCU researchers with the Institutional Review Board’s (IRB) electronic submission system (RAMS-IRB). Your responses will be anonymous. The survey will be available until May 15, 2015 at this link. If you have any comments or questions about the survey, or human subjects protection at VCU, please contact us at or 828-0868. 

Share Your News With The College

If you have news to share this is a great place to do it! Please submit news and events to Denise Johnson at We will submit your news and events to the VCU Calendar, Telegram, this newsletter and our social media outlets. Keep your colleagues informed by keeping us informed!

Faculty Spotlight:

Gregory Donovan, associate professor in the creative writing program in the Department of English, recently published his second collection of poetry, Torn from the Sun, from Red Hen Press. Greg's first collection, Calling His Children Home, won the Devins Award for Poetry. Greg is also a co-founder and senior editor of Blackbird: an online journal of literature and the arts. In a recent interview with VCU News, Greg discusses the mythological symbols in his collection and his evolution as a poet. Read the full interview here.

Staff Spotlight:

Kevin Knitter works as a Chemical and Proteomic Mass Spectrometry Core Facility technician in the Department of Chemistry. He feels the best part of his job is the opportunity to do independent research in order to extend the facility’s capabilities. Kevin believes in focusing on core values of research and teaching students to truly think independently. In his spare time, Kevin enjoys spending time with family. He also involves himself in church and home improvement projects including wood working. Read more about Kevin in a profile on our website.

Alumni Spotlight:

Morgan Saunders (B.S., Mass Communications ’11), leads a hectic life. During her time at VCU she joined Alpha Kappa Alpha (2009), served as CEO for Fall Block (2010) and was the PR manager for VCU STRUT, a student-run fashion show. Today, her schedule seems no less packed. Saunders is an assistant production manager for National Geographic Television International, based in D.C. She was offered the position by her former boss, Crystal Williams, of the Black Entertainment Television (BET) network. While VCU provided a strong foundation of core skills, Saunders said you can never be totally prepared for any job you get as a recent grad. Read more about Morgan and life after graduation here.

Upcoming H&S Events

• May 08: The Robertson School of Media and Culture Diploma Ceremony
• May 08: Department of Chemistry Diploma Ceremony 
• May 08: LSEE Diploma Ceremony
• May 08: Sociology Diploma Ceremony
• May 09: Interdisciplinary Science Diploma Ceremony
• May 09: English Department Diploma Ceremony
• May 09: Forensic Science Diploma Ceremony
• May 09: School of World Studies Diploma Ceremony
• May 09: Department of History Diploma Ceremony
• May 09: Mathematics, Physics, Statistical Sciences and Operations Research Diploma Ceremony
• May 09: Military Science and Leadership Diploma Ceremony
• May 09: Department of Biology Diploma Ceremony
• May 09: African American Studies, Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies and Philosophy Diploma Ceremony
• May 09: Department of Psychology Diploma Ceremony
• May 09: Political Science Diploma Ceremony
• May 09: Kinesiology & Health Sciences Diploma Ceremony

Selected VCU Events

• May 9: Commencement

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The next newsletter is scheduled for May 19, 2015. Please submit content as soon as details are finalized.

If you have questions please contact Gregg Johnson at Thank you!

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