News and Events for VCUCHS Faculty and Staff
VCU College of Humanities and Sciences
March 04, 2014

Apply for a Faculty Grant Award 

The Faculty Council of the College of Humanities & Sciences is offering competitive grants for full-time faculty in the College. Preference will be given to applicants who have no other financial sources and for whom funds will make a positive difference in their scholarship and/or lead to future external funding proposals. Applications must be completed on this form, (no additional pages accepted) and electronically submitted as an attachment to Dr. Susan Bodnar-Deren at by April 1st. Recipients of the grant awards will be announced by April 15, 2014.

Additional Quest Grant Winner

In our last newsletter we inadvertently neglected to include Dr. Mark Wood, Director of the School of World Studies, in our congratulations to Quest Innovation Fund grant winners. Dr. Wood and his colleagues received a grant to hold an international conference on Religion and the Arts during the Spring 2015 semester. Our sincere apologies to Dr. Wood!

Community Engagement Expo

Do2withVCU is a one day expo designed to connect VCU faculty, staff, and administrators with volunteer opportunities available in the greater Richmond area. More than 60 community partners will be on hand to provide information about opportunities for partnerships to enhance teaching and learning, research, and service. A lecture and book signing with Elaine Brown follows the expo (described below). VCU News has more details.

Social Justice in the New Millennium

Elaine Brown, civil rights leader, author and activist, will give a lecture on Where Do We Go From Here? Social Justice in the New Millennium, March 5 at 5 p.m. in the Grace Street Theater. Brown is a former leader of the Black Panther Party and co-founder of the National Alliance for Radical Prison Reform, as well as Mothers Advocating Juvenile Justice. Brown lectures on eliminating racism, gender oppression and class disparity. Add this event to your calendar.

Biology Professors Receive NIH Grant

Karen Kester, associate professor in the Department of Biology, and Jennifer Stewart, director of graduate studies in the Department of Biology, were awarded a five-year grant from the National Institutes of Health to help increase transfer and graduation rates of community college students interested in biology and to ultimately increase the number of students from underrepresented groups who pursue careers in biomedical and behavioral research careers. The program, VCU Bridges to the Baccalaureate: Dream to Goal, will enhance teaching and advising at VCU, TNCC and JTCC, and provide a two-year graduated summer research program for selected students. VCU News has more.

VCU Highlighted in A-10 Ad

We have a sneak preview of a two-minute commercial that the Atlantic-10 Conference plans to release for the NCAA tournament/March Madness. The Rams are featured prominently. The A-10 will also be featured in outdoor and print pieces, as well. To see some of the print and outdoor pieces click here.

National Security Lecture Series

The next National Security Lecture is on March 5 in the Commons Theater at 7:30 p.m. featuring the honorable Ted McNamara, professor at George Washington University and former U.S. Ambassador to Colombia. McNamara will discuss Not So Distant Neighbors: The United States and Latin America. Add this event to your calendar.

Faculty Technology Survey

The office of the Vice Provost for Learning Innovation and Student Success is conducting a survey to help learn how to provide better information about and services around technology at VCU. As part of completing this survey, you have the option of making yourself eligible to win either a $50 or $100 gift certificate to Take the survey here.

More news . . . 

English: VCU’s Pulitzer-winning poet is never bored and always watching

Chemistry: Nanotech Polymer Excels at the Capture of Carbon

African American Studies: Radio VR's salute to Black History: Black Cinema Today

World Studies: Panel will be held in honor of Andrew Chesnut's research at the American Academy of Religion Conference

The Robertson School: Does WhatsApp deal show Facebook knows what’s up?

View photos of the Forensic Science team at the AAFS Conference in Seattle

Psychology:  The Best Way To Get Over A Grudge

Biology: Alumna’s sturgeon film honored

A 2014 Challenge for the Social Sciences

Carlyle Co-Founder’s Formula for Success: Study the Humanities

Hands-on Research Proves Beneficial for Undergraduate Learning

Mooconomics: Economic Structure of Massively Open Online Classes

Rob Tombes on Lincoln's Darwin

This year's Elske v. P. Smith Lecture features Dr. Robert Tombes, professor of biology and associate dean for research in the College, who will present Lincoln's Darwin: The Origin of Understanding at 4 p.m. on March 25 in the Student Commons Theater. The talk will be followed by a reception. The Elske v. P. Smith Distinguished Lecturer award was established in honor of the former dean of the College, Elske Smith (1980-1992).  Add this event to your calendar.

VA Communications Hall of Fame

The distinguished careers of six commonwealth media professionals will be honored this spring at the 2014 Virginia Communications Hall of Fame on April 10 at the John Marshall Ballrooms. The Virginia Communications Hall of Fame recognizes communication professionals with exceptional careers in advertising, journalism, public relations and other media fields. The Richard T. Robertson School of Media and Culture will host the ceremony, and President Rao will give remarks. The Robertson School has the details.

VCU Global Health Showcase

The College of Humanities and Sciences, Global Education Office, School of Dentistry, School of Medicine and Office of Research are pleased to present the second annual VCU Global Health Showcase on Tuesday, April 1, 2014. Faculty and students are invited to submit a poster for display related to medical and surgical care; public, mental, and dental health; and other health-related topics. View the flier here. The deadline to submit poster proposals is Friday, March 21. The Global Education Office has the details.

Help Us Spread the Word

Last month 58% of the faculty and staff of the College opened this newsletter. If you have news to share this is a great place to do it! Our news and event forms automatically forward to Gregg Johnson, Shirley McDaniel and to VCU News. 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!

In Memoriam:

Daniel Smith, a former religious studies professor, passed away on Feb. 8. A message about Daniel's life and legacy is posted on the School of World Studies website. "Dan was a father, grandfather, brother, colleague, and friend to many. He was a remarkable teacher, accomplished stage actor, international businessperson, sought-after motivational speaker, world-traveler, polyglot, philosopher, adventurer, and truth-seeker. He was truly a Renaissance man who warmly encouraged everyone - students, faculty, and friends alike - to join him on the journey of discovering all there is to know and experience in life." A memorial service was held in remembrance of Daniel on March 2. Read more at the School of World Studies website.

Faculty Spotlight:

Bruce Rybarczyk, professor in the Department of Psychology, is an expert on the science of sleep. He has been conducting research in the sleep medicine field for 16 years, and his research team has been steadily contributing to a mounting body of scientific work demonstrating the benefits of CBT-I, a drug-free treatment, for insomnia. “I often refer to CBT-I as sleep boot camp,” Bruce said. “Essentially, through CBT we want to retrain the sleep process and provide the patient with an owner’s manual for their sleep system by educating them about the science of sleep.” Read more about Bruce and his research here.

Student Spotlight:

Seven students from the Department of Forensic Science, including Lacey Reynolds and Carla Barrera, recently taught crime-scene techniques to 25 students at Martin Luther King and Fred D. Thompson middle schools in Richmond and Fairfield Middle School in Henrico County. The program gives students an opportunity to gain hands-on experience with "CSI" style techniques, including fingerprint and blood spatter analysis, DNA sample testing and crime scene processing. VCU News investigates.

Upcoming CHS Events

• Mar. 04: Forensic Science Seminar Series
• Mar. 04: Chemistry Seminar Series
• Mar. 04: William E. & Miriam S. Blake Speaker Series
• Mar. 05: Community Engagement Lecture: Social Justice
• Mar. 07: MATX Digital Humanities Symposium
• Mar. 19: Bishop Walter F. Sullivan Catholic Studies Lecture Series
• Mar. 19: Science, Technology, and Society Lecture
• Mar. 20: Short Fiction Award Program

Selected VCU Events

• Mar. 05: Do 2 with VCU: A Community Engagement Expo
• Mar. 06: VCU Symphony
• Mar. 08: VCU Men's Basketball vs. St. Bonaventure
• Mar. 13: Writing Approval Informed Consent Documents

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The next newsletter is scheduled for March 18, 2014. Please submit content as soon as details are finalized.

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

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