News and Events for VCUCHS Faculty and Staff
VCU College of Humanities & Sciences
April 05, 2016

Apply for a Faculty Council Grant

The College's Faculty Council is now accepting nominations for a limited number of competitive grants ($500-$1000) for full-time faculty. Preference will be given to those who have not received funding in the past, or if previously funded, have submitted a report of their expenditures. Applications must be submitted by Friday, Apr. 15th. Contact Dr. Rowena Briones for any questions. Learn more and apply.

Walk-A-Thon Today!

The VCU Staff Senate Marquita Aguilar Walk-A-Thon is today, April 5th, from noon to 2:00pm starting at the University Student Commons. Registration opens at 11:30am. The Walk-a-thon raises funds for the Virginia’s Caring University Scholarship. Learn More.

Changes in Available Event Spaces

The Scott House is scheduled to undergo renovations beginning this summer and will not to be available to host our events. The Robertson Alumni House is also no longer open for events, and the Depot may not continue to host events in the future. This makes it critical that we have as much notice as possible of upcoming events in order to find and reserve space. Please contact Janelle Scutt to help you reserve event spaces and give her as much lead time as possible.

Substance Abuse and Young People

From Research to Rehab: A Town hall Meeting on Substance Use and Young People, presented by COBE and Life Sciences on April 14th (6:30 pm-8:30 pm) and 15th (8:30 am-12:30 pm). There will be keynotes by Dr. Linda Hancock (Director of the Wellness Resource Center), Dr. Bill Maher (Family Intervention Center of Virginia), Justin Luke Riley (Young People in Recovery), Dr. Kevin McCauley (Institute for Addiction Study) and Dr. Danielle Dick (Professor of Psychology, AFAM and Human and Molecular Genetics). Admission is free and all are welcome, but seating is limited. Learn more.

RSVP to Our Faculty and Staff Awards

Our annual Faculty and Staff Awards will be held on Apr. 28th in the Richmond Salons of the Student Commons from 8:30 - 10:30am. Please plan to attend to support your colleagues. The list of awardees will be published in the next newsletter. If you plan on attending please RSVP here.

A Fight for HIV/AIDS Treatment

The Humanities Research Center presents Dr. John Greyson (York University, Canada) on Tuesday, Apr. 5th as part of the HRC Speaker Series, HIV/AIDS: Local, National, and Global Perspectives. Dr. Greyson will be screening his film, Fig Trees, which is a documentary that follows to AIDS activists on their fight to access treatment. The event will begin at 4:00pm in the Cabell Library lecture Hall. Admission is free and all are welcome. Learn more.

Fillmore Honored at PACME Awards

On Monday, April 4th Psychology's Dorothy Fillmore received the President's Inclusive Excellence Lifetime Achievement Award at the Presidential Awards for Community Multicultural Enrichment awards ceremony. Dorothy was recognized for her 30 plus years of advocacy at VCU. She is a 2012 recipient of VCU’s Burnside Watstein LGBT Award and a 2013 honoree of the Catalyst Award from ROSMY, a nonprofit focused on LGBTQ youth issues. “I see lots of places for us to continue to grow and progress, and keep listening to one another,” Fillmore said. Clarence Thomas of the Robertson School received the faculty award, and sociology major Tania Valencia received the student award. Read more at VCU News.


The Office of the Provost is pleased to announce that VCU is an Institutional Member with the National Center for Faculty Development & Diversity (NCFDD). The NCFDD is a nationally recognized organization that provides online career development and mentoring resources for faculty, post docs and graduate students. Graduate students, post-doctoral associates and faculty members can enroll in a free sub-account membership to use the center's resources. Learn more.

Lecture on Early Cinema for Education

Science, Technology and Society presents Dr. Oliver Gaycken (U of Maryland) tomorrow, Apr. 6th as the last speaker for their Seeing Machines: Humans and Technology lecture series. Dr. Gaycken will be at The Depot at noon presenting on his topic, The School of the Future: Thomas Edison, Inc. and the Popular Science Film. Then in collaboration with Science Pub RVA, he will be speaking later that night at C'est le Vin (15 N. 17th St). This second presentation on Cheese Mites and Acrobatic Flies: Early Popular Science Films will begin at 6:00pm. Please RSVP to attend the evening event. Learn more about both lectures.

Humantities Research Center Announces Spring 2017 Fellowships

The Humanities Research Center announced the recipients for the 2017 Spring Residential Fellowships. Each year this program gives four faculty who are working on related issues or topics release from teaching responsibilities for one semester so that they can focus on their individual research projects and at the same time engage regularly with each other. Congratulations to Catherine Ingrassia, Shermaine Jones, Oliver Speck and Brooke Newman! Read more.

Vipers & Heroes in American Religion

The History Department presents the 23rd Annual Blake Lecture on Wednesday, Apr. 6th featuring Dr. Terryl Givens (University of Richmond). Dr. Givens will be leading a lecture and discussion on Constructing Mormonism: Vipers and Heroes in the American Religious Saga. The lecture will begin at 7:30pm at the Grace Street Theatre. All are welcome and admission is free. Learn more.

Addressing Healing, History and Culture

African American Studies along with History presents, The Role of Museums in Addressing Healing, History and Culture on Thursday, April 7th featuring Dr. John W. Franklin. He is the Director of Partnerships and International Programs at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. Franklin has worked on African American, African and African Diaspora programs for the past 24 years at the Smithsonian. Admission is free and all are welcome.
Learn more.

More News . . .

Black Lives Matter movement created out of love, co-founder says during event at VCU

History: Joint oral history project tells story of African-American schools in Goochland County

Psychology: Professor weighs in on the battle over the conclusions of a major research reproducibility study

COBE: A new class and institute at VCU unites students, researchers and faculty in mental health awareness and well-being

World Studies: Professor takes 3D printed onject and translates them to digital means with laser scans

KHS: Blind athlete finds reassurance to keep running after visit to VCU RUN Lab

VCU Alumni Month ramps up Ram Pride


Come Out and Mix with Your Students!

On Friday, Apr. 29th the Dean's Office and our Student Leadership Council will be hosting a Student/Faculty Mixer at The Depot. This event will give students the opportunity to meet and mingle with faculty outside of the classroom. The event is from 4:00 - 6:00pm and will have refreshments. Admission is free and all members of the College are welcome. RSVP here to attend.

Wikstrom Honored by VSSA

Dr. Nelson Wikstrom (Political Science) was recently honored by the Virginia Social Sciences Association for his many contributions over the years. He received the Mario D. Zamora Distinguished Service Award on Saturday, Apr. 2nd at their annual VSSA Conference in Lynchburg. This award is intended to acknowledge the contributions of those who have made outstanding contributions to the Virginia Social Sciences Association over the course of their time as faculty members at a Virginia University. Congratulations Nelson!

Crisis and Movements in Libya

On Wednesday, April 13th the Arabic Club will be assisting sponsoring the Libya 5 Years Later symposium. The event will address the political crisis, state/society relations, civil movements, women's rights, refugee crisis, education and health system in the country. Among the many guest speakers, the Libyan Ambassador in the United States, Deborah K. Jones, will be giving the opening speech. Learn more or contact Professor Salwa Sheibany.

Strategies to Teach Your Research

The Humanities Research Center presents Teaching Your Research: Making the Excitement of Academic Discovery Accessible to Undergraduates on Tuesday, Apr. 12th. This session will discuss strategies for engaging students with our own research, making our work accessible to them, communicating the excitement of academic exploration and discovery, and giving them hands-on experience in what we do as scholars. The workshop starts at 2:00pm in seminar room 201 of the Humanities Research Center. Learn more.

History of Italy Through Cinematography

The Italian Program in the World Studies presents Cinematographic: History of Italy with Dr. Bernardo Piciche on Wednesday, Apr. 13th. The lecture will make clear that art can only help understand history with inspirational suggestions, but cannot take the place of reality. The event starts at 6:00pm in room 1100 of the Academic Learning Commons. Admission is free and all are welcome. For more information, please contact Sydney Conrad.

Danielle Dick To Speak at TEDxRVA

Dr. Danielle Dick, professor of psychology, African American studies, and human and molecular genetics, will be one of the featured speakers at this year's TEDxRVA event on April 8 at the Carpenter Center. Dr. Dick will speak about VCU's 'Spit for Science' project and the pathways from genes to addiction. For more information about the event and to purchase tickets, visit

Do You Have News to Share?

If you have news to share this is a great place to do it! Please submit news and events to Janelle Scutt 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:

Dr. Shiv Khanna (Physics) recently returned from the International Symposium on Clusters, Cluster Assemblies and Nanomaterials (ISCAN) in Trivandrum, India where he has been featured in a local newspaper. Nanoscience Helped Several Breakthroughs featured in The New Indian Express, highlighted some of the work going on in our Physics department like green energy, reducing pollution, new electronic and magnetic devices. Read more.

Student Spotlight:

Julia Carney (Political Science) has spent the last couple of months tracking bills, monitoring legislative meetings and researching policy issues for senior lawmakers during this year's General Assembly session. She is among 21 VCU students enrolled in the Capital Semester program. Carney worked for Del. Vivian E. Watts, a 20-year member of the House of Delegates from Fairfax who also served during the 1980s. Read more.

Alumni Spotlight:

Rachel Mercer (Brandcenter '12/H&S) recently has advanced the art of playing outside for kids with Hackaball, becoming on of Time magazine's best inventions of 2015. This ball incorporates an app on a mobile device that allows children to program the ball and make their own interactive games. The ball responds to be handled by changing color, vibrating and making sounds depending on what the programmer chooses. Hackaball is currently in the first stages of production and so far has sold 3,000 balls worldwide. Read more.

Upcoming H&S Events

• Apr 05: Marquita Aguilar Walkathon
• Apr 05: Discrete Mathematics Seminar: Nico Van Cleemput
• Apr 05: HRC Speaker Series: Film Screening: Fig Trees
• Apr 06: STS Lecture Series: The School of the Future: Thomas A. Edison, Inc. and the Popular Science Film
• Apr 06: STS/Science Pub RVA: Cheese Mites and Acrobatic Flies: Early Popular Science Films
• Apr 06: Annual Blake Lectures: Dr. Terryl Givens
• Apr 07: The Role of Museums in Addressing Healing, History and Culture
• Apr 08: Social Psychology Under Discussion (SPUD): Transcending Separateness with Presence: How Mindfulness Promotes Intergroup Prosociality
• Apr 11: Positive Psych Research Group: Moral Injury
• Apr 12: Discrete Mathematics Seminar: Niel Livesay
• Apr 12: Teaching in the Humanities: Teaching Your Research
• Apr 13: Libya: 5 Years Later
• Apr 13: Cinematographic: History of Italy
• Apr 13: VCU Visiting Writers Series: Dinty Moore
• Apr 14-15: COBE Symposium: From Research to Rehab

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

Selected VCU Events

• Apr 06: Global Cafe
• Apr 07: Student Leadership Awards
• Apr 12: Open Online Workshop: RefWorks
• Apr 14: Community Engagement Cafe
• Apr 14: Terrorism and Radicalization in Open Society
• Apr 14: Black Queer Imaginings: A Dialogue on Masculinities, Movements and Mattering

Submit Newsletter Content

The next newsletter is scheduled for April 19th, 2016. Please submit content to Janelle Scutt at as soon as details are finalized.

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